Monday, April 30, 2012

there's a four year old in our house

She makes four look good!  
All the birthday shenanigans to come...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

almost four

"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, 
bringing something we must learn 
and we are lead to those who help us most to grow 
if we let them.  
And we help them in return.
Well I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
because I knew you."
"For Good" by Stephen Schwartz from the musical Wicked.

Dear Reesie,

Tonight I kissed the face of a three year old good night. Tomorrow morning, the footsteps of a four year old will patter down the hallway, round the corner and enter my room ready for some breakfast.  Cereal will have to wait because I will scoop you up, close my eyes and remember your first entrance.

You were round and wiggly and I couldn't stop looking at you- this new, little person.  Your daddy cried and the nurses said you were beautiful.  I held you and said, "hello."  I didn't know you yet, but you knew me.  You recognized my voice, peered up at my face and I was done.

A few days ago Daddy was working in the yard.  You went out to join him and I watched you from the window.  Your feet dangled from the swing and as you rocked side to side I could only imagine what it was you discussed with your father.  I welled up thinking back on all that's happened this year.  And I thanked God for the attachment to your Daddy that seemed to pop up overnight but really is rooted in three years of consistent, intentional time he has spent with you.

We're crazy about you, Sweet Girl.  This was a year of big changes.  There were a few moments that made me wonder if I'd survive age three.  It was the hardest year of parenting thus far.  I struggled with a multitude of personal issues that had nothing to do with you.  Often I could do nothing but ask God for help.

You know what is one of the best things about being completely His?  You aren't stuck with the things you don't like about yourself.  The things deep in your heart you just can't stand that come to the surface in moments of tension.  True ugliness.  They don't have to be a part of you forever.  A frustrated, short tempered, selfish, cowardly, impatient woman can fall to her knees before God, submit her shortcomings to His authority and by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, rise a different woman.  A better woman.

Baby, as tempting as it would be to wish away all the hard stuff from this past year I am so grateful for the difficult times.  It made us need Jesus more.  Because of the incredible privilege of being your mama, I am a different woman than I was four years ago.  Praise God.  Thank you.

Your Daddy, Baby Sister and I delight in you.  You brighten up everyday with your constant singing as you flit about in your own little world.  You are brave, inquisitive, and sensitive.  You love details, dancing, board games and order.  You could swing for hours and you've developed a fondness for the color green.  You have a silly sense of humor and a flair for the dramatic.  You're smart and a quick learner.  You want to stand on anything that slightly resembles a stage.

I love you Reese.  I can't wait for you to be four.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

seven and eight months

Guess what happens when you're the second born child and you've just moved to a new state?  Your monthly updates have to be grouped together.  :(  Poor Hopie.  

But, yea Hopie!  You are seven AND eight months old!  I thought I'd be able to remember what happened during each of these milestones, but I can't.  So here's a list of what you've picked up the past couple of months.

1.  You are on the move!  At eight months old you finally mastered rolling over.  This would terrify a first time mother, but for my second time around, I've enjoyed eight months of a precious, stationary baby.  I assured you it was perfectly fine if you didn't want to crawl until you turned one, but it's not looking like that's going to be the case.  You can push up to a sitting position, slide backwards on your belly and when I leave you in one spot you don't stay there for long.  

2.  At seven months you weighed 22 pounds.  The reason I know that is because it was the first time you were sick and they weighed you at the doctor's office.  You had the croup and the first night you had it, it sounded like a barking dog was in your room.  You wear size four diapers and 12-18 months old.

3.  You love to eat!  So far you've had yogurt, sweet potatoes, green beans, applesauce, avocado, bananas and carrots.  When we're at the table eating, you want to be eating too.  No teeth yet!

4.  You've started to wave.  A couple of times you've folded your fingers up, but mostly you flap one arm.  You can shake your head "no" but not in the correct context yet.  

5.  You scream for fun at the top of your lungs.  You're perfectly happy when you do it, but it's loud.  This week you happy screamed throughout story time.  

6.  You laugh hard and often.

7.  We can put a bow in your hair but you rip it out the moment you realize it's there.  

8.  People talk to you wherever we go.  They comment on your chunky legs or your blue eyes.

9.  Sometime in your seventh month, I felt like I finally acclimated to being a mama to two.  It's hard work and I'm still worn out at the end of the day.  But I feel like at almost eight months in I got my "sea legs."  The new normal feels a lot more normal now.

Here's big sister's picture at eight months.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the past month

Hello out there!  If all the non-posting isn't evidence enough, this past month has been a doozie!  Here's the short version of what we've been up to.

1.  At the beginning of March we packed up and moved from the only home Dan and I have known together.  We survived our first year of marriage and seminary there, changed jobs/cars/churches there, bought a house there and brought two babies home from the hospital there.  We found incredible people there who for some unknown reason wanted to be friends with us.  We were mentored there, challenged there, broken there.  We grew up a lot there.  Whatever roots you can manage to have in six years, ours are buried there.  Thank goodness, we have many reasons to go back and visit.

Moving Day Nap

Checking out the truck.

Last picture in front of our first house.

Sometimes the stress of moving day can make you give your mama the stink eye.
Saying "See you soon!" to sweet friends.

2.  Before moving, Reesie had her last day at preschool.  She got to be the special helper for the day.  Hopie and I tagged along for the morning.

3.  Two days after moving we celebrated my birthday.  I'm officially in the late twenties bracket.  Whoa.

4.  We've visited a couple of churches multiple times and loved both of them.  We have a few more we want to see.  I'm looking into some options for MOPS and women's Bible study and we're praying for a good fit somewhere.

5.  We got hit by the stomach bug.  :(  It took Reese and me down.  Unfortunately I got dehydrated (nursing and the stomach bug are a bad mix) and wound up in the ER for a little bit.

6.  We traveled to Kansas City for a Weekend to Remember marriage conference.  The girls stayed with the grandparents and Dan and I stayed at a hotel for two nights.  The conference was fantastic and we loved getting away for a bit.

7.  I traveled to Oxford, MS to speak at a Mother/Daughter retreat.  It was a fun overnight and I loved hanging out with the teenagers and their mamas.  It gave me a small peek at what's to come. :)  Auntie Sandra came to town to hang out with Dan and the girls while I was away.

8.  We traveled to Southaven so Reesie could perform in her preschool music program.  She's been anticipating the program for months, so even though we had moved, they let us come back for it.  Nana came with us.  We stayed in a hotel with a pool and Hopie went swimming for the first time.  She loved it and like anything else, was perfectly content as long as she had a good view of her big sister.

Reesie's Pledge of Allegiance looks a lot like the universal signal for choking.  :)

9.  We traveled to Kansas City for Easter and to celebrate Reesie's birthday with family.  While we were there we saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the new performing arts center.  It was a fun weekend!

10.  We got a library card and have been going to story time once a week.  We look forward to it each week and are so proud of ourselves because so far we haven't lost a single book!
We arrived a little early this day and much to the delight of her Teacher's Pet Mama, she picked a seat in the front row.
11.  We've been to a few local playgrounds and parks.  One Saturday we tried hiking up Pinnacle Mountain.  We didn't make it to the top but had a pretty good view anyway.

12.  We've unpacked a little at a time.  It's hard to make a ton of progress, especially since Hope is starting to move around.  But I also want to finish before she starts to crawl.

13.  After one final trip to Memphis this past weekend, the Hinton family is staying put for a while.  Hopefully we'll find time to finish up some projects at the house, enjoy this beautiful spring and blog a little more frequently!