Life Snapshot 2013 -part 2

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they don’t normally suck their fingers but caught them once and thought it was cute

After snack time, the girls watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” at 11 a.m. Let me just say, I really like this show. First of all, it’s a spin off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which was a childhood favorite of mine. Secondly, the lessons taught in each episode are incredibly relevant to toddler/preschool aged kids. Each episode has a little song that goes with the lesson that is super catchy (and not annoying) and easy for the girls to learn. They sing them ALL THE TIME around the house. 

Friends help each other, yes they do.

Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true!

 

If you have to go potty STOP and go right away!

Flush and wash and be on your way!  (very helpful for potty training)

 

You have to try new foods ’cause they might taste goo-ood!

 

Find a way to play…together!

 

When you feel so mad that you wanna ROAR, take a deep breath and count to four! (Reilly has actually done this…)

 

These little songs really help in day to day interactions if there are conflicts and such. If I sing one of the songs that relates to the problem, it resonates with them and it’s like they have a mental picture of what they need to do. So I have no issues letting them watch this 25 minute show five days a week!

After the show is lunch time. Nothing too exciting. I would love to say I always feed them whole foods, but I at least try to opt for healthier versions of kid foods (nitrate/nitrite free beef hotdogs, all natural chicken nuggets, Annie’s mac ‘n cheese, pb&raisins, organic yogurt, fresh fruit, etc. Sometimes I read from the Jesus Storybook Bible while they eat, sometimes I am feeding Karis at the same time, and sometimes I actually get to eat lunch myself!

After lunch, Halle is supposed to have room time while Reilly and I do some type of learning activity together. This is kind of hit or miss. Sometimes I just let the girls play together if Karis needs my attention or I am working on a cleaning job. Reilly really loves when we do things one-on-one though. She just soaks up the solo attention! And she is super smart too. She is much more active by nature than Halle so she will be more inclined to want to incorporate some physical activity into what we’re doing, but when she has my attention by herself she will actually sit still pretty well too.

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can you do this?

From 12:30-1:30 the girls pretty much have free play. Reading, pretending, play-do, coloring, crafts, etc. are all in the mix during this time. Karis is always awake at this time too so it can get kinda crazy! I am so glad warmer weather has finally arrived. I imagine we will be spending this block of time outside most days.

1:30 is nap time! WOOHOO! 🙂 Usually all three will line up and I’ll get a couple hour break, but lately it seems like someone is always waking early/not sleeping and that break hasn’t been happening…but I think that has been partly due to us being sick the last couple weeks and Reilly being without her paci (shortened naps). Hopefully we find our ‘nap groove’ again soon. I plan on enforcing rest time indefinitely. Once Halle is 5, I think we’ll probably change her over completely to rest time (although now, she sort of does that already some days….she probably sleeps 70% of the time but not always). To me, an hour of quiet and rest for everyone is beneficial no matter what age you are.

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Look-alike Cousins

It’s funny how some people perceive who your kids look like. Most people agree that Halle and Karis look like their Daddy. Well, it’s pretty hard to miss with Karis. 🙂 Once in a while, I will hear that Halle looks like me, but that is usually from people who don’t know Josh. I really don’t think any of my girls look alike, and neither does anyone in my close family. People who don’t know us as well sometimes used to say that Halle and Reilly looked alike, but honestly, I just don’t see it at all. To me they look completely different. I really don’t know if Reilly looks more like me or Josh. She actually resembles her cousin, Claire, more than anyone. I think those two could easily be mistaken for sisters.

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Claire (right) was a little over 2.5 when Reilly was born. That picture of her is from the day she (and her Mom, Dad, and brother) came to visit Reilly in the hospital when she was born. Reilly (left) had just turned 2 in this picture taken last fall. Not sure if I picked the best “look-alike” picture, but their similarities are quite striking to me. Below is a picture of the two of them together on Labor Day of 2012. Claire was 4.5 and Reilly not quite 2. (All the cousins were wading in the creek near our house, so that explains the nearly-naked Reilly and soaking-wet Claire)

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My girls are lucky to have a girl cousin close in age and not *too* far away (about 45 min). They so look forward to our visits with her and her family – as do we!

