We're Hunting Eggs, Again!

Egg hunt no. 5, still excited!
Violet had a record-breaking five egg hunts this year: the neighborhood sponsored one, a school hunt, one in our own backyard with the neighbors, one with our small group at a friend's house, and one at Grandma's house on Easter Sunday.

She was super psyched for every single one. I guess finding brightly colored eggs filled with candy (or money!) never gets old.

After finding all the eggs Grandma and Mimi had put out, she refilled a few eggs and set out to orchestrate her own egg hunt just for Daddy and Uncle Lukas. Those boys. Let me tell you, she was in take-charge mode, directing them through the backyard to every egg, and they dutifully followed along. Easter at Matt's family's home, with my family along for the celebration, was the perfect way to end what has seemed like a long Easter holiday season. Now, as soon as this candy is gone (probably tomorrow at the rate Violet's going) we can pack it up until the next big candy holiday season, Halloween. Whew!

Follow the dictator leader. Rocking her rain boots like a pro.

The egg toss. Such good sports, the two men in my life.


Egg hunt no. 3, backyard with neighbors, freezing!

Egg hunt no. 4, small group, rainy outside but sunny with Annie.

Easter Sunday, in her Easter bonnet!

Sweet sisters, post basket opening.

Church friends in their finest. Violet left her bow in until we got home - it's a record!

This girl's first Easter with her favorite guy.


If Walls Could Talk

Who named this?

So this is happening...
...They would be so relieved to be getting a fresh coat of paint! These walls have desperately needed a facelift and I can't believe it's actually happening. Talk about an intimidating job. These guys are pros, however, with their scary tall ladders and paint brushes. Better them than me! Think they'll change the lightbulbs for me while they're up there?

World's longest paintbrush.


Easter Bunny!

The Easter Bunny!

Ah, the Easter season is upon us. Which means lots of egg hunts. The first one, our neighborhood one, was this past Sunday and my neighbor Kim did me the ultimate favor by taking Violet along with her kids so I could tackle my to-do list. (I was more productive these two weekend days than I was the entire spring break, go figure.)

They had a petting zoo, how fun!

Too cute.
Violet and Christian crack me up. If life were a movie, they'd so obviously be getting married. He picks on her, she cries, they crack each other up, they're best buds until one of them irritates the other just enough... During this Publix trip, Christian got buckled in first (Violet whined), Violet exacted revenge by getting in the buggy first (Christian pretended to be too cool to care), then they thought it would be hilarious to stick their tongues out at each other. Then I heard this comment: "Wouldn't it be funny if our tongues touched?!"

Nope. No, it would be gross. Lots of germs. Yuck. No.

Saving this one for their eventual rehearsal dinner slide show.

Not to be outdone, Annie got some time with her sweetie too.


Spring Break, I Hardly Knew Thee

Here we are, at the end of spring break. I can't say it was my most productive or exciting break ever. But with a six-month-old, I knew things were going to be fairly low-key. We'll try to live it up next year, perhaps.

The weather was awesome and we played outside a ton - Annie loves the swing!

Annie continued to hone those sitting-up skills.
So proud of her puzzle skills.

Perplexed by the whole sippy cup thing. But it sure is fun to throw on the floor!
The best part of the week was this last weekend. We dropped the girls off at Grandma's house and headed out for a night on the town. First stop, killing time at Ikea, wandering around, having a spot of coffee, just like the pre-kiddo days. Then we headed to our pastor's home for a church band get together. (It was way less lame than that sentence made it sound, I promise. There was much talking, laughing, and I was pretty much just excited to be child-free for the evening.) We left late, drove to our hotel and got checked in, then decided to be party animals and headed back out at 10:30 (when usually I'm fast asleep) to Eclipse de Luna, a fun little tapas place. We had mojitos and sangria and delicious food and stayed up much, much later than I even thought possible. Meanwhile, the girls had an awesome time without us. Violet got to premiere Frozen for Grandma, Annie was her usual charming self, everyone had a great time. It's funny, leaving Violet for the first time overnight took an entire year. I was a bundle of nerves. It seemed like such a momentous occasion. Thank goodness for second babies. Everything is easier.

And speaking of second babies, it's amazing to me that I'm already packing up Annie's baby stuff. Everything of Violet's we saved, on the off chance we had another girl. Now I'm just eager to get it out of the house! Baby clothes are being boxed up, outgrown gear is being wiped down, packed away, ready to be passed on. Anyone need anything?

Jammin' at Grandma's house.


Sleep Stories

Ah, sleep. Lovely, refreshing sleep. How I love it. How we need it. How I wish I was better at it. I've never been a good napper. If I'm awakened during the night, I have a hard time falling back under. I regularly wake up before my 5:30 a.m. alarm clock.

