Since having our two little ones we seem to laugh a lot more! It helps that Lily and Eli have the best little giggles we have ever heard! We thought this blog would be a good way to keep up with all of the friends and family who don't get to hear their giggle on a regular basis! Enjoy!
On Tuesday my baby boy turned one! One year old! Can you believe it? I can't. We've been celebrating him and his birthday for a few weeks now so I have lots to share, but I will get to that eventually. Right now I'm just enjoying him. I have so much to share about my sweet little Eli, but the one thing I can say now is that I simply could not love this little boy more. Happy Birthday my little man!
Only our sweet little boy could be this happy on such a long drive!
Opening one of his gifts
Here I am peeking at him through the slot in my headrest- he thought it was rather entertaining!
Somewhere in New York state
Lily playing with her new sticker book
Over the river and through the woods...to Grandmother's house we go! And that's exactly what we did yesterday.
Over some rivers, through some woods, and across many, many miles of interstate.
We did 17 hours of straight driving (with just a few stops for meals). 17 hours!!!
And do you know what? Our children were incredible!
Eli didn't fuss a single bit the entire time! I'm serious- not a single cry or a single tear out of my sweet little boy! And Lily was nearly as good. Joe and I were astounded- we could not have asked for better from our kids.
And in celebration of Eli's birthday (yes, this very long driving day was indeed his birthday) both of our kids received little gifts throughout the trip. It's always good on a drive this long to have a few new books and videos and little toys!
So we pushed through the entire thing and with our kids softly sleeping in their car seats we pulled into my parent's house at 1:00a.m. (our time). We are sleepy today (okay Joe and I are sleepy- the kids seem fine), but I think it was worth it to get here with a whole day before Thanksgiving.
Thanks to all of you who prayed for our safe travel and prayed for our kids to do well on the trip. Joe and I are jokingly referring to it as our Thanksgiving miracle!:)
Some of you have been asking, so I just wanted to give everyone an update...
Lily is doing fine. On Friday night she was standing on a chair (even though I had just told her two minutes earlier not to) and it tipped over backward and she landed on the front of her leg. It hurt at first, but then she spent the next couple of hours running around with her cousins and we didn't think anything of it. Until...she woke up in the middle of the night crying because her leg hurt. And then the next morning she couldn't walk or even put pressure on it. That day she was off of it most of the time because we were driving to New York (where we are now)- but last night and still this morning she couldn't really walk on it. So, just to be safe, Joe took her for x-rays this morning (the nearest hospital was 40 minutes away just in case you were wondering)! The x-rays came back fine (no broken bones) and it looks to be just a bad deep tissue bruise. She is still hobbling around on it (which is so sad to watch)- but she is now able to walk (well, kind of gimp). I think that she'll be back to new in a few days. She is a tough little girl for sure. And we are hoping that THIS will be our last ER trip this year (and for next year too)- though I think I said that the last time!:)
Below: After So, I know it's been a while (or at least it's felt like a while for me) since I've posted anything. I have lots of pictures to share (including still most of my pictures of the kids in their costumes from Halloween)- but once again I'm having some issues. I still have all those pictures, but due to some software issues I'm having a hard time downloading them and editing them. I've ordered new software and in the meantime a friend is hopefully going to help me fix one of the other problems today. So, no new pictures today and you may be seeing our Halloween pictures around Christmas, but we'll get there eventually!
So right now I'm hanging out in the hallway of a conference center in upstate New York. We are at a work conference here, but at this moment neither Joe or I are actually at the meeting. I'm in the hall while Eli sleeps in our room and Joe is at the hospital with Lily who may possibly have broken her leg! I'll let you know more about that when we find out. So anyway, right now I'm out here by myself with some "free time" so I thought I would take advantage of it and learn a new photo editing skill. I've been itching to learn how to really make eyes "pop" in pictures and here is my first attempt! I love those sweet baby blue eyes anyway, but I love how this just gives them more sparkle!
Most parents hope to give their children some of the things they never had themselves growing up. We are no exception. Joe has been dreaming about getting the kids a Powerwheels pretty much since Lily was 6 months old!:) But really, the most important thing that I wanted to give my children that I never had is each other. Yes, if you didn't know, I'm an only child. And I had a great family and great childhood growing up. I had good friends and didn't really feel like I was missing out on anything. Now, however, I sometimes can't help but wonder what it would have been like/be like to have brothers and sisters. Well, I guess now I technically do, since I have four (two sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law) who are great. Still, being able to give Lily and Eli each other has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I LOVE watching them together. I so look forward to watching their relationship grow and develop over the years. And, in a small way, I get to learn about what it means to have a sibling through them!
