friday five

one. Ever since Mattie's ear infection last week she hasn't been sleeping well at all.  She wakes up multiple times a night and cries unless I hold her.  It always takes her a while to fall back asleep which means I've spent hours rocking her in the night.  It's hard to make her just cry it out because she screams so loud and our walls are super thin- I get so anxious that she's keeping our neighbors up all night long as well.  It's a darn good thing she's cute!

two.  Because I've been up so much in the night Bryan has let me sleep in every morning.  He'll get the girls breakfast and set them up watching a show when he leaves for work so I can sleep for a bit longer.  A few mornings I've woken up before the girls came up to get me and it's fun to hear them downstairs by themselves.  Jilly turns into such a little mommy taking care of Mattie.  Also, how great is this outfit she came up with?  Bryan calls it "polka dots on polka dots on polka hearts."

three. I hardly ever buy cereal because it's just not our favorite breakfast.  We usually have frozen waffles, eggs, or oatmeal.  This week I did buy cereal and it turns out Mattie is a big fan.  She ate her cereal, drank all her milk, then grabbed my bowl to finish off my milk- something I normally would think is disgusting but when you have day-old piggies and rainbow jammies you can get away with anything.

four. Jillian is taking a ballet class at the Y and this week they had a little recital.  They danced the Cupid Shuffle which was hilarious because how many four-year-olds do you know that can tell their left from their right?  There were lots of colliding dancers.  Her sweet teacher, Miss Abril, has only boys so she always says "these are my girls!" and she made them each a little tutu for the show.  Jilly loves hers so much she insisted on wearing it to bed.

five. We went to Old Navy this week which is just about my girls' favorite store because they get to play with their best friend, the dog.  All of the summer clothes and swimsuits were out so when we got home I let them try on their swimsuits and then they pretended my bed was a beach.  If only... 

Happy Weekend!!


a snowy weekend

We had yet another weekend full of winter weather.  But this snow was so, so much better because Bryan was home and we were all healthy!  It started snowing around noon on Saturday and it came down and down- we got about 6 inches that afternoon, which was more than they had predicted.  Later in the afternoon we headed out to the hill at the end of our street armed with a sled and the fun parent.  

It was really hard to walk because the snow was so deep (six new inches on top of the 3ish inches from earlier in the week) so Bryan rigged up this sleigh for Jilly.  It looked kind of painful to me, but she loved it.  The hill was perfect- not too big and not too small and right next to a set of stairs so there was no struggling up the hill.  Mattie went down once with Bryan but she wasn't really into the cold so she and I didn't last too long.  But Jilly and Bryan had a great time sledding down the hill; and I was so happy to see how brave she was becoming.

Through the night it warmed up a bit so the snow turned to freezing rain which turned into ice everywhere.  Our church was canceled for the second week in a row.  They didn't make the decision until later in the morning so I had the girls in their dresses ready to go- of course!  But my girls love getting dressed up for church so they probably would have wanted to wear their dresses all day anyway.  Sunday was the most beautiful day- it was sunny and got up to the 40s!  Bryan and Jilly went outside and stayed for hours- Bryan shoveling our cars out and Jilly having a ball playing in the snow.  I went outside for a bit and it felt so, so, so nice; it made me feel hopeful and excited for spring.  I had to return a redbox movie so I finally became a true Baltimorean and left a sled in my shoveled out parking spot so no one would take it.

^ it doesn't look bad because Bryan did a great job shoveling all the snow out, but there was A LOT of snow in the streets- plows had come through and pushed tons of snow toward the cars so I was not going to risk not getting my spot back!

We had a great weekend in the snow, but would be totally 100% fine if we didn't get any more snow this year.  Pretty please?!?!


five fact friday

1. After our long, sick weekend we were excited to get out and play in the snow on Tuesday.  It would have been much more fun if Bryan had been home to play with us (dumb job) but it felt so good to be outside in the sunshine for a little while.  

2. Mattie has started saying "Oh man" a la Swiper the Fox.  It's the best thing ever, and she knows it because she really turns on the charm and starts repeating it right around bedtime.  Mattie also decided she was old enough to walk down stairs by herself (gives me a heart attack every time) and she's been taking very good care of all her babies.  

3. Jillian is turning into a sweet and thoughtful girl.  One day I woke up to find all the blinds open in our bedroom.  I asked Jilly if she had opened them and she said, "Yes, I didn't want to wake you up with my loud voice, but I wanted you to see that the sky had woken up."  Then while I was at the doctor with Mattie Jilly told Bryan, "let's say a prayer for Mattie so she won't be scared at the doctor."

4. I know you're sick of me complaining about the weather but it has been COLD this week.  We bought a space heater last week and it turns out that was just in the nick of time.  It is my best friend and constant companion- we carry it around the house with us to whatever room we're in and then all huddle around. 

