Wednesday, September 26, 2018

currently

A little update on what's going on currently...interspersed with completely unrelated but adorable pictures of the Millster.

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Listening...I listen to random Pandora stations and Amazon playlists all day at work, but my JAM this year (well, since June) is the Binge Mode: Harry Potter podcast. GUYSSSSS. If you are a HP fan (and you should be), you GOTTA be listening to this super deep dive into all facets of the HP universe. It's amazing. Go back and start with Sorcerer's Stone (duh) and get ready to have your mind blown. Fair warning (which they run as a disclaimer before every single episode): spoilers, language, and adult content abound, so this isn't one to listen to while your kids are in the car!!

First manicure she gave herself!
Eating...uhhh one of my coworkers brought in the Krispy Kreme coffee glazed doughnuts today and they are pretty fab. Other than that I'm just trying to convince fall to come to Georgia by cooking and eating lots of fall foods (pumpkin bread, hearty soups, etc.). It hasn't worked yet, but I'll keep trying.

Drinking...lots of flavored fizzy water. Ooh but the other morning my throat was a little sore, so I stopped by Starbucks and got the Medicine Ball tea- one of the fabled 'secret menu' items. I wasn't entirely sure what was in it, but it seemed like a good idea. And it was SO GOOD!!! I'm not a big tea fan, but this was delish. And a lot cheaper than whatever I normally get, haha. And I gotta say, my throat felt a ton better and hasn't hurt again since, and I'm truly a little disappointed because I want an excuse to go get another one. Hahahaha. 



Wearing...my summer clothes for the 300th month in a row. I'm willing to eat fall foods to usher in the season, but I'm not quite crazy enough to wear fall clothes in 90 degree heat. I'm actually still wearing my white jeans because I'm just a rebel like that.

Watching...well last night was the Season 3 premiere of This is Us, so you know I was all over that. I also started watching The Handmaid's Tale last weekend!! Aahhhhhhh. Yikes. I've read the book, but it's something else to see it!! I'm only 3 episodes into the first season, but looking forward to getting through the rest of it. Sorta. A little too real, you know?



Wanting...besides cooler weather? Not a whole lot. I'm thankful for a more peaceful season of life right now!

Enjoying...our new house, downtown life, and my smart, funny kid. Her musings and observations are SO funny and spot-on right now, she keeps me and Matt laughing all the time. Oh, and crying sometimes. Rabbit trail, but Exhibit A: this morning we passed a cemetery on our way to work (it's right next to our neighborhood, so we walk by it at least once a day). Sometimes she talks about it/asks questions and sometimes she doesn't, but she has a general understanding that it is a place that we bury people when they have died, and the gravestones have their names on them. Usually she just wants me to read her the names on them, which I do. So this morning she was noting that some of the graves have pretty flowers, some have old, yucky flowers, and some have no flowers. I tried to explain that families who live close by might be able to come over and take care of their loved ones' graves and put pretty flowers, but if the person who died doesn't have any family nearby, then there may not be anyone to come put out pretty flowers. "Well, that is very sad if there are no flowers," she said. "But WE live close by, Mommy, so can we get some flowers for the people that don't have any? We can help take care of them, right?" (Mommy commences sobbing, obviously- "yes, Millie, we can do that. That's very kind of you.") Then she muses out loud to herself: "And I remember when Jesus died, and that was very sad, so people brought flowers to remember him. But then he went to heaven!! And when all THESE people die (gestures to the cemetery), Jesus makes a ladder for them so they can go to heaven, too."



Her sweet, sweet little heart. What a gift.

In related news, guess I need to start a GoFundMe, cause there are a lottttt of graves with no flowers, and there is no stopping my girl once she's decided she's going to do something!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

settling in

Well we moved into our new house August 24, almost a month ago, and we are finally feeling pretty settled! Although we unpacked everything and got rid of boxes very quickly (hello, have you met me?), it was still a few weeks before I didn't constantly feel like I always needed to be doing something: hanging something on a wall, ordering something for a window, hiring someone to do something, whatever. On Sunday we had a pretty low-key, rainy day, and other than going to church, we didn't do anything all day. And I noticed at the end of the day that I didn't even once really think about doing "house stuff." I just enjoyed the day: playing, cooking, doing normal amounts of maintenance cleaning/organizing, reading, etc. Maybe it's because everything is actually DONE...or maybe it's just because I'm tired of it and it's just fine, whatever. Hahaha. 

