Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morgan Kate at 4 years and 5 months.

Life with MK lately...

As long as Morgan Kate gets ample sleep, meaning 10+ hours, then mornings are pretty good. We wait until the very last minute to wake her up, quickly dress her, brush teeth, do hair and hop in the car. We go in her room several times while we are getting dressed to turn on her lamp, nudge her and pull the covers back, but we don't officially wake her up until about ten minutes before we leave.

Morgan Kate needs her sleep. And she needs a routine. We try very hard to get her in bed during the week by 8:30 at the latest. If she's super cranky and moody in the mornings then we shoot for a 7:30 bedtime, but if she's getting up without attitude and being pleasant then we assume she's getting enough rest and we aim for 8 or 8:30. We give her a ten minute and five minute warning before bedtime. Then it's bathroom, read a book, say our prayers and head to sleepy land. She loves to snuggle close while we are reading. Melts my heart. She also loves sleeping in her bed and she stays there all night. Woo hoo! For a very long time we did the whole she-wakes-up-at-night-just-put-her-in-the-bed-with-us routine, but after about six months of that we realized it wasn't good for any of us. So, Christmas before this last one, we went through about eight weeks of bedtime boot camp. It was hard and ugly, but it worked and now our girl sleeps in her own bed and it's a win-win for everyone. 

She's still a pretty good eater. We've never really pushed certain foods. She likes sweets, but she also loves fruits and veggies. I feel like she eats pretty healthy and eats a good variety. And she still will try anything! She loves drinking water, milk or a Capri Sun. She's had sweet tea and soda, but she still prefers the others. 

She loves school and dance. She gets so excited about going and when she's not able to (illness, etc.) she gets so upset. Recently she missed two days and she was so sad. She cried to go to Roddey's and to go back to school. She's really into drawing right now and writing letters. She also loves painting, playing on the iPad and playing outdoors. Her favorite TV shows are Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. She's also a huge fan of Duck Dynasty. 

She's finally wearing her "age" clothing. She's 4 and she wears a 4. That hasn't really ever happened before. At her doctor appointment two weeks ago she weighed 33 pounds. I don't know her exact height, but she's tall - even 4s can sometimes run too short. Other than catching an occasional virus or runny nose or cough, she stays pretty healthy. 

Our girl can be so stinking sweet and yet so sassy. She loves to cuddle and snuggle and she says "I love you" all of the time. Whenever you ask her what she's thankful for or who she loves, she immediately says mommy and daddy. She loves giving kisses and hugs. While she's hugs and smiles a majority of the time she can also be sassy. She'll fuss and whine if she doesn't get her way and her latest thing is to stomp off and make this little mean face while she's doing it. We've told her that it's not okay to act like that. She can also be a bit of a tattle and that part gets tricky. I don't want her to whine and tattle about every little thing, but I also want her to feel like she can talk to us and tell us whatever is on her mind. We are having to be very careful with our conversations about this. 

It blows my mind that in just half a year she will be 5. Doesn't.Seem.Real. Wow. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Last year around this time I asked Morgan Kate some "interview type" questions. You can find those here. Today I asked her those same questions. I figured that most of her answers would be different. I was surprised by how many stayed the same. 

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite toy? My crayons. (She's really into writing and drawing.) 
Her most recent drawing - a portrait of Uncle Owens.
What is your favorite fruit? Grapes.

What is your favorite TV show? Duck Dynasty. (Big grin on her face.)

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? A waffle.

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Ham sandwich.

What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Spaghetti.

What is your favorite outfit? Dresses. (She really does like dresses and "soft pants".)

What is your favorite game? Indoor game - drawing. Outdoor game - soccer.

What is your favorite snack? Cookies.

What is your favorite animal? I like lions, pigs and penguins.

What is your favorite song? Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

What is your favorite book? My Cinderella book that Dahdah Jean gave me.

What are you thankful for? All my family. (Those were her exact words.)

What is your favorite drink? Kool-aid.

What is your favorite holiday? Valentine's Day. (At first she said Sundays. I tried to explain what a holiday was and gave her some examples. She chose Valentine's Day.

What do you like to take with you to bed at night? All my animals. (An elephant, turtle, puppy, bear, Minnie Mouse, chipmunk and lovie.)

What do you want for dinner on your next birthday? Cake.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher.

What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Play soccer.

What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Read a book.

What's your favorite thing to do with Kaka and Gator? Go to sleep. (She gets to sleep in their bed.)

What's your favorite things to do with your uncles? I like for them to tickle me.

What's your favorite thing to do with Aunt Dippin? Play in her hair.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturday we attended the wedding of Drs. Luke and Tina Hardison. 
That's right. They are both doctors. Luke, my first cousin, is finishing up his residency and Tina, his new wife, has her doctorate in pharmacy. 

