Monday, June 27, 2011

Say "Cheese!"




























Mike took this picture with his phone while I ran inside the grocery store.

Game Time!

Ready To Ride

Mike and I have invested hundreds of dollars in safer car seats for our girls. Britax is top of the line, and most highway patrolmen will tell you that kids that ride in Britax car seats, often walk away with minor-to-no injuries even from horrendous car accidents. I really hope we never find out.



























I have spent hours correctly installing these seats, belting and anchoring them in. We are also very picky about how they, themselves are belted into the seats. Straps have to be tight, and chest clip has to be at armpit level. I realize I'm anal about this. Yup, I know. But if it's not done right every time, then what's the point of having them in a seat in the first place??



























We love our Britax seats...and I will not apologize for being vigilant about their safety.

Father's Day

Father's Day was rather uneventful around here. I had the cards and gifts ready for Mike beforehand so Natalie practically threw the gift bag at him in excitement first thing in the morning. He opened his gifts in bed with all three of us surrounding him. We didn't get to church because I couldn't go, nor could I stay home and care for Lexi on my own yet. Natalie was disappointed but fine with it once we told her she could still wear her church dress. (This girl loves to dress up!)

Somehow, the hanger for the dress ended up downstairs. Later that afternoon, (Mike was upstairs) Natalie found the hanger and started up the stairs with it, yelling:

Natalie: Daddy!! Here's a hooker!
Mike: What??
Natalie: I've got a hooker for you! Here! It's a hooker!
(I'm watching this unfold, realizing Mike can't see the hanger in her hand...and I'm snorting with laughter)
Mike: WHAT?!?! ...oh...a hanger, Natalie.
Natalie: Yeah, a hanger.

Mike came downstairs and sees me still laughing.
Me: Well, Happy Father's Day to YOU!
Mike: I know, right!

Love For Nani

So while I was recovering from my surgery, Nani spent quite a few hours here helping out. (Thank you bunches, Dorie!!) We took a few pictures of her with the girls, and I thought these turned out cute. Then I noticed a trend developing. Apparently Natalie's arm looked yummy. See for yourself:










































Church Promotion

It's that time of year when all the kids in Sunday School move up to their next classroom. Natalie has moved from her beloved pre-K rooms to the K-1 room. She was just a bit unsure when we dropped her off, but did well. After church we asked her how she liked it.
Natalie: Well, I was cold.
Me: Yeah, it was kind of cold in church this morning.
Natalie: ...and I was bored.
Me: Wait, you mean you didn't have anything to do, or you just didn't get to play as much as you liked?
Natalie: I didn't get to play as much.
Me: Oh, well that's good Natalie, it means you'll be learning more. Anything else?
Natalie: They didn't have snacks, Monnie!!
Me: (stifling laughter) Oh, no!!

It's funny to hear her upset about the lack of snacks, as that was where my interest was when I was that age. My dad would ask me every day what we had for snack at preschool. The quality of those snacks determined whether or not it was a good or bad day. Not kidding. Some things never change!

I was thankful for the comic relief...as that morning was very difficult for me in an unexpected way. As we dropped Natalie off in her K-1 classroom, then dropped Lexi off in the nursery, the gap between them was so painfully obvious. (more so than usual) We don't have a child to drop off in the pre-K area. None of those babies (that should have been in pre-K now) are here with us, and those losses still hurt. It will always hurt. Even with Lexi here now, I still desperately miss what should have been. I think of those babies often, and usually with acceptance of what happened, and even a smile knowing how hilariously and blissfully overwhelmed I will be to have them all pile in my arms someday. It just seems that when something happens unexpectedly that makes me miss them, or I notice their absence all of a sudden...I get very upset and more emotional than usual. It's hard. Even worse when it's in public. 

So I was so happy to laugh at Natalie's dismay at the lack of snacks in Sunday School. I held her hand, and snuggled Lexi under my chin extra tight as we headed to the car. Thank you God for the sweet children we do have...and please let their be snacks next week.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Party Time!

Natalie went to her first birthday party a couple weeks ago. It was for her dear friend Avery, and just happened to be a princess party. Natalie couldn't wait! She RAN to the front door:















Natalie, Avery (the birthday girl), and another princess party girl:















The princesses:


















Happy Birthday Avery!! We are so thankful for your sweet, joyful nature and friendship to Natalie!!

