Monday, December 24, 2012

Birthday Slide Show

The moment I heard this song I thought of my 2nd graders...then Audrey. How I just know in my heart that they have all the potential in the world to go out and be great.




Hall Of Fame
By The Script Featuring will.i.am

Yeah, You could be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the king kong banging on your chest

You could beat the world
You could beat the war
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

You can throw your hands up
You can be the clock
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don't wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

You could go the distance
You could run the mile
You could walk straight through hell with a smile

You could be the hero
You could get the gold
Breaking all the records that thought never could be broke

Do it for your people
Do it for your pride
Never gonna know if you never even try

Do it for your counrty
Do it for you name
Cause there's gonna be a day

When your, standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Be a champion, Be a champion, Be a champion, Be a champion

On the walls of the hall of fame

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions
Be true seekers

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

(You can be a champion)
You could be the greatest
(You can be a champion)
You can be the best
(You can be a champion)
You can be the king kong banging on your chest


(You can be a champion)
You could beat the world
(You can be a champion)
You could beat the war
(You can be a champion)
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

(You can be a champion)
You can throw your hands up
(You can be a champion)
You can be the clock
(You can be a champion)
You can move a mountain
(You can be a champion)
You can break rocks

(You can be a champion)
You can be a master
(You can be a champion)
Don't wait for luck
(You can be a champion)
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself
(You can be a champion)

Standing in the hall of fame



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Audrey is FOUR!

Dear Audrey,

Four years ago tonight I was admitted to the hospital after walking around for hours trying to make something happen. I was sore, exhausted, but so completely thrilled to welcome our little Jack or Audrey.
BR> I never could've imagined how much I would love you. I'm not even sure what to write right now; everything that is in my heart...well, I tell you every day! I tell you how much I love you, how precious and wonderful you are; how beautiful and smart and perfect you are. I tell you these things because I want you to have so much self-confidence that no one will ever be able to tear you down. I tell you these things because they are true; every single time I look at you I feel an overwhelming rush of love; you are my dream come true.

You truly are incredible in every sense of the word. You amaze us with your creativity and how you remember everything. You are so enthusiastic about life and so animated. One of my most favorite things to do is just sit and chat with you. I also love to watch you interact with other people, especially the kiddos in my class and the teachers at school. Do you know they all adore you? You have a way of brightening the room, and you've certainly earned the nickname, "Sunshine."

I will never take for granted the fact that I can hug and kiss and you and shower you with praise. Baby, some pretty awful things have happened to families we know recently- heck, just last week the terrible tragedy in Newtown happened. These things that have happend- where precious babies have been taken away too soon- make me realize how important it is that I continue to love on you like I do. You will never doubt my love for you, I will make sure of it.

I love your passion for singing and dancing. It doesn't matter where we are- you will break out into song and dance at any given time. You make everyone around you smile. What I love about that is how so different that is from me- I am quiet and reserved...you are outgoing and loud and I SO hope you keep that facet of your personality. Dad asked me if I was like you when I was a kid. NO. Not at all! And that's why I completely encourage you to express yourself whenever, wherever. You are such a superstar, baby!

I am so proud of the little girl you are developing into. You try so hard to be responsible and the caregiver in any situation. You revel in the fact that you can teach Abigail new things...good AND bad ;)

You are sensitive. When you've done something wrong you are immediately remorseful. When you fall you make it to be waaaay more than it is, lol. But I will always take care of you and make you feel better. I am always emphasizing how it's OK to make mistakes; I hope you know that you'll make lots of them and that it's so important to learn from them. I also want you to know that the people you care about will make mistakes and that it's just as important that you forgive...I love how when I apologize to you (or apologize for Abby), you always say, "I forgive you." You emulate me in so many ways...I do try to be the best role model I can be- except for my sweary mouth ;) Living with you is like living with a real-life censor, haha. You are such a good girl :)

I think if I had to pick out what I love most about you is your compassion; recently you've tried so hard to take care of Abigail. You go into her room when she wakes up from her nap. You like to turn on her light and turn off her fan. You turn off her ocean sounds and monitor. You open her curtains. And then (this part makes me want to cry!) you say, "Good morning, sweetheart!" You are the sweetest thing and you know this because I tell you. You look at me and say, "You don't know how much I love you." Ugh. Could you be any more adorable? No, no you cannot!

