Friday, November 15, 2013

- a letter to my four year old -

My sweet girl....You're 4 years old today!! I can't believe you've grown so fast! This past year has been such a fun and fulfilling year with you. We have seen so much growth out of you this year! This past year has been a big one for you, full of exciting changes. You started preschool this year, and you have handled it like a champ! You absolutely love learning, and it's so fun to watch you grow and develop both educationally and socially because of preschool. It was hard for me to admit that you were growing up and were ready for this change, but you've been loving every minute of it.

You truly are the light of our lives, my sweet Ellie. You have become quite the comedian this year and you love to make us laugh. And your's gotten even sweeter as you've grown older. So pure and innocent.

So many people constantly tell us how amazing you beautiful you sweet and mature you are. You are all of those things and so much more!

You love to tell people you and I are best friends, and that absolutely melts my heart! Still such a momma's girl especially when you're hurt, or sick, or sad. Even as you grow older, you still need me so much, and I cherish every moment we spend together, cuddling, or playing the silly games you like to make up. But boy, do you love your special "daddy dates" too...especially your weekend "breakfast and park" mornings! You always come home with the biggest smile on your face!

You have such good manners, and your memory astounds us! And you are just like a little sponge right now...taking in everything around you. Your vocabulary is off the charts, as it's always been, and you are writing and reading now! You really are such a smart little girl! And you have quite the imagination these days!

But most of all, my Ellie, you are such a sweet and loving girl. You are so sensitive and compassionate and I hope that only grows more and more as you get older. You are an amazing little human being and you light up our lives, more than I think you even know!

Happy Birthday my sweets. Happy 4th Birthday!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


If you follow me on Instagram, you might recognize this hash tag of mine. (If you don't follow me on IG, you should!!! My user name is kyna_d). This hash tag is reserved for Thursdays, when the most amazing nanny watches Ellie. Vicki, Ellie's Thursday nanny, works at the company I manage as a part time instructor. I have always been impressed with her, and her repertoire with the kids we work with. I still remember that late evening, this past January, when Matt and I were scrambling to figure out who would start watching Ellie on Thursdays...and Vicki popped into my mind. I texted her late that night, randomly asking her if she would want a permanent, one day a week nanny job, and she immediately replied "Yes!"

It came with some adjustments. Back in January, Ellie had never been left alone with anyone expect family members. At first, there were tears...but Vicki handled it with so much poise and grace! I've learned, after watching Vicki with Ellie, that you know the true value of a babysitter or nanny not while your child is being an angel and is well behaved, but when your child is crying, or misbehaving. How your sitter or nanny handles those situations proves what kind of overall care your child will get. And, like I said, Vicki handled those first few rough Thursdays with so much patience!

It's now been over 10 months since Vicki started watching Ellie on Thursdays, and all I can say is that we are so so so so lucky that we found such an amazing, energetic, creative and responsible nanny to be a part of Ellie's week. Vicki is simply AMAZING with Ellie! There's no other way to describe it!

And what makes it even better is that we have since gotten to know Vicki's husband through all of this, and have realized that not only are both of them amazing with Ellie (as a matter of fact...Ellie seems to almost have a little crush on Vicki's husband! It's actually pretty cute!), but we've really gotten to know them a lot better and have become good friends with them!

There is nothing harder as a working mom, than knowing that 8-9 hours of the day, your child is being raised by someone else. We have always been lucky (and spoiled) that we've had awesome family members that have watched her. But when it was time to find someone outside of the family to watch her, it was a scary and daunting task. But then Vicki came into the picture...after one totally, random, late night text to her....a complete shot in the dark. And now, over 10 months later, Ellie adores "Vicki days" and calls her "my Vicki". It's the cutest thing on Thursday mornings, to watch how excited Ellie gets when Vicki walks in the door...and how equally excited Vicki is, to throw her stuff down and quickly get involved with Ellie, matching her enthusiasm the entire time. It's hard, in this day and age, to not only find trust worthy child care, but to find people that will bend over backwards, unselfishly, to be the absolute best they can be for your child. We've found that in our Thursday nanny...and all three of us will always be eternally grateful for that!

Here's some photo's from Ellie's past Thursdays with Vicki...



