Houses, Hanleigh, and Hard Questions

February was less hectic in terms of travel. We did begin some renovations on our home in anticipation of getting it on the market. We decided to upgrade our kitchen countertops to granite as well as install a subway tile and stone/glass accented backsplash. It is amazing how much of a difference that made in the look of the kitchen. Check out the before/after photos. We went to a Superbowl party and a birthday party. We also went to Charlotte for a weekend full of house hunting. Although we didn’t find a house we loved per se, we did see some beautiful homes. It is such a difficult process because you want to be picky, but at the same time, you have to find that balance between being realistic and getting the features you really want. We believe the right house is out there and are very diligent about researching homes online. Plus, we have our “team” in Charlotte to do any background research (aka drivebys) whenever requested. One evening, we were pleasantly surprised as Mimi/Dadaw had flown in from Florida and totally took us off guard. I actually got a bit emotional as I wasn’t expecting to see them. We later learned as well that they will be permanently relocating to Charlotte and consolidating their two homes into one. This is wonderful news for everyone as this means we will get to see them whenever we want! So exciting that the girls will get to know their great grandparents even that much more. I concluded the month with another business trip to Newport Beach that went really well. On a more somber note, please continue to keep Dad and Barbara in your thoughts and prayers. They continue to find a cancer treatment for her that will prevent further growth of the cells and are doing everything in their power to find the best solution. They are keeping a very positive attitude during these difficult times and we are always thinking about them and sending healthy vibes their way.

Hanleigh is now 18 months old and during her checkup she weighed 21 lb., 1 oz. (28%), was 31.75” tall (49%), and her head circumference was 18.5” (70%). Her vocabulary is continuing to blossom as well as her ability to communicate with us nonverbally. While at school one day, she made the sign for diaper and said “poop.” Miss Tonya checked her and she hadn’t gone. A few minutes later, she said “poop” again, Miss Tonya checked her and she had gone. Not sure if this is luck or if she really knew she was getting ready to go, but it’s a sign of things to come. Go Hanleigh! She has really taken to being a “mommy” to her baby dolls. She is constantly feeding them their bottles, putting blankets on them, and burping them. But, one thing that cracks us up is when she sticks her fingers in her baby doll’s mouths and shrieks “oww” as if they are biting her. She now does it with almost any doll, so of course, we’ve started doing it, too. When they “bite” her, I say, “Hanleigh, tell her ‘not nice, no biting’” and she will say “nah nigh”’. It is previous! Here are some of the other words in the Hanleigh-to-English dictionary: help=hap, please=peez, up, please=uhpeez, shoes=shoos, elmo=ehmo. Brayden and Hanleigh have also been spending a lot of time going for rides down the hallway on blanket and sheets. The minute we start folding laundry, they both hop on to whatever they can and want us to take them for a ride. It reminds me of something that Kendall’s dad did when she was a little girl. So cute!

Brayden is entering that inquisitive stage of her life where she is constantly asking questions (most of you would say that I never left that stage since I am always asking questions myself!). It is really cute because she just wants to learn so much. Sometimes these questions are far beyond her years, but just like my mom would do, I answer them all honestly. We were outside of the grocery store one day and I said, “Ugh, it smells like a cigarette out here” to which she replied, “What’s a cigarette?” and I told her what it was and that it contained tobacco. “What’s tobacco?”, so I told her and also mentioned that smoking cigarettes can lead to cancer. “What’s cancer?” So, I told her and then had to explain that one day she may know people who encourage her to smoke because it’s “cool”, but that it really isn’t and that she should refuse any requests like that because it doesn’t lead to anything healthy. I’m sure after that she probably made some silly, unrelated comment about Barbie’s or something. That’s typically how these conversations occur. We talk about something serious and then she’s off to the next thing.

Here is another very interesting conversation. We were watching the red carpet show for the Oscars and Octavia Spencer (who is black) of The Help was being interviewed with the director, Tate Taylor (who is white) next to her. Brayden says, “Oh, that can definitely not be her husband!” I said, “Why not?” Brayden said, “He just can’t.” I said, “Why not?” She said, “Because his skin is brown.” I said, “Of course that can be her husband. People can marry other people that have different skin colors. Did you not know that?” She said, “No.” I said, “I’ll give you an example. What color skin does Daddy’s friend Greg have?” She said, “Brown.” I said, “What color skin does Miss Sarah have?” She said, “White.” I said, “They are married.” She said, “Wow!” I said, “See. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, everyone is the same inside.” Up until this point, skin color had never been a topic of conversation for her, so it was interesting to hear the comment come out of her mouth. I’m sure someone at school told her something like that. I’m glad we were able to address it in a positive way!

On another note, one night I was tucking Brayden into bed and she said, “I love you to infinity and to California to Cary, to Florida, to India and back. I love you so much that after you run I would smell your underarms.” SHE CRACKS ME UP! Life is good and we are loving every moment with these kids. I love our family and the joy it brings!

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