Thursday, July 28, 2016

River days

We don't often get to the real beach because it's a bit of a commitment to pack everyone up and drive down to the beach. Luckily we have several river beaches nearby and have recently started heading back to them for the summer. They are not much of a commitment as some are only a few minutes from our house. One day last week we packed up some sandwiches and headed over to the river for just an hour. Eleanor had a blast playing in the sand and Jane enjoyed the waves lapping her feet and the wind. She loves the wind!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Water Country

Chris and Eleanor both have fun cards to Busch Gardens which include Water Country so I ended up upgrading my Busch Gardens season pass to include Water Country this year, too. We have already been seven or eight times this year and it has been a blast! Eleanor can ride tons of slides, including fun adult ones for me and Chris, and Jane and I mostly hang out watching (or trading off with Chris on the slides with Eleanor), but she loves to splash and be splashed. It's been awesome in terms of Eleanor's comfort level with water, too, and on more than one occasion we have randomly run into friends there that also have the pass.

We only ever stay for a couple hours when we go and that ends up being plenty of time. I only wish I felt more comfortable going alone with the girls because we would be there almost every day! I have yet to make a solo trip here without Chris, and at least right now am not planning on it this summer. Next summer though, when they're both walking, I will definitely go by myself.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A visit to Leesburg

I'm sure everybody knows by now, but my sister Lauren got engaged this month! With that wonderful news, and more wonderful news that my brother is moving back to northern Virginia in a few months, we headed up to visit and celebrate! We wanted to get things moving with the wedding planning and just spend some time together. I hadn't seen my brother since last Christmas due to at-odds schedules.

We spent a lot of the time doing some wedding planning - talking about locations, guest lists, fun ideas, and dresses! My mom had an old binder of my wedding stuff which we went through and then we even let Eleanor try on my wedding dress! That spurred us on to go wedding dress shopping the next day.

Shug came over with donuts one morning - food is definitely the way to Eleanor's heart.

And the we headed to the pool for the morning. We had a great time going down slides, around the lazy river, and teaching Eleanor how to swim. Even Jane got her hair wet!

We spent Sunday before we left playing our own version of frisbee golf around the local park.

All in all, a great weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Jane is ten months old

Jane is ten months old! Our sweet girl is all over the place. Emotionally she will go from happy and laughing to screaming in frustration in seconds depending on what you've done to anger her. Physically she will cross the room through a serious of rolls, pivots, scoots, and other acrobatics, and in fact, she started crawling the day she turned ten months. She also is trying to pull up on things, but only gets to her knees. She learned to wave and also how to sit up from a lying down position. She can also stand up in a stationary position while holding on to something. In terms of eating, sometimes she will eat three huge meals a day and other times she barely grazes. She sleeps great in her crib on in a moving vehicle, but rarely on the go. She loves to drink water out of a straw cup. She will sign "milk" and her own version of "all done." She also seems to like splashing. Perhaps Jane's favorite past time though is dancing. This girl loves to move her body, wave her arms, and just dance whenever she hears music playing. She can be very serious about it, too! Her eyes are still slowly turning, but I think they will end up settling on a hazel color like her big sister's. Time will tell!
(This is what would happen every single time I tried to lay her down on the ground. The second I picked her up, she would be perfectly happy again.)

Eleanor at ten months for comparison:

Jane at onetwothreefourfive, sixseveneight, and nine months old.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Eight years

This week Chris and I celebrated our eight year anniversary! I really can't believe it. It seems like it was yesterday until we started going through all our old wedding stuff while helping my sister start planning for her upcoming wedding. I started realizing how out of date everything was so it couldn't possibly have been yesterday! Still, it's hard to believe we've been weathering life together so long already. Still, it's the best decision I've ever made.

We are currently in one of the most physically tiring seasons of our lives

We are bending everything...bending our backs to pick up the baby when she's crying, to change the diaper on the floor, to kiss the knee of the toddler when she falls...bending the schedule when someone is sick, needs to work late, or just needs some time for a mental break...bending the rules about bedtimes, who is expected to take care of certain tasks, and expectations.

We are constantly cleaning...cleaning ourselves and the girls, fingernails, toenails, bottoms, brushing teeth, wiping noses...cleaning the house, the kitchen, vacuuming floors, washing sheets, folding laundry, organizing toys...cleaning our lives, cutting out things that aren't life-giving, throwing away stuff that's digging into our time together.