I don't know what I did to deserve you. I honestly thank my lucky stars every.single.day that I have been blessed with having you. My heart soars when I see you- I really can't explain it any other way. When you come out of your bedroom in the morning with a bright smile on your face; when you see me though the windows during recess and yell, "MOMMY! MOMMMMYYYYY!!"; when I pick you up from Pop Pop's or Grandma's house...you just have that effect on me. I love you more than words can ever say and I want to thank you for giving me the BEST 4 years of my life.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Dance Class & Things I Don't Want to Forget

Today I was reminded how long it took for Audrey to get where she is today, lol. Abby was hilarious! She looked totally thrilled to be at dance class. There were a few things she was able to keep up with (none of it floor work though, lol), but for the most part she just wanted to run around and explore :) Afterwards, she kept trying to break into Audrey's dance class, so I'm assuming she liked it!


When Abby would brek free and run to Audrey, Audrey would hug her and make comments like, "Oh Abby! Not again!" LOL


Touching her toes! Yay!


Abby got knocked over at the beginning of Freeze Dance. Audrey ran right over to make sure she was ok (she was, of course!) Audrey went back to her spot against the wall but I invited her back out...I love my dancing girls!





TIDWTF:

When Audrey answers a yes or no question, she says, "Yes, I do" or "No I don't." There's something about the way she adds and says those extra words, it's so matter-of-fact.

Abigail can cry on cue. Yeah. We'll say, "Abby, can you cry?" And her face will fall and she'll make a little pouting sound.

Audrey is really good at recognizing a song after just hearing a beat or two. In the car I try to move through the stations quickly before she says, "Go back! I love that song!" Recently she's loving Kesha's new song, "Die Young." And she actually gets the words right, lol!

Audrey is getting braver about venturing out of bed at night. She's good about coming out if she needs something before she falls asleep. But usually in the middle of the night she calls for me to refill her water or milk. However, in the past week alone I've woken up twice to her crawling into bed with me (wide awake and happy as can be!) and very sweetly asking for more milk, lol.


Abigail had her 18 mo wellness check on Friday. She weighed 26 lbs and when the nurse charted her growth, she was concerned. "Do we need to put her on Baby Adkins?!" We weighed her again as she explained that the previous check-up weight was recorded wrong. She was 24lbs but it was recorded as 18. No wonder she was shocked, lol. She's 32 3/4 inches tall. That makes her between 50-75% for weight and 75-90% for height. Her and Aud will be sharing clothes in no time (YES!)


Typical Abby! She also got herself stuck between the wall and exam table as I was talking to the nurse.



Audrey was all up in the nurse's/doctor's business. She would pull the foot stool over to wherever they were and watch and make comments. When the nurse told me that Abby's chart was inaccurate, Audrey repeated, "Yeah, that's inaccurate." LOL! She kissed Abby as she was getting prepared for her shots. As Audrey was getting her flu shot, she told Ms. Sharon, "I'm not even going to think about it!" She was a total ham in the waiting room. Singing, dancing, chatting up EVERYONE. There was a 2 year old boy and she started running around with him almost immediately (Abby joined in soon after.) She brought books books to a 1 year old in a stroller and told her mother to read them to her, lol. The receptionist for a different doctor kept opening her window and saying, "She is so entertaining! She needs to be in a commercial! She could sell peanut butter or grape juice!" HAHA.

Audrey knows the words to "You are My Sunshine" and she sings it perfectly. Her cousin Bella sings the cutest color song in Spanish (and does it so perfectly!!) However, when Audrey sings it, she only recalls a few of the words...one of them being "Azul, blue...Azul, blue." But it sounds like she's saying "A**hole, blue! A**hole, blue!" This was one of the songs she sang over and over and over again in the doctor's office. The other parents were cracking up as I tried to get her to sing a different song. I was mortified!!

When I walk in to Audrey's room, she says, "Be stuffed!" She's telling her "friends" to be still. I think she got that from Doc McStuffins :)


She made herself nice and comfortable as I was getting some work done :)

Abigail loves her baths. When you ask her if she wants a bath, she runs straight into the bathroom and yells, "Bah! Bah!" I am so not gentle when I wash her hair. I pour water straight on her head and she LOVES it. Audrey freaks out if a drop gets near her eyes, lol. Abby takes the rinsing bucket, fills it up, and pours it straight onto her chest (over and over again!) She also tries to dump it on Audrey hair (she's just helping!) She also splashed like crazy. It's fun to watch!


