Sunday, February 15, 2015

Every Day is Valentine's Day

I'm definitely one of those girls who is into Valentine's Day.  Like, I can't understand why people DON'T like Valentine's Day.  Can't it just be a day to celebrate love?  Love for everyone?  Not just boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives.  I liked Valentine's Day long before I ever had a boyfriend and always got excited to send and receive carnations to all my girlfriends in junior high and high school.  And let's not forget getting to decorate shoe boxes in elementary school to house Valentines cards from classmates!  Always very exciting!  My daddy used to send me flowers when I was in college, and I'm smiling right now remembering that.  Before I had kids, I actually baked heart shaped dog treats for Max and Drake and LJ and Sammy one year.  And this year, I had presents picked out for Eden and Ila long before I realized that I should probably get something for Dustin too!  See?  It doesn't have to be about significant others!  (Though I DID eventually get Dustin a gift, and I'm super proud of it as he is VERY hard to shop for!)

When I see pink and red, I am overcome with happiness.

We had a simple, little fun day yesterday.

Ila had a "First Valentine's Day" photoshoot.

 Eden and I spent the afternoon decorating hearts for our back door.

I love that Dustin always gets Eden (and now Ila) flowers too.

 "hmmmmm, what are those?"

"Whatever they are, I like 'em!"

These are the chocolates I got from Dustin this year:

He got the entire. dang. box.  FORTY-EIGHT Reeses.  He knows me well.

Yep, I love Valentine's Day.  It's so happy.  But really, I love every day.  Because every day is happy.  And every day I just feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have the little family that I do!

This past Monday, Dustin came home for lunch.  And when it came time for him to go back to work, he opted to take the afternoon off and take us to play golf instead.

It was the best day!  The three of us watched Dustin play, and every time he made it to the green, he would hand Eden his putter and tell her to come with him.

Eden was in heaven.

Dustin wasn't doing that great when we started, and I said, "Uh-oh, Daddy isn't having a very good golf day today."  A few holes later, after Eden struggled to get the ball in the hole, she came up to me and sadly said, "Mommy, I'm not having a very good golf day."  Dustin and I cracked up.  Ila and I drove the two golfers around.  And it's like really hard to drive a golf cart with a baby in one arm!

When we were done, Eden begged for us to do it again soon, and we definitely will!  The Easter Bunny will be bringing her a little set of pink golf clubs this year, and Dustin had better get used to us tagging along every time he decides to go play golf now!

That is the same hole (different angles) two and a half years apart.  And I love that in both photos, she's wearing outfits that Dustin bought her - the first one from his trip to The Masters and the second one from The Shell Houston Open.

Eden got to celebrate Valentine's Day at gymnastics on Tuesday.  She got to pass out and receive little Valentines from the kids in the class, and I made sure that she was definitely dressed up for the occasion because a few weeks ago, they had a Super Bowl week at gymnastics and I completely forgot, and I felt terrible when we walked in and all the other kids were wearing football jerseys and Eden was in her leotard!

We drive an hour to the place where Eden takes gymnastics (such is life when you live in the middle of nowhere), but it's only five minutes from where my grandma lives.  So she comes every Tuesday and gets to watch Eden and hold Ila.

After class this week, we went to watch some of my former students play in their last basketball game of the season.  Eden was highly disappointed when we got there as she had thought SHE was going to get to play basketball.  At halftime, all of the students not on the team went down to the court to play. Stacy, my friend and former teaching partner, asked one of the guys if he would get a basketball and play with Eden.  I told Eden that Jake was going to play basketball with her and to go down to the floor with him.  He went and got a ball and brought it back and slowly bounced it toward her.  Stacy, Jake and I were all under the impression that Eden and Jake would just be bouncing the ball back and forth at the bottom of the bleachers out of the way of all the big kids, but Eden didn't get the memo.  As soon as she got the ball, she took off for the court, planted herself directly under the basket and threw her ball straight up into the air.  There were about twenty kids running and playing and balls flying everywhere, but Eden had NO fear, she did not care about them at all, and she was determined to play.  Jake, bless him, stood next to her and guarded her from all the kids and balls the entire time, and she was so happy and proud to be down there playing.

After half-time, she came back absolutely beaming and all excited about her basketball playing experience.

Two other little happy pictures:

Ila wakes up every morning around six to nurse and then falls right back asleep.  At that point, I just leave her in our bed to sleep.  A few nights ago, Eden came to our room in the middle of the night, so the next morning, they were both there, sleeping right next to each other.

