Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 5)

Jane is still doing splendidly with her potty training and completed another sticker map last Sunday.  Remember how she used her first completed sticker map to buy herself a Hello Kitty lunchbox?  She used her second completed sticker map to buy the fam a dish of strawberry ice cream with sprinkles.  Yum!  Way to go, Jane!

Jane isn't so sure why every stranger we meet isn't as excited as Mom and Dad to hear about her triumphs on the potty.  She told at least 3 employees at Costco, "I went poo poo on the potty!"   
We got a cd of Veggie Tales songs from the library a few weeks ago.  It's all we listen to in the car!  Walt spied some asparagus at dinner a few nights ago, and he immediately asked if he could try "Junior," the cute asparagus boy from Veggie Tales.  After we handed him a spear of asparagus, he launched "Junior" into a little song and dance and sang every word of "God is Bigger Than the Boogey Man."  As an added bonus, Walt loved the asparagus.  Hooray for Veggies Tales and encouraging vegetable appreciation! 

Philip and I became godparents for our friends' precious baby last weekend.  This is Philip's first time as a godfather and my first time as a godmother for a non-family member.  What an honor!

I cry at every baptism, but I was especially moved when the deacon gave my friend a blessing as Luke's mom.  It reminded me of the responsibility I have as the mother of my children to get them to heaven, and what a blessing it is to carry our own precious unborn Baby in my womb.

How sweet is that adorable little baby?!  We love you, Baby Luke!  May God bless and keep you always!

We took the kids to get haircuts the other night.  Per usual, Walt hated the experience, and Jane loved every second of looking at herself in the mirror while chatting it up with the stylist.  For surviving the ordeal, Walt got his first sucker.  He seemed to think it was worth it because he smiled and said, "Mmmmmm!  Licious!"

Doesn't Walt look so old?!  Jane said, "He's not even your baby anymore!"  I almost cried.  These hormones are something else!  

The kids finished their suckers at the dinner table and posed for a few pics.  Here's a little montage of the cute moment:

By no means have I traveled to all the ends of the earth, but I'm convinced that the state of Nebraska is home to some of the kindest people in the world.  While we were getting the kids' haircuts, a sweet woman named Margaret who looked to be in her sixties and was clearly a regular at the salon, struck up a conversation with me and Jane's stylist.  She asked all about our children, their ages, etc.  

When I mentioned that Jane was starting preschool in the fall, she asked where, and I said our parish name.  She immediately perked up and said, "Oh, that's my church, and my sweet neighbor has kids that are just their ages!  Her little boy is going to their preschool in the fall, too.  You just have to meet for a play date!  You remind me so much of her.  They're new to town, and she stays at home, so she's looking for more friends and play dates."  So, the sweet lady turned into a play date/mom friend matchmaker, and I gave her my phone number to pass along to her neighbor because, well, that's totally normal in Nebraska.  We'll probably bump into Margaret this Sunday because we go to the same Mass.  How great is Nebraska?!          
While Daddy did some yard work the other night after dinner, the kids and I played in the driveway.  It's my new favorite summer night activity!  The kids love playing with their water table, coloring with sidewalk chalk, or scooting around on their tricycle and Cozy Coupe.  Using one of our cars to block the end of the driveway creates a helpful barrier between the kids and the street.

Daddy found a worm in the dirt as he was digging around.  Miss Jane thought "Squirmy" (her name for the worm) was the coolest guy ever!  Unfortunately, Squirmy got stuck to the metal on Jane's trike handle bar and split in two.  Without skipping a beat, Jane held up both halves of Squirmy and said, "Cool!  Look!  Now I have 2 Squirmies!"  

Left:  Walt (4 months) & Janie (19 months).  Right:  Walt (2 yrs.) & Janie (3.5 yrs.)

The kids were playing so sweetly together yesterday afternoon.  I had to snap the picture on the right.  As I looked at that picture this morning, I had a flashback to the day they played together on the floor when Walt was just 4 months old and Janie was 19 months old.  I love finding similar scenes in everyday life as they get older and putting them side by side like this.  It's incredible how their big personalities shine through even from the earliest age.  Their expressions are the exact same in both photos!

Want to join the fun?
Head on over to Jen Fulwiler's blog at Conversion Diary and post your own 7 Quick Takes!

Friday, June 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 4)

It's been a fun week around here!  Jane and Walt became roomies on Wednesday night, and they've done great with it.  Keep praying for their continued success!  I went through their closets and moved things around to make room for Baby in the nursery.  Baby will be here before we know it!

This week, I'm dedicating my 7 Quick Takes to pictures of the kids monkeying around.  Here are my 7 Quick Takes from this week:

We celebrated Walt's 2nd birthday last month.  Philip and I made the mistake of leaving the leftover cake in the cake box on the dining room buffet where we thought it would be out of reach.  Our little monkeys helped themselves while I was in the shower one morning.  I snapped these pictures as soon as I exited the bathroom when I heard Jane yell, "Mom!  Mom!  Look what we found!  CAAAAAAAAAKE!"
They're quite the tag team these days.

 Another morning, we made the mistake of leaving some fruit on the dining room table that I was going to make into a fruit salad.  When I got out of the shower that morning, I heard Jane yell, "Mom!  Mom!  Look what we found!  FRUIT!!!"  Jane, being the thoughtful 3-year-old and big sister that she is, helped herself to the strawberries (her favorite) and pushed the monster grapes (Walt's favorite fruit and choking hazard before I slice 'em) over to Walt to enjoy.

Remember Jane's sticker map?  (It's her new and improved reward system for using the potty.)

