Monday, June 28, 2010

We're Happy to Announce...

...that Baby #3 is on his/her way!

I am 13 weeks along....due somewhere between December 31st and January 5th. So, maybe we'll have a Christmas baby, or a New Year's baby....no matter what, it is going to be COLD! After having 2 babies born in the heat of August, I'll have to pack that hospital bag a little differently than I have had to in the past. Kris is secretly (okay, not so secretly!) hoping for this baby to arrive before the end of the year for tax and insurance purposes. =) We'll see!

So far everything has been going well, and the baby seems to be healthy. I have had a handful of doctor's appointments, and a few ultrasounds and the baby has been growing well and has a strong heartbeat. We feel very blessed to be adding another child to our family.

We just told Caleb the special news this morning after my recent doctor's appointment, and he seems really excited. I would imagine that this whole pregnancy thing is a bit hard for a 2 1/2 year old to grasp. While he knows that there is a baby in my tummy, he doesn't understand why he can't just see the baby! I told him that he could talk to the baby, and gently pat my tummy, so he has been doing a decent amount of that today. =) When we asked Caleb if he wanted another baby sister, or a baby brother, he said that he wanted another baby sister just like Meredith...how sweet is that?

In honor of making our news more public, we put special shirts on the kids today!


An attempt at a picture of the 2 of them together...hmmm, what's it going to be like to add a 3rd into the mix here? =)


And, our first belly shot this time around...
13 weeks


Here's a brief description of what is happening with the little one, thanks to babycenter.com...

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.

It is so so amazing to know how intricately created this little baby is. Reading these updates, hearing a heartbeat, and seeing a little baby on an ultrasound never seizes to astound me.

God is Awesome.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Smiles







Friday, June 25, 2010

VBS in Review!

So, Caleb had a very successful week at VBS. I am so proud of him. This was his first "school" experience, and I couldn't be more pleased. He cried when I left the first day, but that was it. He has been very brave and very obedient. This was our first experience with this church (it's not our home church), and I feel very blessed.

Before leaving for day #5!


To follow up on the "goals" I set for the week (outlined in this post), here we go..

1. Caleb learns more about Jesus.
I would like to think that he did! He had the opportunity to hear a lot of Bible stories, and be reminded of things like "God's Word is true" and "God's Word is life-changing". He has learned some new songs (I have too!) and had the opportunity to bring in items for the church's food pantry each day, along with a daily offering. He came home each day with a letter for us that highlighted what they learned that day. He also came home every day with a very cool craft that he had worked on.

2. Caleb becomes more familiar with a classroom setting, so he is ready for preschool in 2 months (ahhh!). **While he attends Sunday School regularly, preschool is a whole different ballgame!**
At one point this week, Caleb's VBS teacher (who is going to be his preschool teacher) told me that he is totally ready for preschool. This was so wonderful to hear. Caleb has a late summer birthday, so he will most likely be one of the youngest (if not the youngest) child in his class. For the past few months, I have felt pretty confident that Caleb will be ready, but it felt great to have that affirmed by his soon-to-be teacher.

3. Caleb develops a good relationship with his VBS teacher, who will also be his preschool teacher.
I am so thankful that both Caleb and I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Mrs. H (last name not included for privacy!). I think she's great, and Caleb seems to think she is great as well. I am excited for Caleb's preschool experience!

4. Mommy learns to "let go" a little bit.....sniff, sniff.
One morning this week, before VBS officially started for the day, I went to take Caleb to the bathroom. I started to go in with him in case he needed help, but Mrs. H. told me to just let him go in by himself, that he would do just fine. So I did. I stood outside while my little boy managed it all on his own. His shorts were on a little crooked when he came out, but that's okay. =) I know he was proud, because I heard him yell "Mommy, I did it!" as I was waiting outside. He has been potty-trained for a while, but we usually help with the little things, like getting pants up and down, etc. So, to know that he can do it all by himself made me so happy....if not a little sad, because it is hard, after all, to "let go."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meredith Today


She loves this little chair...


