Tuesday, October 30, 2012

About AJ - Twelve months

Wow! One! 1!
I know I've already posted some about the birthday girl, but I have more to say. ;)

This has been one of the best years of my life. Definitely one of the most challenging, but amazing, nonetheless.

Our family is complete! I love my kids so much and the addition of Amelia Jayne has been fantastic. I stick by my original statement - 
David and I were just talking recently about how amazing she's been from the very beginning. We are so very blessed.

Here are some of the things she's up to this month: 

She signs thank you. And she blows big kisses - those two hand signals are basically the same thing. But she does them appropriately which is the impressive part. She's still saying all the words she did last month - I don't think she's really added any new ones. But the word "bahboo" definitely means Xander. She calls for him all the time. I'm working on getting it on video, but haven't quite gotten it yet. If he's not in the room, she looks around and says, "Bahboo!" Sometimes I refer to him as brother, plus his name is 2 syllables, so I guess that's where she gets her word for him. It melts my heart how much she loves him.

She can make a new sound. She's learned how to click her tongue behind her teeth. She loves doing it! I often hear her clicking noises over the monitor.

 She wants so badly to walk. She's not quite there yet, but she has been letting go while standing a lot more lately. Her balance is pretty good. She likes to walk holding onto your fingers and just over the past couple of weeks has been able to walk while only holding one of your fingers. Just a couple of days ago I noticed her let go of my leg and reach out to her push toy while taking a step - she didn't make it and sat down, but she's so close!

Up to this point I've been a little concerned about her feet. She has incredibly flexible ankles and often turns her feet all the way in when she's sitting. I was a little afraid this might affect her ability to walk. She also seems to be pigeon-toed. David was pigeon-toed when he was a little boy, but it eventually corrected itself. I asked the doctor about it at her 9-month well visit and he said that her ankles should straighten out as she continues to put more weight on them. I'm hoping that's the case, but I will be asking him about it at her one year well-visit.

Speaking of feet - here she is showing hers off :)
She's been a bit clingy lately. She's more clingy with me than anyone else. If I'm in the room, she wants me to hold her. If I put her down to play, she usually crawls back to me and pulls up on my leg, wanting to be held. I typically give in unless I'm doing something that requires two hands. That's probably one of the reasons she wants to be held so much - she knows I'm a pushover. :)
I dug out the infant carrier last night and put her in it while I was making dinner. I didn't figure that would last long, but she seemed to really enjoy it! I think she just wants to be close to me right now.

She's very persistent and will continue to do what she wants to do, regardless of the consequences. I can move large toys in front of the stairs and she still attempts to crawl through them to climb up. She will burrow her way into any small space and sometimes can't get back out, but yet she continues to go back to that small space. And continues to get stuck. :)

She, like her brother, tends to have texture issues. She's somewhat opposite of him, loving to touch soft things and squishy things, but she's also fairly timid about touching (or eating) things that feel "different" to her. She is very tactile, though. She loves the books with textures and, as you can see in the picture above, is interested in fabric textures. She had a lot of fun with that skirt.

I know the skirt is ridiculous. I couldn't help myself. She is just too cute for words in that thing!

She continues to be a picky eater. I've learned that if I just shove something in her mouth quickly, without her noticing, she'll usually eat it. She just doesn't want to try new things. Her brother's going through that stage right now, so I'm a little bummed that she's already there. Maybe she'll be a good eater when she's his age? 
I know, I'm not holding my breath.

We had a big part-ay last Saturday. Wouldn't you know that our camera decided to have a dead battery right before the big event, (even though I had checked it the night before!) so I need to get pics from my mom. I'll post them after I get them from her, and when I have time which these days feels like never. 
David created a video for Amelia Jayne's first year, just like he did for Xander. We watched it at her party. I'm going to attempt to put it on youtube and then embed it on here. It is 30 minutes, so we'll see if that's possible.

Look at that beautiful girl! Isn't she just precious?!?! 
I could just eat her with a spoon. 
I used to think that expression was weird, but then I had kids and I understood it on a whole new level.

She is such a treasure...a true gift. So thankful for my sweet baby toddler!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The big 1!

Amelia Jayne turned one today! 

We had a great day, for the most part.

