Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Don't Forget

Jared leaving the house and Echo standing on the porch saying "I love you Daddy" for the first time as he set off on a solo road trip.

Telling me on the way to school that her baby doll, Peanut, was a monster, and she was going to teach her to be good. And Peanut drank Echo's milk from Echo's boobs because she was her mommy.

This weekend,  holding her in my arms while she was on the potty while she experienced her first tummy flu.

Her fixation with the feline characters and the villains in movies. Cinderella (Seeduhwata) is a story about a mean cat who tortures mice, The Rescuers is all about Madam Medusa and a nice cat named Rufus. Alice (or as Echo says = Ass) in Wonderland? That's about a weird rabbit and a funny purple cat.

Echo learning she can tell Gilligan to speak and he will bark on command for a piece of Life cereal. Echo telling me to speak, and expecting me to bark for a piece of Life cereal.

Getting a shirley temple at Sonic for a treat, and telling me "Dat good but dat spicy!" and being quite done after one sip.

The baby is my belly is a sister, most of the time, according to E.

Building Lego castles, diapering Peanut and making sure she's well wiped, playing with her taptop (fake laptop) and grooving hard to any and all music.

Laying inert on the floor, face down, hands at her side and saying "Wessle me."

Age: 2 years 5 months
Favorite foods: raisins, blueberries, chicken and rice, spaghetti
Favorite song: How Far I'll Go - Moana
Favorite color: blue



Friday, July 7, 2017

Summertime and Potty Boot Camp

Summer always signals a flight response inside of me. Florida summer and me have never been best friends, although we have made an uneasy peace over the past few years, mostly due to the fact that I try and get the heck out of dodge for at least a week or so.

Following that theme, I finally tapped in to 5 years worth of frequent flyer miles and bought myself a ticket up to Chicago. A quick girls trip to the lovely little Naperville and downtown Chicago was just what the doctor ordered- and luckily coincided with 75 degree weather. Danielle described Naperville to me as "Disneyworld"- think Main Street USA - and she ain't wrong. And while they do have a beautiful man made beach, and Portillos (I brought chocolate cake home as a carry-on souvenir for Jared because of course I did.) they do not have dynamite rolls at their sushi houses, sooooooo.....it ain't perfect. Almost but not quite.




Danielle hadn't done much city exploration, so doing the relaxed and abbreviated tourist thing was so much fun. Chicago has so much beautiful architecture, design, and FOOD so we hopped a boat tour, visited the Robbie House, checked out the Tiffany dome in the old library, went to a vintage market, and stuffed ourselves at Frontera Grill.  We also entered and failed to win the Hamilton lottery ;___;









Refreshed from my time alone, I came back to my little home on French Street and the very next weekend instituted a Potty Boot Camp. When I first told Echo that there would be no more diapers, she flipped out and tried to haul 2 foot long pack of "biapuhs" out of the giant box in was stashed in, followed by a lot of wailing. Don't worry, I caught some of it on tape. Shortly thereafter, she peed on the floor, tried to run away, slipped in her own urine puddle and fell on the air intake grate in our hallway. Non-stop fun fest at the Alexander household.


All of those things aside, she did SO great. Once she got over the shock of having her beloved diapers ripped from her, she got really in to the potty and the individual skittle reward. She filled her little sticker chart 4 days later and hasn't looked back! The potty pride is strong, I am very proud of her, even if she did become so engrossed in a story yesterday that she peed on my lap. Two has been such a precious time, so far. I love toddler Echo. She's so funny, sweet and kind.

If there is one thing I have learned as a parent of an Echo - because so much of parenting relies on the child under your care - is that any anxiety, stress, guilt or fear I am feeling as a parent is usually self induced. Echo is incredibly resilient. Every milestone we face - ditching the paci, switching from breast milk to formula, ditching the bottle, daycare, sleep training, you name it, she seems to just take it in stride. She is two, so obviously crazy moments are there (see: pee-pee puddle comedic gold), but I am almost always the one making it worse by being a stress monster or a guilt monster. I actually learned my lesson a tiny bit, and didn't rush the potty thing. I just set my expectations that yes, I would be a prisoner in my own home for 3 days, and No, we would never do day-time diapers again (naps excluded) and moved forward at my own pace, regardless of the fact that other kids were/were not potty trained completley by 18 months or whatever. Just knew I was doing my absolute best for my absolute best girl, and that perspective change really helped.

In pregnancy news, I hit the 6 month mark. Echo, and everyone else, is convinced the baby is a girl. Echo specifically say's its a baby sister named Ronnie. In fact, she asked for a baby sister with a bottle for her potty training grad gift, ans seems quite determined. Time will tell - we will find out Cubby's gender on it's birthday :).

Monday, May 29, 2017

Seat belts everyone!

Hello, proud owner of a school bus checking in. We found a great deal on a Toyota Sienna, and I have embraced van life. For reason's unknown Echo calls it the School Bus and is OBSESSED with it. So, just call me Ms. Frizzle.

This past Friday Jared and I took our second overnight trip away from Echo. While she lived in up with her aunt and uncle, we went to see Beach House and catch the first temple session of the day. I'm 19 weeks pregnant today and have reached full pot belly Is she pregnant? phase.

Had to stop by an old haunt after the show- Grits and Gravy nights are something I still miss! Of course I-Bar wasn't even open yet because we sauntered by at the crazy wild hour of 9:30. PS I was already exhausted.


