Exploring Independence

IMG_7007
Last night I decided today would be a television-free day for Penelope, and that we would just listen to music, giving her time to explore her independence and creativity. It is not quite ten o’clock and she has already “read” five books, had a dance party with her bath baby, filled a basket with tubs of Playdo, and lugged it into the living room and is now playing by herself with the Playdo on the coffee table.  She also picked out her own outfit- although her first choice was footed winter pajamas, which she isn’t tall enough for.
IMG_7008

Looking like Aunt Sarah
I have received at least twenty kisses and two “I love you”s!
I have had time to have a cuddle-fest in bed with Penelope before breakfast, hand wash a load of dishes, put on a load of laundry, and get dressed in under five minutes! Oh, and write this post 🙂

IMG_7009
These photos were taken in while Reese was going potty, but I do plan on spending time outside, playing in bubbles, swinging, and painting.
I plan to have the majorities of our days spent this way until the baby comes, to help me out during recovery.
IMG_7012

Hearing a choo-choo in the distance
Lets hope the rest of this day goes as smoothly. Off to switch over that laundry…
Happy FRIDAY!!!!!
.

Doctors Visit

IMG_6978
What a day, what a day. I awoke to the giggles of a little darling who had crept into my room after Daddy went to work. 6:55 a.m. mind you. I couldn’t be mad- it was the best way I could’ve been jerked out of a deep slumber. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning at ten o’ clock, and planned to leave by nine. She has been waking up at eight, so I had not planned for the extra time this morning.
A train bustled loudly through town, which is why she woke up when she did.
IMG_6976
Anyway…. back to killing time, She watched her “baby movie” (Charlie Brown’s Christmas) after breakfast and we still had over an hour before we had to leave. Upon spotting the swing in the Elementary school playground “Weee!” is the only thing she seemed interested in. We loaded up the diaper bag with plenty of snacks, an extra pair of underwear (for her, not me), three books, my handy camera, phone, etc. and set off for the park.
We managed to get in 10 minutes of swinging before I hear “potty?” She saw the public restroom straight ahead, but for some reason I always think there are creepy men lying in wait for desperate ladies in need of a potty. Not happening. So, we went home to use the potty. A one minute drive is hardly out of the way and she is a champ at “holding it.”
IMG_6986 IMG_6987
Reese acted like we had been gone for two days- 20 minutes? Really Reese? At least he wasn’t disappointed to see us I guess.
We left for the doctor at nine, arriving 45 minutes before my appointment. No harm done, between putting our new insurance into the computer, and all of the other pre-doctor things we had to do, it worked out for the best. Penelope was awesome, everyone was smitten. Nurses peeked over corners, and some even came to our room just to get a peek at her tiny bun, sparkly shoes, and to sigh at her delicate wave Hello.
IMG_6990
My doctor gets dumber every time I see him. Lets hope he know how to perform surgery without any trouble. That’s enough about him. I vented to my mom about it, so I am over it…mostly.
He asked if I had a sugar test done yet – nope. No I haven’t. Guess where we went next! Downstairs to the lab for another hour. The nurses there were just as great, the sugar stuff wasn’t bad- way better than the stuff I took with Penelope- and the hour went fairly quickly. Penelope, however, was restless. I can’t blame her. So so glad I remembered snacks and books at this point. She talked to Grandma Penny on the phone, but was not the usual chipper talkative girl she usually is with my mom. My mom could tell she was tired through the phone, and at that point the minutes seemed to go backwards.
We got through it, no potty accidents, all snacks were eaten, books read numerous times, no fits, and everyone we met was super nice, making it a great morning.
_MG_7000
When we arrived home she knew Daddy would be home for lunch and could not find that sleepiness that consumed her earlier, so once Daddy left we gave a nap another try. Second time was the charm. We ( I ) had just enough time once we woke up to cook supper. Now Penelope is at work with Daddy at the elementary school, and I have a heap of dishes to do.
Almost the weekend!! We plan on taking family photos this Saturday! I love family days.
Happy Thursday!
.

