Wednesday, July 29, 2015

19 Months

I am 19 months (and 2 days) old!

  • I wear a size 18mo clothes, size 4-4.5 shoe, and a size 4 diaper.
  • I sleep 12-13 hours at night and take about a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. Mommy has recently discovered something funny. I actually wake up around 7am and sit super quiet in my bed and read my books and roll around for a bit and then I curl up and go back to sleep until 8 or 9. I'm so quiet that even with the volume turned on on the monitor you can't hear me!
  • Mommy can definitely tell that I've gotten a lot taller this summer. When the summer started I couldn't stand on the bottom step of the pool and now I can keep my whole head above the water while on the bottom step.
  • I'm getting pretty good at identifying my body parts. I can do head, ears, mouth, hands, fingers, thumb, toes, tummy, nose and sometimes eyes. I love to find other people's ears as well...and stick my fingers in them!
  • At meal time I always want to say a prayer when the big girls say there's. Emmie is always so sweet and helps me with mine.
  • My name is on the wall above my changing table and I love to point at it, say "Ruthie", and point to myself! (Mommy is really glad that I know my name is Ruthie and not just Roo)
  •  I love to eat. My favorites are still fruits and vegetables!
  • I now have ALL of my teeth...yay! I have my first trip to the dentist scheduled for August. Mommy is sure I'll get a big thumbs up from the dentist because I LOVE to brush my teeth.
  • This month I have continued to have a really hard time with my eczema, especially on my legs. Mommy is now trying some Eucerin eczema cream and right now it seems to be helping. I take Zyrtec every morning and often again at night. Every once in awhile the itching and redness will be so bad that I will also get Benadryl.
  • Every day my speech gets a little clearer. I talk in 2-4 word sentences sometimes although it can be hard to decipher all the words.
  • I still suck on the ring and middle fingers on my left hand. However, I don't do it as much as I used to. I do it when I'm in a new situation and overwhelmed and I do it at night during my bedtime song and when I'm laying in bed going to sleep.
  • For a child that loves to play in the dirt I'm SUCH a girly girl. I love jewelry, dresses. bows, purses and I've already mastered walking in heels!
  • I still love to play in the pool and the ocean.
  • This month I got to stay in a hotel for the first time and had my first trip to Myrtle Beach.

  • This month I went to an aquarium and of course had a great time looking at all the fish.
  • This month I went to story time at the library a few times. I really love getting to pick out new books to bring home.
  • This month I have not been quite as good at listening as I was previously. Mommy thinks I'm testing out my "terrible two" wings.
  • Some of my favorite books this month are Little Blue Truck, Pout Pout Fish, Little Quack's Bedtime, and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. I really love to sit and read especially if there are animals in the book.
  • I LOVE to sing and dance. If I am holding a princess doll I will start singing (because all princesses sing!) and if I have the Frozen book I sing Let It Go...hilarious.
  • I love to be silly and am generally a happy girl. People often comment on my sweet smile and friendly personality (I love to say hi and bye).
best smile ever!
  • This month we celebrated Ellie's 4th birthday at the marionette theater and I loved the show and did a great job sitting still through the whole thing.
  • I love to do anything my sisters do! They are so much fun and I'm positive that I'm already one of the big girls!
  • This month I had my toenails painted for the first time. I was soooo proud of them!
  • I am pretty opinionated about my attire. If you take me near the closet I want to pick out my dress and I ALWAYS want to pick out my own shoes and I often want a bow but not just any bow. I want the bow that I've picked out.
  • I am very good at problem solving. There are very few places in the house that is out of my reach!
Can you say chunky monkey?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Myrtle Beach Trip

