We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2


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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Growing Up is Tough...for Momma too!

This weekend brought about one of the hardest moments of motherhood for me thus far. Just before 5am on Saturday morning, Cate woke up to use the bathroom. Instead of going back to bed (she normally doesn't rise until 7/7:30), she proceeded to throw an epic temper tantrum about going back to bed. A temper tantrum like we've only ever seen on one, maybe two, other occasions.

We went through our normal consequence routine and it had zero effect on her. So I did the only thing I knew would get her attention. I told her she couldn't go to her friend's birthday party later that day. A party her friend really wanted her to be at and a party she really wanted to attend. The tantrum settled down after that, but Cate still refused to go back to bed and sat in defiance, awake on the couch, until the sun rose.

When the reality set in that she wasn't going to get to go to her friend's party, she started telling me she was sorry she had made a bad decision. She promised she wouldn't get up before the sun the next morning. In short, she was heartbroken.

But I stuck to my guns. I knew if I backed down, she would think she could get away with it another time. We did allow her to take her friend's gift over later in the day, after the party. She apologized to her friend too.

I think she learned her lesson. She was in bed by 6:45 last night and when she woke up this morning at 6am to go to the bathroom, she went right to back to bed and didn't get back up for another hour. I have no idea if she actually went back to sleep, but I have to commend her for doing the right thing.

She's starting to learn a lot of lessons as her personality continues to develop. Last week was parent observation week at dance class. I was amazed at her ability to listen, follow directions, and try her hardest to do what she's being taught. This time last year, when Cate started dance, my girl was lost. She hung in there, but for the most part just did her own there and frequently came to the waiting room to make sure I was still there. Now she never comes to the waiting room and listens like a pro. I'm so proud.
It's making me excited for this year's recital!

video

Growing up is tough and so are the lessons that go with it. But I stand by my decision yesterday. And I know Cate is only better for it.

~Melody :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mid-Week Randoms

I feel like I'm just waking up-- and in a way, I kind of am. I've been in an anesthesia fog thanks to a couple of scopes I had done earlier. Since my ultrasound showed no gallstones, my doctor wanted to check my stomach to rule out other GI issues before pursuing the gall bladder thing further. Turns out I have an ulcer on my colon. Not a big deal and I'll get results from a biopsy in a week that will let me know if we're dealing with just an ulcer, colitis of some kind, or Crohns Disease. I'm hoping for just an ulcer. We'll see.

We spent the long Presidents' Day weekend with my parents in Northeast Ohio. We finally got some good family pictures (my brother and sister both work and are usually never home at the same time when we're up to visit). It was nice to have family love on our kids for a weekend. Brennan has been super grumpy because he's getting a few molars. He's drooling and chewing on everything! Cate woke up early, but my dad graciously got up with her all three mornings, allowing Eric and I to sleep in until Brennan woke up, which was usually around 8:00.

My mom and I did a little shopping. I broke down and decided to try skinny jeans. They've scared me up until this point, but once I put together this outfit (please excuse my cell phone picture of me taking a picture-- I was trying to text one of my best friends to ask her if she thought I could pull off skinny jeans-- she said I could), I was no longer afraid of them.
I guess that's been the one advantage to all of my issues of late-- I'm down more than a dozen pounds. Although I'd kind of rather have those pounds back and not have gone through any of this.

Eric and I escaped for a date to Starbucks and then to Barnes and Noble, where I picked up Billy Collins' book of poetry, Ballistics. I love his poetry.

Brennan played around and enjoyed his first Oreo. He spent most of his time crawling up and down my parents' steps. They're a novelty to him, just as they were to Cate (our house is one-story).

On Sunday we went bowling. My parents used to bowl a lot. I actually broke 100 my first game-- a rarity for me.
Cate loved it and was surprisingly patient while she waited for everyone else to take their turns. Brennan sat in his stroller and watched with interest while he snacked on pretzels. He didn't get fussy until the last few frames of our second game. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Our trip home Monday was uneventful and quick. Brennan slept for most of it. Cate watched a couple of movies. We hit zero traffic. And we got right back into the swing of things. This arrived for me:
Charley Harper is from Cincinnati and I adore his illustrations and artwork. Brennan has one of his board books. This book is a collection of quite a bit of his work-- everything from the Betty Crocker cookbook he illustrated to posters he created for the Cincinnati Parks. My grandmother (dad's mom) does a lot of needlepoint. The needlepoint shop where she works sells Charley Harper canvases. I may need to learn how to needlepoint just so I can make one of these.

