What’s Going On?

Happy New Year to everyone! The Higgs Family is hoping to make it the best year yet for the family as a whole, for our well-being – physically and spiritually. We have lots of things planned for 2012, finances and time permitting. Here’s a short list of things we want to accomplish this year:

  • Take a family vacation to Disney World.
  • Redecorate our home. We’ve started on the living room and are moving to the play room next.
  • Buy a new vehicle for Ted that will fit the whole family.
  • Move closer to family – this has been on our list for a while, but I have a feeling that this year or next year will finally be our year.
  • Spend more time together.

Since the new year started, Elle has started cheerleading and also discovered a loose tooth on January 14. She is so sweet to Rhett and baby talks to him a lot. She loves to cover him in kisses and shares with him very well. It’s heart-breaking how quickly she has been growing up these last few weeks. Santa was good to her at Christmas; he gave her the coveted Jessie with the yarn hair. Mommy and Daddy got her a Princess Charm School house, Barbie doll, and DVD. Her Christmas favorites were the gifts from Auntie Diane – a Polly Pocket airplane with a ton of accessories and a bride dress-up set.

Rhett “flipped the switch,” as Ted refers to it, on December 27 and has been talking and picking up new words at a rapid pace. He is constantly trying to communicate and says “thank you” for everything. He says things like truck, stars, train, me see, whassat?, stop it, monkey, blankie, and paci. He’ll repeat pretty much anything you ask him to and it’s somewhat comprehensible. Santa brought Rhett a stand and play race track that is as tall as Rhett. Mommy and Daddy got him small plush figurines of Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Count, Big Bird, and Grover.

Sara is such a sweet little puppy. She loves being around her family and loves to lick on Rhett. She has been tearing up the backyard on her little outings so we are trying to figure out what we should do about that since we would really like to start working on the backyard as well. Our goal is to make it comfortable for us to hang out outside and also a fun place for the kids and Sara to play.

There’s lots in store for 2012! We hope your plans bring you as much joy as ours do.

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Meal Planning

Ted and I have started an attempt at a slightly organized chaos in the house. We have started meal planning which helps us create a menu for the week as well as a grocery shopping list for all the ingredients we need. We are in our second week and since the inception of our meal planning and we’ve created quite a variety of dishes such as:

  • Orange chicken
  • Rosemary, garlic, and lemon chicken & potatoes
  • Salmon burger patties
  • Baked potato wedges
  • Slow cooker lasagna
  • Turkey chili
  • Bread pudding
  • Enchilada casserole
  • Chicken pot pie

It’s so great to have a home-cooked meal for dinner on a weeknight. After Rhett was born and before we started meal-planning Ted and I would come home and heat something up – leftovers from the weekend or just pour ourselves a bowl of cereal. haha. However, I started feeling like this wasn’t a good example for the kids so with the help of Pinterest, I compiled a pin board of quick and simple recipes that Ted and I could make during the week. After that, a menu was created and a grocery list made. I’m trying to keep the recipes I choose as healthy as possible, but we shall see if the result of home-cooking is good or bad for our waistline. Fingers crossed

Back to Work

So I’m back at work. Today was my first day and I thought about both Rhett and Elle ALL day long. I miss both of them so much when I’m at work.

Rhett went to my parents’ house where he’ll be for the next three weeks. After three weeks, he’ll join Elle at her daycare. According to my parents, Rhett did great. He didn’t have any crying fits, he ate pretty well, and slept most of the day.

It’s a challenge getting out of the house in time to drop him off and make it to work, but we’re working on it. I also have to leave work early to make it to my parents’ house, pick Rhett up, load up the Jeep with all his belongings, drive to Elle’s daycare, pick her up, load both kids back into the Jeep, and then drive about 30 minutes in traffic to get home.

I really cannot wait for this house to sell so we can be closer to where we live our daily lives. Living on this side of town is really starting to get ridiculous, even more so in 100 degree weather.

Getting Back to Normal

…and whatever that means for us. 🙂

We have gradually been getting back to a regular schedule. Ted went back to work this past Saturday and today Elle went back to daycare. I must say it is quite lonely (and quiet) without that little bundle of energy, especially with as much as Rhett still sleeps. She is having a blast at daycare and according to Ted was so excited about seeing all her friends again. He said she walked through the door and shouted, “Baby Rhett came out of my mommy’s tummy!!”

