Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Highlights

Ugh. Why does summer always seem to FLY by? These cooler temps lately make me feel like the summer is officially wrapping up, and my heart is breaking a little inside. But man, have we sure have had the best summer. Ever. I had 2 full months off before I started back at work, and even now with 2 days a week off, I have had plenty of time to squeeze in some fun. Having a 2 year old is pretty awesome too. I love having a little sidekick to experience life with!

Here's a little highlight reel of our summer so far.

Diva in the pool. She loves to go "swimming like a mermaid". She has become very independent swimming in her puddle jumper. I love it!

Backyard playin' at friends. 

Strawberry Picking. Well more like strawberry eating. 

Flying solo with Mom down to Texas to visit the fam! She was an angel on the way there and back. 

The best week ever with our family down in Texas!

Vacations back to back. From Texas to northern Michigan in a few days. And Macy's first time at the beach, which she loved loved loved.

We became Zoo and Children's museum members. 

Macy and I have a date at the park near our house at least once a week, if not more. It is about a mile away so its the perfect walking/running distance. Even if we go for 5 minutes, we both leave with happy hearts.

Visiting family ad first boat ride as a big girl. Let's just say boats + 2 year old = a stressful time for mom.

Learning how to be a good friend. The older she gets, the stronger her bonds gets with her little friends. She asks to see them by name every day. She is learning how to share, respect, and love her peers. 

Drum roll please... THE #1 highlight of the summer.... Her sleep regression has passed! It was an ugly 7ish weeks of waking up early in the morning, not wanting to nap, not wanting to go to bed, you name it. Through lots and lots of prayer, bribing, and luck, we have safely made it through alive. Macy gladly goes to bed each night with a book of her choice and is back to her normal sleeping hours. Praise the LORD. I meditated and prayed through Romans 5:3-5 over and over, which is the only thing that got me through. Hope does not disappoint. Can I get an Amen??


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Macy Jane {2 years old}

Well this post is quite a bit overdue, but life around here has been cra-zay. Macy turned 2 in the midst of me studying and preparing for the biggest exam of life. Every single spare moment I have had away from being a mommy has been studying for my nurse practitioner national certification exam. As of last week- I have passed! And life can resume a sense of "normalcy" - at least for a few days here and there. We are on the brink of 2 vacations, me starting a new career, and Macy starting "school" {aka: daycare... For whatever reason, calling it school makes me feel better.}

In between studying, I have been home with Macy all summer and we have been living it up. I have not worked a lick at my previous job (nurse) since the winter as I focused on school and being a mom. Then it was studying and being a mom. And I am happy to report that now I get a few weeks to just BE A MOM! Wahoo! We have welcomed this with open arms.... A lot of zoo dates, swimming, splash parks, walks to the parks, you name it. Us Regal girls like to be on the go, and the summer is the perfect time of year for us!

Macy girl at her 2nd birthday party
So Macy Jane officially 2. A big girl. If I had to describe her in one word, i think I would choose "spunky". She is full of life, an extreme extrovert, funny, silly, on the go, constantly exploring her surroundings and learning something new, and very much independent and opinionated. So pretty much she is her mother to a tee. She always wants to know what is going on and if she sees other children around she will always make her way there and initiate play time.
Sweet girl in the dress my grandma made for her.
She always wants to know what is going on and is constantly asking, "Mommy, watchya doin'?" Every time I leave the room its: "Mommy come back!" "Mommy where are you?" "Com'ere Mommy!". All day every day. She always wants to play doll house, or crawl around on the ground and act like kitty cats. She has an extensive imagination that keeps me in awe.

