Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!

We had our first official snow fall yesterday and it did not disappoint!  I think by the end of the day we had over 30cm!  We canceled Jacob's speech therapy and took full advantage of a good old fashioned snow day:)  



We headed over to Carolyn and Geoff's (man it's great having family close enough to walk to!) and built some snowmen.  Jacob was more interested in knocking his down...  boys ;)


A.  all bundled up to play in the snow!


Auntie Carolyn and J.  I think he has a radar for pregnant people and wants to prepare them for a new baby by carrying him everywhere.  I hate to break it to you buddy, but there's a slight weight difference:) 


How did you all spend your first snow day?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

7 Months

Charis you are 7 months old (well technically you are 7 1/2 months but I'm late getting these pics up:) You are growing and changing so much everyday!  I feel like I'm constantly saying "When did you learn how to do that?"



You are still the most extroverted little girl!  You want to smile and talk to everyone who sees you.  You'll let other people hold you but you prefer it if Mommy or Daddy are in eyesight:)  You started waving Hi and Bye this past month and love to wave at people when you see them.


You are sitting like a champ and prefer to sit up over any other position.  You'll go on your belly, but so far you don't seem to have any desire to crawl, so I'm counting my lucky stars, because you will be BUSY when you do!  You are on the go all the time when you're sitting or being held!  You do not like to be still!  These day's your Jumperoo is your favorite place to play.


You are still a great sleeper and a great eater!  You sleep a solid 12 hours every night (7-7) and usually take 2 solid 2 hour naps a day!  That has been a huge blessing to your father and me.  

You are now eating 2 meals a day of solids and so far the only thing you haven't loved was green beens.  We started you on chicken last night and you gobbled it down in a few minutes!  Your newest food obsession is Cheerio's, you go crazy for them!



Your favorite toys right now are your lovie (you sleep with it every night), your stuffed animals (you talk to them the whole time you play with them) and anything you can chew on!

You and Jacob are really starting to interact more and more, and he loves to kiss you and make you laugh.  It always warms my heart to see you both sitting in the playroom laughing together.   You just think he is the best thing ever!  Mommy and Daddy hope you will be great friends growing up!


Your 7 month stats are:

Weight: 17.5 lbs (65%)
Height: 27 inches (80%)
You are in size 3 diapers
You wear size 6, 9 6-12month and 6-9 month clothes



Here is a comparison of you and your brother at the same age:




Mommy and Daddy love you so much sweet girl!  You are just a joy in our lives every day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's not secret to anyone who knows me that I LOVE Christmas!  The tree decorated and lit up, Christmas carols playing in the background while sitting in front of the fire place sipping an eggnog coffee....  ahhh that is what I consider perfection:)

It is purely out of respect for Adam that I haven't already decorated the whole house, he's insistent that nothing having to do with Christmas is to be seen around the house until the first Sunday of Advent (I may have snuck in some Christmas music with the kids while he was at work though).

All of that being said, I'm not ashamed to admit that I have been scouring the internet for a great online store to buy our Christmas cards from for quite some time.  Recently I was browsing through my blog reader and I came across some AWESOME Christmas card mock ups.  I quickly headed over to the site (http://www.tinyprints.com/) and I literally have 20 different styles saved in my favorites!

Well I don't have the time or patience to show you ALL of my favorites, I thought I would show you a few incase you want to head over there and check out the awesomeness yourself!

Here's a few of my fav's:



I love the simplicity and elegance of this one!
(How cute is that little girl by the way?)




I think this one would be super cute for a fun family card!



I think this one is my favorite so far.  I can never just chose one picture as my favorite so this allows a little varity, and I love how bright and fun all of those little trees are! 


So for all of you looking for some really cute Christmas cards for your family go check out the Holiday line over at Tiny Prints, I'm positive you won't be disappointed!  Also if you order today you can get 25% off your order, which is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me:)





***I was given 50 free cards for this review, but all opinions expressed on this blog are strictly my own!  You all know me if I find something that I love I just have to share it with everyone that I know:)****

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jacob is 2!!

