"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Updates on the Family...

Jaden is doing awesome with potty training. He wears pull-ups now because that's much easier than taking a diaper on and off when it's time to go potty. The only reason we're not wearing underwear yet... is because of that stinky old #2. He never wets his pants... but every once in a while... the stinky stuff doesn't quite make it to the potty. He doesn't have any problems with it at daycare... but at home on the weekends... for some reason he wants to give Mommy and Daddy a hard time. That's okay though... we are so close to getting rid of pull ups and diapers for good... and I'm so excited about that.

He is in swimming lessons right now on Saturday mornings. The very first class, we didn't even make it through the whole lesson. The teacher asked the kids to put their face in the water at the very beginning of class, and that freaked Jaden out so he refused to cooperate at all the rest of the time. Cody had to pull him from the pool because he was being disruptive. I took him myself the following week, and he did much better. We talked a lot before going to the class, and I promised him that he didn't have to put his face in the water if he didn't want to - but that he had to listen to Mommy and the teacher and not cry when in the pool. So that second class, he actually surprised us by putting his face in the water -- not when he was told to... but on his own towards the end of the class. He just has to be able to do certain things in his own time -- hmmm.... kind of like his daddy. ;) The only other thing he struggles with is when it's time for them to do back floats. Every time I try and get him to flip onto his back, he tells me, "I'm scared!" So... we're working on it. The front floats he does just fine with. The class goes until the last weekend of April. I'm excited that next spring, Brandon will be in the class right before Jaden's. We will have two little fishies in the pool!

Brandon is a teething machine. The poor kid cannot get a break. Right now he is working on his top two eye teeth (the bottom ones just came in) -- and one of his bottom teeth on the side of his mouth. I did a mental count last night, and that puts him at 16 teeth. Which means... he only has his two year molars left! I'm really really hoping those hold off until he is two. Give us a long break before we have to endure that. :) He always has two super cranky days right before the tooth completely pops through. And I think that's one of the reasons that he's still not sleeping through the night. Right now he's working on three teeth at the same time. I don't remember the last time he hasn't been getting at least two teeth at the same time... it's been a very long time. Do I try and make him cry it out at night?? Yes. Sometimes for almost an hour. He does not give up, and we get less sleep than if we just get up with him for five minutes. Usually he only gets up once... so it's not horrible. If a tooth is just about to pop through, he might get up twice.

Aside from the teething, he is doing very well. He is a great walker now, and is getting faster at it, too. He's getting really good at being able to bend over and pick things up without losing his balance or having to hold onto anything. He's not saying words besides Mama and Da-da... but he is showing signs of wanting to start using words. He will point at an object and make a little - "eh?" sound -- as if to say, "What's that?" When we tell him what it is, he repeats it by using a sound that matches the same number of syllables as the words we gave him. This morning we thought he said "ball." He was pointing at some pictures of basketballs and baseballs in Jaden's room, and when I said, "basketball," -- Brandon said, "Ba!" He also sounds like he's tried to say "cracker" a couple of times when he's eating a cracker. He tries to bark at dogs. It doesn't sound anything like a bark -- but a very cute really high pitched "conversation." He only makes those noises when dogs are around... so we think it's his special doggy language. ;) He loves Patty-cake. If I even say the words patty-cake, he starts clapping his hands. This morning he was studying the body parts of his singing puppy toy. He kept pointing at the hands, feet, nose... while I told him what each part was. He's still our tiny little man. He's finally outgrowing his 6-12 month pants... but the next size up is quite long on him. We have to roll all of the pants he wears or they would be way too long. He's into 18 month shirts... but if they are 18-24 month. they are quite baggy on him. Jaden was definitey into 24 month clothes by this point. He's very much in love with his mommy and daddy right now. If one of us leaves the room, he walks around looking for where we went. He's kind of like a herding dog... he wants us all together in the same room all the time. ;) If Cody and Jaden go up to the bathroom, Brandon has to follow. If I run to our bedroom, he tries to find me. It's pretty cute. His favorite foods are bananas, yogurt, spaghetti, and we are letting him eat small bites of pizza now since he has so many big teeth in. He also loves cooked carrots that have been in the crock pot. He still is nowhere near the eater that Jaden was... however, we are seeing improvement. Probably because he's getting so active -- he needs more food for all of the energy he has!