This past weekend Paul had a work conference in Myrtle Beach so the girls and I tagged along for some beach fun! We left on Friday and I didn't tell them until Thursday. They were sooooo excited! Ellie kept calling it an "adventure". I knew we would have some meals that were too late for Ruthie and where the big girls would need snacks to hold them over until the meal so Ellie had a great time at the grocery store getting to pick out snacks for our adventure (Emmie was at camp so Ellie got to make all the decisions). She LOVES snack food and she got to pick out things that we don't usually buy because they were easy to prepare in a hotel room. (Things like store bought muffins, squeezie yogurt, pudding, and granola bars...we also took some fruit along but she wasn't nearly as excited about that.)
We left Friday after lunch and the girls all slept at some point during the trip. When we got to the hotel Paul unpacked the car and the girls and I went exploring. They were super excited to get to stay in a hotel (the last time they stayed in one was at Disney almost two years ago). When Ellie found out we would be staying in a hotel she was thrilled and wanted to know if we would have a potty and a bathtub and if there would be a bed for her to sleep in. The kid doesn't ask for much!
Ellie had to try out the bed as soon as we got there...she gave it an A+.
We stayed at the Marriott Grande Dunes so we were right on the beach and we also had 2 outdoor pools and a waterslide. There was also a whole section of hammocks so of course we had to try those out.
Ruthie thinks putting 4.5 people on a hammock might not be a great idea...she's totally judging.
After we got settled in our room we changed and went to the welcome reception. The girls gorged themselves on fruit and cheese and Emmie quickly found some friends her age. The group from Paul's company had dinner reservations at 7:30 and our original plan was for Paul to take the big girls and I would feed Ruthie in the hotel room. However, at the last minute Ellie decided she wanted to stay with me so I took the little girls and we had a picnic in the hotel room. They both thought it was so much fun!
When I put Ellie's dress on her for the reception she started talking about how she was going to work on being "lady like" cracked me up but you can see in this picture that she's still focused on her task. It took me awhile to figure out where she picked up on the term but I finally realized it's from Happy Birthday, Samantha which we had just finished reading.
It was VERY good that Ellie decided to stay as Paul and Emmie didn't get back until after 10...Ellie would have been a mess. I was worried about how bedtime in a hotel room would go but the big girls did fine because Ellie was asleep before Emmie got back. Ruthie flipped out when I put her in the pack and play but once I got in the bed she seemed to realize that I wasn't leaving her and she settled down and went to sleep.
Saturday morning the girls were up bright and early (as in 6:45...ugh) and ready to head to the pool. We went downstairs and ate breakfast and then changed and headed to the pool. They were sooo excited. Emmie and Ellie actually asked to do the waterslide and I was super surprised when both of them actually went down the waterslide. I know Emmie was terrified (Ellie however volunteered to go first) and I was really proud of her for trying it out. When they got to the bottom neither one wanted to do it again but I think if it had been open when we were at the pool that evening they would have given it another shot. We played at the pool for about an hour and then my friend Julie and her boys joined us for some beach time. Julie is one of my sorority sisters and we were roommates our senior year of college and she now lives in Myrtle Beach. The last time I saw Julie was when Ruthie was born so I was super excited that it worked out that we were able to spend some time catching up! The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand.
As close as I could get to a picture with all the kiddos.
My friend Kerri, who's husband works in the Greenville office, joined us at the beach as well. I loved catching up with both of these wonderful friends that I get to see so rarely! For lunch Julie and I took all the kiddos to chick fil a so they could continue playing. After lunch the girls and I headed back to the hotel for nap time. I shouldn't call this nap time as Ruthie clearly thought it was dance party time. She kept standing up in the pack and play and singing and dancing with her baby doll! The big girls were playing quietly on the ipad but if they made any noise Ruthie popped up again. I finally turned off the ipad and told them it was time to take a nap (and for once NOBODY argued with me...I think they were asleep before Ruthie). Once the big girls were asleep Ruthie quickly followed suit. They all took about a 2 hour was great! After nap they ate a little snack and then we changed and went back to the pool for a Luau. The girls were less interested in the food and more interested in getting back in the pool. They played for a LONG time. The luau started at 7 and I brought the little girls back to the room around 9:20 and Paul and Emmie didn't get back until after 10. However, once again they were up bright and early the next morning!
Sunday morning we packed up our stuff and loaded up the car and all headed to Ripley's Aquarium. We went to the Charleston aquarium earlier this summer and they had a great time so they were excited to try out another one.
Ruthie was not a fan of the loud waterfall behind them!

Watching the sting rays. There was an area where you could pet them but none of mine were up for it.
Emmie finally worked up the courage to touch a horseshoe crab.

After standing at the tank for about 5 minutes they finally worked up the courage to touch a jellyfish.

I think all of us thought the best part was going through the tunnel where the fish swim all around you. It was so neat to look up and see fish swimming over your head!

I loved the sea turtle.
Those little orange things really entertained the girls...they kept calling them Cheetos.
They also got to meet a "real" mermaid which thrilled the big girls...Ruthie wasn't having any of it though. After the aquarium we headed back to Columbia. Everyone was pretty worn out after our trip but we definitely had lots of fun and the girls can't wait to go on another hotel adventure!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ellie's Birthday Party

Ellie received a marionette puppet to take home. It was a purple dragon and she loves it!
We had Ellie's friend party today at the Columbia Marionette Theater. We had a great group of kids and Ellie had so much fun and felt very celebrated!

Mason and Madison came from Raleigh for the day to come to the party. The girls were thrilled to see them!
When the kids got there we made paper bag puppets that I ordered from Amazon and then we had pizza and goldfish and finished off with some yummy cookie cake!

