Thursday, June 22, 2017

Operation BGB: more emotional than I'd planned

Well, Operation Big Girl Bed is a wrap, folks. The crib is gone, the bed is in, and Millie stays in her bed and sleeps perfectly like a little angel champ, so go ahead and give me my gold star for parenting. BAHAHA. Or not. But seriously, it wasn't too painful.

We got both the upholstered bed and the mattress on Amazon- I'll keep ya posted, but so far we are very pleased with both items! They both had great reviews and were freaky cheap, so that's how we made those difficult shopping decisions, haha. (FYI- those are affiliate links!)

So the bed was delivered on Friday, but we knew the mattress wasn't going to come until Monday. We knew we would have to a) deconstruct the crib, b) construct the bed, and c) when the mattress came, it would need 24-48 hours to grow to its full mattress size once we released it from the box, so we didn't go into the weekend with a real plan of when and how we were going to do all of these things. However, once Millie and I were up bright and early Saturday morning, I made the executive decision that we should go ahead and take down the crib and build the bed that day. I'll be honest- the main reason I wanted to go ahead and do it was because I knew that losing the crib was going to be the hardest part (emotionally) for me. I didn't want to have a "last night" putting her to bed in it because I would probably have just sobbed for hours and made a big messy deal out of the whole thing. As it was, we'd had a relatively routine "last night" the night before and that was just it. I didn't want to put it off. 

But guys- it was hard

June 17, 2017- our last morning with our crib
I know you know what I mean. The pain of infertility and loss and waiting and heartbreak is not nearly as salient as it once was, but it's not nearly forgotten. That crib is a lot more than a piece of furniture to me. It is a tangible symbol of hope fulfilled, of answered prayers, of beauty and life. It represents what I longed and prayed for for years and years. And I couldn't be any more thankful for the baby that came to sleep in it, who has grown and thrived and now needs to move on from it...but if I had a lot more rooms in my house, I would leave that crib standing forever. A testament to answered prayer. Something to lay my hands on when I need to remember that He heard my cries. And it doesn't make sense to me, logically, because I have Millie for that, right? I can hold her and remember the same things. And I do. But that crib.

I knew it was gonna be tough.

As I started untying the bumpers, I just lost it. Those are the bumpers I sewed. For our other baby, our first maybe-baby...the baby we didn't get to keep. I wept and prayed for another baby as I sewed these bumpers nearly four years ago. And that baby never got to see them, but in the wake of that loss, Millie came. And Millie did see them, and slept with them, and stepped on them, and smooshed them, and they don't look so hot anymore, but that didn't matter a whole lot to me on Saturday as I sat there untying their impossibly tight knots with tears leaking out as I worked. Like nearly everything in her nursery, those bumpers are more than just (hazardous) pieces of foam-filled fabric. They remind me of our wait. Of the months and years of planning and hoping and making ridiculous, unnecessary hand-made mementos for the baby we hoped would come.

She came. We don't need the bumpers anymore.

I knew I wouldn't be able to watch Matt dismantle the crib itself, so Millie and I left to take a trip to Target. She was watching me as I cried, and when she asked why, I tried to explain. "I'm just sad because this really means you're not a baby anymore, Mills. I can't really explain it any better than that."

"I a big girl, Mommy! But dat otay. We get a baby for da cwib."

I didn't have the heart to tell her that it's not really that easy. I don't think there'll be another baby for that crib. But just in case- we're only putting it in the attic. We can always get it back down.

When we came home from Target, I shed a few more tears as I spied the dismantled crib in pieces in the laundry room. But that was it. Then we went into Millie's room and found her bed all assembled and ready- with a suddenly tiny-looking crib mattress plopped down where the big mattress would go someday soon.


Someone was pretty jazzed about the whole situation!


It took us a little while, but we eventually managed to rearrange all of the furniture in her room to fit without having to move out the glider, which was my main hope. No need to mess up our lovely pre-bedtime rocking routine! This is what the room looked like until last night, when the mattress finally got put in place.

Millie went ahead and started sleeping in the bed on Saturday for naptime. And she did great! She's fallen off a few times (I move that truck out of the way before she sleeps, so if she falls, it's only onto the carpet), and it doesn't seem to bother her at all, haha. She just climbs back up and doesn't seem to even fully wake up. Weird, but I won't complain. I have a pool noodle that I may put under the fitted sheet now that she has the real mattress if she keeps falling- I hear that works well.

The mattress ended up getting delayed a day and didn't arrive until Tuesday. It's one of those foam numbers that comes in a small (well, smallish) box and then magically inflates to full size once you take it out of the vacuum-sealed pack. I must say- that was really fun to watch. And as an added bonus, the box it came in makes a mighty fine bear cave.