(Judging by the fact that we have exactly ONE set of window blinds actually installed, I guess I have to admit that I'm not actually done, I'm just over it.)

So here ya go: our new BLUE house!


Subtle, isn't it? Ha. There are a few other blue houses in the neighborhood, but ours is the only BLUE house. (Sherwin Williams Naval, if you'd like to know the exact color so that you too can have a BLUE house/wall/chair/whatever.) And as you can see- that large front double window is not the lucky window that actually has blinds yet, so enjoy the tacky view of our curtains instead. Sorry, neighbors. 


Here's a shot of the living room from a few weeks ago- we have since had the lighting redone in the kitchen/dining room, so the tacky chandelier you see here is thankfully gone now. But otherwise the room more or less looks like this. Plenty of room for dance parties!


And here's the kitchen area WITH new lights! The pendant lights and chandelier are from AllModern and I am thrilled with how it turned out! Why a builder would put florescent kitchen lighting in a brand new house is truly beyond my comprehension, but I am glad to be done with it, haha. We still have a few holes in the ceiling that we need to get fixed from where the electricians removed the old lights, but I'm sure we'll get around to that eventually...probably...maybe? Haha.

I LOVE love love the layout of the kitchen and living room. Unlike our old house, it's very open and I love that we can all be 'together' even when we're doing three different things- cooking, working on an art project, and doing yoga, for example. It's perfect!


And this little nugget is so, so, so happy to be home. I am SO thankful that her little mind and body are finally at rest and peace again and most of the behavior problems and physical issues we were dealing with over the summer have resolved. I hate that she was experiencing so much stress, and mostly due to things Matt and I willingly chose (you know, we didn't HAVE to move (twice) or change her schools (twice), etc.)...and it broke our hearts to see that stress playing out in her body (horrible sleep, grinding her teeth all night, LOTS of potty problems, difficulty regulating her emotions) and behavior (don't even get me started, but my deepest apologies to the many who were victimized by my raging child this summer). We hoped and prayed that once we settled in and returned to our predictable routine, she would return to her previous normal- and thankfully that has been the case. She has finally stopped anxiously asking multiple times a day where we are going, where she will sleep that night (KILL ME, GUYS- I mean, we weren't couch surfing all summer!! We moved from our old house to my in-laws' house!! We slept in the same place every night!! But for whatever reason, she asked ALL THE TIME, and NEVER slept well, and was always SO uncertain about where we were going and where she would sleep and it just KILLED me- and made me so, so sad for children and families that truly are not sure where they will sleep that night), who will pick her up at school, which school she will go to...it was through all of these constant questions (that she'd never had before) that I really saw how stressed our situation made her this summer. And now that has mostly stopped. And she sleeps, and she can reason again, and she isn't grinding her teeth, and she is SO ADORABLY HAPPY to be reunited with all of her toys that were in storage. And sometimes she just wanders around the house and says adorable things like "I LOVE our new house, Mommy! It is SO pretty! I'm glad we live in our new house!" and it's great.


Hands down, Millie's favorite thing about our new house is that we walk to school now. It's probably on my Top Five list, too. LOVE IT. Well, I walk- she rides in the stroller (God bless Erika of 2013 who thought investing in a good stroller (City Mini GT) was important- now she's 4 years old and I am using it every single day and that thing is a CHAMP!). She loves her new school, but she REALLY LOVES walking to school. It's about a 10-12 minute walk for us (one way) and she just talks and makes genius observations and tells me things and it is maybe the best 10-12 minutes of my day. And then once I drop her off, I have a lovely, quiet 10-minute walk back (with an empty stroller- slightly weird but I'm over it) home, and I listen to music and drink my coffee and I can't lie...that's pretty great too. All in all, it is just the most wonderful start to my weekdays and I am thankful that we can do this now. And in theory, we can do this for the next nine years, because the middle school is also right by our house, maybe a 5-7 minute walk, so we can just keep going even once she's out of elementary school...unless that's too uncool for middle schoolers?? Ha.