It was a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple. Tina is so genuine and kind and caring. And it's obvious that they both love each other very much. 
Morgan Kate loves any party, but especially a wedding. She gets so excited. Every morning last week, the minute she woke up, she wanted to know how many more days until the wedding. She is definitely our party animal.
Jillian was one of the flower girls and she was precious. She wore her little brown cowboy boots with her dress and she was the cutest thing ever. So cute! In March (not August as I mentioned earlier - OOPS!), Jillian and Morgan Kate, will be flower girls in Leigh Anne's wedding. 
I was trying to get an updated picture of my brothers and I. MK thought she needed to be included.
Why is it that the funniest pictures are my favorite?!?
Such a stunning couple.
And while the picture above looks so sweet and kind, you should know that Owens was being absolutely ridiculous at the time and I just happened to "catch" this. 
These two had quite the LARGE time.
Mammie adores all of us, but each time she sees Kyle, she gives him a big kiss and whispers, "You know you are my favorite, right?!?" 
Tina and Luke during their first dance. 
 My beautiful momma and daddy.
It's no secret that I am emotional. I cry very easily. And most of the time I cry when I'm happy, not when I'm sad. The minute the music started at the ceremony my tears started and they lasted until all the  "dances" were through. I know, I'm ridiculous. I got especially emotional when Tina and her dad shared their dance. They happened to dance to the same song that my daddy and I danced to almost eight years ago. The song makes me emotional anyway, but with all my daddy and my family are experiencing right now, it made me even more emotional. 
Luke and Aunt Rhonda sharing their dance. 
Tina's dad plays the accordion and Mammie loved it. He played it at the rehearsal dinner Friday night and then again for a little while at the reception. Mammie said numerous times that she wished she could just take him home with her. Ha! She is a hot mess! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

So, my plans of blogging more often haven't really come to life so much. I was doing great for all of about three days and then, BAM!, I stopped. I blame it all on winter. 
It's blah outside, the sun sets at 5:30 and I just have zero energy. I come home from work, do a few things around the house, watch a few recorded episodes of Doc McStuffins or Duck Dynasty with MK and Trav, eat dinner and then we all go to bed. Seriously. We are exhausted. 
This past weekend it has been in the high 70s and the sun has been so bright and we have been in heaven. I just wish it didn't all end at 5:30. This daylight savings thing is kind of a problem for me.
We returned today from a weekend in Charleston for a family wedding. It was a beautiful weekend and a beautiful wedding. I love family weddings. 
MK started running a fever today, so tomorrow we are headed to Dr. G's. I don't know if it's just viral or her ears or what, but hopefully we will have some answers tomorrow. I hate when my baby isn't well.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I first had chicken lettuce wraps years ago at Miyos. I was instantly in love. About a year ago I had them for the first time at P.F. Chang's. Again, love at first bite. 
And while I love a good dinner from either place, I also like being able to fix yummy things in my own kitchen. So, I began hunting for a good recipe. Actually, there was really no hunt. I went to Google, searched for chicken lettuce wraps and went to the very first link. It's called P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe. I'm sure it's probably not really their actual recipe, but it's good enough for me. 
Oh. My. Goodness. Delish. At first sight I was a bit intimidated by the directions and list of ingredients, but once you have all of your goods, it's actually quite easy. I had a lot of the ingredients, you know, like sugar, ketchup and soy sauce. But, I did not have things like sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. All of these can be bought at your local grocer and once bought they will make numerous batches. So far we have made these wraps three times and still have enough rice wine vinegar and sesame oil to make many, many more. 

As for preparing it, Travis typically cooks and chops the chicken. Cooking chicken is not my thing. It totally grosses me out. I really don't even like to pick up the package it's in. While Travis is cooking the chicken I prepare the different sauces which are so easy to make and then I chop the mushrooms and water chestnuts. I guess it takes us a total of about 45 minutes, maybe 40, from start to finish. It doesn't feel like 45 minutes because we are usually talking or listening to music while we cook or multi-tasking and before we know it, it's all done.

This recipe is so good! Seriously. And I wholeheartedly believe in sharing a good recipe. I don't share just anything. I could seriously eat these every single night. For real.

Oh, the only thing we change or do differently is the lettuce. I think the recipe calls for bib lettuce. I didn't specify the type of lettuce needed on our grocery list and Travis picked up iceberg. It worked just the same and it was a really, really good combination. 

P.S. You can find that fine china in any local grocery store. The style is Dixie. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Coffee Date.

If we were having coffee today, or rather on this rainy night, we would curl up on my couch and sit by the fire. I would pray that you didn't notice all the stories my couch holds. Eight years, one baby girl, two indoor dogs, two grown-ups. My couch has definitely seen better days. For sure. Just today I added new couch to my list of hopes for 2013. 

