Friday, July 29, 2011

15 Months












Is it just me or does 15 months sound SO old??? Cora is truly a little girl now and not a baby anymore! Time goes so quickly with two kids! She is such a delight to everyone around her; none of us can get enough of her. At 15 months:


1. She has a way of kissing where she sticks out her bottom lip in the cutest little kissy pout. She will run up to me with that little lip sticking out ready for a smooch and I just burst with love for her! She loves kissing her friends and everyone around.

2. She has learned about time out and will actually put herself there if she does something bad. She just sits perfectly still waiting for me to tell her to come out and she will go say "sorry". She has pretty much stopped hitting, but once in a while will bite Eli if they are fighting.

3. She has the most adorable sweaty curls at the back of her hair. It is the only perk of this terrible heat wave! Because of the heat and humidity her hair is always curly!

4. She loves playing hide and seek with Brandon and Eli and wrestling with them both.

5. She is currently obsessed with marbles (just like Eli) and loves to play with the marble maze. She calls marbles "bobbies". If you pull her away from her beloved "bobbies" get ready for a fit! We are finally getting out of the "put everything in the mouth" phase.

6. She still is our little singer and dancer. She breaks out the most hilarious dance moves; her pelvic thrust move always brings laughs. It doesn't matter where we are, even the grocery store, she will be dancing if there is music playing. At church the other day, she yelled "YEAH!" after one of Brandon's songs. It was so cute! She sings parts of "Baa Baa black sheep", "Abc's", "Have patience song", "Rock a bye baby" and more!

7. She is a TALKER! Since Eli was such a late talker, it has been a joy to marvel at her growing vocabulary. These are her new words/phrases of the past couple of weeks: Rice cake, my turn, mine, glasses, Jackie, flower, cool, spin, ice, butterfly, Rica, found you, hi guys, belly button, HI, insert name, HI!" Every day she is saying something new. It is wonderful and makes things so much easier.

8. She has great manners. If you give her something she will say, "Thank you" and if she wants something she will say "Please". If she has wronged you in some way she will always say "Sorry". I am really proud of both my kids manners! I feel I have succeeded in one area for sure, ha ha.

9. Cora loves all animals, babies, sprinklers, her water table, walks, the bike trailer, the Cessna pool, barbies, coloring and dolls.

10. She absolutely LOVES her cousins and squeals in delight when she sees them. She always yells, "JACKIE" and runs into her arms. They have the most beautiful sisterly connection. It makes me feel a lot better about the fact she might never have real sister. She loves playing with her friends (as long as they don't steal her toys then watch out). Her best friend is Avary Owens and she loves playing with Eli's friends Seth and Jesse. I look forward to Sophie Horst growing up a bit so they can play, but already Cora is enamored with her.

11. She is a bookaholic. We read a LOT of books and she is always bringing one to me at the worst possible times. Of course I feel guilty and read it to her anyway!

12. She loves praying and always says "mAmen" and will sometimes cross her hands at dinner.



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Great-Great-Grandma

Brandon's Great-Grandma Munnie passed away this week :-(. When I came around she welcomed me into the family with open arms and I really enjoyed visiting with her. She was still a firecracker even in her 90's! She always had the sweetest and funniest comments at family get togethers and will be greatly missed. She had really gone downhill healthwise the past year, so we are glad that she passed peacefully and is enjoying her new life in Heaven. When we told Eli that she was in Heaven now he said, "She is NEW now...not old!" Amen!

video

Monday, July 25, 2011

Special Day













Our 6th anniversary was GLORIOUS! We enjoyed a fun family day spending time together and then Brandon and I were able to escape (thanks to my sister's family) and go see the last Harry Potter in 3D at the Imax theater. It was a blast! We loved the movie and I LOVED the chance to eat a delicious over priced pretzel and cheese. It was amazing and I learned something new about Brandon that I never knew...he had never eaten a pretzel with cheese. WHAT? I thought I knew everything about him, so I was stunned. I thoroughly enjoyed my wheat treat. I obviously avoid eating anything "wheat" related in front of Eli (besides sandwich bread). Let's just say because of this I crave carbs like none other. I would probably kill for a cinnamon roll, muffin, pastry, cookie, etc. so watch out! After the movie, we came home and put the kids to bed and headed to Bel Ami (where we had our rehearsal dinner). We love the candle lit atmosphere and the delicious steaks! It was a treat! Brandon surprised me by having the waitress bring out my present on our dessert plate. It was such a surprise and I love my black diamond ring! We have labeled this anniversary as the "impractical one". I am not one to ever buy anything I don't really need. We always usually get something for the family or for the house that is needed. This year we decided to be impractical for once. My gift was allowing Brandon to take an entire weekend doing motorcycle classes and getting his motorcycle license (which he did a week ago). My gift from him was a black diamond jewelry set (ring, necklace, and earrings). It totally went against my nature, but it definitely was a lot of fun! I am so thankful to my family for watching the kids. Cora did really well, considering she's never been away from us for very long, and leaned on her best buddy Jacklyn for comfort when she needed it. It felt wonderful to spend time together without the distraction of the kids! We definitely need to do it more often!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 6th Anniversary!











































