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Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend.

My family had a fun and meaningful Easter weekend. I love how much more the boys understand with each passing year. Leading up to Easter, we used Resurrection Eggs for the boys nighttime devotionals. It was only our second year to use them and it is something they really enjoy and look forward to each evening before bed. We started off Good Friday with an evening service at church. The boys actually played in childcare during this time. I think next year, we'll take them into the service with us. On Saturday morning they participated in an Easter Egg Hunt at their MDO school. It was complete with bounce houses and a few hours of fun. They love this kind of stuff and had a ball.
 Pax sometimes thinks he's in charge of Abe. Can you tell in the above picture? :)
On an egg hunting mission!
When did this boy get so big? We are 10 days away from celebrating his 6th birthday. Time, PLEASE SLOW DOWN!
And this little guy just can't make it without his morning nap. He can be such a snuggle bug pre and post sleeptime. We soak it up!
Saturday afternoon, while Abe napped, we dyed Easter eggs. Then I whipped up some lime flavored, green playdough for the boys to play with. It was so much better than store bought playdough and was so simple to make. I had never attempted it before this weekend. The recipe is here. Thank you, Pinterest.
Sunday morning the boys woke to filled Easter baskets. Summer flip flops, card games, a small chocolate bunny, Ninja Turtle stamps, and sunglasses for our big boys. Flip flops, pacis, a book and new sippy cup for our baby. That morning we celebrated with our church. After church and lunch we took about 25 pictures with our camera set up on the tripod to get the one below. Mister Abe obviously knows what to do when a camera is in his face. And I've probably taken less pictures of him than the other two. In all 25+ pictures, he wins the award for biggest cheeser. I love it!
After the boys had naps, my parents joined us for egg hunting and dinner. 
It is so rare that I catch a genuine smile from Pax with a camera. He is a happy, smiley boy. But when the cameras come out, he turns into a fake smiler. But occasionally we can catch a good one. He doesn't make it easy, by any means.
And this is our Mister Photogenic. 
 Ha! See what I mean?!
 He was perfectly content with 3 little eggs. Then he just enjoyed playing outside.
It was a fun family weekend. And more importantly, a celebration of the grace and forgiveness we live in each day because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


At the end of March I turned 34. And for the record, that age sounds very old to my ears. I think I'm really in my late twenties. I'm not saying I look it anymore, but I feel like I am. Jeremy's 34th was an odd one this year. And what do you know, mine turned out to be an odd one as well! The night before, Jeremy and Holden were at the ER (again! Holden had been to the ER the week before also). So we were up til the wee hours of the morning on my birthday. The next day, we all took it easy as Holden was not back to himself yet. The following night, I enjoyed dinner out with my family. There is nothing better than a patio dinner in the spring.
Pre-birthday, I celebrated with my sweet friend, Amanda. We meet for dinner for our birthdays each year. It's a fun little tradition that we've started since we moved here 4 years ago. We shared pizza and sangria and had a few hours to sit and chat. Just the two of us. It was a nice evening out.
And post birthday, Jeremy and I celebrated with friends, NoƩ and Lauren. We've been talking about the four of us going to Billy Bob's for a couple of years. And by us talking, I mean Lauren and I. I'm pretty sure the boys could have happily lived without this adventure. But Jeremy knows I've been wanting to go for a while. I hadn't been since my 25th birthday! In college, dancing was a weekly event and sometimes I really miss it. But apparently, Jeremy does not miss it. He's over it. He's too grown up for it. Boo. And I'm not. But he hesitantly agreed to go for my birthday. And he danced with me a little. So I can't really complain. A few pictures from our night.
So 34. Here I am. I'm very thankful to be in this particular place in my life at age 34. Going on 12 years of marriage to my college sweetheart. And today I'm still thankful for each moment of those 12 years. The good and the bad, the easy and the challenging. And of course, I'm mommy to three very handsome little boys that God hand picked for us. So this is what 34 looks like for me. I think it's beautiful. And I'm ready to see what another year has in store for me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Abe @ 16 months!

Here is a little update on the baby of the family. He had his 15 month physical last month. He weighed 25lbs and 8oz (83%) and was 32 3/4" in length (92%). His little noggin was 46 1/2" (38%). Just his mounds of hair makes it look bigger. He has yet to have a haircut. There are days that I'm picking through it and I think that maybe it's time. But I just can't bring myself to do it yet. I love his beautiful, full curls. I know it gets flattened down in the back after even a short ride in the carseat. I know he gets mistaken for a little girl on a weekly basis (no matter how boyish he's dressed!). And I know mealtimes might be less of a mess if we trimmed down those locks (hands go to the head often...I need to make him starting wearing the bananda over it that Holden wore during his smash cake). But I know once he has that trim it will completely alter his little look. And this mommy is not quite ready for that. He'll be playing in the sand one month from now during our vacation. That might be an utter mess. But we'll deal.
