Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy 3rd my dear!

My Parkie So, my punk-a-lunks, my baby girlfriend, and all the other nicknames I’ve blessed you with—you’re 3!

Light reading before ballet.

To imagine that three years ago it was just me and Kris, anxiously waiting our 9 DAY OVERDUE first born.  I knew that I would love her.  That was a given.  I just didn’t know how much.  From the moment she was laid on my chest, I knew that I was here for her, just as much as she was here for me. 

Princess Aurora in all her glory.

I feel such a sense of gratitude every single day over the relationship that’s blossomed between us.  A mini-version of myself, we get each other.  We love, we play silly games, she yells and I breathe loooong sloooow deep breaths, we cuddle, we chat, we swap stories as often as we do nail polish.

Making a wish!

And so I can always remember this piece of time… 

 Snapshot of Parker at 3:


·         Good friend.  A couple weeks ago a friend of mine stopped over to return some tools her fiance borrowed.  Along with tools came beer and liquor as a thank you.  The liquor was ice cream flavored.  We oooo’d and ahhh’d, and discussed the important topic of mixers.  Parker, listening as always, was desperate for the “ice cream.” I explained it was alcohol.  She said no, you said it was ice cream.  Back and forth until I agreed that after dinner we could have actual ice cream, B&J’s Milk and Cookies.  Parker happily ate her treat and said to me, “Mommy, could I please have a bowl of ice cream to bring to S (her neighbor friend). S would be very sad if she didn’t have any ice cream! I had ice cream so S needs ice cream too.” Bless her little heart.  So we scooped some ice cream in a bowl, “don’t forget a spoon!” I was reminded, and we walked next door to deliver the treat.  Always thinking of others.

Waiting patiently for a birthday cupcake, wet hair all over the place.

·         School: loved by all.  The kids adore Parker because of her ability to get along with others.  She has this mothering instinct that appeared right around her first birthday and has never faded away.  She hugs, tucks friends in, just really does a fine job all-around of making sure her buddies are taken care of.  

I get really excited about things .

Parker's also loved by her teachers, the word favorite being thrown around a lot.  And the feeling is reciprocated. Not a day goes by that I don't thank the high heavens for finding such great ladies to care for my own little ladies.  Truly like family, they hold a very special place in our hearts. Caring for our children not only while at school but in our own home as well, keeping open lines of communication, and dishing out hugs and kisses like none other, we have it made. Forever I am grateful for the experiences Parker is able to have while Kris and I are able to hold careers we enjoy and provide for our family.  I hope this trait of behaving, listening, and treating her teachers with respect will last well into her elementary, middle and high school years and that she will continue to be seen in this great light.

Learning a ton! The educational things, sure, like colors, shapes, and letters, nature, writing and art, but most importantly she’s learning how to be a social being.  How to deal when a classmate steals a toy, how to share, how to play, how to fight, how to make up, how to express herself.  Gifts I could never bless her with on my own, gifts I’m so glad she’s able to experience.

Cupakes for her school birthday party, made by mama. The toppers are rings!

·         Loving sis.  90% of the time Parker dotes all over Teagan.  Shares snack and brings her toys. Sings her songs and gives out kisses.  The other 10% of the time? It’s filled with yelling.  And toy yanking.  I’ll take the bad if it means I get to take the good as well :)

Birthday morning decor, complete with purple sprinkle pancakes!

·         Independent: likes to use the bathroom by herself (actually shuts the door so we can’t come in!), fully dresses herself each and every morning—from undies, to tights/socks, to dresses, shoes and coat—and it’s very much appreciated, and gets her own snack from the fridge and panty.

Cannot love this picture any more. 


Obsessed with: 
Sofia the First.  One of her b-day gifts is going to see the Disney Sofia show in a couple weeks.  She. Will. Freak.  
 Bedsharing.  I’ve half-heartedly tried to get P to sleep in her own bed, but honestly I like the cuddles and she sleeps the best this way.  Win win for now.

 Telling stories! From sleeping over at C’s house, her school crush, where they found a huge squirrel in his sleeping bag (never happened) to kissing C, school crush again, while at dance class (which he does not attend) because he fell and hit his head, it’s amazing to see those wheels a churnin.  

Names 90% of her baby dolls Diva. 

39 inches (90th percentile) and 31 1/2 pounds (60th percentile).  Long and lean!


Me: Parker, what would I do without you in my life
P: You would sit in the sunshine and wait for me.

Blessed. Happy. Lucky. On top of the world.  You mean more to me than you will ever know baby girl.  Looking forward to everything this next year brings!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Life happenings

(1) Parker is super into books on CD.  First introduced at school and now at home, girl cannot get enough.  One evening as the girls and I chatted with Kris while he was in France, he instructed me to (1) go to the laptop, (2) find the desktop (sometimes the impossible task, THANK YOU Windows 8), and (3) open the green icon.

