Golden Birthday

Yesterday was my Golden Birthday. I turned 29 years old on the 29th. 29 just sounds so old to me..hard to believe I will be 30 next year! I was telling Derek yesterday how sometimes I feel like we're still 22, but then we're rushing home from dinner to get Shelby to bed b/c being out at 7:45 is just so darn late...and I realize we're definitely not 22 anymore. ;)

My day was almost perfect yesterday with the exception of cleaning poop out from underneath my daughter's fingernails. I'll spare you the lovely details of that story. :)  Derek was planning to get home early from work to join us for Kindermusik yesterday evening, but he volunteered to stay home to finish cleaning up the delightful mess Shelby had made & do some work around the house for me. After Kindermusik, he met us at Mellow Mushroom for my birthday dinner (DELISH!). It was such a nice treat to come home to a spotless house after dinner...so thankful for such a sweet hubby!

Next January, I will be celebrating my 30th birthday & I will have two kids...crazy to think about!



As a teacher, I always dreaded Mondays. It was always a crazy morning at school scrambling to get new centers ready for the week, make copies, new Word Wall words up, new poem up on the pocket chart, and the list goes on. Mondays look a lot different for me these days.

Eating waffles & strawberries with Mommy for breakfast...
with her little frog nearby of course. {The frogwas a little prize
she got at Chuck E Cheese last month that we thought would
quickly get lost or thrown out, but she LOVES that thing!}
A trip to the Kroc Center pool/splash pad

Even though I still miss teaching, I am so thankful that this is what my Monday mornings look like now. There's no where else I'd rather be.


Out of the Mouths of Babes

One of my favorite things about teaching Kindergarten was all of the crazy things that came out of the kiddos' mouths. Even if I was having the worst day, their quirky comments would always put a smile on my face. And I just love love love the fact that Shelby is getting to the age where she is starting to say some crazy stuff, too! Here are a few things she's said this past week that made me laugh....

**While strolling down the Valentine's Day aisle, Shelby stumbled across some rolls of Valentine gift wrap: "OMG, Mommy! What IS this?" Apparently, my child has never seen wrapping paper before. Oops!

**After giving Shelby a sip of my chocolate milk, I asked her if it was good. She replied: "I loooooove chocolate milk!" I then told her: "Well, I looooove my Shelby-girl!" I thought for sure she was going to tell me she loved me, too. What was I thinking?! She quickly replied: " I love books!" ;)

**When I picked Shelby up from Mother's Morning Out, she ran to me with a smile on my face. Then we started to leave, she turned back around and said: "No, Mommy! Shelby go school again!" :)


And here's a few pictures of our sweet Shelby-girl just because :)


We Heart Ice Cream!

If you know me well, you know I LOVE me some ice cream! Well, apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :)

Our local Dairy Queen was having a "Customer Appreciation Day" earlier this week with everything on the menu at half price, and as Derek said "It would be stupid not to go." ;)  So went there for dinner & dessert as a family....I think it's safe to say Shelby enjoyed herself! She made quite the mess, but it was definitely worth it! :)


Wordless Wednesday

Here are a few random photos from the past week or two that were on my phone :)

{taken Jan. 17th after MMO}

{Shelby helping Mommy make peanut butter cup chocolate chip cookies}

{fun on the playground with baby doll in tow, of course}

{searching for four leaf clovers}

{Shelby tailgating with chocolate milk as she anxiously
waited for Daddy to come home from work}
{Shelby's first trip to Krispy Kreme}
{Shelby modeling her cheese face}

{Daddy taking off Shelby's fingernail polish}


Reflections on Potty Training

This blog post will probably not be super-fun to read, but I really want to record these thoughts for memory's sake & I think it will be a bit cathartic for me to get my thoughts out on paper (err...out in html?)..and who knows, maybe someone else will have that "me too!" moment when they are reading this, and they won't feel so alone. ;)  Anyhow, here we go!