We are not sleeping...not in the middle of the night when someone wakes up with an accident or a bad dream...not in the wee hours of the morning when someone wakes up and is hungry or thinks it's time to get up...not on vacation when we're in a strange place or sharing a room and things are just different...not on our relationship that we know needs attention and care and time to continue developing.

We are always moving...moving physically in the car to work, appointments, and activities...moving stationary on the floor to build towers, play "Elsa and Anna," and to practice crawling...moving forward, past disagreements, trials, and into the future we're building together.

We are tired. We are overworked. We don't get breaks; we're always on. We're being pulled in so many directions. We are wading through so many distractions. We are bending, cleaning, sleeping, resting when we can. We are together. We love each other. We wouldn't change a thing. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Visiting with cousins

The last day of Chris' fiscal year, I decided to take the girls down to Virginia Beach for the day. Chris' cousins from Boston were down there for both dance and softball tournaments and we figured we would try to swing through both of them to watch and say hi while they were nearby. We got there early before dance and softball started, so we swam in the hotel pool with Rachel and Maryellen.

Then we cleaned up a headed to Jackie's dance competition where her two dances won 1st and 2nd place, after her solo the day before won 1st place! Both Eleanor and Jane were totally enthralled with the dancing, and Jane (definitely my dancer) danced through the whole performance in my lap. Eleanor was start struck afterwards getting to take her picture with Jackie in a "princess" outfit backstage!

From there we made a stop at Chick-fil-A (this day was turning into a dream day for Eleanor) and then off to Maryellen's softball game.

After softball, it was around dinner time and while I had been thinking about heading home to get the girls down at a normal bedtime, everyone was behaving so well and Eleanor was just having a blast so we decided to stay. We had a picnic dinner outside near the hotel.

At that point it was almost 8pm so I was definitely going to head back but Eleanor was having such a great time playing with Rachel and Jackie that we ended up staying again and went back to the pool!

At that point, poor Jane was trying to fall asleep in the pool in her pool float so we had to call it quits. We changed and got back in the car to head home (where both children promptly fell asleep). Eleanor was having so much fun that she had a meltdown in the hotel room..."but why can't I just go to sleep in this bed??" We had such a blast with Chris' cousins and wish our time together had been longer! A huge thank you to Gaby, too, for helping me with the girls all day!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

June wrap-up

June was a fun month for us, though busy. It was the end of the fiscal year for Chris and he had a trip, some late nights, and some weekend work. The girls and I stayed busy throughout the month though and are already enjoying his more laid back schedule this July!

We took lots of trips to Busch Gardens, including one solo trip (just me and the girls!) which went really smoothly and was a lot of fun.
(Tried to stop at a show called Mix It Up for the girls to eat dinner but they were SO entranced that neither of them moved a muscle or ate a bite for the entirety of the show. Eleanor held her PB&J sandwich in front of her face like that the entire time.)
(We very rarely do Busch Gardens in the afternoon/evenings because we can't make it out of the park awake. We did go once this month though and sure enough, this girl fell asleep before we made it out. Jane, on the other hand, still never sleeps on the go.)

We picked up free donuts for national donut day at a local place called Emily's.

We also got free smoothies this month for national flip-flop day!

We went to go see one of Eleanor's friends play Mother Abbess in the Sound of Music. Eleanor has been singing "My Favorite Things" continuously since then. Here's a video... (translation: "when the bee stings, when the dog bites, boom, boom, thunder, lightning!" - if you recall, the scene takes place on Maria's bed during a thunder storm, hah!!)

Eleanor has lately been very interested in cooking with me. She also has learned to make her own nachos, except for the oven part!

Sweet Jane is not my snuggler. She will not fall asleep unless she's in her carseat moving or in her bed. The other day, she was sitting in my lap and all the sudden her  head was against my chest. I couldn't believe it so I had Chris take a picture to prove it.

Eleanor, ever since she got Maynard when she was about a year old, loves to pretend to be a little mommy. She carries her babies around, talks to them, disciplines them, feeds them, changes their diapers, etc. Most recently she wants to put her baby in a carrier like Jane rides in, so we made her one for her baby. This girl has such a sweet heart.

Jane's thighs keep getting bigger. Every time they get bigger I believe they're maxed out and they just keep getting bigger :)

I mowed the lawn for Chris for Father's Day! It was a lot of work!

We've been taking trips to Kidsburg, a local park. Enjoy the video of Eleanor getting dizzy.