Monday, February 8, 2016

We Have A Four Year Old!

On Saturday our girl turned four!  She slept in until 8 (yay!) and on her way down the hall to our room said "I can't believe it's my birthday!"  When she appeared by our bed she made us look at how tall she was and then how long her arms and legs had gotten - as if miraculously overnight she'd grown a mile.  :)

This year has been a big one for my sweet L.  This was the year she officially went from toddler to kid.  She stopped playing independently, next to friends, and started playing with friends.  And boy, did she make friends!  She used to count our friends as her own, until we moved into a neighborhood with kids galore and she found out what real friends are.  And now she can't get enough. 

She laughed and played and became even more obsessed with Frozen.  She was obsessed with dress up and pretending, and has some legit acting chops.  She learned how to spell and write her name, started drawing self-portraits, and became even more independent than ever. 

Man, they're not kidding about that 3 year mark being hard.  There was a heck of a lot of defiance around here, and at times it's hard to keep in mind the beauty that goes along with raising high spirited, strong-willed little girls.  There's a great responsibility in channeling that energy in the right direction, and it can be exhausting.  But it's also my favorite thing in the world.  I tell her every day that God made her, He made her perfect, and He made her just for us.  The fact that I was chosen to raise this beautiful, outgoing, loving, friendly, caring, heart-of-gold, strong-willed girl just totally blows me away.  I will never be more thankful or proud to be her mama.

Love you, little Lyla!  Now stop growing!  :)

Here are some of my favorite photos from this last year.

- K




Thursday, February 4, 2016

Goan Goan

We're four days into this whole stay-at-home business, and having all sorts of fun, but I would be remiss to not mention our completely wonderful nanny that we said goodbye to last Friday.  And by goodbye I mean so long, because there's no way we ever let her out of our lives completely.

When I was pregnant we lived in Denver and had endless options for care givers in our own family.  When we decided to move I suddenly had to think about a stranger taking care of my precious baby.  So I made the best decision I could - I didn't think about it.  :)  I took care of Lyla and worked until she was almost 10 months old.  I had no idea how to choose a caregiver.  I toured daycares and signed up for  I finally nixed the daycare idea, and posted an ad for a nanny - which I never looked at again.  I have no idea how many applicants I even got.  A couple months later I posted another ad, and actually looked at the applicants but never reached out to anyone.  Finally I posted an ad, looked at the applicants, and reached out to a woman named Joan.  When she showed up to the interview I found out we were the only interview she'd gone on.  I was immediately comfortable with her and offered the position on the spot.  I even felt excited afterwards.  I still believe that meeting was no mere accident.

She worked with us for just over 3 years, and was the only nanny our girls ever knew.  And boy, did they love her.  Lyla deemed her "Goan Goan" as soon as she could talk, and it's stuck ever since.  Even Ryan and I refer to her as Goan.  :)  I thought a lot over the years about how difficult it would be to nanny kids whose mom is right around the corner.  But she handled it effortlessly and we made it work.  I will always be impressed with her ability to stay calm.  I literally never saw her lose her temper - not something I can say for myself.  At all.

Joan was absolutely the perfect fit for our family.  She was generous and loving and beyond helpful.  She left a mark on my babies, my pets, and my home, and I'm so glad to call her a friend.  She's a part of the family, for better or worse, and we'll never let her go.

Love you, Goan!  Here are some photos from that last day.  :)

- K


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Early Retirement

Well, tomorrow is a very big day.  My last day with Oracle, and the beginning of my stay-at-home adventure with two of the cutest girls that ever walked this earth.  I am so excited to have this opportunity, and I've been looking forward to it for a while.  It honestly feels a bit frivolous to be giving up my salary in order to play more with my babies, but I also know I would regret it with my whole heart if I didn't do it.

Growing up, being a stay-at-home-mom was not on my list of things to do.  I didn't think I'd like it one bit.  When I had Lyla all that changed, and I have a distinct memory from right after I had her.  We were still in our pajamas and I was just staring at her, and I thought I could do this.  I could do only this every day and be happy forever.  It's hard to believe that it's been almost exactly four years since that moment, but in those four years our family has worked hard to get where we are.  We've made goals and decisions carefully, and I'm so grateful that we've been able to get to this place.

As with every chapter that closes in my life, the decision is bittersweet.  As this day has approached I've had flashbacks to every part of my working life.  I've basically worked since I was 12 years old - from babysitting to life-guarding to retail to banking.  I've been involved with Oracle in one way or another since 2006.  An entire decade.  That blows my mind a little bit.  I look back at my career and I can't help but feel that I was so fortunate all along the way.  I encountered some very amazing people and had even more amazing leadership (mostly :).  I was given freedom and room to grow and opportunities that I probably didn't even deserve.  I got to travel to insanely beautiful locations and attend the funnest events, and when the babies came I was given the chance to slow down and be home more.  I had the most wonderful coworkers and it's hard to believe this entire group of people that were part of my daily existence will not be any longer.

Mostly I have so much appreciation for my husband that is so willing and honored to work hard for our family, to support all of us on his own.  He's put up with countless tears from me - sad tears that our babies are growing too fast and I can't make it slow down.  Angry tears when I have work calling and babies screaming and no one to help.  And every other kind of tear in between.  He's so supportive of this decision and I couldn't love him more for it.

I'm so very excited to grasp onto these extra hours of my babies' lives.  I'm not naive enough to think the transition will be easy, but I can't say I'm dreading all those princess dress-up, nail painting tea parties in my near future.  ;)

- K

Here's how I imagine my days will surely look from here on out...  :)

there's bound to be plenty of helping out around the house ;)

and feeding the dog entire boxes of bones

dressing up might happen occasionally

and just as many snuggles as I can fit in

and as many snuggles as Kev can fit in

the house will always be perfectly tidy

i definitely won't be doing anything completely stupid just for a hearty sis laugh

there will be plenty of hugging it out

and silly little girl stories

and probably too much fabulous for anyone to handle

not to mention plenty of "moo boots"

I'm sure we'll be doing plenty of this
and probably very little of this ;)