Friday, February 28, 2014

Emma: 17 Months!

Dear Janey,

Whew, this month has been a rough one for you...all FOUR of your molars are coming in.  One came in last month and 2 more have pooped through now, with the last one coming any day now.  I know that it has really been hurting you because you have not been yourself.  You've been a bit crankier and clingier than normal.  But even Emma on a bad day is a million times better than many little ones on a good day :)

All of this has been combined with the all over rash that you have had for weeks now.  It's eczema due to this horribly dry weather, but it's just not getting any better and recently it's really been itching you and you've been scratching yourself all up.  We went to the doctor and they gave you some cortisone cream, and recommended a soap and lotion, so here's hoping all of that helps!

You are a little girl on the move and it is so funny watching you run around the house.  The thing that makes you run the fastest?  Food.  Just like your sister, you are very food driven.  As soon as I mention a meal, your little legs take off running towards your highchair and you try to climb up it.  It's so funny because at play dates all of the other kids are focused on whatever new toys they can play with.  You and Addy are focused on whatever snacks are there, ha ha!

That being said, you are becoming a picky eater like every other toddler on the planet.  We are hard pressed to get you to even eat fruit these days and veggies are next to impossible.  Except for asparagus, randomly.  I gave you a stalk the other day and you devoured it... and then had about 10 more after that!

You have, of course, been talking a lot more and your recent favorite word is, "OK".  I love it because when we ask you to do something (or if Addy asks you to do something), you respond with, "OK!"  Such a sweetheart you are :)  You are desperately trying to talk to us in sentences, but it is usually all jibberish at this point.  However, you have started saying "please" and "thank you", which is so adorable to hear in your little voice.  Now we may be the only ones that understand what you are saying, but that's ok ;)

We have had a lot of snow this winter and you definitely enjoy playing outside a lot more than your sister. Often times Addy goes back inside and you and I stay out for a little while longer :)



You and Addy have a few dress up outfits and you have claimed this one as your favorite:

Emma Jane: Wonder Woman!  It's so funny when you grab it and bring it over to me with a huge smile on your face.  I ask you if you want to wear it and you say, "Yes!" with a big smile and a nod :)

You adore your big sister and you're really starting to be able to play together.  I love hear you two squeal with delight as you're running around the house after each other.  And whenever Addy isn't around you ask for her: "Ahhh-EE!", you yell.  

We started cloth diapers back up since moving into our new house, and despite the initial shock at how time consuming it can be, it's going well.  How quickly I forgot about the rinsing, washing, stuffing, and folding of the cloth diapers.  But then, how quickly I got right back into it.  And now it's second nature again and I don't give it a second thought.

Speaking of the move, you are finally back in a regular crib after months of being in the pack and play at Tina and Jay's house.  And you love it!  You have been sleeping until 8:00 or later everyday (unlike your sister who has been up with the sun these days).  And as long as you have "Purple", your beloved blanket, all is well in your world :)

I haven't taken a whole lot of photos this past month since we've been so busy with the move.  You and Addy spent a lot of time playing in all of the packing material:

And usually Daisy was right in there with you... tongue and all ;)


 Despite my lack of photos this month, this is one of my recent favorites of you (taken by Aunt Tina of course):
This captures your personality so well.  My sweet, happy, smiley little lady :)


I love you to the moon and back Janey.


Love,

Mommy




Sunday, February 23, 2014

Addy: 3 Years!

Dear Lyn Bug,

Wow!  Three years old already?  Daddy and I are always talking about how old you seem, and I feel like I am often looking at you like, "Is it possible that my Addy Marie is 3 years old already?"

Here you are at your second birthday:

And then here you are on your third birthday:
Same pose ;)  What a difference a year makes, huh?  Wow!

You have been talking for a looooong time now, and speaking in complete, understandable sentences for a long time too.  That is undoubtedly the thing people mentioned most about you in the past year.  They would say things like, "She's only two years old?  Wow, she speaks well!"  You were always very good at communicating what you need/want.

That being said, like any two year old, your tantrums often were (and sometimes still are) pretty epic.  You are still learning to control your emotions and I understand that, but boy,  it can be tough to handle!  Recently though, the whining has begun.  I find myself asking you all the time, "WHY are you using that whiny voice? WHY?"  It's like as soon as you turned three a switch flipped and the tantrums have decreased in frequency, but the whining has skyrocketed.  Sigh, I suppose each season of life has its... quirks shall we call them?