This is what I found:

A collection of books on tape, from a dad to his daughter. 

(2) I pinned, I did--Caramel Apple Cider.  Tasty.  Smirnoff was the only caramel flavored vodka I found and while certainly not my vodka of choice, it went surprisingly well with the cider.  The vodka is insanely sweet so pour with caution.

(3) With the Halloween season comes Halloween crafts.  I embrace Halloween with open arms.  My house is completely decorated with pumpkins, spiderwebs, witches, framed printables, and more--inside and out.  One trick-or-treating party under our belts, compliments of P and T's school, another one this weekend at one of the outdoor malls, followed by my office and actual Halloween around the sub, we will be ghost and goblin'd out by the end of October. Just as it should be :)   

Both Parker and Teagan participated in the pumpkin craft but Teagan quickly lost interest.  Thank the lord for a package of wipes.  Saves the day every time.

Parker's on the right.  All pieces put into place all by herself!

Happy camper thanks to Nature Babycare wipes.  Multipurpose, who knew?!

(4) Parker turned 3! I'll post more about this later, but poor thing is so confused about birthdays right now.  We had a party at our house, a party at school with her friends, and her actual bday where, as per usual, Kris and I took the day off to celebrate as a family.  Now when Parker wakes up she asks, "is it my birthday again?? do I get more presents??" Next year, kid!

I made a bomb cake to go along with her obsession--Sofia the First.  Cake made my yours truly and compliments on the topper belong to Etsy. How COOL is this thing?! Not only does this seller have incredible reviews, but she has a great selection, does custom orders, was a speedy shipper, and best of all made for the happiest three year old on her special day. I was pretty proud of myself too for pulling off this layer cake, especially since baking is not my forte.  Let's not talk about how late into the evening I was up cranking out this bad boy.

(5) Etsy shop is up and running! Ever since Parker was born I've been a wee ::cough cough:: shall we say obsessed on unhealthy levels with hair accessories.  From clips to headbands to hair ties, I've certainly been there and done that.  What a better idea than to make my own creations!

For now, I'm enjoying making some personalized items for girls.  With no marketing yet--no Facebook, no Etsy ad space, no nothing, I've sold one headband (and in turn got a great review) and received lots of "favorites."  We'll see where I go next with this little hobby.

Sweetest Sunshines on Etsy

(6) Goodnight and sweet dreams all!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Phone dump

Tiny glimpses of the past two weeks, in no particular order:

First ballet & tap class today! Parker rocked it in her butterfly dance skirt (one of her favorite things).  I was so proud of my big girl for going in the class, full of new friends and a new teacher, sans tears and epic meltdowns. Teagan and I chilled at the studio during the class and my heart absolutely burst when Parker ran out of her class, huge smile plastered on her face.  Lessons are closed door (bummer!) but a couple times the door opened.  I saw Parker, in line with her classmates, tapping away.  Excitement doesn't not come close to describing how I feel about her Christmas Spectacular recital in two months. 

Safety first--baby Cinderella in her infant seat while in the car.  Speaking of safety, we've been having loads of safety talks with Parker.  She's in a phase of loving moving down the chest clip on her car seat because "that's where it goes."

Fruit pickin! We loaded up--apples, pumpkins, raspberries, and gourds.  We could have got it all--cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, & more, but with Kris in France for two weeks I knew there was no way we'd make a dent in a list like that.  Parker loved being able to pick, and lets be honest--eat, the fruit.

I never back-carried a babe but inspired by a lengthy carrier discussion with a fellow hayride mama I decided to give it a whirl.  How one goes about doing this on their own I'm not sure (Kris helped) so that's one for YouTube.  Teagan was content for about 20 minutes then lost it.  T is the poster child for de-tachment parenting.  Loves the stroller, hates being worn (at least with me--Kris, she eats it up).  Loves the crib, hates cuddling (with both of us).  Polar opposite the bigger version of her.  

More cider mill fun.  Lots of playgrounds, kid John Deere tractors, huge inflatable bouncing things and more.  We spent four hours at the cider mill and three hours picking fruit the next weekend.  And we could have stayed longer.

Animals were visited too. Baby chicks, goats, ponies.  Always a blast.  

Until next time!

Friday, October 4, 2013

MB Take 2

Back to Myrtle Beach shenanigans.
Pier cuddling with Daddy and Sofia the First.


After all the sun and sand, we were hungry. So evenings were dedicated to eating delicious meals out and exploring MB.  It’s illegal to pass up a seafood buffet so that was one night.  Not only did we get to stuff ourselves silly but we also discovered a huge hands-on-museum of sorts in the basement that had a nautical theme.  Super fun for both babes.  

Chocolate soft serve AND her new pink turtle necklace? 2 year old heaven.

Teagan being Teagan.