Ruthie definitely enjoyed her cookie!

Next we sat down in the theater to watch the show. Their current show is the Brementown Musicians. The puppets were very well done and I think all the kids really enjoyed the show. I know my little birthday girl did! I was so impressed because even Ruthie was entertained and sat still through the whole show. I think one of Ellie's favorite parts of the day was before the show when they had everyone in the audience say happy birthday to Ellie. It made her feel so special!

Starting in October they will be performing The Snow Queen and my girls have already asked to go see it.

We are so thankful for all of Ellie's sweet friends and are so glad that so many of them were able to come celebrate with us!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Another week of doctor visits

Sometimes I feel like our doctor appointments come in waves. This week we had Ellie's well check on Wednesday (she was 32.8 (or maybe 6) lbs...i don't have any of her other stats as I forgot to get them from the nurse). She had the best 4 year old appointment ever as she didn't have to get any shots! The girls just got their varicella vaccine and you can't get another live vaccine for a month so we decided to wait and just get all of them when she gets her flu shot. Ellie also had her hearing and vision screened. She did great with the vision but didn't "hear" anything on the left side. For the hearing screen she had to point to the appropriate picture when she heard the word through the headphones. She did fine on the right. I was in the room with her and she looked like she kind of zoned out when they switched to her left ear. Also, I can totally see Ellie thinking in her head "I already pointed to these things. If you didin't get it the first time then why should I make the effort to point to them again?" Yep, Ellie's that kid. The doctor said that since her ears looked good and since I didn't have any concerns about her hearing that we would just recheck her when they screen them at school in January. 
Today was my 30 week appointment and Emmie's ENT follow up and hearing test. Gin-g and Fres came and kept the little girls so that I didn't have to drag everybody with us (Emmie and I had back to back appointments). At my appointment baby and I both checked out well. Baby's heartbeat was about 140 today. At my appointment in 2 weeks they will do another ultrasound to check the placenta again. We're really praying that it has continued to move up. It was on the "good" side of borderline last time. If it's too low come baby time I'll have to have a c-section and nobody has time for that!
Emmie's appointment was great! She had her hearing screen first and passed with flying colors! In her previous screens she had been very hesitant and would whisper when answering like she wasn't quite sure about the answer. This time you could definitely tell she was confident in her answer. We knew her hearing had improved but it was so nice to get the official results!
(Hearing check!)

Emmie's appointment with the ENT was very quick, especially since she wouldn't talk to or look at him! She totally holds him responsible for the ear drops she had to do after she got her tubes in! He has been so great and sadly he's moving in a few weeks...we're so glad we got everything done before he was gone. 
So, after a busy week of appointments I think we're done with doctor's until the next baby check in 2 weeks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Dear Ellie,

