Friday, July 26, 2013

Tiny moments

It's not until you see our life in person that you realize why the number of pictures decrease once a baby is mobile.  I remember Mike's Mom put two and two together shortly after Anna started walking as to why most of her text pictures were now from the high chair : )  So, we're enjoying their visits, and the chance to get a few good snuggle and play shots before this little one takes off!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Anatomy of the double frame (Take 2)

It hasn't gotten any easier thanks to a very persistent two year old; and I love the look of shock and surprise on Charlotte's face in each of these.  

But this little peanut is still happy to cooperate!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Letter to Anna: Month twenty-six

Dear Anna,

You continue to amaze me with your intelligence, sweet nature, and loving heart.  And your volume.  At this point I’m surprised anyone in our family still has functioning ear drums.  You delight in the smallest things and are simply high on life.  Your outlook is infectious and your smile could melt icecaps.  Anyone that spends any amount of time in your presence walks away happier and with a new outlook on life, you’re something special any way you slice it!

The love you have for your sister continues to grow and I love seeing your relationship evolve each day.  You've become a bit protective and aren't afraid to remind us that Charlotte is “MY Baby Char” as you demand to give her a hug or a kiss.  You ask about her if she’s not in the room, especially when I pick you up at school.  Our new routine is that as soon as I walk in the door to your classroom and we hug, you remind me that “ok, time to go get Baby Char!” and lead the way to her room.  You’ve become an expert on soothing her if she starts crying with an “it’s OK, baby Char, need a paci?” and a sweet stroke of her cheek.  You delight in walking into her room with me in the mornings, will climb your little feet up on the side of her crib, look over and say “Hi big girl!” or “Hi pretty girl!” or even sometimes a “Hi honey!” just like I do with you.  Some days the promise of going with me to get your sister up is the only reason you will get out of our own bed, literally, as you are still obsessed with jumping.  And, the feeling is mutual.  Charlotte loves to follow you around the room, smiles when she sees you, and belly-laughs at your antics. 

You’re starting to put more and more of your world together and have a very watchful eye.  You pay attention to how your Dad and I do things and are quick to follow with exact mannerisms and words.  It’s hilarious and encourages us to make sure we’re making good impressions around you at all times.  It also means I sometimes have to gently remind your Pap Pap and Uncles Michael, Brian and Sean to watch their language around little ears, Mommy is always the “bad guy” to someone.  I love to see how you take care of your babies, use the same words and gestures that I use with you and Charlotte and absolutely delight in seeing you try your hardest to mimic a behavior or activity.  I often think how nice it will be when you’re a bit more independent, but as I see you going down that road, I’m already missing my baby girl that needed me to assist with everything in her world. 

As you continue to grow, your palette is expanding as well.  You’ll now eat a much wider variety of vegetables and proteins and you still love fruit.  You surprised us with your love of broccoli and one of your favorite meals while I was on maternity leave was scrambled eggs and toast, you love eggs!  You tried corn on the cob, or "cornie cobbie" as you call it, for the first time this past month and were a huge fan.  We eat breakfast together and I usually prepare the same meal because I know that you love a good game of imitation.  I almost died a few weeks ago when we both had green beans, but yours were pre-cut for ease of eating; you became very upset at one point during the meal when you realized this and demanded that I fix your “broken” green beans.  All this said, your preferences change on a daily basis and it’s totally hit or miss, in true toddler form you like to keep us on our toes. 

You’re turning into a bit of a girlie-girl lately.  You love to wear bows with your pony tails, love to dress up with headbands and purses and to turn in circles like a “princess.”  You saw a regular old headband on the counter in my bathroom one day and when you asked about it and I placed it on your head, you immediately put your hands together above your head, turned in a circle and said “ooohhh, princess!!”  Same thing with any looser fitting top or your new ballerina pajamas from Gigi, everything can be made into a princess outfit with your imagination.  Now that I’m back at work you love to slide into my heels at the end of the day and are pretty good at maneuvering them throughout the house.  On the flip side, you still love your animal friends and are just as happy in the grass and mud.  And since we’ve been outside more with the warm summer weather, you’ve become one with many an ant or roly poly.  You tend to not know your own strength and a few have met early deaths at your hands.  A few weeks ago you were stalking a roly poly and “accidentally” squashed him, but at the same time produced the most evil laugh I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth.  The next minute you looked at me and said “oh no Mommy, he’s sad!”  When I replied that yes, he’s sad because he’d dead, you looked completely distraught.  

The times I love the most when we’re together are the quiet moments when I take a step back and let you be yourself, for it’s these times when you really shine.  When we’re not racing to leave the house or running around to get ready for the day.  The times when I hear you talk sweetly to your stuffed animals, when you tuck them into their crib and sing to them, just like I do with you.  I love to see you growing and learning and becoming your own person.  I love that you have a special relationship with your grandparents, but I love that when you’re really tired or in a new situation, I’m the one you turn to most often.  I went back to work last week and it was bittersweet.  It wasn't always easy, but I loved our time together while we figured out our new routines with a new baby.  I loved that even on the hardest days you were there to give me a hug and sit by my side as I shed a few tears.  But I also love how much you thrive with your peers at school and how happy you are to see me at pick-up.  My first day back at work, as if you instinctively knew it had been a hard one, as we were pulling out of the parking lot, before I could initiate our daily conversation, you asked me “Mommy, did you have a fun day?”  We’re connected, you and I, and always will be, no matter if you’re living with me, away at college, in your first apartment, or starting a family of your own.  You’re my little girl and I’m proud to be giving you the gift of wings to fly on your own. 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Time for tea!