Senor Frogs is also a MB staple for us.  Come on, you know you can’t pass up the booty chairs, balloon hats, and yard drinks! We found an Italian joint called Toscana, the name of the restaurant at Ohio University where Kris and I had our first date (which has since closed) but as soon as I saw white tablecloths, white leather backed chairs, and floor to ceiling displays of wine I ran for the hills.  I’m calling not child friendly on this one.  So we ended up at a pizza place that was delish.  

Silly hat caught her eye.

I should know better, trying to get a picture when there's a plate full of food in front of P.
B double O T Y (America's Got Talent, anyone?)

Joes Crab Shack on the water was another night.  Parker’s thing is falling off chairs when we dine out.  Sure enough, down she went onto the rock hard floor, a mere 18 hours after falling off the condo bed…the food could not have been delivered at a better time.  Nor could my shark bite drink.  Google it--super fun. 

Our condo had two bars attached to it so one night was spent eating there.  A few other local eats wrapped up the food portion of the trip.  All very good!

If only we had room in the car for this man.

P was quite fond of him.

One of the most fun things we did was the kiddie rides at Broadway on the Beach.  Parker told her friends, friends parents, and teachers all about the awesome time she had on her rides.  Teagan even joined in on the action!

Me: "Parker, how did you like the ride?" P: "Not good."

T's first non-merry go round ride!

As serious as can be with a hat like that.

Game face again!

Ripley’s Aquarium was visited and the part I was most stoked about was the live mermaids.  At set times the mermaids preformed a show and posed for pictures.  Parker and I were in line 20 minutes early waiting for our mermaid chance.  20 minutes passed.  Another five went by.  Another five.  We were notified that the mermaid called in sick.  I (jokingly) said I would do it but they passed (offended).  But lo and behold, an hour later the mermaid had arrived! Parker wanted nothing to do with her and Teagan wanted everything to do with her sparkly top.  

Don't mind me.

Pearly girly!

Hands on room. I love watching them play together.

I know there's underboob Teagan but come on...use your peripherals.

I totally could have pulled off this mermaid gig. Face paint, tat, and all.

Sleep was…interesting on vacation.  Teagan came back from MB with two new teeth and man, did you know it.  What was lay her down in her crib and 8pm to 7am without a peep turned into battling to get her down in the pack-n-play and multiple wake ups.  We’re still getting teeth and still having wakeups.  I will not be sad when all these teeth pop through. However, I found a lot of joy in the pre-dawn walks, just me and T, on the beach, watching the sun rise. Peace, happiness, stress-free.

How can you not stay happy when Teagan's around?

After seven nights of fun it was time to head back home.  15 hours away…I didn’t quite realize how far it was when we decided to drive.  See, we were departing from Columbus, less than 10 hours, and that’s totally doable.  But 15 hours? With two babes under 3?? What were we thinking?? While it sounds awful it actually worked out really well.  During the first four hour stretch T napped a lot and Parker napped, played with the Kindle, and watched her DVDs.  We took a long two hour break at Burger King for the sole purpose of using their outdoor playplace.  Parker had her first bite of fast food—chicken nuggets, though we did swap the fries for apples, juice for milk, and deserrt for a toy.  Another four hours on the road and the girls remained happy as clams.  For dinner we stopped in West Virginia at a local pizza place.  Pizza was great.  But perhaps the best part was that shortly thereafter we passed the Sissonville exit.  That’s right, Buckwild fans!

By this time it was time for bed.  Kris got a burst of energy and drove us all the way to his parents house in Cleveland.  11 hours in one day baby! It was so nice to knock out a long stretch the first day so we could get home at a decent hour the next day. 

Ahhhh, vacation.  Just love it.  I have so many memories that will stay with me always—

·         holding Parker by the hand and Teagan in my arms, remembering how just last year we visited the same ocean with Parker still holding my hand but Teagan in nestled my belly

July 2012--inside Teagan
September 2013--outside Teagan

·         watching Parker conquer her fear and swim by herself with her Puddle Jumper.  Letting go of my arms was scary, but she did it and swam like a fish.  The elation on her face, so proud of herself. It’s nothing short of amazing.

·         Walking down the beach holding tired Teagan as she curled up on my chest and slowly fell asleep

Being able to cuddle a not-into-the-cuddles babe? Priceless.


·         Seeing Parker make friends at the water park.  Hours upon hours they played together, swapping stories and dishing out compliments.  Seeing your child blissfully happy has to be one of the greatest feelings. 

Long story, but we were thisclose to basically having this girl handed over to us by her parents...she would have fit in, looks like us right? I felt lots of warm fuzzies with this little "addition" for the week. I could definitely rock three little girls.

·         Teagan smiling at everyone which in turn, makes them smile back.

·         The joy Teagan experience at the edge of the zero depth pool.  Splashing her feet in the water made her giggle the sweetest giggles. 

Until we meet again, Myrtle Beach.