Tomorrow night is conference night at school. It's going to be a long day. And given that I've done nothing but sleep for most of the day, I'm going to be lucky to get a good night's sleep tonight.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend!

~Melody :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Can You Keep a Secret?

Well, just from my kids.

Because here's the thing, we started planning our typical Hilton Head vacation recently and realized that maybe Hilton Head wasn't the place we wanted to be this summer. Don't get me wrong-- I LOVE the beach and especially love Hilton Head. Where we typically stay is more than affordable as far as prime season vacations go. However, it's a 10 minute walk to the beach. A 10 minute walk to the beach is fine when you don't have kids. Or when your kids are in diapers. But with a kid who is potty trained? The thought of being a 10 minute walk from the bathroom made us start looking for a rental closer to the ocean. Factor in that you'll also have a toddler who likes to nap and the clost-to-the-beach rental has even more appeal. But the close-to-the-beach rental also comes with a high price tag. As Eric and I started considering that high price tag, we started thinking about what else we could do with that money.

On a whim, I emailed a woman I work with who also works on the side as a Disney vacation planner to see what she could offer us in the way of a Disney vacation that fit our budget. We're still planning to see Mickey and the gang in two years when the kids are older and my mom and I have the same spring break. But Cate is so into Disney right now, that I figured we should at least try. My girl loves Tangled, has practically memorized Cars (1, not 2), got Toy Story figurines as potty-training incentives, and holds a special place in her heart for Wall-E. She also pretends to be Simba on a regular basis. And when Mama has to shower, the one episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that we purchased from iTunes is my go-to distraction.

To my surprise it was more than affordable. We could get 5 days, 4 nights, and the dining plan (which is two meals and a snack each day) for what that close-to-the-beach rental would've cost us. I've always been a Disney fan and am so excited to share that magic with my kiddos. There will be plenty to do there to keep them entertained. There will be plenty to do there to wear them out. There will be plenty to do there that will make the trip magical.

I know Brennan won't remember any of it. Shoot, Cate won't even remember all of it. But Eric and I will. And part of vacationing is creating memories for all of us. A part of me still wanted to hold out for a couple of more years, even once we knew the trip would be affordable. But then I asked myself, "Why not?" Why not go and meet Mickey and the Gang? Why not watch Cate's face light up when she meets Rapunzel or rides Buzz Lightyear's ride? Why not listen to Brennan's squeals of delight at the fireworks or the parades? Why not be a kid again for a week?

And so we'll be heading to Disney this summer. I couldn't be more excited. It certainly beats trying to clean sand out of every little roll and crevice in Brennan's body. It certainly beats trying to keep Cate amused all day at the beach. It certainly beats cooking dinner most nights (which is what we do to offset some of the cost in Hilton Head). We've decided to wait until closer to when we're actually leaving before we tell Cate. Otherwise we will be questioned daily about when we are going.

So you're in on our secret. And please don't tell our kids.
Melody :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love, Love, Love

Today was pretty much a big ol' celebration of love at the Riggs house. I realize the cynics out there will try to tell you that it should be Valentine's Day every day. We tell each other we love one another multiple times a day. And say it to our kids multiple times a day. And while we don't go "all out" for Valentine's Day, the sap in both of us loves that there is a day on the calendar totally dedicated to love. Who cares if it means roses are twice the price?

Speaking of roses, these were delivered to work, from my handsome man. It totally made me smile and made my day. :-) I definitely wasn't expecting these as Eric is typically a give-flowers-on-random-days-just-because kind of guy. Not a buy-roses-on-Valentine's-Day-and-have-them-delivered kind of guy. He continued his tradition of getting flowers for the number 2 girl in his life-- one rose for each Valentine's Day that she's stolen his heart-- we're up to five now (she was 9 days old on her first Valentine's Day).
Handsome hubby also knows that mama loves to color with her sweet girl. So he got a coloring book for mama. I LOVE IT! So fun!In my quest to help handsome hubby out in the SAHD wardrobe department, I got him a sweater at H & M, which looks fantastic on him. And of course, we had to add to his vinyl collection-- Hey Jude from the Beatles and a two record set of Sinatra, which was the soundtrack to dinner this evening.
The kids enjoyed their gifts from us and gifts from Nanny and Poppy. Cate did better with the little girl Legos than I thought. She needed some help, but then took some of it apart and put it back together again. She has some birthday money to spend and kind of wants another set or two. We'll see. We're still trying to find places for her to play Playmobil where Brennan can't get tiny parts; Legos will only add to that issue.

