Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's been a little

Cah-razy in the Taylor household. Tim just returned from being in Idaho for two weeks. Yes - I said two weeks! Shew! Usually I do o.k. when he is gone but this time....with two kids and that length of time I kind of wasn't o.k. by the end (just keepin' it real). Avery ended up getting a chest cold two days after he left and that coupled with just the regular stresses of parenting two vs. one and doing so solo was just tough! Let's just say I'm super happy that he's back! I had several friends offer to help me while he was away and I took them up on it. Courtney kept the girls one day so I could go to a Dr.'s appointment and when I returned this adorableness was happening...
Last weekend my Dad and Kathy decided to come to visit and I was so glad they did because a prior co-worker of mine was getting married and I really wanted to go but hated to leave the girls. I had arranged for a friend to keep them, but Grandaddy and Gigi were happy to take that responsibility over. The wedding was so cute. It was at this little white country church in a town not far outside of Lexington called Owenton. I kept singing that country song "Take me down to the little white church" the whole time. Can you see why:
Dawn, Michelle and I.
Friday the praise and worship director texted me to see if I would be willing to sing on Sunday so there again it was wonderful to have help with the kids. I loved their expressions when they came rushing into the sanctuary just in time after getting the kids to their rooms and said "we're getting old"! =) What's my excuse for being frazzled every Sunday?
My Dad (ever the super handy Mr. fix-it) offered to work on any odd jobs I had around the house so I took him up on it. Tim and I have been meaning to transition the training wheels from an old bike someone gave us onto Kennedy's bike. Well, those wheels didn't fit but Grandaddy went out and got the ones that did fit and put them on.
Kennedy was super interested in the entire process.
Do you love how she's all in her pink polo dress with princess slippers and pink hair bow but playing with the tools? The girl loves some tools!
She was so excited to get on her "big girl" bike and try it out.

Do you love the concentration face - tongue and all?
So proud!
This sweet girl had her six month check up last week. It was a little late (she'll be 7 months on October 1st) but the Dr.'s summer schedule was nutty. She's getting so big!

Two kids at the pediatric office (so fun! ~ a tiny bit of sarcasm). Kennedy ended up needing to use the restroom - like...really use the restroom and of course that occurred right after Avery finally stopped crying and fell asleep on my shoulder which happened right before the nurses came in with three shots - oh my.....Mommy was sweatin'!
Avery is 15% in height and weight and her head circumference is 51%. ;)
I always took a picture of Kennedy with her band-aids on after her well check appointments so of course I wanted Avery's too. Well, the day just got away from me and by the time I could get her in a position to snap her picture she wasn't happy because it was almost bead time. Poor baby!
The Dr. gave us the green light on trying rice cereal with Avery so we  began that night (my fingers were crossed it would = more sleep). The jury is still out on whether or not more sleep is going to be a result of beginning some food but I sure hope so! She does seem to like it though!
Although Tim is home and I am so super happy about it - I haven't seen him yet. I flew out to visit my sister and her new little baby on Thursday and he flew back in from Idaho on Friday. The girls are with his Mom and Dad (no doubt having a blast and getting super spoiled) so they've not seen him yet either. I fly back to KY tomorrow evening and we pick the girls up on Tuesday. It will be nice to all be together and back to or normal again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kennedy Turns 4 ~ Part Two

So, I left off talking about plan pacifier cessation at Build-a-bear. Kennedy has never had paci prejudice - she would pretty much take any type, shape and/or make of pacifier. She just loved a paci. So...we had several in and around the house that we bagged up in preparation for the "stuffing ceremony".
Unfortunately I had to work on this Saturday but I wanted her to go in then because the same worker who helped her stuff and make Kitters was going to be in on that Saturday. So...Daddy took both girls (I know right? - Impressive!) back so that Kitters could have her surgery. He said they were so awesome about the whole thing....talking Kennedy through it and even having her chant "I'm a big girl and I don't need my pacifiers anymore!" After the BAB worker opened Kitters back up, Kennedy kissed the pacifiers and then stuffed them inside.  
Kennedy was then instructed to hold Kitters hand through the surgery so that Kitters could be brave (seriously? Genius!). How sweet is this?
Almost good as new with "Mommy" by her side.
They told Kennedy that now whenever she felt sad or missed her pacifiers to squeeze Kitters tight and now that they were with her and she could be brave (I really could kiss those people!). They showed her exactly where they were in Kitters's body so she could actually squeeze them. Tim said Kennedy was completely committed to the entire process. Such a big girl.

