Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How I Managed to Go to Bed at 9pm

We're night owls around here. We go to bed pretty late, usually somewhere between 11pm and midnight. I don't know why. We just do. We like late night talk shows (whattup, Jimmy Fallon!) and we like to get every last ounce out of the day God has given us. I procrastinate, so sometimes my most productive hour is about 10:30-11:30pm. I'm not saying it's healthy, it's just how we operate around here.

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. Nothing earth shattering or mega-important, but I was just relatively productive and got a lot done. Ellie had her last "Terrific Tuesday" day camp yesterday and we got home close to 3pm. It was already a little too late for her to take a nap, so I decided we would just power through. If Ellie doesn't take a nap, one of three things happens:

Option 1: She sits on the couch, quietly, watching a movie, trying to will herself not to nod off and fall asleep.

Option 2: She is a terror, throwing tantrums and sobbing about how I won't let her dig through the trash.

Option 3: She spins herself into a new dimension I love to call "cracked out" where she is full of hyperactivity, jumping, climbing, and ten thousand questions. She will literally follow you from room to room and needs a play by play of what you are doing and why.

Yesterday, while I was being productive around the house, Ellie chose Option 3.


Look, I'd pick it over Option 2 any day, but it is just rather exhausting. While I was folding a pile of laundry yesterday, Ellie was literally, (and I do mean literally) running in circles around me and declaring whose item of clothing I was folding.

"That's mine!"

"That's yours!"

"That's Daddy's!"

"That's my Elsa pj's!"

Not only is she doing this, but it is a requirement that I respond to each declaration. Mostly this is accomplished by me dryly responding with "yep." or "uh huh." or "it sure is." or "that's right." This seems to satisfy her.

I got laundry done and folded and put away (that right there is a Christmas miracle) and I finished writing the thank you notes from her birthday party. I went through a big pile of paperwork and got it filed away and I unloaded the dishwasher. I got her dinner made and bathed her and started on our dinner. (Yes, I'm one of those mothers who cooks one meal for her kids and one meal for the adults.) (It works for us.)

Grant took over the cooking while I got Ellie bathed and in bed. He's great like that. I came downstairs, the two of us sat down at the kitchen table and talked and ate and it was very lovely. He said, "you seem stressed."

"I'm not. I'm just tired. And my feet hurt really bad today. And so does my back. I just feel heavy. I feel like this little boy sits lower than she did."

"Well, then, go lay down."

"I will. I just want to finish putting this last load of clothes away and then I will."

We cleaned up dinner and I started putting away the last load. He walked by and said "Hey, YOU. Go. lay. down. and. relax."

"I will! I'm almost done and then I'm going to lay down and not get up for a year."

"You're just gonna get up when it's time to have this baby?"

"That sounds awesome."

So, after everything was put away, I promptly put on pajamas (it was about 8:15 by this point) and decided I wanted to read a magazine.

I crawled into bed, turned off most of the lights except a lamp, propped up some pillows and started to read. Once my magazine was done, I busted out the iPad and went on a little Pinterest journey. At 8:55, I caught myself nodding off. At 9pm, I decided to not fight it. I turned off the lamp and rolled over.

I did not wake up once in the night.

Not even to use the bathroom once or three times, which has been a nightly ritual during this pregnancy.

I stayed asleep. All. Night.


And you know what happened? At 6:15am this morning, when my alarm went off, I did not hit snooze. Didn't feel like I needed to. I just hopped up and got to work.

You "early to bed" people might be on to something.....

Monday, July 27, 2015

Registering for Baby Number Two!

I didn't plan on registering for this baby. Is that weird? I just felt like we had pretty much everything we needed since this is our second baby. I don't want any giant baby showers. While I DO want little mister to be celebrated, I don't need all the stuff like we did before. I mean, let's face it, 3.5 years ago when we were preparing to have Ellie we were all like "Ummmmm we need ALL OF THE THINGS."

However, when picking out items for her, I really tried to make the newborn items and "big ticket" items (like car seats, strollers, bath tubs, high chair, etc.) gender neutral for such a time as this. I thought we might have a boy some day and I didn't want to have to do all of this all over again.