5.  Bryan downloaded an app that may save our marriage.  The if this then that app let him program his phone so when he leaves a certain location (his office) it sends me a text that he's on his way.  Bryan leaves work anytime between 4 and 7pm and I was always bugging him to let me know when he left so I could get dinner ready but he was constantly forgetting (which I understand but still drove me crazy.)  So, now the problem's solved!  He also used the app to program his phone so he sends me an "I love you!" text every day at 10:04am  which seems like it would be annoying but I've actually enjoyed.  Smart phones- saving one marriage at a time.  

(totally unrelated picture but I had to include it)


Things Little Sisters Learn

When I found out we were having a second girl I was reallyreally excited, but I had no clue how fantastic it would be to have two girls.  I love to just sit back and watch how they interact with each other.  Even at such young ages I can see that they make each other better in so many ways.  It's fun to see all the things that Mattie has learned from watching and following her big sister.

+ Jilly got her first princess dress the Christmas after her second birthday and then during the next year her obsession intensified.  Mattie is still three months away from turning two and she is deeply entrenched in the dress-up phase.  At first it was Jilly wanting to put dresses on Mattie but now I find Mattie almost every morning in front of our dress-up corner debating what dress to wear.  And, oh the fights we have when I make her change to leave the house.

+ As the dominant older sister we almost always watch what Jilly wants, which means that Mattie's favorite shows are Dora and Doc McStuffins instead of Sesame Street.  Sometimes I feel bad about this, but I do not feel bad at all about skipping the Yo Gabba Gabba phase this time around.

+ Mattie has super fine and soft hair that she absolutely positively did not get from me.  Jilly, on the other hand, inherited my thick, wavy, and quite unruly hair.  Jilly hates to have her hair brushed and honestly I don't blame her, I've been there.  Mattie, with her beautiful, silky hair has nothing to complain about but she's watched her sister and she knows to scream "OW!!!" anytime I get near her hair.  Kind of drives me crazy but also hilarious.

+ I almost always read books with the girls together instead of individually so Mattie has experienced longer picture books much earlier than Jilly ever did.  I'm constantly impressed with Mattie's attention span for books; she'll sit for long periods of time and even lets me read every page (Jilly was an eager page turner at this age.)

+ Jilly has a few jobs around the house and because Mattie is always watching and wanting to be just like her sister she has picked up on some of these chores.  It's quite endearing to see little Mattie toss her plate in the sink or collect all the spoons from the dishwasher to put away.  And, it makes me want to have about 10 more kids (kind of.)



Here's a little recap of our past week: Tuesday- Jilly has surgery, Thursday- Rachel gets the stomach flu, Friday night- Jilly starts throwing up, Saturday- Bryan gets stomach flu, Monday- Mattie gets an ear infection, Bryan has a stomach flu relapse.

Obviously it could be a lot worse but holy hannah, we're feeling a little bit picked on!  Add to this some snow and temperatures that didn't get above 25 degrees and we were definitely homebound.  Bryan and Jilly have not left the house at all since Friday afternoon (that's three full days), and Mattie only left today to go to the doctor.  It was not my favorite weekend ever but there were plenty of things to be happy about.

+ The girls have been SO GOOD.  They've kept busy reading books, coloring, dressing up, playing kitchen, watching movies, bowling on the Wii, riding bikes in the unfinished half of our basement, and just being silly.  The fighting has been minimal, which is quite miraculous.  And I know I mentioned this book last week but it has seriously kept us occupied for hours, and we're still only 2/3 of the way done.  

+ Church was canceled on Sunday because the weather was awful so Bryan announced "Church starts at 10am sharp in the living room, everyone please wear your nicest pajamas."  He told us a quick scripture story and it was possibly the best church I've ever been to.

+ On Sunday everyone was feeling well enough for some Valentine's festivities: heart-shaped pizza and Valentines sugar cookies!

+ Bryan won major brownie points letting me pick the movies we watched all weekend.  Friday was Sleepless in Seattle, and Saturday was Father of the Bride, parts one and two.

+ The girls were giddy about the little boxes of chocolate Bryan got them for V-Day.  They love carrying them around and choosing what chocolate they'll eat next.  I made them each a little sleeping bag for their dolls, which was a fun and easy little project.

+ During Mattie's nap today I left Bryan and Jilly at home and ran to the grocery store with every single other Baltimore resident.  We're forecasted to get more snow tonight so everyone was stocking up.  Despite the crowds I felt like I was on vacation wandering the aisles all by myself.  

+ As I type this the snow is falling and we're supposed to get at least 5 more inches.  It's looking like tomorrow will be another day inside and at this point all we can say is "bring it on!"

^ her "not a chance I'm sharing my chocolates with you" face 


five on friday

1.  Between Jilly's surgery, a cold for Mattie, and the stomach flu for me we've spent a lot of time at home this week.  I think there will be permanent imprints on our couch from all the hours we've spent sitting there watching Disney Junior.  You know it's really bad when Jilly says, "Mom, we've watched A LOT of shows today." 