Laughing with My Girls

Sometimes I really need some ‘silly’ knocked into me. I like to think I have a good sense of humor, but truth be told, most people who know me would classify me as a typically “serious” person. Serious can be good – after all, this being a wife and mommy thing is serious business. But silly can be good too. Seriously good.

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 Tonight I got down on the floor and acted silly with Halle for the first time in too long. I laughed so hard!

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As I watched her squeal and giggle in classic 3 year-old girl fashion, I felt sorry for all the times I’ve missed this same opportunity. Too many times I’ve said “no” to laughing with my girls because I had something more less important to do.

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Lately, we’ve noticed Halle being in a very disagreeable mood more frequently. I think I found out the root cause of that tonight. She needs to see more joy in her mama.

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Oh, I absolutely do feel joy inside – every day, but regrettably I’m not communicating that to my girls in a language they can understand. My little girls don’t need to hear me talk more about being thankful and full of joy, they need to see me laugh. That is the language of joy to a 3 year old.

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  Monkey see, monkey do, right? Okay, or in human terms, more is caught than taught.

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I’m praying for the Lord to remind me every day, all day that these girls need a joyful mama and home filled with laughter. This is not a burden, but a lovely gift. What better job could I ask for?

What things do you do with your kids that gets everyone belly-laughing? Aren’t these the memories we want to be making?

-Brit

Meet the Family!

Perhaps someday I will tell you “our story” – how we met, how we broke things off two…three….four…times, how I thought he just wasn’t my type, how God spoke to me more clearly than he ever had before (and possibly since) that he was in fact, exactly my type and THE one for me, and how I am grateful every single day that the Lord gave me a second fourth chance to make the right choice, and how Josh demonstrated Christ-like love and forgiveness when he also gave me another chance. Fast forward seven years…. we will celebrate our sixth anniversary this July (2013) and have been blessed with three lovely daughters. I really could not have imagined a more wonderful ‘middle’ to our story. So here they are:

Josh :: introvert – faithful follower of Jesus – loyal friend, husband, and father – authentic to the core – humble – generous – kind – gentle in speech – forgiving – laid back – patient – peacemaker – loving husband and father – talented graphic artist (hopefully he will be lending his talents to this blog soon!) – Cincinnati Reds and Indianapolis Colts fan – hunter in training – enjoys listening to Ravi Zacharias sermons – my *perfect* match

098 Josh and Britney

wedding pic: July 21, 2007

Halle :: born May 13, 2009 :: showing many first-born tendencies already – quite like her mother – loves to perform/dance (though still shy in front of large groups) – cautious – orderly – smart – learning to read (can read most three letter words and knows some others) – loves affirmation, especially verbal – loves talking about vacation (we went to Cincinnati 7 months ago and she still asks about going on vacation all the time!) – loves to role play, especially Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes – sleeps with her stuffed animals named Puppy, Big Bear, Medium Bear, and Little Bear, and her Winnie the Pooh blanket that she’s had since birth – happy, happy girl.

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Reilly :: October 1, 2010 :: brings a much-needed ‘spark’ to our home – adventurous – so funny – very verbal (always saying things that I cannot believe she came up with) – spunky – shy around anyone she doesn’t know well – not at ALL shy at home – independent (‘let me try’ or ‘i wanna do it’ are two of her favorite phrases) – loves to be tickled – hates having water poured on her head in the bath – loves animals – loves going to Mamaw and Papaw’s house – usually runs the opposite direction when called – silly (see below) – cute as a button, which makes it so hard not to smile when I’m trying to be serious with her in times of discipline…

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Karis :: August 15, 2012 :: sweet, sweet baby – spitting image of her daddy – quiet – wonderful sleeper – happy – an absolutely perfect addition to our family – can’t wait to see what other adjectives I can add to this list as she grows!

There they are.  So grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of this family.

-Brit