And last weekend, on the drive home from lunch, they both fell asleep in their carseats, but they never let go of each others hands.

Yep, every day is happy.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ila - Four Months

Ila is four months and two days old.

She pretty much does just two things: sleep and smile.  When she wakes up, she just smiles and smiles at us.  Then she falls asleep.  Then she wakes up and smiles some more.

She had her four month check-up yesterday.

She weighs 11 lbs. 6 oz., placing her in the SECOND percentile.  And I thought Eden was my small one!  Like her big sister, she eats lots and lots... she's just small.  And like her big sister, she's perfect and healthy in every way... she's just small.  The doctor said, "I'm not worried at all.  You obviously just make small kids."  I called my mom on the way home from the doctor to tell her how Ila's appointment went, and we were laughing about how small I used to be... how I couldn't open the door to my classroom in kindergarten, how there were second graders taller than me when I was in fifth grade, how I entered high school at 5 feet tall and weighed about 90 pounds.  They get it from their mama! :)

And after all that, I ended up pretty average at 5'4.  It'll be fun to see how they end up!

How can something so little bring us so much happiness?

I could sit and watch her smile all day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Things

It makes me happy...

that Dustin took this picture of Ila smiling and laughing at me.  It's so rare for there to be pictures of ME just playing with my girls.

that we're back into our Wednesday routine.  donuts, story time at the library, the park... we missed many, many Wednesdays after Ila was born and then through the holidays, and Eden is so happy to get back to it!

that I have two girls!  Have a mentioned that I LOVE that?

that Eden is the sweetest big sister ever.  The other day Eden laid down next to Ila during tummy time and patted her to sleep.

that I managed to squeeze Ila into Eden's old football onesie for our Super Bowl party.  Dustin told me THE NIGHT BEFORE that he wanted Ila to be a football for her first Super Bowl just like Eden was.  (Like, that's what he called them when they wore this onesie... his little footballs!)  So behold...

 Eden on the left; Ila on the right

when Zulily has leotards.  New leotards make us very, very happy.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Big Three

Eden is three.


It seems so big!

Last Saturday we had a party for her at Monkey Joe's.  It's one of those bouncy house places.

That place is awesome!

Eden's party was double special this year because she has friends and stuff now!  So she got to have HER friends at her party... not just ours!  :)  Little gymnastics buddies and play date friends.  She was absolutely the sweetest and the cutest back in December when I gave her her birthday invitations to pass out to her fellow gymnasts at class.  She was so proud.

I went with a princess theme.  Duh!  She's all about it these days!

And a princess party calls for... A BARBIE CAKE!

She was a work of art, I tell ya!

I love Barbie cakes but never had one when I was little, so I'm living vicariously through my three year old!  I was downright ecstatic when I picked her up the morning of the party!  I kept saying things like, "Isn't she pretty?" to Dustin.  I actually drove an hour out of my way that day to get her.  (I kept calling the cake "her".  It drove Dustin crazy!  "It's not a 'her'!  It's a damn cake!")  But if I was gonna get a Barbie cake, I had to do it right and go with the place famous for them!  Trust me when I tell you, the picture doesn't do her justice.  She was covered in edible glitter and was so pretty and sparkly!  Okay, I'll calm down about the cake now.

But Eden loved her too!  Absolutely LOVED HER!  I didn't let Eden see her until the party was already in full swing.  I wanted her to be surprised.  But once her party room was set up, I brought her in to see.  She fell in love.  She just sat and stared, and then it took me forever to convince her to go back out and play.  My mom had to promise her that she would stay in the room and watch over the cake while Eden played.  And then Eden got up on the table and kissed her before she left.

This is what Ila did during the party:

A few weeks ago, Eden, Ila and I went to lunch with my friend, Ashley.  While there, Ashley asked Eden what she wanted for her birthday.  Eden said, "a fish".  That really surprised me!  We had talked about her birthday numerous times, and she had never said anything before this lunch about wanting a fish.  It cracked me up!
"Really?  You want a fish for your birthday?", I asked her.
"Uh-huh.  And water!"  (I love how she made sure to specify that she needed water for her fish!)
Ashley said, "What are you going to name your fish?"
With no hesitation, Eden said, "Kitty Cat".
After that day, Eden brought up the fish many times to all of us, so I was really hoping Ashley was gonna come through for us.  Sure enough, Ashley showed up to Monkey Joe's last Saturday with a fish, a fish bowl, pink rocks and Hello Kitty decorations for Eden.  Talk about a happy little girl!  Kitty Cat is all set up in Eden's room, and Eden thinks that feeding him is just the most exciting thing ever!