Rough life.
Her most favorite thing by far this summer is the pool. Last year she was still a little weary of it, but oh man this little fish could be in the water all day every day now. Good thing we have some vacays on the horizon that will allow for that!
Princess Macy!
She is a girly-girl through and through. Loves Princess Sophia (From "Sophia the First") and I can't keep her out of my jewelry box for anything. I constantly find my bracelets and rings strung around the house. Every time I get her dressed she looks at me and says "Awwww so cute". She still loves the ipad, but is no where near as addicted as she used to be. She would much rather be on the go. She is finally getting in to watching movies which I love. By far her favorite is Frozen (whose isn't?!?) and most recently we've been watching a lot of "Ariel".
I love this picture. She insisted that Minnie and Daisy wear bows too.
She talks a lot, and in third person, which I find hilarious. Its constantly "Macy's turn" "Macy do it" "That's Macy's". It is very easy to communicate with her and know what she is wanting to tell me. She speaks in 3-5 word sentences now. As much as she loves to be around her friends, she is still not great at sharing. She has definitely mastered "It's miiiiiiiiiine" like a champ. She has had some pretty awesome temper tantrums, throwing herself down on the ground kicking her legs. But to be honest, those are few and far between. She is pretty reasonable about things, especially if you take the time to explain to her why we are doing something, or not letting her do something. She is very smart and her comprehension continues to blow me away.
I mean really? This girl loves her some Target.
I am truly blessed with an easy going, funny, spunky, smart little girl. But, she definitely has her way of keeping us on her toes. I used the BabyWise method with Macy and she was sleeping through the night before I went back to work when she was 12 weeks. She has always loved to go to bed, take naps, and has never once slept in our bed. We've had the same routine since day 1 and she has always thrived. That is, until, she turned 2. For whatever reason the day after her 2nd birthday her sleep has been a hot mess. It has totally thrown us for a loop, as sleeping was never even on our radar as a parenting hurdle. It started with her waking up screaming hysterically anywhere between 5-6am every morning and only taking 30 min naps. Ugh. Right in the midst of me studying and needing my energy. It has now transitioned to her hating her crib/being alone. Which has lead to her sleeping in our bed 3 separate times in the past week. Something I said I would NEVER EVER EVER do! I don't think it is healthy for me personally, but at this point we are in pure survival mode. We have let her cry (for HOURS), got a sleep timer clock, have been on an extremely strict and consistent routine, and most recently we transitioned her to a toddler bed, thinking maybe she is hating being trapped in her crib. We think it may have to do with so many changes in her life/routine at once and luckily I've heard from several other mommas about a "2 year sleep regression". Needless to say, it is a work in progress and has tested my patience but it's something we can deal with. She's happy and healthy and that's all that matters! 

I start my new job July 7, but am happy to share that I will only be working 3 days a week, every M/W/F. It really is like a dream come true. I loved my job as a nurse, but always knew my ultimate goal was to be a nurse practitioner, working with oncology patients. Now I get to do just that, but also spend time at home with my Macy girl. A direct blessing from God as this whole process has required a lot of prayer, patience, and obedience. But here we are! Lovin' life with our sweet TWO YEAR OLD!

The first time she ever fell asleep in our bed, while watching Frozen.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Countdown to 2

The countdown to 2 is officially on. Otherwise known as "22 Months of Macy." I remember this time last year going all crazy trying to plan Macy's first birthday party and mourning the loss of my "baby". The thought of Macy turning 2 does not make me as emotional as it did when she turned 1. She is such a big girl, so smart and funny, that in my mind she's practically an adolescent (with the attitude to match at times).

I know I sound like a broken record, but this age is SO MUCH FUN! It truly just gets better and better. Watching her grow and learn right before my eyes every single day is truly the most joyful aspect in my life.

At 22 months she:

-Is still tall, but I think she has finally slowed down. There for awhile she was growing like a weed. She has solidly been in 24m-2t clothes since last fall
My tall girl
-Is a decent eater. Some days I can't feed her enough, others she snacks on small things all day and won't eat a real meal. She still loves her fruits and veggies but would give her right arm for a "treat". We have a box of fruity Tic Tacs laying around the house that we let her have on rare occasion. That way it is portion-controlled and she doesn't get too hopped up on sugar.

Eating her favorite- Chick Fil A!
-Is still a great sleeper. She loves to go to sleep. Naps or bedtime, she truly enjoys it and smiles when I tell her it is time. She takes one nap per day, typically 1p-4p, and sleeps 8p-8a at night. She has been known to be the No Nap Ninja on occasion,  but thankfully it is rare.

-Is in the middle of weaning the paci. At 1 we took it away except for nap or night time, but we weren't SUPER strict about it. (Well I was, but the hubby not so much). Now there is a STRICT rule and even her Nanny is on board. This summer she will begin daycare and the thought of her taking a paci to daycare grosses me out. Who knows how many mouths it will end up in! So, here soon we will take paci away at nap time, then eventually nighttime. 

- Is currently obsessed with: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, bubbles, coloring, playing chase, horsey rides, our kitty-cat, being outside, and the girl could go up and down the slide all day long. Once the weather cooperates we will spend very little time inside, I can guarantee that. 

Luckily we have AWESOME parks in our area!
-Sings all day long. When I have watched shows like American Idol in the past and contestants would say "I've been singing since I was 2", I always thought -yeah right! But seriously, she sings all day long. Mostly to the car radio and loves her ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and her most recent obsession is Wheels on the Bus. 

