Monday, March 30, 2009

The Big Girl Bed

Since Tori is going to be 2 in just 13 short days, we decided to put the crib away and get a big girl bed. We have had the bed for a while, but we still needed to get a mattress set. Duane went and got it Saturday morning, trying to beat the huge snowstorm the meteorologists had predicted. After the bridal shower for Duane's cousin's fiancee, we put the bed together. Tori seemed to be unaffected by the goings on around her, but I hoped the evening would bring about utter excitement at sleeping in a "big girl bed." We really worked hard to pump her up, even getting Emmalee involved. Much to my chagrin, it failed miserably. She was up too many times to count Saturday night, and then last night I got less than 3 hours of sleep because of this fabulous, oh-so-wonderful big girl bed.

I want the crib back! I don't care how long she stays in it, how much we paid for the bed and mattresses, or all the work involved in taking down and putting up all the furniture (though I am sure my husband would have something different to say about that). I can't believe we had a good thing going with the sleeping in the crib and then took it all away for some over-rated big girl bed. Now, maybe I am just bitter because Emmalee was out of her crib at 15 months, but I fully expected the transition to be much smoother. I guess time will tell...

Here is sleeping beauty in her big girl bed-it didn't last long!

I guess the highlight of all this is that I am spending lots of quality time with Tori,and she has my undivided attention-except for when I start to doze off because it is 3 o'clock in the morning! Despite it all, I still love her more than words can say!

6 years ago...

It's hard for me to remember a time when Emmalee wasn't a part of our lives, but in reality it has only been 6 years. I can remember thinking I would never hear the words, "You're going to have a baby." While it seemed to be relatively easy for so many people I knew, getting pregnant with Emmalee was not. Our Dr. had said that if I wasn't pregnant by the end of March, he was going to start fertility testing. I remember praying so long and so hard for that positive test result. When I actually saw it and heard the words, I couldn't believe my prayers had been answered.

While the pregnancy itself had many ups and downs, I could live with all of them, knowing the outcome was all I had prayed about. Even though the labor and delivery was not the best by any stretch of the imagination, holding Emmalee for the first time was absolutely worth every tear I shed, every morning (afternoon and night) I was sick, and every single contraction (33 hours worth!)

My life has been blessed by Emmalee's birth in ways too numerous to mention, but I will mention the highlights. I have learned that there is more love in my heart than I ever thought possible. I have found that now I don't measure myself against my friends, co-workers, or society's definition of perfect, but by the way Emmalee smiles when I see her after a long day at work. I am blessed by the stories she tells, the way she loves to learn, the songs she sings, the way she loves to dance, her gentle appraoch to her little sister, and, of course, her infectious laugh.

Most of all, I am blessed to be the mom of one of the best little girls I know!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Crazy, Fun Weekend

As busy weekends go, this one ranks right at the top of "how much can you pack into 1 day?" Saturday was a busy but fun day. It started out as I headed to work for 4 hours while Daddy watched the girls. Daddy was sick, so he did his supervising from the sofa wrapped in a blanket, but the girls and the house all looked amazing when I got home, so apparently this worked out well. When I got home, Daddy headed to bed for some much needed rest, and I headed to the Richmond area with Emmalee and Tori for one of Emmalee's friend's birthday parties. After dropping Tori off with Gamma, Emmalee and I headed to Jadelynn's birthday party. Emmalee had the best time ever. There was a magician, who also made balloon animals. After playing shy for a bit, Emmalee warmed right up and even got involved in the magic show as an assistant.

Here is Emmalee laughing hysterically at the magician during one of his tricks.

Emmalee running around with her balloon pony.

Emmalee got to twirl a plate on her finger-she was so proud of herself.
After we picked up Tori we headed home as Mommy and Daddy had dinner plans and Konner was coming over to play with the girls. The girls love playing with her and were so excited when she got there. Our dinner was short and sweet, as Daddy still didn't feel very well. Emmalee was disappointed we weren't gone longer, but Daddy just didn't feel up to much else.
Sunday brought about Papa's birthday, so we headed up the road for lunch and some play time with the cousins. The kids had fun playing with Kaitlyn and Gavin, and they were both exhausted, making bed time pretty easy. However, Emmalee woke up at about 1:15 complaining her chest hurt. We did a quick move into her yellow zone on her asthma action plan, and after about 45 minutes of coughing and crying, she was able to calm down and go to sleep. Hopefully we won't be headed to the pediatrician's office today!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Busy Continues...

So this past weekend continued the busy trend at our house. Friday night I had to supervise the Student Council Dance from 6-9. Emmalee had the best time and really enjoyed dancing with all the big kids. She said it was the greatest day of her whole life and she felt like such a celebrity. The 13 and 14 year-olds are so good with her and treat her so well. I really enjoyed watching them interact.

