Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cousin Korey

Since my sister has started her new job in private practice here in Wichita, Korey (age 4) has come to stay with us too! Joel is substitute teaching, and my sister is only seeing a couple clients a day so it should work out well. It is definitely a struggle for my sister already being away from her family, but at least she has little Korey here! They just have to survive until the end of May and then they'll all be moving here! Eli is over the moon having his buddy here. We had a few "sharing" issues at the beginning, but now they are doing great together. Having Korey here is going to be awesome for Eli! He already is copying her talking etc. I am glad to be able to help out!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Car seats

New car seat regulations have just been announced! The new regulations call for children to stay rear facing until the age of two (used to be 1 year old and 20 lbs). They also have changed the booster regulations to say that kids should be in a booster seat until they are 4'9. We jokingly took a picture of me in Eli's seat because I'm so short I probably should be in a booster! Needless to say, it reminded me to get on the ball and order Eli's new seat! He is going to be riding in style in a Britax Frontier 85 combination seat. It's a seat that should last him until he's reached the limit. It was recomended to me as the best one for boys by the expert at Babies R Us and online it was rated at the top. I'm getting sick of dealing with Cora's infant seat. It's too heavy to keep carrying around. She is graduating up to Eli's Evenflo Triumph Advance convertible carseat. We will follow the new regulations and keep her turned reverse. Eli was miserable when he was reversed and enjoyed car rides so much more turned forward...but Cora is so laid back I don't think it's going to be a huge issue. Plus, she can watch Eli for entertainment and will be able to look out the window in the new seat. We should be switching the kids seats this week when Eli's arrives in the mail! YAY!

Friday, March 25, 2011


This week involved going to the zoo with friends, getting a cavity filled, and supporting one of my friends during a minor surgery. The kids had a great time at the zoo. Eli kept saying "How cute!" at the animals and "ANOTHER ONE!" The animals were all rowdy for some reason while we were there. The gorillas were fighting and hitting the glass, the giraffes were running around, and the rhinos were fighting too! Eli's favorite thing was this gorilla that popped a squat and peed right in front of us. He thought it was hilarious. Cora loved the flamingos and she kept pointing at all the animals she was able to see from the stroller. Both kids loved the sheep. As we were leaving, Eli said, "Bye Bye sheep, Eli loves you!" The only hiccup we had was Cora's reaction to sunscreen. I put some on her a couple weeks ago for the first time (but it wasn't very much) and it was no problem. This time, I put more on...and she had a terrible reaction to it. She broke out all over her face and her eye was running (notice photo below). I usually use Neutrogena Pure and Natural kid sunscreen, but now I'm going to have to find something else. I bought some Aveeno for sensitive skin, so we'll have to give that a go. Sunscreen is a MUST, considering we are outside a lot and my Grandma Buck had skin cancer. We'll definitely be back to the zoo soon! I am definitely going to cut back on the sugar after having a cavity filled yesterday. UG! It sucked! The only good thing about it was the hygenist gave me all sorts of inside information about the good speech therapy places here in Wichita since her son is involved in it. I guess it was worth it, ha ha. This morning Brandon watched the kids for four hours while I supported one of my friends in surgery. It was a little nerve wracking, but all turned out well and I am praising God for that! He had a great time with the kids and they were great for him! Eli always was so full of drama when I was gone in the past, but Cora isn't like that. She is always thrilled to see me, but is great for Brandon when I'm gone! YAY!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I have really been working on Eli's speech with him...having him repeat words/sounds and working on the articulation. It's working! He is very proud of himself too! On Sunday he said "Eli done waaaa waaa...Eli happy" on the way to Sunday school and he had a great time! Afterwards I asked him if he had learned about Jesus and he scrunched his face up and said, "NO!" He's so funny all the time. Last night he prayed for "pretend cows". For Lent I started doing a family devotion with the kids every day to try and get into the habit of doing it. It's been great! Eli even asks for MORE every day. It's a book my mom gave me that we did as kids and includes a short little lesson and questions that follow. Eli has been doing a great job of answering the questions. He is so grown up! Cora is such a happy little thing and is just blossoming more every day. Yesterday, she cried when Brandon left for work. It was so cute! When he came home she was squealing in excitement pointing and yelling "Dada!" He picked her up and when he put her down she would yell "MORE!" and want to be held by him again and again. It was so cute! She also got her 7th tooth this week, had pineapple for the first time, and said "Tricked ya!" What a gal!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I officially survived a week of single parenthood! Brandon went to Colorado with his dad and brothers this week and had an amazing time! They stayed in his late uncle Roland's cabin, went skiing, hiking, checked out the sand dunes, and spent time with their Aunt Cathy and her sister Cheryl. Meanwhile, back home we had a great time! The kids and I had a lot of fun going to Riverside Park, walking, meeting my cousin Megan and her kids at Sedgwick County Park, baking cookies, playing outside, going for ice cream, spending a couple of days with my dad, etc. Eli also had his three year check-up this week. He weighs 32 lbs (45%) and is 36 1/2 inches (15%). His blood pressure was 90/48 (which is almost exactly what my blood pressure is on a normal basis). He's going to be evaluated for speech therapy next month, so hopefully we can get started soon! My Dad was here that day and was able to babysit Cora while I took Eli to the dreaded lab. He had to pee in a sample cup (which was hilarious because he almost OVERFLOWED the cup). I seriously was looking around just laughing trying to figure out what to do if it was going to overflow :-). He was pretty upset over the finger prick, but we survived! The weather was glorious all week long, which made it easy for me to get out of the house and soak up some sun. Both kids were really excited to see Brandon yesterday, that is for sure! I am very glad to have my family back together again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Independent Woman

