Friday, August 11, 2017

millie-isms: part VI

My best girl has been dropping LOTS of hilarious tidbits on us lately. I don't want to forget this stuff!!



This morning at breakfast, she looks at Matt and says "Daddy I loooove you SOOO much!" While Matt's mopping his puddle of a self off the floor, she turns and says the same to me. "Mommy, I love YOU soooo much!" We both tell her that we love her, too. Then she looks down. "I love Lola...a little bit. Sometimes. But when I poke Lola's ear, she wants to eat me up, and den I not love her so much." Well, at least she's honest. Can't blame Lola for not wanting her ears poked, either. ;)

***

Something Millie said the other night made me think maybe they've talked about the upcoming solar eclipse at school. So I asked her this morning, "Millie, do you know what the eclipse is?"

"No, I not. What dat?"

"Maybe you talked about it at school? When the moon goes in front of the sun and it is going to get dark during the daytime?"

"Hmmm...dark in the daytime? Dat not sound fun!"

***

While driving her home from school the other day, Millie helpfully suggested that I not drive my car off the road and into the woods, because "den you bonk some twees and your car get bwoken and you have to get a new red ("wed") car!" (My current car is gray.)

"A new red car? I don't think I want a new red car, Mills. If I get a new car, I think I want a black car."

"A bwack car? NO. I not wike a bwack car. How about a wed car. Or a gween car!"

"Uhhh...no, I'm not getting a green car. How about a shiny black car?"

"NO. How about a bwue car?"

"Blue? I don't think so. Well, maybe navy blue. How about a nice dark navy blue car, Mills?"

*HUGE SIGH LIKE I AM THE MOST EXASPERATING MOTHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD*

"Otay. Dark bwue. Dat be fine. But no bwack car, or I will wide wif Daddy."

***

On the evening of her birthday, a very overtired, sugared up Millie was begging to watch a video after I finished drying her off from her bath.

"Hmmm..." I mused as I dried.

"How about you say YES or NO," she suggested/demanded.

"Hmmmm...."

"How about YES or NO, Mommy!"

"Well...okay, then. No. No video."

She stares at me.

"Okay, how about you say YES or YES?!!! Mommy, can I watch the iPad? Say yes or yes!!"

(I still said no. I'm the worst.)

***

As we were driving home from work/school one afternoon, she yelled out from the back seat "Mommy!! Let's go to a bakery shop and get some doughnuts!!" (And she pronounces it "bo-nuts"...although she can totally make a /d/ sound...but it's adorable so I don't touch it.) 

I'm a big joy killer, so I reluctantly said "Well, I'm sorry Mills, but we are reeeeeallly far away from a doughnut store right now, and we're almost home. We can't get doughnuts right now."

She's not deterred.

"Hey, Mommy!! Why don't you just dwive your car to the bakery shop? Then we not be too far from the bo-nuts!! Den you can have a sprinkle bo-nut and you be SO HAPPY!!!!"

She is nothing if not a problem solver.

***

They offer weekly karate classes at her school- kind of like how she did her ballet classes...an outside studio comes in and does the lessons in a multipurpose room once a week (for a fee, of course, haha). During July, the karate school offered two free classes to anyone interested, to see if your kid might want to sign up for the fall session. I let Millie take them, my head filled with adorable visions of her being all disciplined and obedient in a white outfit (sorry, I'm sure there's a name for the outfit, but *SPOILER ALERT* her karate career didn't last long enough to find out...)

I tried to prep her for her first class, which was challenging for someone who knows NOTHING about karate. "You're going to...umm...kick! And chop!"

"Chop what? CHOP MY FOOD AND EAT IT??!!"

No, truly. That is what she said. If there were ever a question about whose daughter she is...it's answered now. Haaaaaa.

When I picked her up from school that day, I was so excited to hear how the class went. 

"Millie, did you do karate?"

"No."

"Oh??...soo...what did you do?"

"I look at my fwiends when dey kick. I not kick. I not wike karate."

I looked at her teacher, who nodded to confirm this truth. "We've never actually seen Millie be so uninterested in an activity. She just sat against the wall and stared at her friends for the whole hour."

HAHAHA. When we got home, she ran around kicking and chopping.

"I do my karate now. I not do it at school."

When Week 2 came with the same results, we decided that karate isn't going to be the sport for her right now. She's signed up again for ballet.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

three!

On Saturday my silly girl turned THREE years old. It's insanity. There is no way she is this old!!


She has been over-the-top excited about her birthday since roughly last October, so we knew we had to do it up right this year. We had her first real birthday party, lots of presents and balloons and junk food, and she was the center of attention all weekend- all of her favorite things!