I'm, however, really stressed out over this fish!  It CANNOT die!  The girl lost it when Nemo was captured and when Mufasa died... and those were cartoons!  She will not be able to handle it if her PET dies!  Dustin said, "It's a fish.  It's probably gonna die!"  Not on my watch!  I've been reading articles like "How to Help Your Betta Thrive" and "How to Clean Your Fish Bowl Without Stressing Your Fish".

The night before Eden's actual birthday, I couldn't sleep.  I got all emotional laying in bed that night remembering laying there three years earlier with Eden in my tummy.  I tossed and turned all night.  I was wide awake at 4:15 and felt that I needed to wake Dustin up to reminisce.
"Dustin!  Wake up!  It's 4:15!  Do you remember what we were doing three years ago at this time?"
"You were taking forever to get ready to leave for the hospital!  I was all ready to go.  You were making me so mad but I was trying really hard not to yell at you!"

Eden woke up on Sunday to her room filled with balloons.  I was finally sleeping, but she ran into our room and woke me up.  "Mommy!  There's balloons in my room!"

 you can see Kitty Cat on her dresser

She had presents waiting for her when we came downstairs.  Three presents for three years.

our house is a zoo

Dustin made waffles and bacon, and we sang to her for the second time that weekend.

At 10:01, I got all emotional of course.  I kept trying to say things like "This is probably when they were handing Eden to me and I held her for the first time" and "Okay, now this is probably when they told me she had to go to the nursery and I handed her to you to take her there", but every time I tried, I started crying remembering those precious moments.

Around noon, we left for Matagorda.  Eden had requested a day of fishing for her birthday. Dustin was SO proud and happy!

This is what Ila did on Eden's birthday:

We went out for seafood that evening and then came back to the house for another cake and more candles and singing.

After she ate her cake, Eden did her scratch-offs.  Haha!

Dustin got a bunch of scratch-offs for Christmas, and he and Eden sat at the kitchen counter one night scratching them off together.  Eden loved it, and I had told my mom about it.  So my mom put some scratch-offs in her birthday card.  She won $15.  A girl's gotta gamble!

Eden was very excited that we stayed the night in Matagorda.  She kept calling it a "sleepover".  She said it was "just like Minnie" as there is a Mickey Mouse episode where Minnie hosts a sleepover.  She actually couldn't wait to go to bed!  I was going to let her stay up as late as she wanted on her birthday, but as soon as she finished her scratch-offs, she ran to the bedroom and announced that "I'm ready for my sleepover!"  Dustin and I tucked her in together, and I had to remind him again what we were doing at that time three years earlier.  "By this time, everybody had left!  It was just the three of us in the hospital room.  Eden was laying on my chest, and we were watching TV.  Modern Family was on."

It's amazing how you can remember every single detail of those birth days.

I loved our weekend.

On Wednesday, Eden had her three year check-up.  Thanks to Doc McStuffins, Eden thinks going to the doctor and getting check-ups are just the funnest thing ever!  She tells the doctor what to do.  When the doctor walked in the room, Eden pointed to her stethoscope and said, "Listen to my heartbeat."  Eden weighed 29 lbs. and is 35 1/2 in. tall.  This makes her tiny.  The doctor sat there showing me charts and explaining to me how Eden was very small for her age.  I was like "um, yeah I know."  The other kids in her gymnastics class TOWER over her.  This is a picture of her at the doctor's office on Wednesday:

The blue jeans that she's wearing are a size 18-24 months.  I really don't need a doctor showing me charts to tell me how small my 3 year old is when I dressed her in size 18-24 months pants that morning.

I love how tiny she is.

Okay, so a few days before Eden's birthday, I did one of those birthday interviews with her.  Here goes:

What is your name?  Eden Everly Hargrave

How old will you be on your birthday?  Eden Everly Hargrave going to be three.

What is your favorite thing to do?  take a bath

What is your favorite color?  blue

What is your favorite food?  peanut butter sandwich

Who is your favorite person to play with?  Mommy (AWWWWW!)