Mesmerized by bubbles at Gymboree Play Place
-Hates the word No. Lately she cries every single time we tell her no, which is new. And she doesn't have a good recovery time -the crying fits can last up to 10 minutes! She is really learning to push the boundaries even when we do tell her no. So we are trying to learn proper and effective ways to discipline an almost-2-year-old.

-Did SO GOOD on our trip to Texas this month! When we went over Christmas she was super clingy and kind of a grump. I prayed for weeks that she would be her sweet silly self and thankfully God answered that prayer. She adjusted so well and loved all the time she got to be outside. It warmed my heart to see how excited she was to see everyone, she is finally at the age where she remembers people. She couldn't get enough of her Papa, Nana, Bubba, and Tay Tay!

My dad and Macy have a special bond. They were inseparable all week!
-Can count to her "teens". She can clearly count 1-12 then just says "teen", "teen", "teen". I have about a thousand videos of her counting because it's so dang cute. And she counts down 3,2,1 often too. Sometimes she gets confused and counts 1,2,3,4,3,2,1. Once again, I find that adorable. 

-Knows all her basic shapes and colors. Square, triangle, circle, star, and heart. Rectangles are squares and ovals are circles, and I'm ok with that. She loves to draw a (very squiggly) circle and point it out. Colors she's mastered include red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. She can also recognize most of the letters.

In her element. That smile lights up my world!
-Is my little parrot. She repeats EVERYTHING, and for the first time I feel like she is repeating it correctly. She has always mimicked what we said, but more so the cadence. Now she repeats the actual words and phrases. Most sentences are limited to 3-4 words. "Here I am!" "Where'd you go?" "I do it" etc. 

-Is such a girly-girl. Loves shoes, tutus, wearing her momma's jewelry, and anything sparkly.

-Has the memory of an elephant. If we play one silly game she will remember it and want to do the exact same thing days later, sitting in the exact same spot. You can't pull anything past her. She seriously remembers EVERYTHING. This could get us in trouble!

I love this picture so much! My best friends in the whole world (who I am lucky enough to call family).

As I was getting Macy out of the bath the other night, I wrapped her up in her towel and she leaned in and gave me the biggest wet kiss followed by sweet innocent giggles. And I just thought, wow, is she really mine? Being a parent is hard. My needs always have to come last and I learn as I go. But there is no greater joy than the love you feel for your child. I pray every night for wisdom on how to show Macy grace and mercy like Jesus does. This season of life is so sweet, and even though it can be hectic -my house is a mess, there is always school work to be done, and laundry to be put away- I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Jesus, Kyle, Macy. What more could a girl need? :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

20 Months of Macy

Time for another update! Even though I am worlds. worst. blogger. I can't pass up the opportunity to log more milestones to look back at one day. I hardly call myself a "blogger" though. I just see this more as a tool to document fun times in our lives and have an online journal of sorts to look back through. Case in point: I spent about an hour the other night before bed reading all about my days with a newborn. Seriously, it was as if a stranger had written it. I seriously can't hardly remember that finite time in my life. The late nights, continual nursing, winging it every day pretending I knew what I was doing with a precious new life. It is crazy to think how different things are now than they were even just a year and a half ago.

Now I have a 20 month old. ((After 2 years I will NOT refer to her in 'months', I promise)). Honestly, when most strangers ask how old she is I just reply "almost 2" or "she will be 2 in May". Lets be honest, non-mommy's don't know what 20 months mean.

Anyways. Here's a little recap on 20 months of Macy!

Having fun in the nursery at the gym
I am not sure how tall she is or her official weight, but I think for once she is finally slowing down in the height department. It seemed like for so long we had to buy her new clothes to accommodate her weed-like growth spurts but she's been a solid 24m-2t size since early fall. She still weighs anywhere from 25-27lbs and I know this because she loves to weigh herself (unlike her momma!)

One of her favorite places- The Children's Museum
She can still be a picky eater but for the most part she does a good job. I have really been strict with her amount of snacking through out the day and that seems to help her eat larger meals at meal time. She is still a champion sleeper as always. Averages 12-14hrs at night. Naps seem to be more inconsistent recently. She was taking 2-3hr naps each day but recently they have more like 1.5hrs. I am hoping its only a phase! Although she seems rested the rest of the day and doesn't act cranky when she gets a shorter nap. (I am just the one gets cranky, I guess).

