Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July Self Portrait

Woohoo, look at me posting my self portrait in the actual month that it was taken!

This month, a lot of my evenings were spent like this:

Sitting on a grassy field, cheering on my man while he played softball :)
Although, let's be real, I didn't spend a whole lot of time sitting with my two little ladies in tow.
  (Notice Mike and little Addy in the background.  Keeping her away from the players was a feat in and of itself.)

Mike has been playing on our church softball team for about 3 years, and although he really loves to play, I can guarantee that Addy loves going to those games more than he does.  So the girls and I went to every game that Mike played in this year, and we were by far the team's most devoted cheerleaders.  Every day Addy would ask at least ten times, "Are we going to Daddy's softball game now?"  She was a fantastic little cheerleader and even earned her Daddy the nickname Mike "Go Daddy" Hetrick.

We had such a blast on those sidelines although it was often hot as anything and we were usually eaten alive by mosquitoes.  None of that bothered Addy (or Emma for that matter).  There is a playground at the field, so we would spend our time going back and forth between watching the game and playing at the playground.  This picture was taken before the game started because by the end I was inevitably a sweaty, disheveled mess.

I wouldn't have changed these harried, hot and buggy nights for anything.  My girls had a blast, my hubby played a game that he loves, and I got to play with my girls, cheer for my husband, and socialize with some of the nicest people I know.  We will miss our church, with all of its wonderful people and activities, more than we probably even know.

Boy do I love the long, dog days of summer!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Emma: 10 Months!

Dear Sassy Sue,

This is your newest nickname because the days of you being content wherever we place you are a thing of the past.  You let it be known that you prefer for the attention to be on you at all times.  Addy is pretty good at entertaining you, however due to her age she is not to be trusted ;)  I can't tell you how many times things will be going smoothly, so I leave the room for 2 seconds, and I hear you wail and Addy's saying "I don't want to go to time out!"  Inevitably she bopped you on the head with something, pushed you over, stole your toy, or something of the like.  But despite the chaos that is our life right now, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

You are still a very pleasant baby.  As long as someone is paying attention to you, you are all smiles :)  You have the cutest little laugh, and though we don't hear it often, when we do it melts our hearts completely.

You have finally started becoming slightly mobile by rolling and spinning around, but no crawling yet.  I am fine with that, but I have a feeling you will be crawling soon.  You are so close!!

Ha ha, yes I plan on cutting your hair soon.  You are in desperate need, as the back is so long and wispy and the front is always in your eyes.  It only stays back if I put it in a barrette, but recently you have taken to ripping them out.  (Why is it that neither of my daughters like things in their hair?)

You are down to nursing three times a day (morning, night, and before your second nap).  You eat 2 containers of food 3 times a day and have a few snacks too.  Snacks usually consist of Cheerios, Mum Mums or Yogurt melts.  And you are starting to eat a lot more table food, which makes life a bit easier.  Your newest love is cheese, so you fit right in with this family ;)

Guess what I recently discovered by accident?  You can drink from a straw!  You have zero interest in a sippy cup, but one day when I gave you Addy's cup to play with, you picked it right up and started drinking from it!

You had your nine month doctor's appointment a little bit late, so you were closer to 10 months when we went.  Here are your stats:

Weight: 17lbs 3.2oz (25th percentile)
Length: 27 3/4 inches (40th percentile)
Head circumference: 45cm (75th percentile)  (You and your sister have both always had large noggins ;))

As your doctor put it, you are "petite".  Sounds so dainty doesn't it?

Nothing new with your napping schedule, although you are napping for a bit longer lately, which is fabulous.  About 1.5-2 hours twice a day.  And still sleeping 12 hours at night.

You are becoming more and more vocal, and you love to click your tongue and blow raspberries.  And just the other day you started saying "Hi!"  I don't think you know what it means, but you love to say it and you'll even say it on command.  You usually spout off "Dada" when you are happy and "Mama" when you are upset.  (How did I get the raw end of that deal?  Daddy tried to make me feel better by telling me it's because I am your greatest comfort when you are upset.  We'll go with that.)

You recently learned how to shake your head "No", and you laugh whenever you do it :)

I would say that your favorite book is Ten Little Ladybugs, which was your sister's favorite for a long time.  You love to reach out and try to grab the ladybugs off the page and you squeal with delight at the turn of every page :)

You still love to be standing while holding onto us or the furniture, but you haven't pulled yourself up yet.  You also  like when we walk you around while you hold onto our fingers.  Won't be long until you are running around on your own.  I wish I could stop time for just a little bit.  I really cannot believe that my baby will be a year old in 2 short months.  Where is the time going???

Here are your monthly pictures:

Your favorite game: "How Big is Emmy?  So big!!"

"Wait a minute.  Is this a barrette in my hair?  Let's get that out of there."  

You are such a little ragamuffin with that hair!

We're going to get your hair cut soon.  I promise.

