Wednesday, June 29, 2011


We just spent a glorious week on vacation/business in Plano, TX with Brandon's family. Brandon had to go for work anyway, so we tagged along for the ride and spent the week there. It was the just the vacation we all needed! The kids were amazing in the car. Brandon and I are so excited that our kids are finally old enough that car trips are actually fun and not dreaded like usual (although I should add it wasn't all joy considering Cora pooped all over her carseat and we had to listen to Old McDonald on repeat for 3 hrs). Both kids are at such fun ages to do vacation. They were both excited about everything we did and it was a great adventure! Here are some of the highlights:

1. We went swimming every day in Brandon's parent's pool! Eli had so much fun jumping in, swimming around by himself in his life jacket, floating on the noodle, hot tubbing with Papa with their special juice drinks, and got even more comfortable in the water as the trip went on. We just have to barely keep a hand under his stomach when he's swimming. He had a blast! Cora wasn't too thrilled with swimming at the beginning, but by the last night she had warmed up to the idea and had fun jumping in, throwing balls into the pool, floating in her little floatie, and eating popsicles on the deck!

2. We took the kids to Hawaiian Falls Waterpark. Cousin Gavin had a blast doing the big slides and our kids had a great time on the Lazy River and Wave Pool.

3. After Eli's lymph nodes swelled up huge, we took him to the doctor and he was tested for mono and strep throat. Luckily, it was Strep Throat and he started some antibiotics. We were fortunate that he acted like himself the whole time and never had a fever. It was strange, but I am glad it didn't really affect our trip. I must add that Cora had the runs almost our entire vacation from a virus or teething we aren't sure, but once again we were fortunate because she never acted like she felt sick!

4. We spent the cool mornings at different playgrounds around the area and the Willowbend Mall play place. We also all took the kids to ChuckeCheese and the boys played games together.

5. We spent a lot of time with all of Brandon's wonderful family! Brandon's grandparents and aunt Carol came down from Arkansas to visit, so we enjoyed time with them. We saw Brandon's brothers Paul, and Blake, and Brandon was able to visit Lance. We spent a lot of time with Brandon's sister Brittnie and our nephew Gavin. The boys had a blast playing and swimming together. They are great friends. It has been a joy to marry into such a wonderful family! Our kids absolutely adore them all.

6. Eli followed Papa around when he was home from work wanting to learn and help him. It was so cute! Papa taught him all about how the pool works and the pump house, so Eli told us all about it the whole time. He also helped Eli feed the rabbit that comes to their yard carrots. Every day several times both kids would want to go out and feed the rabbit. It was hilarious! There are probably millions of rabbits in their yard this week munching on all the carrot pieces the kids threw. 7. Brandon did the balding walk of shame and had his mother Donna shave his head. She did a great job and I love it! Now Brandon and his brother Paul look like twins! Brandon paid it forward and shaved his grandpa's head too!

8. Cora turned into a true southern girl! Everywhere we went she would say, "Hi, Ya'll!" and "Bye Bye, Ya'll!" It was so cute! She also learned to say everyone's names.

9. Eli is obsessed with TEXAS! The entire time he wouldn't leave the house unless we assured him that we were staying in Texas...such as we're going to a "TEXAS Walgreens, TEXAS mall, TEXAS playground, " etc. We all got such a kick out of it. He was really upset about leaving Texas and cried for quite a while when we left. He said, "I don't like Wichita, I want to stay in TEXAS!"

I am truly thankful for our little family and our extended family and the time we get to spend together! We all cherish it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I want to wish a very Happy Father's Day to my amazing dad, Jim Corman, my father-in-law, Bob Judson, my grandpas Bill Buck and Don Louks, and of course my wonderful husband, Brandon Judson. These men have all been huge influences in my life and the lives of my children, and I am forever grateful! I always knew Brandon would be an amazing dad. He was already so hands on with all of his friend's kids and loved playing and rough housing with them! He is the same way with our kids. He is always willing to help me in any way with the kids and is the support I need to take care of them while he is working. He lets me vent my frustrations and gives me time away for sanity. We get to share in the amazing joys of parenthood together and learn from our mistakes. We laugh A LOT at our kids ;-) and with our kids. I think we make a great team!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Praise of the Day

MY SISTER FOUND A HOUSE!!! I am stoked! They will close at the latest in 3 weeks! I can't wait for my awesome nieces and nephew to be only a short drive across town! Our kids are going to get to grow up together and spend countless hours playing and driving each other crazy ;-). What an answer to prayer. They are all here this weekend and the cousins are playing together like crazy. Nana brought Cora a water table and some toys for her birthday. Both kids love it! I am really excited to have something else we can do during the heat to stay cool and have fun!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lazy weekend

We had one of those rare weekends where we didn't have anything officially planned. We were able to take the kids to the park, take Eli to play at the River festival, run errands, go to church, the mall (where Cora hit two kids, might I add) etc. It was wonderful (minus the hitting)! We even tried out the new restaurant Noodles and Company at Eli's begging, which turned out to be great because they will substitute rice noodles for anything on the menu! Score! We have a busy couple of weeks coming up (including our vacation/business trip to Texas), so we soaked up every second of this awesome family time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gluten Free Living

