Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day Lessons

I learned a few things on Valentine's Day this year.  

1.  Just a simple card, painstakingly folded and taped together with a tiny heart sticker by a three year old, is no longer enough to share with classmates.  McKenzie's classmates sent everything from stickers to toys to sizable bags of candy.  I'll know next year to add a little something.  Luckily, McKenzie was so pumped to share her Spiderman cards (Spiderman is her "favorite guy" although she has never seen any kind of Spiderman movie) that she didn't notice that they were lacking.  

Waiting to pass out her cards with Maggie.

2.  Even babies get Valentine goodies.  Annie, who at 1 is the oldest in her class, received a few treats from her classmates.  I didn't even think to send something.  MOTY 2013!

What's a V-Day pic without a little cookie on the chin?!
3.  My kid is awesome.  During her classroom party, McKenzie silenced the entire room and asked to say a prayer.  She had everyone bow their heads and proceeded to say "Annie's prayer."  It was sort of a song and she may or may not have been speaking in tongues.  I made out the word God, but that's about it.  She knows a couple of different dinner time prayers, but this one was straight from the heart.  Although my stomach hurt from trying to contain my laughter, I was so proud that she had the guts to pray in front of everyone.  That's not something I would do now, at 30.  I pray that she maintains her outgoing spirit as she grows.
McKenzie with Mrs. Lewis, who puts up with her silly antics each week!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Only the Beginning

Kids are mean.  We all know this.  Whether it's on purpose or because they don't know any better or whatever, the fact is that kids can be mean.  What's hard is to see kids being mean to your kid.

After lunch today, I took McKenzie into a little indoor playground area at her school.  There were a few kids, siblings I believe, that were playing "crocodile."  For whatever reason, this game sounded fun to McKenzie and she walked up to them and exclaimed, "I'm a crocodile!"  Seriously, she is not shy.  Because of mine and Brant's reserved natures, this blows me away and makes me quite proud of her.  Unfortunately, the kids told her she wasn't a crocodile and refused to let her play.  McKenzie was devestated.  She started crying and I told her that she could be a pretend crocodile if she wanted to be.  So, she dried her tears and told the kids again that she was a crocodile.  And again, they yelled back that she wasn't.  At this point, there were some flailing arms exchanged and I pulled her out.  I explained to McKenzie that those kids weren't being very nice and she should find someone else to play with instead.  To my surprise and delight, she did just that.  She played for a few minutes with another little girl.  However, the two croc kids kept running up to McKenzie and screaming "Rarrrrrh.  You aren't a crocodile!!" in her face.  I watched this happen a few times and was so proud to see McKenzie turn and walk away.  After the little boy did it again right next to me, and I saw the look of fear and annoyance on her face, I said to McKenzie (within earshot of the child's mother and grandmother), "Just walk away if you don't want him doing that to you."  Finally, the child was told by his mother to leave McKenzie alone.

On one hand, I was so proud to see McKenzie gather herself and walk away from these not so nice kids.  I also tried to talk to McKenzie about how it made her feel to not get to play and how she should always let other kids join in her games.  Did any of it sink in? Who knows.  I'm sure it won't be the last time I have the opportunity to teach this lesson.  On the other hand, I was very annoyed with the other mom involved.  You can't really blame the kids for being mean.  They were 3 or 4 years old.  And most likely, McKenzie has been mean in a similar way at school or something.  But I can blame the mom for not paying enough attention to her kids.  If I saw McKenzie acting that way towards another child, I would have removed her from the playground immediately and disciplined her.  This mom was too busy talking to see her kids screaming in my child's face.  Not ok.  And the little girl threw her socks at Annie.  Whoa. It took everything in me to not do anything more than say, "DO NOT throw things at her." I am not a perfect mom.  Never have been.  Never will be.  But I do my best to keep my kids in check when they are around others.  Moral of the story: Sometimes you have to just watch and let your kid fight a battle. But this mama crocodile will step in when the time comes!

DO NOT mess with my baby girl...ahem, baby croc!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves

What's more fun than a pile of leaves? Not much.  McKenzie didn't even hesitate to jump right in the pile.  By the end of it, she was covering herself entirely with leaves and jumping out to surprise us.  Lots of fun!  Annie was thoroughly unimpressed by the leaves.  She cried when we even got her near the pile.  Odd.

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Christmas!

This Christmas was probably the most fun we've had yet as a family.  McKenzie understood a lot more about what was going on and was very excited about it.  She saw a commercial for Lego Duplo Cinderella Castle back in November and that was her obsession.  I can't really complain.  It was nice that Santa brought something that she had really wanted for a long time.  Made the moment that much sweeter.

Initially, the holiday was pretty laid back.  We went to the Christmas Eve service at Fellowship and then came home to bake pizza and cookies.  The girls went to bed just about like normal and Santa went to work.  The next morning, we finally woke McKenzie up around 7:30 to see what had come about during the night.

