Thursday, March 28, 2013

This Would be the Smile that Brings Life to a Halt Around Here

They really don't come any cuter, do they?

Playdate with Judson & Cooper

 My friend, Ramie, and I finally got our kids together for a play date.  The last time we did this Cooper was just a little baby.  Way too long!  Anyhow, we had a great time taking the kids to play miniature golf (especially since we had the course to ourselves), eating lunch, talking & playing.  I didn't take very many pictures, we were all too busy.  I did try to get one at the end.  Allison refused to look up.  She was very focused on this little guy....
 Yup, a lady bug.  Which reminds me of an entire colony of lady bugs which used to live in Judson's Dad's college house....but that is another story....
 Anyhow, Allison was convinced it was her responsibility to protect that little lady bug from Judson and she would not be distracted from her job.  I think Ramie even brought the lady bug over so Allison would get in the picture with Judson & Cooper.  Gotta love life with pre-schoolers.
And in the midst of all the chaos there was this little darling who was helping me figure out the camera settings in the bright sun.  We're glad to have old friends who are so easy to hang out with - hopefully we won't wait so long until next time.

Curtis Garden 2013 - The Start

 Mark's doctor recommended he start eating green smoothies with ground flax seed to try to recover from the damage gluten had done to his digestive system.  Our whole family has taken to green smoothies pretty well.  We are now eating through spinach, kale, frozen berries and Costco's frozen tropical fruit mix like crazy.  We've also started doing a bit of juicing.  So Mark decided it was time to start growing some of our own veggies.  He and Allison spent last weekend building a raised bed and prepping for planting.  We're getting started by following the advice in this book and hoping to plant veggies this weekend.
 Allison loved spending an afternoon playing in the dirt and working in the garden (until she got dirt in her eyes of course).  She is actually pretty good about eating her veggies and we know she'll enjoy watching them grow.

Champion Head Lifter

 I think I've mentioned that Heidi has an extremely strong neck for her age.  She wows anyone who gets to see her do tummy time - including her pediatrician.  She also is pretty cheerful about tummy time which is a bit unusual.  We usually set her up with some animal friends to chat with during tummy time.  The current favorites are these two birds, I think because they have high-contrast tummies that she likes to stare at. 
And the best part of tummy time?  Well that would be getting to see this girls cheeks & chin, of course!

My Kitchen Helper

This is my little kitchen helper.  She has learned to ask to lick the beaters every time I make something.  In this case she's licking the cream layer of Nanaimo bars.  That is some seriously yummy stuff - made of butter, heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix.  And I would like to add that these weren't just any Nanaimo bars - these were gluten free ones.  I found gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, used unsweetened coconut flakes and this Nanaimo bar recipe and they turned out pretty amazing.  And I think I earned the Wife of the Year Award for making them - Mark has really enjoyed them.  After some health issues this fall (some of which landed him in the urgent care) Mark had some blood work done and although he doesn't qualify for Celiac's disease his doctor recommended he go gluten-free.  Mark started his new diet back in November and has been feeling oh so much better ever since.  He's taking a few other supplements (Vitamin D, a probiotic & fish oil) and we've made some other changes - all of which have helped as well.  We haven't found it too challenging to change our diet - and Allison & I are still able to indulge in our favorite treats - but Mark has missed a few things.  So Nanaimo bars were a big hit!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Big Stretch

I love this stretch when Heidi wakes up.  I'm seeing it less and less these days as we aren't needing to wake Heidi up as much anymore (she does that on her own now!).  The first thing she does when we un-swaddle her is to roll to her side and pull her hands up in front of her face.  And she makes the grumpiest expression.  We love the little newborn stretch! 

Allison Style Take II

I have the feeling there will be a lot of posts about Allison's fashion sense for awhile.  Here she is all ready to go help Daddy get supplies for putting together raised beds to grow vegetables.  She has been asking to plant things ever since her last Little Sprouts club.  And Daddy did insist she changed her shoes before they left.  They compromised with a pair of sparkly pink dress shoes!

Part of the Fam

 We pulled the high chair out of storage in the garage this week and got it all cleaned up.  This way Heidi can join us at the table for meals.  As you can tell from her expression she is thrilled about sitting at the table.  Or maybe a little bored with us.  Either way we're glad to have her joining us.

Look Who's 2 Months Old!

 Our little Heidi-Bug turned 2-months old this week!  She is a pretty fantastic baby to have around.
 She is quite good at cooing & smiling.  She loves it when we tickle her mouth with her pacifier!

 And she is an expert head lifter!  She actually likes tummy time and can lift her head up really well, so well she wowed the pediatrician with her head lift at her check-up.
And some other little details about Heidi at 2 months:
 - Height - 23 1/4 inches (86%)
 - Weight 12 lbs & 2..5 oz (74%)
 - Head Circumference (75 %)
 - Night Time Sleeping - has gone up to 9 hours between feedings at night but typically will go 6+ hours.  She starts the night in her crib but after her early morning feeding (5 or 6 am) gets to sleep with Mom in the guest bed to keep her sleeping in!
- Naps - has greatly improved in taking naps in her crib!  Some days she wants to sleep all day & we wake her up to eat and other days she doesn't want to nap for more than 45 minutes.  On the short nap days we end up running errands or going for walks to keep her content.