Applying (eating?) her lipstick...


She loves to climb up on anything she can find...


Bubbles!


Daddy!


Weeeee!


Bottoms Up!

Monday, June 21, 2010

VBS


***UPDATE: Day 1 went well!***


Today was Caleb's 1st day at Vacation Bible School. Because his birthday is late in the summer, and he isn't officially "3" yet, he didn't meet the age requirements for the VBS program at Harvest (our church). I looked into the VBS program at the church where he'll be attending preschool this Fall and technically, he is not old enough for this one either, but they made an exception, and said it was okay to bring him, since he is potty-trained.

So, off we went this morning...to a new place, with lots of new faces. I was a little nervous, and I think Caleb was too.

Thankfully, everyone was so nice and welcoming, and I was very thankful to see 2 familiar faces - a former student of mine and her mom!

Parents were welcome to stay for the first part - the introduction and the opening lesson. "Pastor" ( as all the kids call him) was dressed like a pirate to go along with the "High Seas Expedition" theme for the week. While Caleb was obviously a little apprehensive, he did a wonderful job sitting through the lesson and listening (at least I think he was listening) to Pastor talk to the kids about what a "miracle" is.

We left after the kids went to their classrooms for more learning, crafts, games, etc!

There are a few things that I really hope come from this week:

1. Caleb learns more about Jesus.

2. Caleb becomes more familiar with a classroom setting, so he is ready for preschool in 2 months (ahhh!). **While he attends Sunday School regularly, preschool is a whole different ballgame!**

3. Caleb develops a good relationship with his VBS teacher, who will also be his preschool teacher.

4. Mommy learns to "let go" a little bit.....sniff, sniff.

Waiting for everything to start...he loves his name tag!


Listening to Pastor speak...


Pastor...


Dad's Day 2010

I am so thankful for all the dads in our life....my father, my father-in-law, and of course, my wonderful husband who is an amazing daddy to our little ones! Kris is such a patient, loving, intentional father and takes his role as a dad very seriously. He is so great at seizing "teachable moments" to point the kids (especially Caleb at this point) to God's Word. I love him so much and can't imagine being a Mom without him as my partner in parenting!

Pancake breakfast before church!


Attempting a photo before church....not so successful...


And, later in the day...a bit more successful (with the Father's Day card Caleb picked out)!


And, a few of my favorite photos of Kris with the kiddos...

With C and M (both just a few days old)...


And, more recently...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Focused

As the days go on, Meredith is doing a lot more with her toys than just eating them (although, don't get me wrong...there is still a lot of that going on as well!). Here are a few pictures of her working on her shape sorter. She's mastered the blue circle. On her first tries at getting the circle in the hole, she would just bang the circle near the hole, obviously hoping that it would go in by sheer force! Eventually, she figured out that she has to manipulate the shape to get it to fit just right.

One of the most amazing things about being a parent is witnessing your child learning and growing, even though that means that they are growing up. Sniff, sniff.





And, here's a bonus photo, just for the cuteness factor. =)


Friday, June 18, 2010

Benefits

At my old job, I had great benefits...you know, the typical things...decent retirement, health insurance, vacation days. Oh, and the opportunity to invest in young children's' lives. =)

And sick days.



Ah, sick days. Granted, as a teacher, it was often more tiring to call in sick than it was to just go in to work, no matter how awful I felt. Calling in meant I would have to create new plans for a substitute, which was often more work than actually executing my own plans that had already been worked out (while some subs are fantastic, others are, ahem, not so fantastic).



And, there was always a bit of "damage control" I would have to do on the day I returned after a sub had taken over my classroom. So, sometimes, it was not worth it to actually take a sick day.

BUT. I had the option to call in sick, if I really needed to.

It was a truly great benefit to have.

