Monday, September 30, 2013


There comes a time in your kid's life when they have to let go of certain things.  After all, you can't send them off to college with a case of sippy cups.  Showing up for the first day of Junior High still in diapers might not be the hippest thing either.  We've had to set deadlines for certain deep attachments with both girls.

Shelby has been madly in love with her aquarium since the day she was born.  My co-worker Annette gave it to me as a shower gift, telling me that her nephews loved it.  Little did I know that aquarium would be the one gift from my shower that would still be used five years later.
Original appearance
It was so cute at first how she would would be hypnotized by the little fish and his plant companions. When she was big enough the push the buttons herself, I was amazed at how "smart" she was to figure it all out.  I assumed she would grow out of it soon enough.  Annette knew better...
Aquarium after two years
We began warning Shelby about two months before her fifth birthday that the aquarium needed to retire.  Even though it has a choice of six songs, white noise, waves, wind, or rain, she always chose the same song.  If my memory wasn't shot due to sleep deprivation, I could dig the name of the song up from my Music Appreciation classes.  However, it now just sounds like nails on a chalkboard, so the exact title escapes me!
Present day aquarium.  Where did all the water go?
The first few days after Shelby passed her aquarium down to Haley were rough, but I'm now comfortable with the idea that she won't be taking it with her on her honeymoon.

Next to retire was Haley's "Pinky".  Pinky was a special gift from my mom, Mimi.  It was a beautiful Little Giraffe blanket that had the most exotic feel to it.  

Leaving the hospital with Pinky

Pinky quickly became my third child.  "Where's Pinky?" was a common question heard on a daily (and sometimes hourly!) basis.  Pinky was accidentally left behind during an Easter visit to my sister's house, so she had to be mailed back overnight to avoid WWIII.  In the event that Pinky needed a bath, Haley would wail by the washer and dryer until she was clean.  I'm surprised Pinky can't write her ABC's with as much time as she has spent in Haley's backpack at preschool.  

Pinky during her better years
However, after four years, it was time for Pinky to retire.  As luxurious as Little Giraffe blankets are at first, their delicate fabric is their ultimate undoing.  I had sewn up Pinky's holes enough to make her 1/3 of her original size.  And, I'm afraid one more trip through the washing machine might just turn her to threads.
Cuddling with Pinky and baby doll 

So, shortly after her birthday, Bryon took Haley to Walmart and let her pick out what she wanted to decorate Pinky's special wall hanging with.  He then made a BIG production of hanging it all on the wall just above Haley's bed.  That way, she could look up at Pinky anytime she wanted.  Again, the first night was rough.  But, it's safe to say family members won't be forced to mail her overnight any longer!  It's just a shame we weren't able to claim her as a dependent on our taxes….

It took YEARS to get that worn-in look!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy birthday, Baby Bear

Our little baby Haley turns FOUR today.  She is nothing less than the most special kid around!  She keeps us guessing, laughing, and pulling our hair out all at the same time.

Parents always wonder what their kids will become.  With Haley, I have NO clue.  Whatever her future holds, she will be no less than CEO as she is always in charge.  (or at least we have to let her think she is charge!)

When asked, all she wants to do is marry her friend Malone and have 100 babies.  She talks about being a mama non-stop.  Anytime she sees baby stuff in the store, she asks if I will buy it for her babies.  Grandma gives her $1 occasionally for the Dollar Store, and she always buys a bottle/pacifier/diapers for her future babies.  And, I can't throw anything out without her pulling it out of the trash to save for her babies.

Best friends
Haley's favorite thing to do is look at pictures non-stop on the computer.  She especially likes pictures of herself from when she was a baby.  She really likes it when I narrate the pictures as she clicks through them.  She LOVES hearing stories about herself when she was a baby.  Who could blame her?  She was a beautiful baby!

Sleeping beauty
(photo by Suzi Neely

No tube of lipstick goes unnoticed with our Baby Bear.  She has a blast discovering tubes in my purse, applying over her entire face.  As frustrating as it is, I still crack up a little at her love of makeup.
Haley likes to stay up late, making funny little scenes with all the many trinkets she won't let me throw out.  When asked, she has such funny stories to go with her creations.  At first, I got onto her for making a mess of her room during the night, but then I started noticing patterns and purpose in the arrangements.  Future Michelangelo?
"Coins on a bed"

"Birthday Cake"


"Birthday Cake II" (notice the 4 candle even made it!)

"Marbles balanced on posts"

"Jar of Marbles"

"Dolls on a bridge" (Bandaid on forehead is just for show)

Haley, you are one special kid, and your daddy and I love you so much!  Never stop keeping us on our toes and tickling our funny bones!