Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just the Girls ♥

Yesterday was a lot to take!  Abbie fussed the majority of the day, and Brady had some severe reflux issues that made for a stressful afternoon!  I thought that a morning outing with just Abbie and myself might make her feel special! 

I thought about a few ideas, but I am a "kill 2 birds with 1 stone kind of person" through and through!!  I needed to go to Target, so I thought I would make it a "special trip", and I put Abbie's toy shopping cart in the car!

She had such a great time, and was such a good helper!  She helped me collect everything on our list (because we were on a "treasure hunt"!!), waved hello to everyone we walked past, and we even had a cart race!!  We made a full lap around the store, and when we were finished, we got her a water from Starbucks!!! 
Such a big girl now... I love you Abbie!

I love her so much!  Cart, baby, Starbucks... happy girl!

Def, my favorite Target trip on record!

 - Jessica

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"You can have roots & wings..."

Since before Brady made his arrival, I have been wanting to make a trip to Greensboro.  I worked it out with mom to ride back and forth with her, so that I wouldnt have to make the first trip back with 2 kids... ALONE!  She came up for Abbie's birthday party and stayed until Monday.  Monday morning we packed up the car, and headed to Greensboro.  The trip down was actually timed perfect and went SO SMOOTH!  I couldn't have asked for an easier car ride, but the rest of the trip wasn't quite as awesome. 
After picking up the "extra car" from Mom & Scott's, I headed to my dad's house.  We were planning to stay with him for the week, and it was approaching bed time fast!  We went to dinner at one of my favorite little restaurants in Greensboro, IPD Eatery!  Abbie was beginning to fall apart, so we headed back and got her ready for bed as quickly as possible.  She went to sleep with ease, but staying in the bed, seemed like a pipe dream! We blew up a twin size air mattress and put her on it in the middle of an empty room!  It was only about 4 inches off the ground, but when I went in to check on Abbie, she and her blankie had rolled off the mattress and clear across the room!
Tuesday morning we headed to visit friends!  Abbie got to play with Reagan, Hailey, Caleb, Angie, and Elijah!  She was very exciting about seeing her friends, as was I!  Tuesday afternoon we did nothing, and we had dinner with my dad and his girlfriend that evening!
Wednesday the plan was to go to Raleigh.  We were planning on surprising my grandmother with a visit from the kids, but after experiencing a LOT of pain in my back... I spent the morning in the emergency room.  NOT FUN!  We had a VERY low key afternoon and evening.
Thursday our plan was to go play with Cole at a friend's house, but sick babies prevented that play date from going as hoped.  We headed out to visit my in-laws after nap, and finished the evening off with a visit at Derik's cousin's house!
We packed up the car Friday morning, and headed up to visit my mom at work.  After everyone got to see the baby... we drove to my mom's house to drop off the "extra car"!  When mom got off work, we headed back to Richmond, and I have never been so excited to come back!
This trip made me realize that home is no longer Greensboro.  25 years of living there, and I now feel like a stranger there.  The time spent with my parents was much needed, and went very well!  However, I felt like Greensboro wasn't as excited to see us as we were to see them!
I took a drive by our old house, and cried sitting in the driveway.  We moved away 10 months ago, but it feels like we never really lived there.  The only memories that I am holding onto from that time in my life is bringing our first baby home from the hospital!  It was our first house, and we were so excited about buying it... and the last 10 months have made me regret this purchase.
Our friends have continued living and we are no longer a part of their story, and our family is busy living life as well.  I feel like I did a LOT of sitting on the couch this visit, and I could have just as easily done that at home!  I felt out of place, and trapped... and that makes me sad.  I guess I have to realize that our life is no longer in Greensboro... it's in Richmond.  I know it is possible to have roots & wings, I just never thought that it would feel like my roots have been "uprooted"!
I am not looking forward to my next visit to Greensboro, and I am not sure that I will make the trip again anytime soon.  4 days with 2 kids (including a newborn), no husband to help, no play room for Abbie, sick friends, and busy family... I am exhausted, and am so glad to be back home.

 - Jessica 

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Day Before 2...

It is hard for me to believe that tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of the day I met my daughter!  She has been a part of our lives for 730 days, and I honestly find it hard to remember life without her!  It feels like she has always been a part of our lives, and we are blessed to have her in our family!

