Thursday, March 27, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Beatrice!

Oh to have words that go beyond the cliche: "time flies when you are having fun."

But they fit the bill when I think back on the last 365 days. I wasn't expected to be so surprised by my insane amount of joy watching this little one go through each stage. Learning new things. Doing new 'tricks.' After all, I had been through this before. This was the second time around. We knew what to expect.

Except, watching Bea grow into her own person--next to Matilda--added to the joy. Watching her do her own thing, watching them together, and seeing the promise for the future of our family. 
It all just went so fast. 
Too fast.

It feels like just yesterday, Bea and I were hanging out on maternity leave.
But at the same time--the nights of being up 3 times to feed her feel like ages ago.

So try to capture this incredible little human in words.
Bea at 1 means....

Always on the move.

Oh, there are drive-by snuggles.
But unless she wants up, she mostly just wants to be on the move.

She loves her big sister.
Especially if said big sister has a baggie of Cheerios or Kix in hand.
At which point, she will relentlessly chase her around (via her stankylegg crawl move) until Matilda shares what is in her bag with her.

She just graduated to the big girl bath.
And she LOVES the big girl bath.
Back into the corner as far as she can.

But let's be honest. The corner thing is not just a bathtime affair.
Bea has a little bit of 'creeper' in her. Preferring to seek out tight spots, places she is hidden and confined. Put her down in the middle of a giant room, and she will beeline for a corner of some sort every time.

Bea is a climber. Like none other. Certainly unlike her sister who wasn't even really crawling at this age.
In fact, they had to remove the little book shelf from the infant room at school because they said Bea will systematically remove each book to make it easier to crawl UP the bookshelf, and then do just that.

And when she isn't climbing, she is giving me big snuggles. Nate is jealous that she is still so mom-focused (but he knows the Daddy phase will hit her too).
Each morning when I get her out of her crib she gives me a GIANT snuggle. Puts her arms around my neck, her head in my shoulder and just snuggles in.

Everyone should get to start their day like that. 

Bea is an independent explorer.
Happy to bop from toy to toy (or more like from food scrap to food scrap) on the floor. And is not easily persuaded to give up whatever is in her hand. 
If you take something from Bea that she is really into, she will let you know about it.
With pursed lips.
Leaning forward to put her head on the ground.
And then a big frustrated wail.

And although it seems as though it has been winter for her entire life, we have been able to get outside and enjoy the weather. And I just know that once we can release the girls out into the green grass, this one is going to be difficult to contain.

I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for you, Bea. To hear your first words.
To watch you explore the world around in your way. You have opened our hearts in new ways we didn't think possible, and our family would not be the same without you.

We love you, Beatrice. Happy 1st Birthday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's In A Name?

On the eve of what I truly cannot believe is Beatrice's first birthday, I realized that I never gave her naming justice. In fact, in the last few weeks I have gotten asked a handful of time how Beatrice got her name.

So the story behind Beatrice Lea.....

No, there are no Bea's in our past. It isn't a family name. 

The story actually begins in the middle. Because what is a family name is Bea's middle name: Lea.

My Grandma Sherry and sister both have the middle name "mae" (hence Matilda Mae), and my  Mom and I both share the middle name "lea". I knew early on in the second pregnancy that if this baby was a girl, it would have lea as the middle name.

But, a lot of the first names that we really liked did not go with lea--because made the name end up sounding like a adverb (like Pear-ly).

We went back and forth and round and round. We just could not decide. Then, one night, about 3 weeks before I was due, we were hanging out in the basement (something I don't think we have done since the day Beatrice was born) and Nate looked at me and said: "I think it is Beatrice". And I rolled it around in my mouth and head again. And then my heart said yes. She was a Beatrice.

And oh how our little Baby Bea has fit the bill of her name. Her name means "bringer of joy and love". While I wouldn't have picked a name solely for its meaning, I took that meaning to be a sign of things going differently this time around. I was SO scared of the baby stage again. The colic. The crying. The fussing. The hormones. But from the day Bea came out, she let us know that we were in for a different ride with her.

