Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ode to "pa"

Dear Paci (affectionately known from here on out as "pa")~
No one could have prepared me for the "love at first sight" bond you and Reese would share from day one. Literally. The first night of her little life demanded that pa {you} be introduced just so that mama could get rest after a 41 hour labor and 50+ hours of no sleep. It was as if you and Reese had been old friends...long before she met anyone else. She didn't need coercion or affirmation. She took one suck and found a long lost friend. Maybe this is why nursing was difficult. I had read to not introduce a pacifier or nipples too early so as not to disrupt feeding. Because of the above information, mama ignored said advice.

We managed. We got through the countless naps of you falling out of Reese's mouth while trying to drift to dreamland. We figured out how to reach behind the passenger seat in the car, nearly cutting off all circulation in our arms, to plug you in when Reese would howl to and from locations. We discovered how great those do-dads are that connect pa to a shirt. And we decided that Avent was our favorite pa brand.

You made Reese's life and therefore mom and dad's much easier! We sailed (and maybe at times paddled) through colds, teething, boo-boo's, long airplane rides, and major life changes because of you. No matter what had happened, as soon as pa came in sight shrills of laughter and clapping would ensue because you were there. Nap times were longed for, bedtime requested.

You were loved so much that soon another pa joined you. One for Reese's mouth and one to hold while she slept.

But then the sad, sad day came when it was time to say goodbye. Reese's addiction love for pa had grown so much that if she didn't have it at all times and happened to wake up, she'd scream at whatever hour of the night it was until we came to the rescue. Having Allie in the same room only complicated matters. Plus with Reese's 2nd birthday fast approaching, it seemed like the right thing to do. 

Our first attempt proved fatal. Mom and dad hadn't thought it through enough (more mom than dad). I had decided to cut the tops off one morning after Reese had awoken for the day. Dad wasn't feeling well. This also happened to be the day mom was going to the movies with Aunt Monika and dad was babysitting. I told him hopefully it would only be a few minutes of crying and then she'd fall asleep. Dad learned just how much Reese loved you that day. He said she screamed and cried like he'd never heard before. Mom got a call during the movie to ask where the other "uncut" pa's were. This event only made us more nervous for the real thing but we had to do it. You both were too attached and the sentiment had to end.

Let's just really miss you. While we aren't inviting you back and even had Reese do the big girl thing by throwing you both in the trash herself, it's been a rocky, bumpy road! I'm promised that eventually she will forget and sleep soundly. I hope so! You've now been replaced by a cute, soft bear that Reese named "lovey." It's not really a fair trade but we hope she'll love that bear one day half as much as she loved you. It was a great 2 years, pa! You served us well...a little too well. 
Love, Reese's Mama

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Day: Past and Present

Before we wrap up the month of love, I wanted to post about one of our favorite "holidays." It's extra special to Matt and I because it happened to be our very first date 6 years ago. We'd been hanging out, going to Bible study and church together and we'd even met each other's families but Valentine's a whole 6 months later was when Matt decided to take me on our first "official" night out.

That night was literally one I'll never forget. He went to great lengths to see that this evening would be special in every way. A completely new outfit for him...right down to his shoes, renting a car!!! (nothing fancy but something nicer than his 'ol Toyota Corolla, a silver Lancer), making a cd of some special songs for our hour long drive and researching the places we'd eat...Cavi Cucina (a great little hole in the wall Italian place) and Cafe Fiore out in Ventura. Even the rain that started to pour couldn't dampen our spirits. 

Since then it's just kind of understood between the two of us that we do a little more than just a card or chocolates. That doesn't mean it's necessarily lavish (especially these last 2 years with having kids) but we try to go the extra mile.

First Valentine's Day Married (2007):

We were only married less than 2 months when this special day arrived. Being that we had little to no extra money AND our church's Resolved conference was held in February back then, we used our money to help pay for a weekend away. Here's the one picture I have from it...our precious friends, the Berggrens were there with us too!

Valentine's Day 2008:

Matt led me {blindfolded} to the car. What I didn't know was that Tad and Monika were in the backseat of our car not making a sound...hence the blindfold. We were on our way to Black Angus and a double date was my surprise. Matt also had surprised me with beautiful, pink pearl earrings before we left for dinner.

