Friday, May 25, 2012

Busch Gardens

When I found out we were moving, I told Chuck that I wanted to take a trip to Busch Gardens before we left. He said "with the kids?"
I don't blame him. The trip had the potential to be horrible. But I wanted to try, so a few weekends ago we headed up there. And it. Was. Awesome. The planets aligned and both of our children were little angels, the weather was great and the lines for kiddy rides weren't bad at all.
Mostly I'm glad we went for Jade. We weren't sure how many rides she would be able to do but were pleasantly surprised that there were a good many. And she LOVED it. And I loved watching her love it. It was one of those perfect family days you dream about before you have kids. Ya know, the ones that really don't happen all that often?
For the record, all of these were taken with my iPhone because we didn't want to drag the dSLR with us. Certainly not the best quality, but the memories were preserved and that's the point!

The height station where she got her orange arm band. The lady was so sweet and acted like we really needed one even though Jade is obviously in the shortest category.

Watching the Elmo show in Sesame Street world. Or whatever it's called.

Standing in line for her first ride. She had no desire to look at the camera.

Quite possibly my favorite one!

Riding another ride with daddy.

She wanted to meet Elmo until we got close.

And then she really, really didn't want to.

Another ride!

What Piper did most of the day :)

Family photo! For the record, it got cold and I stole Chuck's shirt and forgot to take it off before we took a picture. Then the nice people that took our picture were gone. Oh well.

Trying to get a good one with Jade. She did not cooperate.

First solo ride!

This really cool treehouse thing that Jade (and Chuck) had a lot of fun on.

Playing peek a boo with the net. Last ride before they shut the park down.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Traveling with children

Thursday, I peeled my exhausted body out of bed at 3:30 am and loaded myself, way too much stuff, and two tired babies into the 4runner. For the record, Chuck helped with the loading of said stuff.

Jade kept commenting that it was "very dark outside". After getting stopped at every red light on the way to the airport, we parked and, after organizing for 5 minutes, made our way to check in. When we got to security and I realized that Chuck was leaving, I had a very brief "oh crap" moment. "um, can I ACTUALLY do this? Like really?" And then I carried on my way like it never happened.

We had to wait in line for a while and both kids were great. Then they took Jade's milk. Something that normally wouldn't be a big deal...but when you have a very tired, possessive, stranger-phobic toddler, it's quite a big deal. For the record, TSA was great. They gave her milk back before taking her blanky away. They let me wear Piper and carry Jade through the scanner and just briefly waved me with the wand. They carried all of my stuff over to a table for me to get ready. Of course, they probably felt bad because Jade was screaming the.whole.time.

Once I started moving again, she was fine and it was remarkably easy to push the stroller and pull the carry-on with carseat attached. I went straight to the gate and the man boarded me almost immediately. The flight attendant held Piper for me while I got Jade's carseat hooked in and Jade buckled in.

The beginning wasn't too bad. But we were under a maintenance hold and sitting there got old. Fast. I will say that Piper did sleep some and Jade did not scream the *whole* flight so it certainly could have been worse. Some nice people offered to hold Piper but for some reason this made Jade VERY angry so I was basically on my own.

When we landed in Atlanta, I thanked myself for paying the big bucks for a direct flight. It took me about an hour (maybe an exaggeration, I honestly don't know) to get to baggage claim and then a family friend helped me with my bags to the car. Don't know what I would have done without him.

Bottom line: traveling with 2 young kids is not for the faint of heart. And really, the plane was just the beginning of it being hard. But it's so worth it to come home and see friends and family. And eventually my kids will be old enough to realize that as well :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jade's birthday party

I know it was a few weeks ago now, but I still wanted to share some of the photos from Jade's birthday party. Hostessing is NOT my strong suit, but I think everyone had a good time and I know Jade had a good time, and I suppose that's all that matters. It was such a sweet time with our friends and I definitely teared up when we were singing Jade "happy birthday" because I realized how great our friends our and how soon we're leaving them.

Moving on.

I went with a general "bright colors/rainbow" theme. I know that next year, Jade will be old enough to request a theme and it'll be Mickey Mouse or some such and while there's nothing wrong with that, while she's young enough not to care I'm gonna do what I want :)

My amazing friend made these for us... the cake itself was 7 different colors. 

Banner purchased here.

Carmen did all the streamers. It really made a big difference and I loved the way it turned out.

I made this... tutorial found here.

Favors for the kiddos: sand bucket/shovel, windmill, pack of crayons, stickers.

Rainbow fruit kabobs. (inspiration from Pinterest, but the link isn't working)

She had absolutely no desire to pose for pictures.

Personally, I love her face in this picture.

So glad Grandma and Grandpa B were here for the party! Piper was also thrilled.

Party hats!

Blowing out her candles!

She looked like a gnome. A very cute gnome.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Miss Jade- age 2

I realize this post may bore some to tears, but these are the kind of little things that I don't want to forget. The day to day with my Jade.