All in all, you are a REALLY good girl!  Sometimes it's easy to lose track of that when we are together all day every day, but then when I see you at school, or at play dates, or in public in general, your behavior (almost) always makes me proud.  While you have a tough time sharing with Emma at times, you are really good at it with other kids.  You are polite, gracious, and very empathetic towards others.  You love to try to make other kids feel better if they are sad, and that is such a sweet quality.

Addy, you are so very smart!  I love to have conversations with you now and listen to what you have to say.  When you are away with grandparents for the weekend I love saying, "Let's talk about your weekend!" and listening to your three year old version of a recap.  It is so much fun!  And you retain so very much, and probably much more than we even realize.  You are learning at such a rapid rate, and we try to find as many teachable moments in our day as possible.  You are in that wonderful stage of life where you LOVE to learn new things and every day you are discovering new things about the world.  You talk non-stop and ask questions constantly, and though I'll admit it gets tiresome, I remind myself that it is your way of learning about your world :)  You have such a thirst for knowledge and I hope with my whole heart that you always do!

Let's talk about your sense of direction.  I swear, you know your way around our new town better than I do!  For example we went to the State museum ONE time for a birthday party and were never around there at any other time until about a MONTH later.  We were heading into downtown Harrisburg and you blurted out, "It's that way to Ben's party!"  pointing to the right.  And you were absolutely right!  If we would have turned right off the ramp, it would have taken us to the State Museum!  You know the way to Monkey Joe's like the back of your hand, you know which way to go on the highway to get to certain places, and you know how to get to Tina's house from whichever direction we are coming from.  Another time you amazed me is when we were driving around looking at Christmas lights and came out on Wertzville Road from a direction we had NEVER come before, and you still pointed and said, "It's that way to Tina's house."  And you were, of course, right.  Sometimes I swear you even know your right from your left!  When we quiz you on it you are correct most of the time.  So all in all, you clearly got Daddy's sense of direction, just like you have Daddy's everything else ;)  Thank goodness on this one, because I would never wish you to have my sense of direction!

And along the same lines is your memory.  Wow, your memory never ceases to amaze me.  You remember things from almost a year ago, and you are only 3!  The other day you brought up music class (which we haven't gone to since May) out of the blue and said, "Remember the teacher had that baby?  What was her name?"  And then you followed it up with, "And then I fell and hurt my knee.  Which knee was it?"  Which, yes, on the way to our very last music class you fell and skinned your knee.  I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I have no idea which knee it was ;)  It always amazes me that we could do something or go somewhere ONE time and you will bring it up months later, like it's something we do every day.  You are like an elephant: you never forget!

Your favorite song, by far, is the Grand Old Flag song.  Oh my, if I've sung it once, I've sung it a thousand times.  It is your lullaby of choice, no joke.  Before every nap and every bedtime, you ask for us to sing the Grand Old Flag song.  And it is a long song.  But you know if we are trying to rush through it and you'll scold us saying, "Too fast!"  As much as I sometimes have to take a deep breath when you ask for that song, I remember that pretty soon you won't want us to sing to you anymore, so I try to cherish these times, long song or not.


video
This is you singing the song back in early September.


video
And here you are singing it in January, with some help from Emma!  Emma loves when you sing, and she's always your biggest cheering section :)

So, let's see.  Other facts about you lately.  Are you a picky eater?  Of course you are.  You're three.  Comes with the territory, I believe.  And Daddy and I really fell into the bad habit of giving you guys exactly what you wanted while we lived with Tina and Jay.  Number one, we just wanted to keep the peace while living in someone else's house.  And number two, you and Emma ate dinner earlier than us adults, so there was no "You're eating what we're eating".  Our meal wasn't ready until you were in bed, so.... we made you guys mac and cheese, grilled cheese, PBJ, etc.  NOT good.  And you both are snack hounds.  We gave you way too many snacks while living there too.  New house, new rules.  Now that we are in our own house, we all eat together, and snacks are healthier..... and you and Emma are rebelling a bit.  If you don't want that snack, you don't get one.  With Emma, there's no coaxing her.  Our new meal/snack plan has resulted in many a piece of thrown food by her.  (One of the main reasons we waited until we lived in our own house for this.  Didn't really want her launching food all over someone else's house.)  You are a bit more civilized than that, ha ha.  And you usually can be coaxed to take a few bites of most anything if it means a sweet treat in return.  The sweet tooth?  That, you got from your mommy :)  Our new favorite dessert for you guys is sugar-free Jello.  Really not bad for you, and you guys love it!  