We let the mattress do its thing for 24 hours and finally, FINALLY last night got to put the whole thing together for a final BGB product!!


Ta daaaaaaa!!! (Please note Millie also taking a picture with her wooden phone.) 

We got the 12" mattress and between that and the pillows, you basically can't even see the upholstered headboard anymore, haha. But I love it!! And more importantly, so does Millie.


So far going to bed hasn't been a problem at all- we already tend to rock her until she's nearly asleep, and that hasn't changed, so once I put her in her bed she just rolls over and goes to sleep. She has been getting up and coming to our room whenever she wakes up, which is usually between 6:15-6:45...not so bad on the weekdays, torture on the weekend. Ha. But not really different than when she was in the crib, except that we don't have to get out of bed to go fetch her. But last night (the first night on the new mattress) she did wake up and wander on in at about 1:15 a.m. Not quite sure why, and Matt was able to take her back and put her in her bed and she fell asleep pretty quickly...but hopefully that doesn't become a trend. I'll keep ya posted!

And in somewhat related and EXTREMELY important news, I just figured out how to do Instagram Stories last weekend. If you follow me on IG...you probably noticed. Hahaha. I'm having way too much fun, and Millie is obsessed with the fun filters, so...my apologies if you're tired of seeing it, but then again...how could you ever get tired of Millie??!



And with that, we're done. Even thinking about the crib enough to type this post out has me emotionally drained, so I need to go put bunny ears or princess crowns on myself to recover a little. ;) Until next time, friends!

PS. If you need one last glance of Millie's baby nursery, you could reminisce with my old nursery tour post and cry your eyes out a little. Or maybe that's just me. Ha.

Friday, June 16, 2017

the biggest

In case you weren't aware...Millie is a BIG GIRL now.


She wears "WEAL" [real] makeup "wike Mommy!!" And she has that smoldering model stare down pat, right? 

That's not all. I'll transcribe some Millie narration to tell you what other exciting things are in store for her.

"I get my BIG GUHL BED!! I get a BIG BED wike DADDY and MOMMY!! And I seeeeeep in it. And when I awake, I wake up EVEYONE! I say GOOD MORNING FWIENDS! And den I put on my BIG GUHL makeup. WIKE MOMMY!! And den I eat my nanny [banana]."

That's right. The Big Girl Bed is coming. Should be on my porch this evening, actually. I am both super excited and not at all ready for this.

Reasons I'm Looking Forward to the Big Girl Bed:
1. Not having to heave 35 pounds of love in and out of the crib every day.
2. We can lay down in bed with her to rub her back instead of losing all feeling in our arms reaching over the crib rails.
3. Ummm...I like shopping and buying things. Purchasing a bed, mattress, and bedding was all very fun.
4. When she wakes up in the morning and wants to come lay in bed with us, she can come on over without us having to get out of bed.

Reasons I'm Not So Much:
1. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to come lay in bed with us, she can come on over.
2. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to play with toys, help herself to food in the fridge, wander around the darkened house, turn on the TV, etc....she can.
3. We will have to take apart the crib. The thought makes me sob.

So yes, many mixed emotions. But once we do it, there's really no going back, right? She is SUCH a good sleeper (minus an occasional desire for snuggles in the middle of the night) and I worry that not being confined to her crib could totally ruin that. But once we take the crib apart and move it to the attic...I mean, we're not getting it back down and putting it back together. Not for Millie, anyway. So what do I do if she doesn't stay in her bed?!

Ugh.

We keep telling ourselves that just because they deliver the bed and mattress doesn't mean we have to put it in her room. Hahaha. It can live in boxes in the guest room for a few more weeks or years if the time doesn't feel optimal, right? Right.


How is it possible that this love is almost THREE?! I dressed her up in this smocked number the other week so that I could pretend she was a baby. Ha. She was not impressed with how the long dress cramped her running and climbing style.

Summer is swimming along quite beautifully! Although it's always a bit of a bummer realizing that summer for a dual-working-parent household (where neither of us are teachers) doesn't involve months away from work, there are still plenty of perks to make life feel special. Mainly my in-laws' pool.


We haven't done swimming lessons this summer yet (and not sure if we will...to be honest, I prefer spending my Saturdays actually just playing and lounging around the pool instead of being in lessons, haha), but Millie is doing great in the water! She loves her puddle jumper and paddles all around the pool independently. She definitely can't really swim, but she does a good toddler version of swimming when she's being held afloat by the puddle jumper! She's jumped off the diving board a few times, but prefers to just sit on it. She doesn't mind getting her face wet, but doesn't actively seek out the situation, haha. Which is fine with me, because she still has tubes in her ears and wearing ear plugs never happens, so...no need to spend more time underwater than necessary.


