Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tutus and Touchdowns

I chose this to be the theme for Chaselyn's second birthday, and quite frankly I don't think any other theme would capture our little girl any better. Chaselyn is our uber-girly little girl, but at the same time, she loves to run around outside and watch some "feetball". Chaselyn is constantly obsessed with shoes. Whether she's picking out some from her collection or finding some fun sparkly shoes in Mommy's closet, she loves to have things on her feet. Just a few days ago, she even branched out and tried to pick some shoes out for me. While trying to get ready for the grocery store, I couldn't find my shoes. My trusty personal assistant went to my closet and promptly brought me a pair of dressy wedges that I've only worn about 3 times in my life and said "Mommy wear this." She's particularly fond of these particular shoes because they are the tallest shoes I have and one of only a few pairs that I restrict her from playing with. On the other hand you should have heard the pure joy in her voice and seen the excitement on her face when her Daddy brought home a football shaped balloon for her party. I wish I would have had the camera ready. Granted, she's been asking me for one every time we go to HEB since the beginning of football season, but it was amazing to hear her so joyous.

Over the past year, Chaselyn has grown much more than I could ever capture in one post. Soon after her first birthday, we got to really see her enjoy Christmas for the first time. She was so excited by the wagon that Santa brought she wanted to sit in it while she opened her presents. Christmas '09 was also our first glimpse at exactly how girly this girl would be.

By the time she turned 18 months old, she was already a big sister. And I swear to you, somehow she knew that meant she was more mature. In just a few short weeks, she grew taller, and just started morphing into a little toddler. She started asserting her independence. She began asking for specific things. She started forming sentences. A truly amazing transformation came along with her new role of big sister. And since then she's continued to grow and learn to care for her little brother. She really likes to help Mommy. She's a fantastic pacy finder and she can even give the pacy to Jacob if she wants to. She can find toys, blankets, diapers, and wipies in a flash. She also loves to love on Jacob. Lately she's been mimicking my form of showing love by "Squeezing my Jacob". She's kissed his owies. She hugs him to make him feel better. She also tries to comfort him by yelling "Jacob. Ok Buddy." while continuing to concentrate on whatever important task she is trying to complete. I think she may have heard and seen this behavior modeled by someone else except this someone else usually says "Jacob, you're ok Buddy."

It is unbelievably fun to learn along with Chaselyn. Seeing her develop problem solving skills, expanding her vocabulary, and learning basic identification of letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, is just an fun road to walk down. You can see her joy when she gets something right. You can see the wheels turning in her head when she's trying to figure something out. You can hear the frustration when she's trying to say something and the words just won't come out right. You can feel the love in her heart when she gives you a squeeze and gives you a little pat on the back.

So, let's get to it, what is Chaselyn up to these days?

Eating: Chaselyn eats 3 healthy (usually) meals a day along with an afternoon snack and the occassional after dinner treat. Her favorite food is still ravioli, or as she likes to say "owie-oli". She also likes ham, turkey, cheese, hot gogs (hot dogs), frup (fruit), saysins (raisins), lilk (milk), juice (asks for apple or orange specifically), mataroni (macaroni), and pizza. Notice the lack of veggies. She still eats veggies that we give her, but she rarely asks to have any veggies.

Sleeping: Chaselyn sleeps like a champ. Usual bedtime is around 7:30pm and we generally don't hear another peep out of her until around 7:00am. Naptime is around 11:30 and generally lasts about 1.5 hours. I don't think naps at school are quite this long. She has on a couple of occassions woke up screaming from what we can only figure to be bad dreams. This makes us very sad. What kind of bad dreams does a toddler have?

Playing: Chaselyn absolutely LOVES to play outside. She likes to pick up rocks, acorns, and leaves. Inside she loves to color and is getting pretty good at it too. Reading is a favorite too. But more than anything, I would say she likes building with her Duplo blocks best. Several times on the way home from various places she has asked to build when she gets home. She builds houses and big towers. I think she likes building towers with Daddy the best. She's just now starting to interact with other kids while playing. She enjoys playing on the playground at school and had a blast running around in the backyard with her friends at her birthday party. Learning to share is a current battle. Like many 2 year olds, her favorite word is "Mine."

Edumacation: Chaselyn is already working on letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Her alphabet sounds something like this: "My Baby C's. A-B-C...lmno-P!...Y-Z. Sing me."

And her numbers sound like: "1,2,6,7,8,10!"

She can generally identify circles and squares and anything else is usually also called either a circle or a square.

She is very good at matching most colors. Meaning that if you show her a red block and ask her to find another red block, her success rate is fairly high. Just playing the what color is it game, she's pretty good at identifying red, brown, green and orange.

