Friday, May 31, 2013

Second Grade Wrap-Up

Today was Alli's last day of second grade - I can't believe it!  It was seriously just yesterday that I was taking her to kindergarten, and now she's 3/5 of the way through her elementary years (they go K-4th here).  Tear.

Here she is before she left for school this AM - can you believe how tall?  Good grief, I can't find pants long enough for her.

 She had her awards ceremony this morning, and she got a certificate for completing second grade and being on the Principal's Honor Roll (All A's all year).  Ryan and I were bursting with pride - she's so very smart!

I love how she's scoping out her awards in the picture below.

And here she is with her second grade teacher Mrs. Fritsche.  We absolutely loved her - Ryan and I commented to each other a few nights ago what an easy year this has been.  Mrs. Fritsche really appreciated Alli for who she was all year long, and that made for smooth sailing.

After that, I checked her out of school and we ate lunch at McDonald's to celebrate.  Then we ran a few errands (I've started my maternity leave today on doc's orders.  Miss Riley was due yesterday but still hasn't decided to show up...sigh) and got our nails done.  I got my toes done last week, but I reupped the manicure this week since our newest princess didn't come for the last one.  She better hurry!  Alli opted for orange with sparkles, and now she's totally ready to kick off her summer in style.

Here are a few quick notes on who Alli is right this minute - you guys know that as soon as you blink, they change.  So I just want to remember her personality right now on her last day as a second grader!
  • Favorite Color:  Most definitely orange.  It used to be pink and purple, but I am pretty sure Mikey the Ninja Turtle has convinced her that orange is by far the best on the color spectrum.
  • Favorite TV Show:  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all the way.  She's obsessed!
  • Favorite Food:  Still chicken nuggets/chicken patties.  But she's also eating lots of apples and her old standby, cottage cheese.  She drinks orange juice with every single meal - pizza, porkchops, spaghetti.
  • Favorite Game:  Yahtzee!  She finally gets it and has actually beaten Ryan and I a few times. I love our little family game nights around the kitchen table getting excited about rolling dice.
  • Favorite Video Game:  She and Ryan are fighting their way through every single Lego game on the Xbox.  I believe Batman is complete, and they've moved on to Lord of the Rings.  We're holding out hope a Ninja Turtle one comes out soon.
  • Current Extracurriculars:  She loves soccer and horseback riding right now.  She's expressed some interest in karate and has mentioned taking gymnastics again once or twice, but she really loves her some soccer.  
  • Second Grade Best Friends:  Nicole, Nadia, Addison, and Samantha.
  • What She's Most Looking Forward to This Summer:  By far the birth of her baby sister.  But also the beach, lots of pool time, and all of her summer camps that Mama has signed her up for to keep her from being bored at home with a newborn.
It's so hard to believe we started this school year in a different house with just us, and now we're in our new house (which already feels like we've lived here forever, we love it so much) and another sweet little girl due any day now.  Any day now.  Come on, baby, get a move on!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Horse Crazy and Crazy Horses

I didn't update last week, but when we showed up for Alli's riding lesson last Sunday, a surprise awaited us.  Athena, one of the big beautiful mares at the barn, had her little filly just 12 hours before we showed up!  I won't even start in with the fact that she was due in early June and managed to have her baby a few weeks early and was up and asking for her grain a few hours later...

Isn't she adorable?  They are still working on her barn name, but her show name is Forever Young.  I'm seriously obsessed with her, and so jealous of the time Alli is going to get to spend with her at horse camp in 2 weeks!

So fast forward a week, and Alli had a horse show this past Sunday.  Alli loves the horse shows.  They aren't serious A shows, they are just supposed to be fun, easy shows for less experienced riders (or less experienced horses) to get the whole show atmosphere - traveling to a new barn, meeting new people and ponies, riding in a different ring.  Sunday was extremely windy, which isn't a good mix with a flight animal like a horse, and they moved the show to an outside pasture.  I commented to Ryan before Alli even entered the ring that I didn't like the whole feeling.  I preferred her in the nice, structured indoor ring at this barn, especially given the wind.

