Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday we took the time as a family to trace all of our hands and then Ace and I spent sometime writing down what he was thankful for.   The first thing out of his mouth was excitedly "Jesus!" Next up were things like: toys and movies and then he was 'done' - and I said what are you most thankful for and that confused him.   I asked him to think if he were to sleep and woke up with only what he had thanked Jesus for the night before and everything else was gone what would he thank Jesus for and he promptly smiled and said 'everything!'   Smart boy.   I prompted again with a little more specifics and asked what people he was thankful for and the names started to pour out.

As he named each of them their names were written on the hands that I had cut out and placed together.   The project really was going to be a turkeys, but it evolved into something more simplistic and meaningful: thanksgiving.   He continue to elaborate and include things that surprised me like: love and blankets;  and things that didn't surprise me like: Disneyland, his tiger, and books.   Overall, I thought it was a very memorable event and a good way to kick of Thanksgiving.

On this day I choose to reflect on what I am most thankful for:  I am thankful for a loving God, for my husband, my two children, my expansive family of blood and 'adopted' individuals... because some of my friends that I have known for decades are a part of my family and are so much more than friends to me.   I am thankful for my friends, the military and the opportunities it has afforded my family.   I am thankful for the job(s) my husband has.   I am thankful that I am able to be a SAHM.    I am thankful for the ability to dabble in many hobbies including sewing, crafting, and photography and I am very thankful that Loving Husband puts up with all of them and funds them.  ;-)  

I took the opportunity the other day to indulge in a little photography.   Christmas is coming and I needed to get some photo-related gifts ordered while the deal was still good and so I needed to get some Christmas photos done of the kids.  So I broke out the studio, lighting, and props and got to work.  The kids were mostly compliant and afterwards I had (and still am having) fun editing the selection of photos that I gathered of the kids.    Enjoy a brief glimpse into our holiday selection of photos - more to come!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful

During this week leading up to Thanksgiving it is easy to be reminded to be thankful for what we have.   We can only hope that those holiday reminders course through our veins and truly helps keep our perspective on what we should be thankful for all year long.   My friend Katie is not only someone that I am thankful is in my life, but I am thankful that I get to witness her inspirational attitude on life.
 
If you are a follower of this blog, you know her story.  Today marks her second scan in her battle against stage 4 colon cancer.   I will be praying for good progress and continued signs that the chemotherapy is working for her.   On Wednesday she will also start another round of chemo which will continue over the holiday break.  While some would be upset and lament to the vast audience (and completely justified!) over the crummy timing on top of the crummy curveball life has thrown at her, Katie does neither.  She simply says 'oh well, I can't eat most of those foods anyway' and went shopping this weekend with her daughter.  There are lessons to be learned here and I love Katie's attitude.    

In honor of today and to reflect on a happy moment, I provide you with a thematically tinted picture from Dana's baby shower last year, where all three of us ladies were pregnant with now: Kennedy, Ethan, Kaylee & Mae.  :)

30 weeks (with one), 28 weeks (with two), 9 weeks (with one)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Professional Cut

Ace has had several haircuts in his short existence.  In fact his first came far to early in this mommy's opinion - but we're past that.   For a long time I just used the little manicure scissors and that did the trick for a while.   Last winter I invested in a pair of haircutting scissors and that was good.   I'm not too bad at the job.  However, in the last few months haircutting became an extreme exercise in patience for both mom and boy.   Him asking every 2 seconds "Are we done yet?"  wore on my nerves and on his ability to sit still.  That's when I decided that it was time to hand over the job to a professional! 

I took Ace to a small shop that is designed for kids and after some explanation of how it would all work out - he was excited and set.  He got to choose the seat, a movie, and away he went!  


He wasn't a huge fan of the clippers and the noise they made near his ears, but aside from needing a bit of reminding to sit of straight a few times - he did great.  

Sides are done, now onto the top!

All done! 
Overall he did very well and I think we'll return - although probably not every month.   I think I'll do some maintenance with the haircutting scissors and go in when he needs the clippers :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ten Months Old



Double digits!!!   They've arrived!   ::whimper::   I'm so proud of how well she is doing! 

Firsts for the latest month:  first steps! A new state visited: AZ, Disneyland with Dad, waving and clapping

Mae took her first steps at 9 months and 15 days old - she is up to 5 steps in a row, but still very much prefers to crawl all over the place.  She also enjoys climbing up and onto things.   She's taken a few spills this months as a result, but she recovers pretty quickly.

Mae in the way of communicating is going well - she hasn't added any more vocabulary but she's becoming more deliberate with her words.  'Mama'  has officially morphed into her want for milk.  Which at least she knows what she wants and since I'm the only one that can give it to her, I'll take it to mean she wants me.  ;-)    She also says "up" when she wants up - but often only if we prompt her to.  'Dada' is also in the vocab and 'baba' still is around as well.   She also is waving - which is more sticking her hand straight up in the air at you.  :)   It's pretty cute!

Our little girl did very well on the second road trip.  She enjoyed the trip to Disneyland as well.   She did exercise her screaming a little bit, boy can she get loud, but overall she did great.    Mae has a bit of a fiery personality.  She certainly voices her opinion and lack of satisfaction with a situation.  She's in a state of hating to be seated.  She prefers to spin in circles while someone holds her.   This makes going to restaurants particularly complicated and we are looking forward to when she moves past this phase.

