Happy birthday to my fierce one

Today Eloise is 2!  I cannot believe how fast it has gone.  I know people always say that, but it is so true.  Fortunately, I haven’t felt like I’ve missed much this time around.  It has been a completely different and wonderful experience raising this child to two than it was raising her brother to two.

When Link turned two, he’d been planning to be a big brother for months, and in exactly 1 month from his birthday his sister would arrive.  He was made to grow up quickly because he would no longer be the only.

We’ve had the pleasure of letting Eloise be the baby for as long as she needed to.  She still rocks to sleep in my arms once in awhile and enjoys being scooped up and snuggled.

But my oh my, she is not even close to a baby any longer, and this toddler is fierce in everything.

Eloise loves her brother fiercely.  She loves everything he is and how he plays with her.  She wants to mimic him and do what he does, including every time he’s a stinker or defiant – turn around and she’ll have her pouty, stinker face on too.

Eloise is fiercely independent.  She will make certain you know what she can and wants to do.  She dresses herself, brushes her own teeth, peels her own banana- anything you’d like to help her with: “no help!”

Eloise has fierce emotions.  She loves not only her brother, but her family and friends with an intensity you can feel.  When someone leaves her presence, her heart gets broken faster than you can blink.

Eloise has changed me in a fierce way, she has made an incredible impact on her family, and she is a joy at school.  I am humbled and in awe that she was given to me, and I have loved every second of her two years in a way I never knew possible.

I love you baby girl.  Happy birthday to my fierce one.

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Loving Two

In two days, my sweet little Lincoln will turn 2 years old!  I cannot believe how exciting and wonderful these past two years have been, or how (stereotypically) fast they have flown by!  Link is his own little man completely.  He has opinions and moods, and is so curious.  He puts together many, many word sentences and asks wise questions.  He loves to help do dishes and laundry, and gets so excited to watch his daddy mow and water the lawn.  Link narrates our day and sings songs, and asks me to tell him all about my day on our way home from school.  He “uh-huhs” like he is actually interested in my workday.  I am so incredibly proud of him.

I have loved every second of being the mom to a son.  I am so excited to see where our relationship goes each day and year.  I cannot imagine anything as wonderful as mothering a son.

Except, mothering a daughter.

I cannot believe that in a few weeks here, I will have a daughter.  I will have a sweet little girl who I will teach so many exciting things that only a mom can.  I will watch my husband have a daddy’s little girl.  Watch our parents grandparent a girl.  I was nervous at first because I know how challenging teenage girls can be, but just imagine – I have 12 years to raise her and love her, and pray for her until we hit that stage.  Then I have countless days more to continue raising, loving and praying.

I do not understand yet how I can love a second child when I love Lincoln so incredibly much.  But I do know that because I have so much love for him, I am meant to love this little girl so incredibly much also.  I am so excited to welcome our daughter into our family and I cannot wait to meet her!

Smooth moves

About 3 weeks ago now, we moved into our new home. “Blue house”, as Link calls it, has been an incredible blessing already.  We went from a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom townhome with awful neighbor dogs and no safe yard to play in, to a 5 bed 4 bath mansion (not really, but it feels like it somedays) with amazing neighbors, my parents down the road, and a beautiful fenced in backyard overlooking a pond and a park down the road.  We are so very happy in our new home, and we are very blessed to have had this opportunity.4356695_0

Lincoln has been adjusting fairly well.  He likes his blue room, and loves to go into Baby Sister’s room and run around the random furniture we have in there.  He has his very 0wn bathroom and playroom, and loves the rare opportunity to go to the basement!  We don’t go down there much yet, and it still feels like such a surprise every time I go down!  We never had this much space before!

Speaking of Baby Sister, we are into the third trimester now!  She is growing well and moving around constantly!  I have had quite a few contractions already (just Braxton Hicks, so not painful) so I have been restricted to not lifting anything over 10 pounds.  This means not lifting Link, which doesn’t work out very well.  I still lift him plenty!  But everything looks fine, so chances are she’s going to stay in there as long as she needs (but hopefully not quite as long as her brother did!).