Kisses & Smiles

The evening before my surgery, my parents were spending the night with us. (We had to get up at 4:30, and leave before 5am) Lexi decided to make this wake up time even more difficult by staying up late! She was tired, but so happy to be downstairs with everyone, no one could refuse her. I have always said she's at her most charming when she should be sleeping! :)

I told Dad to try and see if she would give him kisses, and she did. Quite a few kisses!! It was funny because she was being picky about who she kissed that night, and would only give kisses to her PawPaw:















She is always so interested in his facial hair:















This is my favorite...look at that little hand on his cheek!















Playing peek-a-boo with Lexi:



























More sweet smiles:

Sarah Turns 28

We spent part of my birthday running errands, then stopped by a local custard shop. It was Natalie's first time there:



























All of us:
















Snuggling with my baby, waiting on Natalie to finish her ice cream.



























We had a great dinner with friends later that evening too! It was a perfect, low-key way to spend the evening!
A couple days later, my parents were here (before my surgery) to celebrate:

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm Here

I find the actual medical names for the procedures (I had) sound more impressive:

nasal endoscopy
maxillary antrostomy
sphenoidotomy
total ethmoidectomy
septoplasty

All of the above were for my sinuses...NOT anything exterior. I did not get a "nose job"...that is very much the same, just perhaps a bit more swollen right now.

My parents were with me, Mike and his mom were with the girls. I think it worked out best that way.
Everything during surgery went smoothly. Recovery was not that pleasant. I was choking on blood, so had to sit upright and let it drain out my nose...changing the pad every 10-15 minutes. I was so tired, and just wanted to sleep but that wasn't possible with what was going on. We were concerned about the amt of blood that was draining and not showing any signs of slowing down. I was so glad mom was with me. She did all my nursing care, as our nurse was rarely seen. The bleeding went on for hours, and finally we saw some improvement. I started eating and feeling much better.

I think I came home around 4ish. Natalie was nervous to see me...I looked like crap with a blood-soaked pad taped to my face. Not very reassuring to a 5-year-old. She was very sweet and concerned. All she needed was some snuggling, and reassurance that I was just fine. Then she was happy again. Natalie is as empathetic as a child can be. 

The surprising aspect of this whole ordeal is the lack of pain. I expected much worse, but really it's been nothing compared to the horrible pain I had with my sinus infections. Today I've been up and able to function. Lexi's swinging arms make me quite nervous, but so far no collisions with my face.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surgery

I will be having sinus surgery on Thursday. Please keep me in your prayers. It shouldn't be anything major, but I will "be under" for approximately 2 hours. They are repairing sinus issues I've dealt with for years. My sinuses don't drain well, and as a result, I get infections EVERY time I get sick. Each one seems worse, and the sinus pressure and headaches accompanied with it are awful. I am looking forward to getting this fixed!! I had a CT scan several weeks ago, and it showed 3 major issues going on. The worst was the narrowing of the sinuses. It also showed a deviated septum and a large polyp (also blocking drainage but thankfully only one) so they will correct those as well.

I am told recovery won't be too bad. The first day or two I plan to take it easy and stay put on the sofa or our bed. After that, I am not allowed to lift anything or do anything strenuous for two weeks. From what I hear, it will be amazing to feel the difference after everything is corrected. I'm looking forward to it...just have to get through the surgery and recovery first!! :)

Hiding

Reading

Love

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swimming Lessons

Natalie is enjoying every minute of swimming lessons this year. She is in the starter class, as she has been timid around the water in the past. Not anymore! She is by-far the most outgoing kid in her class. I know she'll do great!

Here she is going around the lazy river with the other kids in her swim class. She is supposed to be kicking her legs but because she's so tall, she mainly ran around on her toes. LOL. We had to keep reminding her to pick up her feet and swim!:












This is their instructor, Mike. He's very good with them, and had them all giggling within the first few minutes of class. I crack up at how easy he can wrangle these six kids just by grabbing the ends of the noodles they are floating on!
















As their instructor takes each child out into the water to practice a new skill, the others cheer for them and have started chanting, "GO! GO! GO! GO!" This is something they started themselves, and it's quite funny to see each kid have a sideline of cheerleaders.

Happy Tears

Yesterday morning, Natalie and Lexi were in bed with me. We usually spent several minutes there while we all I wake up, talking and playing. Natalie is always in a fantastic mood in the mornings and was playing with Lexi and getting some great smiles and giggles from her. She leans down, kisses Lexi's cheek and hugs her several times. Then leans back and starts wiping her eyes.

Me: Natalie, are you okay?
Natalie: My eyes are watering. I just love her so much, Monnie that my eyes are watering...but I'm not sad.

