Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Busy Beginning to Fall

September was a busy month!  Between birthday celebrations, family visits, work, kids, and life, there wasn't much time left for blogging!  And since I know you are all dying for an update on our family, I thought I'd sit down for a few minutes and type out some thoughts. 

The kids are growing fast!  Jonas is now 4, and he likes to remind me that now that he is older, he can handle more.  This morning I poured him a really full glass of milk by accident, and his response to me was "It's ok mom, I can handle it, I'm 4 now!".  The little guy has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year as well!  He is tall and skinny!  I can't buy pants that both fit him in the waist as well as in length!  So he either gets pants that are short, yet fit well in the waist and don't fall down, or pants that are the proper length, but then they fall down!  Thank goodness for adjustable waist pants!  HA!  Jonas prides him in taking care of himself.  He loves that he can get his own breakfast in the morning - minus the milk!  He gets dressed all by himself, and is starting to even clean up after himself!  YES!  He is such a sweetheart and always has a hug for me if I'm having a rough morning.  Jonas is learning how to write his letters and has mastered most of the letter sounds.  Pretty soon we will begin working on learning to read!  It is so hard to think that he is old enough to be doing school stuff.  My little guy is growing up too fast! 

Joelle is nearing 3 - just 3 more months!  She likes to think that she is turning 5 when her birthday arrives.  I think she really wants to be older than her brother!  It's really funny to try to explain to a kid that once you age, you can never go backwards.  Jonas is starting to understand it, but Joelle doesn't get it yet.  She will say something like "when you turn 20, then you get to go back to 1".  It's fun to watch her learn and begin to understand some of the more challenging things for a child's mind to be wrapped around!  Joelle is fully potty trained now!  Over the past few months, she had a few set-backs, but we have tackled them and she is officially a part of the big kids club!  Some of Joelle's favorite things are playing with her big brother, giving hugs and kisses to her baby sister, and reading books.  This little girl has always loved books, but lately she is content to sit and read more than ever! 

Jaina is 9 months going on 25.  She has been pulling herself up to stand for the past few weeks, crawling around for over a month now, and man, she is too quick for me to keep up!  Jaina has lungs that would put the big bad wolf to shame!  This girl can scream, and she really enjoys hearing herself make a ton of noise.  She isn't really talking yet - besides mamamamama, dada, and nana (not sure what that one means!) - but she has realized that screaming and yelling definitely gets a reaction out of people!  She is a sweet little girl who loves to snuggle and has recently become fascinated with music and dancing!  It's really fun to turn on music and watch her bounce around to the beat!  She has 3 teeth with a 4th shortly to follow, she is much bigger than Joelle was at this age, and she loves eating real food!  Lately, when I try to feed her pureed food, she just swings at the spoon until she hits it and knocks the food all over the place - not cool Jaina, not cool. It's been a challenge to feed her, since she has shown signs of having some sort of dairy sensitivity.  My doctor-smart, almost-a-PA sister says its some sort of Hyper sensitivity or possibly an allergy, but I'm just hoping that statistics are on our side and she will grow out of it by either 1 or 2.  Needless to say, we are avoiding dairy all together right now for her.  I had no idea how many types of food have trace amounts of dairy in them!  Its kinda ridiculous, if you think about it, but, what can you do.  I'm getting really good at reading labels, so that's kinda fun!  You do what you have to do to keep your kids healthy, right? 

Steve and I have been doing really well lately!  He is finally back to a normal-ish work schedule.  Earlier this year, he was working way too much on a project that had a specific deadline.  And now that the project is over, more projects have come to priority level.  His company is being thoughtful, though, and is remembering that the employees are important too and that working way past quitting time isn't healthy for a company or it's employees.  So he is back to regular schedule.  It's been great to have him home on a regular basis in the evenings! 