Pushing: The limits that is. Chaselyn is quickly developing her sense of boundaries and pushing Mommy to the furthest millimeter of her sanity. Learning to reason (or better yet avoiding trying to reason) with a 2 year old is quite a hard leap for the logical minds of the grown-ups in the house. Chaselyn can pick between two things, so if you say "Do you want to keep shopping or go home?" You better be ready to enforce it on the rare occasion she opts for going home. Also surprisingly she'll still put herself in time out sometimes. She knows when Mommy is upset and she'll say "No Ma'am. Timeout." to herself and go get her little step and sit in the corner. However this is generally for offenses that I wouldn't really require a timeout. When she really needs a timeout, she tends to go pretty easily, it's just a matter of getting her to sit still for 2 minutes.

Sistering: Chaselyn is a super helper around the house. She will do nearly anything she can to help most of the time. She loves tasks like putting Mommy's shoes in the closet and helping switch over the laundry. But above all she can retrieve anything Jacob needs. Blankets, diapers, wipes, paci, toys, anyting just say the word and she's running to find it. Sometimes she'll even get blankets, paci and toys for Jacob without prompting. She loves the little guy. She gives him good night kisses and hugs. She reads to him. She squeezes him to within an inch of pain. She plays with him as much as she can. And they have some of the cutest little laugh offs you've ever heard. Peek-a-boo is another favorite sibling game.

Loving: The love of a little tot is so amazing. "I lodle you Mommy" is so sweet. Especially when one of the first times you hear it it's being shouted through a paper towel roll. Though you aren't quite sure if they know what it means or why they do it. When your little one hugs you back for the first time or gives you a kiss to make you feel better it's truly a special moment. Since Chaselyn is currently into counting, we've found that if we count how many kisses she gives us, we can usually get a lot more out of her. And we also ask for extra squeezes in her hugs. But the most amazing dispaly was about a month ago when Stanton and I were battling some sore throats and utter exhaustion. Chaselyn told me to lay down on the couch, she got a blanket and told me to feel better. And when I told her that my head hurt she gave it a kiss. So caring and loving. :)

A letter for Chaselyn


If you can't already tell, you have us wrapped around your little finger. Sometimes you get a little possessive and grumpy, but then out of nowhere you tell us you love us or give us a hug or take a toy to Jacob and we simply melt. How can we discipline such a sweet little girl? You are making us learn and grow in so many ways. We are doing our best to set a good example, but it's a lot of pressure. You've been with us for 2 years now and you still amaze us at every turn. In a glimpse we see the exact replica of Mommy and an instant later you are the spitting-image of Daddy. It gives us great joy to see those little things in us that we love and pains us to see those things that we hoped would stop with our generation.

Above all we hope that we are teaching you to love God and to rely on Him even more than us. That sentence was hard to type, but it is truth. So far you are ever mindful of praying before meals. You know that "God made the sun, God made the trees and God made me." And one of your favorite songs to sing is Jesus Loves Me. You love to go to church and sit on the green carpet and learn more about God. And we feel so blessed that we are able to teach you during that time. Praise time at the beginning of church is fun too. You watch everyone and dance on occasion. It's such a blessing to see you forming a love of God and His Church.

I know we've said it before and we'll be saying it for the rest of your life, but you NEVER cease to amaze us. Even while you are sleeping, we like to come and take a peek and listen to little snores. As you play, we watch the wheels turning. While you read, we see you making up things the book must be saying. While you run and dance, we see the miracle of God's creation and the joy that we can express just by letting go and being free.

You are such a blessing. And we appreciate every little moment and every little new development that we get to share.

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm working on it...

Because I haven't found a way to summarize what I want to say about our precious girl, I'll give you a preview of pics from her birthday parties. :) Full post about our 2 year old soon.

Unfortunately, the pictures are being shown newest to oldest. Which is not what I want, but I don't know how to fix it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two Old

Though it was a strain, I've been working with Chaselyn for about a month teaching her that she is two years old. So now, if I ask her how old she is, she will respond "Two old." and hold up her two cute little chubby fingers with a big grin on her face and her amazing set of curls framing her face and a little proud twinkle in her eye. But usually all I hear is "Too old." How can it be that two years ago at this time I was beaming with pride of having successfully endured getting hooked up to an IV without passing out and now, I beam with pride over this precious little person who calls me Mommy?

I will write a post for Chaselyn's growth/accomplishments/memories soon, but I felt a much greater need right now to post about what I am feeling more than just giving the facts.

Today, my heart aches. It aches because I now longer have Baby Chaselyn. I have a toddler who does new and amazing things everyday. But never again will I be able to see her gummy grins or her wobbly little stumpy legs taking those first steps. Never again will it just be the 3 of us.

My heart aches from the cuteness of the things she's learning and doing everyday. Yesterday we had some awesom cuddle time (which I've been desperately missing for about a year now) and it seems like everyday she does something ridiculously cute and my love just grows and grows everyday it feels like my heart will burst.