Well, Miss Jane successfully filled in her sticker map all the way to her coveted Hello Kitty lunchbox.  So, we made a family trip to the store where she found it so that she could "buy" it.  We explained that she had to pay for the lunchbox by turning in her sticker chart.  She was so proud of herself!  She bellied up to the counter and plopped her chart down next to her lunchbox, smiling ear to ear at the teenage girl behind the counter.  After we left, I heard the sales girls say to each other, "Was that the most adorable thing you've ever seen?!  Soooooo cute!"

In yet another showertime incident, Jane and Walt got into the sticker map reward stickers.  This is what I found when I got out of the shower.

So, does this mean I can't shower when they're awake anymore?

 Jane is very into drawing people and telling stories about the pictures she draws.

Here's a drawing from the other day:
I said, "Wow!  That's beautiful!  Can you please tell me all about your drawing?  Jane said, "Sure!  It's a picture of you kissing Daddy and holding your baby." 

Yesterday, I took the kids to a fun (and free!) summer event hosted by our local children's museum and shopping center.  Part of the event was a bubble show.  Jane and Walt were mesmerized by the show!  While Walt hung out on my lap, Jane edged her way to the front of the crowd to check out the action.  Can you spot her?  She's the one front and center in the blue polo and pink shorts.  

 I apologize for the crummy picture quality, but I had to crop one of the images of the faces she made as she watched the bubble show.  I love this one:
Both kids took turns going in the "time machine" bubble (a bubble made around them with a hula hoop).  Walt stepped right up with his little sippy cup and LOVED it!
What children's event is complete without a photo op with a beautiful princess?  Jane couldn't believe her luck!  

Firefighter Walt with his sidekicks Bert and Ernie.  Such a cutie pie!

Want to join the fun?
Head on over to Jen Fulwiler's blog at Conversion Diary and post your own 7 Quick Takes!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Babymoon Recap

Philip and I got to enjoy a four-day weekend babymoon in Kansas City a few weeks ago.  It was so awesome!  Since I was 30-weeks pregnant, most of the trip revolved around food.  Oh, the food!  The food was AHHHHH-MAAAAAAA-ZING!

Here's a photo recap of our trip:

View from our hotel room at the Intercontinental overlooking the Plaza
Our room!  We stayed on the 8th floor overlooking the Plaza and hotel pool.  We had a great view of all of the action going on in Kansas City. 
One of my favorite parts of our stay was lounging poolside at the hotel.
Is that Don Draper lounging next to me at the hotel pool?  Check out those washboard abs!  ;)
Virgin piña colada?  Don't mind if I do!
Now, let's talk about the food...

Restaurant One:  La Bodega (Awesome Spanish tapas!  I felt like I was transported back in time to my semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain.)

Asparagus & creamy horseradish sauce

How cute is this place?!  We got to eat on the patio, and they gave us a complimentary champagne toast for our anniversary.

Oh, how I love thee, paella!

Champiñones in a de-lish garlic sauce

I'm drooling just looking at this one.  Prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with chorizo.  They were as amazing as they sound.

Grilled beef tenderloin with garlic crudités
Post-tapas food coma
Restaurant Two:  Arthur Bryant's  (Fantastic KC-style BBQ joint.)

I loved everything about this eating experience--beginning to end.  The lunch crowd's line went well out the door, and the men outnumbered the women 10-1.  Most of the patrons got their orders to go in sauce-soaked brown paper wrapped packages, but we decided to be fancy and dine in.

Dominating my sliced pork sandwich that was as big as my head.  The sweet & spicy Arthur Bryant's BBQ is where it's at!

Philip equally enjoyed his beef sandwich.

Restaurant Three:  Cheesecake Factory (We had to stop on one of our beautiful evening strolls for a little dessert!)

Selfie in front of the Cheesecake Factory fountain
Restaurant Four:  Bristol's (Some of the best seafood I've ever had.)

Salmon flatbread appetizer

Isn't he so cute?

Lobster mac 'n cheese?  How can this NOT be awesome?

The heart confetti they placed on our patio table for our anniversary stuck to the bottom of Philip's water glass

Mixed grilled seafood. 

Molten lava cake and hazelnut ice cream--all homemade and decadently delicious
 We decided to recreate one of our favorite wedding day photos that night:
Original pic of our champagne toast on our wedding night
The recreated version on our 5-year anniversary (and babymoon).  This time, we toasted with wine (Philip) and a virgin piña colada (Me)
Restaurant Five:  Gram & Dun on the Plaza (Great brunch spot on Sunday before we hit the road home)

All I know is there was French toast, bacon, eggs, orange juice...I wanted to cry when the meal was over because it meant our babymoon was coming to a close, too!

World War I Museum.  I had no idea this place even existed!  It turns out your tickets are good for two days, so we split up our visit over two days so that we could take it all in.  What an amazing place!  I learned so, so, so much about World War I, and we enjoyed exploring all of the items on display.

Quote from an American soldier coming home from WWI.  I had never considered that they were coming home during Prohibition.  Bummer!

How beautiful are these?!  These are envelopes addressed to Pvt. Walter L. Myers throughout his time serving in WWI.  Walter's father worked as an artist on vaudeville productions and sent him all of these amazing hand-drawn and hand-painted images on the envelopes he sent his son around the world. 

Here's another great envelope from Walter's father on the occasion of the 4th of July, 1918.
Power & Lights District (Fun nighttime destination for live music and bars.)

A really talented Journey cover band was playing in their open-air venue.  Philip and I lived it up and enjoyed dancing to some of our favorite Journey tunes.  I got a few funny looks for being the wild pregnant woman dancing by the stage!

Philip's mom (the kids call her "Mimi") did such a great job watching the kiddos.  I can't sing her praises enough.  I mean, the woman even potty-trained Jane while we were away!  It was a great getaway, but we were so excited to see "the babies" when we got home.

Me, Mimi, and the kiddos