Jared's true natural reaction to my secret selfie attempt says it all.




Of course we missed our sweet E, talked about her often, and discussed the new gummy cub on the way as well. I am so happy I get to be her mama.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Interruptions

Life is busy for everyone, but 2017 seems to quite possibly be the busiest year of my life. Every 2 weeks or so we seem to be thrown some kind of curve ball.

Of course these interruptions are a great excuse out of many things, blogging included. Today someone mentioned trying to find my dusty old blog and I quickly discovered that my URL had been completely taken over by some weird sweat shop clothing ads. Bummer. I also flipped through a few old posts and was immediately reminded that I remembered SO little of what I had written. I didn't remember that Echo used to try and put her hands in my mouth when she was nursing, or use my palm to cover her face when she was falling asleep. But boy do I want to remember!

Anyway, enough of waxing poetic. I give you 2017 AS WE KNOW IT:

January
Jared and I celebrated 5 years of Holy Matrimony with a trip to Disney (thanks Beth) and Pizza. Jared and Echo continue to have the same ocean blue eyes. I also had a really early miscarriage and felt like I was losing my flipping mind for a few weeks.


Come on, y'all knew I was a dark sider. ^
The new-ish neopolitan pizza place in EPCOT has been our go to in the parks. The pizza is delicious and as long as you're in the mood to share a pie, it is super affordable and well above and beyond Pizza Planet. 




FEBRUARY
Echo turned 2, and on the day of the party fell down a steep staircase. She ended up throwing up and nearly passing out a few hours later, so we had a crazy stressful trip to the ER. Graham and Lacey were able to come and be with us, and give Echo a blessing. About an hour after arriving she was diagnosed with a mild concussion and was back to her old self, trying to climb the bed railings and jump off.

 On her actual birthday Aunt Lacey and Uncle Graham brought her some awesome gifts (ring pops are where its at) and our beloved Gilligan was attacked by another dog! He had a nice little gash ripped in to his side by a particularly mean pit bull who pulled away from his owner and ran Gill down. 

This month I also got to take off on a girls trip! Yes truly! With my best Jacksonville girls. We are spread all over the place these days and had a wonderful time eating and dancing and talking for hours and hours on end.

We also had a wonderful time at the Scottish Highland Games and we found out I was expecting again.

This month was especially hard. I love my sister in laws very dearly. One of them experienced a very personal and tragic loss, and the other nearly lost her life in a horrible car accident. Moments like these really shake you to the core, and I am so grateful for my family. 








MARCH
I turned 28 (lets be honest I feel 30) and we went to Oahu! I was also sick as a dog for most of it :) 


 APRIL
Easter! The older I get, the more I love and cherish the Easter holiday. I love what it represents, and it seems a lot easier to focus on Christ at Easter. of course I/m never above a good cousin egg hunt. Sadly I could not convince Echo to wear a bonnet. End of an era folks.

Also - termites started taking over Echo's daycare! Ugh, what a saga. Lots of working the afternoons at home with my little helper.




MAY
Jared caught up with me on this side of our late 20's, and he had a great 28th birthday- if I do say so myself. We are only 12 days in to this month and on Monday I went and got myself rear-ended on I-10. My car was totaled, and it was pretty terrifying, getting in a wreck with a 2 yr old in your backseat. So....looks like the tail end of this month will end with minivan shopping. Below please see some photos of Echo and her friend Hazel. Or as she calls her: Beezle. 



Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Overwhelming Every Day




Echo at 15 months

Echo is officially a toddler. A a crazy one at that. This picture was taken back in May and my brother's pre-wedding festivities.

I haven't been blogging and as time seeps on I start to panic about losing detail or getting to far from an event for it to matter (Echo's first birthday?!)

So for now, here is a little post on my dear sweet E. I will give her birthday a proper post.
Echo at 17 months

So- Blueberries. The best possible explanation of Echo at GASP 18 months, is her complete devotion to blueberries. She's always been a great eater. She's getting a bit more dubious of veggies lately, but if she see's anything that even looks a tiny bit like a blueberry, she goes ape. She begs and pleads and whines and will eat half a pint in one sitting. Other favorites are oatmeal, plain greek yogurt with a little pure maple syrup (and blueberries obvs), scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, grilled chicken (she won't eat fried), edamame and pad thai.

She hates sitting still, she loves water. Even the simplest sprinkler elicits oo's and awes. She says about 30 words, including Mama, Gilligan, Rory, Daddy, Thank You, All Done and Shoe. She dances wildly at any music, and sings softly to the more sombre tunes. She folds her arms for the prayer, and loves to take walks. She can handle even the biggest slides at the park all by herself. Her favorite person is probably her Grandpa Alexander, though she rarely meets someone she doesn't like. She also loves to smack her parents which we are working on....



So other then a toddler consuming my life, what's up? Jared is almost 6 months in to being a scribe at UF Health North, still chugging away towards PA school. And I, after a year of working "part time" 35 hrs a week, am going back to full time hours. We've been enjoying our time having just about no social life beyond Netflix ha! Although we have been l o v i n g Broadchurch and Stranger Things lately.

I've been back on my fitness grind. I've dropped 13 lbs! I am really proud of myself. The last year has been hard in a way that it's difficult to describe. Just so much change, and growing up, frustration, loneliness, heartache and trial countered with pure joy, support, love, bravery, and hard work. Just the overwhelming ever day that most of us endure.

We also got to go on a great family vacation to Vancouver. Blogging it is on my list!