Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Start of Summer

As sad as I am about not going to Pre-K anymore this year, I am loving the lazy, no plans days of summer ahead.  Emma and I have already made our Summer Bucket List - and I know we will keep busy.

The first day of summer was spent at the gym, eating lunch outside at Brixx, and then just hanging out.

Our second day started with a marathon trip to the Walmart in Morrisville (sooo worth the extra 10 minute drive).  We were treated like royalty - Emma got to be the new fitting room attendant (while I tried on a sports bra), got a free cupcake and balloon from the ladies who do online grocery shopping there, and we came home with a bunch of great groceries for less.

Merritt is really growing fast this past week - doing fairly well with sleep - up once a night, and even slept through the night until 6am one night!  I don't mind getting up once - that's way better than multiple times.  She is sitting up on her own with ease now and even leaning forward and pushing herself back up.  She is almost always very happy.  She's done great at church nursery and the gym nursery.  I am so relieved:)

We spent Memorial Day weekend at home together as a family!  We busted out the backyard pools and enjoyed the sunshine.

Merritt loved to splash around in her pool.  But she only lasts about a half hour, then she gets tired/hungry.

Brooklyn came over to play with Emma everyday, and they had a blast.  They played so well together.  We are so lucky to have these friends next door.

This girl loves Sunny.  Whenever she hears her meow, her face lights up and she looks all around the room to find her.

Emma has been a great big sister lately.  She has her moments of not wanting to share, but for the most part, she loves this new role.  Every night, she comes into Merritt's room while I'm feeding her and gives us both a sweet, gentle kiss and says goodnight.  Brent usually puts her to bed since I am getting Merritt down, so as soon as I get done, I always go in Emma's room to tuck her in again.  She always sweetly says "I love you mommy" and my heart melts.  She has been really helpful and really grown lately.  She can write her name and Merritt's.  And if I spell out words for her, she can write them without seeing the letters.  She is so proud of herself.  She also loves playing with her babies.  if you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she will say "a mommy." 

We are really excited for the weeks ahead.  It will take some getting used to with Merritt's nap and feeding schedule, but I'm looking forward to it. Happy Summer!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meeting Adrian!

I love reading blogs - fashion, home, parenting, cooking.... I even like writing this one even though I will never be famous for it:)

Adrian Wood, the author of the blog, Tales of an Educated Debutante, is such a talented writer. I love how honest, raw, and poetic she is. Her writing has a bit of stream of consciousness feel, but it's very easy to follow.  The English major in me just eats up her words and all the feelings that come with it. 
I think she gained a lot of attention after her Lululemon post - which was hilarious and true and thank God someone said it!  I love the store, but agree completely with Adrian, and rarely buy anything there (unless it's on sale).  And when Athleta reached to her and offered for her to come to the Raleigh store, I knew I had to go see her.  I love Athleta - although I will also say their prices are up there, but at least they have a few sales. 

So, I packed up my girls and my mom and we ventured to Crabtree last week for free wine, snacks, makeovers, and a chance to say hey to Mrs. Wood.  Emma wasn't in the best mood, and evenings aren't Merritt's jam yet, so we didn't stay long.  Hopefully I didn't win one of the "you need to be present to win" raffles....

Adrian was delightful - so down to earth, funny, and just a great person.  I knew I could sit and have drinks with her and have a blast.  My dear friend, Val, is actually a friend of hers.  Val worked with Adrian's youngest son as his speech therapist and she wrote a beautiful tribute to her on her blog here. 

If you get a chance to meet  And if you're a mom or a writer or just love reading in general, check out her blog!  Her Instagram is also a great one to follow:)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Field trips and Summer birthdays!

This post is so bittersweet, as the school year has ended.  But I wanted to document the week in Emma's class.  I guess I am sort of that obnoxious parent that participated as much as I could - the first to sign up for the field trip or want to come in for things even if parents weren't really invited:)

I actually just love the chance to see Emma with her friends, in her everyday world that I am not a part of.  And, I have truly enjoyed being able to spend one on one time with her after having Merritt.  Merritt consumes so much of me and my time, and I miss so much my time with just Emma.

Last week, the 4 year old classes went to the Piedmont Wildlife Center.  I drove Emma and 2 of her friends:)

All the Awesome Owls!

Love how the girls are on one end, minus Jane - she's kickin it with the boys!!

It was hot and humid, but these kids enjoyed it.

The owls were pretty cool, and the hawks. 

This hawk made squawking noises and was Emma's favorite - probably because his leash was purple.

A few days later, the class celebrated all the summer birthdays.  Truth is, I had forgotten Emma's medicine, so I needed to take it to her, so I got to see the party:)


Emma leading the prayer before snack (aka ice cream)

Ms. Messick holding Merritt - love that these sweet teachers love on her too!

These pictures are exactly why I stopped working - so I could enjoy these moments.  If my job were closer, yes, I could still work and see this.  But it wasn't....and I'll gladly take the pay decrease anyday!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Last day as an Awesome Owl

Wow - today has been an emotional one!  All the feelings - for sure.  Today was Emma's last day in the Owl classroom.  Most of her peers are going off the Kindergarten, a few are lagging behind with her.  I am overwhelmed - overwhelmed with relief, gratitude, regret, and sadness.  This year has been BIG - big changes.  Emma started out August going back to daycare for 3 days a week (and hated it), and then started at this brand new school, knowing next to no one, going everyday until noon.  Then mom quite work a month in, and had a baby 2 months later.  Our worlds have sure changed a lot since August 2016.  I am beyond grateful for the everyday love Emma and I received from Westminster.  They were family to us.  Heck, I saw them twice a day - the teachers, parents, kids....  I'm soo, soo sad that the organic meeting up with them will not happen easily this summer...or ever again for some. 