(Although she no longer wakes up hysterical in the middle of the night, or asks constantly where she is going to sleep- I must say that she HAS woken up a few times in the middle of the night and asked "is it time to walk to school yet, Mama?? Do we get to walk to school today?! We don't want to be late!!"...it's 3 a.m., I think we can wait a little before we leave, go back to sleeeeeep.)

But seriously, the ability to walk around downtown is one of the main reasons we wanted to move to this neighborhood, and I'm so glad we're actually taking advantage of it. In addition to our daily walks to school (we don't walk home because I pick her up on my way home from work and I have the car...MUCH TO MILLIE'S DEEP DISMAY EVERY SINGLE DAY), we are regularly walking to playgrounds, the library, the bakery/cafe where we eat brunch, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, and ice cream FAR too often, several restaurants, festivals, and random sporting events at the aforementioned middle school. And we go on family runs, taking advantage of downtown's flat roads and abundant shady sidewalks! So far, moving has been very good for meeting my daily step goals, ha!

Family run!

Rewarding ourselves for a successful run with a trip to the playground.
Okay okay, and maaaaaybe we went to brunch after the playground. We earned it!

Walking to the annual fall festival.
This is why she NEEDED the hat and boots. Duh.
So overall, life in the BLUE house is fantastic! Now we are focusing on the next thing: Halloween! This is apparently a Very Big Deal when you're four, so if you need me, I'll be working on costume plans and contingency plans with a four-year-old who changes her mind 12x per day, so wish me luck!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

four!

Millie celebrated her FOURTH birthday on Sunday, which means it's time for a (rare and becoming rarer still) blog update!

The last quarter of Age 3 was a little rougher than we've been used to...I know, I know. It's probably about time we struggle a little, I guess. She's been a textbook "easy baby" (and toddler) since about the day she was born, so I'm sure we were due for a last minute Threenager treatment, but phew!! It was a doozy!! ;) Now that she's four, I expect an immediate return to her previously angelic, happy-go-lucky disposition. Like today. Now. Got it, Millie???!


(Also, I tell myself that Matt and I are at least partially to blame for her sudden emotional imbalance. Since March, she's had to change schools twice, we've packed up/listed/sold/packed up more/moved from our old house, been constantly stressed about building the new house, lived in a semi-disheveled state in my in-laws' basement for two months, Matt changed jobs and has had to travel more...it's bound to be a lot for her poor little brain and heart to manage!! We are hopeful that once we finally move into our new house (next week, hopefully?!?!?!) things will feel more settled and peaceful for her again.)



But it isn't all bad. Her moods and tantrums come and go, and most of the time she is SO much fun! Our girl is full of imagination and stories, "great ideas!!" (always spoken of with wide eyes and a pointer finger sticking up like she just solved a mystery) and plans. She loves adventures (ideal adventures include going to doughnut shops, the library, or a playground) and is a surprisingly helpful "cooker girl" (kitchen helper)! Her passion for unicorns is still fiery, and she loves pretending to be any kind of animal. 

(Hot parenting tip Matt and I have discovered: she will do basically anything (including whatever thing she's currently fighting SO HARD AGAINST) as long as you pretend that she's a dog and ask her to do it. I know. Genius. "Millie, let's go brush your teeth, okay?" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO NEVER!!!! I WILL NEVER DO THAT!!! YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND AND I AM NEVER, EVER GOING TO BRUSH MY TEEEEEETH!!!!" (writhing on the floor, running to hide behind a couch) Okay. Wait two seconds. Make your voice more high pitched and try this: "Little doggie!!!! Let's put on your collar (pretend to snap a collar around her neck) and go to the bathroom to brush your doggie teeth!!! Come on!!" Walk a few steps and pretend to hold her leash. She will immediately drop down on all fours and start panting and happily scamper after you to the bathroom. If she doesn't hop up onto the stool, say "Doggie, get on your stool so you can get your doggie treat!!"...bam. She's brushing teeth. PARENTING GENIUS.) 

