Halloween 2013

I was a bit tired of going to pumpkin patches this year, as both Hailey and Charlotte's preschool classes had field trips to different pumpkin patches in the area. But...Pete and I still needed pumpkins to carve, and Uncle Jason did too. So we headed to Trinity Farm, because it was close to home and they sell pumpkins. That's right...they sell them, they don't grow them (I guess they tried, but birds kept eating all the seeds). So we went just a few days before Halloween, and many of the pumpkins were rotting and they looked quite picked over. I thought that the field where they had set the pumpkins out was sub-par and so after looking around for a while, we decided to pack it up and find pumpkins elsewhere. I had grown 2 small pumpkins in our garden (which produced so many seeds btw), so Pete and I ended up using those and the girls used the big pumpkins when it came time to carving.

 Pumpkins sitting in a random dirt/weed field = not so exciting.

 Charlotte didn't want to be in a pic.

 Walking away empty without a pumpkin.

We almost forgot to carve pumpkins this year. At 7pm a couple nights before Halloween, we thought we should get busy and carve our pumpkins. It was a school/work night, but we were determined! Here we girls are, posing with our pumpkins (Pete's wasn't finished when we took this pic).

And now for the costumes....

Charlotte was a southern belle and Hailey, a princess pirate.

 They got to wear makeup, which they were SO excited about.

We headed over to Jay & Sarah's for a scrumptious dinner and then we went trick or treating in their neighborhood.

We let the girls eat as much as they wanted to after the trick or treating....and Charlotte ate through ALL of her candy that night.

School pictures 2013

I can't believe how awesome the girls class pictures turned out this year! So good!!

The class photos are pretty funny, not near as amazing as last years class photo. I guess they were having quite the time trying to get the Crickets class photo taken. I think Charlotte stole the show in her class photo!

1st School Pictures - Hailey

 Hailey is a ladybug at The Children's Garden preschool. I was a bit worried about school picture day, as it happened to take place in the midst of our eye/ear/nose staph infection chaos. You can see her right (your left) nostril is red in the pic. We could probably photoshop that out, but well, I suppose it's a good reminder of those difficult 5 weeks of illness (and medicine pushing) in our house. I'm so impressed that she smiled for a picture!!!

I think their group shot turned out fantastic! If only Charlotte (the dog) was looking at the camera. Yes, you read that right. Miss Brook has a dog named Charlotte who likes to visit the classroom from time to time...

Trips to the bathroom and Ikea

We went to dinner the other night and at the end of our meal, Hailey needed to use the bathroom. I started to walk into the stall with her, and she stopped me (by shoving the door closed) and said, "I don't need any help, I can do it on my own." Um, WHAT?!!?!? When did this happen??????

Just a few days before this, she discovered that she could indeed get up on the toilet without the help of a step. And now she doesn't even need me?? Don't get me wrong, it's a really great spot to be in (her being able to do the whole thing on her own), but it did make me a teeny bit sad that my girl is so quickly growing up.

Little Miss Independent! 

Charlotte has been talking quite a bit lately. She can say just about any word (she repeats stuff) and her favorite word is still "No". She is so cute when she say it. She is also very good at saying "Poop" and "Pee". She has been potty training herself. This was NOT started by me! I guess she just wants to be a big girl. She's still going in her diaper at random, but if she does, she makes sure to tell us. And before bed she's learned the old 'I have to go potty' trick in order to stay up later. Of course we want to help her if she needs to go before bed, so we sit there with her as she plays around on the toilet. Sometimes she goes right away (and then we're glad we listened) and sometimes she doesn't go (and then we get frustrated that she's wasting time trying to stay up later).

She is still very active. Always climbing and jumping off of things. She even hangs from things.

She and Hailey usually get along and they are really good buddies. Hailey watches out for Charlotte and also makes sure to tattle on her if she's doing something wrong. Or when she's not tattling, she tries to blame Charlotte for whatever it is they are doing that isn't quite right (the other day a whole bag of crumbs was dumped on the couch - Hailey quickly blamed Charlotte for turning the bag upside down and pouring it all over the couch - but who was the one that got the snack out in the first place and chose to take the bag downstairs to eat it? Hailey of course).

We've been a little out of sync for naps. Today they are both napping at the same time (as I write this!). One day last weekend Pete commented that we really need to get them on the same schedule. I of course agreed. Some days it works, other days...it just doesn't (and those are the days I find myself pulling my hair out in frustration because mommy just needs a break sometimes!).

