I think the underlying sentiment that Brian and I have surrounding Audrey is “we are not ready.” We weren’t ready when we were told that we’d meet her two and a half weeks earlier than expected (though after that tough labor, I was definitely ready for her to be born!), and we are not ready for her to grow out of babyhood and into childhood (though I think that ship sailed a while ago).
Even though four years is a relatively short time, it seems like Audrey has been with us forever (but in the very best way possible). Neither of us can remember life being this good before she graced us with her presence; she is such a blessing – even with her Jekyll & Hyde qualities! Happy Birthday to our little Audrey Bee who was “born on Tana” but is “Audrey from Virginia” and who appreciates both the sparkly things in life & playing in the dirt!
September 12, 2009
1 year old
2 years old
3 years old
We are so lucky.
5 years ago today, this happened:
Since then, we have created two new lives
Kept them alive (!!) and watched them grow
Adopted two crazy dogs
Lived in three different houses in two states
Locust St, Montana
Glenister Dr, Virginia
Grey Fox Dr, Virginia
Constantly kept each other on the run (literally & figuratively)
Fairfax 4-Miler, Dec 2012
Love the Run You’re With, Feb 2013
Given each other support when needed
Made it through 1.5 graduate degrees together (and counting!)
Liz’s eventual MED
Had countless amounts of fun together
But also lots of sleepless & stressful days and nights
Brian and Audrey
Liz and Caroline
And spent quite a few Air Force-induced nights/weeks/months separated and waiting to be reunited
But the bottom line is…
All of the numbers associated with our five years can in no way quantify how much I love the life we have built together.
Happy 5th Anniversary, B! I love you!
Audrey is 3 and a half, so of course that means she has some listening issues. In order to combat this, we decided to create a “behavior chart” for her (idea courtesy of my friend, Lauren). Audrey was so excited when we made this, and is even more excited to keep her sparkly heart clothespin in a smiley face section. If she does this, she gets a pom pom to put in a jar. Once the jar is full, she gets to pick a big treat of some sort. If, however, she is in the bottom frowny face section, she will lose a friend (stuffed animal) for the night. She is so nonchalant and point-blank when she tells us what happens if the sparkly heart gets to the bottom: “Then NO FRIENDS! (insert appropriate arm motions).” We have thought a lot about how to regulate this chart, and we have decided to always start the sparkly heart in a smiley section (rather than in the middle). That way, we start off the day giving her the benefit of the doubt, and she starts off feeling like she’s a good girl (because she is a good girl). Also, I can’t figure out how we’d explain to her why, even though she hasn’t done anything wrong, she would not be starting out at a smiley face. Maybe once she is a bit older we can work on making the chart more complex, but not now. The nice thing is that her school operates on a “smiley face, neutral face, sad face” daily behavioral scale, so she is pretty clear on the criteria already. As I mentioned, most of her issues stem from not listening and not any other more serious transgressions, so this chart is a perfect tool!
Switching gears – sometimes it is hard to appreciate the little things, but I have found myself being very aware of them this week. Maybe it’s the remnants of Memorial Day reflection causing this gratitude, but who knows. From appreciating my sweet husband for spending an entire evening on the Metro just to pick up my race packet, to appreciating every little
weed/flower Audrey picks for me, to seeing how Caroline looks at Audrey with such adoration–these are the moments I’m loving. My favorite moment of the week was our spontaneous frolic through a summer rainstorm. The shoeless (and clothes-less in C’s case) girls and I ran up & down the driveway in the pouring rain, laughing & twirling the whole time, with Brian looking on from the porch. Oh, the joy on their faces was so priceless; they thought this was the best thing in the whole world! I know these are the moments they will treasure, moreso than any material presents we could give them. It’s also a moment I am treasuring! Days later, my heart is still so happy when I think about it.
Last but not least, I am creating a mini-me (in a princess dress, naturally)! This one loves putting on her “running headbands” and running around the house on her “big chase.”
So it’s been a while since I posted (almost a month?) and even though I keep telling myself I need to update more often, I can never seem to sit down and do it. I especially need to work on this because by the time I do sit down to post, I can never actually remember everything that happened since the last time. Oops.
Anyway, I guess one of the things we’ve done since the last post was see MUMFORD & SONS in concert. Despite the fact that the first opening act was eh, and the transitions between sets was definitely eh, the concert itself was AMAZING. Mumford & Sons do a great job live, and I left wanting to scalp tickets to the next night’s show (which they had to add after the show we went to sold out so fast). Ah. Next time they are in DC, we will be going for sure.