It’ll be just Rhett and me for the next few weeks until I go back to work. Once that happens, he will be joining Elle at daycare where I know Jennifer will take great care of him as she has taken great care of Elle since she was 9 months old. She is totally a part of their family.

My first weekend experience with the kids by myself was pretty tiring to say the least. Saturday we attempted to get out of the house and were successful although it took me a grand total of two hours and ten minutes to do it. Between getting myself ready, getting Elle ready, timing Rhett’s feeding to maximize our time out, it was a lot of work. Sunday we decided to take it easy and stay home. Uncle B and Brittney came over to visit and Elle had a blast playing with them. Surprisingly, I got Elle to take her first full nap since Rhett was born. It just so happened to coincide with one of Rhett’s naps so lucky me got to catch a few minutes of sleep!

This morning – totally sleep deprived from two, one-hour-long middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, and breastfeeding equipment washing – I woke up at 7:15 to help get Elle ready for Ted so that he could get ready for work. I’m dreading the first morning that we both go into work on a Monday. It’s definitely going to take a few practice runs.

In other news, Ted and I are on a space maximizing kick. We are talking about disassembling our bed frame and replacing it with the original bed frame that Ted had. The platform around our current bed frame is taking up a lot of space and is still causing some ugly shin bruises. Ted also wants to get a few other pieces of furniture out of the master bedroom and we are selling the dining room table to fund the purchase of an entertainment center that would hide all the books and DVDs that Elle owns. This is the piece:

We’re looking forward to all the changes!

Rhett’s Room

We spent the majority of today assembling furniture; arranging furniture; and putting clothes, burp cloths, receiving blankets, bibs, etc away in his new chest. Ted assembled the crib without any instructions because we had thrown them away after we put it together the first time for Elle. Pretty impressive if you ask me, especially if I’m willing to put Rhett in it. 🙂  I assembled the new furniture from IKEA (with amazing instructions): the chest and the storage unit.

We have found that the two rooms we have changed up – the dining room and Rhett’s room, which were both rarely used – have the most natural light so we’re excited that we are putting those rooms to use now. I would have to say the cutest thing about having Rhett’s room now is that Elle drags her little step stool from the bathroom into Rhett’s room, places it right up to the crib, and steps up on it just to get a little peek at him.

Independence Day

Today Ted and I dropped Elle of with my sister’s family so she could spend time with Hayden and so that Ted and I could drive up to IKEA and get some furniture to do some rearranging in our house for the new baby.

I had already driven up to IKEA with Elle on June 26th when we realized we were late to my college friend’s wedding because of horrendous traffic. During that trip, I picked up a new mattress for Elle, a storage unit for her toys, a dresser for Rhett, and a toy chest for them to share.

This trip to IKEA, Ted and I did a little shopping around for a new entertainment center and a new couch, both items we didn’t actually purchase because we needed a larger vehicle to transport them back home and because we need to do some more debt paying and more saving. We definitely know what we would like when we do have the money though and we’re very excited about redoing the living room.

Some things we did pick up were another storage unit for Rhett’s room, just like the one I had picked out for Elle; a desk to move my computer equipment from the dining room table, which we are moving to the garage; a chair for the desk, and we exchanged the mattress that I had previously purchased for Elle’s bed because the one I picked up was for a crib, not a toddler bed. Oops!

After our trip to IKEA, we went to my brother’s house for a little Fourth of July get together where we had great food prepared by my brother’s girlfriend, Brittney. We spent a couple of hours there while the kids and dogs played like crazy and the adults relaxed. 🙂

As soon as we got home, it was all work. I put together the chair, desk, and hutch that came with it (no easy task when also watching/entertaining Elle) while Ted completely cleaned, rearranged, and consolidated the contents of the garage. His shirt was totally drenched by the time he was done because of the humidity and all the heavy-lift he did. The garage looks great now and I’m hoping it stays as organized as he’s made it.

So things we have to look forward to making room for baby are: moving the dining room table and chairs into the garage; moving the treadmill and couch out of the extra room into the dining room; and finally, assembling and arranging three pieces of furniture (crib, storage unit, and dresser) for Rhett’s room. After all of that, he is more than welcome to make his debut.

In the meantime, Ted and I are taking a well-deserved rest for the rest of the night and listening to the neighbors pop fireworks. Happy Independence Day to all!