Speaking about pulling my hair out... Charlotte has had a few rather crazy (as in embarrassing) tantrums in stores lately.

Now...I took my phone out a little late in this tantrum, so I didn't get the really good stuff captured (laying face down with arms and legs flailing about and screaming at the top of her lungs), but I did at least capture these 2 things: 1. we were at Ikea and 2. Charlotte was NOT happy about being there. She has this really loud shrill scream that she does once in a while and let me tell you, she let it out of its cage for this trip.

This video was taken during the tail end of the whole thing. It's very tame (and I'm not sure why it cut out the sound at the end, but my phone has issues...maybe it was tired of hearing her too). Everyone was looking at us with those eyes. You know the ones - the "why-don't-you-just-pick-your-kid-up-and-make-her-be-quiet" eyes. Well folks, we tried that. And her screaming got SO loud that we set her back down. I was trying to keep Hailey entertained (distracted) while Pete was trying his very best to get Charlotte calmed down. It looked like we didn't belong to her. When Pete picked her up she did that arched back kicking thing (and her scream volume increased).... We eventually just let her have it out in the display kitchen in the corner and tried our best to look like we were trying (for the sake of the people passing by) but also, we tried to ignore her (the good old 'ignore them and they will stop' tactic) while she screamed it out. She eventually calmed down and let me tell you - we grabbed her and went on the fast track to get out of the building!  

 Hope that made you smile. That's all I have for now (I need to be a little productive during this beloved nap time!). :)

Recent Favorites...

Recent as in....sometime in the last 3 months or so. I haven't looked at pictures much lately and I certainly haven't done anything with them...so here's my attempt at doing something with pictures. :)

 In other news...we went to Vegas on our first ever trip away from both kids. It was epic. Meaning...I got sick (imagine alternating chills/sweats, and all energy completely gone...I was knocked out in bed an entire day - and the stupid thing? It was all for a lame cold, not even like a 'real' sickness) and then Pete got it the following day (just in time for the worst flights ever (never do a connection from Vegas). Imagine being stuck on planes on runways...now imagine having to pee really badly and not being able to get out of your seat for the hour that you're stuck on the runway waiting for take off - yup, that was me. And then getting seated next to a guy who smelled like he hadn't showered in months and though I didn't see anything lit, it seemed that I was smoking a cigarette just by sitting next to the guy. Ugh. But other than that little sickness inconvenience, it was great having some one on one time with my man. I mean, I actually got to talk to him and notice his beautiful eyes. And I got to lay in bed all day - how often does that happen at home with two little ones under foot?? Never.

We did have one full day there before I got sick and we had fun. We went to the Criss Angel show and that was pretty cool. And we even went to a club for some radical people watching. We played a game of pool...and that was quite humorous as we both couldn't seem to hit any balls (embarrassing). We also walked the whole strip and checked stuff out. We didn't make it to the stratosphere though....we were planning on doing some rides, but those plans were set for the following day... and then I got sick and all plans were tossed out the window.

I managed to pull myself together at 10pm the night I fell under the weather and I found my way to a poker table to play some no limit texas hold em. I had SO much fun playing. It's been years, but my mad skills came right back and I more than tripled my money in just under 2 hours. :) Pete was pretty proud of me. Speaking of Pete, I totally posted that picture of him above because well, I thought it was awesome that I got him to pose next to a flower (he wasn't so fond of the idea). Thanks for taking care of the girls M&D Myron and M&D Young - what a blessing! 

 We went to the aquarium for Hailey's birthday. The girls really enjoyed it and so did we. Hailey kept shouting "I found Nemo! There he is daddy, do you see him?"  :) I'm hoping to post up about her birthday in another post...so I'll spare you the details here.

And lastly, I just LOVE these girls and these bedtime pictures are so so sweet. Charlotte always crawls into Hailey's bed and I thought it would be fun to let them sleep in the same bed one night since they looked so cute. Well...it didn't work. I did get these cute pictures though! :)

Through the eyes of a child...

Hailey likes the camera (when she is in control of it). These are pictures she took in February. She LOVES taking pictures of herself. And the cat. And Charlotte. And the bookshelf. And whatever else she finds interesting that day. :) Here's a fun video of her trying to take a photo of herself and not realizing it was on the video setting (I had to go through about 12 videos just to decide which one to post...I think she's got an addiction to the camera.).

Kiddos & Ice storm

***Publishing this "draft" because it's been sitting for a month and though I didn't finish it, I want to remember this stuff!!***

Charlotte started walking face first down the stairs the other day without holding onto anything. She thinks she's so grown up. We're still trying to make her get on her belly to slide down, but she's a strong willed little girl...so down she walks.