So recently, when someone asked if if I had registered, I nonchalantly replied "Oh, we're not really doing that... we have everything we need!" and I was met with a blank stare. And I'm pretty sure on the inside of that blank stare she was mentally patting me on the head and saying "Oh, honey...."

Multiple people have told me to just go click through Babies R Us and the like and make sure we aren't forgetting things, as we've had 3 years pass since we've been in the thick of the newborn phase and maybe I should look one more time. Apparently "people are going to give you a gift anyway, you might as well try to make sure it's something you could actually use."


I got to clicking around and literally opened up the Babies R Us website and couldn't think of what to type. Seriously. I was drawing a blank.

What do babies need? What did we do?



Even the stuff that I still have that I'm not registering for..... I just forgot it existed. The bottle sterilizer! I was immediately taken back in time to the bottle phase... the warming... the mixing... the 3:00am-stand-in-the-kitchen-holding-a-crying-baby season of my life....

I forgot about the little sleepers with the footies and the snap buttons.

I forgot about the burp cloths.

I forgot about the bibs.

OH THE BIBS. How many did we use every single live-long-day?!

And as I clicked through this website, I realized that there are, indeed, a few things we need. There are some things that got too worn with Ellie that I threw out. Since we have a two-story house now, he will sleep in our room for a period of time since Lord knows I'm not going to be going up and down the stairs 28 times a day. (Ellie slept in her nursery from the get go since it was so close to our room.) All that being said, we will need a bassinet.

There are some things that have been invented since I last had a baby.  For example, DID YOU KNOW THERE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A COFFEE KEURIG FOR BABY FORMULA?!

It dispenses formula. And makes the bottle the proper temperature. You just push a button. GOD BLESS US, EVERYONE.

Another thing that started happening to me as I clicked through the website?



Yup, I started crying. With all the memories of the newborn phase with Ellie Paige (mostly happy, a few exhausting) it just gets me so nervous/anxious about little man's arrival. I'm so thankful and so happy and also doing a big gulp about the task at hand. It's just getting so real.

All that to say, if you're a second time mama (or a third) (or fourth) (or five or more) (I hope you get a nap today) would you please share your wealth of knowledge and tell me what I should register for the second time around?

While you're thinking about it, I'm going to go stare at the crib and try not to sob.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ellie's 3rd Birthday Weekend!

Oh, what a weekend!

Thursday morning we made our way into Ellie's room with a shower of balloons and a birthday song, as has become our tradition. She squealed and jumped and was beyond thrilled with her little wake up call. What was even better was when she heard "Ellllieee...." coming from down the hall, and she bounded off her bed in one giant leap. She ran down the hall as fast as her legs could carry her and found her grandparents in the guest room! Grant's mom and dad, Baba and Papa, drove in from New Orleans late Wednesday night and Ellie was already asleep when they arrived. She was so excited to see them! She opened a few presents with them and then made her way downstairs to find a few more from her Mommy and Daddy:

Yes, that is a giant magnadoodle. On an easel! And the other side is a dry erase board. She loves it! I found it on Amazon - it was well priced and a big hit!

After she opened our gifts, we told her about her other birthday present - we had to get in the car almost immediately because we were going to the circus! The circus started at 10:30am and it was so fun. She felt most of it was a little too loud but she loved everything she saw and she loved sitting with her grandparents. They even got her a "stick light" that she is still obsessed with. She almost puts our eye out with it every time she plays with it, but so far we've all been spared from any major injuries.

Here we are before the circus started:

I'm only about 24 weeks pregnant, but the puffy face has already decided to join us. I mean, mercy. I. Am. So. Puffy. Just like Princess Kate, right?

We grabbed lunch after the circus and then got that little birthday girl home for a nap! We spent our evening at one of our favorite restaurants in Katy, Mom's Eats, and topped off the big day with ice cream.

Friday was a day full of getting ready for the party and running various errands. We spent the evening in the pool with Baba and Papa and Ellie practically had to be dragged out of the pool at 9:45pm. She is becoming quite the little fish and loves the water.

Saturday was spent getting ready for the big event, which started at 4pm. I am really bad at taking pictures on busy days like that, so I don't have too much to show you. All I know is that our home was filled to the brim with family and friends, the food was plentiful, and the birthday girl had a great time. My heart was and is very, very full.

