Friday, February 7, 2014

Life lately. November, December and January....

Keeping up with this blog is proving more and more difficult for me! Between trying to keep up with the usual household duties, picking up some extra shifts at work, surviving Christmas, and trying to remodel and organize multiple areas of our house at once, I am utterly overwhelmed. Honestly, it's silly. I get to spend 5-6 days a week home with my family. I should be grateful for that (and I am) but I just feel those special moments slipping away. Some experiences with my children are truly priceless and I never want to forget them but I am learning that time fades so many great memories (and bad ones too thankfully...haha). I want to be better at keeping up with my kids lives by being current on their photo albums, home movies, art albums and things like this blog and my little notebooks where I write down funnies and everyday precious moments. First world mommy problems.

As Elana enters her second year, I've decided it's ok to work a few extra shifts a month. It's good for my sanity and good for the budget too! Not to mention that I'm simultaneously trying to remodel and re-tile both bathrooms in my house, organizing the garage, making the master bedroom a retreat instead of a dumping ground, organize my kitchen cabinets, purging my closet and making room for a build in desk in there. What a grand plan.....It will be grand in the end though! We've needed to do some things for "us" as a couple for um....about 3 years now :)

Our family of 5 Christmas morning was really nice and the girls had a great time trying out their tricycles! Madison is getting really good on hers and Audrey isn't overly interested at this point! Elana is having a great time tagging along beside the older two! We spent Christmas Eve with my mom, Christmas day at our place and then to Grandma and Pawpaw Hodge. The following day we had dinner with dad and came home and watched Superman! Really enjoyed our time with family this year!

Rusty has been busy at work. He is enjoying his job overall, although they have a few rides that have been giving them plenty of trouble! It's also been very cold the past few weeks and working outside or in a building that doesn't have heat has been a bit of a challenge, coupled with a case of food poisoning from work food makes for a fun time (not!) He has been working 4 10 hour shifts instead of his usual 5 8s. This has been really nice having him an extra day but he is also getting home later which makes doing morning activities with the kids a bit of a challenge. He has a good attitude and is very good at balancing my long list of needs (van, house, personal) with everyday life and work. I am lucky to have such a great husband and father to my kids <3 p="">
Our little ladies are growing up so fast! Here's a little about them these days....

Elana: My little pistol! She said her first word just after she turned one. We were watching a home movie I had made from video clips and she saw Layla walk across the screen. She pointed and said "Layla!!" and hasn't stopped talking since!!! It seems like she is pronouncing words better and saying more and more words by the day! Elana is a little chatter box and is always asking for daddy! She pokes her little lips out and says "da-da, da-da" over and over :) She is still very attached to her momma though! When I leave to take the big girls to preschool, she cries when I leave and asks for me until I return. When I get home, she hears me open the door and I see her little face light up when she realizes it's me. She will run to me saying "mama!!!!" One of my favorite things she does right now is wrap her arms around your neck and lay her little head on your shoulder. She gives the best hugs and it is really one of the sweetest things ever! Elana loves to be involved in whatever her big sisters are doing. She is especially fond of painting and coloring! She knows Mickey and Minnie as well as most of the other characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Some of her latest tricks are pointing out her body parts, especially her nose, belly button, eyes and ears. She also points to her diaper when it is dirty (early potty trainer?!) and loves to give me a heart attack when she climbs up the slide or into the swing in the back yard. Yesterday I went to the store and asked her if she wanted to ride in the cart or with me and she clearly said "backpack!" Way to make mama feel loved <3 br="">
Madison: Little stinker! She has this funny little face she does where she scrunches up her nose, looks at you and says something sassy! One of her favorite things to do right now is put puzzles together. She can put together 24 piece puzzles effortlessly! We have a box of mickey puzzles she assembles in just's amazing. She's got a whole thought process behind it too. Smarty pants! Lately, we have had issues with the older girls acting out so we started having day dates. Once a week we take one of them for one-on-one time. It's really enjoyable to get them out on their own and see their individual personality blossom! We took Madison to Monkey Joes and she had a BLAST! She was going down the biggest slides they had all by herself. Sometimes I look at her and I am shocked to see the beautiful little girl she is becoming.

Audrey: Oh Audrey. The zombie arm is still strong with this one! Once you get past the whining, she is such a pleasant and sweet little girl! We found that when we separate her from Madison, she will just chatter, chatter, chatter! She loves to talk and it's not necessarily TO anyone other than herself :) Audrey is also really into painting these days. Give that girl some watercolors and a pad of paper and she will go to town! Today we painted and she told me that she was drawing a dinosaur and went on to explain about how it was a T-Rex and that she was drawing his feet. She definitely doesn't have the same connection with Elana that Madison does but she has her sweet moments. Sometimes she will share her toy with the baby without prompting or give her a little hug while she thinks no one is watching. She also loves to push he baby dolls around in the shopping cart. The other day I snapped a picture of her with her "two babies." It's also fun to see the wheels start turning about being a twin herself. We don't use the term "twins" in our home so I'm not sure she knows that but she will point out that she and Madison were in mommy's tummy together!

I sure love my little girls (and their daddy too!) Times like these, when I think about the happy times, makes my heart swell with love. There are also plenty of hard times, especially with the trying age of 2-3 year olds and Elana beginning to assert herself. I struggle daily to find balance between work and play. I can only hope I am giving them the happy childhood they need and deserve.