She looked a little confused about her emotional reaction, and I was glad to explain to her what a happy-cry is. I was surprised to the depth of her response to Lexi. I mean, I get choked up often between these two sweet girls, but I never thought that my five-year-old would too. I just thought she was a little young to experience that. I'm glad I was wrong. It was amazing to witness, and then scoop them both up in my arms and thank God for these moments.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just Keep Swimming...

Natalie had been giddy all day long that we were going to go swimming. It was Lexi's first time in the water. Babies in swimsuits are just too adorable:
She was very interested in what was going on.



























It was funny to watch her reaction as I waded deeper in the water with her in my arms. As the water came up to her toes, she kept inching them higher on me. LOL. I love our pool. It's less than a mile from our home, and in the evenings, the huge building behind it shades the entire swimming area. Quick picture with my girls, documenting Lexi's first time in the water!!
















...and with Daddy! I couldn't get Lexi's attention, she was too focused on the water.
















(Natalie was sick of pictures...I know, right?! What kind of parents are we, that make our daughter stand still and pose for pictures when she's in a water park?! Sorry Natalie!) See that handsome, hairy man?? My husband is part sasquatch. Cory has been known to (endearingly) make yeti calls at him.
















We had an awesome time all together, and Lexi seemed very content in the water for about 40 minutes. Then she was done. Mike took Natalie back over to the preschool play area while I changed a fussy Lexi and got her back into dry clothes. I lounged in the shade with my baby and watched Natalie and Mike play. They got back to find Lexi sound asleep on me.
















We stayed until the pool closed (8pm) and then headed home. I LOVE these kind of evenings.

10 Year Reunion

It was fantastic!! Our school has a tradition of having the reunion over the span of two evenings. I was so glad I attended both events. The first evening was at the winery.
This is a picture of Jennifer, myself, Kathleen, Emily, and Lindsay:

















We were having a great time visiting. Mike was sitting with a few other friends while I got to run around talking to other alumni. He caught up with me later on that evening, just as my phone rang. Uh oh. Our babysitters (aka: my parents) were calling to let me know that Lexi would not stop crying. I could hear her in the background. She was quite...worked up! I said goodbye to a few people, and we booked it back to their house. Where Dad was pacing with a quiet Lexi. She even smiled when I came over to pick her up. Mike and I got both girls to bed, then headed back out to a friends house. We relaxed on their front porch, chatting for quite a while, then we went home.

Night two was held at a local brewery. (Winery, brewery...obviously there was an agenda here) It was a completely different atmosphere that evening. Mike and I had decided it might be best if he stayed home with the girls that evening so I wouldn't get pulled away from my reunion again. I had mixed feelings about it and missed him, but it did work out well. It was really special to get to reconnect with so many people.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy 6 months, Lexi!

Lexi had her 6 month well-visit checkup on Wednesday.
17.2lbs (75th percentile)
25.5 inches long (45 percentile)
She is growing well and is such a happy baby!



























Lexi rolls over very quickly from tummy to back, but still hasn't rolled back to tummy. I really think she could do it if she wanted, but she has zero interest in that. She sits supported, and probably will be on her own before too long. Loves to stand!

















She is grabbing anything she can get a hold of, and seems to have a special interest in getting my hair or lips. She gurgles, coos, and squeals all day long, and we can really get her laughing too.



























Lexi has started splashing during bath time, reaches for us to pick her up, and cries when we walk away.



























Her interest (and quick acceptance)  in new foods fascinates us, as we are used to having a timid and picky eater. :)
  
It is so neat to watch her start to interact with her environment. To rub her sweet hand along Daddy's face, squeak a toy, reach and grasp Natalie's hand, or to run her fingers through my hair.



























My favorite time with her is still nursing her right after her evening bath, before bedtime. She snuggles in for warmth, and the closeness just puts a lump in my throat every time.















Happy 6 months, sweet girl. You are loved.

Cereal

The next evening after such a great avocado experience, we tried some rice cereal in milk. She LOVED it. It is a little early to tell yet, but it seems we might have a happy eater on our hands.



































Friday, June 3, 2011

First Food

The evening before Lexi turned six months old, she got to enjoy her first food. Avocado!

Natalie watched me make it in the food processor, and already announced that it looked gross. This is a picture of the first bite, and you can see Natalie's skepticism. LOL!














Lexi really liked it, and did fairly well getting most of it into her tummy. Although, as expected, a lot came back out of her mouth!






























Giggling:















Then she was "helping"















*gag* she's done!!
















Natalie being silly: