Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birthday Girl!























We celebrated Cora's 2nd birthday this weekend with family and friends.  Brandon's family came up fom Texas (his parents and sister's family) and the kids were thrilled to spend time with them.  Cora has been so excited for her birthday party.  She kept saying, "My birthday party...JUST GIRLS, NO BOYS!"  I really wanted her to have a very special girly day and that's just what she got.  She loved her birthday party skirt and shirt and showed it off to everyone.  We did a "baby doll" party where everyone invited brought their baby dolls.  She had all her little girl friends and their mommies there:  Avary Owens, Evie Racchini, Natalie Wohler, and her four girl cousins (plus Gavin and Eli).  We did a craft that everyone really enjoyed.  I had the kids decorate "diaper bags" to go with their dolls (favors were baby bottles).  They used markers, stickers, and jewels and made some fancy diaper bags.  We then opened presents.  Cora loved getting everything!  She kept saying, "THANK YOU!" She got some art and stamp supplies, a doctor's kit, books, a sling to put her dolls in that Amy Racchini made (I am planning on wearing Asher in my sling a lot so she'll have one too), summer pajamas, and adorable clothes and shoes.  We had raspberry punch and doll cupcakes (that took me forever to make might I add).  The kids loved them!  Cora blew out her candles herself and was just amazed at everyone singing to her.  After the party, we all ate pizza and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  We took a walk and took the kids to the playground.  It was exactly what I'd hoped for for her!    

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Water fun







We had a crazy hot day today so we threw on bathing suits, put the slide into the baby pool, and enjoyed some cranberry juice popsicles in the backyard!  I am treasuring these last few weeks with my two blessings.  I love them so much and it is my greatest joy to listen to them play and love each other!  I pray Asher fits into this crazy mix just as well!

Preschool




Eli got to go on a field trip yesterday with his preschool.  They went to Cici's Pizza (which I had never been to), and learned about how to make pizza and then made their own.  It was a lot of fun and the kids really liked making and eating their pizzas (I brought a GF crust for Eli).  Eli was so excited to get to drink Sprite (probably the second time in his life he's had pop).  I'm guessing that was the highlight for him :-).  Cora loves his preschool class and teachers, so she had a great time too!  In the evening, we had parent teacher conferences.  I can hardly believe we are already in the last month of school.  I am actually REALLY sad about this.  He only goes Tuesday/Thursday 9-11:30, so it's not a lot of time away, but he has so much fun and I love our schedule and the alone time with Cora.  I absolutely adore his teachers and am so sad for him to move on next year to a different class and be going Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9-11:30.  It is going to be a big adjustment ending school, adding a newborn, recovering from c-section, etc. in the same week.  I am praying that he is not bored out of his mind this Summer and that I'm able to keep up with his schooling (which he LOVES to do), speech, and fun activities for him.  We'll see!  It was really fun to see Eli's improvement from the beginning of preschool to now.  The teachers make this big binder to keep all of his work in from the beginning of the year to the end, so you can see the difference.  They also did an end of the year assessment, which was really fun to look at.  He has had a wonderful year of school.  He behaved wonderfully, which was probably really hard to do in a class of really wild and emotional boys.  His teacher said he is WAY WAY ahead cognitively and will do great next year because it is more challenging (he already is doing a lot of things at a Kindergarten level).  He loves all of the brain challenges and anything that involves a cognitive challenge.  He is doing great in writing, but doesn't really like coloring or the art type projects.  His weakest area is the fine motor skills like scissors, but he has drastically improved from the beginning of the year to now.  He still does a lot of self play too, which we have really seen improving in the last couple of months.  He actually acts kind of shy at school, which I think is so funny.  Overall, he is doing great and I couldn't be more proud of him!  This year of school has been so fabulous and I am dreading the end of it!         


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tomatoes


video


Last weekend we had the highest risk of a major life-threatening tornado outbreak ever predicted for our area. There was a lot of hype and a lot of people out buying survival supplies for their basements. People made fun of it all, but I was glad for all the hype because it probably saved a lot of people's lives when the predictions came true. There were around 100 tornadoes (some very large and dangerous) in Kansas that day and night and NO deaths! We had an EF3 hit here in Wichita that did a lot of damage to our southeast area of town. At one point, we were huddled in our basement bathroom with two very tired kids and sleeping bags and pillows ready as the tornado headed STRAIGHT for us (it turned before getting to our area). Our weather radio kept saying over again, "This tornado is extremely dangerous and will be wiping entire neighborhoods off the map" etc. It was terrifying! I could hardly stand the thought of being apart from my kids if something happened. Let's just say, the entire city of Wichita was in prayer and everyone got only about 2 hours of sleep that night. Several neighborhoods and businesses were destroyed and a major clean up is under way this week (Brandon is going to help a family from our church tonight). Amongst all of this, Eli was our constant supplier of laughter. He has been referring to tornadoes as "tomatoes" for the past couple of months. He came home from school one day talking about how they had had a "tomato" drill and it stuck. The night of the tornado he prayed for everyone in Wichita and was bouncing off the walls talking about what we should do if there was a "tomato". It was hilarious and so cute! We were very thankful to be spared in this crazy storm and still praying for all those affected!