Remember back when Daddy was your parent of choice?  Well, the tide has turned, and now you want Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.  I love it/hate it at the same time.  It is truly wonderful to feel loved by your little one, but when you need Mommy to put you to bed every night, and you beg for Mommy to sing you a song, read you a book, help you in the bathroom, give you a bath, etc... well, it gets old.  You often flat out refuse to let anyone else help you.  We are sticking with Daddy doing the baths, which often results in meltdowns from you.  And you are more jealous of Emma than you used to be.  All of the sudden, whenever I am about to pick Emma up, you run over to me asking, "Can you hold me?"  You never used to do that.  But in a way I am grateful that it is happening now, when Emma is older, rather than when she was an infant and nursing, therefore needing to be held a lot.  But, it's just one of those millions of situations you get into as a parent, where when you remind yourself that your kids are only little for such a short time, you are able to stop, take a deep breath, and find the joy.  I realize that before I know it, neither of you will want me to hold you, so I take my snuggles now while I can get them :)  And in general, neither of you are snugglers, so I'll hold you and steal some snuggles and kisses!

When we moved into our new house, we FINALLY got you into your toddler bed!  At Tina and Jay's house we kept you in the crib because:  A.You didn't care, or try to climb out and B.You slept in the basement bedroom, which was really far away from Mommy and Daddy, so it made me nervous that you might be roaming around down there at night and I wouldn't know it.  We chose to keep you contained until you were closer to us.  And you LOVE your "new" bed (which is just your crib with the front rail removed and replaced with a toddler rail).  You usually get out in the morning when you wake up (which is around 7AM these days) and come and find us.  But for nap time you stay there until I come and get you, and you have never gotten up in the middle of the night, so I can't complain.  You are doing an awesome job with the transition from crib to bed!

And now that you are in a bed, and able to get out and go the bathroom if you have to, we put you in underwear for bed.  So you are full on potty trained!  Really, you have been for months, because you woke up pretty much every morning with a dry Pull-Up.  But again, with you being so far away from us, I felt we should keep you in a Pull-Up at night until we got into our new house.  So here we are.  No more diapers, and no more Pull-Ups for Addy Marie!!!  Now, you still have the occasional accident, but it's very infrequent.  I am so proud of you!

We have started kneeling down at your bed and saying prayers before bedtime, which is a nice little routine for us.  When I leave your room at night, I got in the habit of saying, "Love you to pieces" as I walk out the door, and now you say it back to me every night.  It is such a sweet sound to hear those words in your little three year old voice.  It ends the night on such a wonderful note.  

Here are your three year stats:
Height: 38.25 inches (77th percentile)
Weight: 33.5 lbs (75th percentile)

Here are some (AKA a lot) of your pictures from the past few months:

September:




October:


November:

Love your school picture!!!




Typical Addy Marie :)

December:



You LOVE Aunt Tina's vanity area!  If we couldn't find you, that was often where you were :)

My little elf!

Snow bunny :)


Teeth cleaning...no problem!

Ready for Santa!


Christmas!

At Monkey Joe's!

January:

New house excitement!

You loved that Barbie!

Your birthday present from Mommy and Daddy!

Birthday girl!


Cake and cupcakes galore!  I felt like it was a month long celebration for you!  First your Monkey Joe's Party, then your family party, and then your preschool party!  You are quite a lucky little lady!  And this last pic really showcases your wild and crazy hair.  There is NO taming that mane!  The curls/waves are hard to manage at best.  Pigtails are the only thing that make you look semi-put together, ha ha.  You need a haircut desperately (you and your sister both!), as I'm sure that would help.  For now, you are just wild haired Addy, and we love you like that!

Addy Marie, you are such a smart, kind, and fun little girl who is beautiful inside and out.  You light up our world with your crazy antics and funny stories, and you keeping us laughing every day.  Though it gets crazy at times, life is worlds better with you in it!  I love you to pieces Ad Marie!





Love,

Mommy

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January Self Portrait

January was a big month for us because we finally closed on our PA house!  The holidays are over and (other than Addy's 2 birthday parties) we could mostly focus on getting our new house move-in ready.  Not that it wasn't already.  It's a great house, and I'm pretty sure the previous owners had it professionally cleaned when the renters moved out because it was almost spotless. Which doesn't mean I didn't clean the whole thing top to bottom (with the help of my mom and sister).  It just made that job a heck of a lot easier :)

Here is where I spent A LOT of time:


I am so excited to finally have a pantry!  I went to clean it "really quick" and discovered that the shelves are those white wire looking ones, and they are NOT easy to clean.  I ended up taking a rag to each individual spoke because they were fairly dusty and several had old spills on them.  Well, that was an undertaking! 