Valentine's Day 2009:

Another extra special Valentine's day!! This evening wasn't a surprise...experiencing Maggiano's Italian Restaurant for the first time BUT the way we got there was. Matt knows I've always had a fascination with Mini Coopers. I think they're the cutest little car and though so unpractical for our stage in life, it would be a dream to own. So...he rented a convertible Mini Cooper and we had a blast driving it to downtown LA. 

Our dearest friends and siblings were the best company that night and the food was so so amazing! I could have licked my plate. I don't really remember what we ate but here's some pictures.

Maggiano's happens to be right next to The Grove (a really fancy shmancy outdoor shopping place) and he let me stop in at Anthropology and pick up these beautiful earrings. I still love wearing them today!

I also decided to surprise him by baking this gigantic cookie, decorating it and delivering it to him at school! He loved it and so did his students.

The dream car!

Valentine's Day 2010 (last one without kids and VERY pregnant with Reese):

I wish we'd gotten a picture of all the couples because this was the Valentine's where Courtney and Jeremiah, Tad and Monika and Matt and I all experienced Ruth's Chris together. Oh.My.Goodness! Every single bite was a party in my mouth. Probably some of the best food I've had in my life. It was definitely sad to experience such amazingness with an almost 9 month pregnant tummy. I hardly had room to eat all that good stuff. Courtney kept talking about how awfully full she was and how much her stomach hurt (in a good kind of way). I did my best to not laugh and roll my eyes. Try doing that looking like this!!!

First Valentine's Day with a baby (2011):

We didn't make it to dinner and instead ordered Domino's. But that's what you do when you have an 11 month old and are 4 months pregnant with #2. The big surprise was Matt walking through the door with these little gems. Love Teavana! We didn't even manage to take a picture of the 3 of us so this will have to do.

Valentine's Day 2012:

Matt surprised me this year with an incredible gift that also will be counted as my birthday present (not till May). We've looked at different cameras online together and having a growing family and a blog to keep updated I've wanted something better than my little point-and-shoot. So a week before V-day...because he said I'd need it for the actual day...the girls and I hopped on the couch with this pretty little blue box. I wondered if a camera was what it was only because I haven't seen Matt get that excited about a gift in a long time. Needless to say, this year I have a few more pictures than before.

Sweet tulips from my Valentine!

Our quiet dinner at home with the four of us. The menu: Chili Mountains, ocra and Sangrias. Nothing fancy or over the top amazing but it suited us just fine.

What a blessed girl I am to think back to these 7 Valentine's we've shared and see year after year how God has woven our hearts together. I can honestly say that I love Matt Mehringer more than I ever dreamed I would on that rainy night back in February 2006. 

Excited to see what the next 7 hold for us, my beloved! Thank you for loving me faithfully and sacrificially! All my love is yours.

Monday, February 20, 2012

7 Months for Allie

This cutie keeps getting sweeter and sweeter! Yesterday she turned 7 months and decided just in the knick of time to sit up by herself. I keep finding how different the girls are from each other. As much as Reese loved it once she could sit, Allie prefers to be on her back or tummy rolling between the two. She can get everywhere she wants to go without much standing in her way and in the sitting position feels just a little "stuck." 

Allie has also decided that now would be a good time to start rocking back and forth on her knees! Either I have a major lapse in my memory or this kiddo decided to do this super early.

For the most part she is sleeping from 7:30pm-6am every night. There's always the exceptions to the rule like Reese screaming that her "pa" is on the floor, that she needs water or has a nightmare which all wake up sister and cause a major chaotic moment. But on the nights when everyone sleeps soundly it sure is nice to get a full night's rest.

We had a doctor's appointment at 6 1/2 months and Allie's stats were: 17.2 lbs ~ 66% and 27in ~ 88%

Some other fun, new developments...puts on a cheesy smile when the camera comes out :: Playing with toys while Reese plays nearby :: Crying when strangers (particularly men) talk to her out in public :: Still no teeth! Not really even a hint that they're on the way. Super-duper fine with me! Maybe the longer she waits the more tolerant she'll be of them. One can always hope. 

What a little ham in this next picture! Life with Allie is fun!