I have been so emotional the past few days thinking back on it.  It's the end of a year, the beginning of another, and another unknown for the future.  I am beyond glad that she is staying there next year.  We decided that with her summer birthday, it was better to hold her back.  She has made tremendous strides - socially and academically in the past 3 months, and I sometimes wonder whether I am making the right choice.  But, for now, I'm holding firm.  I remember being so scared for Emma about whether she would make friends, fit in, enjoy school.  I remember feeling the same feels for me too - would I fit in, enjoy the other parents, find support? 

The past year was a challenging one for me - lots of changes and hormones and lack of sleep.  Ms. Messick and Ms. Lalor greeted me every single day with smiles, asked how I was, made me feel like I was doing a good job (even if I had forgot her lunch, or she was late, or I was a hot mess).  They gave me parenting advice with Emma when issues arose, they gently let me know when we needed to work on things.  I was so, so blessed by them.  They truly cared for Emma, and for me.  I came to meet other parents, some in the same stage of life as me, and some not.  It didn't matter.  I enjoyed their company, their guidance as I navigated a new school and this whole stay at home mom thing.  I loved, loved, loved playdates and carpooling, and staying after to play on the playground.  Those things meant so much to me and Emma.  (Having worked all these years, that kind of community didn't happen with daycare.)  I know I will continue to have these next year, but they will be different, and I lament that.  I try and not be too hard on myself - because I was pretty pre-occupied this year.  But there were so many more things I wish I had done - playdates with friends for Emma, and making more parent friends there.  Ugh...silly mom-guilt sets in everytime.

I love that I have one more year with Emma to mold her, love her, show her how to be a gentle and loving girl.  At the start of school, Emma was so shy.  I was a mess worrying about her.  And by the end of school, she had friends, had learned to stick up for herself, and also to be kind and include others.  I am so proud of her.  She has also learned all her letters and loves to practice them.  She loves to read to her stuffed animals, and I can tell she mimics her teachers:) 

I don't know what summer will look like for us - I suppose we will get bored, and I may get sick of having both kids at home all the time.  It's never too late for camps, I suppose.  And as for those friendships that were so spontaneous and easy everyday, well...we will just have to make an effort to maintain them over the summer!
September 2016 and May 2017.  Emma gained 4 pounds and grew 2 inches!  She also finally kicked the binkies!! 

Thank you, Westminster, for loving all of us through this big year.  We are so blessed to be a part of your family!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mother's Day weekend

We kicked off Mother's Day with Muffins for Mom at Emma's school.  I was pretty sleep deprived from the night(s) before, but excited to be there.  My mom kept Merritt so that I could be there JUST with Emma.  I love these moments.  I rarely get much time with her anymore, so I cherish it.
The kids sang a few songs (which I of course videoed), and then we planted some flowers together in a pot she had painted just for me:)  There were baked goodies, smoothies, and lots of smiles.  I really, really enjoyed this.

That afternoon, we went to the mall to get my mother a Mother's day gift.  Merritt ended up falling asleep in the stroller (which was my plan), and slept for over 2 hours.  I was sort of running out of stores to go into:)

Saturday, Brent had to work, so it was just me and the girls.  We were all battling colds (pretty nasty ones), but miraculously, Merritt slept 9-5 the night before so I was well rested.  We did give her some Benadryl, but....details......

When Brent got home that afternoon, he took Merritt out to the store and to get Chronic Tacos for dinner.  I showered with Emma and we snuggled on the couch together -again, lots of one on one time with my oldest, biggest girl.  Then, Emma and Brent surprised me with a banana split they had made for me to share with Emma while Merritt got a bath.

Gosh, this girl is getting so big :(:(:(

That night, we drugged Merritt again and she slept until 5am again!  What!!!!!!! Sunday, Emma surprised me with my favorite - homemade oatmeal and coffee in bed!

We went to church, but Merritt didn't fall asleep in the car like normal.  She was pretty good for some of the service, but got fussy and I had to take her out.  I was going to take her to the nursery, but since she had a nasty runny nose, I thought that might be rude:)  So, we hung out outside the sanctuary and took some pics!

I finally nursed her towards the end of the service and she fell asleep.  I set her down so I could grab my bag and the poor girl was still asleep!

We tried hard for a good picture, but these will have to do this year!

Merritt fell out as soon as we got rolling in the car, so we decided to go to Carrboro to Rise for some biscuits.  It was gorgeous outside, so we sat there.  I love their biscuits, but prefer Monuts for donuts;)  We walked over to Fleet Feet to check out their shoes.  I had needed a new pair of workout shoes, so I got fitted and picked some out for Mother's Day.  The people there are so nice - they watch you walk, look at your foot, and do everything for you.  I didn't have to bend down to put on a shoe or anything.  They were also offering mimosa.....hecksss yessss.  I'll take TWO.  Bonus: Merritt slept the entire time in the stroller. 

We went to my parents for dinner outside, and enjoyed some champagne:) 

I feel so blessed to have a Mom whom I love and helps me ALL the time.  And no matter how hard or exhausting being a mom is, I consider it my greatest calling.  I remind myself that NO ONE else gets to love on these girls, hug them, watch them learn, wipe their butts, clean up their mess, and see their eye rolls:)  No one...just me.  I'm honored....and I thank God for every moment I have with them.