Her first molar appeared a couple weeks ago. She still only has two bottom teeth, but now has 5 teeth up top. The matching molar is just now coming through. Guess she'll be chomping her gums. She eats everything we eat and does a fine job chewing!

Charlotte now refuses to eat if she's in a highchair. One night, she screamed and squirmed and shoved her plate away. We took her out of the high chair and she immediately climbed up into a chair and ate everything on her plate... Uh. Okay. We thought it was just a one time deal, but it quickly became obvious that it was an every time deal. She thinks she's too grown up for that highchair thing. So the highchair is now in the garage - awaiting a new home.

Hailey and Charlotte have so much fun playing together. We have dance parties in our living room just about every single day. Hailey has taught Charlotte how to Pique.

We had a blast in the snow last week. Absolutely loved having Pete home from work (he worked from home all week - with Thursday & Friday being the exception - no power = no work).

Speaking of power outages, we had one. Thankfully we have a wood burning fireplace. It's not very efficient, but as long as we were in front of it, we were warm. I read a whole book while sitting in front of the fire. It was excellent to relax and just enjoy being together (despite having my kindle glued to my face). The girls had plenty of fun - Hailey kept wanting to take her clothes off because she'd get hot from running around the living room with Charlotte. We had to remind her that it was actually pretty cold in the house and she might be best to keep her shirt on. I mean...we even had to wrap blankets around the fish tank to keep them warm!

We played bed bugs, chutes and ladders, go fish, and other random games with the girls while the power was out. They also did lots of coloring.

Dancing Days and Sleepless Nights

My goodness. Our little girls are crazy funny and developing quite the little personalities.

We rearranged our living/family rooms and now we have one toy area (we had two toy areas and it seemed the whole house was always a disaster). The living room is now a dedicated "dancing" room. We moved the TV from our bedroom down into the living room and it's much cozier in there now. Weird to say a TV made a room more cozy, but it did. Anyway...we have dance parties every day now (Pete happened to pull out some good speakers he had stuffed away in the garage - who knew?!?) and the girls absolutely love having family dance parties.

Hailey has been refusing naps lately. It's been really frustrating. She gets so tired and I try to get her to nap, but she makes up every excuse under the sun in order to get up 1,000 times during her nap time. The most frustrating part about it is that she's always tired and cranky when we're trying to do something we'd like her to be happy for, such as Santa pictures.

We met up with Daddy at Redmond Town Center for pics this year. It was Pete's last week working at AT&T, so we figured we'd get one more lunch date in and since the girls wanted to wear their "fancy dresses" that day (and every other day), I figured it would be a great time to do Santa pics.

No. It wasn't. First of all, we got a Groupon for RTC Santa pics and it was $11 for a photo package.
The quality of the photo is pretty bad. And the Santa? Not great. And the chair? blah. The text on the bottom????? NO, not okay. The ads on the outside border? Are you kidding me?

Now, I'm really sorry if you got your pics at RTC and like them. I'm not trying to dog on them all. I was just a little frustrated as we had pretty good pics the last two years. It didn't help that I misheard the lady tell me it would be $6.95 for a 5x7, to which I said we'd like 3....and then after things were printed she told me the total was $56. Um, WHAT?!!?!?!? We cleared that up...the price was actually $16.95 for a 5x7 and multiplied by 3, add the tax.... I thought about ditching the photos.. We ended up just sticking with the $11 deal and letting them ditch the extra photos that were printed (whew).

Doesn't Hailey look so happy in the pic though? :) This is after she had calmed down. Unfortunately (or fortunately? because it makes a good pic) Charlotte had been watching Hailey freaking out and decided it was something to cry about. So awesome.

So anyway, we're still planning on taking the girls to Factoria Mall for Santa pics this year. That's where we've gone the last 2 years, and though they don't allow you to take your own pics, the Santa/decor/picture quality is much better than the one we got.

Yesterday and today we had dance practice for Hailey's show on Friday night. Oh boy....it's going to be interesting!

I should back up... On Tuesday we went to Hailey's normal class. There are 6 girls in her class. In class, Hailey sat on her little circle and wouldn't participate. She kept leaning over and saying something to the teacher (Ms. Barbara). She had been excited to go to dance, so I was a little curious as to why she wasn't doing anything. I know they all have their days...so figured she just wasn't feeling it. The class was working on all sorts of fun dance moves and not yet practicing their snowman routine. Ms. Barbara closed the shades so us peeping mom's would quite distracting the kids through the window and I wasn't sure what happened for the rest of class. When they came out, I asked the teacher if Hailey ever got up to dance and she said, "Yes, she did the WHOLE snowman dance - she kept telling me she didn't want to do any other dancing, just that she was waiting for the snowman dance." Ha! Too funny. That was encouraging.