In one of the many moving boxes that have ruled our lives for the past 5 months
She constantly surprises me with how aware and smart she is. I love watching her develop emotionally, too (well, not the part that involves frustrations and tantrums, but the other parts!)...in the last few weeks I've noticed her expressing genuine, heartfelt gratitude. On Saturday, while she napped, I set up some decorations for her birthday dinner- nothing huge, just a tablecloth, a cute little cupcake display thing, some unicorn plates (everything was unicorn themed, natch), balloons, etc. When she woke up and saw it, she gasped and oooohed and ahhhhed over everything. Then she said "Mommy, did you DO this for me??!" and I said yes. "THANK you, Mommy!! It is so beautiful and I love it so much!!!" and gave me the biggest hug. Y'ALL!!!!!! I basically melted. She's always been quick with a "thank you!" for whoever hands her a sticker at the Target check-out, or little things like that...but this felt so next-level! Then the other morning I showed her a (unicorn) dress I'd bought her the night before after she went to bed. I knew she'd love the dress, and she did. Then she said "how many dollars did you have to give them, Mommy??" "What?" "At the store, to buy my dress. How many monies did you give them?" "Oh! Eight dollars," I told her. "WOW, Mommy. That's a lot of dollars. THANK you, Mommy!!! I really love this dress!!"

Again, I will buy you a dress every damn day if you react like that, so keep it up, doll.


She started pre-k last week at our neighborhood elementary school. So far she has LOVED it and I can't lie- I love it too. I have been dying to be a "school mom" for like 20 years, I think. I am so excited about her school and getting more involved with our community and getting to know people that actually live in our little town...I have my first PTO meeting next week!!

Unicorn dress, unicorn backpack, mermaid lunchbox. Check, check, check, the gang's all here!


She didn't even shed a tear that first morning- unlike her mama!! She's on the very young side of her grade, but we felt like she was ready, and so far she's proving us right. She is most enthusiastic about "playing centers" and eating in the "restaurant" at lunch time! Her teacher says she's been doing well and is a MOST enthusiastic story-listener...and I expected nothing less! ;) That girl will listen to stories all day if you let her!


Stats wise, she wears 4T clothes and is roughly 38 pounds and 40 inches tall, if our home scale and measuring tape can be trusted! Her four-year check-up isn't until the end of the month. She wears a size 9 or 10 shoe. She would happily exist on fruit and cereal bars alone, but isn't actually a picky eater...she just wants to beg for those things first, before she eats anything else. She sleeps from about 8:45 p.m.-7:00 a.m. and still takes a nap for usually an hour or so during the day. She is still rear-facing in her car seat, and rather committed to it- after riding forward-facing in the seat in her grandmother's car, she informed me that "it's not right and it doesn't feel so comfy!!" so I'm glad we're all on the same page about that still!!! 

I'm so proud (and impressed!) by how brave and confident she is. She is unafraid to speak up for herself, to ask for help when she needs it (example: will stop any waiter in a restaurant if she needs a spoon/glass of water/straw and ask them to help her before Matt and I can even stop her), or to approach a child and introduce herself. Last night she started dance classes (ballet and tap!!! SO EXCITING!!!) and within five minutes in the waiting room, she'd found another little girl about her size wearing a leotard, ran over to her, and said "My name is Millie!! What is your name?" and within another 3o seconds, they were holding hands and twirling around together. 


She is rarely intimidated by anyone and seems to intuitively understand that any adult she speaks to will respond to her, usually with a smile. No lie, we get free food/stuff EVERYWHERE WE GO just because this bubbly little doll speaks so enthusiastically to whoever is working there. Charismatic barely even starts to describe her ("the charisma award" is actually what she earned in her daycare end-of-year awards ceremony!!), and she knows how to work it to her advantage!! (Although she doesn't quite understand when her charm doesn't work a second time. A few months ago we ate at a restaurant right next to our new house, where we regularly dine. She was extra bubbly that night and the waiter brought us free sopapillas and ice cream at the end of our meal- normally we never order dessert, so Millie found this shockingly wonderful, especially since he TOLD us/her it was because she was so sweet and had such nice manners. So then we ate there a few weeks later, and she absolutely remembered what had happened last time...well, we didn't get free dessert this time. She was appalled. HA. "Wasn't I nice, Mommy??!" Well, yes. But you don't free stuff EVERY TIME you're nice, babe!! But seriously, she does get it more often than I feel is typical, hahaha. Must be nice to be so precious!)


