Whitlee | Three Years Old

Our first little love turned three years old on November 25. I can’t believe she’s already three!

We skipped the big birthday party this year and took her to Pleasure Pier in Galveston the weekend before while the weather was still pretty warm and then surprised her with “sparkle” (sprinkle) donuts and presents on her actual birthday! And after many late nights, approximately 3,784 popsicle sticks and probably the same amount of hot glue sticks, I was finally able to surprise her with her very own custom Barbie House! I’m so glad she loves it!

Third Birthday Interview

(These are her real answers, just as she said them to me! Some of them are so funny!)

How old are you?

Four

When is your birthday?

Twenty fifth one

What is your favorite color?

Purple!

What’s your favorite food?

Um, chicken nuggets

What is your favorite song?

Dirt on my boooooots

Who is your best friend?

Tyner is!

What’s your favorite animal?

Um, a panda!

What are you scared of?

Bad guys

What is your favorite thing to watch?

Max (secret life of pets)

What makes you sad?

When daddy leaves to go to work

What makes you happy?

Yaya does. I like Yaya.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Wash dishes. And laundry.

Where is your favorite place to go?

Target

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Um, a mommy!

What does love really mean?

You want to play with them!

Happy THIRD birthday to our baby girl! I have never known a love like the love I have for you. You are the sweetest big sister and you make your daddy and I so proud all the time at how smart you are! (Almost too smart sometimes!) You have got to be one of the funniest kids ever, and you’re constantly giving me a run for my money. Sugar and spice fits you perfectly! Hope you have the best birthday – we love you more than the world!

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Whitlee Alyzabeth | My Big Girl

I haven’t posted much about our firstborn little love lately so I wanted to take some time to make a special post about our girl. Whitlee is 2 years and 8 months, and I am more in love with her than ever. She has truly handled our chaos with Huck so well and I couldn’t be more proud. Don’t get me wrong, she’s testing her limits with each and every person these days but I’m not 100% sure that’s not just her age in general. She has become such a social little girl and speaks to (almost) everyone she comes in contact with. I can’t help but think she’s making some of these people’s days.. there are so many that seem so sad where we’re at. 

She does something almost every day that either amazes me or has me in tears from laughing or usually both. Her perception and ability to retain information seriously blows. my. mind. I mentioned the bat colony here in Houston a couple of weeks ago and said something about going on a date. Then this past Saturday I asked if she wanted to go on a date with mama and daddy (said nothing about bats) and she said, “Yea! To go see the bats??” I was so shocked that she even remembered that. Nolan didn’t even know what she was talking about until I reminded him about the bat colony I’d mentioned. 

She absolutely loves her baby brother. She talks about him all the time and likes to pretend she’s his doctor when she visits him at the hospital. She listens to him with a stethoscope and then says, “okay, doing great!” It’s going to be such a change for her when he finally comes home because she doesn’t know that he doesn’t actually belong at the hospital forever. I think it’s going to be the sweetest / most trying / most rewarding thing ever to have both kiddos under one roof finally. 

I honestly can’t believe how independent she’s become over the last 4 months or so. It was like Huck was born and she suddenly became a little girl and not a baby at all anymore. And she’ll tell you real quick “I not a baby! I a big girl!” She sleeps all by herself in a big girl bed both at home and in the travel trailer we’re living in temporarily. She’s fully potty trained except for bedtime and does so good at telling us when she needs to go. 

I wish I could write down everything she does and says and convey the hilariousness of this child because whether it’s dancing in her extra big tshirt saying “I’m a princess!” or doing pretend voices or telling me her own bedtime stories, she is so full of life! Her latest special thing is hugging me and saying, “I really like you, mama.” Lord, help me remember that when she’s 13 and thinks she hates me because I permed her hair after she begged me to and ends up with “worm hair”… 😉

All of this being said, I hate that our family is so split up and I miss her with everything I have when I’m away from her. I think that’s been my biggest struggle so far; truly wanting to be in two places at one time. I try to make sure I take Saturday afternoons off from the hospital and spend quality time with her and Nolan, just the three of us – we go on Whitlee dates. Sometimes it’s just swimming at the RV park and sometimes it’s dinner out and watching thousands of bats fly out from under a bridge at sunset. 

