Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Posted by John n Shannon at 7:56 PM
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
What can I say about this amazing 4-year old girly that hasn't already been summed up in the title of this post? How about: I am one lucky Mama!
|Addison showing off her birthday dinner. She was so excited I don't think she ate much. Luckily, the rest of us had no problem scarfing ours down. She knows how to pick the yummy food!|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:31 AM
Monday, May 27, 2013
We had a very relaxing Memorial Day weekend this year. Which works out great when one is hugely pregnant and soon-to-be-due like myself. In fact, if I remember correctly, we spent most of the weekend just laying around the house in our own mess. But, when the actual Memorial Day came around we were totally partying.
|Bradley showing off his fire-making skills while Karah and I relax in the background.|
|Daddy showing Jonas the ways of s'more making. He was a fan.|
|Daddy and the birthday girl making some s'mores.|
|Jonas and Daddy hanging out in the pool. It didn't take long before Jonas was loving that water yet again.|
|Addison posing on the last day she was going to be 3 years old!|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:32 AM
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Addison survived her first year of pre-school! Actually, she not only survived it....she thoroughly enjoyed it (as did I)! It was such a good experience for her and totally helped her to come out of her shell more.
At the beginning of the year the teachers had asked me if she talked. Um, yes? They apparently thought she was selectively mute. I assured them that she talked a LOT and would soon warm up to them and preschool. Sure enough, she proved me right. She loved school and remembered everything she learned from music to dances to letters to you name it. She is SUCH an attentive little girl, not only in school but in church as well and even at home. She may not seem like she's retaining it but she absorbs it all and recites it back to me for months on end. I'm always amazed at the detail she can provide when it has been months since she learned it. She still knows the specifics of what to do when your house is on fire. Such an important lesson to retain at that! I'm so proud of her.
Originally, I hesitated about enrolling her at such a young age and instead just keeping her home with me for another year. However, after we finished up this year it just proved to me we did the right thing. She has always been a smart cookie....just a shy one. Fast forward to the last day of school and she has made TONS of friends and talks to most anyone. Even when playing at the park she won't hesitate to walk up to other kids and introduce herself and begin playing with them. She's grown soooo much this year.
For the end of the school year, Jonas and I (and the rest of the parents) were able to join her class on a walk to the park and we even got to eat popsicles. The kids were in heaven. It was a nice little walk and I was even shocked that Addison preferred to hold Miss Tara's hand on the way there and Miss Leslie's on the way back - instead of mine! My feelings weren't hurt though, it just gave me all the more hands to hold onto Jonas instead.
The kids quickly got all sticky and sweaty after enjoying some good park playing. I was able to chat with a few of the parents we've come to know throughout the year too. I'm also glad to hear that most of the students are returning for next year's class (4-5 year olds) with Miss Leslie. We are already looking forward to it and can't wait until summer is over....to a certain degree of course.
|Addison & Jonas enjoying a good popsicle.|
|She had a blast at her party as you can tell. She's very much a poser lately so this one was thought up all on her own. Such a cute little girly!|
After lunch, I decided to throw in one more little party and we headed over to the splash park for some more fun. We improvised since we didn't have our swimming suits but the kids didn't seem to mind. Splashing water is fun to run through no matter what you are wearing. Amazingly, Addison had less fear than Jonas did at all the dancing fountains.
So, thank you to some WONDERFUL teachers, MIss Tara & Miss Leslie! We will miss you over the summer but can't wait to see you again this Fall. You've done such a good job with helping Addison throughout this past year and she adores you both and preschool. I'm sure she will enjoy her preschool time this next year since it'll give her something to do that's "her own" while Mommy wrestles two little ones at home by then.
|Kiddos getting wet at the splash park. Addison was a bit confused why she couldn't take her shirt off like Jonas. She wasn't fond of being fully clothed but eventually just went with it.|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:37 AM
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I've grown up ALL my life in tornado alley. I'm sure some people out there think it's weird that we still live in this area since we get pounded by tornadoes so much. Luckily, I have yet to be in one although I do remember seeing one in person when I was a little girl....not far from the interstate where we had to pull over and take cover. I spent most of my life only taking the warnings half-heartedly and thinking I was invincible. That was until Joplin, MO (1 hour north of us) was hit with a devastating tornado. I no longer think I'm invincible. It's sad to see the damage and destruction Mother Nature can leave behind. And it gets even scarier when I'm a Mom and have to protect my children. I can't imagine anything EVER happening to them. So it's time for me to heed the warnings and take cover when they do come around.