I woke up with the intention of not letting her cry all day. Unrealistic, I know, but it's her special day after all! Unfortunately I cannot control her brother (pushing her over) and I can't let her eat stickers, and I have to take my keys away eventually so we can drive the car, and well, there were many other instances that led to tears being shed by the birthday girl. ""It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" right?

It really wasn't that bad.

We took Xander to school this morning, so Amelia Jayne and I had some quality time together in the morning. Just the two of us. That rarely happens. Except that it happens every Wednesday, but she usually naps for 2 of the 3 hours we have together. I didn't put her down for a morning nap today, so we had even more time to have fun together.

After we dropped Xander off we went to Target. I let her "pick out" a couple of toys. Then we stopped by a local bakery and picked up cupcakes for the evening. We left there and met up with Daddy at work to have lunch with him. It was so special! I don't think it's been just the three of us since she was a tiny little baby. I kind of missed having my boy with me, but it was nice to be able to focus all my energies on the birthday girl without having to divide my attention.

After lunch we picked Xander up and came back home. Amelia Jayne was done by then - she was so tired! In fact, she had fallen asleep on the short 5 minute drive from David's office to Xander's school. She was exhausted! Once we got home I put both kids down for naps. Only Xander didn't take a nap and ended up not allowing his sister to have a very long one either. He kept yelling for me from his bedroom and that eventually led to Amelia Jayne waking up. I kind of didn't mind because it gave me more time with her, but it made for a bit of a grumpy girl, too.

By the time Daddy got home and we ate a hurried dinner, both kids were pretty grumpy and tired. However, when I pulled out the birthday cards (Thanks GG, Aunt Karen and Nancy!) and cupcakes, everything was better! Check out some photos below.

Her first cupcake!

Her big party is Saturday.
It's not going to be that big - just family, but it'll be fun.
I'll post more pics after the weekend.

Happy birthday to my sweet girl!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Depression hit me hard when I "weaned" Xander. I say "weaned" in quotes because basically my milk dried up, I wasn't producing enough for him to be satisfied and he was just fine going to all-bottle feedings. He didn't seem to miss nursing one bit. And I cried. I felt like he didn't need me anymore and he would be fine without me! How silly and naive I was. My boy would attach himself to me with glue if he could. Definitely no shortening of the apron strings with that kid. Of course I can say that in hindsight. At the time, I was beside myself with the loss of this special bond.

I just wished with all my heart that he would continue to nurse and would miss it, even just a little.

So be careful what you wish for.

Along came Amelia Jayne. Because of my experience with Xander I was completely prepared to start supplementing her with formula and only hoped that I would be able to continue nursing her (exclusively) until she was 6 mos old. Fast forward to today, one week and one day from her first birthday, and I am still nursing her. She never received one drop of formula. And I am so happy about being able to nurse her for this long! There are so many health benefits to both mother and baby, and the time that we've spent together has been so precious.

However, now I am ready to start weaning her. I started a small attempt last week, deciding to drop one nursing session during the day. And what happened? Amelia Jayne went on a nursing binge and decided to try to nurse all day! I later realized that I think she's teething again ("What?!?!" you say. Yeah, me too. She already has eight teeth for goodness' sake!). Due to that she's not so interested in solid foods and would rather get her nourishment (and comfort through this painful process) from milk. My milk. Blessed be. Am I going to be one of those mothers who nurses her child until she's four? Don't worry. I'm not. But it feels like it some days!

So here are my questions to nursing moms out there. (I honestly don't know if anyone reading my blog is a nursing mom, but I'll throw it out there nonetheless. You never know.)

How do I do this??
No seriously. Here's the question.
How do I do this?
Okay I'll try again.
What is the best way to wean my child?

I haven't given her cow's milk yet. I'm waiting for her first birthday. I know her birthday is not a magical date and I could probably introduce milk to her now since we're a week away from the big day, but I just want to wait. She is my last baby after all.

But here are some of the struggles I have.
Anytime I sit down with her, if she's the least bit hungry, she starts ripping my clothes off. So basically this happens a lot. It doesn't matter where or what time. She just wants to eat. She also does this anytime I sit down to rock her or if I take her to bed. I've resorted to letting David put her to bed at night so she isn't so sad that I won't nurse her. (And this is after I've already nursed her for the last time in the evening! It's not like I'm denying her or taking that feeding away.)
Nursing is very comforting to her, so she "asks" to nurse a lot of times when she's sad, tired, or needy, not just when she's hungry. I'm nervous about taking away something that obviously comforts her and meets her needs.
She's a very picky eater and I'm nervous that taking away nursing sessions will deny her some needed nutrients and calories. She's not tiny or anything, but I do feel like she may not have gained as much weight over the last three months as her doctor would have liked. We'll find out on the 26th when we go in for her well visit. But I digress.

