Sunday, December 2, 2012


Every time I think about my poor little blog I get so sad. Because I love it. And I wish I had the time or energy to post all the wonderful things going on in my life. This blog is supposed to be my life journal, our family photo album. But I'm just so behind--I can't catch up. I'm really in catch up mode in most of my life right now. I just can't ever quite get there. If I didn't have my amazing family helping me all the time, I'm not quite sure where I would be. I still don't have my Christmas decorations out. Our two trees are up, but that's it. In fact, I just took down our Thanksgiving and birthday decorations today. I've always had my decorations up by December first...I just haven't gotten there yet. My mom always helps me with my school work every week. I'm soooooo grateful to her for helping grade papers and prepare my kids' folders for me. I have a wonderful co-worker who has shared her lesson plans with me for the past two weeks so I don't have to spend my whole weekend at school. I'm very thankful to those around me for helping me try to catch up. I'm supposed to be putting my Christmas decorations up right now. Tonight was my deadline (created by me). But I didn't get to it. I cleaned and did dishes and laundry and ordered our Christmas cards but couldn't quite get to the decor. Maybe tomorrow night. It's a MIRACLE that Liv is still asleep at 1 AM. This is the very first time she's slept this long since she was born. I laid her in bed at 9:40 and she's still in there! Maybe I should take advantage of her being asleep and do the same. Hopefully one day soon I can start posting regularly again. I really miss it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One year old!

Dear Liv Riley,

 Today marks one year since your birth! What a whirlwind of a year it has been. It really seems like a blink of an eye when I was bringing you home from the hospital. You were just so tiny and had all that dark hair! I couldn't even believe you were here. Now I cannot imagine a day without you. You fill up my life with so much joy and laughter. You are so happy and fun to play with. Your laugh is the sweetest sound to my ears. I could listen to it all day I think. You adore Ingrid with all your heart. You love to do what she's doing and laugh at her all the time. I'm sad to say you are not sleeping any better. Your new pattern is to sleep in your bed from 8-9 then wake up and get rocked again. It takes at least an hour to get you back to sleep. Sometimes you will sleep in your bed for another hour and sometimes you just want to be held. I'm hoping someday soon you will start sleeping for longer stretches of time! Maybe you were just waiting until you turned one! You should sleep like a rock, ad much as you run around all day. You started walking so early that you already feel like you should run everywhere. You keep us on our toes to say the least! You now have four teeth--two on top and two on bottom! You stil eat baby food exclusively and have transitioned to whole milk this last month like a champ! We will work on taking the bottle away this coming month. I hope you do as well with that! Happy birthday my little poodle.

 Love you to the moon, 

Monday, October 15, 2012

11 months old!

Dear Liv Riley,

You have changed so much throughout the past month! One of the biggest milestones is you started walking! Pretty much right after your ten month birthday you just took off. You haven't crawled a bit since. You are very stable now, and practically run everywhere. You love walking and it makes you that much more independent. I actually find myself thinking that you are older than 11 months since you walk so well and you are doing so many things! You love your sister, Ingrid, so very much and want to do everything she is doing. She makes you laugh so many times a day with a silly face or funny voice. I love watching the two of you become friends. Ingrid loves to help get your bottles ready and get diapers out for you. Her favorite thing to help with is finding a paci for you and putting it in your mouth! haha. You let her do it every time and she is so proud. One of your favorite things to do is get in Ingrid's chair and look at books or play with a toy. You love her chair and get in it every possible second she's not occupying it. I can't wait for you to get one of your own. You are saying more and more words too. It's hard for me to think of everything you say, but I will try and make a list: dada, mama, baba, bye-bye, hi, hello, thank you, ingrid, meme, nana, gam (mam), baby, bnnn-bnnn (playing with cars), eieio, boop, poot, beep-beep. You LOVE waving bye-bye to people and saying it really loudly. You also love to talk on play phones and say "Hello! Hi!" You play with babies a lot giving them hugs and kisses and pats on the back. We think you might have a musical ear--you can match most tunes we sing. You love to sing eieio on Old McDonald. Recently, you started singing ABCD in the correct tune! You try to sing The Wheels on the Bus--you can do the beep, beep, beep with the motion. You flap your arms like crazy trying to get your wheels to turn and hum along on that part. You will sit and listen to one to two books at a time, but really love to "read" them yourself. You mind pretty well when we say No-No, but it breaks your heart! Your face crumples up so sad and you cry your eyes out. You are wild as they come, going 100 miles an hour from dawn to dusk (and way past). We have had a really hard time getting any more teeth in. Your first two came at seven months without a huge battle, but these top ones have given us a run for our money. The top left tooth finally broke through today!! I've been holding you all night--usually on the couch--so that you can get any rest at all. You've also been sick with allergies or a virus--I'm not sure which. That has just added to the restlessness. You love to do things by yourself and don't back down when you know what you want! We call you our poodle and you are going to have a poodle birthday party in one month! I can't wait to celebrate one year of your life. You are my tiny angel with huge, sparkling blue eyes and a smile that lights up the most dreary day. I love you with all my heart.