This part of the year is the worst part April/May/June. We've been under a LOT of warnings, watches, etc. Areas nearby have been hit pretty bad but luckily we have had the same tornadoes pass over our little town. Needless to say, we've spent some quality family time in the bathroom and the laundry room listening to our weather radio and the news. The kiddos are convinced we are just having a little party and I'm fine with them thinking that when such scary situations are going on. Hopefully one day we'll have a tried and true tornado shelter to hide away in but until then we make do with our tiny rooms and hope it's never anything too strong that will flatten it all out anyway.
|Holed up in the bathroom having a coloring party. It wasn't the most luxurious cover we've taken but it works.|
|Yet another tornado watch. Spending time in the laundry room. Luckily the kids never woke up when they were relocated about three times that night and finally put on a mattress in the laundry room.|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:40 AM
Saturday, May 18, 2013
We were lucky enough to head up to Columbia, MO (my old stomping grounds) to celebrate my little brother's college graduation. "We" meaning the kids and I. Poor John had to stay behind and work. Someone has to fund our adventures right? ;) Luckily, we picked up my Mom in Springfield and then picked up my little sister at her house an hour later so I had PLENTY of help in the kiddo department. It's especially helpful because I have the type of mother that doesn't let me do a THING when I'm pregnant. Most of the time I like it. ;)
|Grandpa getting some manly bonding in during the ceremony. These boys love their Grandpa Bell.|
|Quentin's in there somewhere. It didn't take us long to spot him. It's one of the benefits of being freakishly tall.|
|Poor Aunt Cassie didn't even have her kids that day but she got to deal with ALL the cousins instead. So much for having a break!|
|Enjoying ourselves at the picnic in the heat. This little guy was getting some serious Grandpa Bell cuddles in ALL weekend. It was sooo adorable to watch. Especially since he doesn't get to see Grandpa Bell all that often.|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:34 AM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I must admit...I LOVE having a girly in preschool. For many reasons but one of them being that I get to see cute little singing performances and hear about what they do during the day at school. Addison loves it just as much and I love that too.....there's a lot of love around here people.
For the end of the year, it's Explore & Discover's tradition to have a singing performance. It's fairly low-key but it does involve having the kids stand at the front of the church chapel while the parents and family members watch and hearing what songs they've learned in preschool that year. Most of them are silly songs but all of them are fun to hear. And especially fun to watch how your little big girl is doing as a performer.
It was adorable to see how excited all of the kids were to see their families in the audience and to sing to us. We were lucky enough to have Grandma Fields join us to support Addison and she was thrilled to have her there too. Poor Grandpa wasn't feeling good so he couldn't make it. It was also hilarious to see how many video cameras were in the audience just recording away for every second they were up there. I like to see all the proud parents...especially when John is recording right there along with them.
Addison was superb at being very patient and obedient since it took a few minutes longer to queue up the music and start the performance. Most of the other kids were flopping and flailing around by this time. Finally, the music began and the cute little voices started singing along to their pre-recorded CD. I could faintly hear Addison among all the others but I definitely saw her lips moving and was proud of how well she knew the words and was brave to sing in front of all of us. At the beginning of the year she started out quite shy and thankfully pre-school has helped her with that SOO much. This was just more proof that it was working.
