Tuesday, August 30, 2016

18 Months Old

This little chunk turned 18 months old in August. He is growing and changing so fast. I was able to take some photos to remember his delicious face in this stage of toddlerhood.

Weight: 26 lbs
Height: 33 inches
Diaper: size 5
Clothing: 18-24 months, some 2 T
Shoes: size 6
Favorites: Being help by Mama as much as possible, nursing as much as Mama will let him, his blankie, Daniel Tiger, playing with Little People zoo animals and any type of car/train/truck/plan, seeing dogs, eating cheese
Dislikes: Thunder, loud construction sounds, Mama having to set him down, bugs 
Jensen you are still a chubby little man, but you eat much less that you used to. Usually 2 good meals a day with a couple of healthy snacks here and there. This past month we tried and failed at moving you to a toddler bed, so it is back to the crib for you! You also had a double ear infection that led to a scary high fever and a yucky rash. Mama is so thankful that you are doing much better now! You love to read books and play all day long. You are a typical "into everything never wanting to slow down dump out all the toys all over the house all day long" toddler, but I love it. Sometimes you get mad about silly toddler things, like when you want Eva's sippy cup instead of your own sippy cup, but mostly you are a happy man. You take a good 1 1/2 hour nap during the afternoon and usually sleep 7:30 PM - 7:30 AM over night.
You most amazing development over the past few months has been your understanding of language! You can follow easy directions and know what we are talking about even if it is in the other room. You say more than 25 words, with your bests being Mama, Dada, Uh-huh, Bye, and Bubbles. My new favorite sounds you make are "Choo-choo" for train and "Moo" for cow. Why is it so stinkin' cute to hear a toddler make animal sounds???

I love you so much and am so thankful you are my son. I plan to soak up every day of you being a toddler.

love, Mama

Eva's First Day of Pre-K

Today was Eva's first day at Pre-K. We had been waiting for this day for weeks, especially since "big kids" started last week, so today she was full of excitement. She came bouncing in our room this morning shouting "School! School! School!"
Her first real back pack! She picked the super unique Frozen themed one :) It is sparkly and has a matching lunch box. This year she gets to go 9am - 2pm, two days a week. She thinks she is pretty hot stuff going to school two full days a week. Yesterday she was so happy getting her backpack all ready with her blanket for rest time, and she kept getting her lunch box out of the fridge and admiring all the food. She even practiced opening her food containers so she wouldn't need help from her teacher.
I am really looking forward to getting into a good routine. I know she is social and smart and will do great. I thought about her all day long, but only in happy ways. 
Jensen is the only one who may be a little sad that sister is gone all day. I am looking forward to special time with just my little man, but I know he will miss having his playmate around. 
Once we got inside we put her backpack in her cubby and she got straight down to business. She has lots of friends in her class from last year so she sat down by her friend and was good to go. I went to say goodbye and she just kinda gave me a side hug like, "See ya later Mom."

She said she had fun and that her favorite part of the day was PE. She also said that at rest time the teacher had to tell her and a few other girls to stop talking, "a few times." I can't wait to see all that she learns this year!

Friday, August 26, 2016

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

At the beginning of the summer, I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive of having 3 whole  months of unscheduled time. I was loving the rhythm of the school year and our planned activities. We are now about to head back into the rhythm (HOORAY!!!), so I wanted to reflect back on what we did this summer. We may not have accomplished all of my dreams like making a trip to the mountains or the beach, but maybe those things will happen in our next season of life. Turns out life with a toddler and a preschooler can get a bit crazy! Here are some things we did do....
1. We swam. Jensen went from splashing around to actually enjoying floating in the puddle jumper, and Eva became a professional mermaid. She can now swim all the way across our neighborhood pool all by herself. I am a bit over the whole apply sunscreen and load up all of the pool stuff process. But it was fun for a season.
 Jumping off with a friend! This girl even taught herself to do front and back flips off into the water.
 2. We played in the back yard. Usually either in the morning before it got too hot or after dinner time. Ryan and I were big fans of letting the kids play in the hose and run around while we did the dinner dishes. Peace and quiet for the win!
3. We played in the playroom. My kids are at a perfect age to play together, and for the most part do so quite well. 
Little buddy learned to color and Eva spent tons of time doing art. Our glitter infested table is proof of a very creative summer.
4. We celebrated birthdays for friends! Emily had a Frozen party....
Amanda and Nana had a celebration at Cheesecake Factory....
Dede had a pizza party at our house....
and Kim got to celebrate the big 5-0 with a surprise party!
4. Eva went to Bara's Summer Rec for 2 weeks worth of sunshine and games.
6. Then she did the Cave Quest VBS that was hosted by the church where she attends preschool. They celebrated the last day with a visit from the ice cream truck!
 7. Ryan went to Young Life camp in Colorado and conquered the mountain again.
 8. We celebrated 8 years of marriage. Who else could I get through this wacky life with?
9. We had lots of play dates with friends. Moms' group friends, neighborhood friends, church friends, preschool friends. These play dates were a sanity saver! So grateful for all of the friendships we continued over the summer. 
10. This girl learned to READ. I started going through the Hooked on Phonics series with her, along with some BOB books that coordinate with her lessons. It is AMAZING to see your child really begin to read. She is loving it and I am so proud of her.
11. Jensen slept in a big boy bed! For a week. Or rather, we took down the crib rail for a week after he climbed out. It didn't work well, and after nights of very little sleep, we put the rail back up and lowered the mattress to the floor. You win some, you lose some.
12. We took a few zoo trips, including one to see the Fort Worth Zoo's new baby gorilla, Gus. He is the cutest little gorilla ever. 
13. We partied it up with Young Life students. My littles do enjoy a good teenage gathering where they can soak up the attention.
Now we are ready to head back to school. Eva's back pack is all packed and ready! We have Meet the Teacher on Sunday afternoon, then she starts Pre-K on Tuesday. She is so excited because she gets to go to school 2 FULL DAYS a week. Hallelujah! Summer was good, but this Mama is ready.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eva's First Sleepover