I want to jot down a few updated stats and milestones, but I believe my days of answering all of the same 'monthly update' questions that I've done since her first month update are done. She's just outgrown too many of those categories. BUT it's not a time to be sad- it's time to be JAZZED, because this means she is old enough to answer her OWN questions about herself...I've only been waiting for this moment for like FIFTY BILLION YEARS!!!

But first, the nitty gritty.

Nicknames: Well, I can't quit this one yet. I just love seeing how her nicknames morph over the years!! She is called Millie almost all of the time. I don't know anyone that consistently calls her Camilla. Some of her teachers/school friends (and me) call her Mimi or Mimmy. Matt and I and the rest of my family (her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles) tend to call her Mill-Mill. And Matt and I still call her Millsie and Nuggie. She calls herself Millie, and she knows her first and last name almost all of the time, and can come up with 'Camilla' maybe half the time that you ask her "but what is your other name? your long name?" Haha.



Stats: She weighs 34 lb 12 oz (84 percentile) and is 37.5 inches tall (60 percentile). She wears 3T clothes, though I'm buying 4T pants for the winter, since even last spring her 3T pants were getting too short. She wears a size 7 shoe. 



Big Girl Skills: She is completely potty trained. No more pull-ups at night, even! She's Team Undies all the time, and even made it through our long drives to/from Florida last month with no accidents in the car (and we didn't have to make a bunch of extra potty stops, either!). Like many things (see: sleeping, eating, generally being an awesome baby and toddler) with Millie, she just sorta figured it out on her own with a little help from mama & daddy. 

She is still successfully sleeping in her Big Girl Bed and that transition has been much easier than I'd feared! Although she does occasionally decide to bop on into our room if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we can usually get her back to her own bed and asleep pretty painlessly. Also, we have learned that she can be successfully bribed to stay in her room until her green light (OK to Wake clock) comes on. So we do that a lot, too...let's be honest. (Most effective bribe is letting her use the iPad in the car on the way to school. This is worth it on so many levels because a) she stays in her room all night, and b) if she has the iPad, I can listen to NPR and not "Elsa song" 3,000 times during our drive to daycare in the morning...)

She knows the words to many songs and can retell her favorite stories. I love when I see her using dolls and stuffed animals to act out stories- her most favorite story to reenact with dolls right now is the Three Billy Goats Gruff. She is ALL ABOUT that mean ol' troll and the big billy goat that "pokes you and kicks you right off this bridge!!" We spend a lot of time making bridges for her zoo animals (trolls) to hide under to scare off the Polly Pockets walking over the bridge. It's so much fun!!



Although she is very interested in letters and sounds and "what dis letter say, Mommy?", she doesn't seem to reliably identify any letters yet. I'm not worried or pushing it, but I just wanted to record that so that in the future I can remember when she did/didn't learn her letters!

She can count very well- rote counting to 15 or so pretty accurately, and she can count with one-to-one correspondence and quantify up to about 6 or so before she starts getting off track.

She loves to draw and paint but does not yet make art that actually resembles anything- her "people" do not have any sort of discernible heads/bodies, etc. However, I think it's interesting that when she is "writing," her "letters" do look markedly different than her "pictures" (lots of quotation marks)...they definitely aren't letters, but they are smaller, more letter-like forms of scribble-scrabble. I think it is all precious and so much fun to watch these skills develop!

Likes/Dislikes: Well...let's just ask the girl herself, okay?? (Disclaimer: I completely disagree with like half of these answers (as in, that is NOT her favorite color/food/thing/whatever), but...whatever.)

 
For the record, I would like to correct her answers and note that NORMALLY and in REAL LIFE, her favorite color is purple, her favorite food is probably rice and beans (at a Mexican restaurant), her favorite snack is "gummies" (fruit snacks), I didn't know she had such strong feelings about applesauce (although she was eating some while I surveyed her, haha), and also she found this whole questionnaire to be very challenging "Whew, Mommy! Dis hard!". (All the crying laughing emoji)

I don't think she has any concept of "when I grow up," and I had thought about explaining what that means, but I loved her answer so much that I decided to just leave it. :)


THIS GIRL.

It's just impossible to describe how incredibly thankful I am to be her mommy.

I see these pictures coming up in my TimeHop now, and there are just so many emotions that come over me:


I remember how overjoyed we were. How terrified. How excited and how anxious. How even as we held her, we didn't know if we would still be holding her an hour or a day or a month later. We were thrilled, but we had to be guarded. We fell in love with her, but we feared what could come.

That strange mixture of joy and terror and delight and nerves and anxiety...I can still taste it in my mouth when I see these pictures. I remember what my stomach felt like. I doubt I'll ever really forget. 