At the end of the performance they had one more song to sing to us and asked the family members to come join if they'd like. The song was "Tootie-Tot" and apparently Grandma Fields had heard of it - I had noooo idea what song it was but I was still ushered to the front by her and John. I figured there wasn't much I wouldn't do for my little girly than get my pregnant self up there to sing a song I'd never heard of in front of people I didn't know. (See where Addison gets her shy-ness? ;). I also knew that there was noooo way she was going to be the only little girly without a parent up there either. I left my pride at the door and sang and did the actions to "Tootie-Tot" and was working up quite a sweat at the end of it. It was fun to do it with Addison and see her just giggling away at how silly it all was. Her preschool teacher was quite amazed it didn't put me into labor. I was just amazed I finished it standing on both feet still. I can't do much without getting winded anymore.
After the performance, Addison was able to walk us to her classroom and we all enjoyed some cookies and punch and got to visit with the other parents. Jonas finally got to play with the preschool toys - one of his favorite things to do. It was such a fun time to celebrate Addison and her pre-school fun. So glad Daddy & Grandma Fields could join in the fun with us. Addison was thrilled to see us all there and that made it all worth it.
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:35 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
It may come as a shocker to my readers, but I birth big babies. Addison was the lightweight and she came in at 8 lbs 8 oz. I remember thinking wow she's "average sized" but then realized that "average" could really only fit within MY family history. To most of the world....she was still a big baby. However, Jonas trumped her when he came in at a bouncing 9 lbs 6.5 oz. Two words...OUCH and EPIDURAL. I birthed a toddler folks.
Soooo I wasn't too alarmed when my frequent doctor visits with this pregnancy had them telling me that my belly was measuring about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Part of me got excited thinking that meant I would be delivering sooner than I thought. My doctor quickly nixed that thought and said "Um, nope....that just means you have big babies." Ha.....surprise surprise. Either that or a lot of amniotic fluid. I'm blessed with both...lucky me eh? Which always makes my third trimesters borderline unbearable. I'm huge and uncomfortable and can no longer function like a normal human being.
Well since I was still measuring big on my following appointment, my doctor suggested I go in for another ultrasound. He wasn't alarmed but just said it was standard procedure when I'm consecutively measuring big. And of course their "paper measuring tape" method they use to measure is a bit archaic. I wasn't complaining since I'm always excited for another chance to peek in on the little nugget before she's born.
We were lucky enough to leave the kids with a sitter so John and I actually got to enjoy and pay attention in the ultra sound appointment. This little girl is quite the mover and wasn't fond of having her picture taken. Her feet were crossed of course. I'm guessing it's normal but it's something ALL of our kids have done inside the womb and outside of it. Jonas is still crossing his feet at the ankles when he gets cuddles. Her cheeks were hugely squishy. It's so hard to see that squishiness and not be able to take part in it for the time being. She was a chunky monkey but of course wasn't that much bigger than normal for this part of the pregnancy. The tech said she was measuring maybe 4 days ahead of where she should be....which is not abnormal. She was healthy and happy and is indeed a girl. And I was able to scan her little face and body for anything that seemed normal/abnormal physically wise. I'm not sure if I'm the only paranoid Mommy but I ALWAYS seem to worry and dwell on if my babies are going to be born with a handicap and what kind etc etc. I'm sure part of it has to do with the fact I'm older but part also has to do with typical Mommy worries. Either way it was a nice relief to see she looked normal and healthy and happy. And surprisingly she has ample room in there to keep growing for the next month plus.
It was such a fun time to check in on the little nugget and enjoy some peace and tranquility of a waiting room and have the kids at their cousin's house AND even enjoy a quiet dinner with John before going home to pick up this little girly's siblings. Can't wait to meet you cute little squishy and chubby unnamed baby girl!
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:41 AM
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Let's be frank. Being a Mommy is HARD work! You rarely get a day off, you are always putting others needs ahead of your own, and you don't get any sick days. It's rewarding work but it's definitely hard. Which is why it's sooooo nice to be enveloped in the celebration and love of Mother's Day. I'm one lucky Mama because I definitely got celebrated this year. And it was glorious!