I don't really have high expectations for the show this next Friday night...after today, I'm actually wondering if they'll even get her to come out on stage. It would be nice to see her (especially since tickets were $10/seat and we have a lot of family coming to see her), but hopefully I will refrain from being a crazy stage mom and be happy for the experience - even if she doesn't show up with the other little snowmen on stage.

So back to this weekend. We've had a really busy weekend (with this being my first down time) and like I mentioned already, Hailey hasn't been napping too well lately. She's also been up late the last few nights. Pete took Hailey to practice yesterday so I could prepare the house for some friends who came over for our annual gingerbread house building/decorating party. The practice was at the studio, with lots and lots of kids there. The idea was to get our little girls used to the crazy that will be backstage on the day of. They each have a teenager assigned to them during the show, so they got to meet them and then they did their practice behind closed doors.

Apparently the snowmen have the most expensive outfits and they are on loan from the studio (thankfully). We do not get to take them home as the kids have to share them (there are 3 different shows with 3 different sets of snowmen and they all share outfits).

Today was the dress rehearsal at the theater. Hailey was already super tired, so I wasn't too excited to take her. The toilet paper party the girls *threw* right before the practice might have been a cause for the tired bit, but hey, that was the best use of toilet paper today! And do you see it? It's a toilet paper heart shaped cloud!

Anyway, getting Hailey into her outfit proved to be a challenge when she started screaming and arching her back and saying she didn't want to dance. By this time, everyone else was dressed and had entered the theater. We were still trying to get dressed in the lobby. I told her that if she got her whole costume on and did the dance on stage she would be able to have a teeny ice cream treat when we got home. I hate bribes. Especially sugary ones. But I was also really tired and at that point, I didn't know what else to do in order to get her in there before it was too late. The bribe worked a little bit. I managed to get her tights and leotard on (it was a crying struggle) and into the theater we went. We were to get their accessories on them in the theater and then they'd be called up to the stage.

First came the tutu. Now, Hailey LOVES tutu's...but she wasn't having it. She hugged me and I managed to tie the thing around her as I was hugging her. Next came the scarf. She didn't want it. I got it around her neck by mentioning the ice cream (man, I can't believe I bribed her like this!), but she didn't want me to put it on her how it was supposed to go. Then she refused the hat, gloves and leg warmers. Totally refused them. I even mentioned the ice cream - it didn't work that time. I went on stage with her and helped her find her spot on stage (she's on an end) and I stepped to the side of the stage. The music came on and the teacher danced with them. They all danced. Well, all but Hailey that is. She stood there. I'm pretty sure she was chanting "ice cream, ice cream, ice cream" in her head the whole time. The group went in their little side stepping circle and she just stood there. Then after some more cute moves, the group exited the stage (to the side she was on) and yup, she just stood there (as in, she didn't exit and the others had to go around her). Then the music stopped. She looked over to me and said, "I get ice cream now!". Wow. That's my girl!

She fell asleep as soon as the truck started moving, but woke up during the transfer and didn't want to go down for a nap (a friend came over after church today and she was excited to see him again). We had another losing battle with nap time. We'll be hitting the internets on how to deal with this new wave of parenting. We've tried what we know and it's just not working. The girl is so tired lately though (maybe over-stimulated?)...

Fun facts about Hailey:

  • The first words Hailey spoke upon waking up this morning were, "I get to wear my fancy dress today!".
  • Hailey wants to wear tutu's every single day (well, actually the "fancy dress" has been winning this whole week). And every single day she wears a tutu is another day to convince her that it is really cold outside and we should wear warm layers with her tutu. She never wants stretch pants on with her tutu... some days I wonder if she's actually warm because she's turned down all offers of warmer clothes and opted for a summer dress with a tutu under it (maybe I should pack away the summer dresses now...). She has even been sleeping in tutu's lately too (over her PJ's). 
  • She also likes headbands. She fell asleep with a headband in her hand tonight...I went in to check on Charlotte and there was Hailey, sleeping with her hand grasping that headband so tightly...I didn't want to risk waking her up by removing the headband. I went in an hour later and she still had it in her hand, but her arm had moved and her grip was looser - I set the headband on the floor next to her bed. Her first words tomorrow morning will probably be, "where's my headband?".
  • I'm amazed at how good her memory is. Quite some time ago my parents watched the girls for us and Hailey had an accident in her underwear (and I apparently forgot to pack extras). My mom put one of Charlotte's diapers on Hailey and we had a good laugh about it. Well, Hailey still randomly brings it up and says, "One time, Grandma put me in Charlotte's diaper! (insert really silly laugh here)". 
  • Hailey can use the toilet all on her own (as in, pants down, sit, go, wipe, pants up, flush, wash hands). We still help wipe if we suspect it would be a good idea (you know what I mean).
  • She gets herself dressed in the mornings (including picking out which tutu she's going to wear, of course).
  • She can carry on a conversation on the phone. Wow, totally weird and awesome. I was so happy to have caught the following phone call with Daddy on camera.