Freezer Cooking



At 34 weeks pregnant, I have everything done! Everything is washed and ready (besides a few clothes my mother-in-law is bringing up). I have stocked up on supplies and tried to think of every last little thing to be ready. I am measuring exactly 34 weeks, Asher's heartbeat is usually in the 130's, and I am still feeling great. Braxton Hicks contractions have kicked in this week a few times during the night (ouch), which is another reminder that I'm getting close. The last big item on my "to do" list was to stock our newly gifted garage freeezer (thanks Dad) with meals to help me get through the first couple of months after baby. I'm afraid that I'll be too overwhelmed and tired to cook healthy meals for my family...which is very important to me. I'm worried that I'll end up having Brandon pick up food a lot, which is expensive and not as healthy. Having a freezer full of meals will give me peace of mind in this area. Last weekend I did a big grocery shopping, put Brandon in charge of the kids, and got to work! I made around 15 meals including: Lasagna roll-ups, and a lot of different healthy chicken and veggie packed crockpot meals (Italian Chicken, BBQ Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, etc.), 25 burritos, and 15 bierocks. I still have plenty of room to add some last minute breakfast things like GF muffins, pancakes, etc. It feels great to be close and ready!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter
























I love celebrating Jesus' resurrection! It was so fun to discuss the Easter story with the kids over the past month and really see them understand and want to learn more. We did crafts, sang songs, and celebrated! Cora hasn't stopped singing "Hosanna" for a few weeks now...so cute! Eli has been talking a lot about Jesus and what he did for us. He told my mother-in-law, "Easter isn't about eggs, it's about Jesus dying on the cross and raising from the dead. Easter eggs are just for fun!" We didn't get to spend the weekend with family like usual, since Brandon had to lead worship, but we still managed to sneak in some fun. We went to the zoo, ate at Jason's deli, hid the kid's baskets, grilled a big meal, etc. Cora actually did great at church, so I was able to worship and celebrate! Praise God!




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

23 Months











My little girl is so close to two it is scary! She is acting more and more like a two year old every minute. I just look at her and am amazed by how much she's grown and is changing and finding herself in this world. I love watching her figure it all out, and I love trying to figure her out. One minute she is greeting everyone we see in the restaurant, chatting the whole place up, the next minute she is shy and hiding behind my legs and crying if someone tries to talk to her. She is a girl and just can't make up her mind ;-) ha ha. I absolutely can't imagine my life without her! She is my jewel! At 23 months she:

1. Talks like a 3 yr old. She can say anything and everything and puts sentences together. Even Eli's preschool director the other day said how she can't believe how ahead she is in language. Some things she says often are, "I NOT try that!" (at dinner), "I NOT like it!", "Oh, my word!", "Oh, my gosh" (which we're trying to put a stop to), "Not anything!", "Not THAT one!", "I hold you?", "I snuggle with you?", etc. My favorite thing she said this month was after lifting my shirt and putting her mouth up to my belly and yelling, "Asher...come out...I HOLD you!" She greets us all with a big "Good Morning!"

2. Loves singing. She sings all day long and is very animated and serious when she sings. Brandon always says it reminds him of me because I always have a very serious look on my face when I sing...can't help it! Her favorite songs to sings are: ABC's, the Barney Song, You are my Sunshine, and Lord's Army. My heart swells everytime I hear her sing because I can see how much she loves it.

3. Throws fits, cries, runs away from us, and does the whole dead weight thing when I hold her hand in the street. Welcome to the terrible two's! She wants to be Miss Independent ALL the time and doesn't like it if I interfere. She is able to do more and more on her own, which is nice...but then also encourages the fact that she thinks she can do EVERYTHING by herself. She tests boundries and all the other wonderful aspects of toddlerhood that keep it interesting and challenging. The great part is that she can talk and tell me what she wants or doesn't want (unlike with Eli). It makes it a lot easier, but on the other hand, there is a lot of sassy talking going on.

4. Goes to bed on her own and down for naps on her own...YAY! This was big on my "to do" list before baby arrives. Once we moved her to her twin bed, she still wanted us to pat her back or tickle her back until she fell asleep. Now, we do a book, prayers, and a few tickles and kisses and she goes to sleep on her own. Big...sigh...of...relief!

5. Has great manners. She is full of "thank you's", "your welcome", "excuse me" etc.

6. Is struggling with church. I don't know what I'm going to do when the baby comes. She used to come to worship with me and eat a snack...then I would go back with her to Sunday school and stay there with her (because she was so hysterical if I left). She would play with the other kids, do her craft, lesson, etc. and have fun and loved it. The past two Sundays she cried a lot even with me there. Last Sunday we left after worship because she was crying so much especially if anyone tried to talk to her. I have no idea what the deal is. With Brandon leading worship I desperately need to be able to get to church, even if it is just for worship. Eli loves Sunday school and I don't want him to miss out. I am really praying that this weekend goes better...especially because it is Easter and Brandon is leading. I do not want to miss out!

7. Loves jumping on the bed or trampoline. She is still a lover of the outdoors and goes out every chance she gets. Now that it's been warmer, she likes doing the water table and can do everything at the playground by herself, which is nice for us! She can actually swing on the big swings by herself. At the farm, she would swing for hours on end. Just like Eli, she loves anything that "takes her tummy".

8. Has moved to the back of the van with Eli. We need to be able to put Asher in the front, so we decided to put both kids in the back seat. She was really excited to sit by Eli and they haven't fought at all yet. She can also get in the van and get in and out of her seat all by herself. This has helped my back tremendously.

9. Loves clothes, purses, baskets, dolls, bottles, dresses etc. She shows them off to everyone. This week she asked for pigtails (much to my surprise and joy) and everywere we went she would say, "LOOK...I have pigtails!" I'm hoping she will let me do her hair more.

10. Is very protective of me. I tried to take her to my doctor appointment and she was crying hysterically when they checked my stomach and listened to Asher's hearbeat. Poor girl! She also gets really mad if Brandon kisses or hugs me. She will yell "STOP DADDY!" and run over and give me a hug or kiss. Kind of hilarious.

11. Is my little snuggle bug. She is super affectionate and gives lots of snuggles, hugs and kisses. I never get sick of it!