One day I hope she reads this and knows how much her daddy and I love her with all of our hearts. That her brother wasn’t ever a replacement or that he was more important than her, but we wanted her to have a best friend for life in him and unfortunately he just ended up needing a little extra help and attention in his first few months. I hope she knows how absolutely proud of her we are and that we think she’s the bravest and smartest little girl ever. And that one hug from her makes everything okay again for me. I hope she knows I cry for her sometimes when she’s away from me because I wish I could have both my babies with me 24/7. But I hope she knows she’s made all of this just a tiny bit easier for me with the fact that she’s been so flexible. I like not having to worry if she’s having fun or being taken care of. And that every time she tells me she loves me, I know she was sent here by God to take extra special care of her mama. 

Whitlee Alyzabeth, you are loved in a way that no words will ever explain and I hope you never forget it. You will always be my baby girl. 

Life Lately | Big Sister

Our sweet girl is a little over 2 now (almost 27 months if you’d like exacts) and we’ve been really caught up in life all about baby brother lately so I wanted to do a post just for her. I’m sure there will at least be mention of Huck though, because she’s pretty into him too. 


I guess the biggest milestone is that she got a big girl bed last week! I’m still waiting to put a few more things on her wall above her bed but her new room is pretty much complete. We decided to skip the toddler bed and just go with a twin that was close to the floor. Prior to the switch, she would go down for the night pretty easily in her crib, and sleep through the night. She started calling for me when she’d wake up in the mornings a few months ago. I was a little worried about her getting up too much during the night or falling out of it. We talked a lot about how she’s a big girl now and asked her if it was okay if we give the baby bed to Huck. She was pretty excited about it all. The first night she was really excited to get in it… until she realized she had to stay in it. There were lots of tears and saying “scared” so I ended up staying with her a while, patting her back and telling her it was okay. But every time I’d try to leave, she got upset. So I eventually bribed her and said if she stayed all night in her big girl bed, she’d get a surprise in the morning (a few m&ms after breakfast). And it worked! She slept all night and called for me when she woke up. Each night got a little easier and then she figured out she could get up by herself in the morning, but thankfully (knock on wood) she hasn’t gotten up in the middle of the night yet. So far, so good. It hasn’t quite been a whole week yet though.

She’s pretty talkative these days and I’m not sure if I understand her so well because I’m her momma but I feel like she speaks more clearly than some 3 and 4 year olds I know. A few conversations lately:

A neighbors dog was in our yard while we were outside playing. 

Momma! A puppy!!

Whitlee, I’m not sure about that puppy. He might not be nice. Let’s leave him alone and see if he’ll go home. 

Mag mag knows this puppy. It okay momma. 

(Mag mag is our dog, Maggie)

Whitlee, what did you and mawmaw do today?

Umm… go to Target! (They didn’t)

You did?! Did you get me a present??

Uh huh!!

What did you get me??

Umm… tape! 

Tape?

Uh huh!! REAL tape!!

While getting paint for Huck’s room mixed at Walmart 

Look, that guy is mixing the paint for Huck’s room. He’s gonna shake it up real good for us. 

That for baby Huck’s room?

Yes, that paint is for his wall

She starts trying to pull my shirt up over my belly

Uh, excuse me. What are you doing, ma’am?

Pull you shirt up so baby Huck can see his paint. 



Anytime I grunt or groan, usually when I’m getting up from the floor or couch 

What mad bout, momma?

Our conversations are usually extremely funny and her perspective on things is so fun to watch. She’s also learned a few bad habits and has small tantrums pretty often. We usually make her go stand in the corner when she throws stuff during a fit or tries to hit or kick, and it calms her down really fast. Thankfully her fits are pretty short lived. 

She can also count to 12 and say her whole ABC’s. 