Both of the boys LOVE being outside. Jaden likes watching the ducks that have made a home in our creek, and Brandon loves trying to use our big broom to sweep our driveway. ;) We went for a little walk last night, and Brandon had a permanent little grin on his face the whole time. We are ready to not have to wear our winter coats anymore!! Unfortunately, Jaden came down with another cold a few days ago, and Brandon was showing signs of getting it this morning. It doesn't matter how much we wash our hands, santize the whole house, and try and keep the two of them apart when one is sick... if one gets it... the other one is sure to follow. As Jaden was leaving the house with Cody this morning, he turned and looked at me from the doorway and said, "Mama, please pray today that I feel better." -- That broke my heart. He's feeling pretty miserable right now. Although I do think he seemed slightly better this morning than he did yesterday... so hopefully this won't be a long drawn out cold this time.

As for me and Cody (if anyone cares what we're actually up to) ;) ... Cody is getting very busy at work. He's even had to bring work home with him a few times in the last week. He is now responsible for doing all of the sales, bids and design for all of the landscaping projects... and they have had a request for some very very large jobs... so those bids are a big project for him right now. We are grateful for this though -- he's really doing a good job, and the owner is giving him some pretty huge responsibilities that are going to pay off down the road. I am getting ready for a very quick trip to Dallas next week. My company is having a "team building" event for the business development managers from all of our different office locations. I fly out on Tuesday afternoon and return Thursday morning. Our meetings take place on Wednesday. So... a very quick trip. I will only be away from home for two evenings -- but that is more than long enough for me. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is There Anything Better...

...Than coming home from a full day in the office... and a full evening at a work meeting...

and being greeted with the immediate sound of a three year old yelling up the basement steps -

"Hey Mama! How was dinner??!"

...and his little 12 month old brother eagerly running to the doorway (as fast as his little legs can run) -- reaching up both of his arms, and pointing at you... just dying for you to pick him up and hug him and squeeze him...

Is there anything better than coming home to two adorably wonderful happy boys that truly missed you??

Nope. Nothing better.

Yesterday... on a Monday... I spent a little extra time rocking Brandon in his room before actually putting him down in his crib for bed. I spent a little extra time letting him point at things in his room and explaining to him what they were -- even though it was a little past bed time. I spent a little extra time praying with Jaden... and when he said... "Mama, you lay here with me for a few more minutes..." -- I did.

I love being a Mama.

Monday, March 28, 2011

For the Moms Out There...

Cody's mom forwarded this email on to me this morning. (Thanks Deanne!) It was too good not to share...

"Invisible Mom"

*It all began to make sense. The blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone - or cooking - or sweeping the floor - or even standing on my head in the corner. Because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands - nothing more. "Can you fix this?" "Can you tie this?" "Can you open this??"

Some days I'm not a pair of hands - I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

Some days I'm a crystal ball - "Where's my other sock?" "Where's my phone?" "What's for dinner?"

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books - and the eyes that studied history, music and literature. But now - they had disappeared. Into the peanut butter - never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going... she's gone?!

One night a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there looking around at all the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic - when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no - douvour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me four life-changing truths after which I could pattern my work.
1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
4. The passion of their building was fueld by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built - and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day - even when no one around you does."

"No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished - to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far aw to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime - because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving - "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." --That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, "You're gonna love it there..."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel - not only at what we've built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.*

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane...

If you're a UNI basketball fan, you will appreciate this video. This was my dad doing the starting lineups in 1990 -- this specific game was the conference tournament championship. The Panthers won it, and so therefore we earned our first bid ever into the NCAA Tournament.