To my sweet baby boy,

Jacob, the last two years have brought so much joy to our lives.  You are just the most unique, special little boy.  

The last year we have seen you grow from a baby into a little boy.  You are passionate, sensitive, stubborn, gentle, kind and loving.  You love to be silly and laugh, and every time you see your Daddy you just want to play and wrestle, and you just laugh so hard the whole time. 

You are a little weary of new situations, and are still pretty attached to Mommy, but once you're comfortable you warm up and have a great time.  This year you have done swimming lessons and gymnastics.  You love the balance beam, and you LOVE the water.  

This year has brought a lot of change for you.  In April you became a big brother at 17 months.  Your Daddy and I have been so impressed with how you have handled this role.  You are so loving and gentle with Charis.  You hug and kiss her all the time, and every time she gets a little rough with you, you just gently move her hand off of you.  I can tell you will be such a loving protective brother to her! We also moved for the 4th time in your life this year (WOW!) and I really hope this is the last move you have to go through for awhile!

You love animals, trucks, puzzles, music, anything artistic (coloring, painting, chalk), reading, trains, and pushing everything that has wheels.  You would love it if you could eat snacks and play outdoors all day!  

You are really not a big talker yet, but we started speech therapy this month and I'm SO excited to start hearing you speak!  This Mamma can't wait to hear your sweet little voice talking.  What you lack in words you certainly have no problem communicating in other ways!  You are a smart little cookie and understand so much it alway's amazes me! 

I can't wait to see what this next year brings, and pray that as we enter the "terrible twos" (it should be noted I think we've been there for awhile;) your Daddy and I are able to parent you with truth and grace and raise you to be the man that God has created you to be!

XOXO

Mommy

2 Year Stats

Weight: 27 lbs
Height: 36 inches
Diapers: size 4
18-24 month clothes and 2T 
Food: ALL fruit, broccoli, pasta, cheese, most meat, chili, quesadillas, and any snack food you can get your hands on:)





TREAT BAGS


SNACKS


YUMMY COOKIES


HOMEMADE BIRTHDAY SIGN


PRESENTS


SWEET SISTER


YEAH! A TRAIN SET!


DADDY'S BOY WITH HIS "GUITAR" 


COUSINS DOING A PUZZLE


MAGNADOODLE


FAMILY SHOT


LOTS OF YUMMY FOOD


TRAIN BIRTHDAY CAKE MADE BY GRAMMY!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy 6 Months Charis!


Sweet baby girl how did 6 months fly by so quickly?  I swear we just had you!
I love this age so much and think the last month has been the most fun yet!  You are starting to really develop your little personality and your Daddy and I can't wait to see you grow into your own little person:)


So what have you been up to this month?  
You have really started chatting a lot this month.  You are constantly saying mamamama and dadada.  I know it doesn't mean anything yet,  but it is so nice to hear:)  You love to giggle and blow raspberries and it is pretty rare that you just sit silently! 

You are such a great sleeper - you take 2-3 naps a day for 1.5 - 2 hours and sleep 12-12.5 hours at night.  That being said this week between teething, your 6 month growth spurt and having a wicked cold you've been waking up around 5am every morning starving!  Mommy is secretly hoping you go back to 12 hours soon, we've been spoiled by good sleep!  



You are still rolling both ways and have started rolling to get to where you want.  The other morning I went to get you and you had rolled over and pressed your mobile to turn it on.  I came in and  you were just laying under it watching it go round!  You also can sit up pretty well on your own.  You tip over every once and awhile, but over all I can leave you on your own for pretty long periods!  You are alway moving! Even when you're on your belly you start flapping your arms and legs around as if you're trying to figure out how to get moving somewhere!


