Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bucket List

My Bucket List. A work in progress! Obviously there are a million things I need/want to do before I die!

1. Travel. A lot. I have already traveled a lot, but unfortunately or fortunately, depending on who you are, that just means I want to travel more. I thought I'd just lump "travel" as one bullet point instead of boring you with all the places I wish I could be right now. I will say that this includes national travel, too. I've seen a lot of the world but embarrassingly little of my own country!

2. Travel with our kids. This obviously goes with #1. But I once read that travel is the only thing you pay for that makes you richer (or something along those lines), and I want to show that to my girls.

3. Get into grad school. Working on this one!

4. Go to the World Cup. This just seems like necessary life experience.

5. Leave my daughters cute, embarrassing notes in their lunch boxes. My mom sometimes left me little notes on or in my lunch and gave my cards in my lunch on special occasions. I literally can't wait to do this, and it's important enough to go on my bucket list.

6. Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Erik says we need to wait to go there to bring the kids. UMMMMM, no. By the time they are old enough to read and become obsessed with Harry Potter, it might be gone or something!! Does this go with travel?

7. Comfort my girls through a break up. Okay, I obviously don't want them to have their hearts broken, but it may happen, and I want to be there for them. We can eat ice cream and listen to T-Swift sing about our lives, if she's still around.

8. Get a letter from my birth mom and/or dad. This really isn't up to me. But I hope it happens. The process is in place right now, and I'm a lot more nervous about it than I expected to be. I was never really interested in contacting my birth parents until I became a mom. I kept thinking that I could never love my baby ENOUGH to give her to someone else. I can't imagine doing what she did for me. I can't imagine picturing my life with my little girl, and then willingly giving that up. This is the single greatest act of love that I've experienced in my life, and I want her to know that I'm ok, I'm happy, I have a life that I love. And it's all thanks to her.

9. Have a dog. Or several of them! Fur-babies are family, too.

10. Own a mini cooper. Lifelong dream. It will happen.

11. Help the girls with wedding planning. I'm not much of a planner, and I was a bit busy with baby Lyla to focus much on my own, but I can't wait to do the fun stuff with Lyla and Kallan someday! Although thinking of them growing up and getting married makes me tear up... moving on!

12. Be my girls' number 1 fan! Not that I'm not already. But I will be cheering them on at games, watching their dance recitals, going to concerts.. whatever it is that they love, we will be there supporting them.

13. Buy a house. We're not really sure where we're going to end up in the next couple of years, but I can't wait to have our own house when the time comes!

14. Fill their journals. When I was pregnant with each of our girls, I started a journal filled with letters to them. I hope to fill them up and give them to them when they are older!

15. Have a "classic" movie marathon. I went through a long period in my life where I just didn't like watching movies. I simply could NOT sit still long enough and got bored. If I didn't see it in a theater, I probably hadn't seen it.  So whenever there is a "classic" movie on TV, Erik says, "You probably haven't seen that one, it's classic." I think a marathon is in order of these supposed classics!

That's all I got for the time being!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kallan: 1 Month

Of course, we love those sleepy smiles and the newborn snuggle fests. I think my favorite part of this past month is seeing her more alert and awake. She seems to stare, study and take everything in. A lot like big sister! She has a piercing gaze and such beautiful eyes, how could you not love it when she is just starting into yours. Her eyebrows are getting even more expressive. They are often furrowed making her look concerned, but sometimes she raises them and looks a bit skeptical. I don't really know what people mean by the term "good baby," but I would say we have one... lucky us! She makes a noise like a dolphin!! I love it. I'll try to get it on video before she quits doing it.

Lack of sleep! Now that Kallan will happily sleep in her bassinet, sleep is easier to come by, but I am really looking forward to some longer sleep stretches. It's also hard balancing time between Kallan and Lyla. Sometimes I feel like there are just not enough hours in a day for quiet snuggle time.

Muscles strengthening every day. She is already very talkative, lots of cute little "goo" noises!

Eating, sleeping, giraffe pacifier, when whoever is holding her walks around, lights, faces, laying on the ground

Pooping, wet diapers, gas

Happy 1 Month Kallan! We love you!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Reviews

"Sorry I haven't been writing much lately. We've been a little busy! Free time is usually spent napping or  getting other stuff done. But mostly napping or trying to nap. I am a horrible napper. It takes me forever to fall asleep, especially if I know I have to wake up soon. Then I'm just sitting there saying, "Now I'll only get this much sleep...." over and over.