At the Gymboree Play and Learn Class
I took her to a Gymboree Play and Learn class because I really want to hone in on her physical activity. She has always been advanced in this early (started walking at 9 months, running by 10!). She loves to climb on stuff and seems to be really coordinated. My dream would be to start her in an actual gymnastics class asap but I know she is still a little young for that. The only problem right now is that I only have one day off during the week and it has been hard to commit that day to a little gym class for her. I will reevaluate it towards the end of the semester when most of my clinical hours are completed. Hoping then I will have a little more time to devote to a class like that for her.

Helping mommy get ready
Macy is definitely a momma's girl through and through. I am by far her favorite person and I can't lie, I love it. There is nothing better than the sweet innocent love of a child. She is my little shadow during the day and is so interested in what I am doing. I have had to be creative when I am getting ready so I brought a dining room chair in the bathroom and she loved it. At dinner it can be tricky when I am handling hot pans and she is climbing up my leg insisting on seeing whats going on. That's where Netflix cartoons or the iPad have come to save me. She still LOVES the iPad but we've really been limiting her access to it. It was making her a beast when she couldn't have it.

She has been good about her time in the gym and church nurseries. I would say about 85% of the time she will gladly walk in and play with her friends. The other times you would think she thought we were torturing and were never going to return. Who knows why it can be so hit or miss. Luckily those are times are more rare than the good times.
Macy with her friend Taylor at a mall play date
By far, Macy's most favorite thing in the world is to go down a slide. Then climb the stairs and go down again. And again. And again. No matter where we are, the mall, the Children's museum, she can spend hours going up and down the slide. I seriously wanted to get one for inside our house so bad but the hubs vetoed that idea stat. Dang it. But WE WILL have one this summer in our yard!!

Visiting daddy at work 
I would say the biggest changes between 18 months and 20 months would be her language. She is saying more 3 word sentences (like her famous "ready, set, go!"). She loves to "sing" her ABCs and count to 10. Most of the time its 1,2,3,8,9,11. I am not sure where the other numbers go but that's ok. She will get there eventually. She says a LOT of words, but in her own way. As advanced as she has been in other areas, I can tell her language will come slowly. If you ask her to repeat something she will (when she feels like it) but it never sounds exactly like its supposed to. I can tell each week though that it gets better and better so I am sure with time she will get there. Before we know she will be talking up a storm non-stop, I am sure of it!

I love this stage of our lives. Having a full blown toddler rocking our world's every day! She is the best!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hello 2014!

2014 is here. Finally here. The year I thought may never come. In 2009 I started applying for school so I could go back and get my master's in nursing for Adult Nurse Practitioner. I started in 2010 and with my plan of study I saw "Graduation: May 2014" and thought... Ughhh that is forever from now. To think that I have finally reached this magic year is exhilarating! 2014 is full of so many things to look forward to: graduating, getting my dream job, several weddings, vacations and more. 

We rounded out 2013 with a trip down to Texas to celebrate Christmas with family. It was such a good trip and it is always so bittersweet leaving.
1. Macy, once again, did well on the plane. The only time she got antsy was when we were already boarded and had to wait before take off. That is when I got in my Mary Poppins bag and pulled out this lollipop- which did the trick!
2. Christmas Eve we spent running errands and yes, we coordinated outfits. Which, if you know us at all, is no surprise.
3. I love this picture of my sweet baby girl, oh and Macy :). My little sis Taylor is one of my best friends and loves her Macy girl just like I loved her at that age. This was before we went out for dinner on Christmas Eve.
4. Macy making cookies with Papa on Christmas Eve. They are pretty smitten with each other.

1. Christmas Eve in our patching PJs.
2. Christmas morning while opening presents. Macy LOVED unwrapping gifts, more so than the gifts themselves. She pretty much unwrapped everyone's gifts Christmas morning.
3. My brother TJ and his fiance Carol came on Christmas so we spent the next few days hanging out and doing some shopping.
4. Per tradition, we had a "grown ups" night out. Always a good time catching up.

1. Last day out with the fam. Taylor usually surveys my suitcase then sees what she can come up with to match. We got our "lumberjack" shirts from our friend Brandi which we loved!
2. My little brother and sister our such gems in my life. I can't believe they are teenagers now. 
3. Macy, my dad, and Taylor on a carousel. Love.
4. Plane ride home, once again no issues. This shape sorter really saved us on the way home.

On Monday my life as a stay-at-home mom ends. After a month off I head back in to the semester full swing. I will be at clinical/class full time and will try to squeeze in some hours at work when I can. It is going to be rough, I can't lie. Honestly, the thought of having to turn my brain back on and go in to school mode is a little intimidating. I still have so much to learn and to experience, but this is it. This is the moment I have waited and worked towards for so long. The light is at the end of the tunnel and I can taste the sweetness of the end!