Once I got home from work, I started making Kennedy's birthday cake. She had mentioned really wanting a Sleeping Beauty birthday cake. Well, let me just tell you that when I obliged I had NO idea how hard it was going to be to deliver. You CANNOT find a sleeping beauty form pan which is what I had planned on doing...I figured that would be the easiest way. Well - who knew that it would be a completely unavailable item. So...plan two: make Sleeping Beauty's birthday cake. We watch princess movies on the regular in our house but for you people who may not remember, in the movie Sleeping Beauty - Flora, Fauna and Merriweather make Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty a 16th birthday cake and therein I found my creative inspiration.

Sadly, you can't even find an image online but I did find this French version clip that shows a still frame of it. At casa de la Taylor we pretty much had this scene frozen on our TV from the DVD so I could run back and forth from the kitchen trying to get it just right. Yes - I am that OCD perfectionist (at least I own it).

Although it was challenging to make a stacked layer cake (a first for me) - it was SO fun! Kennedy stood beside me on the chair and she just had this look of awe and wonder that I wish I could have bottled up. She kept saying "you're doing so good Mommy" and it just solidified that it was indeed a special thing to make my baby's birthday cake. She patiently awaited the chance to place Aurora gently on the top of the cake.
I was really pleased with how it turned out. I'm pretty sure Kennedy was thrilled too.
We had her bestie Matthew over along with his brothers and parents. We had a nice dinner followed by present opening and cake. It was a perfectly special and low-key evening for my big 4 year olds birthday. Don't get me wrong - I love a BIG OLE SHINDIG, but with two kids and both of us working it just wasn't the year. At first I was feeling guilty and sad about not doing a big party, but in the end it was obvious she had a blast and it was a really special evening.  
She is a loved little girl and got lots of birthday presents from friends and family. In this picture she had just opened a gift from Chelsea. It is a book about princesses and as she turns the pages, the book is read aloud to her. Kennedy was several pages in before I realized it was Chelseas voice that she had pre-recorded before mailing it to Kennedy for her birthday. Chelsea is like part of our family so I was all emotional hearing her voice....Kennedy wasn't about to shut the book before she listened to the entire thing read aloud though. She wanted to read the book again before has been really sweet because at the end Chelsea says "I love you Kennedy" and Kennedy always shouts back "I love you too Chelsea!"
The birthday girl and her guest Matthew.
We have so few pictures of the four of us but I'm glad Justin snapped this one.
These two are so incredibly sweet to each other and they love spending time together:
I suppose they love each other so because it all began.........
 way back when...they are growing up!
Kennedy hasn't paci-relapsed and is totally in LOVE with Kitters:
look at all of her birthday loot:

It was a pretty awesome 4th birthday. It's hard for me to believe that this time next year she will be in Kindergarten - OH.MY.WORD!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kennedy Turns 4 ~ Part One