Halloween morning, right before she left for her class

I got to visit Audrey's class for a few minutes!


She chose to do play-dough first


I learned that she doesn't like to touch the paint (I'm not surprised!)



I'm so happy it's November! I wonder if I can get Chris to bring the Christmas tree up a little early this year...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our 4 Day Weekend...

...courtesy of Hurricane Sandy!

I knew she was coming...I had my emergency sub plans ready to go in case the schools were open and I was unable to get there. We went grocery shopping Friday night, then dance class on Saturday morning. After dance we headed to school for the Fall Festival.


Sweet Abby Mae, intently watching everyone and everything!

First stop: getting her nails did!

She wanted a smiley face AND a rainbow :)



We ate, played tons of games and chatted with friends. It was a super fun time!


We saw Audrey's friend from her class...HOW FREAKING CUTE IS SHE?!?!? I want to squeeze her, lol!


Will we ever be able to take a nice picture together? Sheesh!

I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday getting the house cleaned, laundry washed, and basically getting ready for Sandy. I watched the news al day long and was relieved when they cancelled school for Monday. Even better? Chris stopped by the store to get us some extra supplies and picked up a little extra something:

Yeah, baby!!

Chris was leaving for FL early Monday morning. They were canceling northbound flights out of RIC, so his was safe. He left around 3:30 am and I ended up getting up for the day. Luckily the weather was good and his flight was on time. I just couldn't sleep knowing he was going to be thousands of feet in the air, lol.


WOOO HOOO! NO SCHOOL!

The girls and I had a blast on our day off! We baked cookies and built a fort. I put up their tent and tunnel. I had the Weather Channel on all day and though for sure we'd lose power- but it never even flickered! School was called off again for Tuesday (yay!)


Checking out the rain and wind

Cookies!

Yes, Audrey is in the tunnel!


While we were unaffected by the storm, the north and west were not so lucky :( I was so relieved that Sandy didn't cause any problems for us- I was envisioning downed trees and a long time without power. What a crazy, crazy mess. My thoughts and prayers are with them a they clean up that insane mess.

Tomorrow is Halloween and I'm so excited to finally start the week! It's going to be a fun day. Chris comes home on Friday. We miss him like crazy!

Abigail Mae is 18 months old!



Adventurous. Curious. Smart. Determined. Bad ass (Chris and I whole heartedly agree on that one!)

Audrey came out to watch me torture her sister :)

I know I've said it before, but Abigail is so different than Audrey was. I'm learning to not compare them so much though- Abigail is her own person- she was born that way, baby! She keeps us on our toes.

Abby's middle name should be "Danger." She climbs on to everything (our bed, chairs, the dining room table, the couch, the coffee table, the table next to her crib...) If she can't climb on to something directly, she pulls over a smaller object to boost herself up. I swear that child is going to be the first to break an arm :(. She even stands up on her riding pony!! Incredible balance skills, but seriously?! She's just into everything. She likes to open and turn things. If a drawer or a door is open, she'll close it (it is very cute to watch her try to close the bedroom doors behind her!) She reaches up for the door knobs and tries to turn them. She loves playing with light switches. Yesterday morning she kept turning on the bath faucets as I was about to get in the shower. When I swatted her hand and told her, "No!" she pointed right back at me and said, "No!" After a few rounds, she got it. Chris says that his "Dad Voice" works well on her. She's learning!

Words (some new, some old, some I know I'm forgetting...): mine, me, bite, hi, bye, go, down, please, no, A (for Audrey), Buh (for Bella), Riley, dog, book, banana, drink, Minnie, Mom, Dad, milk, skunk, gator, shoe, makes animal sounds (moo, woof, meow, quack, tweet), that, counts (one, two, threeeee!)

She makes the CUTEST face when she says, "Please." I mean, it's probably the most adorable thing she's done to-date. Her face scrunches up and she stretches the word out...Oh Lord, she can have anything she wants :)


"Pleeeeeeeease!"