*Narration. Constantly talking. Just an example, on a run she will say "running. boy running. dog. brown dog. bird. bird flying. bird flying high. yellow car. school bus. red! stop!" This is adorable. However, she requires a response to everything: "yes, Jade, the boy is running...." and when I'm huffing and puffing this is hilarious as well as annoying :)

*Roll call. In the car: "mama?" "yes, Jade." "Daddy?" Daddy's at work, Jade". "Piper?" Piper can't talk yet, Jade". Over and over and over.

*Reading. She still LOVES to read. She consistently reads to herself as well now. Actually, sometimes she refuses to sit in my lap for our bedtime routine... instead she sits at my feet and reads herself her story. I'm amazed by how many of her books she actually knows... she knows the main words on every page of most of her books.

*Counting. She consistently counts as she's doing things. Sometimes it's not in order, but sometimes it is. She recognizes her numbers 1-9 and loves to point them out as we're driving/walking around.

*She loves her friends. Everytime we leave the house, she asks if we're going to see Abigail. Or Brylee (whom we've known about a month). Or one of the other kids at church. I'm grateful that she gets excited to go see her friends, and that she apparently gets attached to new kids quickly because that will come in handy in Oklahoma!

*When Chuck gets home every day, she waits at the door. Then when he comes to the door, she runs away and hides behind my legs while laughing and peering at him before deciding that she does still love him and RUNNING up to him. I have no idea why she acts "shy" with him every day but it's adorable.

*She loves to help. She "helps" me carry Piper's carseat in and out of the house, she will throw things away when I ask her to, and likes to hold my shopping list at the grocery store. Those are just a few examples.

*She is very opinionated as to what we listen to in the car. She requests certain songs. Sometimes she wants to listen to that song over and over for weeks and then gets ridiculously sick of it and screams "don't song!" when it comes on. Other times, she just doesn't want to listen to anything and we ride in silence. Sometimes she wants me to sing. Either way, she knows exactly what she wants and screams when she doesn't get it.

*The girl loves Mickey Mouse. I mean *loves*. I keep expecting her to get sick of the show and want something else, but it hasn't happened yet. We've limited her to 2 episodes a day and she fully relishes each minute.

*She despises having her diaper changed, and is slowly learning to use the potty.

*She loves her baby sister. She loves to sit in the crib with her and "pray" with her, hand her things, pat her on the head and grab her face and say "so cute!". It's adorable.

*And she throws fits. Some days are certainly better than others.

*Can't believe I originally forgot this one. She says, "mama, what doin'/" at least 5,000 times a day. Even when she knows exactly what I'm doing (feeding Piper, fixing dinner, driving, reading, etc), she will ask and then ask again after I answer her. And then ask again after I answer her again. It's one of those phases that I'm sure I will think is funny in a little while, and it's honestly funny now but it's also incredibly annoying :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Just a little moment

Today was not the best day I've ever had. Both girls decided to be awake by 6:15 and considering Jade does not know how to exist without constantly talking these days, I definitely started the day in a bad mood.

Even after a 3-hour break (yay for MMO at Liberty Baptist Church!), I still needed a break. I had a babysitter lined up this afternoon for Piper so I could go out for some one-on-one time with Miss Jade, so she and I headed to the playground and for some Rita's. I was doing a really bad job of living in the moment. I was tired. Needed some quiet. Trying to organize our house in my mind. Not focusing on my kid. Which, incidentally, is the whole point of me going out- to focus on Jade with no Piper distractions. So then I felt like a failure. And beat myself up for being a failure.

By the time we got back to the house, I was looking forward to putting the kids in bed for the night. I basically felt like the day could not be salvaged and was praying that we would all wake up miraculously happy tomorrow. And then Chuck was late getting home. Needless to say, I was thrilled to try to pull dinner together with no husband at home and two whiny kids- and, let's face it, a grumpy mom.

And then it's like a switch flipped. I strapped Piper to my back, fully expecting her to arch her back and scream like she normally does (that's a post for another day... a babywearing mama with a baby that hates being worn!), but she didn't. She liked it. Made cute little cooing and gurgling noises. Pulled my hair out. Ok, the pulling my hair out thing wasn't great but the rest was. I put Pandora on the TV and Jade, who normally whines and pulls on my legs or crawls all over the counter putting her finger in whatever I'm cooking, starting dancing all over the living room.

In that moment, I thought "this is fun". In my extremely naive pre-kid brain looking forward to my life as a mom, that's how I envisioned it. Things around here rarely live up to expectations. That's life, and that's fine. But in that moment? Everything was great. God reminded me that, despite all the crud life throws at us sometimes, I have two amazing daughters. And I am so thankful for that.

And for Jade's dance moves. Crawling in a circle being my personal favorite. The next time I go to an event where there's dancing, I'm definitely going to start crawling. It's as good as any other dance move I've got in my arsenal :)