On Saturday, we started the 3 day potty training method with Shelby (www.3daypottytraining.com). We were very optimistic about the whole process b/c Shelby had been showing all the "readiness signs" for quite some time. Truthfully, we might have considered potty training her sooner but between all of our traveling in the fall & then the holidays, we never found the right time..until this weekend. We thought this weekend would be perfect b/c Derek would be home to help for the entire 3 days. We were prepared for Derek & I to both get frustrated, and we were totally prepared to clean up accident after accident. (I had been sure to stock up on lots of underwear for Shelby & had extra laundry detergent, bleach, lysol wipes, carpet cleaner, and paper towels on hand!) But what we failed to anticipate was how Shelby would handle the change. We assumed there would be a learning curve for her, but we never really considered how the whole process would make her feel. And looking back, I don't know how we could have not seen it coming. This is the child who came into the world 1.5 weeks late (and not by choice!), waited until after her first birthday to start crawling, didn't start walking until almost 17 months old...she has always liked to do things on her timetable. Not to mention, she's always had a bit of a nervous/cautious personality.

Anyhow, Day #1 went just as expected..lots of accidents! We had made the decision ahead of time to record/track everything--when she had an accident, when she just got her undies a little wet, when she ate, when she drank, etc--to help us try to see any patterns. This really helped us! We did have quite a few accidents on Day #1, but we also had a few "partial successes" as we liked to call them. (This was when she started going in her undies, but we made it to the potty in time to finish.) But we thought we were starting to notice some anxiousness on Shelby's part, which was confirmed at naptime on Day #1. Our child who usually falls asleep within 5 minutes and then naps for a good 3 hours wasn't able to fall asleep for over an hour and then only slept for 90 minutes. By lunch time on Day #2, we could really tell that everything was starting to "click" with Shelby and that she was catching on to the whole concept...but that was also when we started to notice Shelby's anxiety kicking in big time. She started talking to her body's "urges" if you will, saying "No pee pee! No come pee pee!" over and over and over again. Then after naptime on Day #2, she discovered she could just hold it. And holy cow, does that child have some control over her bladder muscles. She didn't pee once--not even a drip!--from the moment she woke up from naptime until we put her to bed that night around 8:30pm. Then the same thing on Day #3, but it got worse. She wouldn't let herself pee from the moment she got up until lunchtime..despite the extra fluids we'd been giving her. To say she was miserable would be the biggest understatement. It was literally heartbreaking for us as parents. She was physically and emotionally struggling. She started asking to be held or to sit in our laps constantly b/c she was so anxious and uncomfortable. It was terrible. That was when we decided to throw in the towel. Here we are a day and a half after putting the brakes on potty training, and Shelby is still suffering from a bit of anxiety from the whole experience. I am glad that we attempted potty training b/c Derek & I were both sure she was ready, but I am also so glad that the weekend is behind us. And I'm so thankful we both had the guts to say enough is enough.

But that is not to say that this weekend was not hard on me personally as a mother. I am embarrassed to say that I shed way too many tears this weekend over something as silly as potty training. I was worried we were calling it quits to soon, worried we were pushing her too hard, worried we were doing something, & the list goes on. And what is it about parenting young children (or maybe kids of any age?) that makes it so hard not to compare yourself (or your kids) to others? For some completely silly reason, I felt like I was failing as a mom if I threw in the towel on potty training. But then I read a quote in my book "What to Expect: The Toddler Years" that said: "Slow potty learning is neither a reflection on your toddler (late learners are no less bright) or on you (parents of late learners are no less competent). And boy, did I need to hear that. It reminded me of all those times when Shelby was booty-scooting around the floor, and people would look astonished at me when they realized how old she was and still not walking. It reminded me of my friends who have felt like they were being judged b/c they didn't nurse their baby for a certain length of time. It reminded me of this:

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter that Shelby didn't start walking until she was almost 17 months old. It doesn't matter that she is still drinking milk out of a bottle (although we are making progress on that front--she is now drinking 4oz out of a sippy cup in the afternoons...hallelujah!). It doesn't matter that she knows all of her letters & sounds and is able to spell almost 10 words. It doesn't matter how good of a sleeper she is or was. It doesn't matter how advanced her communication skills are. It doesn't matter when she gets potty trained. It doesn't matter whether she's ahead of the curve or behind the curve. None of that really matters at the end of the day. What matters is that we love her more than anything and that the 3 of us are in it together. In the midst of one of my emotional breakdowns this weekend, I hastily made the remark to Derek that this weekend was such a waste. (In reality, this statement couldn't be farther from the truth b/c although we didn't succeed in potty training Shelby, we learned a multitude of valuable lessons.) But wouldn't you know my sweet as pie hubby just smiled and said: "It wasn't a waste to me--I got to spend 3 uninterrupted days with my 2 girls. What's better than that?" :)

Who knows when we'll be ready to attempt potty training again, but I'm thankful we tried and I'm thankful for the lessons we learned. And even though I know Derek would rather me leave this little detail out, it's too good not to share! When Shelby was having her first "partial success," Derek happened to be in the other room. I started cheering for Shelby, and Derek tried to run over to us as fast as he could to be a part of the exciting moment. In his haste, his misjudged the amount of space he had while running and broke his toe. It was not funny at the time (and it probably still isn't funny to Derek yet!), but it was/is seriously hilarious. But that's just the kind of Daddy that Derek is...he'll do anything for Shelby, including breaking his toe to see her going pee pee in her princess potty chair. ;)


Shelby's Big Girl Room

At the end of December, we got busy transforming our guest room into Shelby's "big girl room." {We decided we would keep our nursery as is for the new baby.} We already had a queen size bed in our guest room, so we just decided that would become Shelby's "big girl bed" so that way when guests come to visit they can still have a bed to sleep in. So Shelby went straight from a crib to a queen size bed! :)  We still really liked the pink/green color scheme that we used for the nursery, but we wanted to make this new room a bit different so we threw in some purple, too. :)  We transformed the entire room in just a week's time, and we are really pleased with how well it all came together...and for a great price. :)  Here are a few pictures of Shelby's big girl room!

This is the little wall you see when you first enter Shelby's room.

A close-up of the print hanging on the wall. This was a gift from my high school friend
& college roommate, Niki. It was the perfect addition to Shelby's room, and I love how
it has the meaning of her name at the bottom.

The letters hanging above Shelby's bed are the same letters that were
in her nursery. We just painted them to match the color scheme of her new room.

A close-up of the canvas hanging to the right of the window.
I put stickers on the canvas, and Shelby finger-painted over it.
I love how it turned out!

The canvas hanging above Shelby's toy organizer is her birth announcement.
The little clock on the top left of the toy organizer was Shelby's pick from
Hobby Lobby...she loves that clock!

A close-up of the reading corner...this is Shelby's favorite spot in her room!
Shelby wanted to "cheese" for the camera! Silly girl :)

Shelby's first day in her new big girl room was Sunday, January 6th at almost 28 months old. The transition from the crib to the big girl bed went smoother than we could have imagined! We had been talking about the big girl bed in the days leading up to the transition, and we'd also been reading an Elmo book called "Big Enough for a Bed" to help prepare Shelby. But we were still a little worried--worried that she might fall out of the bed and get hurt and/or not be able to fall back asleep, worried she would keep getting out of the bed, etc. But none of that happened! It was really a pretty anti-climatic change..ha! We did get a video monitor installed in her new room {we are going to use our old monitor for the new baby}, so we can see if she's actually in the bed or not. Thankfully, Shelby still thinks we have to come get her out of the bed to signal the end of nap/bedtime...she hasn't realized she can get out of bed on her own just yet. ;) As of now, when she wakes up she just sits in her bed and plays with Bear & Wubby just like she would do in her crib. We keep wondering how long we'll get away with this! Ha! But for right now, we sure are enjoying it!

In other "big girl" news, we are planning on starting potty training this weekend..eek! Derek has Saturday, Sunday, & Monday off, so it will be nice to have an extra set of hands to help out...and to help me keep my sanity! ;)  Wish us luck, and if you have any tried & true tips for success please share away!


Update on Baby #2!

Derek & I suddenly realized this week that we only have a mere 8.5 weeks before this baby gets here! Eek! Where has this pregnancy gone?! It has seriously flown by! Here's a quick update starting with a belly pic :)

{31 weeks}

How far along: 31.5 weeks. Here's a {LINK} to my 32 week post with Shelby to compare.