Violet takes after me, unfortunately. She regularly wakes up before 7 a.m, bright-eyed and ready to go. Annie, on the other hand, is a sleeping champ. She goes 12 hours each night, easy. I can usually plop her in her bed, drowsy but still awake, and not have to look back. (Which makes this week's teething, with its coughing and whining and sleep interruption, especially painful. For all of us.)

Violet was never that easy. Getting her to bed at night required her to be asleep in arm and then carefully transferred, Indiana-Jones style, to her crib. We would ease her down an inch at a time, holding our breath, hoping, hoping... Only to end up back in her room several times to retrieve the lost paci or give her another snuggle.

Both girls slept swaddled. Although just this week, Annie has started vigorously objecting to her baby straight-jacket. I'll get her all bundled in, head downstairs, and learn that she's Houdini-ed her way out of it during the 7.2 seconds it took me to reach the video monitor. She squirms around a lot more now and her rustles and twists wake me up, but so far it hasn't actually interrupted her sleep.


Violet found her sleeping bag the other day and has since insisted on sleeping in it, on top of her bed, every night. (She did the same thing after the cleaners came - she fell in love with her newly-cleaned room and fancy made-up bed - and refused to do anything to mess it up. Too bad that magic has since worn off!)

The other day, I was awakened in the dead of night by Violet's little hand and her bright, chipper voice insisting "I'm hungry!" She might as well have said "The sky's awake... so I'm awake... so we have to play!" except that the sky was decidedly not awake. And at 1:45 in the morning, neither was I. We went upstairs and I lay down with her, only to hear "I'm hungry!" and least three more times before we both finally nodded off again.

But that was nothing compared to the 4 a.m. wake-up I had a few days prior. Something pulled me from my sleep but I couldn't figure out what it was. Annie was sleeping fine on the monitor, the cat was behaving himself on the bed, but still something was off. Then I heard, out of the distance, a terrible wailing. I focused in on the sound, trying to figure out what it was. Finally, after several intent seconds, I realized it was coming from Violet's room. I was up in a flash, heart in my throat. Had she fallen out of bed? Got stung by an errant wasp? Was it a night terror? What could possibly be causing the terrifying sounds coming from my child? I raced upstairs, fully expecting to see something wrong.

I found her curled up in bed, screaming. I grabbed her, checking for blood. It really sounded that bad. When I frantically asked her what was wrong, I got this:

"My... bandaid's... not.... sticky... anymore!"

Seriously. I had to get her a new bandaid before she finally calmed down and went back to sleep. And I went back downstairs and lay in the dark, too wired to sleep, for another hour. Sheesh. Stupid unsticky bandaid.


The Shots Heard 'Round the World

Both girls had their well checks today, six months and four years, respectively.

Two healthy girls!

Annie weighs 17 pounds, 15 ounces (75 percentile). At 27 and 1/2 inches, she's in the 95-98th percentile for height and 95th percentile for head circumference. She passed her vision screening (yay! Violet failed this one at her age!) and did pretty well all around. The doctor was concerned about her lack of upper body strength, so it looks like we'll be continuing PT for a while, although I did get a referral for some offices closer to home. I'm a little disappointed - I was so pumped that she was finally rolling, sitting, bearing weight on her legs, etc. But it is what it is and we'll soldier on. She tolerated her shots with big boo-hoos. I discussed my concerns about the lingering rash/eczema on her face and the possibility that it may be a wheat intolerance, due to my very unscientific tests involving giving her oatmeal cereal. We're going to keep her off cereal until nine months and then reintroduce and see what happens.

Then it was time for Violet's well-check. Same song, second verse. I left her at the neighbor's during Annie's visit (no need to freak her out watching Annie's shots). We did plenty of prep work at home, talking about the shots, praying for courage, etc. And things were going pretty well. She peed in a cup (she thinks this is hilarious every time), passed her hearing and vision test (although she's 20/40 with vision - enough to pass but at the same time enough for me to see the writing on the wall). The physical exam went well. Violet showed off her hopping on one foot skills, identified all her colors, proved her speech gains. Then it was time for a finger prick, and it was game over. My sweet, happy girl completely melted down. She went from being tremulously brave to flat out refusing to cooperate. They ended up hauling in an extra nurse so help hold her down so the shots could be administered, all the while she screamed. Poor thing. Even Annie was traumatized. But then it was all over and popsicles were offered and treasure box was brought out and the promise of "no more shots" seemed to sink in. She's 42 and 1/2 inches tall, and 40 pounds (90th percentile in both). My big girls!

Ice cream reward for being "brave" during shots.
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