So back to his stats, he is a pretty big boy. In some ways I feel like he is a great eater and then in other ways he makes it hard. He doesn't like any bread types of food...waffles, pancakes, bread, any type of convenience food is out of the question. He will eat cheerios. And he screams if he sees chips. Ha. He LOVES to nibble on chips! He also likes crackers. But when I bought the healthy organic, whole wheat crispy crackers, he turned up his nose. So he is definitely particular about his food. But so far, he likes most of the healthy stuff. I'm thankful for that! As far as meats go is favorites are ham and chicken. So far he hasn't been crazy about beef or turkey. Why is he so opinionated at such a young age? I have no idea. His favorite food in the whole world is beans. You say the word "beans" and he starts to cackle because he is so excited about what is coming. We cook dry beans often at our house. But I also get a case of them at Costco - several cans of organic black beans. Mister Abe has been known to eat an entire can for dinner. That happened once. He also loves cheese sticks. Not really sliced cheese, but the colby jack cheese sticks. See, he's particular. His favorite veggies are green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and sugar snap peas (he peels them and eats the peas on the inside). He will eat carrots, corn and asparagus ok. But you can definitely tell that those are not preferred. He also loves green smoothies that include some type of frozen fruit, a banana, a splash of  orange juice, water and lots of fresh spinach. I try to give him one green smoothie a day. They are so healthy for him and he thinks he's getting a big treat when the blender starts running. Applesauce and vanilla yogurt are also a big hit at meal times.
Abe is still taking two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Since we do our school work in the mornings, it's been a blessing that he still wants that morning nap. He slept for 3 hours yesterday morning and for 2.5 hours that afternoon. I think he must be cutting more teeth because a 3 hour nap is somewhat unusual for him! He currently has his 4 front teeth (2 on top and 2 on bottom) and two more on the bottom are trying to come through. Three of his four molars are halfway in. He has become a great sleeper. He typically sleeps 12ish hours at night. We normally put him down around 7:30pm and he wakes around 8:00am. This sleeping thing did not come easily to him. And I never thought he would be so good about it and I really wasn't going to push this one. But he has shocked me. Out of the three, he is the one that wakes more. Like yesterday morning, he woke crying at 5:30am. When I went to check on things I just assumed he had dropped his paci. But when I got there, he had his paci in his mouth but he had soaked himself and his sheets. Even through his nighttime diaper! Nothing like a change of clothes and changing a crib sheet to start your morning bright and early! He did go back to sleep until 8:00am. Random early mornings happen rarely with Abe, but more frequently than they did with Holden or Pax. Unless I've just forgotten those times, which is very possible too. :) Before each of his naps, I carry him into his room, turn out the light and turn the white noise machine on, put his paci in his mouth, hand him a small handheld monkey that he loves, and at that point he lays his head on my shoulder. Every single time. This is our routine. Then as I stand by his crib, I sing the little song "You Are My Sunshine". Next I lay him in his bed and he goes right off to sleep. It's a very sweet routine that we've established. Jeremy typically puts Abe down at nighttime in a similar way.
Abe loves his family. And he LOVES his big brothers! He entertains the two of them as much as they entertain him. Pax made Jeremy and I laugh pretty hard in the car one evening last week. When Abe heard us laughing (remember that he could not see us since he was turned around backwards behind us), Abe bursted out laughing. Which made the big boys laugh and Jeremy and I laugh again. I think all 5 of us laughed for 2 minutes straight. I'm sure we looked like loons to anyone who might have seen us. Take my word for it when I say that it was a pretty hilarious moment. But I'm sure you had to be there. But I do enjoy seeing the many ways Holden and Pax are completely in love with Abe. He's quite a bit younger but he's not left out. They adore him.
Abe has found a friend in Abbie, our dog that I never mention here. In fact, Abbie attempted to sleep on the floor of his room a few nights ago. Unfortunately for her, I booted her out. And lately she's been following him around, right on his heels and he notices her there. It seems as if he is not sure if he should be scared and go more quickly to escape her or if he should turn around to play. If I had to pick Abe's top 3 loves, dogs and puppies would make the list. Dogs would be right up there with beans! Anytime he sees a dog, he just starts giggling. Abe laughs when he gets excited. It's really cute. Then he puts the palm of his hand out towards the dog, even if it's a mile away. He likes to touch their wet noses. So this little thing he does with his arm lets me immediately know when he has spotted a dog.
Some other recent things about Abe....
He MUST carry every single diaper to the diaper pail that we keep in our garage. This just started this week. I can't change a diaper now without him needing to walk the dirty diaper to the garage and drop it in the pail. He gets so excited about his little job.
He loves having his teeth brushed. Sometimes he gets into the bathroom and starts pulling out his toothbrush and toothpaste from the drawer any time of the day.
