Sunday, February 21, 2016

Felicity Marian: TWO YEARS OLD!!!!

Two. TWO! When did my girl get big enough to be 2? I know everyone says time flies. I know I've said it. But it's mind blowing to me that the tiny baby I brought home from the hospital has been in our lives for 2 years and is a full fledged toddler. She went from so challenging the first year to so completely enjoyable the second year, which I'm sure is part of why it feels like the last year zipped by. The last 6 months may be the best of my life. Once Felicity hit 18 month, she has been almost pure fun. She is so incredibly smart and watching her learn and grow has been one of the greatest joys of my life. It's nostalgic because there hasn't been any baby left in her for quite some time, but so amazing to watch. Humans are just fascinating!

We had her birthday at the local McDonald's and it was AMAZING! I didn't know they even still did them anymore until a few months ago. For $65 we had a crew member for an hour, got 10 happy meals, cake, ice cream, paper products, and goody bags. We stayed from 4-6. She opened presents, we all ate, and the kids ran around and played until they were exhausted. It ended up being a pretty day so we had very few other people in the room/play place with us, which was nice. It was SUCH a fun party! Might be the Cash family party spot.... 

Felicity has had number recognition, color recognition, and shape recognition down for a while. She's currently very into memorizing her books, learning opposites, and beginning to count in sequence. She is so easy to teach. I show her a concept 1-2 times and she masters it. I'm often amazed at the things she retains. Felicity also learns a lot from her 2 favorite tv shows: Daniel Tiger and Little Einsteins. I love Daniel Tiger for their little life lessons (we have used them to help her with transitions on more than one occcasion!) and Little Einsteins for the classical music and art exposure. She will talk about concepts that I know I didn't teach her and later I realize it came from one of those shows. What she spends most of her day doing, though, is "reading" and being read to. This girl loves books. LOVES books. I have to encourage her to play or she'd sit and read books almost all day long. I think this has contributed to her extensive vocabulary. Felicity is beginning to carry on full conversations, which are about the cutest thing in the whole world!!! She's had sentences down for some time, but the actual back and forth interaction is a lot of fun to experience. She's quickly learning concepts like "him and her", "she and he", and other things I didn't think she'd master for quite some time. She still refers to herself as "you" which is precious and I hope she doesn't master any time soon :). My favorite is when she comes to me, arms up, and says "mama, hold you!!!".

Daniel Tiger themed, of course :). Each kid got to take home a Daniel Tiger balloon and book... which was literally the extent of the planning and prep work that I did! 

Felicity also really likes dancing and music. She wants music on most of the day, so Pandora gets a lot of use at our house. She has a nutcracker box that plays the main song and multiple times a day you can find her in a tutu and wings dancing to Nutcracker music. For anyone who knows my obsession with the Nutcracker, it makes me pretty happy!! She still loves being outside, always has. We go on a walk with our neighbors 3-4 times a week, depending on weather this winter, and the kids get out and walk the last part which she really enjoys. She likes playing in the backyard (although it's often wet or shady and cold), porch, driveway, and culdesac. Felicity's other favorite activity is arts and crafts. She loves to color! I never know if she will want to do it for 5 minutes or 30, but she is equally excited each time so I encourage it as much as possible.

Here's to another year, a year full of adventure and change, with our sweet girl!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mom's Night Off

On Monday, I checked into a hotel about 15 minutes from my house for a little R&R. I picked up dinner first (hibachi chicken and steak... one of my favorites this pregnancy!) and, after driving to the wrong hotel by the same name first, I pulled up to the correct one. I was pleased to find that it had been newly renovated and felt much more luxurious than the 2.5 stars it was labeled at on Priceline. I spent the evening watching trash tv, coloring in my grown up coloring book, eating junk, and making my feet soft. I slept a full 8 hours with no interruptions in a very dark room and woke up refreshed. I had breakfast (the only bad part of the whole experience- their breakfast was pretty lame) in bed while I watched more trash tv. Then I took a bath while I read a magazine, checked out, and went to get a hair cut. I still got home in time to join Steven and Felicity for story time at the library.

I can't even say how relaxing and enjoyable that 16 hours was! Motherhood has been a lot of amazing things for me, but I have spent the majority of the last 2 years feeling pretty touched out. My love language is physical touch, but it has nothing on my sweet girl's need for constant touch and cuddles! Add to that the fact that she's a huge mama's girl and you've got one touched out Stacy. (Side note: my mom's love language, by my guess, is not physical touch (my guess is words of affirmation) and I was this way as a kid. Sorry, mom!!!) I had been telling Steven I wanted a night away for a month or 2 and, love him, he hadn't really done anything about it. So I decided to take things into my own hands and plan/book it. Well, I got all the way to the point of clicking "confirm" and chickened out. What if I missed her too much? What if I regretted spending the money? What if I didn't have fun? So I was kind of kicking myself but just figured I'd go get a pedicure or something. Thankfully I have a friend who decided to fund the evening and wouldn't take no for an answer. Since she was paying, I couldn't say no. And didn't really want to besides feeling guilty about taking her money! So I booked and I'm so, so glad I did! I told Steven this might need to be a yearly thing. I still feel so much more refreshed, recharged, and more loving towards both my child and husband. After I got home yesterday and Felicity was down for a nap, I cuddled up to Steven on the couch. He immediately noted that was unusual and pleasant. Pre-Felicity, I cuddled up to him any chance I got. Post-Felicity, I'm cuddled out and don't even want the cat touching me when Felicity is asleep. So it was not only good for me, but good for my marriage and my relationship with my daughter. Win, win! I figured an additional win was that it was practice for both Felicity and myself to be away from each other in the hospital. Well, not a total win because Felicity kept insisting to Steven that "mama go have baby" after I left, haha. But she did splendidly, of course, with her daddy and I think will do just as well with her grandparents when the time comes. And I'm feeling pretty officially ready for baby #2 to join us in a few weeks :).

 Trash tv exhibit A 

Trash tv exhibit B