And since I spent so much time getting them clean, Tina suggested that I put foamboard shelves on top of the wire ones to keep them clean, make it easier to wipe down, and make it easier to store small things without having to balance them on those wires.  So I did that.  And that was an undertaking as well.  Measuring and cutting each board, taping some together because one wasn't long enough, and putting contact paper over all of them. 

But I am glad that I did it!  All of it.  I feel better knowing that my pantry shelves were cleaned and updated with love by me :)  Now they are ready to be piled with food... which might start happening today because TODAY IS THE DAY folks!  Moving day for the Hetricks has finally arrived!  Wish us luck!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Emma: 16 Months!

Dear Lou Lou Lemon,

Wow, recently you have been off and running!  Literally!  It is the cutest thing to watch you run around, and I'm going to have to try to catch a video of it soon.  You love when one of us "chases" you, and you run away laughing hysterically :)

This month I have also noticed you asking for Addy whenever she isn't around.  When you wake up, "Addy!" (which sounds more like "Ahhh-EE").  When she's at school, "Addy!".  When you are in your high chair and she isn't, "Addy!"  I love it :)  You love your big sister so much and we are noticing her being a lot more gentle with you lately, which is awesome.  Now, you still get your fair share of being pushed around (literally) by her, but it IS improving, so that's something :)

Here she is pulling you in your new wagon that you LOVE!  I really enjoy seeing glimpses of you two actually playing together :)


One day I was looking around for you and I found you tucked in your wagon with a good book :)  You fit perfectly in that wagon with your little legs outstretched.

Cheese face!

You love books, especially the You Are My Sunshine book that we gave you for Christmas.  Ever since you got it, that is the lullaby you prefer we sing before bed.  You bring that book over to us all the time and want us to read it, or perhaps just open it.  Because we can't seem to get through more than a page or two (of any book) before you close it and say, "All done."

When you want to say "Yes", it comes out more like "Yesh", and luckily I got a video before that disappeared, because lately you have been preferring "Yay!" instead.



This month you started showing some interest in the potty for the first time!  I think watching your sister go has something to do with that, but you will sometimes say "Potty" and go and sit on it.  Usually you are in your diaper, but I think you kind of get the concept because there are times that you sit there and I watch the little line on your diaper go from yellow to blue!  So you are peeing in there!  And a few times when we had your diaper off you've peed (and once pooped!) on the little pink potty!  It's funny because you also like to put your toys on the potty and then bend down to see if anything is happening!  Your dolls, books, piano.... you've tried them all to see if any of them get this potty thing ;)  I am not living in a fantasy land, and I know it'll be a long while before you are actually potty trained, but you're showing interest and that is the first step :)



In other news, you desperately need a haircut!  I mean desperately.  We said we were going to get you a "holiday haircut" around Christmas and here we are in February with still no cut.  At least you are a girl so you can pull it off.  But you need a bow or something at all times to keep you hair out of your eyes.  And your hair is getting more and more mullet-like by the day.  Soon, little lady, soon :)

I love your "cheese" face!

You have been working on your molars this month, which I know has been rough on you.  One of the bottom ones popped through, so you now have nine teeth, but Pap said he can feel the other three coming.  I can tell by the way you shove your hands in your mouth and your overall clingyness (which always happens when you are teething) lately.  You've also had the diaper rash that both you and your sister always get with teething.  Doctors say the two aren't related.  I don't buy it.  At all.

Here you are at Addy's birthday party (while eating something of course).  I love you and your little pigtails!

Emmy, every month I marvel at how I am watching you grow up right in front of my eyes.  Seeing the new things that you learn every day is one of the most amazing things about motherhood.  You blow kisses, run, climb, and chat up a storm.  Listening to you talk (in almost 100% your own language) is adorable.  You try to carry on full conversations and look at us like we should understand you.  Addy often tries to interpret, which is adorable.  I know it'll be a blink of an eye before you will be carrying on conversations... in English. So for now I will relish in your sweet gibberish and continue to pretend I understand.  You remain my sweet sweet, and to know you is to love you.  Truly.  You bring so much joy to our lives; I could kiss your little cheeks all day long.  And sometimes I do :)

I love you Emma!

Love,

Mommy