As far as Huck goes, she asks about him a lot but she doesn’t know he’s sick. She just asks “when Huck be here, momma?” Or she points at things in his room and says “that for baby Huck!” She also says his whole name if you ask what her brother’s name is. 

So that’s just a little update on our first little love. We can’t believe she’ll be a big sister soon!! 

Comforter | Sheet Set | Bed (similar here)

Life Lately

Turns out, I’m a little better at just posting a mishmash update instead of trying to schedule some sort of routine-like postings. 🙂

  • I decided to do bumpdates for the new little baby every 3 weeks. It was a little insane trying to make sure I got a new picture each week with Whitlee and it seems like a lot of my updates were the same since they were so close together, so 3 weeks sounds more do-able for me, plus I don’t have to wrangle Whitlee once a week while we snap a bump pic. 
  • Speaking of the new babe, I had my first ultrasound yesterday, measuring right on track and then just after they told me since it was so early that they may or may not be able to see a heartbeat yet, we saw the sweetest little flutter and heard a heartbeat! 6 weeks today. The first ultrasound always makes it seem very real to me. I love it. 
  • We just got back from our vacation in Orange Beach, Alabama and it was such a good time, complete with our little daredevil going down water slides by herself, lots of playing in the beach sand, mama getting a little jelly fish sting on the first day, good food (ohh, the food), souvenir shopping, and watching our baby girl experience the beach life for the first time. 
  • We’re in the throws of potty training right now and tonight, Whitlee pooped in the potty for the first time. Well Nolan walked in and saw it and said, “wow! that’s a monster turd!” And then Whitlee was suddenly terrified of the potty and “monster turds”. It was so funny and so insane and it took forever to get her not scared enough to use the potty again. 
  • I scored a vintage Jenny Lind twin bed for Whitlee a couple weekends ago for $50. I’m still so freaking stoked about it. I have been searching e v e r y w h e r e for one because we couldn’t stomach the price tag on the one at Land of Nod. 
  • Whitlee is so sweet about the new baby. She loves to lay her head on my stomach and she’ll pat it gently or give it kisses. My heart!
  • She’s also talking consistently in small sentences. She seems so big! You can ask her “what’s in your tummy?” and she says “roni!” (macaroni), then say “what’s in mama’s tummy?” and she says “baby!” and then ask her “what’s in daddy’s tummy?” and she says “umm, BEER!” She’s too much. My favorite phrase right now is probably “watch, daddy!” or “Whitlee do it.” and of course “love you, mama.” 💗

A few pictures from Orange Beach

   

  

   

Life Lately

Since I haven’t posted lately, I figured I’d just do a mishmash post about what we’ve been up to. We’ve been 90 to nothing as usual but more so since we’ve been soaking up this summer. We’ve been to the family lake house more times than I can count at this point, literally weekends in a row. Whitlee loves the boat and swimming. Every time we stop she says “Out! Swim!” 

    

We’ve also been to the zoo and two different waterparks.  

  
 
Nolan and I went on an adults only weekend trip to Austin with his sister and her husband. I missed Whitlee way too much! 
  

 
We also moved a play set from my in laws to our house and we play on it every single day. We’ve also swam in the little pool any day that we haven’t had anything to do and that the weather has cooperated. 

     
 
I’m still not back to work yet but I do have something in the works.. just not quite ready to share yet. Whitlee is growing like a weed, and talking even more than my last update, putting more and more words together. We basically have conversations now. She actually just got in my face and said “Paw Patrol?” And I said “you want me to put it back on paw patrol?” Then she said “yes ma’am.” She’s getting really good at manners lately saying a lot of no ma’am, yes ma’am, please and thank you unprompted. She also apparently has an opinion about things now. She demands to pick her own bow and is concerned about if it matches. She’s actually really good at picking one that matches pretty well. Oh and a few mornings ago, I held up an outfit and asked if she wanted to wear it and she said “No! Pink!” and was upset until I found her a pink outfit. I’m sure her teenage years will give me a run for my money. She’s currently cutting her canine teeth, three at one time, yay. I’ve started planning her s e c o n d birthday. I can’t even believe we have an almost 2 year old and we’re talking about 2 year old things like big girl beds and potty training and some pretty intense tantrums. She’s getting so big so fast. We have one more vacation this year which is our real vacation to Orange Beach, Alabama. This will be Whitlee’s first real vaca. I’m so looking forward to it! Other than all of that, it’s been our regular fast paced life.. we just try to keep up!
   