My heart aches for the little person that Chaselyn is becoming and the responsibility I have to raise her right. I wonder if I can stand the temptation to swoop in and fix every little problem for her rather than letting her navigate it on her own. I wonder if I'm laying a good foundation in these first years of understanding to build on in the future. I hurt from the idea that I've already made some indelible mistakes that won't be easily overcome.

My heart aches from the knowledge that really I'm just now getting into the real tough part of parenting. She's only 2. She doesn't remember too much, so I probably haven't scarred her for life yet. But now she is a little sponge soaking up every little detail of life. She's primed to mimick my every move. And I am not always the example I need to be for my daughter. I can see in the upcoming years converstaions about important topics. I can see that she's going to push her limits and I will have to be firm. I can see that she will experience her own bumps and bruises, both metaphorically and physically, and I have to know how and when to fix everything.

And finally, my heart aches for the realization that I've developed of having a more global view of the impact of family. I now know what it is to be a mom. And I am so sorry for the torment I put my mom through. I'm sorry that I didn't listen more. I'm sorry that I didn't soak in more of the knowledge that my parents, grandparents, and other family and friends were giving me. I'm sorry that for so long I didn't understand or even attempt to understand the kind of love that a parent has for a child.

But amongst all of the aching, the overall feeling of today is JOY and THANKFULNESS! I am joyful because of the blessing that Chaselyn is to my life. I am joyful because of the amazing people who I have drawn closer to because she is in my life. I am joyful because at the end of the day, I do get to go and squeeze my little girl and she will say "I love you Mommy." even if she doesn't really understand what it means. And I am thankful for all the lessons that Chaselyn has taught me in the two short years she has been around. I've learned more from becoming a parent than I ever learned in school. It's an awesome ride and I thank God for every up and down and loop-de-loop He has put on my path.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Ducky!

Stanton here with one of my rare and elusive guest appearances. It takes a lot to get me out of my blogging hidey hole, but wishing my amazing Mom a Happy Birthday is a no brainier. She is one of the sweetest and generous ladies we know and will stop at no ends to care for those that she loves. I freely credit her for most of my better qualities and hereby take upon on myself full responsibility for all of that other stuff I do that might and sometimes does bring about public ridicule. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Here's an extra special message from some tiny tots. You're one quack-tastic Ducky! We love you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Half Birthday

Jacob Stanton Greer is 6 months old (and 2 days). He's a handsome chubby little fella. And a true delight to be around. His little personality is so joyful and so perfect. He has filled out in the face and in general all over since we started him on the different cereals. We have yet to introduce any fruits or veggies, but they are coming soon. We won't get the official weigh in and other details until we go to the doctor in a couple weeks, but he seems a lot more hefty than he did previously, so I imagine he'll move up on the comparative weight scale.

Here's what my little man can do:
  • Rolls from back to belly
  • Learned to enjoy tummy time a bit more
  • Has excellent neck strength to hold up his head
  • Can follow Chaselyn and Holly with his eyes all around the room
  • Sitting up...almost. He's not quite there yet, but I really feel like he'll have it in less than a week. Right now it's only for a couple of seconds when he feels like it.
  • Standing. Obviously not on his own, but up until the last couple of weeks he had shown no interest in using his legs to stand on. Previously his legs were strictly used as feet holders.
  • Laugh. The boy is ticklish and apparently all the people around him are hilarious. It's a glorious sound.
  • Gurgles, raspberries, Chewbacca noises, etc.
  • Grab items and put them directly in his mouth. Good because he can recover his dropped paci on some occassions. Bad because he's not at all discriminatory as to what goes in his mouth to pacify.
  • Sprout teeth. His bottom two front teeth popped up a couple weeks ago!
  • Hold out until you do what he wants. He can be very patient, but when he's had enough, he lets you know. He'll go along with pretty much anything for a while, but then he will go crazy and you better figure out what it is that he needs fast.
  • Take all kinds of love. Even the kind of love that is displayed by bonks on the head from his big sister. Not that she intentionally bonks him on the head, she just wants to be close to him. And sometimes she doesn't realize how close she already is. Squeezes, blanket hugs (i.e. Chaselyn laying on him like a blanket), slobbery kisses, and more. It's amazing to watch for a minute and then I realize that I need to be the referee.

It's amazing to know the love of having two children. I think I can appreciate the little things in Jacob that maybe I missed a little when Chaselyn was an infant. Now I know not all kids do particular things. I see the differences between them and it's still hard to explain how they are different. All I know is that I'm thankful for the inexplicable love that I feel from a tiny baby boy that you wouldn't think would be able to show love.


In the past 6 months you have made us realize that there is no limit to the amount of love a person can have in their heart. Just when we think we can't love any more your precious smile and laugh just push us that much further. We are so thankful that God has blessed us to have you in our family. We look forward to seeing the man you will become. We treasure these times we have to literally hold you in our hands. We can see that these days are quickly slipping away and we want to snuggle and cuddle and love on you as much as possible while you'll still let us. You are an amazing gift and we are so thankful.

Mommy and Daddy.