Before kids headed back to school, we got to keep my neice, Mallory for a night. This was Eva's first time to have a friend stay the night with us. She was so excited! My in-laws brought Mallory over to a church event the night before, then she got to come over and spend the night.
Two very silly girls. It did take a while for them to settle down. We had to wrap each one of them up in individual covers so that their legs wouldn't be touching :) And they did take turns with Jensen alternating waking up in the night...so sleep was rare...but we made it through until morning.
Then the fun really began! We got out allllll of the Barbie stuff and I let them go crazy with Barbies all over the living room.
Next up was a princess themed talent show and dance party. 
 Followed by some quieter art time
 Then we made enjoyed some play time at the park.
Finally we wrapped it all up with a trip to Hawaiian Falls! Three little kids and one mom?!  They actually did really great and we had a wonderful time. Really the hardest part was keeping track of everybody during multiple potty breaks.

Is it any wonder all three of these kids fell asleep on the way to meet up with Amanda for dinner?
I love these girlies and am so grateful that I got to share in the fun of Eva's first sleepover. I can't believe Mallory is already in Kindergarten now! It seems like just yesterday that Amanda and I were sitting there playing with our new little babies, dreaming of their future friendship.

Fourth of July

We had a great 4th of July weekend this summer. One of my great loves of the summer is dressing my children in coordinating patriotic wear. Check!
This year Eva got to decorate her bike for our neighborhood bike parade. We did the whole thing for under $5 so I would call that a success.
Who won the neighborhood award for Most Patriotic Dad? That would be this stud. Hold your applause.
His supportive and fun loving wife...who did not win an award.
And their 'Merica lovin' baby...who wouldn't even smile. But seriously, our neighborhood is awesome. We had a parade, followed by a cookout and party at our neighborhood pool. We hung out all morning and had a great time with friends.
On Sunday we got out the old Bara bus. Our youth sweated it out to get it all decorated for the Trophy Club parade the next day.
Practicing her bus driving skills.
On the night of the 3rd we had planned to go see fireworks as a family. By 8pm Jensen was melting down and it became clear that we would be crazy to try to keep him up late just so we could make a family memory all together. So instead Eva and I made it a girls' night and enjoyed some fireworks and icecream at the elementary school down the road.
The morning of the 4th we were pumped to ride and walk in the big parade. Eva had talked around riding the Bara bus for weeks...
Then somehow ended up getting to ride on this convertible. Such a little patriotic diva. Ryan walked the route so he could pass out water bottles and I ended up walking the route with Jensen in the stroller. So none of us were actually on the famed Bara bus, although we were still right there in the middle of the fun.
We ended the night with some pizza, followed by pool time and fireworks at the home of our church friends. We are thankful to live in the land of the free!

Girls' Day in Waco

In June I was lucky enough to get a day away with some of my favorite friends in the whole world. 4 months prior to this Ashley, one of our besties, had moved down to Round Rock. We hadn't all gotten together since she moved, so we planned a great girls' day in Waco. We are big Fixer Upper fans so the first stop was at The Magnolia Market. 
This was my first time here and on a Saturday morning, it was PACKED. Like hardly room to walk or enjoy all there was to look at. So we stayed a short time, then made a plan to go shop and eat elsewhere for a while.
THIS. was my FAVORITE place. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Chip and JoJo. But Junque in the Trunk was my store. It was across 35 from Magnolia, but not too far. They had the cutest, most wonderful pieces of decor and furniture. If I was rich I would have bought the whole store out. Since I'm not I purchased a new desk chair (which I love and am sitting in as I type) and a red painted window frame that is proudly hanging above my couch. I felt like the pieces here were reasonably priced and all so fun. I want to learn to restore/paint/create greatness from old furniture.
Ashley, me, and Marianne in front of Junque in the Trunk. We also stopped and ate lunch at George's in Waco. I did not get a picture but the food was great and they hooked me up with all my gluten-free dreams. 
Before heading back to Magnolia we stopped and got coffee at Common Grounds right across from Baylor. This is the BEST coffee shop. Cute outdoor seating. Delicious beans. It was humid out but we still sat and sipped for at least an hour. I love these ladies so much and we have had some marathon coffee dates together, so it made sense to grab coffee before we hit the ground shopping again.
Back at Magnolia things had calmed way down. I would definitely recommend going in the afternoon. I bought a Magnolia tank top (that I wear multiple times a week, like as soon as it is clean and hanging back in my closet) and a cute kitchen towel. I liked a bunch of their products, but most of what I liked was too breakable for our stage of life.
 The "famous" silos that Chip and Joannna bought. I don't know why but I thought the store was inside of these. Nope. Just a landmark. Am I the only one who thought this?
The seed store. I'm not much into gardening but if I were this would be my inspiration.
I seriously love the whole Magnolia grounds so much. We even picked up dinner from their food trucks before heading home. The only sad part was that their new bakery hadn't opened yet (it has since then). But I guess that means....
We will have to go back! Who's ready for another girls' day???