    
      

Whitlee | 18 Months

  

Well, I’m almost a full month behind on Whitlee’s 18 month post, but ya know… life happens. We recently had a very unexpected, very abrupt change to our life. Some of you may have noticed fuel prices in the United States have been down a while, which to most has been a blessing. Even my husband and I have been known to appreciate a cheap tank of gas. But as a result, there has been a significant impact on the people that work in the oil industry. A lot of people we know have lost their jobs and had to switch fields. I was fortunate enough to be spared in the beginning since the department I worked in dealt primarily with natural gas, and not directly in the oil industry. But the company I worked for had an oilfield division that took a pretty big hit and we had to absorb those people. So based on seniority, they did a large layoff and I lost my job. I was really upset at first, but I have been truly soaking up my time as a stay at home mom. Recently, while spending the day at the waterpark with Whitlee, my sister in law, and nephew, I realized I got the better end of the deal. I mean, work or waterpark with your baby? No contest there! It’s been a blessing in disguise and Whitlee and I have been living it up this summer. I am looking for another job, but it’s slow going. Anyway! On to the 18 month update. I feel like this update is totally different because now it just seems like “life”. Like she eats, she sleeps, she talks, we play, but I don’t pay much attention to the detail of it, like how much she eats or how much she sleeps or whatever. We just go with it. 
Stats:

We had her 18 month appointment on time and while I don’t remember the exact weight and height (again, I’ve chilled on details), I do know her pediatrician said she’s in the 5-10 percentile for weight and around 25th for height. A little small, but normal. They were also really impressed with how well she talks (again) and the pediatrician actually asked how we got her to talk so well. I was caught a little off guard because I just assumed it was normal activity for her age, but I told her I guess it’s because we just talk about everything. We read a lot of books, and we get her to repeat a lot, especially anything new that she sees, hears, eats, etc. They asked how many words she says, explaining that she should be saying between 10-15 real words now…. I’m just gonna say she has exceeded that by an extreme amount. She also got one little shot and didn’t even cry this time! She was super interested in her bandaid.

   

Eating:

She is eating really well these days. Since she got all four of her first molars, she just took off and basically eats whatever we’re eating. Still has the occasional texture issue (mashed potatoes are a no go), and is really into feeding herself. She likes to eat the toddler cereal bars but only if you peel the wrapper down a little and let her hold it like an adult would. Feeding herself makes for way more mess, but her coordination has to improve somehow. 

Food Likes
: Macaroni and cheese, yogurt, cereal bars, waffles, Gerber lil crunchies, chicken, steak, and suddenly – guacamole! She loves chips and salsa, too!

Food Dislikes: Mashed potatoes, eggs of any kind, baked beans, sweet potatoes, lunch meat

Sleep:

Oh Em Gee, y’all. My kid F I N A L L Y sleeps through the night, in her own bed. Only took 18 months (face palm), but we are finally there. About 16/17 months, she finally started sleeping in her bed the whole time with one, maybe two wake ups. These were usually due to a lost bink bink (pacifier). Well I finally took the plunge and we started going without the pacifier at naps. At first she was a little freaked out, and would cry for it, but she got the hang of it after a few days. Then one day, she found one in a drawer. So I cut a little off the tip so it had a hole in it and gave it back to her. She stuck it in her mouth and pulled it out and looked at it weird and said “broke?” So I said “oh no! I guess your bink bink is broke. I guess we have to throw it away.” She loves to throw stuff in the trash so I let her throw it away. I kept explaining it was “broke” and now it’s “gone gone” and kept telling her she’s so big now. She has a new baby cousin so that helped explain it too, that bink binks are for baby Parker and she’s a big girl now. A few shaky nights after that (maybe a week?) and it clicked. Now she goes down around 7:30/8, sleeps all night, wakes up around 7/7:30. I can’t even believe it. It seriously blows my mind. 