Overall, it's been a great month of family time.  We are enjoying each other and looking forward each and every day that we have together.  Thanks for stopping by!  I'll add more pictures as I'm able to!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Little Gentleman


This past year has been so much fun watching you grow!  You have changed so much in the past 12 short months, it just amazes me.  I know every mom says this about their child, but please stop growing up so fast!  Last year, you were just a little guy, and it seems like overnight, you have become this young man, eager to grow up and make us proud.  And I'm not ready for that!  I remember you as a little guy, always running here and there.  You still run around with the energy of an new puppy, but you are much more intentional about your ways.  You have developed a new interest in detail this past year.  I often find toys organized in groups either based on color or size.  It makes me smile to see your little brain work so hard to put things in order.  You have been working hard on learning your letter sounds this month, and we have them almost all down!  That "c" still gets a bit tricky to you in comparison to the "s" sound, but I know you will learn it soon! 

Just in the past few months, I have noticed a great change in your behavior towards your little sister, Joelle.  Even this morning, you were just so sweet to her.  Yes, there are times that you cause trouble or bother her just because you can, but today was different!  At the checkout register, Joelle was proudly saying that she would be the first to ride Sandy, the penny horse, at Meijer.  And you looked at her and said "Ok, Joelle, you get to go first this time, because I'm a gentleman and I'll let you go first!"  It was so wonderful to see you choose your sister to go first!  I knew that part of you wanted to say that you would go first, but I am so proud of you for making that small choice to be a gentleman.  You really are such a sweet boy, Jonas! 

We have been reading a wonderful book this past week about Heaven and learning and sharing about what we will see and do in Heaven!  I have been praying for you, and I am so glad that you are excited to learn about God and understand more about Him and Jesus and Heaven!  It is so exciting to be able to help you to understand more, and I pray that your curiosity and desire to know God will continue to grow and develop into a deep Love for our Savior.  Jonas, God loves you so much!  And He is so happy that you are becoming a little Gentleman, and we are too! 

Thank you for the past 4 years, Jonas!  This next year is going to be so much fun! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

To My Sister and new Brother

Dear Sam and Matt

You have officially been married for 3 days now!!  Thank you for the great privilege of standing beside you, supporting you in the start of an exciting journey.  First of all, I wanted to say, Sam, you were absolutely beautiful on your wedding day!  Your hair, your dress, your beautiful smile, it was all stunning, and to see you so happy and absolutely glowing was amazing.  I mean, seriously, how gorgeous can a person get?!?!?


Thank you for including my little cuties in your wedding as well.  I cried like a baby watching them walk down the aisle being all cute and dressed up!  And I know that it wasn't a big deal, but thanks for understanding when my son asked very loudly where he was supposed to be standing after he made it down the aisle.  And then again halfway through the ceremony when he decided that he wanted to stand up again. 

Sam and Matt, I'm so excited for you as you begin this new journey into life together, but I wanted to share a few bits of wisdom that I've learned in my short 6 years of being married.  I hope that's ok. :) 

Sam, you probably remember Dad saying this a long time ago, but it is some good advice, so I'll share it again.  Don't go to bed without figuring out whatever it is you are arguing about.  Sometimes, you will just forget that there was an argument in the first place, but other times, you will wake up even more upset than the night before.  Just do yourself the favor and figure it out before bedtime! 

Take the time to slow down and just be Matt and Sam together at least once a day.  Turn off the tv, put down the cell phone, and stop rushing about to just pause and remember how much you love the other person.  It will do wonders to a marriage!

Don't think that you are immune to struggles in your marriage.  Every marriage has struggles, and that's ok!  If we were all perfect, then life would be really boring!  Keep your marriage a priority and be vocal about the fact that you are both committed to each other!  Remind the other person in little ways how much they mean to you and be genuine in your love them! 

And Most Importantly, HAVE FUN!  I absolutely hate it when people talk about the "Ball and Chain" of marriage.  God didn't design marriage to be a burden or something to be enslaved to, but rather to be a way that we can submit to God by submitting to each other out of love; by putting the other person before yourself, not only because you love that person, but because God's love compels us to do that!  Selflessness is crazy difficult, but it's God's plan for marriage.  And He will bless you in this new journey! 

