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.


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


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 :)


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!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Great Audrey Cate

She's so lovely!

So much is happening with her, I had to write about it. She'll be FOUR in just 2 short months...unreal!

She loves school. Most of the time. There are days where she says she just wants to stay home and play/sleep all day (me too, sister!) She gets up & ready with no problems. She is very much a morning person, so happy!

I love bringing her with me to school. She is my little shadow there. The ladies in the office have nicknamed her Sunshine. She comes with me to make copies and run errands but sometimes she sits on the front benches in the lobby and just chats with the teachers and staff. She gets so excited to give Mrs. Hiles a hug! And just the other day she had a couple of teachers doing ballet with her in the hall, lol. Every time she hears the preschool door chime, she runs to see her teacher (even if it's 5 times before 8:30!) She's pretty good at keeping herself busy as I work in my room, but if I'm not careful I end up with drawings (usually of happy face people) on my anchor charts (which my kids think is hilarious!) "Here are the strategies we used to solve this subtraction word problem...and here is Audrey's strategy...a rainbow."

She loves my kids and they love her right back. They've made her jewelry and colored her pictures and read to her. One of my boys from last year has a little sister in kindergarten. She comes by everyday and stays to chat & color with Audrey (those conversations are hilarious to listen to!) Audrey even helps pass back agendas to my kids as I check them :) The other day she told me that I earned a Gotcha for taking such good care of my kids, lol.

Her teacher or para comes to get her and usually brings one of her friends from class. Audrey puts on her backpack and says, "Goodbye, friends!" I miss her immediately. Her teachers say great things about her and I'm very happy to know that she's a good peer model. Although, she's had to go to the "Manner Mat" a couple of times for not paying attention. She now wants a Manner Mat at home- for Abby.

When I see her in school my heart just soars. I want to run up and smother her with kisses. I love watching her walk in the hallway in their little line. I got to see her graph her favorite leaf in the hallway. Sometimes she'll be on the playground during my planning time and if I see her through the window, I knock and she comes running and yelling, "MOMMMMMY!!!!!" And if I time it just right, we're outside for recess as my Dad is picking her up. I always go grab a hug and kiss before they go. Little things like that make my day!

Putting her in preschool has definitely been one of the best decisions. Her teachers are so fantastic and the activities they do are pretty amazing. I think her academic career is off to a great start :)

She loves going to Pop-Pop's house. Any why wouldn't she? He takes her to Starbucks, to get mani/pedis, to the barn, to Costco (where she always ends up getting a toy..heh heh, sucker!) She especially loves seeing her Uncle Scott (they play catch) and every morning she points out his high school as we drive by. I am very thankful that my Dad is willing and able to care for her every day. How great for the both of them!

Audrey is as enthusiastic and happy as ever. She is constantly singing and dancing and making people smile. The other day we were in the checkout line at Target. The woman behind us said to me, "Just look around. Do you see how many people are smiling because of your little girls?" That was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to us! And it's true...they are hilarious! Shopping with them is never dull. They are very well behaved...but sometimes loud, lol.

Audrey is becoming more aware of everything. She's memorized all of our driving routes and will make comments like, "This is the way to Grandma's house!" when we're not really going to Grandma's house, just taking the back route. Or, "This isn't the right way, where are we going?" She reprimands us BIG TIME when we say not-so-nice words (when did "Damn" become bad?!) She's quick to tell Abigail right from wrong, although sometimes she's an accomplice ;)

She's so full of love. The words that come out of her mouth just melt me! I know she gets that from me...I tell her straight up how happy she makes us and how she's the best thing we ever did. That her and Abigail are so treasured and the most important people in our world. She just beams at me and gives it right back. I hope she is always a sweet and kind-hearted girl.