And while we're on the subject of my sweet girl, she was super pumped to hand out her Valentines at school yesterday. Over the last couple of weeks we made all of her Valentines, she signed her name on each one, and wrote each child's name on the envelopes. I'm so proud of her.
I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I know we did. Wishing you all love from our corner of the world.

~Melody :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Little Something New

I'm trying something new- blogging from my phone. I've been scared to try it despite the app being out for awhile. I have no idea why this has scared me so much. I think it's just getting used to something new. So here goes nothin'.
My girl is getting better at riding her bike. We practiced a couple of days this week, but then it got cold, so we haven't been out in a few days. They were predicting some big snow storm last night with 1-3" of snow. This morning it looked like this:
Cate was disappointed it wasn't enough snow to go sledding. So instead we've just been hangin' around this morning. Cate helped Brennan start learning the latch board.
We're also getting ready for Valentine's Day. I bought the kiddos shirts last night- something I've done since Cate's first Valentine's Day.

I couldn't resist picking up some goodies to go with their cards-- Legos for Cate (Daddy loves Legos and will probably have to help her put it together) and Batman and Green Lantern cars for the little guy.

My husband, who knows me oh so well, picked up these comic books for me yesterday-- not for Valentine's Day, just because. I've read installments 1 and 2. These are numbers 3 and 4. 5 isn't out yet. I'm really enjoying them and they're perfect for this sort of snowy, but cold (it's 19 degrees out) weekend.

He's pretty much the greatest!

This morning we let Brennan try coloring. He liked scribbling for about 10 seconds. Then he threw the crayons on the floor.

So here's the deal-- I started this post on the Blogger for iPhone app, but I finished it on the computer. I couldn't figure out how to place the pictures in between text on my phone, so I had to get on the computer to do that. If you know how to do that, please tell me. I also couldn't figure out how to adjst the size of the pictures. All in all though, my first phone blogging experience wasn't so bad.

~Melody :-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

FOUR!

I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that my sweet girl is four-- that I've been a mom for four years! The four years in high school from freshmen year to senior year seemed to drag at times. And college, well, it went by quickly, but I also graduated in 3.5 years (to avoid an extra semester of student loans, I dropped my Spanish minor and took a couple of semesters of 20 hours to finish up early). But the four years from February 5, 2008 to February 5, 2012? They've FLOWN! You can read the whole birth story by clicking here.

Yesterday, we split the day into two birthday parties for Cate. In the morning, we had brunch with her friends. Busken donuts and blueberry muffins were on the menu. Each kid painted a small tote bag and then picked out a book to take home. Daddy played a mean trick on Cate and got her trick candles. She had a hard time blowing them out. Her friends were so generous-- with gifts of coloring/art books, Tangled toys, a purse, games, and Target gift cards-- our girl is definitely loved by her friends.
I love the picture below of her and her friend, Anna, after the party, totally cracking up over the Talking Tomcat app on my phone. I can already picture similar giggle fits in the future. After everyone left, we took it easy for a few hours before family arrived to celebrate in the evening.
Cate requested a chocolate cake with pink icing, so that's what I made. I was a little bummed to not be able to enjoy it though (more of the same issues-- although I'm having some additional testing done on my gall bladder now-- more on that when I know more). New clothes and a new swimsuit, Playmobil sets, more art stuff, more Tangled toys, and some other princess toys now litter our living room. We were overwhelmed by the amount of love shown to our little girl yesterday.

Today is her actual birthday. She woke up to her presents from Mommy, Daddy, and Brennan. They included...
...a big girl bike (I think the sun came out today just for this because it rained all day yesterday). Of course, there were also some books and a game.
Brennan "gave" Cate the Playmobil music class set to go with the school that she got yesterday.She also got a Barbie in a swimsuit to play with at the pool this summer.
We enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes after opening presents.
I think Cate is a little overwhelmed with so much new stuff. She is certainly a blessed little girl and we feel blessed that she's been a part of our lives for four year.

Happy Birthday, Cate! Let's go get those training wheels rolling!

~Melody :-)