Monday, May 28, 2012

Audrey - 17 months


It seems like you have grown leaps and bounds this month! Let's start with your vocabulary. About a week ago, it seemed to just explode. Not only are you repeating all kinds of new words, but you're using them correctly, and in context instead of just randomly. Purple (pulpul), blue (bluh), banana (nano), stuck (duck), and bug are just a few of the many that you've come out with recently. You've know Mama, Dada, Mimi, Pa, Titi and B for awhile now, but know you also use our names to get our attention. It is so amazing to me to listen to you and to have so much more communication!

You also seem like you're getting SO tall! I haven't actually measured you, but I think you'll be taller than me and I'm 5'7"! At this point, you're in some 18 month sized clothes, but we've already started moving to 24 months stuff.

Mimi and Pa built a huge new playset in their backyard, so we practically live outside. You love it! And if you're not playing on the playset or running around the yard, you want to be in your little pool or the hot tub (which we've turned the heat down on to make just like a heated pool.) Mama can't remember the last time she actually has a tan in May (probably never!), but I'm not complaining!

You love to help in the kitchen and are always stirring up some kind of imaginary cake or soup! But you get really excited when you get to help with the real stuff!

You're getting really good at eating with your fork and spoon now too! It tends to be messy business, but you are able to scoop and stab by yourself, and get it in your mouth.
You're using your right hand here, but 95% of the time you use your left hand!

Dancing and singing are among your favorite things this month. You make the hand motions to The Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, and the firetruck song, just to name a few. You hum along and shake your little bumba. You also like to spin around in circles until you make yourself dizzy. And any time Mama's phone rings, or she gets a text message, you gasp in shock and exclaim, "Dada!"

When Dada comes home from work, you get so excited and go right over to the window to see him. You can't even wait until he gets inside!

You are one of the most strong-willed children I have ever met. And though it frustrates me sometimes, it makes optimistic about the kind of woman you will grow up to be. Because in addition to your stubborn streak,  you are compassionate, curious and helpful. It is that strong combination of characteristics that reassures me that you will do great things in this world, sweetheart.

I love your personality and I am so proud of the little person you are developing into. You are Mama's favorite, favorite, sweetpea!

I love you "much!"

Memorial Day

Please take a moment today to remember all the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country, along with their spouses and families who sacrifice in their own way. They are the reason we are enjoying the sunshine and our barbecues this weekend. I am especially grateful to my brother-in-law who is currently deployed, serving in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making old things new again

Audrey has so many cute clothes. I mean, SO MANY! My cousin has a four year old daughter and she has basically given me everything she has outgrown. Some things even have the tags on still, and I can relate. They grow so fast! On top of that, my mom can't leave the house without coming home with something for her. Seriously, I've barely bought her anything myself. And I've packed things away that she only wore once or never at all.

I always let Audrey pick what she wants to wear from the closet each day. 99% of the time she picks a dress. I don't blame her! They are comfy, she has a ton of them, and she looks adorable in them! She has so many cute dresses from last summer, that I couldn't bring myself to pack away yet. So instead, she's been wearing them as tops with a pair of leggings! So cute! And she gets a little more wear out of her clothes.

 Here she is last July, the day of my sister's baby shower, in a cute little zebra print dress.

And this is her today, in the same exact dress, with a pair of brown leggings underneath. And it's just as adorable as a shirt as it was as a dress!

YAY for making old things new again! (And can we please not talk about how big she is getting?! How freakin' cute were her baby arm rolls?!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"I love you like boots love splashing in puddles."


Today it rained. But you love to be outside, so we walked out on the porch in our bare feet. You took off, of course, but I let you. We splashed in puddles together. We ran through the wet grass together and giggled. You sat right down in the wet grass and smiled so big.

You are everything I'm not, sweetheart. No, you're everything I've always been afraid to let myself be. You are fearless. You completely disregard the "rules" that don't make any sense to you. You take in all in. You live.

You help me do this, sweetheart. You have opened up my eyes and my heart to a whole new world. I fall more and more in love with you every second of every day. I love watching grow and explore and discover. I look forward to watching you develop into the amazing woman that I know you will be.

