Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Middle Child

I am not one. Nor am I married to one. But we have one. Our own little Jan Brady, if you will.

So far we have not been introduced to the more negative side of "Middle Child Syndrome" and we are praying that we never are. But it's not like she doesn't have enough ammunition. If you look at our pictures, there are FAR less of Skylar. We have albums full of photos of Reagan. One whole album is her first week home. But, she was our first. Bailey has a ton because I knew she was our last. (And because I had a new digital camera and a new computer on which to download them).

She gets a lot of hand-me-downs from her older sister. Her bike, her clothes, her shoes, her toys, her carseat. Some of the items don't make it to Bailey so we have to buy new things for her.

She seems to get less attention on here because she's not the baby, and she hasn't started school.

The great thing is that she doesn't seem to mind. She thinks that hand me downs from Reagan are special (for the most part). This is not to say that she is a mini version or a replica of her older sister. In fact, they couldn't be more different if they tried.

But I want to get in the habit of making sure each of my girls feels special.

Here are a few of the reasons why Skylar is so special to our family:
She is the only one of the girls with brown hair (and subsequently her daddy's olive skin that tans ever so easily)
She has the biggest, bluest eyes
She makes us laugh with the way she says things ("Pretty Sun" for Capri Sun, "Mackyroni" for Macaroni, "Yogrit" for yogurt)
She also doesn't say her 'r's so she sounds like she is from Boston sometimes :)
She's VERY affectionate and loves to snuggle, cuddle, hug, have you scratch her back, play with her hair, etc.
She is so loving, and tells me often how much she loves me. "I love you to the moon and back."
She will try ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING, food-wise; and actually ends up liking most of it.
She has a great sense of humor already and likes to tell "jokes." Some of them are even funny.
She is NOT a princess (most days). While she loves to dress up and play with jewelry, she is just as happy with a ball, riding her bike, or playing with dirt or climbing onto things (and subsequently jumping off).
We know that she will probably be our Emergency Room child at some point.

There are a thousand more reasons why she is special, but we will leave it at those for now.

We are so grateful that the Lord blessed us with three very different girls. Each special in her own way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feeling Inspired

I love decorating our house! Some days I wish I had all the money in the world to just go buy what I want, put it up, and be done. But most days I get thrilled with the "mission" I get to go on in order to find exactly the right piece. I'm not a Pottery Barn catalog kind of decorator. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I prefer to have a look that can't be replicated by turning to page 18.

I've especially had a challenge in decorating because apparently the color blue, is out. Who knew? Not that I care. It's not going to make me love the color any less. But it does make finding things to decorate with, a bit harder. Even finding rugs for the kitchen proved to be a challenge. If I wanted brown or green or black, I would have had a rug after the first store. But since I wanted blue, it took 6 stores. Yes, six.

It also doesn't help that my style is a bit eclectic. My latest saga has been curtains. They are expensive! And we don't have your standard 84 inch windows in this house. They are 96. So, all the pretty curtains (even the ones that go on sale at the stores) are way too short. I've thought about adding fabric on the bottom, or top to make them the right size, but finding fabric has proved to be another challenge. Then I thought about just making my own curtains, but I need over 40 yards to do all the curtains downstairs. YIKES! So even my "bargain" 5 dollar a yard fabric would cost over 200 dollars for curtains.

SO, I found myself flipping through my favorite magazine, "Flea Market Style." It's put out by Better Homes and Gardens and has some fantastic ideas. I had looked through it a few dozen times, but this past weekend I saw this page again and was "inspired" for my curtains!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the vintage hankies that make up this duvet! I started thinking....
If you can patchwork vintage hankies to make a duvet...why not curtains? My sweet husband thinks its a crazy idea, but today I found this.

I love all the colors in it and the vintage feel. I had seen this crib set before when I was looking for design inspiration for a friend and loved it, but now i know why! Unfortunately these curtains are 300 dollars for ONE SET! (and of course they are 84 inches so they wouldn't work anyway).

So now I am on a "mission" to find vintage handkerchiefs! I couldn't be more excited!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ode to Fall

It's my favorite season.

And it's here!

Kind of.

The calendar says "First day of Autumn" on Tuesday (the 22nd). Yet, ironically it's supposed to be one of the hottest days of the year. I suppose that's what we get for moving to the high desert.

Every Fall I miss the change of seasons that we experienced in Virginia. Fall used to mean an end to the humidity and a whole bunch of my "favorite things" were about to begin.

Like apple-picking (and drinking cider, and making pies, and apple bread...)

And the pumpkin patch (and pumpkin pie, and pumpkin bread, and pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks...)

And the LEAVES! It's one of the things I miss most about Virginia. We don't get a change of leaves here. (So if you are reading this and live where the leaves DO change, enjoy it...and then take some pictures and send them to me) !

And of course football, cinnamon candles, sweater weather, chilly nights, crackling fires, Thanksgiving, and great Fall produce.
Ah, I can almost smell it now.

It's coming. I know it is. Most of it anyway.

Until then, I will pretend that the "chill" is not my AC, and I will burn my cinnamon candles in protest of this heat wave.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And a half

Remember how important that "half" is when you're little and people ask how old you are?