Thursday, September 19, 2013

- i am so thankful -

Monday evening, Matt and I got into a slight disagreement after Ellie went to bed. This slight disagreement quickly slid into a full blown argument (other married understand how this goes right?), where we were no longer even arguing about what started the disagreement. You know...the age old, "we all of a sudden were arguing about arguing". Needless to say, once we both got some things off our chest, we said our sorries and climbed into bed, both slightly frustrated still, and both extremely tired and still reeling from our argument.

Tuesday morning, I got a call from my dad. My step-brother, Rob, who lives in Florida, had another huge set back in his battle with his cancer, and faces an extremely tough decision regarding his next surgery. My step-brother was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago. What started out as a common, (and usually one of the easiest to treat), forms of cancer,  quickly spread into the aggressive Stage 4 cancer that it is now. In a year, his cancer has spread to his organs, and much of his digestive system. He had chemo and then surgery throughout this year. And then, we all thought the cancer was gone. But he recently found out that what they thought was just scar tissue from the surgery, is actually cancer's back...with a vengeance. And his next surgery has a possibility of being risky, and possibly not being as successful as the first. His next surgery involves procedures, that in itself, could be life threatening, let alone who knows if it will actually eradicate the cancer (although all of us are only thinking positive!) Rob is a fighter with a strong spirit.  And Rob is only 37 years old. Yes, 37. I can't even fathom what this past year has been like for him.

This most recent round of tough news brought tears to my eyes.

I instantly thought about Matt and the fight we had the night before. The silly, ridiculous, petty fight. The fight that we were both so passionate about, but really, it meant nothing in the end.

I thought about my beautiful daughter, and how Rob still has yet to meet his step-niece.

I thought about how I have been so concerned with trivial things over this past getting my feelings hurt by people in my life who created too much chaos anyways. Or whether or not people liked me or approved of the choices I made in my life. Or being stressed at work. While they might not seem trivial when you are in the moment...once you step back, it's all pretty trivial. Trivial compared to Stage 4 cancer at 37 years old.

I'm so very thankful for my life, for my blessings, for my health. For most of my days being fairly care-free...and even when they aren't, they could be so much worse.

I need to remind myself of this more.

I am so thankful for what I have, and I'm praying like crazy that soon enough my step-brother can be thankful for the miracle of a successful surgery and a cancer free body. We love you Rob!

Rob, and his wonderfully amazing girlfriend, Emery, who is by his side every step of the way!

Monday, September 16, 2013

- let's play catch up -

Let's play a quick little game of catch up, shall we?

Here's a whirlwind recap of our last couple of months:

- I've watched my little girl grow up so much! She started preschool in July, and the changes we saw in her confidence, academic skills, and social skills were amazing! She didn't always love going (there were definitely some rough drop offs), but we saw such a change in her after she started preschool. Unfortunately however, that school didn't work out. They lost their lease on their building in August, and decided to shut their doors instead of starting the lengthy and expensive process of finding a new location. I was devastated, because Ellie had bonded with the teachers and the other kids there so quickly. It was the first time I have actually seen Ellie interested in really playing with other kids, and she would come home every day talking about her three little girlfriends she had in school. It was also devastating because I had to start the arduous task of finding another preschool that would be the perfect fit for Ellie. And right about the time when I almost settled and enrolled her into a program that I wasn't all that thrilled about, I stumbled across a small, Montessori based preschool that I hadn't heard about before. I toured it, and was almost immediately sold! And luckily so was Ellie when she started! It's a very small school, which I think is really good for Ellie right now (although, we might be kicking ourselves later when we eventually have to transition her into the large, overcrowded classrooms of public school). But right now she is getting amazing, almost one on one attention, while still getting to socialize with kids her own age. The first week she started, she told us multiple times how much she loves her new school! I'm hoping her excitement and enthusiasm lasts all school year!! She's become so much more independent and grown up in the last couple of months. It's exciting, and heart breaking all at the same time! I love the new little girl she is becoming, but my heart aches for the baby girl that is growing up (too fast in my opinion!)

- Ellie has been extremely interested in learning to read and write for the past three or four months now, which has been amazing to watch. She can write every upper case letter, and is quickly getting through her lower case letters now. And she has over half of the mandatory kindergarten "sight" words under her belt! She's also doing AWESOME with sounding out words. She officially read her first book by herself about a month ago! Enjoy! (and yes, by the time I taped this, she had read the book so many times that it's mostly memorization by now, but this was definitely the first book she read by herself from beginning to end! And yes, she is wearing one of my mom's old shirts as a nightgown, that reads "Grandmother to Be"!)