Monday, October 8, 2012

I miss blogging

I really miss blogging. I have posts I want to do from the summer still. But to be honest I just can't do it. I'm sitting in this rocking chair posting from my phone. My almost eleven month old cannot get her teeth to come through and is miserable every night. My two year old has been sick three to four times since school started. I haven't had a real night of sleep since my mini vacation in August which I never posted about. I try not to complain a lot but I just had to make a brief appearance. I love my blog and I want to start posting again. So badly. But the job I have, formerly known as a teacher, has turned into something far from what I ever imagined it would. It's like I'm going to college full time to be a "better teacher" while already teaching full time, being a mom full time and attempting to be a wife at least half of the time. And I can totally forget about being Stephanie who likes to do things just because I think they're fun and enjoyable. Wow--this is turning into far more of a rant than I had anticipated. I must stop. I hope to be back with a real post soon. If I'm not, you can find me buried under a mountain of school work that is "helping me be a better teacher."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just Dance!

Ingrid has started two major firsts this fall: Mother's Day Out and Dance Class. More on MDO later. This post is dedicated to dance. I started dance class in 1st grade. I took ballet, tap, and jazz from an amazingly talented lady in Bergman and it was the highlight of my life every week. I loved it. I have some wonderful memories from recitals and practices and dance trips. I couldn't decide if I wanted Ingrid to try dance or gymnastics first. I really thought she would enjoy both so my mom looked in to both for me. (Most of you know my phone phobia issues...) Gymnastics doesn't start until three, so the decision was made for me! Ingrid got all signed up for dance with Gammy because Derek and I were out of town on our little before-school-vacation on the day of the sign-up. Ingrid was so excited to pick out her uniform--a black leotard and pink tights. She got fitted for ballet and tap shoes and she couldn't wait until her first class. Knowing her history of major anxiety upon the moment of separation from a family member, I was super nervous for her first class. It's also during her nap time, so I was worried she would be cranky too. Here she is after she got ready to go at Gammy's house. I was glued to my phone (while my kids in class were reading and totally engaged of course) to get an update from my mom. Class starts at 2:30 so I won't ever get to take her :( But I'm so thankful mom can. Mrs. Deborah scooped Ingrid up out of Mom's arms and whisked her down the hall. Ingrid didn't cry a single tear!! She loved everything about her first class. Gammy took her to Sonic for a drink and to Walmart (her choice of store) for a prize. She picked out a My Little Pony. Ingrid informed me that there were two girls in her class. One was "little and cried for her mom the whole time." hahaha. I thought that would be her. The two girls were Brooklyn and Emma. She told me they danced to a clown song and it was so fun. The second week, Mrs. Deborah and Miss Kylie stayed back in the room and the girl working the desk walked them back. Ingrid had a few tears because she "didn't know that girl." She quickly stopped crying and had "so much fun in her dance class." She told me they did the clown song again and teddy bear, teddy bear turn around. There was a new girl this time named Kaydence. Here is Ing after class. Meme watched Liv the first week, but Mom took her the second week. She did so good waiting the hour of dance. I was so proud of her! I met Mom and the girls at Walmart after dance. Ingrid informed me that she wanted to bake cupcakes so we got a small cake mix and headed to the house. She was very proud that she made cupcakes and thanked me for helping her a little. Today was Ingrid's third dance class and I was afraid she was going to miss it since she's had fever for five days! Luckily, she had no fever today and was able to go. She got to be the leader going back to their dance room. There were two new girls today, London and Macy, for a grand total of six. Ingrid said they had new music and new dances today. She said Mrs. Deborah gave them red flags to use and one girl put it in her mouth and Mrs. Deborah had to tell her NO MA'AM! haha. I love how she tells everything! I asked her what she did with the flags and she started waving her arm around and said, "We just had our flags and flagged them around like this, mom. Just while we were dancing." heehee. She LOVED it! Here she is coming out of class today with her paper and backpack. My project of the week is to make her a dance bag! She wants it to have ballet shoes on it. Hopefully it will be as cute as it is in my mind!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