In my current job (which, for the record, I love more than any other job I could ever have), I don't really get sick days. There's no "substitute" to call to take over my role for the day no matter how sick I feel. There is no option of leaving certain tasks until the next day....things like feeding my children and bathing my children and carrying my children and playing with my children are not things that can wait until tomorrow!

This week I have been pretty sick...I finally went to the doctor today and he confirmed that I have a pretty bad sinus infection and bronchitis. Which, I pretty much knew, but it was good to have it confirmed by a professional so that my hubby doesn't think I am making it up. =)



If I was still a teacher, you can bet that I would have called in sick at least once, maybe twice this week (and I would have just hoped that a good sub was hired to take my place).

You see, that was a great benefit to teaching...the option to take a day off to lay in bed and do nothing but rest in hopes of feeling better soon.

A great benefit indeed.

However, I have realized over this week that the benefits that I have just by being a Mommy far outweigh the option to take a "sick day"...even when I feel as awful as I do.

For example, I have a little boy who has (many times) offered me his beloved blankie because it will make me feel better, a little boy who doesn't mind cuddling on the couch with me to watch Sesame Street because I don't have the energy to play.

I have a sweet girl who gives me countless hugs and slobbery kisses throughout the day, and who smiles at me every time I walk in the room, and doesn't seem to mind that my nose is all red from sneezing so much, or that my voice sounds like a man's.

I have a wonderful husband who works hard all day, yet comes home and does whatever he can to help me out so that I can get even a few moments of rest. Feeding the kids. Bathing the kids. Dishes. Vacuuming. Trips to the store to get me more Gatorade.

I have a wonderful Mom who doesn't think twice about driving over an hour just to get here to spend time with us or to take care of my kids while I go to the doctor.

So, you see, although I may not get traditional "sick days" that I might have had when I worked outside the home, I wouldn't trade my job as full-time mommy for anything.

This job truly has the best benefits ever.

Better than a salary, better than TRS (teacher's retirement), and yes...even better than sick days.



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Way-Back Wednesday

I haven't taken any new photos this week (we've all be sick). So, here are a couple of my favorite photos from "way back" when my kids were itty-bitty (although, I am pretty sure that Caleb was never itty-bitty...he was bigger at 4 months than Meredith is at 10 months!)....

Caleb, 8 weeks:


Meredith, 2 Months


Oh, and just for fun....here's Caleb at 4 months, weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces & Meredith at 10 months, weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Playgroup Family Picnic



We had our first Playgroup Family Picnic today! While all of the mommies and kids get together on a very regular basis, the guys came along this time as well!

7 Mommies. 7 Daddies. 7 "Big Kids". 6 Babies (+ 2 more, due to arrive next month!).

Good times.

We rented a pavilion to have lunch under, and the kids had a great time at the nearby park and splashpad. They also loved watching the fountains and ducks & geese in the pond. It wasn't warm or sunny, but at least it didn't rain!

Meredith and her buddy Mikayla...


Crazy Girl...


Yummy...

Friday, June 11, 2010

One More 10-Month Photo


Here's another glimpse of our girl on her 10 month birthday yesterday. Thanks to Natalie for taking this photo!



(See below for the original "10" post.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Top 10!

Meredith is 10 months old today! I can't believe it!

Here are 10 of Meredith's favorite things as of late (in no particular order):

1. Her lovey bear, "Teddy"...
2. Playing "Peek-A-Boo"...
3. Taking Big Brother's toys...
4. Singing songs...
5. Her Family...
6. The Etch-A-Sketch...
7. Walking while holding onto someone's hands...
8. Grapes...
9. Taking the DVDs out of their basket...
10. Using her crawling skills to get into all sorts of things she shouldn't be getting into...

We were gone all day, and I forgot to take my camera with, so I didn't get any great photos. But, here's a few I took this evening. It's hard to get her to sit still for any pictures these days, and she has a little cold...so, these aren't the greatest snapshots, but here is our little girl on her 10 month birthday!







Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Messy Eating


Spaghetti and Meatball Night.






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