- No, Ellie is still not sleeping through the night...sigh. Let's just say, after trying to once again fight her to stay asleep all night in her own bed for the past couple months, as of last Monday, I'm back to resorting to her sleeping in our room after her first wake up of the night. I just NEED more my sleep, and she sleeps so much better in our room.  Yes, I know she is almost 4 years old, but it works for us, so please don't judge!

- I had a couple eye opening revelations over the past few months about some things in my life that were putting way too much weight on my shoulders. Toxic people in my life, drama filled relationships, past hurts and current hurts...I just let it all go one day, and immediately felt better.

- I've been jonesing for a new tattoo...itching for one so badly! I've actually gotten a couple different ideas designed for me by a few tattoo artists...but for now, they just reside on a piece of paper...waiting for me to pull the trigger.

- Some of my favorite people are either pregnant or just had babies! Eeeek, so excited for all of you!!

So there's the "cliff notes" version of our life the past month or so! I promise I'll be back soon to start updating this little blog more often!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

- is anybody out there? -'s been awhile, huh? I am bound and determined to get back into this whole blogging thing...I miss it...a lot! Things have gotten busy, and I'll be honest, there was a point where I felt that my blogging was pulling me away from family time (and more specifically hubby time) at the end of each day. So I took a break...a LOOOOONG break apparently. Plus, let's be honest...IG is killing the Blogger star right now, right? I've been able to keep up with so many of my favorite bloggers on IG, and it really is so much less time consuming!

But I do miss this purge my feelings and thoughts. And more importantly, I miss what I started this blog for in the first document Ellie's life...her growing up...and everything else important in our lives.

So, maybe it will be tonight, maybe it won't be until this weekend, but I WILL be posting a catch up post!

Until then, have a wonderful week!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

- letting go -

I am FINALLY starting to embrace this after putting myself through so much emotional turmoil for most of this year...constantly looking behind me and refusing to let things go and accept that I had lost certain things...relationships had feelings and emotions were just different.  But now when I look around, I am able to see what's around me right now, in the present...sweet, caring friends, amazing adventures, and a wonderful family. I refuse to look over my shoulder any longer! My present and my future are standing right in front of me... its time to give that my attention, rather than people and things and hurts from the past.

And it truly feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulder! Here's to a wonderful present, and an even better future, now that I have learned to just... let it go!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

- her first day of preschool -

I've been dreading it and have been anxious about it for a long, long time. Ever since I started the obsessive search for the perfect preschool for Ellie, I have been dreading the day that she starts, only because that means my little baby is growing up! But of course, I have also been excited for her to start this new adventure!

Ellie's first day of preschool was on Monday, and while I was super anxious about it, she actually did great! I am so proud of her! Ellie has always been a little more introverted, and she has never been dropped off anywhere alone before. We've been lucky enough to always have her watched at our house, so we've never needed to bring her to any sort of daycare. But it was time to put her in school...she was ready for it. There is only so much she can do at home! It's good for her, to be around the other kids, to learn to listen to a teacher. To learn social skills.

I definitely expected some tears, but she didn't even shed one. While she didn't run into the school and immediately start playing, she was very brave, and said she even liked it..."just a little". However, on Tuesday she said she "liked it a little more" and she promised me she would "like it even a little bit more" today!

I spend months and months searching for the perfect school for her (yes, I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to researching...anything and everything!) and I'm glad I was so persistent and kept looking, because it was actually one of the last schools I toured. Luckily they had a spot for her, and I feel really comfortable with her there. She's going to a very small, Montessori based school that has an extremely low teacher to child ratio. This means that she won't get lost in the crowd, and she will get plenty of one on one attention. The director is so nice and was so accommodating to the wacky schedule I was requesting. And she definitely likes her teacher already! She was giving her big hugs on day one!

While I know this means she is growing up, I am so proud of her and I'm so glad she is taking this huge step with such grace! I think overall, her and I both took it fairly well...although, I have a feeling dropping her off at kindergarten in a couple years might be a different story (at least for me!!)

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