Anyhoo, we would curl up on the couch, each of us on either end, and I would start by asking about you and how things are going your way. I love to listen. I do have a really bad habit of interrupting, but it's totally innocent. It's just that I realize that I have a thought or story or relevant detail to add and instead of waiting for a natural pause, I sometimes interrupt. Hey, at least I admit it. I just get so excited and I can't help it.

I would tell you that it's incredibly crazy how you can feel so rested one day and then be so overwhelmed with tiredness the next. Yesterday I felt caught up. Rested. Relaxed. And then, BAM, today. Today was my first day back at work in eighteen days and by noon I had hit a wall. I was exhausted and couldn't stop yawning. 

I would also tell you that regardless of the ridiculous time I have to get up, I was really excited to see my children. The boys and girls I left on December 14. And while I was excited to see their faces and hear their stories of Christmas break, I was also kind of anxious. Anxious about what they might say or ask regarding Sandy Hook. Anxious about whether they would be feeling anxious themselves. It was weighing heavy on my mind before bed yesterday and I dreamed about it all night. Our principal had emailed us just days before our return and asked us to all come early (if possible) today and to all wear our school t-shirts. She wanted the children to feel welcomed and comfortable and safe. I dreamed that I was late to work, didn't wear the right shirt and left my classroom keys at home. I was relieved to wake up and realize it was all a dream. I got to work early, wore the right shirt and I carried my classroom keys in my pocket all day long. Numerous times during the day I found myself playing out different scenarios in my head. What would I do right this second? Would I be able to lock my door? What about the windows? I don't have closets in my room, what would we do?  

If we were having coffee tonight, I would also tell you that the registration form for next year came home in MK's preschool folder. Already?!? Next year?!? Wowzers. I might then tell you that we are going to delay MK's start to five year old kindergarten, so she will continue at her current preschool. It's something we have thought long and hard about. And we know the process might not be easy, but we've talked with lots of people, including our pediatrician, and we feel confident that we are making the right decision for Morgan Kate and for our family. 

I would then tell you that now that Christmas is all packed up and put away, I have this urge to clean and purge and re-do. I want a new couch. I want to paint our den/living area. I want to buy drapes. Did I really just say I wanted to buy drapes? I did. Because I do. I think they would add a lot to our living area and to our master bedroom. I have like 20+ crafty ideas I want to start. Okay, maybe not really 20+, but definitely a handful. 

I'd tell you that one of my hopes for this new year was to eat breakfast. So far, so good. I've successfully eaten breakfast for two days in a row. Only 363 left to go. 

I would wrap things up by telling you that 5:30am is going to be here in just a few short hours and I desperately need my beauty rest. Ha. 

Until next time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I hope...

I don't like to use the term resolution, I prefer hope. The word resolution just doesn't suit my style. Last year I made a list of my hopes and looking back, I think I did okay. I had fifteen big things I hoped for and I think I successfully fulfilled nine of them - that's 60% (right?!?), it's more than half.

Here goes for this year...

In 2013 I hope to eat breakfast. And like it. I rarely eat breakfast. When I wake up in the mornings all I want is some time to really wake up and a cup of coffee. The thought of food just makes my stomach turn. This is okay at 6 in the morning, but by 10 or so I'm starving and then I gorge at lunch. Bad. 

Along the lines of eating, I hope to eat healthy or at least learn to eat better portions. I don't think I eat bad, I just don't know when to stop. I eat the things I like as if it's the last time I will ever have the chance to eat them. 

I hope to soak in every single second with my baby girl, who's really not so much a baby. Y'all, she will be five this year. Five. It hurts my heart just to type that. I just want to soak her in and eat her up. She is at such a great age and every day she just puts the biggest smile on my face.

I hope to blog more. I had hoped this for 2012, but looking back at my stats, I wasn't too successful with that. Maybe this year.

I hope that when my Daddy returns later this month to have his PSA level checked again, his levels will have decreased significantly. If his levels have dropped then we will continue with hormone therapy until late March and then start nine weeks of radiation. 

I hope to find inner peace with whatever the new year holds.

I hope to have more date nights with my one and only. We've done really great with that this year and I want to continue. Being with him makes me the happiest girl in the whole wide world.

I hope to start some sort of exercise. Walk, run, something.

I hope to find a church that we really enjoy. One that suits us and one that has a great children's ministry for MK. 

I hope to re-do our family room. I'd like to paint, hang some drapes and buy a new couch.

I hope to budget our money better. I don't have to have every single thing the minute I see it. 

I hope to just enjoy every day. I don't want to rush for the next holiday or big event. I want to appreciate each day, even if it's a Monday and raining and I'm tired.

I hope 2013 proves to be THE year for everyone!