I was six. I have one distinct memory... from this game. And I laugh at myself. Being six, I didn't realize how HUGE of a win this was. My parents - at the time - both had responsibilities at the basketball games, so I always sat with our head athletic trainer's wife (Jeri) and their son. (Casey - their son - is still like a brother to me to this day). As soon as the game was over, we had won the championship, the crowd was going crazy - and the players were getting ready to cut down the nets... what did I tell Jeri I had to do-- right when the players were climbing the ladder to cut the nets to celebrate the first ever trip to the NCAA tournament?? I told her I had go to the bathroom! I made her miss the biggest celebration the UNI Panther family and fans had ever experienced!!! (I'm so sorry Jeri!!!!) ...I can't believe I remember that, but I do.

Yes, that's the only memory I have from this game. But... I was on the poster in my little UNI cheerleading outfit for this historic season. I remember getting the picture taken for the poster. I remember all of the players from this season - all of the coaches - and even some of the cheerleaders. And we still have the UNI cheerleading outfit that I wore to every game. Somewhere.

Anyways... my dad sent me the link to this video this morning... after someone sent it to him. Great memories of great people and great times. Happy I was born a Panther!! ;)

1990 UNI Starting Lineups

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Has Sprung... at Our House

At 5:30 a.m. this morning (Sunday morning), I was awakened to the sound of my phone ringing. The first phone call of its kind this season... the National Weather Service was phoning me to inform me that a severe thunderstorm warning had just been issued for our area. The sound of thunder made me happy. (Even at 5:30 a.m.) Ah yes... spring is here.

And so in honor of the changing of seasons... I have spent the last week preparing the inside of my house to reflect the weather outside. Owning a home for almost two years now has made me truly appreciate each new season and each new holiday... any reason to change decorations! ;) I also want my kids to have a true appreciation for each holiday... the celebrations, the family time, the traditions... and the reasons for each one. So... I allow myself to purchase just one... or two... or maybe three new pieces of holiday decor for each holiday each year. Over the years as my collections grow I want my house to look like a cartoon version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" -- or Mickey Mouse's Easter Celebration.


So... with the true signs of spring on the horizon... down went the UNI decorated snow shovel... and into storage went the Scentsy pot aromas of "Cozy Fireside" and "Autumn Sunset." Up on the walls and the shelves went all things pastel. And into the Scentsy pot went this month's scent of the month - "Shades of Green" - a mixed bag of smells to remind us of fresh cut grass and all things springy.


A brand new bottle of "bubbles" was purchased... and they are colored bubbles, no less. Purple of course. (Hey... the Panthers are still playing some basketball, folks).


As a pink lover, Easter season is my one month of the year where I allow myself to decorate with as much pink and pastel as my heart desires...



...Right down to my spring-time dish towels. (Gotta love the dollar bins at Target).


And I've learned a thing or two as a parent. We all say once we become parents, we learn not to judge other parents. I used to say... "I'll never let my kid walk around with snot on his face." Or... "how can they let their child be so loud in the restaurant!!" Well... one of my things I used to think or say was... "why do people hang such tacky looking window stickers on their windows??" Oh what we do for our kids... live and learn, I guess. (And hey... I secretly like my spring-time window clings -- thank you Jaden for picking them out at HyVee and insisting we buy them).


Today was a day for Easter egg decorating. I know Easter is still five weeks away, but I purchased this new Easter basket for our table -- and it looked so lonely without pretty eggs to fill it with.


And though I swore that I would not purchase the tempting looking Easter candy until the week of Easter... well, egg decorating... and my kids... deserved some goodies to mark the occasion.

And hey? Why not throw in a new Easter book, as well.



Although Cody pretends not to care too much about holiday decor... he very excitedly pointed out today that I had forgotten to purchase the fake green grass for the colored eggs to sit on. So to the local HyVee I went... to purchase fake green grass for my husband. The man surprises me.


Jaden enjoyed watching the water start to boil.