"I'm six...and a half!" We are so eager to get to that next birthday! I told the girls the other day that I was 32 and a half and they just laughed. I guess at some point it gets silly to keep counting in "halves." :)

If you follow me on facebook, you know that a few days ago was Bailey's "half birthday." She's s a year AND A HALF now!

She's not at all the same child she was six months ago. So, here's my celebration of her half birthday. It's also nice to say she's one and a half instead of 17 months.

Lately her vocabulary is exploding. She talks all the time and I understand a lot of what she says. Some of my favorites are:

I need more.
Need a drink.
one, two, three, go!
aww, cute baby!
DIDI!! (what she calls Reagan)
GYLAR! (what she calls Skylar)
Hi Yaya (my mom)
peeeeeeeese (please)
Day-du (thank you)
Shooooooooos!! (shoes)
get book?
uh-oh! oh no!
My seat! (usually pertains to her highchair, her carseat, and the stroller)

I'm quickly realizing that my "baby" is turning into a toddler. I love that she's learning so much and growing but part of me longs for that little baby (that didn't climb on things, or run away when I try to change her).

She is so different from our other girls and we love watching her little personality emerge. She wants to do everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that her big sisters do. She brings so much joy and laughter to our home. It was a rough pregnancy and during delivery things got very scary. We are so grateful that the Lord blessed us with her and protected her during the whole thing. I can't imagine our family without her.

Two days before she arrived. Seriously! She was only 6 pounds, 3 ounces! It looked like I was carrying three babies!

After they got her screaming a bit and she wasn't so blue

Three months old-when she decided against the binky and opted for her thumb (which she stopped using by five months old)

Six months old showing off her sitting skills

Nine months old-Her first Christmas. Her favorite thing to do was take the skirt off the bottom of the tree and walk around with it like a blanket. I should have known. She loves all things "silky."

At one year!

At 15 months (in the middle of our move)

18 months!!!!

Happy half birthday baby!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A blue

When we first moved in, I bought a table and six chairs from a second-hand store. I love to re-finish things so they don't go to waste (and because they are cheaper, made better, and last longer). The table is solid oak, with a pedestal and claw feet. Apparently it's an antique. But it was in bad shape on the top and frankly I don't have oak in the house. I wish I had "before" pictures to show you but I did the table during the "my camera is still packed" phase of the move.

I've talked a little bit about my "style" before. It trends toward shabby chic (just light on the shabby). Or Modern Vintage as one lady called it. Either way, I had a vision for my table and chairs. I wanted the table bright white (like our cabinets that I painted) and the chairs blue. Choosing the right blue was the hard part. We have a navy blue couch and cobalt blue glass all over the kitchen, so a darker blue made sense. But, I have plans to incorporate a lot more light blue/aqua into the space so I decided to do a pale aqua blue. Of course, as I was dragging the chairs out to the garage this weekend to paint them, my DH said, "You're painting them WHAT color?" Apparently I hadn't shared my vision with him.

Later in the day I was watching HGTV (I'm a hopeless addict), and Genevieve of "Dear Genevieve" was talking about a couple that she was helping. She said that she was SO SURPRISED to hear that the couple had lived with their bedroom, unhappily, for 13 years but never talked to each other about how they each wanted it to look. In her words, they hadn't "shared their vision." Now, HGTV is probably an unlikely place to find deep relational meaning, but it struck me at that moment. If I haven't shared my vision of how I want our home to look, what else have I not shared my vision with DH about? Where do we see ourselves in five years? What financial goals do we have? Where do we want to retire? How much do we want to help the girls with college? How do we see ourselves dealing with aging parents? I know, they are just chairs. But maybe they will start a conversation that we haven't had yet.

Until then, here are the chairs. My blue:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Liar Liar pants on fire!

As a mother, it warms my heart to hear the words, "I have a new best friend!" I was worried that my little first grader would be shy and take a while to make new friends. She was so accustomed to the friends that she had made in kindergarten. We watched her class video (yes, the one I made), at least once a day the week before school started. She was mourning the loss of her friends. So, I was thrilled when she started making "new" friends. But one of these "new" friends in particular is beginning to cause some strife in our home.

It started with, "Jade won't be in school tomorrow because she is going to Africa." Really? She's going to Africa? I don't think anyone would be surprised to hear that Jade was at school the next day. Apparently her dad told her she couldn't go. What a meanie. Then, I heard that Jade is taking piano lessons too. They just happen to be on the same day as Reagan. And wouldn't you know...apparently from the same teacher. It's odd that i have never seen her at Miss Barbara's house. I've also been told that Jade's mom kills animals to make fur coats (101 Dalmations anyone?), her brother (whose 11) goes parachuting, and her dad won a kajillion dollars on tv. Yesterday was Jade's birthday so today she told Reagan that EVERYONE else in the class already got her a present, so Reagan needed to get her one too. I explained, ever so gently, that we don't buy gifts for people unless we get an invitation to a birthday party.

Do you catch my drift? I'm beginning to think that miss Jade is a storyteller. I keep saying "she's only six," but this "only six" year old little girl is talking to my naive six year old and getting her to believe them too.

Any advice for this momma? Have your kids ever been friends with other kids that tend to stretch the truth? How do you explain discernment to a six year old?

So far, the best I've come up with is, "Jade makes stuff up." Oy vey!


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