I've been writing down the lessons I want to teach you, but you teach me more than I could ever teach you. Thank you. Thank you, sweetheart, for filling my life with joy and love and all the things that I'm no longer afraid to be because of you.

Love Always,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

L L F M D: Learn to fight fair

7. Learn to fight fair.

This is a tough one, sweetheart. It took me a long time to figure it out, and even now, I slip sometimes. It happens. In the midst of an argument, when things get heated, you aren't exactly thinking clearly. But it is very important to try to fight fair.

Phrases that start with "You never..." or "You always..." are a big no-no. Give the person you are fighting with some credit. If they are an important part of your life, chances are they are doing something right. Leave the past in the past and don't bring up old mistakes and arguments. Instead of placing all the blame on the other person, look at yourself, too. Something like this always works better than in your face blame: "I know you try not to...but when makes me feel..." or "I know it bothers you when I...I really try not to...It would help me if you..."

Get to the core of the issue and compromise. Figure out how you can make the situation better for both of you. If you can't do that in the heat of the moment, walk away. Or let the other person walk away. (This is particularly hard for me to do because I want to talk it out right away.) But when you've both calmed down, figure it out. Lay it all out there. Tell the other person how you feel and what you need. And then let them do the same. Really let them. And listen closely. I promise you'll make a lot more progress that way.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

random ramblings

I've been sick for over a week now and just want to feel better already!
Audrey and I had a dance party in our pjs this morning. Such a fun way to start our Saturday! I think we'll do it more often!
My hubby and I are dealing with some difficult stuff right now. Have been for awhile actually. Would you pray for us as we work our way through it?
I went to a jewelry party/girl's night at a friend's on Monday and made these to bring as a snack:
They were so yummy! I love Pinterest!
I've been really bad at taking pictures of Audrey this month. I think her letter this month may have a whole bunch of crappy cell phone pics unless I step it up.
Speaking of stepping it up, she's had a new tutu hanging in her closet for much too long. I think we may have to have a photo shoot today.
Did I mention I haven't been feeling well? Ugh. I haven't been eating very well though. I need to get back on track.
It's a beautiful day today. The sun is shining. It's just me and my princess all day so I'm going to try to make it a fun day for the both of us.
Hope you all have a nice weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

baby fever

I have babies on the brain lately. I know it is not the right time for us yet, but I want another baby. I want Audrey to have a sibling. I want to experience pregnancy again.

I loved being pregnant. I know not everyone does, but I did. I felt really comfortable in my changing body. I never felt more beautiful or sexy. I loved my belly. Yes, I felt huge at the end and my back hurt and I was anxious for her to get here. But it was such a beautiful feeling to have such an amazing purpose. That my body was growing another human being. I can't adequately describe it I guess, because those words don't seem to do it justice for me. But being pregnant, it was something I knew I was meant to do. It is an experience I am forever grateful for.

Anyway, those of you who were sick and miserable your whole pregnancy probably hate me now. I'd hate me too if I were you. But I loved every minute of it. I feel like I missed out on the first 18 weeks or so though. I was numb from our losses. I didn't want to let myself get attached to another baby I might lose. So I'm yearning to experience it again. There is still some lingering fear in the back of my mind, but it's not crippling like it was to me then.

But we'll wait a little longer. Because it's not the right time for us yet. It's not a whole lot of fun to be a responsible adult sometimes, you know?! So I cuddle my baby a little bit tighter and try not to rush it. But I've got the fever and I don't think it's planning on going anywhere. I'm pretty sure it's sticking around until we are ready.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

L L F M D: Less is not always more!

6. Less is not always more.

I know, I know, I just told you, "Less is more." And for some things it is. But less is not always more, sweetheart. When dressing yourself, be stylish, be comfortable, be yourself, (be sexy even when you're of age) but leave something to the imagination. If you're showing off your legs, be more covered up on top. If you're wearing a top that has a fabulous neckline or really highlights your shoulders, be more conservative with your choice of bottoms.