Otherwise, life is good.  We are happy.  And as long as Link stops having nightmares about cows and dogs, we will be talking big kid bed transition soon!

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun…

Link and I are anxiously awaiting Mr. Sun to come out and shine on us!  We are sick of the cold and snow.  Link can’t say s’s well, so he calls it No! which is a perfect interpretation about how I feel, even though he says it excitedly.  I have been slacking on my exercises, unfortunately, so once it starts to warm up I am determined to have nightly walks with Link, around the neighborhood and to our park.  I will be excited to see how he interacts on the park this year compared to last fall.  It’s just amazing to me how much he is growing and learning.  It is so fun to watch.

Can I have daddy's Pepsi?

Can I have daddy’s Pepsi?

I love to climb on the table!

I love to climb on the table!

Link’s new favorite thing to do, though, is get “in trouble”.  He loves to climb up on the kitchen table, and grab whatever is on there, such as daddy’s soda bottle.  If there is any food left on his highchair, that sits next to the table, he likes to try to get at that also.  One of the problems with this all, is that he is just so darn cute while doing it.  I’ve read a lot about child behavior and discipline, and I’ve been to a couple of classes on it, and I’ve learned some things that help us encourage him to do other things, while not disciplining, per say.  The thing is – he’s 19 months old!  He isn’t really being naughty, or a “bad boy”.  He is just doing what toddlers do.  He is exploring, and testing his boundaries, which is very healthy.  We do have a “take a break” corner, where I set him down and tell him what to do, and then walk away.  This basically just removes him from the situation, which is all we really should be doing at this age.

Overall, we have a very well behaved, happy little boy.

And next week we start Montessori School! I am so very excited for him to start.  I am slightly nervous of course, because it will be a new experience for him (which is good) and a new experience for me (which is the nerve-wracking part).  I think he will just thrive in that environment, and it will help him learn and socialize like a kid his age should.  We are sending him to St. Croix Montessori School.  I have been to this school once, and I really liked it.  I have also heard great things about it.  I just have to finish getting his “school supplies” this weekend.

Justin and I are also trying to do a few more fun family things when we can.  On Sunday night we went to Coldstone for a little ice cream treat.  Link’s favorite things to eat are stringed cheese and blueberries, but he sure does love a bowl of ice cream now and then.  Well, I’m sure he would love a bowl daily, but that just won’t happen! 🙂

Enjoying ice cream with mom and dad!

Enjoying ice cream with mom and dad!

We are 16 weeks now with Baby2.0.  This baby is a bit different than Link was so far.  Not sure if that means anything, just is interesting.  I am still nauseous daily, but I did discover last night that Life Cereal was an amazing cure.  We don’t really talk about the baby much with Lincoln yet.  It’s too much of a wait to start getting him ready, but when he decides it’s time to bounce on mommy’s tummy, I do tell him that he can’t because of the baby in my tummy.  He thinks the baby is a girl, and that we should name her Big Girl.  I’m pretty sure that name won’t stick.  2.5 more weeks until we find out if baby is a she or he.  We will likely make that news public, but not the name.  We are going to keep that part a secret!

15 week update

Baby2.0’s pregnancy reached 15 weeks this week.  I celebrated by going back to work after missing two days due to illness.  Thankfully it was just a cold – nothing too awful.  I ran a fever, which I rarely do, and I enjoyed some extra naps and time in the recliner, which is rarer these days with my sweet 19 month old running around.

14.5 weeks with a little bit of a bump!

14.5 weeks with a little bit of a bump!

Link also caught the cold, and we spent Tuesday in the recliner watching Micky Mouse and Tinkerbell.  (Yes I know – the TV is evil, but you try to convince a toddler to stop running around and rest!)  It was some very sacred cuddle time.  I think this cold lasted a lot shorter than usual, thanks to a new vitamin plan we have Link on (thanks Abbey for those suggestions!).