I'm sending out an early Happy Anniversary to my love, Brandon! I can't even imagine where I would be without you. You've made ALL of my dreams come true (so cheesy...gag). We have had so much fun and so many adventures together. Navigating parenthood together has been incredible and I love seeing parts of you in Eli and Cora. You are the best hands-on dad and an amazing friend. I love your integrity and your gentle spirit. Thank you for choosing ME! I love you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Botanica









































































We live right down the street from Botanica, so when I saw a half off membership listed on "Groupon" I snatched that right up! We have definitely been getting our money's worth! The kids are in love with the butterfly house (Eli makes sure to remind himself that "butterflies DON'T have teeth") and spends a lot of time squealing when they fly by. I love it too! There is nothing more beautiful than watching hundreds of butterflies fly around you! Our second stop is the brand new Children's Garden! It blew my expectations right out of the water. I never expected it to be so big and so hands on! There are lots of fountains and water features for the kids to play with (including watering cans to water the flowers), a farm house that is a playhouse with a kitchen and play food, a barn that has an educational station in it, a water feature where you can paint with water on the rocks, a musical maze featuring a lot of hands on instruments like chimes, drums, etc., a sand and fossil digging area, a tree house fort, log and rainbow tunnels, an ant sand and water playing area, a learning center with a craft, and more! The kids absolutely LOVE IT! The kids and I have gone a few times, but Brandon has yet to see it. I can't wait to take him!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Adoptiversary...I don't think that's a word!









































































My nieces and nephew were officially adopted ONE year ago! It seems like I've known them forever and loved them forever. I can't believe it's only been one year! Adoption is never without challenges, but the kids are thriving, they have adjusted wonderfully, they have caught up in school, and have had the opportunity to experience so many new and wonderful things over the past year thanks to my sister and Joel. I am so proud of them! I have struggled with a lot of different emotions when thinking about their past, their foster care, and their birth parents...anger, frustration, sadness, etc. I really feel a deep sadness, especially for their biological mother. I look at these five beautiful and joyous kids and can't imagine being in her shoes. I just see all that she is missing and think of the deep regret she probably already has. I pray the kids and her will both have peace about their situation in the future. I am so honored to get to be a part of their lives and am so glad that God guided Becca and Joel to them (even though everyone thought they were crazy). Praise God for His perfect plan!

The Beach




























We did a photo shoot last weekend at the "beach", aka a river sandbar, where Brandon proposed to me 7 years ago. I will never have photos done by anyone other than Jessica Rozof (an old friend). She is the best, and her daughter Sammy has officially stated that she is going to marry Eli when she grows up (they have our blessing). I'm really excited to have grandchildren with curly hair :-). I think Jessi's photos are just beautiful. She always makes us look so good and captures the greatest emotions. It was really special having photos taken there, considering our anniversary is next weekend! Here is a little taste.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rock a bye baby...













I still rock Cora to sleep. Pathetic? Maybe! Please just let me hold on to the last thread of babyhood! Eli never let us rock him...not even when he was a little baby, so this is a whole new experience for me. Cora was such a terrible sleeper for the first year, I would love to know how many hours I have spent in my glider (but now she is sleeping through the night like an angel). I really enjoy our time rocking before naps and bed, and I'm pretty sure it won't lead to me having to rock her when she's 10 (although the books might say differently ha ha). She snuggles up to me with her paci and kitty and I pat her back or booty until she's super drowsy and then move her to the crib where she always wakes back up and I pat her back a couple of times and escape. I think the reason I enjoy it so much is that A) She might be my last kid, so I'm cherishing every moment and B) She PATS my back tenderly until she falls asleep. It is so sweet and I feel so loved! When she gives hugs, she will also pat our backs sweetly. I can't get enough of it! Yesterday, we sat down in the glider and she put both her tiny little hands on my cheeks and patted them. Oh, how I love her! She also will say, "mAmen" if I forget to say prayers to remind me. I am just treasuring the last aspects of babyhood with Cora ! I love looking at pictures of my kids sleeping. They look so peaceful, innocent, and sweet! They are beautiful!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MIA





















There are a couple of reasons I have been MIA from my blog. The first, is that I am creating Cora's scrapbook! It is the girliest thing you will ever see...bows, flowers, pink, frills, etc. I am working on it during the kid's naptime and am almost finished. I love how it has turned out. The second, is that my sister and her family MOVED IN last weekend. They are officially living in their new house (which is perfect might I add) and are already unpacked. I offered to watch all the kids for the weekend, so they could get moved in. This meant I had 7 kids under the age of 9! It was exhausting, but we had a lot of fun. I did a spa/movie party for the kids and did manicures and pedicures (we also did professional pictures down on the sandbar). It was a blast! Moving went great. I am forever grateful to the awesome men in our church. Moving is so HORRIBLE, but around six guys from our church came and helped unload once they got to Wichita. I even took the kids over to swim in their pool yesterday, and it was great to see all the kids having so much fun in their new backyard!