Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Girl Room

I've been slowly transitioning Mattie's room from a nursery to a "big girl room" since December.  Bringing in a bed was obviously the game changer, but bedding and decor also make a considerable difference in the maturity of a room. 

As I've mentioned before, I absolutely loathe themed rooms - princesses, Disney characters, butterflies, ladybugs - you can have it.  In my opinion, that is not a room a little girl can grow in or with.  I have always preferred something more simplistic and clean - centered more around color.

That is why I went with a red bed.  Originally I thought I wanted white, but once I found the style of bed I was looking for, but in red - I was SOLD.  I looked on Craigslist for quite awhile trying to find the perfect Jenny Lind spindle bed.  I was open to the different variations of spindles that are out there, but I really wanted the thick chunky ones.  I finally found a seller in Wilmington who had just what I was looking for...

Once the bed was in the room, finding coordinating pieces came rather easily.  I purchased a white parsons desk along with a storage unit.  The rest of the furniture was either already in her room (side pedestal table and zigzag bookcase) or was stored in our garage (antique dresser).  I painted the antique dresser turquoise and put new hardware on it...and I ADORE it!

The afghan at the end of the bed is a family heirloom.  Granny (Robert's grandmother) knitted it more than 20 years ago.  It's something that brings meaning to the room, not to mention a fabulous color!

Most of the decorative pieces are Mattie's own work.  All kids love to see their own drawings and projects displayed.  With all the creative things that Mattie brings home with her from school, I couldn't resist decorating her room with her own art.  Most of it is displayed  on her cork board, but there are a few pieces hanging in other spaces on her walls.

Along with the rest of the world, I have been digging the colorful pom pom garlands posted all over Pinterest.  I looked into buying a few strands, but was shocked at what people were selling them for - I mean it's yarn, for crying out loud.  So I decided to pinch my pennies and go the DIY route...

And the bonus?  I have enough yarn to make pom poms for days!  I'm sure they'll make an appearance at the next few birthday parties.

Here is a full view of Mattie's bedroom...

She's growing up, y'all!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Here's the Latest

Unfortunately, when I say the latest, that means I'm about do a super brief coverage of the last few months.  I've been so bad about updating this blog that I find myself trying to catch everyone (including myself) up in one posting - my detailed postings from long ago are just that...from long ago - when life was simpler :)  But not nearly as exciting!

So, here goes...

Mattie Jane is now wearing panties!  She has done so awesome with potty training the last few weeks.  Other than a few wet diapers in the morning, she has managed to keep her diapers dry all day long.  Poopin' hasn't been quite as successful, but we're crossing our fingers that the transition to panties will encourage more potty use when she gets the urge. 

In addition to potty training, Mattie also transitioned to a big girl bed back in December.  We are in the process of adding the final touches to her big girl room - I will add a few pictures very soon.  But here's a little sneak peek...

In terms of growth and development, we are wondering where our baby girl has gone!  Mattie's vocabulary has exploded over the past six months and she has continued growing like a weed since birth.   She currently wears a 3T, but anything I buy from this point on will be a 4T.  She's snug as a bug in a rug in her 3Ts.

We're currently working on breaking the paci habit.  Mattie HAS to have her paci when she goes to bed.  Not only does she have to have one in her mouth, but she has to have a few reserves too.

I wonder if Dora and Boots would mind helping us out with this one...any one know how we can get in touch with them?  We're gonna need to bring in reinforcements for this one.

As for Evan - we now have a young man on our hands.  I am constantly blown away by his ability to think and reason.  He has a love for numbers and a love for learning in general.  He recently woke me up and said, "Mama, I can can count backwards."  Still half asleep I waited to hear "...10, 9, 8, 7..."  But instead I got "100, 99, 98, 97..." all the way to zero.  Yes, it was painful to sit there that long, but I was so impressed by this skill.  He then counted backwards from 100 by 10's and then 5's.  He recognizes and can write all of his numbers from 1 to 100 as well.

I am most impressed by these abilities because Evan just gets it.  He understands order and sequence which is the foundation for basic math.  He loves to read the clock and figure out how many minutes he has until his bedtime - and he always figures it out.

Evan is also excelling in reading.  He recognizes many of his sight words and also does a great job sounding out the words he is reading.  Because I am a teacher, I try really hard not to "over teach" Evan at home.  We take advantage of those teachable moments instead and he seems to respond positively to this.  Evan is very much a pleaser, so he loves to hear "good job" and "you're so smart" and all those encouraging phrases.

Since he began walking, Evan has walked on his toes.  For a long time we thought he would just grow out of it, but that has not been the case.  Here we are almost 4 years later and he is still perched up on those toes.

If he is bare footed and on a hard surface he will be high up on his toes, much like a ballerina.  With shoes on, he will rise up on his toes periodically, but most of the time he will walk flat footed.  But his flat footed walk doesn't look like the average flat footed walk.  He sways his hips a bit which tends to look feminine.

As concerned parents, we of course don't want Evan to suffer from any physical issues later on in life or any psychological issues from walking "differently."  We all know how evil school aged children can be.  I made contact with a physical therapist to see what, if anything, we could do to try and correct his issue.

We are about 4 sessions in, and while I don't think there will be a miraculous fix, I definitely learned a lot about what the underlying cause for the toe walking is and how we can work on resolving the issue over time.  In a nutshell, Evan walks on his toes because he has a weak core.  The therapist told me that because Evan started walking so early (10 1/2 months) and never crawled on his hands and knees, he never built up or strengthened his core.  So to compensate for this lack of strength, he walks up on his toes so his core is not doing most of the work.  That's also why when he does walk flat footed, it looks so awkward.  Consider me enlightened by this information.

So, believe it not, all those exercises I do at the gym are the same ones Evan needs to be doing at home.  We need to strengthen his core in order to take the load off his toes.  I'm thinking Evan and I should do Yoga videos together :)

While I love to brag about Evan and the wonderful big boy that he is, I will also say that he's annoying and gross just like the rest of the boys his age.  He constantly makes himself burp and calls his sister silly names just to make her mad.  He spits and hits, knowing how completely inappropriate it is.  But we of course understand that this is all normal - sometimes we have to hide our laughter (because it is actually funny at times) while other times we want to kill him.  And someday Mattie will probably get a good lick in for annoying things like this...

To wrap this posting up, I want to add that Robert was promoted to Regional Director for Wonderworks, Amanda and Scott welcomed Bryson Nash on February 7th and Todd and Barnes just had their first baby girl on February 16th!  We proudly welcome Olivia Katherine to the family!

Whew...that was a lot.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013