The day started with the pitter patter of little feet (and big feet - sorry Daddy ;). I had to finish prepping my YW lesson for church that day so I was awake and heard the scurrying in the kitchen. One of my favorite noises by the way. Anyway, soon Addison and Daddy arrived to the bedroom and ordered me back to bed. I of course obeyed and was then presented with this:
|The first course - salad. Yes, that IS bacon layered on top. It was as good as it looks.|
|The pasta ensemble. I'm not sure if it had a name since he just winged it but I would like to name it 'Delicious Dinner' since it was every bit of it.|
|And of course, the piece de resistance....Ice cream, strawberries, and chocolate. It doesn't get much better than this. I was definitely stuffed!|
|This is a cute little handout Addison worked on at pre-school. All the things she knows about her Mommy. According to her I'm young, skinny, and I love to shower?? Welp, she got most of it right.|
|The beautiful flower bouquet my sweet family surprised me with. I love me some tulips.|
|So grateful for this little family that I get to call mine. I'm lucky in soooo many ways. I waited a LONG time for them and it was worth every minute.|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:31 AM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Last year was our first year (I think?) of having a garden. None of us are certified green-thumbs....far from it actually...but we are trying hard to do what our Prophet asks of us and one of those is to plant a garden and learn to grow food and sustain ourselves. It's always a good lesson to learn.....but sometimes it's a difficult one. We definitely learned from our mistakes from last year and also learned what worked. We are ready to try to do better this year - which involves learning how to can our veggies since we seemed to get more than we could eat last year.
John made our garden boxes last year and they held up beautifully....along with most of our dirt. All we had to do was add a little supplemental dirt and pick our veggies we wanted this year. We mostly have a "salsa garden" since we don't really burn through a lot of veggies in this house....and lets be honest...we are working with box gardens here folks. Not a whole lot of options when it comes to plants.
We took a family trip to the local nursery and picked out what we wanted to plant. Addison is getting very involved this year as well. She got to pick some stuff out and even help Daddy plant it when we got home. She also got to learn lots about worms and how to catch them, hold them, and let them "swim" in a wheelbarrow of water. ;o) Our kids love playing in the dirt and I love it too - except for the part when it comes time to clean them. It's also a challenge to explain to Jonas that he no longer gets to treat the garden like his own personal sandbox since there are now plants growing in it.
Daddy gets credit for doing most of the work....okay almost all of it. I got to sit back and watch and enjoy it from the comfort of my lawn chair. It takes all my energy these days to be pregnant since I'm nearing the end. I did plant a few herbs and some strawberries in their own containers while Addison and Daddy planted the boxes and veggies. They did such a great job and it looks beautifully. Here's to hoping this family learns even more about growing gardens! And here's to hoping we don't have a scorching hot summer that fries all our plants like we did last year.
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:35 AM
Thursday, May 9, 2013
It's true, I've been cheating on my blog with Instagram lately. Hence the lack of posts and updates about our lives on this little 'ole blog. Instagram has so many traits that make it easier to post/update short little snippets as we move along on our busy little days. However, it's time to stop the love affair. Especially if I still want my yearly blog book printed out every year at Christmas. I need proof we lived and did exciting things along the way. Thankfully, Blogger has one feature that Pinterest never will.....post dating posts. Ahhh, now you my reader will never know where I've slacked and where I've kept up. As far as you and the rest of the world are concerned, I've always been on top of our family journaling while simultaneously raising two children under 3 years old and also growing one inside of me to boot! Read on.....forward, backward, etc. You'll never know where you find a new post. ;o)
Posted by John n Shannon at 1:47 PM
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Again, I've come across pictures of our random day-to-day happenings with nothing really warranting it's very own blog post. So, enjoy the dump of pictures/what we've been up to lately!
