Thursday, September 29, 2011

.:Princess Party:.

Reece is a total girly girl, and she sure loves her princesses, so we figured a princess party was the proper way to go for her birthday this year.

I decided to go with purple and lime green for her party colors. Mostly because I found cute purple fabric with princess crowns on it (not as tacky as it sounds, you'll see), and then made a banner using material that had purple and lime green in it. I thought it was a great color combo!

To keep it a bit less stressful, we did the party earlier in the afternoon and didn't serve dinner - just treats. Lots and lots of treats. As in, I frosted about 40 cupcakes and 50 sugar cookies the day of the party. I made waaaaay too many, since it was just a small party, so now my doctor is going to be reprimanding me at my appointment next week for all the leftovers I've been partaking of!

Here's the party spread. You can't really tell, but the sugar cookies were in the shape of princess crowns. We had green and purple grapes later that my friends brought; those went in the big empty bowl! See, it wasn't all junk!

For favors for the kiddos, I made these crowns using poster board, mod podge, and fabric. I also stitched the fabric down so they'd hold up better. Then each kid got to decorate a little foam wand. I made sure to have some less girly colors since most of Reece's little friends are boys!

Birthday girl enjoying a sugar cookie.

Little Rem just hanging out.

Of course, presents are always a good time. Reece is now proud owner of almost every Disney barbie that there is.

And she got this great princess suitcase to keep all of her barbies in. She loves it!

I was going to be a super cool mom, and make her a princess cake where a real barbie sticks out of the top, and the cake is the skirt. But, then I remembered that I was fat, pregnant, and lazy, and we opted for a princess cake from Josh's bakery at work. Needless to say, she was thrilled with the princess toys on the cake, and probably appreciated that more than anything I could have made.

It was a really fun party, and Reece was so spoiled. Probably one of the best parts was after we were done with presents, she had on her new Rapunzel dress and was just staring at herself in the mirror, swaying, and singing. It was like she just knew what a beautiful princess she is.

We appreciate everyone who came and helped and spoiled Reece. She's a lucky girl to have so many people that care about her!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

.:Remi - 18 Months:.

Oh little Rem-a-lem. How can I describe you?

Feisty? Spirited?

You could maybe even argue that she has your stereotypical red headed qualities!

This girl is a little ball of fire. After what a calm and mellow baby she was, we definitely weren't expecting to have this firecracker for a toddler!

Remi is really starting to get physical. She is starting to run, and is a little monkey trying to climb everything. Along with the newfound skills comes lots of falling! We've also been wearing socks a bit lately with the cool mornings, so she is having to get used to walking on our hardwood floor and kitchen tiles without slipping. She loves to try and keep up with Reece, and even though it's not always successful, it's cute to see her trying her best!

Tantrums have become a common occurrence for our little Rem. She knows when she is not happy, and she is sure to make sure that you know as well. I think sometimes what starts out as a mild annoyance to her escalates, and soon she is freaking out without even really knowing why! A lot of the times she just lays on the ground and her legs get going, and I have to admit, while sometimes frustrating, sometimes it is also really hilarious! I don't have a hard time ignoring it usually, so hopefully this phase will pass soon. She does like to hit and swipe at me when I'm holding her and she gets angry, so I just try to stay calm and put her down until she is done. Like I said, total red head! A lot of the time, her tantrums come from her wanting to be independent. It's a tough balance of letting her do things on her own vs. not, since she doesn't have the ability to fully understand consequences of her actions. But we're working on it!

We moved Remi to a big girl bed about a week ago. She loves the freedom, but the novelty is starting to wear off a little bit. I love that they can share a room with the trundle. I feel like in these past couple of weeks, Remi has just come into her own as a little girl. She's losing her baby look, and just starting to seem more girlish. I guess that is good since she's not going to be the baby for much longer!

