Bittersweet Moments, Buildings, & Belly Rolls

 hspace=November had a bittersweet beginning. On November 1, I started back to work after three months of maternity leave and it wasn’t easy. It was actually harder going back to work after having Hanleigh than after Brayden. I am not sure why that is. Perhaps because it is likely our last child and so everything with her is “the last time” of doing something with a little baby. I think I cried about five times that first day back (only cried one time with Miss B), especially when coworkers or friends asked me how I was doing. It was so quiet in the house and I felt like a piece of me was missing. Hanleigh had become my little buddy, my partner-in-crime so to speak and she wasn’t there. We love her teachers at school, so we know she is in a great place and they tell us about how good she is each day. Of course, that child is notorious for “blow outs”, so she comes home with a different outfit on nearly every day. Each day after my first day back to work has gotten easier and my favorite part of each day is when I see those little boogers in the evening. It doesn’t matter if work was crazy or what else happened, it all gets washed away when I see Brayden and Hanleigh’s smiles!

Trent enjoyed his annual guys’ football trip to Clemson with his friends. They had a great time (even though the Pack lost) and the girls and I hung out with Leslie, Emilia, and Chase. I even ventured to Marbles that Sunday to get Miss B out of the house to expend some of her energy. We had a great time and although I was quite nervous about being alone for the first time with two kids, surprisingly, I handled things quite well! The next weekend was our last home game and we fixed some good eats, as usual. We made our sweet pork burritos and had lots of accoutrements with the help of our friends. We began taking Brayden to the bi-weekly Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinics. If you aren’t familiar with these, Lowe’s has free, one-hour clinics for little kids to build things (trains, games, snowmen, etc.). They give you an apron and you get a patch for each clinic you attend. Brayden has an absolute blast. We’ll continue to sign up for these as long as we are in town. It gets the parents in the store, too…what a great marketing ploy! Nana came to visit as well and helped us rake leaves and even taught Miss B how to climb a tree! We love Nana so much!

We headed to DC for Thanksgiving where we got to see Trent’s brother, Thad. It was the first time we saw him during Thanksgiving in a very long time, because he usually comes in town for Christmas. That was a nice surprise for Brayden! While we were there, we overdosed on delicious Thanksgiving food (thanks, Fran!) and one day was quite busy: we started off at Starbucks, then visited the Building Museum where they were having a special exhibit of Legos. It was amazing to see the structures created by one of 11 official Lego artists in the world. Then, Brayden and I headed to see the movie Tangled, which was SO cute! She loved it. There are parts in all Disney movies that scare her, but I just tell her it’s going to be OK and hold her hand. Then, there are the parts where she is laughing so hard I’m worried I need to take her to the bathroom! We watched State’s last football game and headed out to dinner. It was a great day! And, that same day, Hanleigh rolled over from her belly to her back (15-weeks old)! She liked it so much that she even did it three more times!

We continue to modify Hanleigh’s eating and sleeping schedule bit-by-bit as it’s a delicate balance to maximize both! She is now eating at 8:00pm and is usually asleep and in her crib by 8:45pm. I wake her up at 6:30am, so she’s getting about 10 hours of sleep a night. That may increase once we introduce solids in the next month or so. She is eating four, 4.5-ounce bottles at school and we haven’t had to supplement with formula yet, which is pretty good. I’m hoping I can last an entire year again like I did with Brayden. Hanleigh is cooing more and more each day (“ooh” and “ehh”) and her favorite activity is to look at her reflection and whoever is holding her and smile like crazy. She sticks her little tongue out when she smiles and it is so darn cute. I want to put her in my pocket! Brayden continues to be an amazing big sister and loves Hanleigh to no end!

There have been many “Brayden-isms” this month:

  • When watching a Charlie Brown movie, we asked her what the dog’s name was and she said, “Snoopid.”
  • Brayden fixed us some cheese/crackers while we were in DC and was taking her sweet time (we were all pretty hungry). Grandpa Jones asked when his food was going to be ready and she turned around with her hand on her hip and said, “You’re not being patient, Grandpa!”
  • We have been teaching Brayden about being thankful and that there are many people who aren’t as fortunate and we should give to those in need. We had returned from DC where I made a chocolate chess pie. Brayden said, “Can we make a lot of chocolate pies to give to those who don’t have chocolate pies?”
  • When referring to a slight variation of a standard color, Brayden adds “iss ish” to the end. For example, yellowish would be “yellow-iss-ish”.
  • Brayden uses the word “which” a lot. While this isn’t truly funny per se, it’s cute to hear her say more “adult” words…such as, “The gas station, which is on that corner.”
  • After school one evening, Trent was picking up the girls and now that it’s dark outside, Brayden looked at Trent and said, “Hanleigh is surely confused because it’s so dark in here.”

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