So she's four now- "four and fabulous," as she would tell you. (I said that once. She hasn't forgotten and that's what she says anytime anyone asks how old she is.) It blows my mind how quickly time passes. I am so excited for the year ahead, for settling into our new house and school and routine. As always, I count myself the luckiest person in the world for the privilege of being this girl's mama. Even when it gets a little rough, it's still the greatest job in the world.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

currently

I know you're just beside yourself wondering exactly what I'm doing/liking/thinking right now, so let's dive right into those deep topics, shall we? Also, funny that the last time I did one of these posts was almost exactly a year ago

Unrelated picture from this morning. Millie was pretending to be a mean witch (hence the broom...how does she even know that witches ride on brooms?!). Isn't she terrifying?
Listening...to my Broadway station on Pandora. That's been a constant for the last few months. It mostly consists of songs from Hamilton, Dear Evan Hanson, The Greatest Showman, and Wicked. I'm not complaining!

Eating...too much. Ugh. Last night we made a super tasty Garlicky Kale and Ricotta Pizza, though, and I highly recommend. We have leftovers for tonight and I'm basically giddy thinking about it, ha! I believe this was Millie's first experience with ricotta cheese and she liked it, but kept poking it and asking what it was (it is an interesting texture when it's been baked). I told her it was "cloud cheese" and that seemed to make sense and sound delicious enough for her. Sometimes I laugh at the dumb 'parent things' I say...but can't argue with the results, right?!

Drinking...nothing exciting, coffee at the moment. Lately Matt and I are obsessed with the Kroger La Croix knock-off seltzer water, though- their Raspberry and Blackberry Citrus (those are two different flavors, fyi) flavors are amazing!! 

Wearing...boring work clothes, and when I'm at home I change into workout clothes. I like to think that if I'm wearing workout clothes, I might workout. That works about half the time, so...win? I did order a new pair of sandals yesterday, though- another pair of my beloved semi-fashionable orthotics by Vionic!! And also I'm cracking up because in my post one year ago (I'm referring to it for the categories) I was also singing the praises of Vionics. What can I say. I'm consistent? And I have bad feet! 

Feeling...excited about our new house! They poured the foundation yesterday!!!! (please imagine all of the praise hand emoji here.) 
This is for sure the most exciting picture I've ever shared, right?
Everyone has said that once the foundation is poured, things move really quickly, and so that has me super jazzed! Now that there is a foundation we can get a much better visualization of the 'lay of the land.' Our lot is VERY small (our current house is on an acre; our new house is roughly .19 acre!!!) and the house's footprint is fairly large, so we will have a VERY VERY small yard...but it just helps to be able to see it. :) 

Wanting...oh, you know. I'm moving to a new house. With twice as much square footage as our current house. I can think of MORE than a few things I want to buy!!! On the top of my list is a new outside dining set (this is the one we plan to get), bar stools for the kitchen island (I'm thinking these), a new living room rug (I change my mind every day about what I want here, ugh), some entryway furniture...trust me, the list is long!!! 

Enjoying...everything! It's fun to have a fun project (the new house) to think about and plan for, Millie is generally super fun right now...it's all good!!

Organizing her rock collection is an ongoing project...so many rocks, so little time, right?!
(the following category didn't appear on my last 'currently' list, but I feel the need to add it now!!)

Watching...GUYS. You know. Just a little-known show called Downton Abbey, you've prob never heard of it...hahaha. You know I love to be super behind the times when it comes to pop culture stuff, so that's why I waited until last weekend to watch a single episode of Downton. But it's SO GOOD!! I finished Season One last night and can't wait to keep going! If you've been a long-time Downton holdout like I was, I encourage you to go ahead and give in. It's on Amazon Prime, so no excuses.