Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Favorite Time of Day

If I tell someone "my favorite time of day is bedtime", I sound like one of those cliche moms who can't wait for her kids to be out of her hair. That's not the reasons bedtime is my favorite time. And it's not actually the bed part, it's the bedtime routine part. Here's how ours goes, on a typical day if I'm putting her to bed by myself. All times are approximate, and subject to change based on Reilly. And bedtime is millions funner when Daddy joins us, but this is when it's just special Mama-Reilly bedtime.

6:30 Heat up milk bottle, try to sit with Reilly and calm her down, but she wiggles away and stumbles around the house drinking it.

6:45 Milk bottle finished, time for vitamins and teeth brushing.

6:50 Change Reilly into size 6 diaper and jammies if they are not already on. Make sure Elmo, Prayer Bear, and Soft Soft Blankie are all in crib (these are her BFFs, one in each arm, blanket on chest). Close shades, turn off light, turn on hall light.

6:55 Sit on the bed in her room against the pillows, and sit her on my lap facing me. Stare at her tired face with giant eyes that seem to be blinking in slow motion. Read her "The Bedtime Book", which I actually memorized and just recite as if it's a story. As the story is nearing it's end, Reilly begins saying "Nee nee nee!" and holding up her arm, signing milk. This is how she asks my to sing her favorite song, sang every night about 6 times, "Skiddamarink". She signs "milk" imitating the hand motions that I do.

After the story, we sing Skiddamarink at least 2, usually 3 times in a row. The first version we do hand motions, then during the second and third encores, she lays her head down on my chest. She only lifts her head at the end of the song, to once again request "Nee nee nee", then lays back down again. I rub her back and rock her back and forth as my song get more and more like a lullaby. This moment is what makes it my favorite time of day. I wonder if she remembers my heartbeat, and is still soothed by it. And I am at such peace knowing that she is so calm in my arms.

After another song request, I eventually have to say "Not yet, time for prayers." At this point, she claps her hand together and says "AMEN" with an emphatic nod of her head. I put my hands together and pray on behalf of her, thanking God each day for his gifts and blessings of that day. Always thanking him for his Son. During the prayer, Reilly usually prys my hands apart so that she can lay back down on my chest. When we are done, we again say "Amen". I lay her down with her BFFs, and she requests on more song. She gets as short Skiddamarink while she is laying down, then usually says "Nah-Nigh" while I'm leaving.

We never got into the bath at nighttime for a few reasons. One, bathtime riles Reilly up - she's obsessed, she splashes and kicks and has a party and never wants to leave. Not so conducive to bedtime. I never understood how people pulled off a supposed "soothing bath" in their bedtime routine. I think baths only get soothing after the age of 24. Bathtime at this age is a tiny little pool party. Another reason, is that she never really gets that dirty, so there isn't a need for it. Clearly, if she had syrup in her hair or mud on her knees, she gets a bath no matter what time of day. But she is usually relatively clean, so her morning bath is usually sufficient.

So that is the bedtime routine we have adopted. We lengthened our routine several months back, as suggested by our doctor, to keep her sleeping longer and not wake up in the middle of the night. She went through a 4 days stretch where she was waking once in the night crying. We made her bedtime routine longer and more structured, and she has never woken up since. Weird, but it worked! And she will get sleepy no matter when we do the routine. Today, she went without a nap, so by 5:45 she was asking for milk. By 6:00 I was singing to her, and she didn't make a peep. Girlfriend knows when she needs some sleep (just like her Mama).

I am always so interested in other people bedtime rituals - feel free to share them!

Big Things!

We have big things going on over here!

Okay, well two big things.

A big sister, and a big belly. Getting big, anyway. :)

We have a second angel pie from heaven growing in my belly, making his/her appearance in March. We are SO excited. Reilly has no idea how excited she will be when this little bundle arrives. I'm not even nervous about how she will react, because I am so sure she will be obsessed with her sibling, and such a perfect big sister. She was made to be a big sister. I can literally tell it is in her. I mean look at this face.