But things are going really well! I'll try to update on the whole family again soon, but I thought I'd do some more book reviews of what we're reading lately. You'll notice a trend in Lyla's current faves. We don't have really ANY mommy books. What's up with that?!?!

I would recommend any of these for that special daddy in your life!

Lyla's Reviews:

"I really like this book because it shows pictures of daddy and me as animals. I like the daddy turtle the best because he is playing Peek-a-boo!"

"In this book, my daddy turns into lots of animals! It's funny when he becomes a turtle because turtles aren't fast, and the turtle says "Blub, blub." At the end, I like to say, "You're fast, Daddy!" And then Daddy and Lyla walk home together!"

(Mommy's Fave) "This book is about all the fun stuff Daddy and Lyla do together. There's only one picture with mommy in it! I really like the one where Daddy comes to my school, and it says, "You're daddy is so cool!" After I read this page, I like to run and tell my Daddy how cool he is. There are some pages where Daddy is wearing fancy clothes, and another page where Lyla needs to be rescued! Daddy rescues Lyla and then they ride on books together!"

"I like to read this book by myself. It's all about different kinds of dads. My favorite page is the one where it says, "Some dads like to cover you with sand!" There's also a page where the dad is wearing two different socks, just like I like to do!

"The Lorien Legacies" is definitely an entertaining series! This is the third book in the series. It was very fast-moving and action packed. Definitely entertaining, like the other books. However, I did have a couple of issues with it. The author writes the book in three voices, of Marina, John and Number 6. This is ok, but the voices aren't that different. And maybe three voices is too many. Will the next book include 4 different perspectives?? I also think there is too much romance. It seems like the author is always jumping to add a bit of romantic action for each person, and I think that's unnecessary. I talked to Erik about this, and he said, "They're teenagers." Well, that's true. And finally.. this book ended in such a weird spot. Overall, I enjoyed it though. A lot of cool battle scenes and stuff. I hear this series will have 6 books. UGH! Too many. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Proud Potty Trainer

We've been doing something I might call "child-led potty training." Meaning.. it's pretty relaxed.  If Lyla feels like wearing underwear one day, then she will wear underwear. If she feels like sitting on her potty for an hour and a half, with or without success, then we will do that. If she wants to wear her diaper all day, then no big deal.

A lot of potty training methods seem rather stressful for both parents and baby.  We decided that these methods weren't for us.  So we just decided to wait on the whole potty training thing over the summer, but I had planned on doing it before Kallan arrived.  My parents got Lyla a potty training book featuring none other than Dora the Explorer, Lyla's obsession. One day, she said, "gonna be a big girl." And so we put on some undies, and then she sat on the potty for an hour and a half and finally peed. We made a big hoopla of the occasion, lots of "woo-hoo" and "hurray!" and of course a yummy treat for the big girl! Then she sat on the potty another time for about the same amount of time, reading books, coloring, having snacks, playing iPhone games... and she pooped! Another bit of "woo-hoo"!!!! I think after that, Kallan must have arrived because we really haven't done much since then. Lyla has occasionally sat on the potty but without going to the bathroom. And she has run around in undies and had a couple of accidents.

Well today I changed 4 poopy diapers in one hour. Only one of those was from Lyla, but still, I feel like I'm living in diaper land with all the diaper changing that goes on over here.  So I decided it was time for some 'structured' potty training. Whatever that means!

So this evening, we just took off her diaper. Then we took turns being helicopter parents, looking for any hint that she might go. What felt like hours later, she still hadn't gone, and neither of us were following her around anymore. I was in the kitchen, and I heard the pitter patter of feet running, and then a "plop" onto the potty. And she had peed! Without any poking or prodding or helicopter parenting... she just felt she had to go, held it long enough to make it to the potty, and went! We could not believe it, and we could not be prouder! I never would have guessed that I would be so excited to see pee.  We had a big celebration and had some candy treats. The first thing Lyla said after was, "little treat now!"

