Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Sweet Valentine's Weekend

This year our Valentine's Day was extra sweet. I'm normally not a big into Valentine's person. I honestly do not care if my husband gets me a gift, for me my best memories of Valentine's are classroom parties, being surprised by my parents, and just getting date time with Ryan. This year though I decided to do a surprise Valentine's Day breakfast for my family. We actually did this on Saturday because I knew Ryan would be gone too early for church on Sunday.
I had too much fun setting up this sweet breakfast. On Friday night I picked up donuts and some festive table decor. I even found gluten free donuts for me!!! Hooray for being part of the gang. 
I don't know why, but I really liked this frog it seriously cracked me up every time I looked at it. Also featured: strawberry milk, heart shaped bacon, and strawberries. Eva and Jensen already had all the books on the table but I displayed them so we could read together over breakfast.
Oooh, look at that belly! Jensen got his first tiny bite of donut. I could squeeze him all day long.
Kisses from sister. 
Sweet children in their jammie jams.
Saturday afternoon we had a babysitter for a couple of hours so we treated ourselves to the foot reflexology place and early dinner at Cristina's. 
Finally this happened on Sunday night. Ryan surprised Eva by asking her to be his date. They got all dressed up and he actually rang the doorbell for her to answer and he gave her a rose. 
 She was thrilled. When I was helping her get ready she kept saying, "Maybe Daddy will dress like Superman. Or Batman. Or Spiderman." I realized she thought that since she got to wear a princess dress he must be wearing a costume too. When she answered the door and he was in his suit she said, "Daddy, you look like a different man!" Ha! I guess he doesn't dress formal very often.
My wonderful loves. This was really my favorite Valentine's Day ever and I'm excited for new traditions that we've started.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Jensen's First Birthday Party

I'm so happy to be sharing photos from Jensen's first birthday party. You know it was a great party when you just look through all the photos smiling and remembering every sweet moment. We did a firetruck theme but kept things really simple - just a few decorations, family, and of course, CAKE! 
I knew from the get go that I wanted to set the stage for a cute first cake backdrop. We hosted the party at Ryan's parents house so I thought the fireplace area would be just right. I painted the firetruck canvas on the mantel to go in his bedroom back when I was pregnant and the pennant banner was also already in his room. I borrowed a wooden high chair, crafted a "ONE" banner and we were all set! THIS PHOTO was the look I was originally going on.
Our family of four! Why is it so hard to get a good photo with two kids? We took a ton and this was probably the best. 
The cake table complete with balloons (fun fact, I really love balloons for a party)!
I made a vanilla cake. I used scraps of paper from his "ONE" banner to make the "JENSEN" banner for his cake, got a sparkly 1 at Hobby Lobby and topped it with one of his favorite fire trucks. THIS CAKE was my Pinterest inspiration and I was pleased how it came out.
Papa grilled up the hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone to eat...just like they do at the real fire station :) 
With my birthday buddy. Ah, how can he be one already? I want to squish him and make him stay small and chubby forever. 
One of my favorites with Aunt Amanda! 
Everybody just hanging out after dinner. I know this isn't the fanciest but I love it. I loved that the party was easy and we were lucky to have all our family there to celebrate. To me that is what makes the early birthday parties most special. 
Then it was present time! My parents were clever and wrapped his gift in the sports page from his birthday.
Mickey Mouse car! Jensen and Eva both LOVE this ride on toy. They can be found zooming around our house all day long.
Opening more gifts - new clothes, socks, shoes, a bath toy, a few other toys and a cool overnight bag. What more could a little man ask for?
All of his cousins helping him to open his gifts. 
 She would have gladly opened every gift for him but did a good job letting this be his moment.
 Finally it was time for cake!!! I made him his own little smash cake.
So serious. When he is in louder situations he tends to be more quiet and observant. It was sweet because he was happy and could tell this party was for him.
Then he picked up the WHOLE cake and just went for it! I remember Eva taking tiny pinches of her first cake but this little guy just wanted it all!
 "Yummmm, my first cake!" He had never had anything with sugar in it before but don't worry, he liked it!
 We also celebrated Papa's 65th birthday. Look at those handsome Bradley men.
"I did it! I turned one! Who's proud of me?" {He did NOT eat that whole cake...}
We had a great birthday party! Thank you to all the family who made it such a special day for us! Jensen likes all of his gifts and loves all of his family even more.