Even though Remi has an attitude, she is also a total sweetheart a lot of the time. She loves to cozy up, and is a complete sucker for having her back, neck, head - really, any part of her body - tickled. It's a sure way to get her to settle down and hold still.

Remi still doesn't really say any words. She babbles ALL the time, and she uses lots of inflection in her voice, so I know that she understands how you're supposed to use speech. She also understands what we say to her, but just doesn't form any words on her own. Her pediatrician isn't super worried, but suggested that we look into this speech program if we wanted to get a head start on dealing with it before it becomes a worse problem. He said that his guess was she would be totally fine, no matter what we do, so we'll see. Even though she doesn't use words, she communicates plenty, and plenty loudly at that!

Remi likes to be silly and make silly sounds. It's fun that she understands that she can get a reaction by what she does. We frequently call her 'cheeseball' because of her antics!

One funny thing about Remi is that she can fall asleep anywhere. I wish I could put my cell phone pictures on here. Some notable places (and these are more than one time occurrences!): shopping cart, head on table at restaurant, sitting up - against couch, in crib, etc. What can I say, she is her father's daughter!

Remi is a GREAT eater. I think she could eat all day long if we let her. She is always in the kitchen begging, and when she really wants something, she'll just keep going, "Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" with increasing volume until she gets what she wants! We've been fortunate so far to have both of our girls be pretty good eaters! Makes dinner time a lot easier!

The Stats:

Weight: 24 lbs 8 oz (54th percentile)
Height: 34.25 in (98th percentile - tall!)
Head Circumference: 19.25 in (96th percentile, aka HUGE)

We just love our sweet little Rem Rem, and can't wait to watch her grow and discover more!

Monday, September 26, 2011

.:Reece - 3 Years Old:.

A three year old? Really?

I swear Reece just barely turned two!

So many people have told us that three is worse than two. And let me tell you, even though she didn't turn three until yesterday, I totally believe it!

This little lady is so full of sass and attitude! I'm sure it will be a learning year for us in patience!

But with the sass comes the sweetness, and while I wonder how they can both co-exist so easily in her tiny little body, I love seeing those tender moments and feelings shine through.

Reece is usually pretty good with Remi. They definitely have their usual difficulties of sharing that comes with the ages they are at, but they really just love each other so much and love playing together. It is so cute to watch them chasing each other around the house, or reading books together. When Remi is upset, Reece will bring her one of her stuffed animals and try to help calm her down. It really is sweet, and I know they are going to be the best of friends (and maybe the worst of enemies, too!)

Reece is also so cute about the new baby coming. I'm not 100% sure she understands that a real baby is going to come from my tummy, but she talks about it all the time, and loves to push her baby around and sing songs to it. I'm sure she'll show a lot of the same love to her new little sister once she gets here.

Reece has been talking really well for awhile now, but it's still fun to notice the change in her growth and development. We can almost always understand what she is saying and asking for. I find myself really having to watch what I say when I'm frustrated or upset (not that I'm cursing up a storm or anything!) but she is definitely listening and repeating. I say, "Chill out" a lot, and her new thing is to tell me to "Chill down".

Reece loves to dance and sing. Some of her favorite songs are popcorn popping on the apricot tree, 5 little monkeys swinging from a tree, give said the little stream, and Jesus wants me for a sunbeam. I love hearing her sweet little voice.

She is a total girly girl, and loves to dress up and carry around purses full of junk. Reece is a little packrat, and loves to have all of her little belongings all together. Having 'lips' on is always exciting to her, and she likes to play with my makeup brushes when I'm getting ready. Even though she is very girly, lately she has been really into throwing the football around with Josh - much to his delight, of course! He would argue that she can throw better than her mother, and I might even have to agree with that!

Reece is learning things so quickly! She knows all of her colors, can count to ten, knows quite a few shapes, and can also identify the names of some of the numbers. She is so curious and inquisitive, and her little imagination is fantastic!