You still have just 2 teeth on the bottom, but I have a feeling it won't be too long before we see some more!  You are chewing on everything.  Right now your favorite things to chew on are your Sophie, and a mesh feeder with an ice cube in it.  We also started you on solid food last week and I have to say for all the begging you were doing for our food, you're not overly interested in yours!  You tolerate apples, pears and sweet potato, and you really do not love carrots and rice cereal!  You're too cute when you eat, after every bite you pop your thumb in your mouth and suck your food down.  It's too funny!

You are taking 4 - 7 ounce bottles a day, and you do best drinking them in your room, otherwise you are just too nosey to care about eating!


You are growing into the sweetest little girl and your Mommy, Daddy and brother love you so much!  We all just light up when you are in the room!  

We're looking forward to the next 6 months and watching you grow!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yummy Goodness

 So in light of my wonderful postpartum body struggle, it only seems fitting that I read as many yummy dessert recipes on the internet as possible right?  I mean there's no calories in a picture:)  I thought I'd share a few of the yummiest looking ones with you all in case you are in a baking mood:)  And if you are and feeling like inviting me over for a taste test, all the better!




PEANUT BUTTER RIBBON CAKE:




If you think chocolate and peanut butter are a to die for combo like me this is for you!

This is acutally a Kraft recipe, so should be pretty easy!

what you need

12 NUTTER BUTTER Cookies, divided
2 Tbsp.  butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup  PLANTERS Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp.  vanilla
1 tub (12 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
2 squares  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

make it

CRUSH 8 cookies; mix with butter. Press onto bottom of foil-lined 9x5-inch loaf pan.
MIX next 4 ingredients with mixer until well blended. Whisk in 3 cups COOL WHIP; spoon 1/2 cup into small bowl. Blend in melted chocolate. Spoon half the remaining cream cheese mixture over crust; top with layers of chocolate mixture and remaining cream cheese mixture.
FREEZE 4 hours or until firm. Invert onto plate. Remove foil, then re-invert dessert onto serving platter so crumb layer is on bottom. Coarsely break remaining cookies. Top dessert with remaining COOL WHIP and broken cookies.



NOT YO' MAMA'S BANANA PUDDING - PAULA DEAN


                           


You know that when you see a recipe that has over 1800 5 star reviews that it must be good:)  Plus it's Paula Dean, need I say anymore?  I'm thinking of bringing this one to our church's Thanksgiving potluck this Sunday, so I'll let you know if it's as yummy as everyone says!

Ingredients

  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Directions

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Last One Standing



I am officially the last one in the family that hasn't succumbed to this awful cold that is going around!  J started coming down with it on Saturday morning, and by bedtime was in full on fever, crying, snotting mode!

By Sunday afternoon Adam was feeling pretty miserable too.  I was praying that it would stick to just the boys, but Charis woke up this morning with a stuffed up nose, and proceeded to get worse all day.  The poor little girl didn't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time all day, presumably due to the fact that she sucks her thumb to fall asleep, which makes breathing pretty hard when your nose is stuffed up.  She finally let herself be rocked to sleep tonight, after tossing and turning for almost an hour.

I have to say, as much as I appreciate the sleep I get from sleep training my babies early, I really do miss those sweet cuddles of having your little babe asleep on your chest.

Here's to praying for a quick recovery, and that I stay healthy so I can nurse everyone else back to health!  Hope you are all staying healthy in this rainy weather!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Parenting in the 21st Century

I recently read an article that I saw posted on Facebook that moved me on so many levels that I had to share it with you!  This article echo's so many of the things that have been stirring in my heart when I think of raising my children.  We live in such a competitive culture and rarely a day goes by when I'm not asked about my children's skills in various developmental tasks.