"Mommy! I. AM. OVER. THIS!!!"

Ah, barrette is back in and we're back in business :)

Ending the photo shoot outdoors (with Daddy and Addy to provide entertainment) for some guaranteed smiles :)

Emma, your are just a little bundle of love!  You smile at everyone, and you haven't shown any signs of stranger anxiety yet.  Some of your greatest loves these days are: snuggling up with your purple blanket, swinging, and "walking" around.  I can't wait to see what next month brings!



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thoughts on Moving

This decision was probably one of the hardest that we've ever had to make, if not THE hardest.  We have hemmed and hawed about moving since I was pregnant with Addy.  Mike and I love our life here in North Carolina.  Really and truly, we both love it.  The weather is great, the people are friendly, we love our jobs, our house, our neighborhood.  I could go on and on.  But we miss our family.  And when it comes down to it, that is the bottom line.  There is nothing more important than family.  Not weather, not jobs, and not a house.  There will be a new house, new jobs, and the weather, well, we're just gonna have to get used to that again.

I know it'll be a tough transition.  We are moving "home" to PA, but we are moving to an area that is slightly unknown to us.  We are not moving back to our hometowns, we are moving to a new place.  My sister and brother-in-law will be there (thank goodness!), but we will not have any friends there, and that will be tough. I know it will, and I am preparing myself for that.

But I think it's good that we are moving to a new place.  It's a great location as far as proximity to both of our hometowns.  Close, but not too close.  If there is one thing that living eight hours away from family for the past ten years has taught us, it's independence.  Mike and I are both very independent people and I love that about us.  It might sound selfish, but I love that we have our own little life down here.  We do our own thing, and to be honest, we take pride in the fact that we are doing it alone.  Are there days that I wish we had some help when we were in a bind?  Absolutely.  Between Mike and I, we take care of our kids 100% by ourselves.  24 hours a day/7 days a week.  It's definitely hard, but in a sense we like knowing that we don't need to rely on anyone but each other.  We do things our way, every day.  So a selfish little part of me is glad that will not change when we move.  Our day to day lives will still be our own.

That being said, living closer to our families will be wonderful!  It will be the best of both worlds.  As much as I am used to being alone with our little family, there are so many times that I have wished we were closer to everyone else.  And now that it's happening I am almost giddy with excitement!!!  We will be the perfect distance away in that a weekend trip, or heck, even a day trip would be possible.  Gosh that will be awesome!!  I cannot wait to be able to see everyone more frequently!!!!

This move will be especially wonderful for our girls.  To be honest, when it was just Mike and I, we didn't mind living this far away.  We were able to go to PA fairly frequently to visit, and that worked for us.  But once the girls came along our priorities shifted.  It was no longer about us.  I keep going back to my memories of growing up with my grandparents fairly close by.  I loved nothing more than spending time with them, and I want the same thing for my girls.  My biggest fear with living down here was that they would grow up and feel like they barely knew their extended family.  And I did not want that for them.  It wouldn't be fair.  I want them to have those relationships that I have.  And that's just not really feasible from 8 hours away.  Yes there is Skype and Face Time (which are amazing things!!), but they could never replace real human contact.  Real hugs and kisses.

So, I guess that's what you do when you have kids.  You are still the one making your life decisions, but you are making them with someone else in mind.  I have truly loved living in North Carolina.  I love that we spent our twenties down here hanging out with friends and having parties.  I love that we got engaged down here.  And that we got married and then bought our first house here.  And then we got our puppy and had our two beautiful girls here.  These past ten years have been amazing.  But I know that it's time for a change.  This chapter of our lives is complete.  We have come to a fork in the road and we have chosen the path back home.  It's time to put down roots close to the people that matter most to us and start a new chapter. North Carolina will always be here, but our children will only grow up once.  And we want that to be surrounded by those that love them most: their family.  So as tough as this will be, we know that it's the right decision for our family, and we are so excited to start this new chapter in our lives!

Pennsylvania here we come!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Emma: 9 Months!

Dear Monkey,

This is one of your new nicknames, as you have taken an extreme liking to being held.  As soon as I pick you up you wrap your arms and legs around me like a monkey, in hopes that I'll never put you down.  You bury your head into me and snuggle up close, which is the sweetest thing :)  But of course, that being said, you have been showing your displeasure when I decide to put you down.  Or if I happen to walk into the room and don't pick you up, you don't like that either.  As you are growing up and showing your personality, you are becoming a bit more high maintenance.

But all it takes is one smile from someone and you are happy as can be.  I guess all it really takes is for someone to be paying attention to you, and I can't really blame you for wanting that.

It's funny how you've come to know your sister and anticipate her roughness.  Whenever Addy comes near you, you sort of cringe, preparing yourself for her shenanigans.  But by the same token, you smile whenever you see her, and you love to watch her play.  I hope the two of you will be the best of friends for life!