Brandon had no clue what was going on in the kitchen... but he did take interest in this fireman's hat in the living room. I thought for sure he would take it off of his head right away, but when I said to him -- "Go show, Daddy!" -- he very proudly shuffled into the kitchen... still wearing the hat until he got praise from his Da Da.


Cody was pretty proud of his little creations.


Happy spring! Hope the Easter bunny is good to you!




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heaven is for Real

I love to read. Love to. I got a Nook for Christmas, and it was probably one of the most awesome, practical gifts I've ever been given. I have two favorite authors right now - Nora Roberts and Karen Kingsbury. Nora Roberts writes suspenseful, mysterious, frightening romance novels. Karen Kingsbury is a fabulous Christian fiction author whose books I can never put down and force me to think about my life and my faith in brand new ways... every time I open one of her novels. I recently tried to branch out and read a book by an author I had never tried before -- so I tried "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin. It had received awesome reviews and been publicized quite a bit. To me... it was okay. I finished it... barely. I never got to the point where I truly cared about the main characters. Maybe it was because not one of the three main characters seemed to possess a single moral fiber in their body. So... back to Karen Kingsbury, I go. But... first...

I am not a fan of non-fiction books. I have tried several times to read non-fiction books about parenting, relationships, etc. etc. etc. I have succeeded just a few times in actually finishing one of these books that I start. But I found the exception to my own rule. Cody's mom recommended I read "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. Here is the description that Amazon gives for this book:

"A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle."

*I bolded this last part of the above description because this part of the book brought me to chills... Armageddon is actually described in the book!

This book is all that the above description says it is -- and more. I could not put my Nook down once I downloaded this book to it. I started reading it when Brandon was napping after his surgery on Friday. I read it in bed Friday night... even though I had been up since 3 a.m. Friday morning. I read a little on Sunday... and finished during my lunch break on Monday. There are quotes out there from people who said that this book brought them to believe in Heaven and God for the first time. It didn't do that for me - I already believed. But this book made really really excited to be there someday. (Someday!)

Do you want to know what Jesus looks like - and how beautiful his eyes are? Want to know if there are animals in Heaven? Want to know if you will get to meet Mother Mary and the angel Gabriel? Want to know if you will actually see Satan himself trying to knock on Heaven's door? Do you want to know if little Colton is the only child who has been given a glimpse of Heaven and lived to tell about? (Hint hint -- he's not!)

Cody and I talked about it for quite a while last night... I was telling him as much as I could about how this little boy described Heaven... how so much of what his little mind could portray... was how scripture in the Bible says it is. I keep typing descriptions about this book right into this blog post -- and then deleting it. Because there's no way I could put my excitement -- and all of the information I read -- into this blog entry. So I urge you to grab this book somewhere and read it for yourselves. It's a pretty short read - about 160 pages... and so very worth it!

New Recipe Added

In celebration of St. Patty's Day this week, I got the urge to make something "green" for dessert this past Sunday. So... I set out to make my very own ice cream cake. If you are a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream... this cake is delicious. I'm proud to say mine turned out very nicely. You can check out the recipe by clicking on the "Special Recipes" tab at the top of this page.

Jaden Chatting about Turning Three

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brandon's Surgery

Whew! So glad it's over! Everything went very well... a few rough patches, but a lot better than I expected.