Not one that was necessarily better or worse, just different. And there were some welcome changes (like nursing going well, sleeping going well, and no colic!). But then there was her incessant desire to move, to sleep on her tummy, and her 'bird-like' eating.  She has taught me to embrace the joy she brings every day, and definitely fills our hearts up with more love than we thought possible.

Baby Bea.
Beezy Leezy. (for when she is about to get in trouble)
Beaslin Weaslin. (for when she is on the move)

I'm not sure if kids 'grow into their name' or 'their name helps them grow into the kid they are', but either way, this kid is a perfect match for hers. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

6th Annual WI Dells Getaway

The term 'getaway' might be a little over-stated this year given that we didn't actually get away from this miserable, terrible, horrible, no good winter....but regardless we still had a great time meeting up with the Keaty Crew and Grandma and Grandpa for a quick weekend of fun.

And there is not greater fun to be had for Matilda than quality time with Finn and Leo. Man, that girls loves them so much. I mean we love them too, but she takes it to a whole new level. Friday night, when we went to the pool she wasn't so sure about going down the slides (due to the buckets of water they pour on you as you walk up the stairs).

That all changed the second Finn arrived....

Bea wasn't so sure about the water. She didn't mind as long as she was being held, and in the nice warm water of the Toddler pool.

Oh, and she had to have one of the balls that were meant for the older kids.

Matilda and Bea didn't get a ton of sister time since Matilda was much more interested in the cousins, and the slides but we did manage one sister pic.

One of my personal favorite things about the WI Dells is the giant sno-cone stand at the Waterdome. Overpriced sugary water. This year, Grandpa treated. 
And ALL of the kids were happy. Grandkid and the real old kids.

Bea didn't get a slushie but she got to dump water all over herself (i.e. drink out of a sippy cup but never swallow any of the water and just spit it back out all over) and snuggle with Grams.

 Meanwhile, Grandpa was getting some of his own Tillie snuggles (and ear rubs). Tillie sat here, or stood next to the opening to this massive water slide that ended right here. Watched for about 30 minutes and decided SHE wanted to go on it.

So up Mom and I climbed 6 flights of stairs. Got to the top and sat in a GIANT intertube--where I learned TIllie couldn't sit in my lap. And then we started down the ride, which quickly turned PITCH BLACK. I couldn't see my hand let alone Matilda.

Mom and I just kept saying: "this is fun!"

Swirls, dips, and sharp turns. And still pitch black. Matilda is silent. Not a peep. My heart i s in my throat.

We hit the exit and the guy catching the tubes saw Matilda and said "way to go" and she gave him a high-five and got out. And that was that. I couldn't believe she did it. And that when she did, it wasn't screaming the entire way down. All I kept thinking was "thank god Aunt Marna wasn't here to witness this, or we may have lost her". :)

Even with all of the fancy and fabulous waterpark action, there is still something about the simple joys of getting to sit next to your buddy on a bus.

Grandma got some quality snuggles and reading time in.(while Dad took cereal orders from each child every 2 minutes--more Kix! More CTC! I need a bowl!)

Ahhh....this crew. I love them all so. I love them separately and I love them together.
And I love watching them grow up through family traditions.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tillie Talks

Every night at dinner, we go around the table and ask each other how their day was. Ever since we started doing this, IT MUST happen in a certain order (Nate first, then Tillie, then Mama and then Bea). And Tillie is the one that has to ask the question in order for it to be legit.

Recently, her answer took us by surprise (and probably shed some light on something we say all too much):
Nate:         "How was your day, Tillie"
Matilda:      "Pretty good. I had lots of meetings."


The other morning, Matilda put my running shoes on and said:
"Mama, I got my running feet on"


As we were getting her dressed one morning, her outfit sort of made her look like a ladybug.

Mama: "Tillie you look like a Ladybug!!"
Matilda: "I don't want to be a Ladybug. I want to be Tillie."

