MG videos

Vacation 2014, part II

As promised, here is the video from our recent trip to Rosemary beach.

Rosemary Beach 2014 from Kate on Vimeo.

A few notes: MG is STILL obsessed with Sleeping Beauty.  Granny brought a Disney princess crown for her and she wore it nearly the entire time, as evidenced by the video.  When we went outlet shopping, we also took her to the Disney store and let her pick something out.  She chose a Sleeping Beauty nightgown.  Then we saw the Princess Sophia “dress-ups” were on major clearance and since she’s been very much into dress up lately, we had to have it.  (she’s never seen princess sophia but she knows who she is.  She has worn her dress-up every waking moment inside the house since our return.  I have a rule that she can’t leave the house in it…although she has tried).  Then, they got us again with $10 Sleeping Beauty dolls.  So she walked out with three things.  And it was pretty magical.


Three and a half

Another half year is behind us and six months of growth has definitely been noted.


For MG, 3 and a half means:

routine-oriented: MG has finally come to grasp (and embrace) the daily routine and her place in it.  She knows what day we go to the library and when we usually have friends over.  She knows that every day after lunch she has “quiet time” in her room  (because naps are no longer :()  She understands the different seasons and how they fall in the year.  She knows her birthday comes “after Daddy’s” and has a general sense of the way things work.  This makes life a lot easier for me because she knows what to expect and she trusts us to carry that out.  But it also leads to….

lots of questions: so, so many questions.  She is starting to ask questions even I don’t understand.  “Why is the oven on the other side?”  Things have gone from very concrete to very abstract.  My great aunt passed away last month and this along with lots of talk about Easter has brought about so many deep questions.  “Why do we have to die?  Where is Heaven?  But why does God want us to die?  Will you die first? Will you miss me when I die?   Why do our bodies stay buried in the ground?”  Sometimes my mind just reels at having to answer all of these (theologically) correct without confusing her (and myself) more.  The side-effect of the questions is…

strong comprehension.  I say this all the time but it amazing what she picks up on now.  Even spelling some words is taboo because she understands context clues.  A more beautiful side effect of this is her empathy.  When I am upset about something she says things (and even brings me things) to help me feel better.   I love seeing these traits being brought to the surface and pray that we can nurture them correctly



and finally….

a big imagination: Naps may be no longer, but MG is content to have “quiet time” in her room for a few hours each day.  It didn’t start off very smoothly but we are at a great point with it now.  A large part of this is how her imagination has developed.  She has taught herself how to play independently.  It is lovely and so fun to listen to.  Dolls are still a big part of her imagination but lately she has really latched onto the story of Sleeping Beauty.  We introduced her to some of the songs a few months ago and then gave her this to listen to as an Easter gift.  She has the story and songs memorized and asks so many questions about it.  We have held off showing her the movie because I was afraid some of the darker scenes might frighten her, but I think she will be ready for it this summer.  I can’t wait to see her final reaction to it.  Here is a typical scene of her talking about the story while drawing with markers:

Can’t believe we are half way to four….just plain crazy.



Last week, I shared our tribute to MG turning three.

It was a grand birthday indeed.  She understood that her birthday was coming up, but she couldn’t really remember what a birthday was other than it involved cupcakes.  And she wanted PINK ones.

Her birthday got a little complicated this year since Thanksgiving was two days before.  She ended up having four mini parties as we celebrated with N’s parents, some friends, the day after Thanksgiving with family, and also on her actual birthday.  And then when we returned home from our travels, there was a present waiting her from my parents.  So the opening of gifts haven’t really slowed down and Christmas is just around the corner!

Since we traveled for Thanksgiving, (and the cupcake vendors were closed on and around the holiday), I called ahead to a place recommended by my sister and she picked  them up and froze them for us ahead of time.  The evening after Thanksgiving we got takeout (doesn’t everyone? :)) and then sang “happy birthday” and let her enjoy the spoils.

She opened her presents from us and her aunt and uncle.  One of her gifts was a “big sister” doll for her favorite baby Stella and I’d wrapped it up for her from Bea.  I thought it was a cute gift from her, but MG did NOT like this new doll we named Lucy.  “She has too much hair.” she said.  We’ve since discovered that dolls that don’t look as much like babies aren’t as enticing :).

The next morning, we left their house early and drove to Kentucky right outside of Cincinnati.  I’d found a place on the Internet called “Totter’s Otterville” and based on the description it seemed like MG’s dream world.

It was.

