Sunday, February 21, 2016

hugging and cousins and fashion and love

Remember all those times I said "this is the best age ever- I want her to stay ____ old forever!!!"?? Well, scratch them all. I was clueless. This (eighteen months) is the best age EVER, and this time I'm for real. Life with Millie is so incredibly full and fun right now, I clearly have time for nothing else (well...except work. And reading a lot of books. And taking pictures.). So let's catch up.

For one, her eighteen month appointment. Homegirl is up to 26.7 pounds, putting her in the measly 80th percentile. Barely even a B, if you look at it like it's a grade...which I don't, obviously. ;) I was convinced she was over 30 pounds, so this was definitely a surprise- I guess my arms are just terrible at estimating weight. She's gained only about a pound since her 15 month appointment, so...I don't know why she feels so much heftier these days. Maybe it's her boots.

These boots are made for FLYING!
She's (supposedly) 32.25 inches tall now (66th percentile), but I was watching carefully and her head was definitely tilted to the side when they marked her my calculation, she is probably at least half an inch taller than that. But whatever. All in all, she's stretching out and has hardly any baby fat rolls to speak of, but at least she still has that impressive belly and cheeks. So she doesn't look COMPLETELY grown. She can wear a variety of sizes, depending on the item/brand/what diapers she's wearing, but mostly 18-24 month and a few (gasp) 2T. I tell myself that the "T" in 2T stands for Tall Baby. That makes me feel better.

She's been SO much healthier this winter than last, and I'm incredibly thankful for that. I mean, it's been like...probably 4-5 months or so since she's even been on antibiotics, which is a lifetime achievement. We continue with daily (and occasionally up to four times daily...) steroid breathing treatments and those seem to be helping to keep her asthma in check perfectly. 

Her language and comprehension are EXPLODING lately, and I feel like she learns new words every single day. Listening to her talk and sing is the best thing in the whole world, and I think she enjoys being able to express her wants/needs as well! One of my favorite things is how we'll remind her to "use her words" when she's whining or moaning or crying and pointing at things, and so she'll stop the whining/crying, collect herself, look us in the eye, and say "mmfwphergah" (or something equally intelligible) very clearly and expectantly. And then we're like...well, dangit. Thanks for using your words, Millie. Next time can you try English or Spanish or maybe some established language that we could at least use Google translate to help us comprehend?? Ha. 

Last weekend we traveled to Augusta to celebrate Christmas with my family! Yep, on Valentine's weekend. Ha. Better late than never though, right? 

Millie spent most of the weekend hugging her cousins.

I'm a lover, okay?
Millie is all about giving hugs. No one (human, pet, or inanimate object) can escape. Her teachers report that she keeps busy all day at school, working the room and hugging all of her friends and toys. I love it.

While Mills was busy hugging, playing, dancing, and generally being adorable...I took the opportunity to have a MAJOR HAIR CHANGE. My hair has been way incredibly too long for about...uhhh...five months or so. It's been miserable. And I was just SO ready for a change. So my sister went all the way. Hacked it off AND dyed it red!

I feel like a new (and cooler) person! It's been a week now and I have no regrets, so...that's good. Now, back to our regularly-scheduled baby pictures.

Each time we all get together, we try to take a picture of the cousins sitting on this same quilt (in the same pose). It's even cuter at Christmas (or "Christmas") time, when my mom gets them all matching PJs. I'd thought that it might be slightly easier this year, with the girls being 1.5 and 2.5, but I was definitely wrong. It was more like a hot mess, but it was still a lot of fun! (Also, let's note the difference between taking pictures outside using a real camera (2014) and inside at night using an iPhone (this year).)

Christmas 2014- LOOK AT THOSE TINY BABES!!!!! waaaaaahhhhhh

"Christmas" 2015...the year Millie couldn't stop hugging.

These nutty girls...for the life of us, we couldn't get them to all smile and look in the same direction at the same time. Ugh! Oh well. The great thing is that next year's picture will have ANOTHER girl cousin in it!!! Carley will become a big sister this summer, so having a six-month-old in the picture next year should definitely make things run more smoothly...ha.

Speaking of doing one point we caught Laney (my sister's baby) "fixing" Millie's hair! It's hilarious because it's just exactly what they see Sarah and me doing. Every time we're together, Sarah's fixing my hair. So the babies decided to assume our roles. GENIUSES.

There wasn't a whole lot of excitement this past week (except I was sick a lot, ugh), but Millie enjoyed wearing a bunch of the new clothes I've bought at consignment sales recently. Actually, I don't know if she enjoyed it at all. I sure did, though.

And on Friday we (okay, I) decided to be twins. Plaid shirts and vests for all!

We had some nice weather this weekend, so we spent a lot of time playing outside. Millie found her sunglasses from last year (I guess they still fit?) and it made all her dreams come true. She's always trying to steal our glass/sunglasses...and now she has a pair we won't immediately try to steal back!