We've worked out a pretty sweet system for most of our Saturdays. We head over to Matt's parents' house around lunchtime, eat, and then Millie goes down for her nap in her crib at their house. Then Matt and I get an hour or two to lounge and read by the pool- BLISS. Then when Millie wakes up, we suit her up and spend the rest of the afternoon splashing and swimming and getting decidedly less reading done. It's wonderful! Although I must admit that every week I think "wow, she has been swimming and jumping and going for five hours...she must be exhausted! I bet she is going to sleep GREAT tonight! We will probably have to wake her up for church tomorrow!"

(picture that emoji face where the eyes and mouth are all horizontal lines)

Sure, she goes to bed great...as usual. Sure, she wakes up at 6:30 a.m...as usual. Apparently the sun and swimming just don't exhaust Millie the same way they exhaust me. 


But I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. Not a minute of it. 

Oh, speaking of being grown and big... in case you've missed all of our breaking news (lol) on Instagram and/or Facebook, you should know that Millie has a baby in her tummy. The picture above reminded me. The baby had a lot of opinions while we were picking blueberries that day. Generally the baby in her tummy (no name, sorry) just dictates Millie's hunger (not so unlike REAL babies en utero, right? How does she know this?!)..."I yike dese bluebewwies, Mama! Dey make my baby so HAPPY!" "I not eat dat hamburger, Mama. It make my baby cwy. She no wike it." But sometimes the baby gets fussy, as babies do, and then Millie is able to conveniently pull her out and rock her or pat her back until she calms down. Then she puts her back in her belly. So apparently Millie is actually a marsupial, but let's not get hung up on technicalities. THIS KID. She just cracks me up!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

things worth remembering

Although it seems I'm long past the point where I blog a recap of every holiday (much less every weekend...or DAY...ahhh, the good ol' days of blogging, RIP), there are a few semi-recent events that merit sharing, if only so that I can more easily look back on them in the future (and not just wait for TimeHop to remind me about it). 

We had a particularly special Easter this year. I mean, every Easter is special...but this one a little more than most.

We enjoyed egg hunts and extra-cute outfits and church and time with our family as usual.

The cousins on Matt's side of the family! Five and counting!
I'm not going to be able to hold her like this for pictures much longer. HOLY COW SHE IS HEAVY.
After lunch with Matt's family, though, we were thrilled to go across town to attend a huge Easter party on a farm, hosted by Millie's biological family.

Millie's "tummy mama," J, has relatives that live near Athens, which is how we got connected in the first place (her relatives are friends with one of my coworkers). They live on a big awesome farm and throw huge bashes for Easter each year, inviting family, friends, and neighbors (there were about a hundred folks there this year!). We were thrilled to be invited and spend the day with not only J, but with J's mother, grandparents, friends, aunts, and uncles- many of whom we met in the hospital and/or whom came to Millie's dedication, but we haven't seen them in a few years (with the exception of J). 

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and there were plenty of games and activities, food and drinks, and people to catch up with. Many members of Millie's biological families have remained in touch with us through social media, so they feel somewhat "in the loop" with her life, which is a blessing for all of us. They were delighted to get to experience her in all of her abundant joy and chaos in person, and we were equally happy to get to spend time with them! 

I think one of the sweetest moments for me was when an elderly man (I guess Millie's great-grandfather) came over to us and said "well, I'm not on Facebook, I don't know how to do all of that stuff, but every time you post something, Aunt Suzie [not her real name] calls me to tell me what crazy thing Millie has said, and we just laugh and laugh! Thank you for letting us stay a part of her life." I love thinking that there's a little Millie Phone Tree going on, getting out the news to relatives far and near every time our sweet girl says something wacky.

At any rate, it was a wonderful, nearly magical day. To me, it was a picture of the absolute Best Case Open Adoption Scenario. This is what we had hoped for. What a blessing to live it.

I share this picture with permission. This is our beloved Mama J.
Naturally, Millie ran straight to whatever activities would make us all the messiest. :)
We had a pretty dedicated egg hunter this year, too!
We are so thankful for J and her family's desire to include us in their lives! Happy, happy, happy.

In less emotional (well, maybe not really), more sparkly news: Millie had her first ballet recital this week! After a mere two months of weekly lessons, she and her four classmates were deemed fit to show off for a small group of parents (and large group of adoring relatives known as the Millie Fan Section). GUYS. Seeing my sweet girl all dolled up in a costume and makeup?

CANNOT HANDLE IT.