Rooms of babies, a pet rabbit, a pretend grocery store, a conveyer belt with foam blocks, a tumbling room, a magic show, an indoor and outdoor playground, a water table, and more.  And it was only $6 to get in (with a $2 off coupon we found online).  Internet gold.  We played there for three hours and we had to drag her away.

We spent the night at the Country Inn and Suites nearby and had a great stay.  After a quick nap and a nice dinner at the Mellow Mushroom (within walking distance), we swam at the indoor pool.  The girls loved it and wore themselves out.  Too tired to even eat a cupcake on her actual birthday.

See video below








At three,

Your memories are vivid and true.  You can recall things from 6+ months ago.

Your imagination is on fire:” look mom, here is a bird, can you pet it?”

Your sweetness and tenderness is very evident; especially towards your sister, dolls, and anyone that seems hurt or upset

You are sensitive, but you do not wear your heart on your sleeve

You are independent: you’ve conquered the entire playground, can wash your hands, repeat simple chores, can follow 2-step directions, and often say “no! {don’t help me} I can do it!”

You love to help: bake, assist bea, change diapers, get dressed

You mimic everything I do and say.  I love my little parrot!

You are very curious.  You often ask “why?” but do not always find our answers satisfactory.  You also have a very black and white view of the world.  I think this comes with childhood.  Any deviance from what you know to be true puzzles, frustrates, or upsets you.

This year: You began talking in complete sentences about 6 months ago.  You learned to use the potty and can now go all by yourself,  you sleep in a regular bed, you went to school for the first time, you learned to enjoy–or at least tolerate–the car, you gave up your paci, you learned how to work a sticker chart, you broke your collarbone and went to the dentist for the first time, you learned the meaning of obedience, truth, and listen.  Wow, year two was tough!

Your Loves: Caillou, grapes, apples, cute animals, babies, responsibility, “scary daddy bear”, the very hungry caterpillar and all books with repetition, pink, pink, pink, ice cream, “straps” and gummis, choice, your sister, cookie monster, play grounds.

I know this year has been hard on you.  Lots of change has come your way and we all know how much you love stability.  You’ve taken it well though.  You’ve impressed your father and I, grandparents, and friends with your tenacity.  You are going places, girl.  We are right here behind you cheering and clapping along with the rest of your family who loves you so much.  This year is going to be great.


Love you, my three year old,


Are we long-lost sisters?

What do you think?


My cousin found this old video somewhere collecting dust at my grandparents house.  It was originally filmed in 8mm film and then converted a few it’s old (did I really just admit that about a video of myself?).
I am just under 2 years old, so very close to the same age MG is now.  Which, to see as a mom, is a priceless gift.
It is a little fuzzy in the beginning but towards the end, there are some close-ups of my face.  So what do you think?  Do MG and I look alike?  People like to tell us that on a daily basis, but other than the eyes, I just don’t see it as much as they do.  I definitely think she looks more like her Daddy at this age.


If nothing else, as my Mom put it, “MG and you would have been great friends!”.  Of that, I have no doubt.

P.S. We wokeup to snow today, did you?


2nd birthday (in retrospect)

MG doesn’t have the most favorable of birthdays but one thing it did do for her this year was deliver two parties!  Yahoo!

The first was in CA with my family and she got to open presents and eat ice cream cake (and sing the “Happy Birthday” song—her favorite)!

The second was on her actual birthday and was held at our house.
One thing I do have to say is that with 60-degree, sunny weather this has to be the nicest November 30 MG has seen yet (on her actual birthday it snowed and last year it ws rainy and gloomy.)
I promised N that after last year’s very fun but oh-so-much-work first birthday bash, this year would guarantee to be much smaller and a lot less stress by comparison.

In other words, we didn’t do party favors, nor serve a big meal, nor put up any decorations (since it fell in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I decided I would be okay just rolling with the holiday theme).  And the invitations were of the email variety. Tacky?  Maybe.  Cheap?  Oh yes.

 (although I did make this Pinterest-inspired Christmas light garland…for the holidays of course :))
But that certainly didn’t seem to diminish the birthday girl’s enjoyment.  In fact, this year was a lot more fun because she actually understood that we were celebrating AND that she got to eat cake icing AND open presents!  Every two-year old’s dream!  (although I am a little afraid that with the two birthday parties + Christmas that she is going to be confused that birthdays just go on and on and on :))
Anyway, first we sang.
Then she ate her aforementioned cupcake icing (which happened to be a lot more of a show this year.  Simply because she actually ate.  It’s the little things.)
Then she opened presents.
Meanwhile, the kids colored homemade coloring book images of themselves.
But the piece de resitance was a one of a kind, hand-crafted kitchen built lovingly by Daddy…with Mama’s artistic detailing (all plans can be found here).