The perfect hostess always serves her guest first ... even if she's still wearing her PJs

Double cheers ... because that's how we roll in the Krazy Kelly house : )

(Apologies for the poor quality and lack of focus, I was shooting one-handed)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Got drool? (and big, beautiful blue eyes?)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Growin' like a weed (again!): Month four

How can this little nugget be one third of the way though her first year of life?!  Even if I don't want to believe it, she's growing too fast for me to deny the facts.  I'm not sure what's going on, but I've been wrong more often than not when it comes to guessing Charlotte's height and weight before her check-ups, I guess I really *am* in denial that she's growing!  She's sticking to her growth curve, meeting all of her milestones, and our pediatrician again commented on her content and calm demeanor.  Of course, he wasn't in the room when the shots came a'callin', but to give her some credit, she'd had a long second day at daycare with shorter than usual naps.

- 12lbs 10oz, 50th % and a gain of two pounds in two month and six pounds since birth
- 24 1/4 inches, 50th %, growing almost two inches in two months and four and a half inches since birth

All smiles!

It wouldn't be a photo shoot without big sister helping out!
Look at this growin' girl!  Months one and four, side-by-side.

Both girls in full smiles for their fourth month picture!
Miss C is one pound heavier and 1/4 inch longer than Anna at the same age : )

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Making our house a home: The front entry

Slowly, but surely we're continuing to make our house a home, room-by-room, wall-by-wall.  For those that know me well, you know that patience is not my strongest character trait, so I truly delight in wrapping up any and all projects.  We've been busy over the past few months and I can't wait to show you some of the big, and little, changes we've made courtesy of a list I made in the midst of a total meltdown in the midst of my maternity leave ending.

One of my favorite projects is the front entry.  It took me a while to decide how I wanted the big, blank space to feel and I'm glad I took my time because I love the end result.  Our foyer is two stories and is painted a neutral cream, when we moved it in it was adorned with two small floating shelves that seemed random and totally out of place.  My goal was to display pops of our family with a traditional, yet modern feel.  I found the gallery frame set a year and a half ago, but just recently capped it with two larger frames and added the wall decal.  I've already swapped pictures in and out several times because our kids are so dang cute.  We'd love to show you in person, so come on by for a visit to see what we're displaying today!

Before and after up-close.

Before and after from the front door.
- Gallery frames:  Red Envelope
- Larger picture frames:  Michael's (you can download their coupons to you phone - pretty nifty!)
- Customized wall decal:  Old Barn Rescue (designs are also available on reclaimed wood - very cool!)

All smiles for Daddy

Someone loves their Daddy and moments like this, the big smiles before he leaves for work, are what tightens that string that's wrapped around his little finger.  I think it runs in the family, click here to see Miss Anna doing the same thing : )

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Letter to Charlotte: Month Four

Dear Charlotte,

You've really turned into a mover and a shaker, quite literally, this past month.  You’re growing fast and can’t wait to see more of your world, literally craning our neck to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action.  The time is flying and every time I turn around I feel like you've grown a foot.  Your sweet little personality is shining through more each day and you've started to let us know just how much you enjoy the world around you. 

 You've started laughing a lot this month and I think it’s safe to say that it’s utterly infectious and the best noise anyone can hear; we all look forward to your spells of excitement.  Anna delights in making you smile and the other night we spent about 20 minutes watching her make you laugh by laughing herself.  You sat on your Dad’s lap at the kid’s table, enjoying a tea party with your sister and all of the sudden you were cracking up.  The other day I caught you craning your head to see what was on TV and whatever you saw on HGTV was hilarious because you immediately started laughing uncontrollably.  Your goofy, toothless smile is one of the best sights and it’s not uncommon to find the three of us (your Dad, me and your sister) clustered around you attempting to push the corners of your lips toward your cheeks by being totally silly ourselves.

You love to look at the world around you and are itchin’ to sit up as fast as you can.  Once content to enjoy a rest in your bouncy chair while we ate dinner, you now demand to be on my knee at the table, in the thick of the action.  You’ll tolerate your activity mat for a bit longer, but became a huge fan of your exersaucer a few days ago when it was added to your rotation of toys.  You love to sit with us as we read to Anna and I hope you’ll be as much of a bookworm as she has become.   You've also become very grabby this month and are getting pretty good at bringing teethers to your mouth.  You’re obsessed with your hands and I’m waiting to look over and see an entire fist in your mouth.  The other day I tried and tried to keep you on your tummy, but all you wanted to do was roll to your back and gnaw away at those fingers.  Related to that, you drool like its part of your job and I’ll be anxious to see when that first tooth arrives and guess it may be here sooner rather than later. 