And then, it happened.  Three horses in the pasture next to the outdoor ring took off bucking and running, and Alli's little pony Tater Tot decided he would join them.  One big buck, and Alli hung on, but the second one sent her over his head.  He then tore around the "ring" while 39 weeks pregnant Mama beat everyone else out to the middle of the field to check on Alli.  She was snubbing a little bit and rubbing her shoulder with tears in her eyes, but all the while she watched Tater Tot ripping around the arena, bucking and snorting.  It was a little scary for a minute, he got tangled in his reins.  But he finally stopped and shook his head - like "What's everyone freaking out about?"

I was most worried about Alli.  Once I confirmed that she wasn't hurt (thank goodness Tater is such a shorty) and that he hadn't stepped on her, I was so afraid her confidence was going to be shaken.  Fortunately, Miss Diane (the owner of Alli's barn) and Miss Sally (Alli's trainer) knew exactly what to do.  Diane insisted that the show move to the indoor ring, and Sally took Alli over to the round pen to watch her lunge Tater to get all of his kinks out.  Then an older rider hopped on him and rode him around the indoor ring.

My little girl was pretty quiet through the whole thing, just watching everything unfold and rubbing that shoulder, but when the time came, she mounted back up and took charge of that little pony once again. I seriously was bursting with pride.  There was zero hesitation.  She was confident, she was successful (two firsts and two seconds!), and she wasn't afraid at all.

So we welcomed her to the "Real Rider" club - which means you have to fall to be a true horsewoman.  I asked her to ask Miss Sally how many times she had fallen off and she said "This month?"  Then we loaded Alli up, who was her usual chatty self, and she joked about how Tater had told the other ponies "You think that's bucking?? Watch this!!" when he threw her off.  And then we talked about how sorry he looked, especially after he got lunged and then had a 120 lb person on his back instead of little 50 lb Alli.  I could not be prouder of her - I had been so afraid that the first fall would be the one that ruined this whole wonderful riding experience.  But she took it in stride...literally.  That's my girl!!

Needless to say, she also got a few treats for her bravery, including some new pool toys.  We are absolutely loving being a block away from our neighborhood pool.  We've been there all three days it's been open.  It's really going to be a great summer!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 39 Weeks

How far along: 39 weeks - I'm laughing but I'm dying of anticipation.

Size of baby: According to The Bump, Miss Riley is the size of a watermelon, weighing 6.2 to 9.2 pounds and measuring 18.9 to 20.9 inches long.  These foods just keep sounding more and more painful.

Maternity clothes: It's my own version of maternity - Pikos, stretchy pants, Ryan's soft t-shirts, and reindeer pajama pants.

Gender: A sweet but obviously very stubborn girl named Riley Rachelle

Movement:  This girl is cray.  Every night around 8PM and then again at 10PM (and then again at 12AM...) she gets totally wild.  Like rolling, kicking, and punching all over the place!  If you're running out of room, Riley, I have a solution for you...

Sleep: Sleep is okay.  I've been staying up late over this holiday weekend watching movies.  I know I need to sleep while I can, but I am so impatient for her to show up that I have to have something keep my mind off of it!

Symptoms: Heartburn, swelling, some back pain - nothing new, just the usual.

What I miss: Laying out at the pool on my stomach and fitting into my swimsuits.  That's been a new challenge this Memorial Day weekend.  Also having a jaw line, having outfits I can wear for any occasion, and wine.  And coffee.

Cravings: Sweets - I baked a yellow cake with chocolate icing and called it Riley's birthday cake.  She did not seem to be motivated by it, because it's long gone.  I just made another one last night.  Maybe this one will make it until her birth?

Food aversions: I pretty much love all food right now.  I hate it when something gives me heartburn, but I just load up on the Tums.

Best moment this week: Alli's horse show - watching her overcome the adversity she faced was incredible (more on that in the next post).  And spending all of this three day weekend with my little family of three - at the pool, at the barn, playing Yahtzee.  Maybe Riley was giving me one more weekend to savor total focus on Alli.  

What I am looking forward to: She's registered for daycare.  Her newborn photoshoot is scheduled.  Her clothes are washed.  Come on, Riley!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Advice from Alli

Last week as I was brushing Alli's hair, I told her how beautiful it was.  It's so shiny and soft and the prettiest shade of coppery red.  She smiled sweetly and said, "When are you going to do your hair pretty again like mine?"