    One last little factoid:

    • We are still very rarely sleeping through the night. If it's not Charlotte, it's Hailey waking us up (more often than not these days). Not sure why Hailey wakes up so much in the middle of the night. Growing? Hungry? Has to pee? ??? One night recently she was up at least 8 times in the night. It's getting old. I want my sleep back.

    And on that note, I was planning on sharing some fun facts about Charlotte too...but it's late now and I'm tired. This pic will have to do. :) 

    A little update with some cute pics

    Hailey is in a dance class and LOVING it. She knows some official ballet moves already (this was confirmed by her Aunt Kendra who is also in ballet right now). It's so sweet to see how her face totally lights up when she's dancing. She. Loves. It.

     She likes playing the drums, dancing, singing, praying, picking out her own clothes in the morning, eating cereal, playing with Charlotte and eating snacks.

    Charlotte still isn't talking much. She's a pretty serious girl (that's not so say she isn't goofy and happy). She mostly communicates by pointing and shaking her upper body side to side (which oddly enough, means "yes"). I followed Charlotte into the bathroom the other day. I was wondering what she was up to when she walked over to the toilet. I asked, "Do you need to go potty?" and she responded with a full body side-to-side shake...which I took as a yes. "Do you want to sit on the toilet?" shake-shake. Okay....so I was a little bewildered as I took off her diaper and set her there...and then she peed. She. Was. So. Proud! I was like, whoa....did that just happen? Hailey came in to see what had happened...and upon discovering Charlotte's great success, she cheered and cheered for Charlotte, "Yay Charlotte, good potty Charlotte, YAAAAAAAAY!!" We celebrate the small things here.

    Charlotte has been zooming all over the house - it's amazing how much she moves. I don't really carry her around anymore (kind of sad). She loves to give hugs, but makes them short and sweet - then she's on the move again. 

    Pete and I joined our host team at church. Pete really wasn't excited about it, but I was determined to get us more involved (truth be told, I wasn't that excited about it either). It turned out to be a good thing (other than having to be at church at 8:15 on the mornings we're hosting). Last week we handed out bulletins and greeted everyone - easy-peasy and actually kind of fun! Pete and I agreed that maybe it wasn't all that bad of a thing after all. Well, other than missing most of the worship time because we're still at the doors greeting the latecomers - lots of late people at our church btw (we're usually in that crowd).

    Speaking of being involved in church....Pete and I are both in growth groups. Pete meets up with some guys on Monday nights for his group called, God, Games & Guys (no joke). They play xbox together (they've had remote *meetings* a few times already). On Wednesdays I'm in a Beth Moore study called, Believing God. There's homework every day (not that I do it every day). Actually, I have been struggling to keep up. It's been a really good video series though! The homework has been totally frustrating. It's long. I haven't been in many Bible studies, but my table leader did tell me it's the hardest study she's ever been in and not to feel bad if I can't keep up with 2 little ones under foot. At least I've met more people from church by going..

    I'm also in MOPS on Wednesdays at East Renton Community Church. I really like it this year (last year was kind of sad as I was pretty much the only person at my table). We have a really good group of girls at our table and I'm thankful that Meme invited me to join (and that I followed through and went)! Last week I was really excited to make myself a Thankful tree and guess what? The same morning I had decided that I would make one, it was the craft at MOPS! I was SO excited! How cool is that?

    I'm absolutely LOVING the fall colors! We're so blessed to live in the NW (thanks parents!).