And there isn't really much else to say at this stage - she is growing every day and we love having her in our family.  It is already hard to imagine life without our Heidi-bug even though it seems like she was born just yesterday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lucky & the Barn

Our good friends, the Wagners have a horse.  Well, Jodi & Bekah have a horse, I'm not sure how much Nate claims ownership of him.  Jodi won Lucky back when she was ten (I think?), hence the name.  We've been wanting to get Allison out to the barn for quite some time to meet Lucky (much to Mark's dismay) and we finally did this afternoon (since we were working on the letter 'H' which is for horses, too!).  Allison was a bit afraid of Lucky but she did finally climb on top of the hay bales to watch Jodi exercise him.  And she was intrigued by the small pink riding helmet.  We'll keep bringing her out until she gets more comfortable because Jodi loves teaching girls about horses, especially Mark's girls!

A New Favorite

 Back in January either Blogger introduced new storage limits or changed their storage limits and it was going to cost me $2/month or something like that to keep adding pictures to the blog. I decided I didn't want to pay that - it was time to have our blog printed into a family album so I could delete old posts and pictures.  We love having our blog printed into a family album!  Now, if only I had done more of our old posts before deleting them...I'm currently working on putting 2009 & 2010 into an album, lets just say it is much easier to convert a blog into a printed book than upload the pictures individually.  Although I am a LOT better at taking & editing pictures now so I'm re-editing most of the pictures from 2010.
And as a side note - I didn't really save any money by printing the album - I could have paid for several years worth of blogger storage for the cost of the book, but it was worth it!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Allison Style

 Allison has quite the sense of style and I think it I pretty fun to watch it develop.  For the most part Mark & I let her pick her clothes out each day (as long as they are weather appropriate - this dress actually had to wait a day to be worn since she didn't want to wear a shirt under it the day before).  Allison was dressed for adventure with Papa the other day.  Riding to the park.  Thankfully she had 'biking shoes' on (but no socks as far as I can tell!) and don't forget her stocking cap under the helmet.
 Gotta leave the helmet on for rock wall climbing!
 And this outfit was quite versatile - the only change needed was 'slip-slops' for gardening (yes, she did try to garden with her mittens on - it made a bit of a mess before she gave up).
We love watching Allison grow up and learning to express herself (as long as it is appropriate!)

A Walk in the Woods

 On our way home from church today Allison requested a walk in the woods.  We headed out between showers and Allison brought her 'cumbrella' just in case it rained on us.  I think she really wanted to go on a walk to wear her rain get-up.
 She and Mark found some wildflowers along the way which she picked and put in a vase at home.
 And of course the bridge was very exciting, the water level was fairly high.  Mark & Allison found sticks to throw into the creek and watch float under the bridge.
 Allison was determined to get the biggest stick she could find, Mark finally convinced her to let him break it down.

 The final bouquet.
Oh yes, and check out this cutie who came along with the fabulous cheeks.  I'm very excited that the baby acne has mostly passed!

Happy St Patrick's Day

 Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
We've been celebrating for several days now - starting with Allison making fruit rainbows (someone posted these on Facebook and I thought Allison would love them).  Nana & Papa helped Allison make three rainbows, one little one for her, one to share with her cousins and one big one for our party last night.

Yes, we had a little 'party' last night.  I normally make corned beef & cabbage but I wasn't up for finding a gluten-free corned beef so I made beef stew, instead.  We had quite the dinner, beef stew (it had peas in it), green salad, green Jello salad, Irish Potato Bread from Great Harvest (it had green onions in it!) and Snickers Salad for dessert (made with green apples).  Lots of yummy green food!  Allison was the life of the party and the two baby girls, Emma & Heidi, actually got to 'meet' each other by hanging out on the same blanket.  We think they are destined to be BFFs!
And tonight Allison will finally get to eat her clover cookie from Great Harvest.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


 Lauren & Heidi are exactly five months apart.  Janelle & I got them together today, finally.  They had a very exciting time - they both ate, laid on their stomachs and went for a walk.  They both seem to have quite the cheeks going, too.  I have the feeling these two are going to have some serious fun as they get older!
And I think it is fairly obvious Janelle & I are still adjusting to life with babies - we both completely forgot to bring and / or get ready the things we were supposed to exchange with each other today.  Oh well - we had fun playing anyhow!

Sunshine, Friends & Chaos

We had the most beautiful spring day yesterday.  It was 65 & sunny in the afternoon and Mark was all set to grill an extra yummy dinner for us.  Thankfully we had friends / neighbors who could join us for dinner.  Benji & Allison played outside while Mark cooked.
 Dinner was very, very good but things got a little crazy in the middle...Heidi was fussy & needed to eat, Benji was done eating & playing, Mark got a call for work he needed to take so Claire sat at the table with Madeleine and Allison.  And mind you - we needed to leave by 6:50 or so to go to our church community group!  Not only are we thankful for friends who can come over and enjoy a meal with us - but we're incredibly thankful for friends who come over and share life with us in the middle of the chaos!

Brought to You by the Letter 'H'

 'H' is for....Happy Face!

 Hedgehogs (she wrote a letter to Grammy in the card).  Yes, I really did make Hedgehog donut holes, I found the idea in a random picture while searching for Hedgehog pre-school activities.  I made them all by myself, much to Allison's disappointment, but I knew there was a limit to my patience.

 Hat...both the book and special matching sister hats made by Grammy!
Heidi!!  (Probably our favorite 'H' thing!)
 Happy Birthday! 
(To Mel, just a few days late - Allison did help make the card - I find it works well when I keep things very simple.)