Ever since joining Bear Cub Cave, (where they have a 'morning meeting') Matilda likes to 'be our teacher' and make sure we are sitting 'criss cross apple sauce.' She also is the enforcer of rule #1 of the classroom:

Matilda: "Keep your body to yourself, Bea" 
(said as she is kicking Bea)

Today, Matilda was watching me leave for a run and was watching out the window as I left. Nate heard her say:

"No Mama. Run! Start Running! Now!"

Clearly this child has no concept of a warm-up.....

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Day After

The day after the Lott wedding was gorgeous.
Sunny. Clear. and Mountainous. (if that is a word..)

Which made for some great photo ops....

Future Patagonia model?

The altitude made it a little more difficult to carry Matilda around

Best Family Photo to date

It was so fun to have some more relaxed time with the fam out and about Breckenridge too.

One of my favorite moments was when we came upon this super cute chalkboard. We told Emily she should write on it about getting married.

We searched for chalk

Emily found some. 
Except it turned out it wasn't chalk.
It was old blue gum.

And of course, there was ice cream. 
Going from -10 degrees to 35 degrees was a BIG swing.
So we shed the big puffy coat, and treated ourselves to a nice cold treat.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


When Emily first told me she was going to have a destination wedding I was super pumped. For many reasons.

1) It would force me to get over my anxiety of traveling with both kids because there was no way I would miss this event.
2) It would force my dad to get on an airplane because there was no way he would miss this event.

Which meant, everyone was all together to help celebrate the very beautiful bride and handsome groom, and how amazing they are.

Matilda was SUUUPPER lucky because she got to be the flower girl for the special event, and Marna, Emily and Meghan went out of their way to make her feel more special than I actually thought possible.

From coloring books, to actual books, special outfits, furry boots and a tiffany necklacke (which ps, i don't even own one of these suckers)...

She even got a sneak peek of the gorgeous dress.

And got some quality snuggles in with Auntie Em before the wedding. Do you like her 'smiling' face?

I couldn't believe how calm everyone was before the ceremony. The family was just chilling getting their hair and make-up done. Here is the beautiful MOB and GOB. (not sure if that is actually an acronym but it works)

The MOH (who had a KILLER speech that I cannot seem to get uploaded onto this site) and FOB.

And of course, the Flower Girl.
Shaking out her pre-ceremony jitters with colors.

She really didn't want to wear this headband. So I concocted this whole story about how the headband was a magic coloring headband,and is what made the colors work. Which she bought as you can see in this picture....

But the problem, is she is getting too smart. 
And as soon as she was done coloring, she took that thing right off. 
Because she was done coloring, and "didn't need anymore magic."

See? No headband.

But the day went on (after the headband incident, we also had a potty accident which thank god happened while she was not in her dress).

The girl actually walked down the aisle, (even with poor joe at the end who Matilda still approaches with 100% skepticism).

Emily and Joe's ceremony was perfect. Their vows amazing.
The setting was stunning.
The food was out of this world.
Bea even got her first taste of 'ice cream'...champagne sorbet.

And the best part of weddings of course is the family time that comes with it.

The photo booth got a SEVERE workout from the Ekern crew.
And you will never guess who started it all....

No, not Bea.
What is common between these two pictures?

That's right. Reid. Pop Pop.
All that is missing is Todd...we will have to Photoshop you in. :)

By the end of the night, I think the Flower Girl attention was going to Tillie's head as she started requesting to have someone take her picture.

One of my favorite shots of the night.

All of the Ekern girls!

A nice one of my Mom and B. We managed to not get one with all 3 of us (which really isn't all that shocking since I absolutely hate getting my picture taken. I hate it. Hate. it.)

 But I was there. Mostly 'there' being the dance floor. Which was going f.or the whole party

Tillie made it to 9PM which I think is officially the latest she has ever been up (esp. since that is 10PM our time)

The bride and groom had a sweet first dance..

and the daughter /father dance was equally as sweet.

I predict this to be in their future as well (which I truly cannot even imagine right now)

The DJ was CRAZY amazing. And after many, many hints finally played Gangnam style.

We had SUCH a fun time. Sad to leave CO. To leave the family.
Looking forward to more fun family times that now have another member in it.
Welcome to the crew, Joe.

Congrats to you both. We love you!!!