 HEB cakes for life.

For food, we started the party with chips, veggie trays, fruit kabobs, cookies, brownies and Goldfish. Around 5:15 pizzas were delivered from Papa John's, and then we busted out the cake around 6:15. So, you know, it was a super healthy party. 

Here's my husband eating pizza while swimming, setting a great example for children everywhere!

I loved seeing a full backyard. It was so fun to throw our first big party in this house. 

We opened presents in a flurry of chaos, and Ellie was beyond pleased. She walked around in this Elsa dress for quite some time.  In case you were wondering, that Elsa dress lights up. And it sings. 

After the party died down, I collapsed for a bit because DID YOU KNOW THAT IT IS HOT OUTSIDE?! I didn't think I would ever get cooled down again. Our Louisiana family joined us for a big, family slumber party. Our house was full! Baba, Papa, Chase, Ronda, Evan, Emily, Olivia, Me, Grant, and Ellie. All under one roof! After we got the kids to bed, Chase, Ronda, Grant and I stayed up till almost 1am because we are just wild party animals and we played Scrabble. 

When I walked out of my bedroom the next morning, I walked out to find this:

I love sweet kiddos in pajamas. Especially cousins all snuggled up watching Baymax. :) 

We took it easy that morning. Grant picked up Black Walnut Cafe for breakfast while we all took our time getting ready and the family packed themselves up for their drives home. 

I really, really can't explain how grateful my heart felt this weekend. Grateful for our home and for our people and for our girl. Grateful for 3 years with the absolute honor and privilege of being Ellie Paige's Mommy. 

Not to mention that Baba happened to show me these pictures of my girl in the hospital. I thought I was going to have to go crawl in bed and sob. I mean, I can't even process. 

I am just so thankful.

And now I shall return to the mountain of laundry this weekend created. It's a small price to pay....

If you follow me on Instagram or the So.Many.Words. Blog Facebook page, you'll be able to see a few small video clips from this weekend, including a clip of Ellie showcasing how she lost her voice from all the fun! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Day Before She Turns Three

Tomorrow she'll be a 3 year old.

And, believe it or not, I do feel like she's ready. She's had so many milestones and major life changes in just the last 6 months or so that I feel like she's shown what a big girl she is. She was a potty training success story, she got rid of her pacifier with much less anger than I had anticipated, she moved to a new house, started sleeping upstairs, took it like a champ when Mommy and Daddy went away for a week, and made a super smooth transition into a big girl bed. And all that is just since January.

Two was challenging but amazing. Two was funny and exhausting. Never in the history of all time has some required more or asked more questions. We are working on her being a little more independent and not latching herself on to me. But the snuggles have been great. I still give in every time she says "But, Mommy, maybe you just cuddle me just a little minute?"

Her eating has improved by about 5%..... it's not great, but it's something. She's still a champion sleeper. She still takes naps. She uses the potty but can't pull her pants up and down by herself so I have to be very much a part of the whole process. She goes into her school or her Sunday school class without crying for me 80% of the time. (This is only thwarted when she goes into a classroom where there is a kid already crying in there. If she arrives and there is a sobbing child, she wants no part of whatever sadness must be going on in that classroom.) (I've started trying to arrive earlier than all the other kids to combat this issue!)

She talks A LOT. She still doesn't grasp a lot of concepts like time and days. She still gets confused on which is meal is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as she will ask me at 7am for some lunch. She says "next to-morning" and "this morrow" and will say "Daddy, we gonna have pizza for dinner this mornin!" instead of the truth which is that we are having it tonight.

She gets her tenses mixed up.

"Are you hungry?"
"I did!"

"Do you need to go potty?"
"I sure am!"

She says "for" instead of "to". For example, "Can you give that water for me?"

She also doesn't always get the concept of why.

"Ellie, you can't have ice cream because you didn't eat your dinner."
"But why not?"
"Because you didn't eat your dinner."
"But why not?"
"I don't know why you didn't eat your dinner. That's your own issue to deal with."