Empty water bottles are one of your favorite toys.  Addy loved them at this age too.  All you have to do is give a baby an empty water bottle and it'll keep them occupied longer than most toys.

You enjoy watching the IPad with your sister, and now you are able to play the infant "games" by yourself!

You love, love, love the water!  Bathtubs, pools, you love it all!

You are so different than Addy when it comes to the pool.  Once you get in there, you immediately relax, whereas she would immediately tense up.  Look at you!  It's like you're sleeping!


This float was actually given to Addy when she was your age, but she would NEVER have tolerated it.  You, on the other hand, are as happy as a clam!

At this point, you are still immobile, and you show absolutely no signs of trying to crawl.  You do, however have what daddy coined as "Go Go Gadget Arms".  I'm telling you, we are astonished at the things you can reach from wherever you are perched.  When we go out to eat, it seems that you can get anything that is on the table, no matter how far we push it away from you.

Speaking of eating, you are still nursing 4 times a day and you eat 2 containers of food three times a day.  You seem happy and content with this schedule, but we may drop one of the nursing sessions soon.  You love Cheerios, puffs, and Mum Mum's.  These quick and easy snack foods have become my saving grace to keep you content for a few moments while I'm preparing Addy's food or when you start getting fussy while we're out and about.  We have also started giving you bits of broken up soft table food, like bread.  And boy do you love it!  When we go to the farmers market for breakfast, you can scarf down those biscuits like a pro!  However, you still only have those two bottom teeth, so we can't offer you too much table food yet.

Notice Addy's background chatter and Mike and I arguing about the size of Emmy's bites ;)

As far as naps are concerned, you unfortunately seem to be consistently decreasing the length of your naps.  You used to give us a good 2-3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  Recently your naps have often been less than an hour each!  I am hoping that it's just a phase.  Plus, your naps have not been coinciding with your sister's, so there is often not a single minute during the day when you are both sleeping.  And let me tell you, that wears this mama out!

We have been going to the park a lot lately, and you love to swing!

Although you are still immobile, you like to stand up.  You can't do it on your own yet, but you can stand while holding onto furniture or onto our fingers.

Your legs are really strong, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if you bypass crawling altogether and go straight to walking.  I remember saying the same thing about Addy, because she was immobile for a long time as well.  But I'm not complaining.  Once you are mobile, life will become all sorts of chaotic!

Here are your monthly pics:

That little smile with your two bottom teeth completely melts my heart!

Your laughter is contagious!

I love that teeny, tiny tongue!

Just like your sister, you love nothing more than the outdoors :)

Emmy Jane, you are really growing into your own little person, and we love you more and more every day. You are a happy little monkey, and on the days when your sister's terrible twos are trying my patience, your precious stage of life gives me a breath of fresh air.  We all adore you little lady, and you make our family complete!



Monday, July 8, 2013

June Self Portrait

It should come as no shock to anyone that that I am late again with posting.  And this past month I even forgot to take a purposeful "self portrait".  So I scrolled through my I Phone and found a quick pic I snapped of myself after I got my hair done.

Now, I know this is no glamour shot, but it was the best I could do while stopped at a red light in the car.  And holding the phone low enough so that the people stopped next to me wouldn't see me awkwardly taking a "selfie".  Instead they just saw me awkwardly smiling to myself, so I'm not sure if that's really any better ;)

Anyway, I'm sure I took this pic to send to my sister, as we are constantly texting photos to each other.

Let's talk about my new found joy in getting my hair done.  I have always liked going to the salon, but now that I have two young children, I love going to the salon.  It is the perfect excuse to be away BY MYSELF for 3-4 hours.  If I could afford to get my hair done weekly I would.

And my new hair guy?  Ahhhhmazing.  He's better than any hairdresser I've ever had (and I've had a bunch).  He really took the time to get to know me and what I do with my hair.  For example, last time I went he asked what products I use.  I laughed and told him I'm lucky if I dry my hair, much less use any products.  So he then did my hair using not a single product!  Unheard of for hairdressers.  I am so used to leaving the salon with a head full of products that I promptly wash out.  But he wanted to show me ways that were realistic for me to do my hair at home.  And he gave me lots of tips, which was awesome.

Another huge reason that I love my new hairdresser?  He gave me wine!  I have been going to that salon for 9 years and I have NEVER been offered wine before (though I have seen others drinking it).  But he has two  little girls of similar ages to mine, and he was like "Girl, I can bet you could use some alcohol!"  And it was fabulous!  I felt so high class and pampered...something that every young mom would say they don't feel very often.  I could sit there and read trashy magazines while sipping my wine and not feel the least bit guilty about it.  Like there was something else I should be dong.  Because in that moment there was nothing else that I should have been doing, and that was a wonderful feeling.  Utterly relaxing.

As a mom of an infant and a toddler, there is not much down time in my life right now.  And though I wouldn't change that for anything, I'll grab the opportunity to head to the salon every 8 weeks or so for a recharge :)