Both our kids are just cracking us up daily. Cora has developed such a wonderful personality and her new thing is to answer "yeah" and shake her head. She is refusing to be fed by anyone. She wants to feed herself and is so independent. My sister was here the other day and Cora wouldn't let her feed her. My sister said something to Cora like, "Cora you're such an independent woman" and Cora nodded her head yes and said, "yeah". I grabbed my video camera and the rest is history.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Early Spring planting...DONE!

My goal for my early garden planting is usually around St. Patrick's Day. This year our only chance to plant was a little earlier than usual. We had a sbeautiful sunny day and took advantage of it! Eli helped Brandon till the soil...then Brandon and I snuck out to plant the garden while both kids were napping. We planted two different types of red potatoes (around 40 plants), one early and one mid harvest. We also planted twelve broccoli plants, a variety that gives one large head and then tons of side shoots the rest of the summer. Lastly, we planted a row of spinach and a row of a mixed lettuce seeds. Now, I just have to keep watering daily until I see sprouts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm a little tea pot!

Cora's favorite song is "I'm a little tea pot" and she started doing the actions this week! It is hilarious and adorable. She is so stinking charming, so I have a million videos of her doing something adorable!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Summer Plans...

One of my favorite blogs posted her summer goals with her kids, and I thought it was a great idea! There is so much I want to do with them, but will likely forget in all the craziness! Here are my summer ideas:

1. Go to the Sedgwick County Zoo with friends

2. Try out Tangyanika Wildlife Park

3. Swimming lessons for Eli at the YMCA

4. Go to the pool with the kids a few times

5. Exploration Place when the weather is bad

6. Walk at Great Plains Nature Center

7. Picnics in Oak Park

8. Several trips up to my parents farm for country fun

9. Camping at the lake (since my parents have an awesome camper we can take advantage of for added fun)

10. Lots of time outside playing in the sandbox, sprinklers, baby pool, and gardening

11. Weekly playdates at the park with friends

12. Have people over for lots of barbecues

13. Vacation in Texas for a week to spend time with the in-laws

14. Introduce Cora to the bike trailer, so we can go on family bike rides

15. Daily walks

16. A weekend away trip to KC for JUST ME and my friend (once I'm done nursing Cora)

17. Take Eli to his first movie, Cars 2

18. Make homemade ice cream with Eli

19. Play in the sand and fly kites at the river sandbar (the beach) and Sim park

20. Start our Botanica membership once the weather is warmer and take the kids often

21. Take Eli on some fair rides that he's finally old enough for

22. Take the kids to the parades around town

23. Work with Eli on learning to ride his bike

24. A father son bird feeder building project

25. Set up an outside basketball goal for Eli

Monday, March 7, 2011

10 Months

Although this past weekend was ALL about celebrating Eli's birthday with his friends and family, Cora turning 10 months old was always in the back of my mind. TEN MONTHS people...that's two months away from ONE! Cora is the sunshine in our lives and Brandon and I literally exclaim every day how blessed we are. Our kids are amazing and we couldn't be happier! Every day Cora is doing or saying something new, and it's always a pleasant surprise. She doesn't even seem like a baby anymore, since she is walking and talking so well! At 10 months Cora is:
1. Saying more and more, such as, "Book", "Ball", "Milk", "Hi Dada", "Baby", "Brown Bear" etc.
2. Going from stomach to sitting
3. Walking on her own EVERYWHERE. I rarely have to spot her since she usually falls to her bottom.
4. Eating more table foods and can feed herself. It is wonderful having two kids feeding themselves, so I can actually eat. She's eating diced cheese, beans, grapes, etc. all on her own.
5. Loving books! Her favorite book is "Brown Bear"
6. Getting 6 teeth at once. Four have cut and two are cutting right now. This will make a total of 4 on bottom and 4 on top.
7. Getting more attached to her pacifier while teething. I only give it to her for naps and bedtime, but she will run to her room and try to find them in the crib or on her night stand. It is common for her to come out with a big smile on her face, a paci in her mouth, and a paci in each hand!
8. Still getting into everything. She can search out the tiniest crumb and it will end up in her mouth. I have to sweep multiple times per day to keep up with her. Yesterday, I found a bright blue smiley face sticker in her poop when I was changing her diaper. We got a good laugh out of that!
9. Getting more social. She doesn't get as overwhelmed at new people, and will actually walk to strangers and try to converse with them. She will also be held by others, as long as she doesn't see me too near by. She LOVES Brandon and squeals in delight when he gets home from work.
10. Loving talking on the phone and will hold it up to her ear. She always says "Dada?" when she sees a phone or hears it ring.
11. Two inches shorter than Eli was at this age. Two whole inches!
12. She is pointing at everything and everyone. If she sees a picture of herself she points and says, "baby".
13. Singing. She will actually sing Justin Bieber's "Baby baby baby oh" and the "McDonalds" song
14. Throwing fits by throwing herself on her stomach and crying when she doesn't get her way. Dramatic!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


All my life I've wanted to be a homemaker like my mom. She was fabulous at her job! She cooked three meals a day for us, always getting up early to make sure we had a good breakfast before school, and taking care of all our needs. My mom is creative at all she does, so I was raised doing wonderful crafts, puppet shows, holiday traditions, imaginative games and playing, etc. I want to be like her! I always hoped and prayed I would marry someone that could support us financially so I could stay home once I had kids. It's probably a good thing I married someone older and already stable in a good job, or that probably wouldn't have been a reality. I am forever grateful. Brandon works so hard and with such integrity...I am so proud of him. Being able to raise and take care of my kids every second of the day is amazing. I can't even imagine having to leave them with someone else. I always feel so bad for friends who have to work and send kids to daycare. I am determined that no matter what happens, we can adjust our style of living for me to still be able to stay home. Not everyone is cut out for being a homemaker, though, and I understand that too. It is a very isolating and often boring job. I am fortunate enough to have a hands on husband who helps with the kids when he gets home, so I can get a break and gain back sanity :-). I am sure I will get a part time job or get more involved in outside activities once both kids are in school full time. I really enjoy the job, though! I love cleaning our home (I like a REALLY clean house), cooking, coming up with activities for the kids, teaching them, reading to them, etc. It is my life and I embrace it! I might get discouraged once in a while and complain when the kids are sick, but overall I am thrilled with my life and I praise God for this opportunity!