Other cute things she says: (I love to document this kind of thing!)
Possi-sickle (popsicle)
I so really hungreem! (hungry)
This is wunnerful! (wonderful)
I can't believe this!
I can't want it
Don't do that Mommy, that make me really sad!
I can't eat that, it's too yuck.
We go outside for just a little minute?
You not say no for Ellie (Again, with the for instead of to!) :)
Movie-ater (movie theater)
Mommy, I have to tell you sumpin. (something)

She still loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George, and the ongoing love for the Bubble Guppies is strong. She also has grown to be obsessed with the Paw Patrol. She watches Rapunzel, Frozen (Anna-Elsa, she calls it) and The Little Mermaid on the regular. She is also quite obsessed with Big Hero 6, or "Baymax" as she calls it.

She still loves to watch little videos (Bideos!) on the "iPag."

She loves to ride in her daddy's truck. She loves dessert and going down slides. She loves to carry little bags and she likes magna-doodles. She loves for me to tell her stories and sometimes she really will just take off running in circles in a random patch of grass. She remembers EVERYTHING, so much so that it's scary, and I love looking at her in the rearview mirror and see her staring out the window, trying to figure something out. She'll furrow that little brow, taking it all in.

When she says her bedtime prayers, she basically uses it as an excuse to recap her day to Jesus. "And thank You, Jesus, for I go to the park, and I thank You Jesus, that Moxie ate the grass, and I thank You, Jesus, that we see our friends this-morrow. And Jesus, I go see Minions movie with Mommy and Daddy next to-mornin."

She's smart and funny. She's sensitive and tender. She's got a good bit of drama in her. She loves songs with a good beat and will bust out her dance moves when you least expect it. She is full of all of the opinions and she isn't afraid to share them. She is so, so full of joy. She is a gift and a blessing and a treasure and I genuinely love her more and more every day.

Thank you all for being so encouraging to me as a mama and for loving her so much. It is a joy to parent her and we are so thankful to God for the gift that is Ellie Paige.

Happy Birthday, sweet little bug.

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's Ellie's Birthday Week!

This week, the girl will turn three years old.

I'm not really sure how that happened because I'm pretty certain that it was just like 2 months ago that I was bathing her in a kitchen sink, right? RIGHT?!

I'm so excited for all the activity the next 7 days will hold. A birthday party, the circus, family coming into town, all of our Louisiana family sleeping under one roof (our roof!) and getting to celebrate our darling girl. I've got a lot to do this week before everyone arrives. I need to make the much needed Party City run, as well as a trip to Target. I've got to wrap her presents and do way too much laundry. I've got to get the house ready and grocery shop.

I've got lots of lists going. A list for things I need for the party, a list of things I need for our out of town guests, a list of to-do's for around the house.... I'm ready to do this!

This picture was taken yesterday when I had to walk into her room during her nap. I just about melted. She's such a big girl, but still such a baby all at the same time.

I've got my own little personal chef.

She told me last night, "my birthday is next to-mornin." She has zero concepts of days and weeks and hours :)

As for this little man growing in my belly, I'm 23 weeks and shocked at how active this kid is. He moves and makes his presence known so much more than Ellie did at this point. He is a hyper little thing. He kicks me frequently and at random times of the day and night. A few nights ago I laid in bed awake for over an hour (around 3am, mind you!) while my little mister did his morning exercise routine. Kicking. Stretching. There might have been some Zumba involved, I'm not sure. 

The fact that he will be here in 4 months is overwhelming and exciting. It is already a very hot Summer - I am sweating just getting the mail from the mailbox - but I'm very much hoping for a mild Fall! 

Off to cross things off my list! Happy Monday, ladies and gents!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I'm Writing in Silence

Let me explain what's going on right now over here in this house.


It. Is. SO. Quiet. I don't really know what to do.

Ellie is at a little day camp and Grant is working and for the first time in months (literally) I am here, in this house, alone. I am sitting at my desk. Drinking some coffee and crossing some things off the to do list. It. Is. Glorious.

Have I showed y'all my office yet? I can't remember. If not, here it is:

I absolutely love it in here. My friend and decorator, Liz, helped me kinda put all my ideas together into something wonderful. The rug is from HomeGoods, the chair is from a friend who was giving away a free chair, the drapes are from Target, the desk is from Ikea, and those are 4 bookshelves from Ikea pushed together to give the idea of built-ins. I filled the shelves with photos of my favorite things and people. 