You can see her reaction:

(my favorite is the spontaneous Daddy hug at the end….and…when she opened the oven for the first time, she said, “hot!”)
As soon as the kitchen was revealed, the kiddies just swarmed.  A huge hit!
And after just about everyone had said their goodbyes, we were cleaning up downstairs and MG said, “Wash hands? Soap?” but instead of going over to the downstairs kitchen sink, she pointed upstairs.  So we agreed and she happily made her way up there again, this time unaccompanied.  We literally had to peel her away from it for an hour late bedtime.  Birthday success!

And the next morning she started talking about it before we’d even left her room.

 (it didn’t take her long to find it again)
 (she also received a tea set which has been a part of many of her imaginative kitchen time…although she seems to think the tea pot contains “hot soup” for some reason…I’m not ready to correct her.)
(and one more story simply for the cuteness factor: today she made up this tray and said, “Atti?  Eat?” then she proceeded to place it by him.  He darted off down the stairs so she gently carried the tray and bowl over and left it for him for later. Oh, girl, I just can’t wait until you have a sibling!)
Double the birthday, double the fun!  I am so glad that we were able to have such a wonderful celebration for such a big milestone. Here’s to many more!


Second Year, Via Video

Well this wouldn’t be a birthday without a little video tribute!

Second Birthday

I have watched this video multiple times during the editing process and even shown it to MG too.  She now requests the “Meeva” video on just about a daily basis.
She also sings “Happy Birthday” and every time she gets excited or sees a picture of a cupcake or candles, she says, “Hap-Birth–TO YOU!”.
Tonight we give her a most special hand-crafted gift and I can’t wait to see the look on her face when it is finally revealed.
This second year will go down in a blaze of glory. That is to be sure.
Bring on the magic of year three!


My Little Me

We’ve quickly rounded into 20 months of life.  And Little One’s personality has really started to shine.
Often, it feels as if I’ve been given a second childhood.  I get to watch myself grow up.  I get to raise myself (oh joy!) and I get to rediscover things about myself through mature eyes.  Mostly because she and I have eerily similar personalities (so far, at least)
She is, afterall, our first-born and that alone gives her and I a huge thing in common.  One of the many things we share.
When I took the following video of her, I loved it for two reasons.  One, because it is so her.  Being the eldest often comes with a longing to do bigger things and have more responsibility.  I, myself, was no exception to that and so I secretly love/fear that trait in one of my own.  She loves to copy in vivid detail the things she sees grown-ups doing.   Never mind that her end result may be a little flawed 🙂
And two, this video showcases a little piece of MG and Daddy’s relationship.  A relationship that has really taken off since he has been ever-present in the last six weeks.  She has gone from being a fierce Mama’s girl to it-depends-on-the-day-girl.  I secretly love/fear that too.  Just as long as she doesn’t completely edge me out, I think I can handle it.  Right?


Highlight Reel

Some recent highlights:

Story time at the library.

One of the little boys started “woofing” when he saw a picture of a dog. The librarian responded, “Someone must read to you at home!”   We’ve since started working on our animal noises.

There was a bubble machine.  Not sure what it had to do with story time…

but it was thrilling.

The Farmer’s Market opened for the season this weekend!

MG has discovered the joys of the little bitty strawberries.

Using cilantro we purchased there, I made salad dressing inspired by Little House on the Prairie blog.

Ingredients: cilantro, olive oil, salt, Trader Joe’s orange muscot vinegar & basil.  Process all ingredients.  Oh it’s good.  Thanks, A!

Granny came for a visit.

Which was, by far, the highlight of MG’s week {ours too}.

Seeing as we’ve had heat in the upper 80’s, we decided it was time to open the pool:

I’m convinced: this has to be one of the best times of the year.  The air is ripe with sunshine and summer.  We are enjoying the new blessings of each day and anticipating many more highlights to come!

In MG’s world….

Every morning would be Daddy’s pancake Saturday
  (actually that sounds a lot like MY perfect world too!)
There would be no such thing as the 10-second rule
(any and every food item dropped is fair game in this house)
the park would be first up on the to-do list
Breaks would be taken often for dance parties
(dance skills courtesy of dad)
Nothing would exist that didn’t begin with the letter ‘d’
 (it just makes everything easier)

Books would be littered, LITTERED with pictures of dogs

Roses would be red,
Dresses would be blue,
and every game would be “peek-a-boo, I see you!”

Your world is my favorite place to be, Little One!  Thank you for joining mine.

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