2.  Right now my hair is the longest it's been in my entire life.  I'm trying to catch up to Jilly who insists she won't cut her hair til it's as long as Rapunzel's, which is clearly the best idea I've ever heard....  Anyway, for Christmas I got a curling wand and it's taken 6 weeks of trial and error and lots of burned fingers but I think I've finally figured out how to use it and I'm loving how quick and easy it is to curl my hair.

3. Over the weekend we went to Five Guys and grabbed some chicken nuggets for the girls from the McDonalds nextdoor.  I'm not sure how many they each ate, but between the two of them my girls ate 18 chicken nuggets.  Now that is something to be proud of.

4. Mattie is starting to pick up on colors.  We'll be getting her dressed and I'll say "how about this (pink) shirt?" and she'll say "No, I want pink!!"' and hand me a blue shirt.

5. Jilly is my little Valentine's Day protege.  All month she's been telling me "I just think we need more decorations!"  And I've told her "Have you been to anyone's house that has more decorations than ours?"  She's also been hard at work making cards for all our family and friends.

I hope you have the most lovely Valentine's Day!  I'm kind of sad that our major health breakdown happened right before my favorite holiday, but I'm determined to celebrate- even if we have to keep Valentines-ing past the 14th!


a down belly button

Jilly was born with an umbilical hernia- basically a really big outie belly button, and we've always known that she'd need surgery if it didn't get better on its own.  At her four-year-old checkup the doctor said she was old enough that it wasn't going away on its own.  So we waited til after the holidays then scheduled her surgery for this past Tuesday.

We had to be at the hospital at 6:30 in the morning.  Before we left I took one last picture of her belly button; I actually think I'm going to miss it!  My mom came up to watch Mattie so Bryan and I could both go, which was very, very helpful.  The whole time Jilly was happy and excited and she looked so cute in her gown.  The doctor had given us a book all about surgery and we had read it so many times she practically had the whole process memorized.  I'm so glad that she wasn't nervous because it made it so much easier for me.  I went back and held her while they gave her the gas to put her to sleep; the hardest part was definitely leaving her there on the operating table.

I went to the waiting area with Bryan and was excited to finish my book but I never got to finish because in what seemed like no time at all the doctor was there telling us it was all done and she did great.  We went back to see Jilly just as she was waking up.  I was prepared for her to be really confused and upset, but she was so calm.  She just snuggled on my lap until she was awake enough to eat a popsicle and drink some juice.  We stayed for about an hour til they cleared us to go home.  Right before we left they took out her IV which turned out to be disastrous for Baby Rachel.  I hadn't eaten much all morning and it was really hot in that room and I am THE biggest wimp of all time when it comes to blood and needles.  I didn't even look while they pulled it out but apparently I was thinking about it too much because suddenly I was losing it quick and I had to give Bryan the emergency signal to pass me some water and a granola bar before I was flat on the ground.  The nurse noticed that I was struggling and she insisted on bringing me some apple juice.  Definitely one of the top 10 embarrassing moments of my life.

We made it out without anyone fainting and Jilly said, "Oh, the sky woke up!" because it wasn't dark anymore.  In no time at all she was back to herself- doing crafts with Gigi (this book has been so much fun) and asking for Chick-fil-A for lunch.  She has felt a little sore but other than that you'd never know she had surgery.  She told us, "Now I have a down belly button!"


friday five

1. Mattie is officially dipping her toes in the Terrible Two's Water and so far she is loving it (I, on the other hand, could do without all the tantrums.)  I've started giving up control when it comes to her wardrobe but I die a little bit inside when I take her out in public while she's wearing one of her own outfit creations.  Exhibit A: the ever trendy socks + sandals combination, Exhibit B: a dirty pajama shirt

2. I love how much Jilly loves doing art projects, and it's so fun to see what she comes up with now that she has a little creativity of her own.  This week a little girl in Jilly's primary class passed away (she's had many medical challenges and has been in the hospital for a while- it's been so, so sad.)  Jilly drew a picture of a rainbow and butterflies to give to her family.  And another day while we were at the church Jillian drew Elsa on the chalkboard.

3. There were a few hours on Thursday afternoon when the temperature was above freezing for the first time in forever.  So we trotted ourselves down to the park.  We only stayed for 20 minutes but when Mattie's fingers started turning purple I decided we'd better head home.  But those few minutes of sunshine and fresh air did us good.

4. About a year ago I tried reading a chapter book with Jilly and she was definitely not ready yet.  Six months ago I tried again and she did a lot better, but we just never got into the book.  This week we started reading Charlotte's Web and she is loving it.  It's extra fun that it's the actual book that I read when I was young.  (Unrelated but Jilly is also loving our tradition of Sunday night brownies.)  Four year olds are awesome!

5. My favorite part about going to the gym is picking up the girls from child watch.  They both sprint towards me with the biggest smiles and come crashing at me with huge hugs.  And I feel like a million bucks.  An hour away from each other is very healthy for all of us.

Happy Weekend!!