Experiencing Playdo

IMG_6948
Okay, I have more photos than written content for this post, so we’ll see what I come up with.  One of Penelope’s friends, Mason, had a birthday recently and we bought a 24 pack of Playdo for him- but left it at home [realizing this fun fact as we landed on the off-ramp at the beginning of our 2 hour trip]. Instead of turning around, we bought a new one for him once we arrived and decided to give our first purchase to Miss Penelope.
IMG_6913   IMG_6914
I love it when she gets to try a new activity! She wasn’t sure what to think of the texture at first, but quickly got over her discomfort and was eager to try every color. By try I mean squeeze each one and put it back in it’s tube.
This will be a great way to teach her colors. We have paint swatch squares that I stuck magnetic paper to on her white board and crayons, but she seemed to understand / want to understand better with Playdo.
IMG_6925 
Penelope has been more and more aware and interested in her baby sister, often rubbing my belly saying “Baby”, giving my belly hugs, and sometimes having babbling conversations with her. I’m not worried about jealousy with these two ladies – at least not until much later.
IMG_6943 IMG_6944 IMG_6945
Penelope has been very independent the past few days. She has been playing quietly in her room and the livingroom with various toys she has previously not shown much interest in – along with old standbys like babies and books. Zack has been good about being in charge of helping her clean up once he arrives home each day. I think she enjoys it more than when I help her… Daddy is just more fun.
IMG_6936
Tonight is seeming like a calm one. It is 6 o’clock and the house is clean, television is off, laundry will get done tonight, Penelope will get a bath soon, and I might even get to do some sewing once she goes to bed!
I have such a terrific husband (the best possible husband in my opinion). Thought I’d put that out there. Maybe I’ll do a post just about him soon. 🙂
Happy Tuesday!

.

Dancing Queen

dance-dance

Boy, does this girl like to dance! With or without music, audience or not. I think dance classes are in her future!
Can you tell she picked out her own outfit today? I think the headband gives it away.
Happy Monday!

.

A Big Weekend

IMG_6813
Saturday morning we drove up to St. Peters for my baby shower (thrown by my favorite sister). We had a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who attended- “Baby” (I’m DYING to call her by her name!) received the perfect gifts – toys, diapers, wipes, washcloths, towels, adorable outfits, her first pair of shoes, a cook book :), and a giant bullfrog book.
IMG_6822
Afterwards I went fall clothes shopping, and to get some cleaning supplies from Target with my Dad and Mom while Penelope took a nap (much needed after an afternoon of fun with Grandmas Shooie and Deedee!). Zack’s grandparents, the famous PawPaw and DeeDee, took us out for supper at Chick-fil-a before we hit the road again. Delicious!
IMG_6824
Today I have been organizing all of things we received and cleaning as I go, although looking around I can’t tell that I did anything. Dog-gone-it. Back to work for me after this I guess.
Also, thank you Laura for all of the stuff you gave us, pretty sure I won’t have to buy clothes for Penelope at all next year! Wish I could somehow repay you with “hand-me-ups”…but they don’t exist…I’ll think of something 🙂
IMG_6825
Sunday’s are grocery shopping days for us (we haven’t quite gotten the hang of once a month trips to the store), Zack has been at the school all morning preparing for next weeks classes, and after lunch we’ll all head to Rolla for some shopping followed by, I’m sure, more cleaning. Oooh, or a nap! That sounds better.
We just got back from a walk, mapping out our way – preparing for fall walks to Friday night football games! So ready for that! It’s still weird to me that I’ll be going as a teachers wife instead of a student though.
Hot chocolate, hoodies, blankets, eating pre-game hotdogs and homemade chili, big cozy hats, and a red button nose proudly presented on Penelope’s face! SO EXCITED!

Happy Sunday!

.

