Wednesday, January 29, 2014

December baby.

Audra turned two on the 27th, while we were in Illinois for Christmas with my parents. We had a sweet, simple day of celebrating our big girl: a trip to see Frozen, games, cupcakes, and presents.

Nana let her lick the frosting.

Happy girl.

Hours of entertainment.

Birthday lovin' from Nana and G-Pop.

Her trademark nervous eye rub.

Dad did the honors.

Time for a checkup. Good thing we know all these nurses.

Dr. Audra taking care of her baby.

Shots for dad.

Rocking Tiny Baby.

I'm thankful every day for the little brown-eyed love who made our family whole. What an incredible blessing it has been to watch her grow these last two years...the fastest, sweetest years of my life.

Happy birthday, Peanut Butter.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Holly and jolly and whatnot.

January 20th. Here I am, eeking in all these Christmas pictures just under a month late. Considering our life lately, I'm gonna go ahead and call that a success.

Donut the elf returned on December 1. He brought these slightly dazed children some breakfast. And a warning.

We baked cookies. And exchanged them. And then threw a bunch out, which is what I do every year.

Got a tree, and decorated/acted silly in front of it.

Got this incredible gift in the mail from a sweet friend who is far too crafty for my taste but whom I adore anyway.

 Someone met Santa for the first time (whoops) and loved him.  

That same someone adorned the teacher gifts with what I have to assume are holiday dinos and made his mama laugh.

The kids had their Christmas pageant and the whole pregnant star thing came full circle as I stood on the same stage in the same costume with my baby girl in my arms instead of my belly.

Took the kids to see Llama Llama Holiday Drama, their first live theater experience.

Got dolled up for Christmas Eve services.

(And my baby girl aged two years in one picture. Waaah.)

We also took some sweet pics in the extremely flattering church atrium lighting.

Santa came. 

And not just for the kiddos. 

All was calm, all was bright. At least as far as I remember. It was a month ago, after all. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The baby of the family.

The other evening Nate made a pointed but fair statement:

"Your mom can't say no to you, Audra. This is a problem."

As the oldest kids in both of our families, Nate and I have often discussed how our siblings had (have?) it easier than the two of us. We have to meet the crazy high expectations, abide by the over-the-top rules, and fight all the tough fights with our parents...and then our siblings reap the benefits of our work. I have many examples of this (ahem, not being able to ride in a car with a teenage driver until I was in nearly in college) but I will spare you my sob stories.

I have always found this double standard irritating at best. And yet, I find myself in the same spot with my own children. Everything was by the book with Calvin. Everything is off the cuff with Audra.

Nate's right. I can't say no to her.

I do, of course. I haven't totally given up on being a good parent. But honestly, I rarely have to. She's so sweet, so easygoing, so CUTE.

The cuteness is my undoing. Much like her brother, girlfriend has charm for miles. She can be a huge troublemaker, but she smirks at us with this adorable "you know you love it!" face and I can't even deal...much less discipline her without wanting to scoop her up and kiss her face.

The baby who refused to let me cuddle her now whispers "I snuggle you, mama" every night before bed while resting her little head on my chest. (Quickly followed by "I go in my bed now." She's still pretty independent.) She loves singing with me at night — her favorites are ABCs, I Cast All My Cares Upon You, and Jesus Loves Me. She can also be found singing Ring Around the Rosy, Bringing Home My Baby Bumblebee, and Go Tell It On the Mountain at various points throughout the day.

She loves her babies (Baby Dolphin, Baby Girl, Tiny Baby). She carries them around the house, wraps them up, rocks them and feeds them. I recently caught her rocking Tiny Baby and whispering "oh baby oh baby oh baby oh" to her...the same rhythmic line I whispered to both of my babies when they were tiny and inconsolable.

Calvin is her greatest comforter, tormentor, and friend. She calls him "My Calvin." Almost exclusively. When she's upset, she runs over to him for a hug and a "shhhhh, it's okay Audra." When he leaves her room at bedtime she sobs and calls for him. Every fight they have ends the same: A big hug, then "Sorry, Audra." "Sowwy, Calvin."

She loves clothes, shoes, and accessories, and she has definite opinions on all three. I bought her a pair of gold mary janes to wear on Christmas — she's worn them with pjs, with jeans and a sweatshirt, to church and school and everywhere in between. They are her "fancy shoes" and she requests them daily. "I nee my fancy shoes!"

Her tantrums are an adorable series of rapid stomps. She screams a high pitched "EEEEEEEEEE!" constantly — usually out of sheer delight. Sometimes in conjunction with the stomps.

She says "I hold you" when she wants to be picked up; "I gotchu mama" when she wants me to hold her or while giving me a hug.

If you say "I love you sooooo much!" she will reply "so much YOU!" 

She calls Mattie "Mannie." The other day Nate overheard her saying "Hi Mannie guwl, hi Mannie! Good guwl, Mannie."

She says "I a big guwl! I two!" When I ask her what kind of birthday party she's having next week, she says "Two party! George!"

She loves dress up. And carrying Cal's lego guys around. She likes to cook in her play kitchen, and makes little plates of things to bring downstairs to her daddy.

Everything is "mines" right now. And her lunch? "That's mines yunch!"

She got a backpack like Calvin's for Christmas. She calls it her "packpack" and whenever she sees it says "I nee my packpack!"

Nothing makes her happier than being flipped around. She's a maniac. She'll climb up on the couch next to us, say "Weady? One, two, freeee!" then free fall. Quickly followed by "again, again!"

She loves movies. We took the kids to see Frozen on her birthday; she watched almost the entire thing from her own seat. On New Year's Eve, while all the other kids were running around screaming, she quietly sat on the couch and watched Despicable Me 2.

Dairy is her lifeblood. "Milky" is her favorite thing on earth, followed closely by cheese.  She gets hangry just like her mama — food solves almost any tantrum. She's a good eater, except she won't touch a baked good. She looks at cupcakes and donuts with disdain.

I just love her. So much. If there was any way to stop time, I'd stop it now. I mourn the loss of Calvin's baby and toddlerhood so much — it was here and gone before I even realized it, and now it's so hard to remember my handsome big kid as the equally precious and adorable toddler he was then. I know the same will be true with Audra all too soon, which is why I'm far less concerned about doing everything right this time. All I want is to soak her up while I have her. And if that means saying "no" a little less and enjoying her toddler antics a little more...well, so be it.

Sorry, Cal. Welcome to the oldest kid club. I know it's not fair, but you'd better get used to it.


Audra's two year stats: 25lbs 12oz (37th percentile) and 36" tall (93rd percentile)
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