    Halloween 2011

    Wowsers, Halloween weekend was a wild one!
    Hailey and Charlotte had several outfits to choose from and they both seemed to enjoy dressing up. Much to our surprise, Charlotte even kept her hat on most of the night she was a garden gnome! 
    Hailey got to go trick or treating with friends and at a party earlier in the weekend, she got to eat lots and lots of kettle corn (somebody stop that girl - she's going to have a tummy ache!).
    Charlotte had lots of candy off the floor and has not been feeling well since. Well actually, she's finally better today - no more diarrhea diaper blow-outs! :) Oh sorry, was that TMI??
    Fun times had by all. 
    Thanks friends!

    Lazy Saturday video

    We are having a wonderful lazy Saturday morning here! It started off with a deer sighting in our yard. 1 mama and her 2 babies - so cute. They were eating some of the apples from our tree (the few that grew this year). We watched them for quite a while...and then Hailey asked me, "What's a deer say?" - I'm stumped.

    Have you ever heard a deer make noise?? What do they sound like?

    Hailey - 2.5 years

    Hailey is two and a half now and so hilarious. But if I had to describe her in one word it would be: SWEET!

    She is always:

    • saying, "I love you mommy/daddy/charlotte, I missed you!"
    • counting things. The other morning she counted all the way to 26 with only a little help on a few numbers (18 and 23 I think). We had no idea she could count that high though!!!
    • singing her abc's. She now knows all the letters and can identify them. She even seems to know a few words (our names) when she sees them. I write one of the following "Hailey, Charlotte, Daddy, Mommy, Pete, puppy, pigeon" and she calls out what it says. Any time she sees a C she excitedly says, "C mommy! C Charlotte!!!!"
    • cutting paper... she's good at cutting itty bitty little pieces of paper. I then get to patrol the area for the little pieces so that Charlotte doesn't end up eating it all.
    • singing and humming. She is currently singing 'like a diamond in the sky..." and humming parts of it.
    • playing with Charlotte. She is so good to her little sis! She brings Charlotte toys if she is crying and gives her lots of hugs and kisses and tells her, "it's okay Charlotte".

    • eating. She asks all day for snacks (which she gets regularly) and I swear she eats more than me. She's a bottomless pit!
    • talking about people she likes. Frequent ones are, Lita, Papa Don, Mama (my mom), Aunt Kari, Uncle Jason, Aunt Kim, Uncle Dave, Cousins Sylvia, Ella, and Gigi and her friends Ella, Sebastian, and Tessa.
    • wearing tutu's. I try to have her wear other things, but she insists on tutu's EVERY day.
    • praying. It's super cute, she prays for her friends randomly...like during the middle of dinner, she'll fold her hands together and bow her head and start spouting off a bunch of stuff. Hilarious and sweet.
    • barefoot. Her shoes can often be found scattered in the yard.
    • will do anything for chocolate!
    • drawing. She's been into drawing faces lately. Here's a video from when she first started drawing faces:

    • picking raspberries and strawberries from our yard. She LOVES going outside to look for ripe fruit!

    Her favorite color is: Green (that's what she's claimed for the last 2 weeks anyway!)

    I'll probably come back and edit this later, but we're running out the door... See ya!

    A blog post about the kids again...

    Charlotte is now 7 months old! She's been scooting around for a while now. She doesn't have the arm crawling movement down, but she is getting pretty fast at getting up on her hands and knees, moving her knees forward and then launching her face into whatever is in front of her. She moves around the room so fast now I'm a little worried that I need to get more serious child proofing done around here. Hailey was slow to crawl and by the time she did it didn't seem like there were many threats around. This time with Charlotte being so young and moving about, I just see danger everywhere. I'll be working on childproofing soon.

    It's so crazy how time flies by with two kids.
    Hailey is now talking up a storm. At times she drives me totally crazy with her non-stop talking, but for the most part it's pretty awesome. The times she drives me nuts are when I'm either breastfeeding and not real mobile or when I'm on the phone with someone at like say a bank. It's hard to discipline her at these times, let alone focus on the call at hand. I think she's really seeking some alone time with me right now. Pete and I have been talking about it a bit and I'm hoping to find some time to spend with her one on one real soon. Charlotte isn't the best napper so it's quite rare for me and Hailey to be able to play without Charlotte being in the picture. I'm thinking a solo trip to the children's museum or zoo is in demand.