Off to a Good Start

IMG_6714
I decided to wake up with Zack this morning (6:00 instead of 7:30 can’t be that different, right?) and make him a nice breakfast. I’m pretty sure I went and laid back in bed three times before it was all said and done. I was nice, however, to spend that time with him before he officially began his day. Breakfast with Zack will have to be a weekend thing from now on though.…
IMG_6725
Having been so tired, and only having half an hour before I knew she would wake up, I was…what’s the word…concerned? Sure, concerned with how the rest of my day would play out. I had unrealistically high hopes for a magical burst of energy- and I got it! For a couple of hours at least. Since the park worked so well yesterday we went again this morning before it got hot, and brought some bread for only duck that decided not to sleep in. We also fit in some more swing-time and left just as it began to get hot.
IMG_6728  IMG_6758
         Stuffing a whole slice of bread into her mouth.      / /       Enjoying the big-girl swing
We played in bubbles/ scrubbed the chalk off the porch before a failed attempt at a nap. This of course resulted in a sleepy cranky baby just in time for Daddy to arrive home for lunch. I’m not even sure he noticed, he was just happy to see her. Nap take two worked like a charm, and now she is watching Cars, eating raisins and wearing her old man hat (my favorite).
IMG_6733
This evening she is going to enjoy some Daddy-daughter time. I’m not sure if that will include painting, going to the play ground, or something she hasn’t done in a while, but either way I’m sure they will enjoy the time together.
We have one more day before we head up to St. Peters for my baby shower. It will probably be spent cleaning and packing (yep, you read right, packing for a one. day. trip).
Well, I’m going to cuddle up with Miss Penelope and watch Cars, until next time.
.

Decorating and a Kick of Love

IMG_6675
Yesterday we tried something new: : : We went to the park. Parks are not particularly new for us, but we haven’t been to the St. James park yet. It still has see-saws! Penelope has upgraded, thanks Zack, to a “big girl” swing, you know the type where the only security is Mommy’s slower-by-the-day reflexes. She hasn’t fallen yet so I don’t know what I am so worried about.
We brought along her wagon, filled with her baby doll and jacket. We set off on a mission to find natural fall decorations, but also enjoyed swinging, a long walk, and squirrel watching.
We gathered “those pointy things” and some green nuts a squirrel was angrily tossing out of a tree (below) for our kitchen table center piece, and some pinecones for Penelope to paint, which will later be made into a wreath for our front door! (above)
IMG_6661
My creativity for decorating sans money is dwindling, but I am hoping music, foods, and other’s decorating ideas (via Pinterest and blogs) will spark some inspiration. I do love to decorate- I’m going full force with the Autumn and the upcoming holidays!
.Part 2: : : 
Zack took some photos of his girls after supper last night. Penelope seems to love the fact that there is a baby in my belly (whether she understands what that means or not is beside the point…)  As soon as she gave her sister the first kiss, baby started kicking! It seems like every time Penelope intentionally touches my belly the baby starts squirming. A bond is forming – at least until the teenage years!
IMG_6683-2_thumb1IMG_6685_thumb1IMG_6690-2_thumb1IMG_6696-2_thumb1IMG_6697_thumb1
I am so proud to have such a wonderful girl (make that two!).

.

Sister Love

In attempts to make the transition of a new little lady entering our family a smooth one, we have begun certain steps in preparing Penelope. Hopefully she will not be overwhelmed when the time comes to bring her baby sister home.
IMG_6613
For starters we began trying to get her to say “sister’s” name. She almost has it [fully] correct, and we still have 3 months to practice!
The next step was to get her to understand that there was a baby in Mommy’s belly- (never mind that I was somewhat discouraged that she thinks I am naturally the large… at least she loves me anyway).
She now rubs my belly and says “Baby,” then rests her head on it and says “Oooh,” which is her hug noise. I don’t think jealousy will be an issue I have to worry about. My girl has a heart overflowing with love.
IMG_6627  IMG_6633IMG_6631
Yesterday she painted a picture for Baby’s room –which is our room- and it has been placed above her bassinet.
She was ecstatic! Giddy running from the kitchen to the front door, having proudly chosen each color carefully. She wore my old shirt that reached her ankles. So cute. She would say each color she chose as she chose it, though not always correct I still found it great that she was trying.
IMG_6634IMG_6636
As she painted I asked,
“Is this for you sister?” [followed by a head nod yes].
“Can you say [insert Baby’s name]?” [followed by a good attempt].
“Is this going in your sister’s room?” [followed by a head nod yes and attempt at saying “sister”].
Proud Mama.
IMG_6639  IMG_6642
She proudly displayed her painting for me, but got distracted by a plane flying over our house.
She repeatedly took me back to our room to show me the painting she had done for her soon-to-be best friend. It’s my favorite work of art. Made with the purest love. My sweet little babies, boding already.