Like most young children, he adores being outside. He loves to play in the backyard and swing, slide and just walk around checking everything out.
He is so great at baby sign language but pretty much does not speak all day. We can make him say mama, dada, bubba, and a few others. But he easily goes all day just babbling a bunch of nothing and not speaking any words.
He is still very timid of any strangers and even some of our friends that he sees weekly. He will not smile at you just because you're being sweet and chatting with him. He'll typically just snuggles in closer to me. He cries at each and every nursery drop off, which happens about twice a week. But he has normally stopped crying before I get to the end of the nursery hall. When we leave him with a sitter, there are typically tears. Pax did a little of this. But Abe has done this consistently. It breaks my heart for what he's feeling and thinking. But I know we are consistent in what we do and our schedule with him and who's care he is in when we are not there.
Abe is a climber and is into everything! Emptying dog food bowls, kitchen cabinets, getting into the toilets...whatever he can get into. I can't take my eyes off of him for very long!
I mentioned in a recent post that he is finally into books. If we are in the playroom he brings me book after book after book and climbs into my lap to be read to. You don't know how much I love this! I love reading to my boys. And now he even plops into Holden and Pax's lap with books and they can normally read him a simple one (or one they have memorized). It is the cutest thing. Can you tell that I think that everything he does is cute? Well, not everything...
He loves to chunk his sippy cup on the floor.
He hates grocery shopping with me every Thursday. And he often screams through much of our shopping trip unless I can keep him occupied.
He hates diaper changes and typically screams through those as well.
He occasionally takes a toy and bangs an unsuspecting big brother on top of the head with that toy.
He signs "more" when he is hungry. But then I have to play a guessing game of what he wants to eat. He screams for no. And giggles for yes. Not my idea of a fun game. We are working on it.
He can be a mess! Those are not his cute, adorable moments. But we love him all the same. :)
Abe Malachi, you are a perfect blessing to our family. We adore you and are so very thankful that God chose us for you!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My little soccer stars!

We are two weeks in to another sports season. This season, both Holden and Pax are playing soccer. Last season, Pax chose baseball (t-ball actually). He liked it ok. We did not. It was so stinkin' boring. It was a group of clueless 3/4 year old boys and girls. Dads/moms/guardians were on the field with the child. It was just chaotic. It made it worse that the coach did not want to be the coach, showing up as the game was starting most weeks. Nothing was learned. It was something we could do in our own backyard and it would have been better. So I will admit we steered him away from t-ball this season. When he chose it last time, it definitely sounded like it would fit his laid back, slow moving 4-year old personality. But because of his young age and the set up, we called it quits on t-ball once the 8 week season was over. And we strongly encouraged soccer this season. We knew that it might not be his match, but we thought it was worth a shot. Since Pax had sat through two seasons of Holden playing soccer, he jumped on the soccer train easily.
And by now, Holden is a soccer pro. As I mentioned, this is his third season to play. Jeremy has mentioned flag football and basketball to Holden. We think it would be fun to introduce him to some other sports, but his heart is sold out for soccer right now. The boy just loves to run so we know he needs an active sport where he can run it out. This season he is on a 5/6 year old team and he is about a head taller than everyone on his team (and most opposing teams). He'll be 6 in a month!
We love I-9 and that it doesn't cut into our family time during the week. The teams practice for 45 minutes before game time. So with two boys playing this season, we basically commit our Saturday mornings to soccer for 8 weeks and then we are done. No weekday evening practices involved. This is the perfect way to do it for our family.
So this past Saturday was the second game this season. The first week, I didn't really get to see Pax's game. Holden and Pax's practices and games tend to overlap, so Jeremy and I have to divide and conquer. So we are taking turns getting to see each boy. So this past week, I got to watch Pax play in a game. He floored me. My laid back, slow moving boy was not the same boy on the soccer field. He was a little speedy runner and went after that ball. His mind was in the game and his eyes were on the soccer ball (most of the time). And he was really really good! He even scored a goal! I was so so proud! Soccer is not going to be his big brother's sport and he let us know that last week. I was so proud to see the way he played and that he enjoyed the game so much. Each week a child receives a medal. Pax earned the medal last week. He was beaming! He looked my direction to make sure to make sure I was watching as soon as the coach slipped it around his neck.
And what do you know, Holden also had a great game. He scored the first goal for his team and then scored for the opposing team as well. This happens often with Holden. :) The boy is very fast so he is naturally first to the ball most of the time. So he handles the ball often for his team. We've begun to talk about passing, but there is typically no teammates ahead of him to pass too. :) He just gets better and better every season. Holden also was rewarded the medal on his team last week, which was really neat. They both played great games and were the highlights of the team on the same week.
And both boys look forward to their Saturday practices and games each week. Not to mention that it's a fun time for us to watch them play. And this little sign has been in our front yard all week for the boys. :)