All ready for the girls!

Checking out Santa's plate of cookies

In a year or so Annie...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Party Pics!

We had a nice little party for Annie with all the family.  Because I wanted to just relax and enjoy the party, we ordered pizza and, of course, had some cake for dessert.  I made the cake and it turned out pretty well.  I'm hoping for that to be something the girls enjoy and look forward to each year.  But we'll see.  Annie did get her own special little cupcake.

Part of me really wants to be that mom who pulls off an amazing birthday party like I see on Pinterest.  Special party favors, themed food, beautiful decorations, etc.  But I just can't.  It's not me.  I'm not that creative and I just don't have the time to make elaborate plans.  Accepting the fact that my kids probably won't have those kinds of parties (and probably couldn't care less anyway) made this simple little party work for me.  Family, food, a few balloons and delicious cake.  I'm pretty sure that's all you need!  And maybe a few friends next year.  McKenzie did ask me why Annie's "baby friends" weren't invited.  Ummm...they were napping?

Love my little baby!

Let's get this party started!

Checking our her birthday banner from Aunt Erin.

Her special giant cupcake.


The cake... with decorating help from McKenzie

She ate almost the entire cupcake like this.

I got some sweet new Toms! Thanks Rebecca and Chris!

What? My party rocked.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Annie Turns One

My sweet little Annie,

You are an amazing little girl.  You kept us up for about three hours the other night and that wasn't amazing.  But other than that little misstep, we are constantly amazed at how sweet and easygoing you are.  Oh, you did pull more than a few strands of your sister's hair out yesterday, but to be fair, she had taken a Cinderella doll from you.  I'm sure there's more of that to come.  Still, overall, you have your daddy's sweet and patient nature.  You are almost always smiling or just seconds away from a smile.  While we can't wait to see how that will translate as you grow up, we are soaking up every bit of it right now.  

Tomorrow is your 1st birthday party and I'm so excited about it.  Unlike McKenzie, who didn't have much of anything sweet til her 1st birthday, you have tasted the likes of ice cream.  And marshmallows. You LOVE marshmallows.  Just this week, you have been crawling (because even though you can take steps, you prefer to drop to your knees and crawl) to the pantry, waiting for someone to open the door and then scanning the shelves until your eyes land on the prize: MARSHMALLOWS! I plan to make your birthday cake for tomorrow, but as I type this, I'm thinking that running to the store for a new bag of marshmallows would probably be your preference.  Doesn't matter.  You will be so excited to dig into your special birthday cupcake!    

As your have approached the year mark, you've been interacting a lot more with your sister.  It's probably the sweetest thing in the world.  Right up until one of you screams.  But most of the time you two play really well together, especially since you now are constantly on the move.  We still have sweet mornings and after nap moments that you will cuddle up in my arms and take a bottle.  But mostly, you want to get up and go.  

One thing I must note: the hand down the shirt move.  When someone picks you up, without fail, you put your chest against their shoulder and slide your hand down the front of their shirt.  It's weird.  And funny.  And EVERY. TIME.  Sometimes your hands are colder than expected.  Yikes!

And you are a smart little girl.  We used to give you kisses each night right before bed.  Daddy would walk you over to McKenzie, and then me, and say "Kiss!"  We can't do that anymore.  The first time you are taken for a kiss, you start crying because now you know that means bedtime.  I don't particularly enjoy kissing a crying baby so we sneak them in and then take you off to bed before you realize what's happening.

Your first year has been incredible.  There have been ups and downs, which coincided with good and bad sleep schedules, but most certainly more ups than downs.  Every day gets a little bit easier with my two little girls and a little bit more fun as you two start understanding what being sisters is all about.  Annie, I love you with my entire heart.

Annie One Year Stats
Weight: 19lbs, 10oz (27th percentile) - 3oz LESS than her sister at this age!
Length: 29.25in (56th percentile)
Head: 17.5in (31st percentile)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy Halloween

Wait, it doesn't feel like Halloween to everyone? We've already had Halloween, Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  Yeah, keeping up with this blog has lost its luster for me.  I thought about shutting it down, but Brant wanted me to keep it going just for the sake of tracking our memories.  Good idea in theory, but I never seem to find the time to make a post.  Right this moment though, my parents are here, Annie is sleeping and McKenzie is watching a movie.  So let's play catch up...

Halloween 2012 was a great success!  McKenzie decided to be a witch back in August and held onto the idea.  I found a great little costume and she loved it!  Annie went secondhand (or third or fourth) with her ladybug costume.  But it was still warm and cozy and I think she made a pretty great little ladybug.  We enjoyed trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with Beckett and Lucille.  I think we still have some Halloween candy to sort through!