|Addison and Jonas LOVE this swing the most on their new swingset. Especially when Daddy is there to push them super high. Addison is even getting good at helping Jonas get up/down on it all by herself.|
|Jonas is just sitting back and perusing some periodicals while we wait for the doctor to do our check-up on baby sister. Addison was at school so Jonas got to enjoy Mommy & Daddy & a waiting room all to himself. Lucky boy ;o)|
|A random day of cleaning led these two to finally take a break and sit down for a cartoon. Addison does great with sitting....Jonas not so much. This was a rarity which is why the picture was taken. He doesn't look too happy about it does he?|
|The Hufford boys....sawing some logs on a weekend nap. Such a cute photo op I couldn't resist it.|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:42 AM
Monday, May 6, 2013
These two are taking a HUGE step in sibling-hood. They are officially 'Bed Buddies!!'
They seem excited about the transition but lets be honest...they really didn't have much of a choice. Baby sister is coming in July and since we only have three measly rooms, these two get to share. I'm sure it helped entice them when they heard they got to get new bunk beds JUST for them! What kid doesn't love a bunk bed? What parent doesn't love a bunk bed? Twice the bed....half the space.
With the bunk bed transition came the transition of taking Jonas from a crib to a big boy bed (aka the bottom bunk). Initially, we thought we had some time since sister isn't joining us until sometime this July. Plus, he's still a little young AND he's quite the climber and wiggler so we didn't really want to rush things when he was sleep sooooo well in his crib. However, after a quick furniture rearrangement in the kiddos rooms, we realized that Jonas' current room (baby's new room) had some trim/baseboards that were bulging and wet. About this time I realized that Jonas has dealt with a nasty cough/congestion all winter long. Bring on the Mommy guilt. Here I was bedding my baby down right above a soggy baseboard for months....since birth folks! Granted, I don't think it became super-wet until the rainy season but it wasn't a good place to bed down a baby.....Jonas or his soon-to-be sister.
This put a kink in our original plans. Now, we HAD to move them to the same room and luckily the bunk beds came around this time. The kids were excited and I was thrilled to see how cute it all came together with their little blankets and sheets and new room arrangement. John and I were both a bit leery of what was in store when it was time to put Jonas down to sleep for the first time in a non-crib. Thankfully, it went off without a hitch. The first night he gave us a good 30 minutes of getting out/playing while we took turns putting him back in bed and giving him his binky. Eventually he tired of the process and fell asleep. And boy was he cute. That little guy in that big old bed (his bottom bunk is a full bed). I couldn't stop taking pictures and peering in on him while he slept.
Addison was equally excited about her transition - moving on up...to a top bunk! She had some lovely princess bedding that made it even more exciting. At first I think she was a bit nervous about sleeping up high but after a little coaxing she was thrilled with it. She's still great about getting up at night and going potty all on her own - even now that the trip involves trekking down/up a ladder in the dark.
Overall, the kids have loved it and Jonas is finally realizing the new bedtime routine. It's been great consolidating space in this tiny house and seeing them share toys and space too. I'm a firm believer that kids learn soooo much by sharing rooms. The only tricky thing is trying to put together a new bedtime routine and getting them down at the same time. Thankfully Addison just lays in her bed and watches the show as John and I alternate putting Jonas back in bed over and over until he gets tired. His sleep schedule got a bit out of whack with the new routine but I think we are finally getting back on track. Woohoo for siblings and bunk beds!
|Jonas watching the big truck deliver his new bed. This boy is fascinated with any/all trucks.|
|The finished product! Luckily the place we ordered from included a "white glove delivery/set-up" for free so we just got to watch them do all the hard work.|
|The big boy bed ready and waiting for the little guy.|
|After 30 minutes, he finally gave in and crashed. It's a bit tricky trying to find him in that big old bed.|
|Here is Addison faking sleep. She wanted to be included in the picture taking. She's very excited for her top bunk.|
|Another one of the sleeping boy. It's so weird to see him in an actual bed...holding still!|
Posted by John n Shannon at 11:33 AM