On her last day of being a "1 year old", I thought it would be fun to capture her in her element!!  For those of you who don't know Abbie very well, her personality is BIG!  She is a vibrant and fun little girl, and loves to play!!  Two of her favorite things to do are to "color" and to play dress up, or as she calls it, "be pretty"!  Here are a few pictures of my sweet girl... simply being Abbie.

I love this little girl so much, and even though she is becoming such a big girl... she will always be my little princess!

Having fun in her princess gown, snow white cape, and her wand!

She was dancing... even with no music!

 Costume change!  Now she is a ballerina...

A shy ballerina!!

Coloring a picture for mommy & daddy!  (still wearing her tutu!!)

very focused!

Oh how I love her!

Back to work on her masterpiece!

Having a GREAT time!!

What a precious angel...

I know you wont read this for few years, and probably wont appreciate it for many after that... but I wanted to write you a letter...

My Sweet Abigail,
I am so lucky that I get to be your mommy.  You are such an amazing little girl, and you continue to make me proud every day.  You are growing up so fast, and it is blowing my mind!  I remember holding you the day you were born and dreaming about what you would be like as you grew up.  You are more fun than I ever could have imagined.  I pray that I get to stay home with you until you are grown, because the last 2 years of my life have been the best of my 27 years!  You are beautiful, precious, and absolutely perfect... and I love you more than you will ever understand!  Happy Birthday to my sweet girl...
 - Mom

Friday, February 10, 2012

Life as a family of 4...

Things sure have changed around our house!  We started the year off as a family of 3, with a very pregnant Jessica!  Only 21 days into the year, and 3 trips to Labor & Delivery... we celebrated the arrival of Brayden Reade!  He made his grand entrance 5 weeks early, and boy were we glad to see him!  He was 6lb 10oz and 19in long... and healthy as could be!  We are very blessed to have 2 children born over a month early and have spent no time at all in the NICU! 
I spent most of my pregnancy terrified of how Abbie would handle the new baby being home.  Much to my surprise, she was beyond excited to meet him, hold him, & love him to pieces!  She ran around the house like a crazy person in excitement when my mom told her that mommy had the baby!  She wouldn't even eat breakfast!  She came to the hospital and ran into the room, with the sweetest smile on her face!  She said probably 100 times, "Hey Brady", and would kiss his head!  Then her phrase changed to "Hold Him", and she was so excited to jump up on the couch and hold the baby!
Since we have come home from the hospital, things haven't changed with Abbie too much.  She is such a big girl, and it is still hard for me to believe that in 4 days she will be turning 2 years old!!  She is such a great helper and such a sweet big sister!  Derik and I both have tried to give her focused one on one attention over the past few weeks, so that she doesn't feel like the baby has crashed her party!!  I think she is doing really great with the transition, much better than I ever could have imagined! 
Of course, nursing a baby has it's drawbacks.  I feel like I am sitting and nursing Brady for the majority of the day.  Most of the times that Abbie chooses to act out are when I am nursing the baby!  However, I have to keep in mind that she is 2, and those moments are to be expected!
The hardest change overall is definitely running errands!  Both of the times that I have taken the kids out... I left as the baby needed to be nursed, and of course forgot something!!  If it wasn't Abbie's paci, then it was Brady's diaper bag!  And the saddest part is... I had another adult with me!!  Doing errands with 2 kids... alone... scares me to death!!
I think one thing we tend to forget to factor into the equation when a newborn arrives is sleep deprivation!  I knew it was coming, and I thought I was prepared, but you forget just how hard it is to function with no sleep!  The toughest part about it this time is that with a toddler, you cant sleep when the baby sleeps!  You have a nap time that is scheduled, and that is your only opportunity during the day to sleep!  If you miss it, too bad!! 
I know that there are MANY more changes to come... potty training Abbie is one of the biggest changes next on the list!  Along with, getting rid of her paci, giving her a big girl room, starting preschool again, and of course the baby growing up!  I will admit though... I am in as big of a hurry for Brady to grow up as I was with Abbie.  Would I like him to sleep through the night... sure!  But... sitting up, crawling, eating solids... all of that can wait for a LONG time, and i would be happy! 
I am trying to enjoy my time with my kids as much as possible.  I love them both so much, and I just want to soak all of this in as long as I can!

 - Jessica