Brian and I also spent a weekend at the Gaylord in National Harbor. It is a gorgeous hotel, and since we had an atrium room with our own little balcony, we were greeted with a view of the harbor. Unfortunately, we were also greeted by thousands of cheerleaders who were there for a cheerleading competition. Yikes, not really what Brian had in mind when he had planned this weekend! Regardless, it was nice to spend a lot of relaxed time together which is something that is pretty rare in our household these days and we got to move along at our own pace. Crazy concept. The cheerleaders did give us a lot of things to laugh at because seriously, it was like Jersey Shore in there. We both even got workouts in, and I fell in love with their treadmill…now if only we could afford one just like it! Brian sent me to the spa, too, for a nice, long, and very needed massage. It’s sort of a bummer that we no longer have this weekend to look forward to!
Audrey and I got to hang out with her Aunt Heather, too – definitely a rare treat that I wish we could have more often! All in all, February was a pretty good month, and I am definitely looking forward to some spring temperatures around the bend…
We loved the piano bar
Audrey & Aunt Heather
Chocolate chip pancake morning!
I can’t believe my little baby Caroline is going to turn 1 on Friday. I didn’t start really thinking about it until this week (mostly because we’ve been so busy with fun activities this fall), but now it’s starting to hit me. When I thought about it yesterday, I was like, “Oh man, I’m not going to tear up at all this year!” but then this morning, as I had a few minutes alone with her (rare occasion these days), I started to get a little bit emotional. It is truly amazing how much babies change in the short span of a year. Celebrating Caroline’s birthday will be such a joyous time (because hey! We kept another newborn/infant alive for a whole year and this time it was while watching a toddler too!) but also so bittersweet because the time flies by so fast. I want to capture all of my favorite moments with her and re0-live them over & over. She really does live up to her middle name & has been such a joyful addition to our family (who is the main instigator of bathtub splash wars…)
We are working on talking with Caroline (she is really trying to have conversations these days) and Brian swears she has said “mama” around him before (usually on her way home from school with him when she is whiny and wants me), but yesterday she grabbed my face in her hands, looked at me and said SO clearly, “MAMA!” I almost cried right there. There are few things better than hearing that sweet little voice say your name.
Audrey’s also had her own stories these days. She is so in love with little Caroline & she cracks me up. Caroline was fussy at dinner because she was so tired and I said something about, “Ugh, Caroline, I’m just going to put you down now!” and Audrey said (with her precocious toddler attitude), “no, she is NOT going to sleep right now!” and I said, “why not?” to which she replied, “Because I LOVE HER.” How could I resist that logic?
I read this blog post today from the Birth Works blog and loved it, so I a) wanted to share it and b) wanted to link it here so that I could find it for myself again later. It’s called “Silence In Labor” and it describes the importance of the environment in having a peaceful and beneficial labor for the baby. I really like how this post describes scientific reasons why this is important. Brian can tell you that despite completely different birthing environments, I was quiet as a mouse and in my own little world while in hard labor with both girls, so I found myself nodding my head while reading this. The last thing I wanted to do was talk to ANYONE and I was only “mean” to Brian once during my birthing times (to use my Hypnobabies language) and it was to tell him to “shut up” during my labor with Audrey because he just kept talking to me & would not stop!
It is so strange that Caroline has been out of the belly as long as she was in the belly! I can’t believe how quickly this little snuggle-bug is growing. She is such a happy-go-lucky baby these days, but is very much a mama’s girl. She is not a fan of being separated from me in large crowds and will often even catapult herself out of Brian’s arms and into mine. I can’t say that I mind (usually, anyway)! I find myself babying her a lot more than I did with Audrey, but I think part of that is because now I know how fast time flies and I just want to cherish every moment. I’m not in a hurry for her to grow up!
She is 18.5 lbs, has two teeth (and one more getting close) and is so close to crawling. There have been a handful of times this weekend where I was so sure she was going to just do it but she always psychs herself out. Part of me can’t wait for her to be mobile but another part of me doesn’t want her to be because I know the snuggles will dramatically decrease once she’s on the move! My bedtime snuggles are already nonexistent because now when she’s ready to sleep, she is READY TO SLEEP. She doesn’t want to mess around with cuddling and rocking and singing. She’s also started trying to pull herself up on things occasionally and she waves “hi” and “bye” when we wave to her. It melts my heart and watching her hit all of these milestones is amazing, even though it’s the second time around for us. I worried that maybe it wouldn’t be as exciting to watch her do things since she is baby number two, but honestly, it is just as wonderful.
Speaking of milestones, Audrey whipped out a skill she has apparently been working on at school. She had drawstrings on her shorts today and said, “LOOK DADDY!” as she proceeds to tie them. She needed a little bit of help, but not much at all! We were both shocked!
C & A have slowly started to develop a very sisterly relationship in that C refuses to yield to Audrey’s desires all the time. It’s funny to watch her start to assert herself a little bit. The next montage of pictures definitely shows that…
By the way, these were the dresses they were supposed to wear for Easter but then I couldn’t find where I packed them after we moved! So this was their first (and last) time wearing them because they are both growing out of them so of course we had to get pictures!