July 14, 2011 changed our lives forever as we welcomed you, a second daughter in 19 months, into our lives. We weren't sure what the future held or how we would adjust to a second child. It was hard at first. You didn't sleep and you were pretty grumpy. The first day after we got home some friends came to visit and I think your dad and I just sat on the couch and stared at them with glazed over eyes. I have no idea what we talked about or even who it was that came...I just remember there were people there. The first months were rough with little sleep and lots of tears (more mine than just grouched). And then we figured out you had some tummy troubles and we started you on medicine and things got better. And then we switched your medicine and things got even better. We all got much more sleep and you were so much happier and my heart just broke for all those months that you were hurting and we didn't know it.  So we survived the first year and the second year we discovered your funny personality and your quite advanced vocabulary. (You were the kid who had just learned to talk that would tell us "I angy") Then we survived the next year with flying colors as you adjusted seamlessly to sharing a room, potty training, and a new sister. (Seriously, I think you stopped and looked at Ruthie, said oh how nice, and continued on with life.) And now another year has passed. It was a year of ups and downs and some changes but we survived. 
This year you went to preschool twice a week and took dance. Your teachers talked about your sweet personality and your smile. You made friends that were YOUR friends first instead of friends that were Emmie's friends first. You loved everything about school. One of your favorite things at school was music and your favorite thing in music was to go on a bear hunt. You made us go on sooo many bear hunts at home!
When you grow up you want to be a Mommy (and my heart melts every time you tell me that). You love to play with "little" toys. You love to read books and will sit and listen to someone read to you for as long as they will sit there. You love any kind of book. Bernstein Bears, chapter books, Fancy Nancy and anything else you can get your hands on.  You're not real big into arts and crafts. You love to watch TV. You love to just lay in your bed and wake up slowly (not that Emmie lets you very often). You don't like to clean up or do any kind of chores. You like "soft" (cotton) dresses. You love to sing and while it's usually very off key you sing with so much gusto and heart and I love it. You've started playing more with other children but still are quite content to play by yourself. You love to be silly. You love to snuggle. (You would go in to school everyday and snuggle with Mrs. Elizabeth, one of your teachers.) You love the zoo. You have a HUGE sweet tooth and you also love fruits that are red...but only the red fruits. You love to swing. You love family and time together.
I am so fascinated by the way you learn. You just absorb information. You don't like to practice things and you're content to just wait until it's easy before you do something new. You're very different from your sisters in this way. You like to learn creatively.  This year I kept trying to get you to practice writing your name and you just wouldn't do it. One day I handed you a dry erase board and a marker and you thought that was so fabulous and you wrote your name...perfectly. You've watched Emmie work on basic math and then you asked to do it...and you "got" it. I'm so interested to see how you learn in school because you learn so differently than I do. I do know that learning will have to be FUN for you to put any effort into it because Ellie you love to have fun!
I love to watch you when you get excited. You are usually so nonchalant about things but when you get excited about something you just light up. You were so excited this year for your family party at the beach. You spent all year planning it and from the beginning you wanted homemade cookies and cream ice cream and chocolate cake with chocolate icing. You were so excited about the food and everyone being there and I really don't think presents even crossed your mind until it was time to open them. I love that in your mind things like birthdays and Christmas are about the people and the experience and not about the material things.
Lest you try to tell your children that you were a perfect child I'm going to go ahead and call you out on that one. This year was really hard at times. You whined a lot. And cried about just about anything I asked you to do. This year was tough. On the plus side things have been getting better so I think there's a light at the end of the tunnel. You definitely had the "threenager" attitude down pat. 
This coming year will be another big year. We're going to have another baby and you'll go to preschool 5 days a week. I am really looking forward to seeing you with the baby. You were mostly oblivious to Ruthie but you are SO excited about this baby.
Ellie you bring us so much joy and you love to make us laugh. I can't imagine life without you and I hope that as you go through life you continue to love experiences and the people around you more than "things". I am so proud of the little girl you're turning into and I can't wait to watch you grow over the next year!


1 day old

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dance Camp

This past week Emmie went to Jr. Broadway Camp at dance (Bailey Fine Arts). It was a 3 hour camp Monday thru Friday and this little girl worked HARD all week. She had soooo much fun and learned three pieces that she then performed at the end of the camp. She learned a tap, ballet, and theatrical/jazz piece. Emmie has only done the Creative Movement class at dance which is tap and ballet for 3-5 year olds. It's a basic introduction to tap and ballet. The camp was for 5-10 year olds so it was a big change from what she was used to. I was so impressed with how much she learned in a week, especially since this was her first "big girl" dance class. Poor thing is used to dancing for 45 minutes once a week so three hours every day wore.her.out. She was exhausted by the time she got home the first few days but it was definitely a happy exhausted. On Thursday they got to use stage makeup and paint their faces like cats. (Their jazz piece was from Cats.) Emmie LOVED having the makeup on and couldn't wait to show Ellie when we picked her up from My Gym camp!

The last day they had a recital and I was so proud of how much she had learned....three pieces in a week for a 5 year old is pretty impressive in my mind!

When we left the studio on Friday Emmie asked if it was the last day of camp and when I told her it was she immediately said that she couldn't wait to do camp again next year! (By the way, the child's goal in life is to be in the Dance Theater of Columbia's Wizard of Oz...she's obsessed!)

Ellie's Family Party

I felt like I needed to do this post separate from our beach trip because her family party was SUCH a big deal to Ellie. She has been talking about it for about a year. She told us all from day one that she wanted Grandaddy to make cookies and cream ice cream and she wanted chocolate cake with chocolate icing. She reminded us frequently of her wishes and was constantly asking how much longer till her party. It's so funny because she really hasn't said much about her friend party or her actual birthday but this family party has been top priority in her life. For a YEAR. I think we can definitely call the day a success. All of our family was there and she loved getting to have a day all about her!

She had a great time opening her presents! She got some calico critters, princess legos, clothes, bath toys, and play doh! She was thrilled with ALL of it.

I loved seeing the joy on her face all day.

She was very excited to get to wear the birthday hat!

The gorgeous cake that Gin-g brought. Ellie was over the moon with her chocolate cake with chocolate icing!

Ruthie gives the cake and ice cream 2 thumbs up!

Ellie finally got some time alone to play with her toys. She and Uncle Ben hung out for awhile while Emmie rode her bike and Ellie even entrusted her calico critters with Uncle Ben for the night.

I can't believe that our teeny-tiny Ellie will be FOUR in just a few days!