This article is written by Alicia who blogs at http://magicalchildhood.wordpress.com/

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:)


What should a 4 year old know?
I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked.
Most of the answers left me not only saddened but pretty soundly annoyed. One mom posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only 3. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.
It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mom by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our preschoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.
So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.
  1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
  2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.
  3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.
  4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
  5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.
But more important, here’s what parents need to know.
  1. That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.
  2. That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.
  3. That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.
  4. That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like legos and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.
  5. That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay! Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby Bump's

I have to say I love baby bumps!  I was so excited to get a little bump when I was first pregnant with Jacob.  In fact I have a picture of myself posing at 13 weeks showing off my little "bump" and every time I look back on it I have to laugh because, there was literally nothing there.  I have quite a few pregnant friends these days and I just love seeing their little bellies sticking out, evidence that there is new life growing inside them!

Do you know when I do not think baby bumps are cute?  5 months after you have a baby!  Ugh... I have been so struggling losing my "baby belly" this time around!  I was back down to my pre pregnancy weight after 5 weeks with J, with literally no work put in at all.  This time around the weight came off fairly easy, I still have a few pounds to go, but my stomach muscles seem to have stretched beyond repair lol.  I seriously look 3 months pregnant.

I need help, but I'm not sure where to start!  My main issues are that I'm pumping full time for Miss Charis, so I'm obviously hungry a lot.  I also am not one of those women who just melt away from nursing, in fact every time I hear someone say how much weight they lost nursing their babe, a small part of me wants to throw something at them (just being honest lol).  I also have such small amounts of free time that I have a hard time choosing working out when I see mounds of dirty dishes and loads of laundry to be put away, that's not even to mention all the huge projects to do around the house since we moved in!  I know it sounds like I'm making excuses, and maybe I am, but I literally feel like I'm at a loss for time these days!

So I need to figure out quick healthy toddler friendly meals and quick effective work outs lol!  Is there such thing?  I know lots of great healthy recipes, they're just time consuming.  And our quick fixes tend to involve a lot of cheese and carbs lol (think pasta's, casseroles, etc.), not great for the figure!  Any help out there from you other mama's in bloggy land?

I am determined to look non-pregnant by Christmas which I think is doable, since that's more than 3 months away.... I just don't know how to do it yet!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy 5 Months Baby Girl!


So Charis officially turned 5 months old on the 11th, but I've just been too lazy to up load the pics to the blog so here we go!


Charis you are 5 Months old!  My how the last 5 months have flown by!  We held our friends tiny baby in the hospital the other day and I can hardly remember you being that size!  Slow down baby girl!  

We took you for your 4 month check up a month late because of vacation schedules so I actually have your up to date stats:  You weigh 15lbs 5oz (75%) and are almost 26 inches long (80%)  you have lots of rolls which Mommy loves!

You're a good little eater (although we've had to give up nursing completely since you hate that... so now Mommy pumps 3 times a day which is more work, but at least you're still getting mommy's milk:)  You eat about every 4 hours and take between 6-8 oz at a time!  Jacob never took a bottle, so it's nice that Mommy gets to go out for a break every once and awhile!


You are just the most pleasant baby that there ever was.  You rarely cry and if you do it can usually be remedied by Mommy or Daddy picking you up!  You smile all the time and at everyone and are VERY social!  You talk away and smile at anyone who will give you some attention.  

You had your 5 month shots on Friday and you didn't cry for either needle, you just smiled and cooed at the Dr. the whole time!  She said she'd never seen a baby do so well for their shots.  



You are a busy girl too!  You want to be up standing and jumping ALL THE TIME!  You can already sit on your own for more than 30 seconds at a time and for long periods of time if you have the Boppy behind you.  You roll both ways and are ALWAYS in a different position in your crib every time I check on you.  

You love to suck your thumb, and I have to say that has been such a blessing to your Daddy and I!  It has made you the BEST sleeper!  You go to bed between 6:30/7 at night and sleep till 7 most mornings. You also take 2-3 2 hour naps every day!  You make having to babies close together very easy on your parents!  We love you sweet girl!!!



Just for fun here's J at the exact same age!  I don't see too many similarities yet, but they change so much in the first year!