Solid food has been reintroduced and better received lately.   Some days she ravenous for it, and other days she's content to just drink milk.    She is getting better biting and chewing even though she still only has the two bottom teeth.  Mae does have 2 top teeth that are nearly in.  

Mae Mae is certainly a smiley giggly girl who likes to play with everyone in the family.  Her and her dad have a fun game of bopping her hand on her mouth and making fun sounds - which is really cute to watch her try and do on her own.  :)    She loves to climb all over her brother and smiles really big at just about anyone that smiles at her.   However, she isn't fond of going to anyone else right now.  Separation anxiety has fully set in, which is ok.  I'll enjoy the clinging baby while she lasts! 

Can't wait to celebrate the upcoming holidays and more fun firsts for Mae!

She's seconds away from pushing herself up into the standing position.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ten on Ten - November

Surveying our delivered produce!

Yummy apples!

Bath time!

I'm 10 months old today!  Hooray!

"Where did all the other fish go, mom?"

Pretty cool to get to do the pumping himself!

I love fall here!

Mae Mae took a very long snooze after the doctor's appointment

Let's go pick up dad from work!

Beautiful sunset!

To see others stop by A Bit of Sunshine

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Mouse House










We're Going to Disneyland!!


I couldn't have asked for a better reaction than this to our telling Ace about where we were going.     We drove 2000 miles and made a stop at The Happiest Place on Earth:  Disneyland!    We kept it a secret from Ace, partly for the fun - but mostly in case we decided to bail on the idea... and this was his reaction.  Priceless!    Stay tuned for a post all about the adventure we had.  :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hotel Life

We took another long road trip back to the NW.   Overall it was a very pleasant journey, we had a few road bumps along the way but it was a nice trip and we were certainly glad to make it home.    We stayed in several different hotels along the way ... here a few of my favorite pictures from those stays.  :)





Sunday, November 6, 2011

Team Katie

Today many friends and family of Katie gathered together to participate in the Get Your Rear In Gear 5k.   Together we formed the largest team:  Kickin' The Stink Out Of Colon Cancer!   With the kids in tow, I headed out early on this chilly Sunday morning to join everyone dressed in purple to walk.  

Our group gathered together with Blake setting out with the twins to run the race, while the rest of us took a nice stroll through the course. We joked that it was fitting that we were at the back of the race pack.  :)  The kids did pretty well - Mae rode in the stroller for about half.  My friend B helped push the stroller for about 2/3rds of the race (thank you!)  Ace did pretty well, but his hands were pretty cold.   He was pretty excited when he got a GIANT leaf to hold for a while.

We finished the race just as the kid's dash was beginning - which means we finished at just about 55 minutes after we began.   We jogged in - Mae was a bit unnerved by mommy jogging with her in the Ergo carrier, but she did ok.    Afterwards we stayed for the award ceremony - where Katie was awarded a pretty 'legit' (her husband's word for it) plaque for having the largest team (27 adults with several babies not included in that number!)   We grabbed a few pictures of the whole group, and with my camera we snapped this shot of our portion of the group.  :)


We were glad we were able to come out and support Katie in this way through her journey and help raise money and awareness on colon cancer.    To continue to support Katie, please stop by her CaringBridge site and sign her Guest Book.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Festivities

This was Mae's first Halloween and Ace's fourth (gasp!) with the move looming we were a bit at a loss as to how best to handle the whole event.   Do we carve a pumpkin?  Here or there?   Do we have costumes?   Simple or elaborate?   Pack them or ship them?    There was a lot of uncertainty on our arrival home - but in the end everything worked out well.     We went to the Pumpkin Patch in Biloxi and decided that we would carve our pumpkin there too.   


Ace once again helped decide what kind of face the pumpkin should have and helped dad cut open the top.  Ace agreed this year that the pumpkin could have a scarier face, but not too scary. Dad did most of the dirty work scraping out the innards of the pumpkin while Mae watched quite curiously as to what he was doing.

 
We had a few nights left in Biloxi where we were able to light up our jack-o-lantern before we donated him to the neighbor and headed on our journey across the country home.    Ace was very excited to see the pumpkin lit on the nights we remembered to do so. 

Their costumes were proving to be tricky - we didn't want to carry anything large or bulky in the already overstuffed vehicle, and not knowing if we'd be home in time for Halloween also precluded us from mailing costumes directly to the house at our arrival destination.    So I found a solution of some matching skeleton fun for the kids.   Basically glow in the dark pjs.  :)    Which they wore on Saturday to a party.




However, after that afternoon party it was clear that neither of those costumes would cut it on the crisp night in the NW.   They would have been completely bundled and nothing would have been seen!   I had already broke down found a cute monkey costume that did make the cross country trip with us for Mae.  I just couldn't resist!  The baby costumes are just so darling!   So I knew I needed to find something for Ace.  So on Halloween we headed to Target to hunt for something festive and there it was a size medium (way too big) Incredibles costume.    He wanted nothing more - so we made it work with a few tucks, rolls, and binder clips. :)   The sun began to set and the kids got ready!  Ace was very excited for trick or treating!

"Protecting my identity is the most important part, mom"  Well ok then!

I added a festive Halloween bow to Mae's monkey costume for a girlie touch!



We kept telling him he could yell 'Trick or Treat!' and he said "I like to say it really quietly..."
Ace did great with the scary stuff  and loved going up to the door by himself. Afterwards we came home and Ace enjoyed eating candy before bed! 



Mae only got to enjoy the outside wrapper of the candy this year... but enjoy it she did!