Link was very snuggly and restful while sick.

Link was very snuggly and restful while sick.

Other than the cold, our family is doing well.  I’m trying to eat better for this baby – I have a hard time stomaching a lot of foods, and I’m still down 3 or 4 pounds from before pregnancy.  I decided on a list of healthy meals and snacks for lunches.  One great idea I had was hard boiled eggs!  I thought that would be a great source of nutrition for me that I could eat.  Well, I ate 1.5 at lunch yesterday, gagged on the last bite, and haven’t been able to even think about them since.  I’m convinced that the taste is still in my mouth, and whenever I think about it, I gag again.  Silly pregnant brain.

We have our anatomy scan on Good Friday, and the most important part of that scan is learning that our babe is healthy and well developed.  Link’s anatomy scan went well, but they couldn’t see his heart well enough so we had a second one.  I’m hoping this babe will have a great first scan, because I really don’t need extra things to worry about, although now having Link’s experience I know that it just happens that way sometimes.  The less important part will be finding out if we are having a little girl or a little boy.  I’m sure we will share what we are having, but we are going to keep the name a secret.

Link LOVES guitars, and was so excited to look through a catalog full of them!

Link LOVES guitars, and was so excited to look through a catalog full of them!

Not much else to update on.  I’m really looking forward to this snow melting.  I can’t wait to be able to take Link outside more again, and go on walks.  It really helps my energy levels and mood when I can spend time outside with Link, but I hate to be cold, so I don’t do much in the wintertime.  I’m hoping I will feel better this weekend so that I can be productive.  I don’t believe we have anything planned, so I have a goal of two things to get done around the house (I thought I’d start small, so it’s more realistic, and I’m not telling you what it is, because then I can’t be held accountable!).

Last little bit of news – Link’s favorite color is purple.  I told him that mommy likes green best, and asked what his was.  He looked thoughtful, and I said, “Do you like green? or blue?” and he said “Purple!!”   I thought that was great, and I told him Bop Mike’s favorite is purple too.  So he then said “Purple, like Bop”.  Such a cutie pie.

Ready Set Go!

Link has a whole list of things that he might be as he grows up, and this weekend we have added a new one: track star.  Or maybe just “in track”.  He has started racing around the house.  He says “ready set go” and runs across the room or down the hall.  I guess he was doing that during church also in the hallway with my mom.  We’re pretty sure he got that from The Backyardigans (which yes, we let him watch sometimes.  He’s smart and developing well, so I’m not too concerned.).

Link loves to hide now.

Link loves to hide now.

It is so fun to watch him learn new words and concepts. We are working hard on numbers and shapes and hopefully he will catch on to them soon.  He knows some of the shapes in his shape puzzle, but I’m not sure he could identify them in different places.  I would like to get some at-home educational tools that I could kindly ask his grandmas to do with him. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very open!

Link was very snuggly on Sunday!

Link was very snuggly on Sunday!

We are in week 12 of Baby2.0’s journey, and that means daily headaches for mama.  I didn’t document Link’s pregnancy as well as I should have, so I want to do better with this babe.  Mostly for symptoms, because it’s nice to compare and know that it is “normal” for me and pregnancy.  I worry a bit too much sometimes, so it’s good to be reassured.

We had a wonderful weekend.  We spent Saturday afternoon at Mall of America with the Gehrings and Richard and Liam.  The boys had so much fun together!  I love watching them interact.  They kind of play with each other.  Liam really enjoyed holding Link’s hand at dinner and making him do things with it.  Liam also tried to feed Link a few times.  Link isn’t around kids too much, so wasn’t quite sure what was going on!

Link and Liam at dinner.

Link and Liam at dinner.

This week should be a good one.  Busy as always, but hopefully productive also!