We celebrated with a princess party over the weekend, pictures to come. She was in heaven! One of the best presents? Gramzee showed up and surprised us! Driving that far and that long just to spend a few hours with us was really special. Thanks Gramzee!

The stats:

Weight: 30.4 lbs (48th percentile)
Height: 38 in (74th percentile)

Her pediatrician had nothing but glowing things to say about our girl! She is developing and growing perfectly!

Friday, September 23, 2011

.:30 Weeks:.

Finally 30 weeks!

I know I've said it before, but this pregnancy is d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g.

It's not because I'm uncomfortable, because, aside from the usual aches and pains (mostly my hips!), I'm not uncomfortable at all. But it just feels like I've been pregnant forever. Well, maybe that has something to do with the fact that for the past over three and a half years, there's only been two months I haven't been pregnant or nursing. Yeah.

But, like I said above, not hitting the uncomfortable stage at all. My hips do hurt quite often, but I am carrying lower this time, so I haven't had the shortness of breath or baby up in my ribs. Yet! I do feel like my belly is strung pretty tight a lot of the time, which is odd to me, since I'm smaller this time than I was with either of the girls. My belly button has decided to come all the way out to play. (Gross.)

I think that being in fairly decent shape coming into the pregnancy has really helped me to stay feeling okay, and to continue exercising as much as I have. I still get up at 5:00 to go walking and do strength training for 4-5 days out of the week. Sometimes it is tough to get going in the morning, because I have to wake up to roll myself over like a rotisserie chicken almost every hour during the nite (like the comparison, I stole it from my pregnant friend!), but I'm always glad afterwards that I got up and did it.

Baby girl has been getting the hiccups a bit more frequently lately. Reece and Remi only had them once each I think, so it's been kind of funny to experience it more. Just little rhythmic bumps, it makes me giggle. She moves pretty frequently, and I just love it. I know I'll miss it when she's out, so I'm trying to enjoy every minute of it now.

I've been doing some sewing for her. Not that she needs anything, but it is fun to have a few new things for her. I'm not overly anxious to get her out, but at the same time, I am so excited to meet her and see what she is like - especially compared to her sisters! Reece and Remi have such distinctive personalities, so it will be fun to see if she favors either of them, or if she's just her own little person.

She is still totally nameless. We really need to get serious about names! There are a couple of names that I adore, but Josh just basically hates. We still have one name left that we almost used with both girls - Kirra - but I have to admit, I'm not as crazy about it as I used to be. We'll see what happens!

Today was yet another follow up ultrasound. I've been kind of on edge all week long, which definitely had something to do with our girls being pretty sick, but it wasn't until talking with my friend that I realized it was probably some sort of manifestation of my being nervous about the ultrasound. I've done pretty well having a good attitude about it, and not dwelling on it, but I'm sure as it got closer, the fears started creeping in more than usual.

The ultrasound tech had a resident physician in there with us, so she was explaining everything as she was going along (i.e. what she was looking at, how she was getting the angle, etc.) Baby's heartbeat sounded perfect, which was a relief once again to hear. When she got to the bowel, she was explaining to the physician that the criteria for echogenic bowel is that the bowel shows up as white as the bone on the ultrasound. She said that you could still see it, but to her, it didn't seem very white. That was the first clue that just maybe we were going to get our good news.

The tech finished up the exam, and the OB came in and confirmed it: the bowel was not as white, nothing 'remarkable' (to use her word), and we were free from having baby checked out anymore! I honestly couldn't believe it. After everything the past 10 weeks, I was just kind of expecting that this wasn't going away and we were going to have to start talking seriously about what it could mean.

I feel so blessed. Not only is this beautiful little lady a tremendous blessing in our lives, to have her heartbeat and her bowel both turn out to be completely okay is just more than I was expecting. It has been more of a stressful pregnancy for sure, and I haven't quite enjoyed it like I usually do. I feel so relieved, and am anxious to start enjoying having this little girl so close to me all the time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

.:Joy School:.