I just feel so out of my element here. I obviously didn't have this problem with Xander and I don't exactly know how to go about it.

Also, I'm nervous about the depression thing. Even the thought of weaning her sends me into a spiral. I mean, I'm already blue about her getting older and I feel this is just one more reminder. Should I wait? I only wanted to nurse her until she was one. Then I would wean her and get my body back fully and move on with life. Now that I'm here, I just don't feel the same way. I just didn't think this would be an issue, so I didn't prepare myself. Or my husband. Alas. Bring on the tissues.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I feel it slowly creeping in. Trying to make a home inside of me. Tugging at my heart as if to say, "Let me in. I want to play!" But by play it really means slither into all the hidden places of my being and slowly take hold of each emotion, each thought and each moment, stealing away the joy that's there.

Is it the time of year? I don't think so. This is actually my favorite time of year. The cool weather, the beautiful colors, my birthday, the beginning of all the holiday festivities. And this year I get to celebrate another birthday - my baby girl's.

Ahhh...and there it is. Perhaps that's where it's coming from? My baby girl is about to turn one.

She's my last. David and I have talked about it.
  • He always wanted two. I kind of always wanted a bushel.
  • We got a boy and a girl. One of each makes it feel like we aren't missing out on having a son or a daughter.
  • Two is a more practical number - one for each parent, or if alone, one for each hand.
  • Two is more affordable. We live modestly and certainly can't afford to send a bushel of kids to college. Can we even afford to send two?
  • We have two amazing kids. I've been told - "don't try again or you might break the pattern." I've talked to enough people whose last child is difficult. Why mess up a good thing?
Why? Because I love babies. My babies. I love them when they're little. I love them when they're snuggly and soft and have that sweet baby smell. I love the dependence - it's so hard and yet so rewarding at the same time.

There are days as my kids get older that I think there is no way I could handle having any more kids. Those days when I want to pull my hair out. Those days when I want to scream at my kids to stop screaming! Those days like today when I feel spent and alone and too needed and conflicted and down. And I think of how it will be in a few more years - how busy we'll be and how involved I want to be in each of my kids' lives - their school, church, extracurricular activities, extended family time, etc. Is there any way to do it all?

And then there will be a day when I'm not needed so much anymore. I'll be a friend, a confidante. But not really needed. I'll be a support system and a person to bounce ideas off of. But the dependence and the great need for "Mom" just won't be there anymore.

And it boils down to - she's my last. My baby girl will always be my baby girl. Because she's my last. There was a time when I didn't know how I could have a second child. My love for Xander was so great that I feared sharing that love or dividing it. I wanted to give him my all. And when little Amelia Jayne was born - my love wasn't divided, it multiplied. It was a miracle. I didn't understand it - I still don't understand it. But I am so thankful that God has blessed me with enough love for both of them.

So, I will fight those depressed feelings. I will enjoy each moment and love each stage that we go through, because even the hard stages are over in a flash. And I will gaze longingly on my friends who are having more babies. I will hold their babies and love on them and then I will go home to my own "babies" and I will pull them onto my lap (no matter how big or old they get) and I will hug them and love on them. They are my forever babies.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Anniversary, ImaginOn!

ImaginOn, a partnership between Charlotte Mecklenburg library and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte (and my place of work), has been around for 7 years! Happy Anniversary!
Below is a picture of a 3D cake constructed by Cloud 9 Confections, just for the occasion. Cool!

Hispanic Heritage Month

We're nearing the end of Hispanic Heritage Month at the library. Below is a picture of my dear friend and co-worker, Veronica. Check out the library's home page to see more pictures taken by my friend and supervisor, Meryle.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Super Family!

Aunt B took this picture a few weeks ago at the lake house. Xander insisted on everyone being a super hero, even little Amelia Jayne with her treasured pink blanket. He and Daddy were flying around the house with their capes. How cute!
Side note: Don't you love that Xander's using Amelia Jayne's purple blanket? He said it was the perfect size for him. Plus, his second favorite color is purple. :)
Second side note: I'm thinking this family's superpower must have something to do with laser beams shooting from our eyes. What do you think?