I put the brush down and looked at her in the mirror.  "I mean I like it right now, Mama, but I mean when is it going to be pretty again like mine?"

So apparently headbands and messy ponytails aren't pretty?  We've got a long way to go, kid.  It's going to be a really long summer if you don't like my hair like this.

Unconditional love - they don't care what my hair looks like!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks

Size of baby: According to The Bump, Miss Riley is the size of a winter melon (??), weighing 6.2 to 9.2 pounds and measuring 18.9 to 20.9 inches long

Maternity clothes: If Pikos, stretchy pants, pj pants, and Ryan's shirts are maternity clothes, then yes.  This week, Alli asked me in front of her teachers if I was wearing the same shirt I wore to bed the night before.  The answer was yes.

Gender: Still a sweet girl named Riley Rachelle

Movement:  Still lots of strong jabs.  She's far more active in the evenings than during the day, but I mostly have her little patterns figured out, so I try not to worry about it too much.  I did find out at our last appointment that she's head down, so I have pushed her little hiney out of my ribs more than once!

Sleep: Sleep is off and on.  I'm having a lot of cray cray dreams (Dad coaching the Razorbacks, my childhood pony Hopper is stuck at the old house, I'm at a rodeo...), and I have to get up a lot to go to the bathroom.  And I'm snoring.  Isn't that terrible?  I actually woke myself up snoring the other day.

Symptoms: Swollen feet and ankles (I went in to work Friday for my review and to see my coworkers, and I came home to stumps!), some back aches and cramps.

What I miss: Sound sleep - I guess I better get used to it!  Margaritas - went to a happy hour with the coworkers Friday and sipped water on the patio.  And wine & coffee, coffee & wine.

Cravings: Sweets - Alli, Ryan, and I are making s'mores later at Alli's request, and I can barely contain myself.

Food aversions: Not much - I am still not interested in red meat and am having to avoid red sauces, which includes pizza and my beloved Mama Z's.  I think that's what I'll have for my post-birth meal.  Ryan, are you listening?

Best moment this week: We got to see Riley again this week.  I asked if he could tell if she was head down, and he decided to do a quick ultrasound.  Her little face was all smooshed, so I know she's running out of room.  But it's always so fun to see her.  And my mother's day (see previous post) was pretty rad as well.

What I am looking forward to: RILEY.  She's all that's missing now!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

My little grammatical brain can't decide if it's Mothers Day, Mother's Day, or Mothers' I just went with the general public consensus.  But I want you to know that deep down, I think it's Mothers' Day.

Today has been an incredibly wonderful Mother's Day for me.  Not only am I working on being a mama for the second time any ol' day now, but I got to spend it with some of my most favorite people doing my most favorite things!  Ryan and I had a great little date night out to Mermaids last night, and this morning I slept in late while Ryan and Alli went to go get Shipley's Donuts for me.  I am so happy we have a Shipley's up here - my grandfather worked there when I was a little girl so it brings back some awesome memories for me.

My Cash man snuggled up in my lap while I was drying my hair
After that, we headed out to the barn.  Alli had a challenging lesson - it probably wasn't her best, but like I told her, she probably improved a lot because of it!  Posting without stirrups is a hard thing, people.  And she was very brave to keep trying it over and over.

Then we grabbed some Shakey's (Riley's biggest craving) and headed home.  I needed to rest - I find myself able to do less and less for any period of time these days!  I took a good 45 minute nap, and then we decided to hit up Gator Golf, because it was a beautiful breezy day in the mid-60s.  We only planned to play 18 holes, but Ryan and Alli got a hole in one on the last hole, which means a free game for each of them, so we decided to do Course #2 as well.  As long as someone would set up my ball and pick it up for me, I was doing just fine!

Then we grabbed Cracker Barrel (Riley's other big craving - this kid is making me such a fatty!) and headed home.  I'm catching up on the blog-a-roo while Ryan and Alli play Lego Batman upstairs in their game room.  I call it theirs because I never go up there.  It's probably in shambles, and I have no idea.