In the above pic, the blue ribbon at the bottom is from the half-marathon I ran back in January. I keep it there to remind myself that there was that one time that I did something athletic.

Also, on an opposite wall that you can't see from the desk picture, are these beautiful wooden angel wings my friend Liz found for me. I LOVE THEM.

Aren't they so cool?! My mom and I kinda always had an angel thing when I was a little girl, so they remind me of her. Grant did not enjoy hanging them, but I really enjoy looking at them!

Anyways,  I love this room. I do my Bible study in here in the mornings and I absolutely love writing in this room. My piano is in here too. I don't get to play much lately, but I love that one day I will teach my kiddos their first piano lesson right here in this room on the same piano that I learned to play on. Full circle, y'all.

Okay, the fact is that I feel really weird amidst all this silence. I'm off to have a conversation with my dog. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

One of My Most Favorite Weekends in the History of Ever

Why did this weekend have to end?! We just had the most fun, and it was so relaxing, and there was so many things accomplished around the house and so much time spent with those we love and so much food eaten. I'll try to recap it here, but I'm not sure I can do it justice....

Because of the celebration of Independence Day (Happy Birthday, America!!) Grant had Friday off of work. We slept in (well, Grant and I slept in) (Ellie was up before 7am and was promptly put in between us in our bed with an iPad so Mommy and Daddy could sleep for a little longer) and then Grant and Ellie made pancakes. She was so happy to help stir and then Grant even put some strawberry and powdered sugar on hers. She said her pancakes had snowflakes on them. Grant must've been in a wonderful mood or something cause he also hung drapes for me in the breakfast room. Aren't they pretty?!

We then headed out for a showing of the new Pixar movie, "Inside Out." It was so funny and cute. It was waaaay over Ellie's head as far as understanding the concept but it definitely held her attention and she liked it. I did tear up on two separate occasions because I'm a big sap and Pixar has a way of destroying me with well timed musical scores and incredible acting from cartoon characters. Go see the movie! It's really sweet.

Also, we let Ellie dress herself for our outing to the movies. She chose an Anna and Elsa shirt, some jeggings, white sandals, and a backwards hat.

Friday afternoon I took a nap while Ellie napped (GLORY!) and then we headed out to Cypress to have BBQ with my parents. It was a blast and after the meal we headed out to the porch of the restaurant where Ellie ran around, my mom and I had a visit, and my dad and Grant sat in pigs and played checkers, because this is Texas.

Saturday morning was the 4th of July, so we started our day by heading out for donuts. Our neighborhood has an annual 4th of July parade, so we brought our donuts back to the hood and opened the back of my car for a little donut and parade watching tailgate.

Ellie LOVED it. She saw the firetruck and started jumping. Everyone waved at her and threw candy at her. We brought home way too much candy but Grant seems to be singlehandedly taking care of that problem. 

For lunch on Saturday, we had the absolute delight of meeting up with our friends Justin and Julie who moved to Austin a few years ago, and since then have had themselves a pair of twins! Josie and Judah were the most squishable little things I ever did see. AREN'T THEY LITTLE DOLL BABIES?!

Ellie even got a little big sister practice with sweet Josie girl...

It was so nice to catch up with Justin and Julie and love on those sweet little love bugs!

Saturday afternoon while Ellie napped, Grant and I worked on his office as it still hadn't really been put together since we moved in back in March. We also watched golf and took naps. 

I AM TELLING Y'ALL - this weekend was GLORIOUS.

Saturday night we picked up some Whataburger and met some people from church in the back of a Target parking lot to watch a big fireworks show. La Centerra is a big shopping area in the Katy area and they do a big display every year. Parking is crazy though and to get a good spot you have to get there at a ridiculous time. So, a friend recommended the nearby Target parking lot and I'm so glad we did it! We sat in folding chairs and the kiddos ran around and the fireworks were great and then we packed up and headed home and it was so easy and wonderful. And to top it off, it actually felt pretty good outside! And this is Texas! In July! And I'm pregnant! And somehow I wasn't hot!?! COULD THIS WEEKEND GET BETTER?!