Friday, February 5, 2016

One Year Old

To my favorite little man,
Happy Birthday! Jensen you are one year old today. I am excited that you are one. I'm a little sad that you aren't an infant anymore. I love who you are growing up to be. Yesterday we took you up to the fire station to get some one year portraits of you. My handsome boy. I could stare at photos of you all day. 
Weight: 25 lbs (90th percentile)
Height: 28 3/4 inches (25th percentile). When you combine weight with height that is one round little man.
Teeth: Still an uneven 7. When is lucky tooth 8 finally gonna show up?
Clothes: 12-18 months, some 18-24 months (usually shirts)
Shoes: You are ready for size 5 and hopefully getting some tomorrow
Diaper: Also size 5, your little baby hiney is quite round.
Biggest Accomplishment:
Taking your first steps! About 2 weeks ago you started taking about 3 steps at a time. You still usually only take a few and then sit down but you are the cutest old man when you walk.
Dada (your favorite word), Mama, Uh-oh, Bye bye (probably your second favorite), uh-huh (for yes) and Hi (occasionally). You also know how to sign for all done, more, milk, and we are working now on cup.
Usually from 10-11am  and then 1:30-3pm.
You are typically ready to nurse by 7:15pm and out by 7:30 pm. You wake up around 7:30 or 8 am. Most night you sleep through the night.
Oh, Jensen. You love milk. You still nurse 6-7 times a day, which kinda seems like a lot, but you love it.We are going to keep nursing for a while. I love holding you in my arms and getting that sweet time with you. One day you will stop and I will look back and it will seem like such a short time with you.
3 meals and 2 snacks a day. You mostly eat what we eat just in tiny pieces. Recently I discovered the wonder of buying premade baby food just for when we are on the go. Wow, that is convenient. I don't regret making all your baby food but it's nice to have a grab and go option when we got some place that might not have food for you. Your favorite foods are cheerios, avocado, peas, grapes, strawberries, corn, zucchini, pasta, and yum-yums (baby crackers made from spinach and kale). We tried to think of any food you didn't like....and we came up blank.
You love to:
Throw a bouncy ball. Or a basketball. Or a soft football.
Take things apart and put them back together - stacking up, rings, etc.
Your baby fire truck and ambulance that go down a ramp.
Put little balls down a ramp or in a little toy that spits them back.

An interesting observation this month...I am pretty sure you are left handed. When you eat, you use your left hand more, especially for a spoon. When play you tend to favor your left hand. Hmm..Daddy says you can be a left handed pitcher and head straight for the big leagues. I'll leave that one up to you.
One thing that is special about you is that you are very content to play independently. When I'm busy cooking or picking up you are happy to crawl off to the playroom and entertain yourself. But as soon as I come over and sit by you, you love to crawl up and attack me with hugs and kisses. Your personality is so laid back and you are an easy long as you are well fed.
You enjoy splashing in the bath tub with Eva. Your banana toothbrush is a favorite for chewing on. You are getting the hang of drinking water from a sippy cup. You LOVE your blue blankie and sleep with it at night...or wrestle it any time you manage to pull it out from your crib. You knock down blocks and eat too much grass.
Finally, a stroll back through  your early days, starting with the first time I got to hold and snuggle you. You were only a few hours old and I wouldn't get to hold you again for 48 hours after this moment. I'm so glad we got that quiet time together. It makes me tear up just looking at it. You were tiny and warm, already fighting hard to breathe.
Snug as a bug in a rug...a bug that needed some extra tubes and oxygen. When I think back about your first days in the NICU it can be hard not to have regrets, but I really try to think about all the wonderful moments we got with you. Feeding you the first time. Holding your tiny hand. Smelling your tiny head. Celebrating each little milestone.
And who could forget the day you came home and met your best friend? You've been inseparable ever since. As long as she doesn't interfere with your milk or food.
 My littles one year later. They both changed a lot!
The birthday boy for his 12 month photo.
One year of Jensen, month by month. Jensen Bruce, we are so in love with you...I think we're gonna keep you :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Eva Goes to Preschool