You’re still a happy, happy baby and are such a joy to be around.  You sleep well, still pretty much 7pm to 7am, but some days you go down a little later by no choosing of your own; if its bath night there’s a strong chance you’re nursing to sleep the same time your megaphone-for-a-mouth-high-on-life sister is taking her bath and that probably keeps the entire neighborhood alert.  I don’t mind though, it just means I get to stay in the nursery with you and rock or nurse you until she’s all cleaned up and afterwards you generally fall right asleep.  We’re still swaddling you because of the aforementioned love of those hands, you get so excited at times that they tend to wake you up and that’s no fun for anyone.  I thought you might find your thumbs by now, but you’re all about equal opportunity and haven’t singled any one finger out so far.  When you do wake up, you rarely cry, rather, you work your way out of your swaddle and coo to yourself, and always smile that big, toothless grin when we approach your crib. 

Your sister loves you SO MUCH.  She’s a bit of a loose cannon at this age and doesn’t always have great control over her body parts.  (A lot of that comes from your Dad who has little to no depth perception, and I’m sorry if this trait gets passed to you, but please know this came from the Kelly side of the family)  One evening you were laying on the couch and she was flailing about, trying to pet Milo I’m sure, and she accidentally kicked you in the head.  Both your Dad and I were right there and I was able to snatch you up immediately to soothe you.  As Anna realized what she’d done and saw you in tears, she started crying too, you both had enormous crocodile tears streaming down your face and it was the sweetest and saddest thing I’d ever seen.  Luckily everyone was fine in a matter of minutes and the incident was a distant memory by dinner.  Anna checks on you constantly, tells you hello and goodbye when leaving the room and loves to keeps tabs on you in the car. 

I’m returning to work next week and I thought the process would be easier this time around.  I was wrong.  It hit home pretty hard this week and I gave myself permission to “mourn” for one day.  That day happened to be a day Anna was at school and I spent the better part of that day letting you nurse and nap for as often as you liked on my lap, and when you were awake we snuggled, talked, played, and I cried.  I know the benefits of care outside the home, I’ve seen it firsthand with your sister, and I don’t want to leave my job without saying that I gave it an honest shot; but none of this makes it any easier to look into your eyes and say goodbye for several hours a day.  I don’t know exactly how we’ll get out the door in the morning with two bags to pack, two mouths to feed, and two girls to get ready, but what I do know is that at the end of the day, there will be fierce hugs, cuddling, playtime and lots of snuggles.  Just because I’m not with you physically doesn't mean that you’re not in my heart every second of every day.  Even when I’m not around, I’m always in your heart and you’ll always be in mine.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mother's Song

This maternity leave's nursing sessions are accompanied by Mickey Mouse and his pals, a princess named Sophia, and a doctor for stuffed animals.  Yes, in an effort to entice Anna to stay close and not attempt to burn the house down, we watch Disney Junior.  In between the animated fun, they have a short series where famous folks read sweet poems, I've heard Katie Holmes, Caroline Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg so far.  As I searched for the full text and author afterwards, I realized this poem has been playing for a few years, but I first heard it today.  It was the happiest of coincidences that I had one girl in my lap and the other right next to me. What a sweet, sweet poem.  As I wind down my maternity leave and prepare to return to the working world, it pulled at my heartstrings and I hugged both of my girls very tightly all afternoon.  This poem truly embodies all that being a Mother is and means to me.  

Mother's Song
A traditional lullaby

My heart is like a fountain true
That flows and flows with love to you.
As chirps the lark unto the tree
So chirps my pretty babe to me.

There's not a rose where'er I seek,
As comely as my baby's cheek.
There's not a comb of honey-bee,
So full of sweets as babe to me.

There's not a star that shines on high,
Is brighter than my baby's eye.
There's not a boat upon the sea,
Can dance as baby does to me.

No silk was ever spun so fine
As is the hair of baby mine.
My baby smells more sweet to me
Than smells in spring the elder tree.

A little fish swims in the well,
So in my heart does baby dwell.
A little flower blows on the tree,
My baby is the flower to me.

The Queen has sceptre, crown and ball,
You are my sceptre, crown and all.
For all her robes of royal silk,
More fair your skin, as white as milk.

Ten thousand parks where deer do run,
Ten thousand roses in the sun,
Ten thousand pearls beneath the sea,
My babe more precious is to me.

(skip to 35 seconds to avoid the preview)

Monday, July 1, 2013


A few days a week the stars align and both girls nap at the same time in the afternoon.  A few very perfect days recently their naps have both overlapped and been staggered such that I get alone-time with each girl, and myself before we start our afternoon.  We had one of those last week and I had an absolute blast with my oldest girl.  Our "Mom and Me" time included singing, running around the house, reading, and taking a few "selfies" with the timer function on the camera.  I had yet to shower on this day, am wearing no make-up,  and clearly dressed for our earlier playdate at the park, but these will go down as some of my favorite pictures, ever.