No, we are not finding out the sex of our baby. We are choosing again to be surprised, and no, it's not that hard. You just can't buy clothes before the baby is born, which really just saves money. Of course we wonder and wonder and wonder...but that's what makes it so wonderful. Due to how quickly Reilly came out (one push, and she there she was), the doctor wasn't even in the room, and Hubby actually got to tell me that it was a girl. Most amazing moment. I'm excited to have that again, or whatever amazing story this baby brings.

Blogging has been low on the priority list lately, because the daily priority list has been this:
1. Reilly
2. Eating
3. Being nauseous on the couch

More on the sickness later - just pray that it stops soon please, all prayers are greatly appreciated! It seems to be tapering off, but one can only hope. Just trying to put on some weight for this little one. Nausea = high hormone levels = healthy baby. This is my mantra.

I am 10 weeks pregnant with our little babyface - I can't wait to wear glorious autumn maternity clothes and feel little kicks and movements, and watch our little family grow! Thank you God for this blessing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Little Words

Reilly has just started walking!! It is so exciting. We shriek every time. And just in the past few days, she has been acting like she'd rather walk than crawl, which I didn't think would happen till age three. Crawling just seems to be so effective for her. And she is perfectly timid and comfortable with what she knows works. She's just like her mama.

But something she has been doing for months and months now, is talking. Talking up a storm. And she will say anything that she ask her to say, or at least try to. She will, and does, speak to everyone she meets. And expect them to be her new best friend. And not fully understand if they don't talk back to her with an equal amount of enthusiasm. She's just like her Daddy.

I want to remember how she spoke on the earliest days, so here is my list of things she says, and how she says them. In alphabetical order.

apple (referring to any red fruit/veggie - first word besides dada and mama!)
applesauce (apple-dada)
all done (ah-dah!)
Amen (ah-meen, claps hands together)

banana (appa-dadada)
bathtub (bah-tah)
button (butt-ah, referring to belly buttons)

(none yet)


egg (eggie)
Elmo (eh-mo)
ew (used freakishly accurately)
ee (referring to uncle e)

(none yet)

(none yet)

hi (hieeeeee)
hiney (this one was an accident)
help (hep)

ice (she's obsessed)
i love you (i wah yah)

juice (doo)


more (moe) [this is a new one! replaces whining while eating -woo!]
meow (woww)

night-night (nah-niee) [she says this when she wants to nap, and when she wants to go to bed. kind of freaks me out]


pretty (pitee) [uses when referring to her hair, hair brushes, hair accessories, jewelry, anything shiny, and me when I put makeup on]
princess (pa-dada)
[please is said 67 times a day, but still in sign language!]

rei-rei (wei-wei)


thank you (ta-toe)


woof woof!
water (wah-tah)


She cracks me up when she uses these words, but mostly HOW she uses them. For example, when anything comes out of the microwave or oven, she announces "HOT! HOT!" and points. But then we were near an outdoor grill with an open flame, and she points to it and says, "HOT!" It blows my mind how she makes these connections, even when it's something she hasn't seen or been told before. And most recently, when she sees "big food" on commercials (picture baby-back rib closeups on a Chili's commercial), she'll look at me, point at the screen, and say, "HOT! HOT!" . I praise her and tell her yes, in real life, that food would be hot.

Speaking of which, big close ups of food on commercials should be illegal. It makes me ill and I hate it. Has anyone every really thought, "Wow, that giant close up picture of buttery lobster tail looks delicious right now." Maybe it's just me. I don't get the appeal.

Another thing - her use of "ew", which I posted about recently, is getting hilariously out of control. She says "ew" to everything. Still appropriately, but seemingly all the time. We are at someones house, and she picks a crumb up off their floor and proclaims loudly, "EWWW" and then hands it to me. Truely gross? Sure. Embarrassing? Absolutely. People must think my house is immaculate due to how she scrutinizes everyone's home. But still, I encourage the behavior. Because do you know what she did with that crumb or piece of lint or rock before she learned to say "ew" and hand it to me? She ate it. She picked it up, and ate it. So yes, I brainwashed her into thinking everything is gross, in an effort to discourage her from ingesting garbage.