Back in the summer there were lots of conversations about superheroes. We asked Xander what his superhero name is and he told us it was "Market." Then he told me my superhero name is "Kleninon" and Daddy's was something else along those lines. I don't know where he came up with them. But as soon as he told Aunt B his superhero name, she burst out laughing - "You're Super Market?" she said. "Yep," he said. "I'm Super Market!"

Such a sense of humor that boy has.

Birthday celebration

My birthday was on Saturday!

David and I had a pre-birthday celebration on Thursday night. We went to dinner at Zen Asian Fusion, had my favorite sangria, yummy sushi, listened to live music, had great conversation, and just basked in each other's presence. It was so nice to go out, just the two of us. We had a leisurely meal - in fact we were there for an hour and a half! I hadn't enjoyed such a relaxing and enjoyable meal in a long time. A meal where no one was pulling on my arm, swinging their little feet and kicking me under the table, asking for more milk, screaming to get down...it was lovely.
We had some of the best conversations that I will cherish and remember always. We laughed because all the songs that were played were from the '90's. It was like they special-ordered it for us - we knew every single song they played.

Then on Friday night, David and I checked into the Westin Hotel in uptown Charlotte. Oh how wonderful! I didn't even think about cleaning, straightening up, cooking or any other responsibilities for about 18 hours. It was a beautiful thing. :)
(Ok, so I did call to check on my children, but they were in good hands. Thanks Mimi and Grandma!)

We checked into the hotel, changed clothes and freshened up, then walked through uptown Charlotte to The Capital Grille where we had dinner reservations. After an amazing meal, we decided to walk around and enjoy the night. It was gorgeous. The weather was amazing, the city lights were bright and the atmosphere was energetic, yet relaxed at the same time. I'm not sure how that can happen, but it was just perfect. We walked, hand-in-hand for about an hour, enjoying the time together.

We woke on Saturday morning around 9am - so great to sleep in! After a chocolate hazelnut cake breakfast (leftover from the night before) we headed to Mocksville. There we celebrated Patrick's (Sept 29), Erin's (Oct 16) and my (Oct 6) birthdays. It was such a fun weekend! Thanks, family, for making it so special. And a special thanks to my wonderful husband. You're an amazing man!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Great job, David!

I don't write much about David on my blog. Mainly because I want to honor his privacy. He's a very private person. However, I want to take this opportunity to brag on him. He's very good at what he does. Check out this article to see some of the work that my amazing architect husband did on Johnson C. Smith University's Mosaic Village. Great job, sweetie!

I just love that man!


One of the best things to come home to :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


That little boy is just the love of my life!!! (along with his Dad and his sister, of course.)

Some of my favorite things that I want to remember him saying are:
"Mommy, let's snuggle on the couch together after we eat breakfast."
"Mommy, I need you after I go potty, okay?"
"I want you to love on me."
"Mommy, I need you!" (Okay, this one gets on my nerves sometimes because he's resorted to saying it anytime he gets in trouble or doesn't like something that's happened - even if I'm the one diciplining him!!)
"Mommy, I love you so very much. Did you know that?"
"You're awesome." (This was said after he told me that Daddy could do it because he was an "awesome architect" and I said, "Yeah, I'm not as awesome as Daddy." I guess he corrected me. What a sweet cutie.)

And we have inside jokes like,
"Tracy couldn't get to that either!"
"Uh oh, Pigeons."
"Let's make pancakes in the morning!" (said with an Irish accent, of course)

He just finished up an "All About Me" segment at school and each student made a book about themselves. In his book Xander had colored his hair red on one page. Then he had colored it both blue and red on another page. I asked him what color his hair is. He said, "It's red. Actually it's strawberry blonde. But my favorite color is blue. I would rather have blueberry blonde hair!" It was so adorable! So now if I ask him what color his hair is he tells me it's blueberry blonde. :)

FYI - Blue is definitely his favorite color, followed by pink and purple. :)

He's fully potty-trained - no pull-ups anymore, even at night. He's really only had two accidents since the beginning of August, so that's pretty awesome!