Saturday was a day that was "all about Tori," as Emmalee put it. First we went and picked out her big girl bed. Then we went to get goodies for her birthday party treat bags. The next stop was lunch to refuel for a long afternoon of shopping. We looked for birthday party outfits for hours and left with something that will just have to do (as I have run out of time to look for anything else). The day was long but fun. Sunday was another busy day with church and wedding shower planning for Duane's cousin and his fiancee. At the end of the weekend, I felt like I needed a break from my break.

Emmalee has had "Green Day" on Monday and "Hat Day" today (where she sported a pink princess cowgirl hat). We are looking forward to another busy, fun weekend.

Here are some pics of the girls sporting their Gamma-made St. Patrick's Day shirts.

Emmalee is mommy's pot of gold

Tori is daddy's lucky charm

And here are our two pretty princesses posing together...

The Beginning of Busy...

March has arrived and with it the beginning of busy weekends for the O’Dell family. Spring brings us into what we call “birthday season” at our house, and two weekends ago was the start of it. The girls had a fabulous time at Nathan’s 2nd birthday party. There was a play area with slides and climbing rope “things”. Tori thoroughly enjoyed the slides, and Emmalee enjoyed all aspects of the play area, especially having Stella tag along. She talked about Stella Bella (or Stelli) for a good part of the day, and Tori, referring to her as Lella, kept thinking we were going somewhere else that Stella would be. It was fantastic to see our friends, and we are so happy we were invited to celebrate Nathan’s big day!

Here Emmalee and Tori are enjoying the party!

After we left the party, we stopped by Alyssa and Landon’s house for a “mini play date,” as Emmalee called it. She had so much fun playing with Alyssa and was quite unhappy with me for making her leave “way too soon!” Tori loved seeing Landon. She is infatuated with babies and kept saying “Hi baby” to him. While I am sure he didn’t find it as amusing as she did, he was a very good sport. Emmalee has already checked her calendar and is ready to schedule another “longer” play date.

Once we left there we went Easter dress shopping. I had already picked out a dress for Tori on a previous shopping trip, but I left Emmalee choose her own-of course, I guided her toward the ones I really liked. Convincing her to get the one I really wanted was as easy as telling her that the one she chose wasn’t as “fancy” as Tori’s. It was all over after that! I am not proud of my parenting tactics, but the pictures will be fabulous!

Here are the girls doing a little coloring on our semi-calm Sunday

Sunday was a bit calmer, after a night of strong storms and no electricity Sunday morning. After returning from church we read lots of books for Emmalee’s quest for a free pizza from the Book-It program. Emmalee is really working hard on her reading skills and is trying to go beyond the basic sight word type books she reads at school. It is amazing to me how she went from completely disinterested to wanting to read Fancy Nancy books overnight. She was not amused by Tori’s antics during her reading time and simply “couldn’t concentrate.” We managed to get through 8 books for Emmalee alone, along with the same two books for Tori over and over. I won’t complain, as it is my dream for both girls to love reading as much as I do!

Another fun snapshot of Tori being the "baby" and Emmalee being the "mommy."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Medicine and Manicures

What a weekend! Life is usually pretty hectic at our house, but for the most part, it slows down on the weekends. This weekend was definitely an exception. I worked on Saturday, which I do from time to time to have a quiet place to get caught up on grading and planning. This also allows the girls to have some valuable daddy time without mommy there. This weekend we were projected to get a good snow fall, so I decided to get around extra early to be sure I made it in time. Tori woke up at 4 and that was then end of me sleeping. We ended up getting a miniscule amount of snow, so I didn’t need to leave early after all.

Tori had a rough night Saturday night as well, leaving mommy with about 2-3 hours (not consecutive, by the way) of sleep. It was at that point that I knew she needed to go to the dr., as I would not be able to function at work without any sleep while we waited out whatever she had. Turns out she has double pink eye and needed a steroid, so hopefully we are on the path to recovery. She was such a big girl about getting her eye drops-not a flinch or fuss the whole time! She actually slept through the night, allowing mommy some much needed rest before returning to work today.

Emmalee had a big time on Friday when she attended her first birthday party without mommy, daddy, or Gamma. Her good friend Mira turned 5 last week, and the girls went for a manicure after preschool Friday. Emmalee has beautifully painted pink fingernails with a lovely design (her words). After getting their nails done, they went for pizza. She was on cloud nine when they got home and talked all weekend about the party. Emmalee was so proud of herself for being such a big girl and going to the party without us. We knew she was in good hands, as Erin, Mira’s mom, always looks out for Emmalee’s well-being and is very cautious of her food allergies. I know Emmalee is really going to miss her friends she has made in preschool over the past two years, especially since the school year is nearly over, and she will soon be attending school in Chillicothe. I know she will make great new friends there, but I hope she always stays in contact with these first new friends. We have all grown pretty attached to them!