Before I launch full force into what was Kennedy's three day birthday celebration - let's focus on lil' sis for a moment, shall we? This little peanut has had an awful cough/cold. I'm so not used to dealing with sick babies. Kennedy didn't really get sick like Avery has been sick and she certainly didn't get sick at Avery's age. I suppose she was spared being sick so early because she didn't begin daycare until she was 18 months old. Poor little Avery though - she's let me just say - "building up her immunity". Thank heavens she and Kennedy are both troopers when they are sick so aside from not sleeping a ton in this household and dealing with some extra fussiness - it's not been terrible.  
Anyhow, other than being sick not much is new with Avery other than she's been trying out some cloth diapers. How cute is she sporting them? These are Bum Genius diapers that Chelsea gave me when I was pregnant (knowing that I really wanted to try it). It has been challenging at times but thankfully I've got friends like Billie who have been cloth diapering for a while to guide me through it. Once you get a system down it's not bad at all...I actually wish I'd known how easy it could be and I would have tried it with Kennedy. I've learned they are super expensive new, but there are cloth diaper consignment sales where you can get some really quality diapers for a much lesser price (again -knowledge I gleaned from Billie). She and I went to such a sale last week and I can now say my arsenal is full enough that I can cloth diaper for the majority of the time from this point forward. Yay! Happy planet...happy wallet...happy Mom and baby. Messy at times - yeah, but considering the positives I'm game.
Look at those little rolls....
Kennedy's actual 4th birthday was Thursday week before last and it was full of craziness. I had a MUMS meeting followed by a work meeting and it was just plain nutty but we did manage to squeeze in some fancy cupcakes that she picked out from Gigi's. Aunt Abby and Uncle Jonathan came over to celebrate with us and we sang and shared yummy cupcakes with mile high frosting. Yum!
They were super thoughtful and purchased a gift for Kennedy. She was very excited to see what it was.....
Cheesing with Team Burns and her new manicure set they gave her...Oh Lawd - I see lots of nail painting in our future!
Love watching men putting together pink plastic toys...what can I say? This is good practice for Jonathan - there's lots of this in his future!
Precious...and this is why she LOVES him so:
We practically had to peel her off of this thing to go to bed that night. I foresee hours of nail entertainment in our future.
On Friday I had made some special birthday plans with/for Kennedy since I had more free time than on her actual birthday. First up was a trip to Chick-fil-a to use our free breakfast pass. Well....little did we know my car had been broken into the night prior and rather than starting our morning with coffee and yummy chicken we started with an officer and a police report. Fun, fun. Thankfully, from what we could tell the only thing stolen was some cash I had in my car. Since Kennedy's sweet little heart was set on breakfast with Daddy, I am grateful that Chick-fil-a let use our passes despite being way past our assigned time slot that morning. After breakfast I ran to Walmart to get some cake preparation materials and don't you know my day needed more drama and my flippin' car battery died in the parking lot and there I sat with my two kids and lots of things to do! *sigh* Did I mention that Courtney and I had gone running that morning and due to rushing to get to breakfast I didn't shower before departing. Awesome!

Long story longer - after phoning a friend and trying to jump the car ourselves, I ended up needing Walmart automotive's assistance to get my car back to normal. While they worked on my car, I called the friend who I had plans with to let her know what my morning had been like. Luckily she was super understanding and completely went with the flow so we all loaded up into her car and our first stop was lunch at Jimmy Johns (one of my and Kennedy's favorites!).
She was more excited by the gift they brought her than the sandwich we had just ordered. Oh well - I couldn't really blame her.
Next up was Build-a-bear. My sister Catina had given Kennedy a gift certificate and little outfit for Christmas but we hadn't used it yet. I figured it a perfect birthday activity. It was so cute and so fun to watch. After Kennedy picked out her animal (kitty - shocking, I know!) - next up was picking out a sound to go inside the kitty (appropriately she chose the meow).
Then she stuffed the kitty.
After both girls animals were stuffed they then went through a whole little ritual of preparing the hearts to go inside their new babies. They made wishes...
Jumped up and down to make their animals playful, they hugged the hearts and on and on it went - it was precious.
The hearts were then ready to be put in their animals.
After they were sewed up they were told to hug them tight.
Testing the meower...
Bathing, combing, fluffing
All done - SO MUCH FUN!!! I present Daisy the Bunny and Kitters the Cat (in her box).
I don't know if Build-a-bear is always that amazing, but our experience sure was. They were so great with the girls and so upbeat and fun and Kennedy really enjoyed herself. It was the perfect special birthday event.
No Birthday celebration would be complete without some type of treat, right? Here are the girls with their frozen yogurt masterpieces at Menchies. Notice Kennedy wanted Kitters to join her. :)
For weeks I've been talking to Kennedy about the need to stop sleeping with a pacifier. It's been a LONG time coming (plan pacifier cessation) and I felt like her turning 4 was a good catalyst for making it happen. My sister had mentioned that Build-a-bear would allow us to stuff her animal of choice with her pacifiers and I thought that was an awesome idea but in all my crazy morning drama I forgot the pacifiers at home (double bummer!). The BAB employee that worked with us told me that we could bring them back the following day and they could open Kitters back up in order to place the pacifiers inside (which Kennedy really wanted to do). preparation for that coming the following day I asked Kennedy to try to sleep without her pacifier that night. It wasn't easy and there were tears shed (by she and I both), but she made it ALL NIGHT long and awoke VERY proud of herself. I just had to snap a picture to commemorate this monumentous occasion. BIG GIRL! We are now pacifier free....whoopee.
To be continued....