She is so intelligent. Just the other day she figured out that if she doesn't clap loud enough to activate the motion spider that hangs in Grandma's dining room, she just has to scream REALLY loud. So she did it all day long (poor Grandma!) She follows directions really well, especially putting things away or getting things. When I pour their drinks, she brings Audrey her cup first. She understands commands like open/close. When I tell her it's time to brush her teeth she goes right into the bathroom and says, "Ahhhhh!" She goes into her room and lays down when we tell her it's time for a diaper/pajamas.

I find this to be super interesting- at home and Grandma's she'll smile and laugh all day long. But in public, she is stone faced! When strangers come up to her, she just stares them down...so different than Audrey, who would light right up (still does- my little social butterfly!)

There's a Meme that reminds me of her:



And our version...


She's great at the grocery store (stays buckled in, is pretty quiet & content) but not so much at restaurants. I guess when there's food involved, she wants it and she wants it YESTERDAY, damn it! Actually, I don't think she's that bad, but Chris gets all stressed out because she throws stuff on the floor and since Audrey doesn't eat, she likes to go stand by Abby and play with her- so that's when it starts to get loud. I'd say the last 10 minutes of our meal is a combination of me picking stuff up off the floor while telling the girls to quiet down as Chris looks around frantically for the server so we can pay the bill, lol. There's definitely a time limit, lol. I'm thankful that we've not yet had a temper tantrum situation where we've had to eat in shifts (it's coming, I'm sure.) I would die. And probably never dine out again. I've taken them both out by myself to eat- sometimes just the 3 of us and sometimes with my family (Chris has to work on weekends) and both girls are always good. Mealtime is never boring :)

Abigail has been playing on her own more and more, definitely better at keeping herself occupied. She likes puzzles and her little picnic basket with pretend food. She also likes the dress-up Minnie Mouse. She LOVES to play/interact with Audrey. Audrey lets Abby run around the kitchen/dining room/living room and will "scare" her when she rounds the corner. She'll even let Abby stand behind her and push her- Audrey plays along by shuffling forward a few inches and Abby just CRACKS UP. I love when Audrey is in her playful mood...they have so much fun and I laugh right along with them :)


She copies everything Audrey does!

She kept poking at Violet and Audrey would laugh and tear it away.






She seems to be a morning person like her big sister...wakes up happy and all smiles. She goes down for her nap at 12 and goes right to sleep. She's wonderful at bed time. She goes right into her crib and just lays quietly until she drifts off. I always go in to see her at least twice before I go to bed. Usually she's still awake the first time, and if I touch her, she'll giggle and squirm. The second time I go in she's usually asleep, I just like to see how she ended up...on her back, on her side, on her belly- she's unpredictable :) I never have to go in during the night- she doesn't make a sound! Unlike Audrey. Audrey wakes at least once for a refill of ice water.

She's definitely Little Miss Attitude. If something doesn't go her way, she cries or yells. She's very good at voicing her displeasure. I will say that she's starting to get over these fits pretty quickly, though. Either she's maturing (is that even the right word? More like learning that screaming doesn't get her her way...) or my coping skills are getting better. Even when she blows you a kiss, she kisses her hand, then smacks you on the mouth with it (See? Total bad ass!) She's tough...if she falls she rarely cries (Audrey is definitely the more sensitive one all around!) She's persistent and doesn't give up until she gets what she wants (or until you come up a good enough distraction.)

She has a great sense of humor. When I change her diaper she likes to take the nearest onject (usually clothing) and cover her privates. Or she'll take the first chance she gets and rotate herself on the mat (as she laughs at me, lol.) She'll make raspeberries at Audrey, laughing like crazy when Audrey does it back. It's so cute how she instigates things!


Audrey wanted her own photo shoot. She was the perfect model...unfortunately this is the only photo that uploaded. Love that sweet face!

I am so in love with our strong-willed girl. Watching her grow and learn new things has been incredible the second time around. She seriously amazes me everyday. Next week she starts dance class. I'm very curious to see if it's going to be a good fit. She LOVES to dance! She shuffles her feet so fast when she dances, it's the cutest thing ever :) And she already knows how to take a bow, lol. I wonder if she'll take to the more structured aspect, or if she'll prefer a sport where she can run around.

Happy 18 months, darling girl!