I guess this will be her headshot for her professional dancing career.

To put it mildly, she was a joy to watch.
In the entire 25 minute performance, this may have been the only thing she did that actually looked like ballet. HAHAHA not even kidding.


One little dance had props! AKA things to distract Millie.

What she lacked in skill, she made up for in enthusiasm.

She's literally floating away from the excitement!
In conclusion, there's not an ounce of stage fright in this one! Although it was a very low-key recital, as you can see- just a few rows of chairs in a church fellowship hall, no stages or lights- I still wasn't sure how she would react once she saw us sitting there and realized she was supposed to be performing. Clearly, though, those weeks of hardcore ballet training (lol) paid off and she went right to her sticker and assumed first position as soon as her teacher said to! 

I was SO very proud of her, and proud to be the mama of the child giggling and having a ball and generally causing the rest of the crowd to grin. (A friend asked if this is how I was when I used to have dance recitals. The answer is no. I loved dance and I loved following rules and doing everything exactly right (and I loved costumes, makeup, and recitals!), but I have never been precocious or bubbly or thrived under the spotlight or the attention of strangers! This baby is all her own person in that regard!)

I've said it a million times, and I'll keep saying it: it really just keeps getting better. If her baby days were amazing...well, there are just not even words for how fun and joyful her days are now. I want her to stay exactly like this forever, but she won't- and I can't wait to see what's next.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

currently

I know a "formula" post is probably the biggest cop-out ever for someone who can hardly pull it together to write once a month, but...here we are. I always like reading these when other people do them, so maybe you do too!

Listening...to Amazon Music Playlists. I seriously just discovered these a few weeks ago and I am totally hooked! People have thought of playlists for every imaginable mood and genre, and I highly enjoy tailoring my listening to my mood at work all day long. One of this week's favorite playlists has been "50 Great 90s Alternative Songs," which makes for great conversation when coworkers come in for a chat...

Eating...everything in the world, which is unfortunate. But I must say we've done some good cooking at home lately. If you're looking for new go-to summer dishes, I recommend Roasted Sweet Potato Rainbow Salad with Lime Crema and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing. Cannot get enough of those two recipes!!!

Drinking...lemonade! Not all the time, but after almost 10 years of marriage, Matt decided to reveal that he knows how to make Chickfila lemonade (he worked there for 9 years prior to our marriage). Uhhhh yes. So now we have an unfortunate habit of buying bags of lemons so that Matt can make us fresh lemonade at night. Tasty, but not exactly what my thighs were needing this summer...

Wearing...I am REALLY going to lose most of you here, but maybe there is someone else with the feet of a 70 year old that can benefit from this info. So over the last few years I've developed the WORST plantar fasciitis. I've gone from the typical having bad pain in the mornings and late evenings to some days being in excruciating pain all day long. It's miserable. Anyway, after spending a billionish dollars on inserts, special braces, tools, and all other kinds of nonsense (not really nonsense- some of it really works, glad to share my tips if anyone needs them, haha), I discovered that wearing specifically PF-designed shoes is the key to breaking the cycle of awfulness. I bought these Vionic flip flops a few months ago and they are a GAME CHANGER. I wear them ALL of my non-working hours (NEVER going barefoot- not even to walk from the shower to the closet, etc.), during my lunch hour, and sometimes (on the worst days) even all day at work. Sorry, not business casual, but it's either that or I can't come in because I can't walk. They have made a HUGE difference. Then I bought a pair of Vionic's work-appropriate wedges, and just last week I got a pair of these cute summer sandals that are appropriate for both work AND play. These shoes are more than my normal Target-budget, but have been SO worth it. So there's my plug for the similarly afflicted sistahs (and brothahs?)...get you some good old lady shoes!

Feeling...excited for summer. The extra daylight, the plethora of outdoor opportunities, the vacations on the horizon...summer is the best! Millie had a BLAST on our recent beach trip and she can't stop talking about going back to the "BIG ocean to PWAY PWAY PWAY!! [play play play], so I am super excited for our next trip. In like 3 months, haha. But still.




Wanting...time to slow down. Cliche as all get out, but I just LOVE the stage Millie is in right now and I want it to last forever!



Enjoying...life. See above. I just couldn't ask for more.


This picture is oriented correctly. :) We were laying in the hammock. Lately Millie likes to pretend she is a baby kangaroo and I am the mommy kangaroo and she gets in my "pouch." She walks around requesting to get in my pouch because she "so safe and so warm dere!" See what I mean? Never change, Millie!!! (It is less cute at 3:00 a.m. when she is crying on the monitor "I need seep in Mommy's pouch!!!")