Here is to the most random back to school photo you will get this year....Eva started preschool! Yep on February 3rd..because that's how we do things over here. Ha, so we had thought about starting her in preschool in January and I looked into it back in December, but we just weren't sure. Then throughout January things unfolded and we decided that this would be a great time for her to start preschool. Learning wise, she is doing great and just started building words and reading a few words. What we most wanted out of preschool was more playtime with kids and for us to get healthy time apart from each other, because it is possible we sometimes need that :) This is her first time to go away from home to school and we have been so excited since we signed her up. She already had a tiny Sofia lunch box and cute bag to carry, so we got her a matching Sofia thermos cup and a new "back to school" outfit! Ah! This is where my Mama love shines! I was super enthusiastic for her to start this new journey! I packed her snack for the day in her lunch box yesterday, complete with a Frozen graham crackers that are only for school days, and I even ironed her outfit :) Y'all. I have maybe ironed kid clothes 3 times ever, and I for sure won't do it again, but that's how excited I was for her. She did mention once yesterday, "I'm a tiny bit scared," but I think she was mostly good since it was the same place we did VBS last summer and she remembers having a great time there.
At her cubby! It even has her name on it!

We counted down the days on our calendar and this morning she came bouncing into her room saying, "Mama, mama! I get to start preschool today!" We had a good breakfast and then made it to school a bit early to take a photo. I am so happy because one of her good friends, Emily, is in her class, along with another friend, Anthony, that we used to do gymnastics with so she already knew some kids. We prayed for her on our way to school. We walked her in altogether. I was soooo happy when the teacher said, "The first thing we always do is wash our hands!" Yes! One of my biggest hangups on preschool was that she might get sick more. Yes, I know that kids need good exposure to germs and that they eventually get sick now or later. But still. I hate germs. So I was very glad to see that the teacher encouraged good hand washing.

Finally it was time to say goodbye. Just a quick hug and kiss and she was off to play at centers! No tears from anybody. I did have one emotional moment, but it was more a feeling of pride as we sent her off than sadness. All morning long I would look at the clock and think about what she was doing at that time...I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see her. My prayer for her is that she would love learning, be kind and generous, be a leader, and make lots of friends.

I arrived to pick her up a few minutes early and got to sit in the warm car and watch her play and run around on the play ground. She was in such a good mood! We got her things and walked out with her friend. I didn't want to bombard her with "How was your day???? Tell me everything!!!" so I played it cool and waited until she started to chatter which didn't take long. She said her favorite part of the day was chapel and she told me the story of Jesus telling the disciples, "Let the children come to me." She talked about the letter Q, and doing crab walks at PE, and playing dress up. She really likes her teacher and told me that snack time is at 10AM, just like at home. She told me that they made Valentine's Day cards for children who are in the hospital, but that she doesn't have to go to the hospital because another grown up will take them ;) I loved seeing her so filled with joy.

We will still do home school on Mondays and Tuesdays, working mostly on math, literacy, and science. Then she will go to preschool on Wednesday where she gets play centers, Bible, PE, some literacy and math, art, and recess. We also have our Moms Connect group on Thursdays where she is in a class and gets to play, do crafts, and have Bible time. I'm also so happy to get special time with Jensen. I love one on one time with my precious baby...who is turning ONE in two days...but that's another blog post.

I will wrap up this sappy mom post with a photo of another first Eva enjoyed 10 days ago that I never blogged about....
Her first hair cut! I had never even trimmed those baby blonde locks. How did this baby girl grow up so fast?