Reece started a little joy school with some neighborhood/ward buddies last week. I was a little unsure about starting her already; since she has a September birthday, she will technically be behind all of these kids a year in school, which means we have three years of pre-school ahead of us. But, Josh and I both thought it would be good for her to get out and do something social like this with kids her age, especially since she is usually just at home with me and little babies all day long. I figure two years of joy school and one year of real pre-school will work just great for her!

I was a tiny bit worried about how Reece would do the first day. She doesn't really know any of the other moms, with the exception of one of my good friends very well, and while she knows the kids from nursery, they aren't kids she plays with regularly. But she was super excited, and pretty much sent me away that first day! She didn't get to go yesterday because she and Remi have killer colds, but hopefully she'll be well enough to go tomorrow. I think it's going to end up being a really good thing for her!

First day picture. She is in a total awkward picture taking stage - say cheese, but weird smile and won't look at the camera. Good thing she's still cute!

Picture with Mommy

Remi, just hanging out, wondering why she doesn't get to go, too!

And a couple pictures from the second day of school, just because they are cute!

.:Trundle Bed:.

Over the weekend, we shipped the girls off to their grandma's house to spend some time with their grandparents and aunts while we worked on purging our house and changing their room to accommodate the new trundle bed we bought.

This is what my living room looked like at about midnite on Friday.

Needless to say, I was having some major anxiety. I don't do well with leaving messes and clutter out in my house; I don't even usually go to bed unless I've put all the dishes away!

We also broke down the crib and moved everything out of the girls' room on Friday. It was weird to see it so empty!

Saturday was spent with more purging, painting the trundle that Josh had sanded (holy nightmare, never doing that again!), and re-organizing and re-arranging. It was a huge project.

But, I'd have to say, it turned out pretty amazing long as you don't look too closely at the paint job.

I'm loving having the crib out of their room, and a little more space - plus having some of the toys moved from our living room to the bedroom is a huge bonus as well!

The girls were excited to try out their new bed! It took awhile for them to settle down last nite, but once they were asleep, they stayed that way until their normal wake up time this morning!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

.:Gramzee's Visit:.

We were so lucky to have my mom come to visit and stay with us over Labor Day weekend. We were sad that Grandpa couldn't come, too, but we had a fabulous time with my mom. The girls just ate it up having my mom's attention!

We spent one afternoon hanging out, and letting the kiddos dress up in princess aprons. Yes, even Jay got in on it.

One day, we headed out to Discovery Gateway. All of the kids had a great time running around and playing, but the biggest hit were the water tables. Remi was basically soaked by the end of our time there, and I think Nikki had to take Jay's shirt to the dryer in the bathroom before we could leave!

Reece loved dressing up and playing house.

Remi spent some time cruising around and, of course, sucking on the bottle. (That girl puts everything in her mouth.)

We hit the mall one morning, and after finding some great deals on some kiddie clothes, we rewarded their patience with us shopping by letting them ride the train and the carousel. Reece has always loved the carousel, but Remi was not a fan. After about two spins around, I had to un-buckle her and hold her. Silly pansy girl...

Even though we did all of those fun activities, I think my girls' favorite part of having Gramzee here was playing on her ipad (their parents are very not technologically advanced and don't have fun toys like this!),

and playing in and on Gramzee's suitcase. Remi liked putting things in the suitcase, and there was even a stowaway dinosaur that made it back to Oregon!

Somehow, we managed to fit in a girl's nite and an adult dinner with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was so nice to be out kidless, and be able to shop and have a sit down meal. We even were able to hit a movie! We did commit a sin and didn't make it to Cafe Rio while my mom was here. Guess she'll just have to come back soon....

It was soooo nice to have her here. I really wish we lived closer and were able to see each other more often! Thanks for coming to visit Gramzee. When are you coming back?