Milestones:

-More teeth of course. She has 12 now.

-Went to her first swimming lessons

-Tells people “hiiiiiiii” and “bye bye”

-Knows some of the pages in her books by memory 

-Got her toes painted for the first time

-Can put her shorts on by herself, still working on shirts

-Can also take her diaper off by herself. This one is a constant battle for her to keep. it. on.  

-weaned the pacifier 

-stayed two nights in a row with grandparents while we went out of town for a weekend

I said this at 15 months but I just cant get over her absolute toddler-ness at this point. She says things unprompted now like “please” and “thank you”. She also listens when she’s in trouble and says “yes ma’am”. We’re working on colors, but usually everything is pink lol. She does several animal sounds – cows, chickens, horses, cats, dogs, owl, monkey, duck, sheep, and does a “swish swish” thing for a butterfly. She has people association now, like that Tyner and Aunt Kendal and Uncle Justin go together. She will usually asks for what she wants and is pretty good at communicating what’s wrong when she’s upset. Some of my favorite things she says: 

Come on!
Broke

Work 

Yea, I know

Hush! ( with her finger on her lips)

Ponytail

Snake! 

‘Roni (macaroni)

Love love (I love you)

Wal-Mart  

She’s wearing mostly 18-24 month clothes, and she actually fits into a few 2T outfits. I’m dying. She’s such a big girl. She wears size 5 shoes and size 4 diapers, and we’re taaallllking about potty training. 

Likes:
-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, still calls her “Mimmy”

-Baby dolls and taking care of them – rocking them, wrapping them in a blanket, giving them a bottle, stealing their “bink bink”

-Finding Nemo

-Being outside

-Swimming, she asks to “wim!” every day (actually this past weekend, she kept saying “mama! Hot! ‘Wim! Hot! ‘Wim!”)

-Animals, especially Maggie “Mag Mag”

-Paw Patrol, calls it “Pups!”

-The lake and riding in the boat 

-helping with laundry

-painting, we made the cutest fathers day present and she loved helping

-getting her toenails painted

-makeup, calls it “make make”

-milk, still not really into much else to drink

-bows and clothes, after I get her dressed and I say “oh, you look so cute!”, she says “mirror!” so I can take her to see in the mirror.  

Dislikes:
-Being inside

-Being told no

-Bugs 

-Washing her face in the tub

  
18 months + has been so much fun. I think this is going to be our best summer yet. Our girl is old enough to go do things and actually enjoy them and hey, I’m apparently off work for a bit, so we might as well. Hope everyone reading is doing well! 

18+ month photo dump 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

Mom Life

A while back, I was laying on the couch with a sick kiddo finally sleeping, even though that meant she was literally sleeping on top of me, I was thinking about what it means to be a mom. 

Mom life is…

Eating lunch with one hand while holding her baby in the other arm.

Knowing every single word to every single song in every single Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode.  

Finding pacifiers in the craziest places and being able to hide them in lighting speed. (We only let Whitlee have them at night, so when we spot one out of place in the middle of the day, it’s a race to hide it before she spots it.)

Being relieved when your little one finally poops, even if it’s in the bathtub, because she’s been constipated all day. (True story.)

Cheering on daddy, as he spends way too much money throwing darts at balloons at the fair, just to win our baby girl the stuffed dinosaur she fell in love with. 

Feeling helpless when they’re sick and can’t tell you what hurts. 

Finding snacks in all. the. places. 

Mastering the quickest showers on Earth. 

Laying in bed at night, scrolling through the several dozen pictures you took of her that evening and wondering what you ever did with yourself without her.

I wouldn’t trade this mom life for any other life in the world. 💜