So, I realize that Lily is actually three and a half now- and this post in long overdue! I actually took these (her 3 year pictures) while we were in Bar Harbor on summer project this summer and I've been meaning to share them ever since, but somehow I just never got around to it until now. I actually sort of forgot. I recently remembered because I've been looking through all of my pictures trying to figure out which ones I lost in the whole hard drive fiasco. I did, thankfully, still have these pictures. I have a few more pictures to share from this little photo shoot and I will do that soon (but those haven't been edited yet and I have to wait until I can get my photo editing software back up and running). So, in the meantime please enjoy these few pictures of my beautiful little 3 year old Lily!
Lily at 3 Years Old:
She still has the best little giggle I have ever heard.
She laughs a lot.
She cries and fusses a lot too when she doesn't get her way (she is 3 after all).
She is so very sweet- often telling us (and her stuffed animals) that she loves us.
She is better behaved out in public than at home and people are always telling us how sweet and incredibly well behaved she is!
She is always hugging and holding hands with her friends.
Her friends are very important to her- she is very social.
She loves to go out and asks me everyday where we are going that day.
She is very much a planner and likes to know and prepare for what we might be doing that day.
She has a hard time when her expectations aren't met. I can't tell her we are going to visit a friend (or go anywhere else) unless I am certain we are going or she will be beyond disappointed if plans change.
She loves to tell stories and has a story to relate to almost anything you have to say.
Sometimes we wonder if she will ever stop talking, but she makes us laugh all the time.
She loves going to Sunday School and learning about God. She really enjoys reading her little Bible and praying (though most of the time she wants us to say the words when we are praying).
She has an incredibly vivid imagination.
She loves girly things like playing dress up (constantly), wearing jewelry, and dancing like a ballerina.
Given the choice she would wear dresses every single day.
She also likes "scary" things like bats, the big bad wolf, and going for "night walks" with dad.
She is currently fascinated with flashlights.
She still loves reading books and her current favorites include "Fancy Nancy" and "Ladybug Girl."
She loves pretending: pretending that she is a cat, playing "Lord Licorice," playing birthday party, or any type of pretend play with her stuffed animals.
She is very emotionally driven.
She enjoys watching her "Netflix" while I take a shower- CareBears, Kipper, Dora, and Angelina Ballerina being her current favorites.
She is still very active- she loves any game that involves being chased (or chasing), playing on her swing set, swimming, or gymnastics (she just started lessons).
She likes "watching" football with us and claims (even without prompting from me) that the Packers are her favorite!
The majority of the time she is a very sweet big sister to Eli- she loves to make him laugh and is often very nurturing.
One of her very favorite things to do is to paint (evidenced by paint stains all over our house). She also likes to color and draw and basically work on any kind of crafty "project."
She still likes to help me bake (and eat the dough).
"Macamonie" and cheese is her favorite meal, blueberries her favorite fruit, cucumbers her favorite veggie, Pirates Booty or fruit snacks her favorite snack, and lollipops her favorite special treat.
She loves animals of all kinds and she would really like a bunny.
She would tell you that her favorite colors are pink, purple, and blue.
Oh, there is so much more about my little girl that I could share- she is "my love" as I call her and I cherish her. I am in no hurry for this sweet, feisty little girl to grow up.
Tonight (Veteran's Day) as Lily and I were praying before bed:
Me: "Let's pray honey."
Lily: "Mommy, can we pray for the Tambourines?"
Me: "The Tambourines?"
Lily: "The ones who fight the bad guys"
Me: "Do you mean the Marines baby?"
Lily: "The soldiers who fight to keep us safe."
So to our Uncle Donald, all the other "Tambourines" and vets- we can't even begin to thank you enough for all that you have sacrificed (and continue to sacrifice) to keep my sweet little girl safe and to allow her the freedom to pray her prayers at night.