Needless to say, it worked. I guess I win?

Either way, the fact that she can now communicate her thoughts blows my mind every day. And cracks me up, and amazes me. Because yesterday, she was my tiny little newborn.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Walk in the Park

The other day, we took Rei Rei to the park to swing and enjoy the sunshine. She loves the swings!

Making sure Daddy is still back there!

She loves when her Da-deeeee makes her laugh!

Swinging under Daddy's legs.

My favorite picture! Daddy was whistling using a blade of grass. Which she apparently thought was the funniest thing that has ever occurred.

Then we cuddled in the shade.

By the end of our day, she was pooped in her big girl car seat!

She sure had fun! All good fun ends with a nice car seat nap, doesn't it?

The Big Beautiful Day!

Right now, these newlyweds are on their honeymoon in a tropical land with no cell phones or internet. I am dying. What are you guys doing? What are you eating? What are you drinking? What are you seeing? Have you gone snorkeling? Have you witnessed any shark attacks? I need to know these things! Come home now. Thank you.

Look at how beautiful they are!

This is mama and brother of the bride walking down the aisle.

Babygirl being carried down the aisle like a little princess, because even though she is 14 months old and has a 30+ word vocabulary, she is not walking. But she is the cutest little non-walking flower girl I ever saw!

And then came the stunning bride, escorted by Daddy. Although you can't tell, she was barely holding it together at this point. She's one of those girls that has been picturing this moment since she was little, and probably choked up when she thought about it then.

Nobody at the wedding knew what her dress was going to look like, least of all her groom. I think his breath was taken.

They said the beautiful vows, I tried to keep it together, and I did for the most part. Then, they were husband and wife!!

And we blew bubbles, and cheered and screamed.

And then the party started!! And as you can see, they brought the party.

This is a shot from the amazing cocktail hour. This is only the cold food table - there was also hot food, multiple carving stations, a regular and wine bar, imported cheese station (my personal favorite), and sushi station to name a few.

Little know fact: Hubby and I had my senior prom here before he was my Hubby. We stood on line waiting for our picture to be taken, and I said, "I could picture our wedding being here." And he agreed. We loved it. (Yes, we were 18 and knew we would be married.) One year later, I was engaged. And we returned to this beautiful place to look into it for our big day. And I made everyone swear that when they said, "How did you hear about us?" NOBODY told them I had my prom there one year ago. I was all about being the poised, engaged, woman fooling everyone into thinking I was older than 19. And 5 short years later - we are married, returning to the scene of our prom and wedding for Sissy and Eric's day, and my BFF who was sitting next to me in our prom limo is watching my one year old baby for the evening. This is what people mean when they say that time flies.

Anyway, back to the craziness of the party! We danced and danced until dawn.

They cut their pretty cake and gave each other respectful little bites.


I gave a speech (no picture yet) and cried when I talked about how much Eric loves Reilly and had to cut off about 2 sentences. But nobody knew, I wrapped it up quickly before I really lost it. And in the end, I'm glad I teared up a little. Otherwise, some might not really know how sincerely I love these two together. And how much they mean to me.

Here they are with some of their besties! Danielle and Greg (right) recently got engaged themselves, and Shanna and Doug (left) caught the garter and bouquet! So in conclusion, everyone get married and have babies so you can have play dates together. The end.

Oh, there she goes again! Breakin' it down.

A nice shot of the dress bustle (courtesy of mama and I), and the feather!

Hubby taking advantage of the cheesecake bar that got rolled onto the dance floor. I loved being on that dance floor with you again, reminiscing about where we've been and where we're headed.


Family dance time!
Bride and groom getting crazy!

All in all, it was a perfect day and night of celebration. I wish we could do it once a year.

And may you two dance, hand in hand, for the rest of your lives, as crazy as you did that night.

Love & Forever,

Dirt Road Mama