Sammy, I remember you as this little girl, and it has been an honor watching you grow into a beautiful woman.  And yes, it was absolutely necessary to show this adorable picture of you. :)

Always know that I'm here cheering for you and supporting you in any way you need! 
Enjoy life together, you two!  The journey is tough but well worth it!  Love you both!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Déjà Vu in the Middle of the Night

I can't even count the number of times that I have woken up in the middle of the night to take care of Jaina and been so confused that I have flash-backs to when Joelle was a baby!  It is the weirdest feeling in the world!  Jaina has been sleeping through the night for several months now, but lately, she has been getting up again, and I think the culprit is little teeth trying to break through her gums.  Unfortunately, since she is a light sleeper, teething pain causes her to wake up more than usual. 

The kids have been thoroughly enjoying spending most days outside playing in the yard and riding their bikes!  Even Jonas, my fair skinned blonde boy, is getting a sun tan!  These last two weeks have been pretty rainy, which has been great for the grass that Steve is trying to grow, but not so great for busy toddlers.  We are trying to keep busy inside, but they have been dying to get back out to play.  Jonas has found a new love of puzzles, and even if it takes him a whole day, he will finish a puzzle that he starts!  His new favorites are a Spider Man puzzle that he got for Christmas, and 'The puzzles that you got when I was in your tummy' as Jonas calls them.  Back when I was pregnant with Jonas, I had about 2 or 3 weeks before his birth that I was not longer working.  I started getting pretty bored around the house, so I bought a set of puzzles!  I told Jonas the story, and he refers to them in detail every time he wants to play with them!  It's fun to watch his little brain work as he builds a puzzle! 

Joelle has been so excited these last few weeks, because I finally got up the courage (and energy!) to potty train her!  I think she has been pretty much ready (or at least kinda ready) since her 2nd birthday, but every time she showed interest, I was busy taking care of Jaina!  So I delayed and postponed, and finally decided that I needed to get myself into gear!  Last month, she started removing her diaper and successfully using the potty on her own.  That was my "It's Time" moment, and we have made lots of progress since then!  It will be nice to be back to only one kid in diapers again! 

Jaina is quite the little stinker these days.  She loves attention, and she loves to demand attention too!  I think some people would call her a fussy or a high-needs baby, but I kinda think that all babies are to some extent.  Jaina is just on the high end of the scale!  She is starting on baby food and really enjoying it so far!  Her favorites are Sweet Potatoes and Bananas.  Since she was born early, I tried to hold off as long as I could for baby food.  After about a week of a trial period when she was 4 1/2 months, I decided to delay.  She is now 5 1/2 months old and we are trying again!  I think her little tummy is old enough to handle it now.  She is definitely a messy eater!  But she is doing really well figuring it all out!  Jaina loves to roll around on the ground playing with toys.  And Jonas and Joelle are doing much better about being careful and gentle around her.  Jaina loves to jump in her jumpy toy and is figuring out how to get going really fast!  She is very smiley these days, too!  With 3 little ones, my baby carrier (I have an Ergo, for you baby wearing lovers who are curious!) goes pretty much everywhere with me.  I can get her onto my back and that makes grocery shopping much easier!  And, yes, I am well aware that grocery shopping with 3 kids 3 & under is absolutely crazy - I get told at least half a dozen times how full my hands are when I am out and about with them all.  And yes, I roll my eyes (internally) every time someone says "Wow, you sure have your hands full!!"  Haha!!  I know people mean well, and they are probably just purely shocked by the number of kids that I have, but for anyone who is curious, that isn't particularly something us moms enjoy hearing, especially when one, or all, of our children are screaming and or pitching a fit throughout the store!  Ok, stepping off my soapbox now...

Needless to say, we are busy, but we are doing so well and enjoying our family!  Here are a few pictures to enjoy!  Thanks for stopping by!