What makes you laugh?  my play-doh

Who is your best friend?  Mickey

Where do you like to go?  to my birthday party

What is your favorite book?  Jonah and Big Fish

What is something you're good at doing?  running (she ran around in circles) and hopping (she started hopping up in down)

Eden at three:

She is so loving and sweet.  She has never once showed an ounce of jealousy toward Ila and goes over to Ila multiple times throughout the day to kiss her.  She kisses me all day too.  She'll stop playing to come and give me a hug and tell me that she loves me.  In gymnastics, the thing she gets in trouble for is not keeping her hands to herself.  When the kids are waiting in line to do something, Eden will lean over to hug whoever is next to her.

She is so independent and strong-willed.  It can be frustrating sometimes because she insists that she can do everything "ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!", but I'm so proud of her!

But then at the same time, she is so easy-going.  If she asks to do something and I say no, she just accepts it.  If we're out running errands and she asks to go home and I tell her "not yet", she just accepts it.  No matter what we do or where we go, she just goes with it.

She loves to help me do things around the house.  Like, she gets mad if I'm making the bed or sweeping without her.  She'll cry out, "But I want to help you!"  She stands on the bed and puts the pillows where they go.  Or she'll run and grab her little broom to come help me sweep.  (Which is really her just messing up the pile that I've already swept up!)  She has her own little vacuum cleaner so she can vacuum with me.  She also likes to help me fold towels and match all the socks.  She thinks matching socks is a fun game!

She is crazy good at puzzles.  This evening, she put together a 36 piece puzzle all by herself.  I make everybody watch her do this.  I take puzzles with us places so I can be like, "Y'all, watch Eden put this puzzle together!"

She loves dressing up in her princess clothes, but even when she's just wearing a regular dress, she tells me she's a princess and starts twirling around in circles.  She also has me clip yarn into her hair and then tells me she has long hair like Rapunzel.

She's starting to really get into her baby dolls.  She feeds them, burps them, sings to them, pushes them around in strollers, and wraps them up in blankets to go "night-night".  What a good little mama!

Her FAVORITE toy right now though is definitely the trampoline!

She still loves to watch Mickey Mouse and is now also really into Doc McStuffins and Bubble Guppies.  Those are the only three TV shows that I allow her to watch.  I love that she loves Doc.  It teaches her so much, and she's constantly giving us check-ups, and she knows the words stethoscope and otoscope.  As far as movies, she's still into all the princesses, of course.  And she loves Finding Nemo.  It makes her cry every single time though.  Every single time Nemo gets captured, she bursts into tears, and I say, "Eden!  You know what's going to happen!  Why do you want to watch it if it makes you sad?"  She doesn't know.

We got a Ranger for Christmas, and Eden and Dustin love to go riding around together.  It's their bonding time.

If Dustin starts the ranger up, and she's not on it, she flips out!  He's not allowed to go anywhere on it without her.

I've said it before, but she is just such a perfect combination of little girlie girl, playing with her dolls and dressing up like a princess and having me put her pretend makeup on her, and tomboy, shooting guns and going fishing with Daddy.

She claims her best friend is Mickey, but it's absolutely her cousin, Rylen.  They adore each other.

She loves to eat.  It's amazing that she's so little because she can put away an entire steak.  She's not picky at all.  She loves all kinds of healthy foods and happily eats broccoli as a snack.

Gymnastics day is definitely a favorite around here.  She loves doing gymnastics, she loves her instructor and she loves getting so see all her friends.  On days that we're not at gymnastics, she's constantly practicing at our house.  Showing us table tops and somersaults and wall walks.

But the absolute best thing about her - she's happy.  Just so happy.  All the time.  She literally wakes up grinning.  When she comes out of her room in the mornings, she is just beaming at me.  Then she's happy all day.  And when I put her to bed at night, she's smiling and kissing and hugging me and happily telling me "night-night".

A few days before she turned three, I took her to the Tot Spot at The Children's Museum one last time.  Once they turn three, they're not allowed in.  She played her little heart out, and when we finally walked out, I was so dang sad.  We've gone there so many times over the past three years, and I've had so much fun watching her play there.  She's gone from the little baby that I had to guard from the big bad two year olds to the big bad two year old that I had to remind to watch out for the babies.  It was really emotional to leave knowing that she'll never go back.

Eden's last time just so happened to be Ila's first time though!

 you're up kid!

As emotional as I may get because she's three, I'm also so happy and thankful that she's three.  Dustin is always reminding me that they're SUPPOSED to grow up, that her making it to three is such a blessing.  He's right, of course.  She's healthy and smart and beautiful, and thank you God for letting her make it to three!  I am very excited about this year - I have so many things planned for her!