    Charlotte was up crying most of the night a couple nights ago. I'm pretty sure she's got another tooth coming in (she just got the lower right front tooth last week). She had a slight fever and we couldn't get her to be quiet....quite frustrating. Hailey woke up several times in the middle of the night due to all the commotion. We were in and out of bed too many times to track. Then the next night...same thing. I'm happy to report that last night Charlotte slept all the way through the night (8:30-7:45am)! Let's hope that continues...
    I went to the dentist last week to have a troublesome crown replaced. Since the day they put the original one in 5 years ago I have been unable to stick a fork on that side of my mouth and it would randomly bleed - gross right? Well, I had been back for adjustments on it a bunch of times and we talked about replacing it...but by that time I was newly pregnant with Hailey and they wanted to wait until I wasn't pregnant to do it. Life happened and before I knew it I was pregnant again and hadn't dealt with my achy tooth. At this last cleaning I finally made the appointment for my free crown replacement. So in I went last week and got my crown. Days later my tooth was more sensitive to cold than it had been and I went back for an adjustment. Now again.....days later - I'm still in a lot of pain! I'm so frustrated with this tooth/crown. I just want my tooth to quit being a problem. It's seriously driving me nuts as the constant pain won't fade. I'll be going back to the dentist again this week (3rd times a charm?).

    PS - I FINALLY posted a trip report from our February Maui trip. Go HERE to view it.

    Hailey Madison - 2 years old

    Hailey's vocabulary has completely exploded lately (she says new words every day now). She says things like "got it" after I ask her if she understands something (like why she had to have a time out and that it's not okay to hit). She also says "no way!" and says "excuse me" after she sneezes or if she needs to get around you. She's very polite with her please and thank yous. Pete recently taught her how to use possessive forms "mommy's shoe" and she seems to know when to use the plural versions of words "ducks". She's constantly saying things and we don't understand everything she says, but she certainly thinks we should as she repeats the same thing over and over. The other day in the car she kept saying "I want a teetchee" over and over and I couldn't figure it out - "what do you want Hailey?" "I want a teetchee". We got home and she pointed up to some bunny snacks that she thinks are cookies and she said it again....ah, cookie - that's what she was saying that whole time.

    Hailey is always humming or singing the alphabet song. She quite often replaces that letters with words like, "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy" and sings it all to the alphabet tune. I need to work on some other songs with her. I tend to be a bit dead in the song realm...and she never really liked it when I sang to her as a baby (Charlotte on the other hand LOVES it when I sing to her). I mean, I've certainly sang different songs to her, but I'm not all that good at remembering words to songs, so I end up making stuff up half the time. Pete laughs at me and likes to hear me try to sing songs. Hailey has been making up her own songs lately, it's pretty cute.

    She knows almost all the letters by sight. She surprised me a couple months ago when we pulled up to the doctors office and she said "D" and was pointing to the building letter. Wow! She has favorite letters right now... I, N, and O. She also is in love with the number 2. She loves to hold up her two fingers and say "TWO" when you ask her how old she is or is going to be. Yup, she says she's 2 right now (her birthday is on Sunday). She also randomly says "2, 3, 2" and though she can say one, she always skips it when counting.

    Hailey is a great bigger sister. She is helpful and brings Charlotte toys throughout the day. If Charlotte cries, she finds a pacifier and shoves it in Charlotte's mouth and tells her "it's okay baby". Every once in a while Hailey pushes Charlotte out of her way or says "no baby!" as she steals a toy from her - these outbursts are usually when Hailey is nearing nap time and she's overall a bit ornery. If we miss a nap time, she gets a bit hyper and crazy...it's funny, but then she'll have a random outburst and do something wrong, like hit me in the face (that's rare, but it has happened!). Thankfully we usually get her down for a nap, but there are times when it doesn't happen (like on our recent trip to Hawaii) and in those times she acts out.
    Hailey can almost dress herself all the way now. She put on pants and a shirt almost all by herself the other day. She did need help with the top because she started putting her arm through the neck hole, but other than that, she did it all. We got her some crocs while in Hawaii because the sandals I had brought her were too big and she was having a hard time walking in them. Anyway, I think I'm in love with crocs for kids! She can put them on all by herself and she likes wearing them! She is always putting socks on her hands - she loves her sock mittens.
    Hailey is a good eater and is good with a fork and spoon. We don't usually make her special food - she eats what we eat. Sometimes she doesn't eat much of her meal, but that's fine and we make sure she knows that what's on the table is what's for dinner, so if she wants to eat dinner that night, she needs to eat the food prepared. She eventually will pick at it and more often than not she discovers that she likes whatever food it is that she had been refusing. One thing she doesn't care for is turkey meat. She loves chicken and steak though. She eats shrimp sometimes and also enjoys salmon and any white fish she's tried. She loves broccoli and green beans still. She will eat carrots and surprisingly she really likes mushrooms (I hated mushrooms as a kid and refused to eat them). She still likes bananas and apples and pears...those are kind of staples in her diet as far as fruit goes. She is a big fan of cheese too...
    She loves coloring. She draws circles and scribbles all over in her drawing book. She likes to flip the pages to find a blank page to color on. She'll leave a mark on the new page and keep flipping to more blank pages. Thankfully I had found some journals at Ikea for $.25/each and I bought 10 of them...so we just keep one of those books on her little coloring table and she goes to town. She's only really colored on the wall once a few months ago. It was pretty, I should have taken a picture! If I'm remembering right, she used orange and green and scribbled as high as her arm would reach. Thankfully it came off with a magic eraser.
    Hailey LOVES posing for the camera. She will sometimes grab the little point and shoot and hand it too me all while making the most awesome cheesy smiley face. Almost any time there's a camera pointed at her she squints her eyes a little and smiles. Once in a while she gets a bit shy and turns or runs away from the camera. Her newest thing is to make a frowning face for the camera (see above) - she cracks us up!