Jaina at 4 months old

Jaina at 5 1/2 Months old

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Steve

You are Handsome.  I love you eyes and your smile.....and other things too, but we'll keep this G-Rated. 

You are Hardworking.  In the past 5 months, you worked your butt off for your company, putting in sometimes nearly 60 hours per week.  It's incredible that you still have a brain left after all of that crazy coding! 

You are Smart.  Even the craziest of questions, you have an answer for! 

You are Kind.  You go out of your way to help your friends and family. 

You are Canadian Born.  Sorry babe, you will never live this one down!

You are Dedicated.  When you commit to something, you stick with it the best you can, even when it isn't very fun. 

You enjoy quite afternoons in the sun.  Specifically at the beach. 

You are Funny.  When I'm having a bad day, it usually drives me crazy that you try to make me laugh, but then eventually I get over myself and I'm grateful for your goofy ways of pulling me out of my bad mood. 

You are Bilingual.  Don't even try to tell me that computer languages don't count, cause I know you know like 4 or 5 of them!

You are Patient. Sometimes I feel impatient for you because you are being so patient. 

You are a Gamer.  If you don't know what a gamer is, then you probably aren't married to one!

You are Sentimental.  You probably will never admit this one, but you are, deep down inside! 

You are a Daddy.  And a darn good one! 

You are Sleep Deprived.  One of these days you will catch up on your sleep.  Or maybe, like you always say, "You'll sleep when you're dead."

You are Particular.  I think it still bugs you that we haven't touched up the paint spots on the ceiling when we painted last summer. 

You Don't like it when I reorganize.  Sorry, It's a habit of mine to find new and better places for things, but then I usually forget to mention where I put them. 

You Love Steak.  No explanation necessary!

You dream of owning a fast car, but you settle for one that gets you to and from work.  Someday we will get you that fast car.  It will probably be red or black.  And really, really fast.  And it won't be allowed to have any carseats in it.  Sorry kids.

You push me to be a better person, and I am grateful for that even though I usually don't say it. 

You are my Best Friend!

You are my Husband of 6 Years! 

You are incredible.  I hope you know how much you mean to me and the kids. 

I love you Steve.  Thank you for 6 Wonderful years!  Here's to many more! 

6 Years ago!  May 17, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Still a Blessing

Through sleepless nights and waking up early, you are still a blessing

Even though you cry more than most babies, you are still a blessing

Even when I can't figure out what you need, you are still a blessing

No matter how difficult things get, you are still a blessing

You see, because a "blessing" isn't just when things are going good.

A blessing is a gift; a Gift from God

And that is exactly what you are - a Gift that God gave us. 

A Gift that we will choose to be grateful for.

Even when it isn't easy,

Even when we want to give up or quit,

We will be grateful for you, because God has graciously give you to us.

We love you Jaina.  Through it all, you are a blessing. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kisses Everywhere

This little girl is so incredibly loved!  I think I have competition for who will give little Jaina the most kisses!


I am amazed how quickly Jaina is growing!  She is already 2 months old and I'm sure the next time I blink she will be 3 months!  We are so happy to have her a part of our family!  Here are some pictures to enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brand New + One Month and a Day

Somehow, between falling asleep and feeding, burping, and changing you, you grew up one month.  I looked down at my phone today and realized that I officially missed your "one month birthday", if that really is a thing.  I like to pretend that things are back to normal, but I think that you are the only one who sees through my sleepy smile.  I'm pretty good at acting like I can pull off this whole "mom of 3 kids 3 and under" thing, but in reality, I am just a mom in need of grace (and lots of it!)  Thanks for loving me just the same. 

This past month has been pretty uneventful; lots of days spent inside, lots of sleepy afternoons on the couch; lots of sleepless nights.  But, you know what?  I am grateful for each day!  Over the past year, I have learned that every day with you (and your brother, sister, and daddy) is a gift.  Every single day is a gift that I don't deserve, but I am given.  God has graciously given you to us and I pray that not a day goes by that I don't remember that!