We got the call from Iowa City on Thursday afternoon that Brandon was scheduled for "first case" of the day Friday morning. That meant we needed to be to the hospital and checked in by 6:00 a.m. Which meant leaving our house a little after four so we could stop and get gas... and make sure we weren't running late. The last time we had to be at an appointment there, we got stuck on the highway for half an hour behind a terrible accident. I didn't want to miss our surgery time if that happened again! They also stressed that Brandon could not have anything to eat - including a bottle - after midnight. Well... Brandon doesn't drink any bottles during the day anymore - he is completely onto milk in a sippy cup - but he still wakes up once to eat at night. So sure enough... he started crying at 3:00 a.m. I was planning on getting up at 3:30... but once he woke up, neither one of us got back to sleep. He cried off and on for an hour until we put him in the car at 4:00. As soon as we got him up and changed - he was happy - hunger forgotten. Then he slept almost the entire way there. We got to the waiting room at around 5:40... and it was PACKED. Turns out it was a heavy day for pediatric surgery and tubes. So Brandon was very entertained for about 20 minutes in the waiting room... walking around... making smiley faces at everyone. Things got hairy again at 6:00 when they took us back to our own private room. This is where they udpated his chart, checked his vitals and got him into his hospital gown. He had nowhere to walk, no strangers to have fun with... and started getting hungry again. At this point he had been up for three hours without anything to eat or drink. We had to stay in this room until 7:15 when his surgery started. It was a long hour and 15 minutes. During this time, we had the nurse meet with us, the surgeon, two doctors on the surgeon's team and two anestesiologists. We went over the plan for sedating him... and then at 7:15 I had to hand my baby over. This was much harder on me than it was on him. He went willingly into the anestesiologists arms, and the whole team of doctors and nurses carried my baby away from me and into the surgical unit.

Cody and I went to the surgical waiting area where we expected to be for about half an hour. They expected Brandon's surgery to only take about 20-30 minutes. So when 40 minutes had passed, I started getting anxious. Finally after 45 minutes the surgeon came to meet with us and told us everything went just as expected. He said they drained a LOT of really thick fluid from Brandon's ear... and that he should actually be able to hear better now. (Although we haven't noticed his hearing being effected). It made me feel awful that he had been bothered by so much gunk in his ear for so long. No wonder he's had so many ear infections... he's never been able to completely get rid of all that fluid! They also took the little "cyst" off of his neck -- and put three sutures in rather than having to use stitches. This is good because the sutures will just disolve - the original plan was that we'd have to get stitches taken out at some point. They are taking the little "mass" they took out to the lab to get tested... but the surgeon assured us it looks like nothing more than an extra little bit of cartiledge. We aren't worried. After he spoke with us and gave us the instructions for going home, we went back to the waiting room and waited about five more minutes before they called us to go see Brandon. We had to go up a floor, and as soon as the elevator doors opened, I could hear Brandon screaming through the double doors we had to walk through to get to him. He was awake - but very groggy - and VERY hungry and confused. While we had been meeting with the doctor, they had given him a small bit of pedialyte to make sure that he could keep fluids down. They allowed us to give him formula once we got to him - he chugged that down - and then fell asleep on Cody. He remained asleep as they moved us to "stage 2" recovery... and then slept the whole way home. We got home around 11:00 a.m. -- Cody went back to work -- and I stayed home with him. I enjoyed that time with him so much. He was pretty tired throughout the day, but also was very very happy. He took a couple of really good naps... and we spent a lot of time cuddling. He's so active now that cuddling doesn't happen much -- but it happened a lot on this day. It was wonderful.

And he is like a new baby. I have heard people say that getting tubes put in completely changed their child for the better... but I never completely understood that. I was just hoping for no more ear infections. But Brandon is like a new baby. Cody and I just spent a lot of time Friday night and Saturday amazed by the changes. Don't get me wrong -- he has always been a good baby. But he has also dealt with a lot of sickness and teething - and he has been a lot needier than Jaden ever was. By Friday night he was no longer just taking a few steps at a time, and then losing his balance -- he was completely walking. Everywhere. His balance after having all of that fluid drained is so much better. And he is talking so much more!! He babbles and babbles like crazy - like he finally can hear better. He doesn't bat at his ears with his hand as much as he used to. We are praying the tubes stay in and work their magic. It can be common for them to fall out too soon -- and to have to do the whole procedure all over again. We're hoping that doesn't happen.

More Videos!

I promise to keep them coming!