But now it's three years later. She's an average (though obviously funnier, cuter, and more adorable than average) toddler, we're just regular parents chasing our kid down the aisle at Target and engaging in iPad-related negotiations, and at a glance, you'd never know there was anything unusual about how our family came to be. 


I know I say this almost every time I write, but I can't bring myself to stop. She is so, so worth every minute of waiting, every year of struggle, every breath of fear, every sleepless night. She is the answer to my every prayer and a greater gift than I could have hoped for.

Happy birthday to my sweet, strong, brave girl. Being your mommy is my greatest privilege. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

the one with all the manatees

We had a wonderful, relaxing trip to the beach last week! It was Millie's third year going to Cocoa Beach with us, and each year gets more and more fun! 


Ever since we took our mini-vacation to Cape San Blas in April, Millie has been BEGGING to go back to the beach. Parenting pro tip: maybe don't tell your distraught daughter about your next beach trip while you are leaving from your current beach trip if there is more than about 2 days until the next one. "In July" meant NOTHING to Millie, and so it's been a lonnnng three months of telling her "not today!!" every day when she thinks we are going to the beach that day.

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me...and no one knoooooows how far it gooooooes...
But finally the day came and we got back to her beloved "BIG water!" and all was well with her soul. And mine. But then...

But then.

Then it was Thursday. Thursday, July 13, to be exact. A day I shall forever remember with fondness, joy, and delight.

On Thursday we decided to go kayaking. Same place we've gone before- the Banana River, less than a mile from our condo. The river is where my love of manatees was born back in 2010, when I unexpectedly came upon them while kayaking. I've been a woman obsessed ever since. But I've never had as much success finding them again. Occasional sightings, a glimpse from afar...enough to keep fueling my passion, but not enough to quench it, right? But I get it. It's July. It's hotter than Hades. It's not "manatee season," even though it's a manatee zone. So I keep my expectations low reasonable-ish.

But on Thursday...

OH MY GOSH THERE IS A MANATEE RIGHT NEXT TO MY KAYAK!!!
A manatee? There wasn't a manatee.

There were four.

Four giant, lovely, fat, happy, playful manatees. They were hanging out in a little cove, doing what manatees do. Rolling around, being adorable, and BE STILL MY HEART, curiously checking out the kayakers who happened by.

THIS IS MATT TOUCHING A MANATEE!!!!!!!!!
Like, they just came up to us! They KEPT coming up to us! The swam under us and rubbed their backs on the bottom of our boat! The stuck their noses up and sniffed us!!

I GOT TO PET A MANATEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot even describe this.

Over and over and over, they came up, rolled around, said hi (with their bodies. I speak the body language of the manatees, trust.).

Millie's sweet little hand got to PET A MANATEE!! She was so brave!!
Indescribable, people. Absolutely amazing. I have videos (and videos, and videos) of the whole experience and my voice is like 12 octaves higher than strictly necessary and I am gushing and nearly sobbing and like OH MY GOSH I WAS BEING SWARMED BY HAPPY, ROLY POLY MANATEES!!!


They have whiskers!! Or "beards," if you're Millie.



They showed off with cute party tricks like this!


Oh look, it's Erika tanning on the beach a manatee tanning in the water! (P.S. I touched their bellies too, don't worry. They were much smoother than their backs and didn't have all the algae/barnacles. Very interesting!)


We stayed in that cove and just watched and played for over half an hour. They never left us- they kept swimming around us and coming up. I really just cannot believe it happened. I think I'm still in shock.

This is how we felt about the whole experience.
I am just so incredibly thankful for such an amazing, unexpected opportunity. That my parents, Matt, and Millie got to experience it alongside me was even better. You better believe none of us have stopped talking about it ever since. And now that we're home, with no upcoming beach trips on the agenda, Millie asks "when we see manatees again?" and like...what am I supposed to tell her?! At least I've got a co-manatee lover in the house with me.


July 13, man. July 13. You know, on the Tuesday and Wednesday before, I'd been sick with a stomach bug and stuck in bed (so stupid on vacation!!). But on Thursday, I woke up, felt a bit better, and figured we may as well go for a paddle down the river. What a wonderful spur-of-the-moment decision THAT turned out to be!!!



Friday, July 7, 2017

summer fun

Well, the summer keeps on trucking along. It's hot. It's humid. It's inexplicably raining and storming nearly EVERY day. But we're having a lot of fun! For example, thanks to the frequent storms (and fireworks...), Lola is getting a lot of opportunities to wear her ThunderShirt. Millie knows this, and knows that Lola gets scared of the storms, and this has resulted in two very funny things.