We are happy and relieved that whatever we have been doing is working.  I'm sure it will be awhile until we're completely diaper free, but I am looking forward to the day when I only have one baby to diaper!

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Newborn Photos"

So Erik is against us getting newborn pictures taken of the girls because he doesn't like how they position the babies, although the pictures are cute.. he just think it's weird I guess. I LOVE newborn pictures, not going to lie! Since we weren't going to have any taken, I thought I'd just do it myself. Turns out I couldn't bring myself to position Kallan all newborn-photo-like. It wasn't a complete fail though, still got some cute pictures. This was really going to be a practice .. hence the wrinkly sheets. There aren't many... "Sleep when the baby sleeps" seems a lot more important when you have two!

Here are the pics!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2 Weeks

Quick blog post before I go try and catch some z's...

Some favorite Kallan stuff in the first 2 weeks:
She's got really expressive eyebrows... this helps her make hilariously, adorable faces.
Her signature face is making this cute "O" with her mouth! I have yet to capture this on camera.
Love when she stares up at me!
When she is falling asleep, she will sometimes open her eyes and peek up at us before falling asleep, as if to check and make sure we are still there.
Adorable gas induced smiles.. sometimes I swear she is smiling at me, but she is usually half asleep so.. probably not.

Favorite Lyla Moments:
She points to pictures of little animals and says, "cutie little guy."
"Trees changing colors! Silly trees..."
She continues to love on little sister Kallan! If Kallan is still asleep when she wakes up, she looks around for her and says "Kallan?" in a worried voice. She includes Kallan whenever she is talking about our family... "Mommy and Daddy and Lyla and Kallan!"
Today she wanted to bring her chair by Kallan's bouncy, and they sat by each other, and we read stories. Fun girl time!

What a great big sister!

I will add that I think we are entering what is known as the "terrible two's".. or we are still just getting used to the addition of a new baby. Or likely a bit of both. We had a couple minor meltdowns in Meijer today... am I just a spoiled mom that has not had any store meltdowns yet??? And Lyla has started screaming when she is upset. Yikes. Definitely need to stay caught up on sleep now! Buenas noches!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

End of Park Days..

During the summer, before bed rest, Lyla and I went to the park just about every day. The weather is cooling down a lot, and I am already dreading the 'cabin fever' feeling of winter. But it's still gorgeous fall weather right now, so I guess I shouldn't get all sad about it yet!

Kallan clearly enjoying her first park trip, and modeling a beautiful knitted hat from Grandma!

Swing lover!

Fun with Daddy

Zeroing in on her target.. the slide!

Lyla helped choose her outfit... orange socks, white sandals. A classic look!

Static.. and I have serious hair color envy.

 Climbing, smiling, having a ball!

Monday, October 1, 2012

So Blessed

So we spent the weekend at the family's cottage with all of our immediately family on Erik's side. That's 15 people. In one house! I come from a small family, which I love, but I also love the chaos of having tons of people in one place. It's loud all the time and impossible to organize everyone to do anything.  There's almost always a child crying or screaming or a mixture of the two.  But I feel pretty lucky to have a whole group of in-laws that I love so much!

We managed to get everyone out of the house for some family pictures! I don't have any on my camera, but I do have this cutie one of Grandpa and some of his granddaughters! This is 4/6 of the grandkids.. Wyatt and Kallan didn't make the photo op.

Yesterday in church, I had a bit of an emotional moment. I was holding Kallan, and she was wide awake, staring up at me with those deep, blue/gray eyes. We were singing worship songs, and suddenly I just felt overwhelmingly happy and grateful, standing there with my husband, singing to our newest, baby girl... and I started crying! I love her so much, and we are so, so blessed to have such amazing girls in our lives. 

Now.. bedtime! Kallan slept a 4 hour stretch last night! I was up before her with Lyla, but I'm hopeful that one of these times I'll catch an extra hour of sleep! How awesome! It's hard to believe that someday I'll be sleeping all night again... hopefully. I remember being a lot more tired when Lyla was a newborn, but it's weird because Lyla was such a great sleeper. Oh yea, it's because I was one of those paranoid new moms who was craned over the bassinet all night, making sure she was breathing. Yep, that's why I had so many sleepless nights. Anyway, off to dream land!