B Dancing

B and Bunny

B Crawling

B in Diaper

B in Tub

Brandon's Birthday Party

For Brandon's first birthday party, we invited everyone to Cody's parents' house in Aplington. Since completely remodeling their house, they have a nice open floor plan... plenty of room for kids and adults to run around. In attendance was the four of us, my parents, Cody's parents, Cassi and Ella, my uncle and aunt from Iowa City - Bud and Rita, Cody's grandma Grayce and Grandpa and Grandma Frey, and some friends of ours - the Sankeys - with their two little boys who are the same age as Jaden and Brandon! We all had a very good time, and Brandon handled all of the excitement very well.

*The theme of the party... jungle animals of course! All of these colors match the colors in his room. Not that it matters... but it was the deciding factor in what theme to choose. ;)


*We are SO excited to be able to get outside and play!!


*Emry, Israel and Brandon... "sharing" was sure tested on this day. :)

*We had lunch of course -- and then provided everyone else with some mini cupcakes and chocolate chip dip with animal crackers... while Brandon had his very own little cake to dive into. :) (If you don't know what chocolate chip dip is -- look up the recipe online. I discovered it thanks to my cousin Jodi, and now I will probably make it for every gathering - so good and so easy!)


*At one point, Jaden had a little bit of a melt down... and who was the one person that could get him calmed down immediately?? Great Grandma Grayce - to the rescue!


*Opening presents! You'll notice Brandon's hair is wet in this picture... presents were opened after we threw him in the bath... he had gotten cake all over him!


*This was a big surprise for Cody and me, as well -- Cody's Grandpa Don made this toy chest for the kids. It comes with special hinges so the lid can't collapse on their fingers. And Grandma Alda painted the UNI logo on there herself to make it extra special. This is not a sticker! She even mixed different colors together to make the purple just right. What an awesome gift -- one of those treasures that will stay in the family forever.



And now for the icing on the cake of this blog post... here is the video of Brandon diving into his cake! He wasn't quite sure what to think of it. ;)

Brandon Eating Cake

Brothers

Brothers...

*Share bonding time together...


*Adore each other...


*Goof around together...


*Share bedtime snacks with each other...


*Watch movies together...


*Are always there to lend a hand...


*Play together...


*Are always there right by your side.

*Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a super hero.*

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Video Project

I suck at posting videos on here. :) I'm going to make a very good attempt at getting better. So to kick off my "video project" -- here is your first sneak peak. Enjoy. :)

Brandon Whistling

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jaden's Birthday Celebrations!

Jaden turned three on January 28. Or as he would say... "I am FREE!" (That's more of what it sounds like coming from his mouth). ;) We started the celebration on his actual birthday - that Friday - by going out to eat at the O.P. with family. The four of us - my mom and Dad - Cody's parents - and Cassi and Ella. Then everyone came back to our house and watched as we surprised Jaden with his birthday present from us - his very own Thomas the Train table! We found it on clearance atToys R Us (because they are normally very pricey) -- and my parents split the cost with us. Then Cody and I also bought him some more track to enlarge the collection he'd already received at Christmas. He was pretty excited!


The next morning - Saturday morning - he had his first Kindergym glass up at UNI. This was another "present" from us.


*This was his favorite activity while we were there!


*Another one of his goofy "cheese!" grins. ;)

Then that afternoon we celebrated with a pool party at the Wingate Hotel! It was funny to be swimming in their indoor pool while watching the snow storm begin to rage outside! Everyone had a very good time, and a lot of people told me we should just plan the same exact party for his next birthday! We invited family and some of his absolute best buddies from his previous daycare.


*Of course it was a Thomas the Train themed birthday party!


*This is his good friend Marissa. He used to call her his "girlfriend" all the time when they used to go to the same daycare! We are looking forward to some play dates together when the weather gets nicer. :)


*The four of us... Daddy and Brandon had a good time, too. :)


*Brandon and Noah... these two little ones thought they should get first dibs on whatever was in the cooler when we were done swimming! :)
I have more pictures but haven't gotten them all uploaded yet to be able to put them in here. Maybe the next entry? I'll work on it. ;)

Happy birthday Jaden!