He's very sensitive to touch. And he's very ticklish. He likes to be loved on and held, but on his own terms. He's not big on just anyone touching him and usually only allows it if he initiates it.

Everywhere he goes, he lights up the room. He's friendly, talkative, polite and very outgoing with strangers - bizarre, considering he's such an introvert, but he just loves to talk to people!

A friend of ours in small group told us the other day that Xander was the coolest kid he knows.

I have heard him referred to as a "little man," a "little old man," and an "old soul." All of these would be true. :) He is very polite, doesn't like to get his hands dirty, waits more patiently than most, stands off to observe situations before he gets involved in things, is overly cautious, seems to understand concepts I would think far beyond him, and will talk your ear off if you let him, using very clear and precise words with a huge vocabulary that he sometimes gets correct and sometimes doesn't.
Sounds like a little old man to me!! :)

He's a pretty cool dude. :)

Second year of preschool

Xander - Age 3.5 years, Amelia Jayne - Age 10 months

I know this happened about a month ago, but I thought y'all might still want to see the picture :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I was in the kitchen and I heard laughter coming from the living room. I peeked my head around the corner and watched my kids. Xander and Amelia Jayne had made up a game where Xander would throw his plush velcro toys around the room and Amelia Jayne would crawl after them. Then she'd gather them up and Xander would chase her around the room. It's the first real game I've seen them play together and Xander was so sweet about it! He typically grabs his toys and either puts them out of her reach or runs somewhere else to play with them. I was so proud of him for sharing and actually initiating a game with her.
I just stood in the doorway and watched the two of them. I wish I'd had a camera close by, but the image of my two children - Amelia Jayne standing and Xander knealing at the couch, backs to me, sharing with each other and playing together - will forever be etched in my memory.

Yesterday evening the kids and I were outside playing. It was so fun to play with both of my kids! David got home from work and joined in on the fun. :)

About AJ - Eleven months

Amelia Jayne turned 11 months old on September 24. The big first birthday is just around the corner. I can't believe it!
She's not been cooperating with me lately to get a good picture. It's a struggle every time I pull the camera out!
Right now I've noticed that Amelia Jayne is working hard on her language skills. She's signing more often and watches me very closely when I introduce new signs to her. She's now signing please (only it looks like the sign for lettuce! Ha!), and she's consistently signing milk, bye bye, all done and more. She loves when I sign please or thank you and when I help her sign them. She gets a little confused between blowing kisses and thank you. It's understandable. They're basically the same thing.
She is saying some words. Here are the ones I've heard: uh oh, bye bye, mama, dada, cat (only it sounds like "kuh"), wawa (for water), and ba-bu (can either mean blanket or Xander). She also stares at and studies people's mouths while they're talking. I can almost see the wheels turning in her head, trying to figure out how she can make those sounds, too. I think we're going to have another talker in our household! Poor David.
She loves to listen to and imitate animal noises, especially cat and elephant :) I do a pretty incredible elephant noise (if I do say so myself!) and she just loves it. Her receptive language is also pretty amazing. The other day I told her to go find blanket. She stopped what she was doing and crawled around the living room until she found her blanket. She also recognizes words like milk (we have to be careful where and when we say this - she thinks she can nurse wherever and whenever she wants!), water, night night, Daddy, Mommy, Xander, etc. I just love this stage (basically from 10-18 months) when it seems like there's a language explosion!!

She's not walking yet, but she's pushing around her push toy and the laundry basket like there's no tomorrow! She wants to walk, but wants to get where she's going fast, so crawling is still the preferred mode of transportation at this time. I have a hard time not comparing her to the other kids in her class at school. They were all born in October last year and she's the only one not walking! Peyton's been walking for almost 2 months already! Oh well. She'll do it in her own time.

Baby girl still has tiny little feet! She basically wears 3-6 month shoes or size 3. It's ridiculous to try to keep shoes on her right now! I especially want her to wear shoes since she's learning to walk, but also because it's getting colder.

Yes, she has more teeth! She has a total of eight teeth now. Crazy!

She's sick right now and has had a cough for over 3 weeks. I actually had to take her to the doctor last week and finally put her on antibiotics. Her cold had turned into a sinus infection. I'm afraid she may battle allergies. But this sweet little girl has been such a trooper! Barely any fussing or change in attitude and behavior. Such a precious little girl!!