.

Daily Life

_MG_6527

Rolling around on our bed…still not sure why she found it so fun.

While Zack is at work, it has been a constant daily challenge for me to balance keeping the house clean, playing with Penelope, educating Penelope, and making sure food is done at the correct times for everyone- while remembering to rest and “take it easy” on myself.
Penelope has been a big help with cleaning and her always eager to help attitude is definitely motivating [that is until she becomes upset when we have to stop scrubbing the floors or wiping tables].  Sometimes I find myself setting her down to watch Rio so I can get things done faster and “in peace,” but the kick myself when I realize that part her day was wasted on television. Balance is hard. Exhausting.
As tired and dreadful as I am making my life sound, it is really awesome. Everyday I have the option to relax when I need to, go swing out on the porch, and spend the ENTIRE day with the coolest girl I know. I get to experience every new word, expression, and habit she discovers. I get to watch her pick out her outfits (Her first attempt is always a snowman sweater from Vovo that she calls”Babies”), chose how to style her hair (Up or down? One ponytail or two? Buns or piggies?), figure out how to hold a pencil. watch her discovering paint for the first time, and watch her intensely fold laundry. She is brilliant amazing and beautiful. I am one blessed lady.
_MG_6533
Tonight we have a faculty family supper over at the high school. Hooray for a night without having to cook! Every evening in the past week has included a family walk through the neighborhoods of St. James. Penelope shrieks with excitement at the site of her stroller and runs to find her shoes and “ocks”.
Yesterday to give us a change of pace, we watched Elf while waiting for Daddy to get home from grading papers, complete with iced hot chocolate, homemade peanut butter cookies, and popcorn. She actually enjoyed the whole movie- dancing to every song (there are a lot!), and running back to cuddle when she was done.  That, plus the Autumn breeze blowing in the window, soft blankets and fluffy pillows – it was magical.
_MG_6540

Talking about the kids playing at recess, saying “Weee!”
Today I am waiting for the internet fella to show up, we’ve cleaned, Penelope has had a bath, and talked to Grandma Penny on the phone, and she (Penelope, not Grandma) is now down for a nap in the hopes that she’ll be awake for Daddy’s lunch break.

Soon we will be finding creative ways to decorate for Fall- since we have no decorations- and I will be posting those as that happen, as well as meals we try, seeing as how we are trying to be creative and frugal with our food budget. Oh, and of course photos of Penelope covered in paint and food as these projects occur, ‘cause she’s cute! (and I’m trigger happy with a camera…)

Happy Tuesday!
.

Dance Baby Dance!

_MG_6503_MG_6502 

Penelope loves the movie Rio. Love may not be a strong enough word… She knows when the dance scenes are coming up, the “scary” parts, the funny parts, and the parts with “babies” although I have yet to find what babies she is referring to. By far her favorite movie. It has beat Cars for the top spot. Birds might have to be her birthday theme. “Birds” is what she calls the movie, by the way.
Today has been amazing. We tried a new church (which we like!) this morning, followed by lunch at Wendy’s and a diaper/ toilet paper run to Walmart. A nap for the ladies to follow while Zack headed to the High school to work on his lesson plans (so official now). Once awake, Penelope watched “BIRDS!” while I cleaned then she helped me cook supper and bake cookies for Daddy. We listened to Sinatra with the cool breeze flowing in through the kitchen window. Magical. Made me yearn for Autumn even more.
Zack, Penelope, Reese and I got back not too long ago from a walk through the beautiful streets of St. James. I really enjoy our daily family walks.
One more day of travel for the daily photo, then I can do this stuff from home! One happy lady!
Happy Sunday/ Monday!
.