    Speaking of getting shy, Hailey is usually shy around new people. If someone says hi to her and she's not in the mood for meeting new people she'll make a serious face and either look down or she'll turn her whole body away from that person. Hailey does warm up to new people pretty fast though. Sometimes as we're leaving a store where someone has been trying to talk to her, she'll yell "BYE!" really loudly as we walk away from the person.

    Hailey still sucks her two fingers and has added in a nose picking third finger. IT'S. SO. GROSS. :( We try and try to get her to stop, but as soon as she's tired, her fingers go in her mouth and she starts massaging the inside of her nose with her ring finger. It just happened one day and since then, it stuck and with it, boogers stuck to her face/finger. So gross. She's so cute, but this habit makes me want to throw up. Her teeth are pulled out on the side she sucks her fingers on (she sucks on her left fingers most of the time). I think she'd have a perfect little smile if she hadn't done the finger sucking thing. We wash her hands quite frequently since she touches everything and then puts her fingers in her mouth. She never really took the pacifier when she was little, and we wish we'd forced it on her a bit more than we had as we've learned with Charlotte that taking a pacifier is a habit that can be learned (Charlotte refused at first, but we keep shoving it in there and now she's becoming a little dependent on it rather than her fingers).
    Most days Hailey fusses if I try to do anything with her hair. She has such a nice head of hair...a nice gentle curl (Pete and I both have stick straight hair - so it's a bit odd that both our girls have curls in their hair). Sometimes I get lucky and Hailey agrees to have me put her hair up. I have to be super quick or she'll start screaming and acting like I'm pulling all her hair out. She usually really likes it once her hair is up and she likes having clips holding her bangs back. She often throws a fit when I even try to brush her hair... There are many days that we leave the house without her hair being brushed - thankfully she has such pretty hair that you can't really tell it hasn't been brushed since the day before.

    She loves buckling things. This proved to be very convenient when she had gotten in a habit of standing up in her highchair at the table. We would suggest she buckle the belt around herself and she thought it was so fun, she always does it now. She hasn't quite figured out how to get it unbuckled and we're keeping it a secret for now. ;) She also likes to buckle her shoulder straps in her car seat now and gets upset if I'm in a hurry and do it for her.

    Hailey loves dancing. She can bust a move to just about any kind of music. She gets down and boogies like no other. I think all the Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Backstreet Boys listening she did while my mother in law Cassandra watched her really helped her dancing skills develop. She cracks us up and we love having dance parties just so we can laugh at her silly moves.

    I removed the side of the crib sometime in December and she has done great in her big girl bed. She was SO proud of her big bed - she loves crawling up into bed and being tucked in at night. I bought a crib rail, but it took a couple days to get it and she did so well in her bed that I never put the rail on. She's only fallen out once. It wasn't a big deal, so we just helped her back in bed and reminded her that there's nothing holding her in so to be careful. Hailey usually stays in her bed in the mornings and just sits there calling for us. We yell back, "Hailey, you can get up now" and she crawls down, opens the door and climbs up in bed with the three of us (because by this point in the morning Charlotte is always in bed with us).

    Hailey is a cuddly girl. She loves snuggling up on us, giving us lots of hugs and kisses. Every night before bed she gives us all big hugs and kisses. She very sweetly kisses Charlotte on the head and then crawls in bed.
    I love our little Hailey-bear so much... I just can't believe how quickly she's growing up. How can she be turning 2 already?!?! I wish I could take a bit of her and bottle it up for later (I guess that's what videos are for).