10 months old

Dear Livy Riley,

You have become quite the voice in our house. We love to hear you trying to say new words and babble so loudly! You can say dad(you say dad more often than dada--probably imitating your sister), mama, baba, hi, bye bye, thank you, and meme very clearly. You are trying so hard to Ingrid and Gammy. You make sounds for their names but they aren't matching up yet. You put together hi dad and hi mama all the time. Sometimes you say meow for a kitty. You love to laugh and squeal at the top of your lungs. I love it when we tickle you and you laugh so hard you go silent. Then we all start laughing right along with you. You always laugh at everything Ingrid does. You think she is absolutely hilarious. Liv, you are just such a bright light in our lives. I can't imagine a day without you! You are very steady on your feet. You can stand up anywhere in a room, on your own, without holding on. You are so very close to walking everywhere. You can take about ten steady steps on your own before you bend down to crawl again. I can't believe you are walking so much. You just look so tiny to be doing all this big girl stuff!! You love to play with all your toys. You give babies and kitties kisses and hugs. You take the pieces out of our "baby puzzles", as Ingrid calls them, but haven't started putting any pieces in yet. You are beginning to love books! You will sit in our laps and listen to two or three at a time and you love to turn the pages and look at them by yourself too. It is getting harder and harder for you to take a bottle because you are too worried about missing out on something. You still take a bottle in the night, though, and usually drink about 4 oz. I haven't mentioned your sleep habits in a while because they're still pretty rocky. You just cannot stay asleep for a long period of time. We rock you to sleep and lay you down around 7:30 or 8:00 and you usually wake up twice before midnight. I give you a bottle the second time you wake up and rock you back to sleep again and lay you back down in your own bed. Around 1:30 or 2:00 you're up again and once again, I rock you and put you back in your own bed. At the 3:00 and 4:00 mark I'm usually exhausted and just let you sleep the rest of the night with me. Sometimes I stand my ground and make you go back in your own bed for the whole night, but most of the time I'm just so tired, I give in. You love to snuggle up right beside me with your face pressed against my cheek. I do love snuggling you, but I will be very happy when the time comes that you sleep through the night! It's hard getting up and teaching my little six year olds all day with just a few hours of sleep each night! You wake up each morning rearing to go! You crawl around the house at the speed of light. The other day Ingrid was asleep in her room for nap and you kept trying to crawl into her room and wake her up. You would not play with me in the living room! Finally, I shut the door to the living room so you couldn't crawl into the hall and open the bedroom door. I hadn't even finished shutting the living room door and you took off--you went the other way, through the dining room, kitchen, and computer room to get to the hall and to Ingrid's room. You are a smart girl Liv Riley! You outsmarted me that day. You are going to nursery at church for Sunday School and church--over 2 hours! You usually cry a little bit when I drop you off, but then you do great. I'm so proud of you. In just two months we will be celebrating your birthday with a poodle party! Since we call you poodle or Livy poodle most of the time, this will be the perfect theme. I can't wait to see your face when you see all the decorations. I know you will love it. Until then, I am going to savor these last few days of being "zero!"

Love you to pieces,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Playtime at Nana's

School has officially started, but my heart is still in summer. I'm super behind on posts. So much has happened, including my husband's birthday, but I'm going to keep going in chronological order until I finally catch up. As I've mentioned in the past, the first couple of weeks are completely exhausting, so this will be short and sweet. These photos are from Glenda and Daniel's house, taken back in June. We had a lot of fun Sunday evening playtimes over there. They got a kitten and Liv was totally enamored by it. Ingrid was excited at first, but then she was ready to play with all her toys and didn't have too much to do with it. Cole carried it around and loved on it the whole time. Gannon was in the same boat as Ing.