I also got some really precious cards and a giftcard for a mani/pedi - hoping to use that in about a week and a half so that I am pretty to meet Miss Riley.  Happy Mother's (Mothers, Mothers') Day to all of the fabulous mamas I know, but especially my own.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Waiting Game

A few appointments ago, our OB commented to Ryan and I that were in the "boring part" of the pregnancy - if only I had known how right he was!  Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful that it's been "boring," that's about the best thing you can ask for when there's a little bitty on the way.  But we just flipped the switch to full term (37 weeks) on Thursday, and I have almost everything checked off my to do list.

My bags are as packed as they can be.  All of Riley's clothes are washed and put away.  Her room is totally done and ready to go.  Ryan is going to put the carseat bases in the car this weekend.  I mean, all we are missing is her!

I am trying to find peace in these last few weeks (days, hours?) until she is here, because I know our lives are going to be upside down for a while.  But I can't help but be just a little impatient - I want to meet her, I want to hold her!  I want to get labor out of the way!  But at our last OB appointment on Monday, I was only a half centimeter dilated and she hadn't dropped.  So I am guessing we are in for the long haul.

Today Ryan is helping a friend move, and I am trying to focus on enjoying Alli's last few weeks (days, hours?) as an only child.  We watched the new Ninja Turtles show this morning, went for a walk/scooter ride around the 'hood with the dogs, and then went to the neighborhood park to play.  We even broke into the pool area to look around - I can't wait for that thing to be completely up and running!

What is everyone else up to on this beautiful Saturday while I'm bored, broody, and waiting for Riley?  I hope you're outside - it's gorgeous here!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Snow Brings...?

We've been asking each other over and over the past few days - if April showers bring May flowers, what does May snow bring?  I don't have a good answer, other than cranky people and cancelled plans!  We've had temperatures in the 30s and 40s since Friday, and that morning we woke up to the first ever snowfall on record in Arkansas in May.

And you bet your bottom dollar I had Ryan out there covering shrubs and moving pots into the garage. It melted pretty quickly, but Saturday had a high of 45 as well.  Alli's friend Fletcher's birthday party went from an outdoor barbecue to an indoor swimming party at a local hotel.  Alli didn't seem to mind the change of plans one bit.

Afterwards, Ryan and Cash displayed the best thing to do on a cold, rainy Saturday evening.

According to the forecast, we should be back in the 60s tomorrow and not going this low again in the foreseeable future.  Thank goodness.  Arkansas weather needs to get it figured out.  70s at Christmas and 40s in May is unacceptable!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 36 Weeks

How far along: 36 weeks

Size of baby: According to The Bump, Miss Riley is the size of a honeydew, weighing 4.2 to 5.8 pounds and measuring 17.2 to 18.7 inches long (same as 34 weeks, but continuing to beef up!)

Maternity clothes: ...sure.  Nothing fits right.  Now that I'm working from home full time until she gets here, I am spending my days in Ryan's shirts and my pj pants.  I can't complain.

Gender: A precious little girl named Riley Rachelle.

Movement:  A ton at night, not a ton during the day.  She has about 4 weeks to get that all straightened out!

Sleep: Sleep has been much better!  I finally got on antibiotics for that sinus infection, and I feel a million times better.  I'm only waking up a few times at night and am able to fall back asleep really quickly.

Symptoms: Swollen feet and ankles (which have improved a ton since I started working from home), a little heartburn (not nearly as bad as it was), and back pain.

What I miss: Rolling over in bed not being a tremendous effort!  Not feeling like an invalid - I have to have help with almost everything!  And wine.  And coffee.  And brownie dough.

Cravings: Sweets!!  Ryan has had to run to Shake's three times this week!!

Food aversions: Whatever gives me heartburn - but sometimes I just can't resist.

Best moment this week: We did our 35 week appointment early this week because I was having some pain, but my blood pressure was way too high.  He asked me about working from home, and my boss obliged - I am so lucky!  He also checked my cervix - nothing going on there.  I am guessing she is going to take her sweet time.  So while we went in because we were concerned and left concerned about my blood pressure, I just love hearing that little heart beat at 145 bpm.  And if I'm honest, I didn't want to work from home, but it's actually been really good for me physically.

What I am looking forward to: What's left?  I guess packing my hospital bag, which Ryan is insisting I get done this weekend (guessing he doesn't want to go searching for everything on the list).  But mostly just seeing our sweet baby girl!