The last few days I have been "mourning" the loss of some of my pictures. About a month ago Eli knocked over and stepped on our laptop computer thus totally killing our hard drive. We had two different friends who work with computers full time try to fix it for us (or at least just retrieve some of our lost data). One of our friends who tried to fix it had, previous to looking at our computer, never lost a hard drive before. I think we ruined his perfect record because our hard drive was totally fried. Thankfully we backed up the majority of our data onto our external hard drive. Except for everything we did the last three months- including my pictures! Of course I was pretty upset about this as there were some pictures that I just hadn't gotten around to even posting on my blog (and thus they are totally lost). And then yesterday I went to print some pictures for Eli's birthday and realized that in addition to those 3 months I also lost all my pictures from June of 2009 until March of 2010. Yep, that means that I lost all of the pictures from when Eli was born. I have no idea how I missed backing up those pictures but I'm sure it has something to do with being very pregnant and having a newborn that just made it slip my mind! So, if you know me you know how important pictures are to me- so this was a pretty big deal. I can't even tell you how thankful I am that I have all of my favorite pictures on my blog! I lost a lot of pictures, but I am so thankful that I didn't loose all of them (thanks to my blog)! So after I calmed down a bit and tried to put things in perspective (they are just pictures after all, not people), I dressed Eli back up and took some more pictures of him in his Halloween costume just to make myself feel a little better!:)
Here is a conversation I had the other day with Lily:
Lily: "Mommy, pets don't live forever do they?" Me: "No honey, pets don't live forever." Lily: "Mommy, Indy's going to die soon, isn't he?" Me: "Oh, I don't think so honey. He should live for at least a few more years hopefully." Lily: "But he's going to die soon, right?" Me: "Lily, do you want Indy to die?" Lily: "If Indy dies can I get a bunny?"
Indy, you better watch your back!
P.S. I took this picture of Indy sleeping the other day on our couch- it actually made me laugh out loud!
Don't you just love Eli's little teeth? Oh I love it! Eli got his first tooth (on the bottom) when he was 6 months old (about the same age Lily was when she got her first tooth). It was quickly followed by a second tooth on the bottom and then (interestingly) a third little tooth on the bottom. I snapped these pictures when both of his two front (top) teeth were almost all the way in (seriously too cute)! And now he has eight teeth! And thankfully the whole process has been pretty smooth- no major teething issues at all- just beautiful baby pearly whites! Until today.... You see today Eli was cruising around near the couch when his feet sort of slipped out from under him and he fell with his mouth taking the brunt of the fall. He was screaming, but immediately I wasn't too concerned because he falls many times a day (he's learning to walk). But I quickly realized as I scooped him up that this was different. He was really screaming and his mouth was bleeding (not streaming blood, but more than a little). So I held him and did the best I could to clean him up and comfort him (Joe was at the gym). He wouldn't really let me look in his mouth and I didn't want to get him worked up again so when the bleeding was mostly stopped I gave him his pacifier and we snuggled until Joe got home. But then he wouldn't let Joe look in his mouth either... Until about 30 minutes later when Lily gave him a cheese stick. He happily chomped on his cheese stick until that cheese stick was bloody. Joe was able to get a look at his mouth then and could tell that his front teeth had been pushed in some. My poor sweet baby. Shortly after he went down for a good nap and when he woke up and Joe checked him out a bit more he could tell that he actually still had a piece of his inside lip still wedged and stuck in between his two front teeth. Sounds awful doesn't it? And yet our little man didn't seem to notice at all. And when Joe quickly removed it Eli barely flinched. He clearly takes after his father. I haven't gotten a good look yet (I'm not sure I really wanted to), but Joe says that his teeth are a little messed up. So we'll just wait and see but we think he's going to be just fine and we are grateful that he's going to loose these little baby teeth eventually anyway. I'm also pretty sure that if anyone can pull off crooked front teeth it's this adorable little man!:)
This year we weren't able to be with my mom on her birthday. She lives in Wisconsin, but I think this was the very first year that Lily missed her birthday. Usually my mom and dad fly out for a short visit right around my mom's birthday. This year, however, they just couldn't make it work. So to celebrate from a distance Lily and I made a very special birthday poster for my mom. In honor of her favorite color we did the entire poster (except the lettering which was purple) in orange (lots and lots of shades of orange)! The day of her birthday we called her on Skype and Lily proudly help up the birthday poster for Grammy to see! Skype is amazing by the way and I just love that we could sort of "be" with my mom on her birthday even though we were technically very far away!
When I took my first photography class a while back I learned how much better photographs turn out in natural light as opposed to using a flash. Ever since then I hardly ever use my flash and I love the results. But...not using my flash obviously has its limitations and just the other day I began to realize how much I am missing out on by not taking pictures when there is very little light in the house. So I snapped these cute pictures of Eli using my flash. So while I would have loved them even more if the light had been natural I now realize that I would rather have these just the way they are (using flash) than not having them at all! And yes, this little boy pretty much ALWAYS has something in his mouth!:)