Weight Gain: According to my scale at home, about 13 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Still wearing all regular clothes with the exception of my maternity jeans...don't know what I would do without those! I'm ready for Spring weather to arrive to the Gulf Coast, so I can start to have more variety in my wardrobe again with all of my skirts & dresses. :)

Sleep: Okay :)  I have been having a little hip pain (which I had at this point in my pregnancy with Shelby), so I have to readjust every couple hours to get comfortable. But thankfully, I'm always able to go right back to sleep!

Movement: Yes! :)

Food cravings: None.

Symptoms: Just the hip pain that I mentioned above, but thankfully it's gotten much better now that I've stolen Shelby's giant caterpillar pillow which I'm using in lieu of a pregnancy pillow ;)  And this past week, the fatigue has really set in. I don't remember being this tired at this point in the pregnancy with Shelby, but I think I'm more tired this time around b/c I'm busy chasing after a rambunctious two year old. ;)  And this is totally random, but something worth noting so I'll remember one day. My belly button never popped out with Shelby--it just kind of flattened out. Well, my belly button totally popped out really early on in this pregnancy so I have been sporting an outie for quite a while now. I want to say it completely popped out around the end of the 1st trimester.

Gender: Another girl!

What I miss: Not much :)  I have been blessed with very easy/smooth pregnancies, so I don't have much to complain about! The only thing I miss right now (aside from the lack of hip pain & fatigue!) is being able to let Shelby climb all over me when she's playing or having her comfortably sit in my lap for stories...we have to readjust several times during our stories these days. ;)

Best moment this week: Getting Shelby moved into her "big girl room" (pictures to come soon!) and starting to get the nursery prepared for Little Sister's arrival.

What I'm looking forward to: My 32 week check-up tomorrow & hopefully deciding soon on a name for this sweet baby so we can start personalizing some things in her room!


Shelby's First Haircut!

On January 3rd, Shelby had her very first haircut! (Just a trim!) We took her to the same girl that cuts my hair, and she did a great job with Shelby! I was armed with a bag full of tricks totally anticipating that Shelby would have a fit and want to get down from the chair, but she loved it! At one point, she looked up at us and said: "Shelby a princess!" And she told us several times: "Shelby so pretty!" :) The only part she did not like was having her hair blow dried, which didn't surprise me b/c she is still a little weary of vacuum cleaners. But thankfully, her hair is still so thin & fine that the blow drying was over and done with before she could get upset. We were totally "those" parents throughout the entire process--Mommy was hovering over her baby, and Daddy was taking a zillion pictures to document the experience. ;)

In the waiting area of the hair salon


Shelby was mesmerized by the fireplace in the salon



Things I want to remember.....

We've had lots of little firsts with Shelby lately that have just melted my heart. Moments where I have just wanted to freeze time or memories that I've wished I could bottle up. It's true what they say--with little ones the days are long, but the years are short. While there are sooo many moments where I want to pull my hair out throughout the day, these are the moments that I hope will stay with me forever:

Mommy painted Shelby's nails for the very first time! She loved it! :)

Admiring the pink :)  When we went to wash her hands before lunch this day,
she excitedly told me "Pink still there, Mommy!" And even a few days later,
she is still excited to see her nails are still pink after waking up from a nap, taking
a bath, etc. It's so sweet! I look forward to many more Mommy-daughter nail dates!

Shelby is very into saying "cheese!" for pictures now..this is
what her "cheese" face looks like! ;)  It's priceless!
While we were at Grammy & Grampy's house in December,
Shelby finally ate her first donut and LOVED it! (Every other time
we've tried to give her a donut, she's acted like we were torturing
her..ha!) When we told her it was time for lunch that afternoon, she
announced it was "donut time!" We had to break the news to her that
we couldn't eat donuts at every meal ;)

Shelby is starting to eat cereal out of a bowl by herself
and is very proud of herself for drinking the milk from the
bowl when she's finished. :)

Shelby's first CapriSun at a birthday party last month.
Playing "fort" with Daddy..pure joy! :)