1. At the first sign (or sound) of a storm, Millie will frantically tell us "Lola needs her BOOM BLANKET!" ThunderShirt...Boom Blanket...I get it. Obviously now we call it the boom blanket all the time, because that's a way better name. If anyone is thinking about starting a company to make knockoff ThunderShirts, you are welcome to use this superior name for your product.

2. Several times when it's been storming at night, we've closed the door to Millie's room while we're putting her to bed and Lola will scratch at the door until we let her in. Therefore, for the past few days, at ALL times of the day, regardless of weather, Millie will stop, fold her hands, and pray for Lola: "Dear Jesus...we just thank you dat Lola NOT scwatch at my door. Pwease make Lola not scared and not scwatch my door. Thank you for her boom blanket. AMEN!"

Gimme all the storms if I get this kind of hilarious payoff. Also, Jesus, please help Lola not be scared and scratch on Millie's door, because apparently it really distresses Millie. ;)

And now, some random pictures and stories. 


We're heading to the beach next week (YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!) and needed to practice setting up (easy) and taking down (what the *@#!) our beach tent. In between those two events, Millie found it to be a good place to have some reading time. It should be noted that Millie has almost completed her second library summer reading program of the summer (you know, read 50 books and get prizes sorta thing). They are going to have to name a shelf of books after us or something by the time summer is through! LOTS of reading going on in our house!


The Big Girl Bed situation is going great!! She is sleeping well and only getting/falling out of bed occasionally in the wee hours...when that happens she tends to seem very confused and discombobulated and goes right back to sleep without a problem, so I am thankful for that! When she does wake up, though, we are treated to alien-ish sights like this as she helpfully goes over to turn off her sound machine.


We played dress-up one afternoon. She apparently thinks princesses have attitudes or something.


WATERCOLORS, guys!! I've finally found the Holy Grail of toddler entertainment. Hours (literally) of fun that ISN'T MESSY!! We all win. She will paint contentedly and independently for a super long time, and then we make "books" (by stapling pages together)...it's the best. For whatever reason, she manages to keep pretty clean with these paints (her other paints end up EVERYWHERE and have to be used basically naked outside) and like...I'm about to hit those back to school sales at Target and STOCK UP on watercolors, yo. 

We had some fun firsts this past week!


First fireworks! See also: first intentionally keeping her out and awake WAY past her bedtime. Luckily she did fine!


Well, I mean, until about 10 minutes into the actual fireworks part, when she managed to fall asleep. Hahaha. Poor baby. Luckily for us all, once we actually got home and put her in bed (10:00, so a good 1.5 hours past her normal bedtime), she went right to sleep and even slept in the next morning...so...fireworks every weekend, right?

We also went to the movie theater for the first time!! Well, first time EVER for Millie...first time since Millie was born for us, haha.


A local theater does a "kids movie" thing every Tuesday/Thursday morning during the summer...older movies, but $1.50 tickets, $1.50 popcorn, and $1.50 drinks, so THAT is a win. We enjoyed watching The Secret Life of Pets, which was pretty cute, and Millie was SUPER into the whole theater experience. Possibly my favorite part was watching her deal with the theater chair. Hahahaha. She didn't quite weigh enough to keep it from springing back up into the closed position if she sat towards the back, so she would balance way up at the tip of the chair, but every time she forgot and scooted back, it would try to close her up...haaaa! Free entertainment there. For me, anyway.


All the rain has resulted in LOTS of tomatoes this year! On Monday we picked some and then took some across the street to our elderly neighbors, a practice that Millie found VERY confusing. "Why we give dem our matoes??! Dey hungry? Dey no have matoes?" Later she informed me that she missed the 'matoes' that we gave to our neighbors. Apparently those 20 matoes were her favorites and now they are GONE. Crazy baby!

Well, that about brings us up to speed. Congrats if you made it this far. Also, if you happen to be reading this ON my blog (and not through Bloglovin or something), you might notice that I got a new design! Thanks to an astute blog reader, Jackie, who yesterday pointed out that most of my design images (the header, about me, section labels on the right hand side) had gone WAY wonky and the images were gone and replaced with some ransom thing from Photobucket (where they had been hosted)...it was super weird and unattractive, haha. I couldn't figure out how to easily fix it without tracking down the girl that created the design for me 3.5 years ago, so I decided to just make a new one myself. It was an unexpected turn of events, and I certainly had no plans to redesign a blog I barely ever use, hahaha, but...it had to happen! Anyway, I'm happy with how it turned out and it even encouraged me to actually BLOG so that other people might see it, too. :) 

Happy Friday! And happy almost-vacation to meeee!! Counting the minutes til I see my sweet girl running through that sand!

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.