Clothes should fit well. The size on the tag doesn't matter. Avoid clothes that are too tight, they will just make you look bigger. There are ways to highlight your assets with clothes that don't involve showing every inch of skin possible. You will be more attractive and more respected, to both men and women, if you follow these rules.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

L L F M D: Less is more!

5. Less is more.

Material possessions won't make you happy, sweetheart. They do not contain memories. They do not measure your worth. So clean your closet out every season and donate what you don't wear. Keep memories fresh in your mind by talking with others, telling stories, writing and remembering, and only hold on to a few special physical keepsakes. Keep your home and work space free of clutter (organized chaos is okay!) and it will help keep your mind and spirit free of clutter, too!

Monday, May 7, 2012

my little yogini

I've always loved yoga. After I've done it, I always feel strong, relaxed and focused. Right before my wedding, I was in the best shape of my life just from yoga and walking.

Audrey has been doing downward dog for awhile now, not knowing she was doing yoga, just being silly. So my sister decided to give her a little instruction the other day and we got it on video. She goes around the house doing it on her own now. She's so darn cute that I had to share!

Friday, May 4, 2012

ear piercings and bikinis

People are starting to ask me when we're going to pierce Audrey's ears. While I know it is completely normal, and often common, in today's society to pierce a girl's ears while they are still only a baby, I'm not going to do it. I'm not against piercings - I have 2 in each ear and had my belly button pierced for a long time. But she is just a little girl. I am not going to make the decision to put holes in someone else's body for purely cosmetic reasons. If she wants her ears pierced, and she is old enough to ask me to have them pierced, then I will take her.

That's my main reason. But the other thing is, ears are her comfort object. When she is tired, she pulls on and holds on to her ears. She doesn't have a blankie or a stuffed animal, though we tried. This is her thing. When we are putting her down for a nap or to bed, she will pull on and hold our ears. It comforts her. So to pierce her ears, I feel like we'd end up with ripped out earrings and infections.

The other thing I will not do is put a bikini on my 16 month old. Summer is coming pretty quickly and there are so many cute bathing suits out for little girls. They're adorable, and it's hard to resist playing dress up, I know. But personally, I don't see any reason for babies and little girls to be showing off their bodies like that. There are plenty of one piece bathing suits that are just as cute! I know, Audrey has several! Our children are turned into sexual objects way too young as it is. I'm not going to do that to my sweet little girl who is already growing up way to fast. Not to mention the damaging effects of the sun! Their sensitive skin should be covered up!

When she's older, if she wants to wear a bikini, her age and the suit itself will dictate my answer, and I won't put up a fight if there is appropriate coverage and we're not talking g-strings. But while it is still my responsibility to pick out her clothes and dress her, she will remain the innocent little girl that she is.

Does this mean that I judge other parents who pierce their daughter's ears or put them in bikinis? No, not at all. That's their choice. It is their child. But this is my little girl. And this is what I think is best for her.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

L L F M D: Marriage isn't easy!

4. Marriage isn't easy!

If I teach you anything, my sweet girl, this is one of the most important things I want you to learn. Love - true love - is wonderful. It makes you feel happy and safe and confident. But love is not all you need. Marriage - all relationships, really - take work. We are all (hopefully) growing and evolving and learning constantly as individuals. In a relationship, you have to also learn how to grow together as you evolve as individuals.

When Dada and I started dating, we were in high school. We were married at 24. Individually, and as a couple, we are much different now than we were at either of those points in our lives. But the marriage vows we swore to one another have not changed. "For better or for worse." "In sickness and in health." They are not just words. We have experienced them. There are days when we might not like each other all that much. But we always love each other. So we continue to work on our marriage. We will for the rest of our lives. It involves communication, but also a lot of self-reflection. It involves working on yourself and your own flaws and weaknesses. It involves taking care of yourself, so you can give your best to your partner; but it also involves taking care of them physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Love is important, but it is not all you need. Sacrifice. Trust. Honesty. Fidelity. Loyalty. Communication. Growth. They are equally important.

Marriage is far from easy, sweetheart. It is a lot of work. But if you truly love someone, it is worth it.