Discovering that Eli needed to be eating gluten free was very overwhelming at first. I looked around my kitchen and all I could see were the foods he wasn't able to eat. I could only see the negative side. The truth is, eating a gluten free diet is very healthy and low fat. It pretty much eliminates processed and frozen foods as well as a lot of the junk foods. I spent a lot of time on the internet researching and figuring out what I was able to feed him and what we would have to learn to live without. I printed off some lists to help me get started that listed foods that were okay and foods that usually were hiding gluten. It didn't take me very long to get it figured out. As a person who cooks all the time, I spent time searching through my recipes and figuring out how I could adjust my recipes. The main struggle I've had is finding great tasting desserts. I'm slowly building up my gluten free dessert cookbook and enjoying trying new recipes. This week I decided to organize and make a list of Eli's favorite gluten free meals and reorganize my cookbook so it is only featuring the options that are available to us. These are Eli's common GF foods and meals around our house:


1. Oatmeal

2. Honey Chex or another GF cereal

3. GF Waffles or Pancakes (GF Bisquick tastes better than homemade)

4. Eggs and bacon


1. Quesadilla with corn tortilla

2. Grilled cheese with GF bread

3. PB&J with GF bread

4. Turkey and cheese

5. Majority of our lunches are leftovers

Supper (these are Eli's favorites, although I make a lot of different recipes):

1. Any Mexican food using corn tortillas (Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tortilla stack etc.)

2. Pot Roasts with veggies

3. Chili or Mexican soups

4. Veggie Soups/Chowders (w/out flour)

5. Any Italian food using GF pasta (Lasagna, Spaghetti, Goulash, Macaronietc.)

6. Grilled hamburgers, chicken, and other meats.

7. Chicken and rice dishes

8. Baked chicken (Crushed corn flakes make a great GF coating)


1. Mashed, roasted, or baked potatoes/sweet potatoes

2. Roasted veggies

3. Creamed Corn

4. Steamed Veggies

5. Grilled veggie skewers (our favorite is mushrooms)

6. Salads

7. Fruit


1. Corn chips

2. All fruits (our main snack...such as grapes, strawberries, watermelon, bananas, etc.)

3. Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries etc.)

4. Yogurt

5. String cheese

6. Dry GF cereal

Desserts (we only have dessert if we are having company):

1. Ice cream

2. Fruit juice popsicle

3. Betty Crocker GF cupcakes/cake

4. Baked apples

5. Betty Crocker GF chocolate chip cookies

6. WOW Baking Company cookies

7. Strawberry shortcakes out of GF Bisquick

8. Caramel Flan

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ode to Summer

I have to say Summer 2011 is turning out to be a blast! Cora is finally old enough to do a lot more of the fun activities that Eli loves to do. We've been going to the park a lot, playing in the fountains, enjoying the Wichita River festival (where our band played last weekend), going to the pool, many playdates with friends. etc. We are all having a blast and keeping busy! Eli went on his first roller coaster this week and his first ferris wheel ride! He loved them both! We met the Racchinis at the theater to watch a performance of Chicken Little this morning and all the kids loved it! Eli is finally able to sit still for longer periods and it is a huge help. By the way, he is making huge strides in speech and is improving in swimming lessons as well! He's been working hard at home with me, which I know has helped. I'm enjoying every second of Summer and planning a lot more exciting activities!

Friday, June 3, 2011

13 months

I thought I should continue on with the 1 month updates on Cora, since she is still changing SO much and so quickly. Both my kids are at really fun ages! My days are just filled with so much joy and laughter. The frustrating parts of parenting are diminishing more and more (newborn phase of no sleep, terrible twos with Eli etc.) The kids are so close and miss each other when they have to be apart. They are so excited to see one another, even if they have only been apart for naps. Eli shows great pride in all of Cora's accomplishments and gives her lots of snuggles and love. Her being older, walking so well, and communicating has added to their closeness. They love to play games (like hide and seek), wrestle, go on walks, and play outside. While we were gone this weekend and my mom was babysitting, Cora fussed and asked for me a couple of times and each time Eli came over to her, patted her back, and said, "It's okay, Mommy always comes back!" Cora is such a funny little girl. We all laugh at the cute things she does. At 13 months:

1. She still loves to dance and has some interesting pelvic thrust moves, waves her arms, bounces, and lifts one leg up really high while she's dancing.

2. She says, "Yeah" to everything, and her new words include: Yes, Tanya, Aunt Becca, first sentences include Bye-Bye Dada, and I love you, Night night, Sorry, Puppy, Nap, Shoes, Barbie, and more.

3. She will mooch off anyone with food. She loves to eat and it is hard to resist sharing with her cute little self! She really loves hamburgers right now!

4. She is officially WEANED! I cut her last feeding a week ago and she has done great.

5. She is sleeping through the night! As soon as I stopped nursing, she started sleeping better.

6. She got her 9th tooth, a big giant molar!

7. She is starting to hit a little. She will get mad, hit the floor or hit me (then I put her down and tell her it's not nice and I will only hold her if she's sweet to me). When I pick her up she will pat my shoulder and say, "Gentle!"

8. Loves climbing stairs, chairs, etc. and loves waking Eli up from his nap or getting him up in the morning.

9. She has started coloring with crayons and loves doing it!

10. She has this furroughed browl scowl she does when she's mad, which Brandon and I secretly refer to as her "bitch glare"...I wonder where she learned it?? ha ha

11. While she was getting her molar she had so many loose stools (which Eli never had issues with) and kept getting diaper rashes from all the pooping. She got to run around naked quite a bit that week!

12. She still is super affectionate and loves snuggling, kissing, hugging, and rocking. We still have to rock or pat her to sleep. While I'm rocking her she will lovingly pat my back. She does it to her dolls and stuffed animals too. She also will sweetly pat someone's shoulder who is holding her.

13. She is eating with a spoon and fork! She can feed herself her baby cereal in the morning, which has been easier for me! She also will blow on her food if I say it is hot.

14. She loves playing barbies and dolls and brushes their hair, puts them to bed, rocks them, kisses them, and plays with them.