She also discovered our beach wagon thingy. It was a pretty happy discovery. Especially when Daddy added in a bed pillow for extra safety/comfort!

This is SO FUN!!!!!!!!

So that's been life lately. My heart just explodes with gratitude and joy for this life I've been entrusted with, and I couldn't ask for more.

Monday, February 8, 2016

hit the road, jack.

Our weekends are pretty predictable. And that's pretty much fine by me, because I tend to like predictable things. Routines are my jam. Uneventful, fun-yet-productive, quiet weekends with Matt and Millie are pretty much all I ever want. But on Friday night, as Matt and I enjoyed a thrilling game of Scrabble as we binged on Goldfish crackers (hahahaha our snack choices are as exciting as our nightlife is!), he suggested we break out of our Saturday errands-and-chores routine. "Want to go hiking at Tallulah Gorge tomorrow?"

WHOA NOW MATTIE. A) It's going to be freezing cold tomorrow. Like LITERALLY. Thirty degrees. Who wants to walk around the woods in 30 degree weather? B) It's TOMORROW. That means we would be making out-of-town plans that require over an hour drive each way on LESS THAN 12 HOURS' NOTICE. That means this is spontaneous, and that makes me nervous. Spontaneity scares me.

Those were my immediate thoughts, but after about 30 additional seconds of careful consideration, I thought...why not? And so...we did it! Chores and errands be damned, we're going hiking! (They weren't that damned. They just got postponed a few hours, ha.)

Millie's at a really great age/personality right now (well, she's always been a great age and personality, so I don't know why I started with that) and is very adaptable to whatever's going on. Random road trip and then schlepping through the freezing cold woods for a few hours? Bring it on, she says. As long as we also bring on plenty of snacks, that is. She's not adaptable to hunger.

It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the foothills of the mountains (which reminded me again how much I love living where I live). While we were driving, we selected which trail we wanted to do (yay, PLANNING! Haha.) and also listened to the Serial Season 1 hearing updates (???!!). And then we were there, and I made final decisions about precisely how many layers I was going to put Millie in before we loaded her into the Ergo. Ha. I don't want any babies catching frostbite on my watch!
Hang on, Mommy. Let me at least choose a good trail before you guys stuff me in that Ergo...
I think I went hiking at the Gorge once in college, approximately...13ish...years ago. So basically I didn't really remember anything at all. And also it was summer and totally different. So this was a hike full of pleasant surprises (like the view! the waterfalls! the friendly fellow hikers with friendly dogs!) and a few less-pleasant ones (like a billion stairs. and a suspension bridge, aka MY ARCH-NEMESIS/SECOND GREATEST FEAR IN LIFE (right behind birds)) (omg, what if I'd seen a bird while walking on the bridge?!?!?!?!?!?!? I wouldn't have lived to tell the tale).

These stairs were all fun and games...if you happened to be riding on someone's back. Otherwise...nope. LEGS ON FI-YAH!!!
It was pretty cold, but we still had a fantastic time. Millie did great- she was happy to be in the Ergo (we rarely do a back carry with her, so this had some novelty going for it), and she loved getting down to look around when we stopped at "scenic viewpoints." She especially loved looking down and screaming "WA-WAH!!!" every time she saw water. Our little scientist!!
She also enjoyed (as per usual) waving at and greeting all of the people and "Nonahs" (Lolas) (dogs) walking by. She did not enjoy (also per usual) most of the times we tried to convince her to smile for a picture (or even look in the general direction of the camera). I kept on trying, though. Eventually she has to give in, right?

Okay, fine, I'll play along for JUST THIS ONE family selfie!

But now I'm getting very sleepy, Mommy...

Okay, night night.
The above picture is what we'll call Millie is Pretty Adaptable: Exhibit A. Catch a nap when you can!

All in all, it was a pretty perfect day. I give 10 points to Team Spontaneity. Maybe there is something to it. And anyway, we were home (with groceries!!) by like there was still a good bit of time to do my usual Saturday lazing and puttering around. So boom.

One last view before we go...
The rest of the day was spent basically letting Millie raise herself. HA. Matt and I were just a leeeeettle bit exhausted from hauling our 30 (??? she has a pedi appt later this week, so we'll finally find out how much she really weighs!) pound chunkalunk up and down mountains. Somehow, she arrived back to our house filled with ALL THE ENERGY IN THE WORLD, and Matt and I were more like...maybe if we just lay here, she won't burn the house down or severely injure herself? It worked out okay for an hour, but I wouldn't recommend it as a long-term parenting strategy.

Except for she did at one point decide she really needed to wear her daddy's hoodie. And then she looked like a Ewok Jedi Star Wars character (it's been awhile, I don't remember which). So that was pretty hilarious. (Or maybe I was just really tired.)

So the moral of this story is...sometimes a spontaneous road trip is exactly the right thing to do. Just be sure to take a lot of snacks.