Yesterday morning Grant was up and at 'em and made me scrambled eggs and bacon because he is wonderful. We headed to church and it was just amazing. Ellie had a wonderful time in Sunday School (she still hasn't stopped talking about it) and the pastor gave an incredibly Biblically-based and incredibly applicable sermon about delighting in the Word of God. The worship was so great and it was just a wonderful service. 

After church, we headed to Whole Foods. We ate lunch as a family in the Whole Foods (I LOVE ME A BUFFET LINE) and then we grocery shopped together. I actually love grocery shopping as a family because I never forget anything and Grant gets to contribute. Plus, Ellie gets to push around a little child size shopping cart and I'm not sure anything really gives her greater joy. And to top it off, I don't have to load or unload the car! 

We got home, Ellie napped for forever and Grant and I finished up his office. It's DONE and he has a much more organized space to get his work done.  I feel better as well as that room was the last room to be filled with boxes and those are gone.

And finally, last night we went over to Ricky and Olga's house for a July 5th party. Justin and Tiffany were there. The little girls played in the playroom and the adults hung out and talked and ate all the yummy food Ricky and Olga provided. Sweet Olga is like 35 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH TWINS and her house looked amazing and she had steaks, potatoes, veggies, salad, and dessert for us. She's my hero. We finished the evening on the back porch with fireworks and it was just the best night.



Now we're back to normal life, but I am so thankful for this weekend and for my people. God Bless America, indeed.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


It's July! How did we get here? Wasn't it just New Years Eve? When did this happen? How are we already halfway through the year? And I feel obligated to tell you that Hobby Lobby has Christmas decor READY TO GO. We've apparently skipped right over 6 major holidays.

Yesterday I went on a lamp hunt. I was on a mission for lamps for our bedroom. I went to HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, and TJ Maxx. I struck out at all 3 places. I did, however, find this darling rug for my kitchen sink area and it was only $16.99 at HomeGoods so I felt pretty good about that.

In summary, I returned home from my shopping trip to 3 wonderful stores having only spent $16.99 plus tax. Is there some kind of medal someone should place around my neck? I mean.

So anyways, we are here in July and there are so many wonderful things happening this month. The 4th of July is upon us, so Grantley has a day off work. This month Ellie turns 3 which means there will be a fun birthday party and lots of family will be in town. We will also be going to see Grant's family in New Orleans (we haven't been in SO. LONG.) and I've got a few fun things planned on the week days in between.

As for today, we have a big fat nothing planned and I am very thankful for that. If you look at the rest of my calendar, it doesn't look quite the same as today. God gives us little breaks to keep us sane, I do believe.

Speaking of calendars, I'd like to take a moment to showcase my favorite planner! A lot of people use Erin Condren - and I do love all her stuff - but I always felt it a little too pricey for our budget. A few years ago, someone (I can't remember who!) directed me to Plum Paper and I have been in love ever since! This is my 3rd year in a row to use their planners and I've been absolutely thrilled with them. I just recently received my new one for this year and I love getting it all filled in and set up.

They have so many colors and fonts and looks to choose from, and you can of course choose one that includes a photo. I chose to keep it clean this year:

There is also lots of colorful tabs to keep things easy to find. I'm sure you're impressed with my excellent photography.

For the inside, each month has a full month spread that I use primarily. It's great for at-a-glance and for people like me that need to see the month as a whole.

Each month also has a week by week breakdown. You can choose from several different week layouts depending on how your brain best functions, and this year I've chosen this:

On the left side of the page I write to do lists for the week, meals, and random notes. On the right I get a little bit more detailed about my appointments, etc. 

Also included in the planner are pages of notes and pockets for receipts, invitations, and other things you need to keep. 

I paid about $35.00 for this planner, plus shipping. It takes a few weeks but it is so, so worth it. Get one before the school year starts! I know for someone that is such a technology lover like me, it may seem weird that I am still using a paper planner. I tried to convert to just my phone, but that just didn't work for me. I need to write things down to remember them! 

You can check out Plum Paper here or go directly to their Etsy shop here.

Also, this is not sponsored by Plum Paper or anything. Just love their planners and wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Or at least from the blog!

Happy July, and have a wonderful day!