Sunday, March 30, 2008

feeling crafty

I have updated my links on the side and included several crafty sites I have been into lately. I do consider my self crafty, though it can come in waves, depending on what is going on in life. I love Etsy. If you haven't even visited the site, you must! It's a place to buy and sell all things handmade. I went on to get inspired for Maggie's room--I plan to do vintage birds. I found some amazing things, including these *fantastic* blocks from Susanna Anna (see link). Patti saw them and said, "We can make those!" and we did! She, Rachel, Renee, and I got together a couple of weeks ago and made our own. Theirs turned out beautifully and mine still need a few details, so I won't post them just yet. But, suffice it to say that when it was all said and done, we each made 9 blocks for under $20!

Enjoy some of the crafy sites both on Etsy and the others that I have listed. Maybe it will inspire you, too! :)

Maggie at 15-months

Here is Mags, ready for bed tonight. Hard to believe our little sweetie is already 15 1/2 months old! She is more fun than ever and her language has literaly exploded in the last 2 weeks. She now says hello, hi, bye-bye, baby, eye, oh-no, yes, no, OK, shoe, and eggs with absolute precision and others she sounds out and gets very close to (minus some sounds): airplane, bird, bink (for pacifier...which I swear we are getting rid of...eventually), yogurt (sounds like "yogi"), Jesus, spoon, fork, milk, alligator (sounds like "otter" everytime), Auntie Shannon (sounds like "aunt sha"), help, thank you, please (sounds like "peas") and a few more I think I'm forgetting. It's really awesome to hear her communicate with real words. And when asked what a duck says she says, "quack" and a monkey, she says, "ooh-ooh." She also has a new baby doll that she loves to carry around and pat her back and share her bink with. She can do hand motions to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" (just opening and closing her fingers, palms out), and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" (moves her wrists back and forth and close together) and these are all thanks to music class, which has been wonderful! I'm recommending it highly to mom friends around here. We have our final class in 2 weeks and it's a little more "production" oriented, so dads and grandparents are welcome to come and Aron's folks will be in town! Sweet.

Maggie has been showing increasing interest in using utenils and can feed herself a few different items, albeit not entirely well just yet. :) We are finding that she likes things lined up and organized and doesn't like to have food or floor specks on her hands. She is also learning to throw things away in the trash and has just this week started opening doors (don't worry, the outside doors all have dead bolts and handles she can't figure out just yet).

Her 15-months stats are as follows:

Weight: 26 pounds, 1 ounce= 90th percentile
Height: 30 3/4 inches=50th percentile
Head: 19 inches=> 95th percentile (she is actually ON the growth curve now and not off, so her head is totally in line where it needs to be...hooray!)

children's reading corner

It's been several months since I have written a rec! Here is one you will love called You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano. I first bought this book when I was in Florida, visiting my folks and 5 months pregnant. The illustrations are beautiful and conjure such delightful feelings of playfulness, love, and security. The text describes the parent/child relationship in sweet ways such as, "I am your quiet place, you are my wild," and "I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down." I have often found this book at Marshall's for around $6, as opposed to the retail price of a typical hardback children's book. I love to give this book to new moms! I think you all will enjoy it, regardless of your child's age.

Monday, March 24, 2008

happy easter!

We enjoyed some wonderful family time this weekend. Lots of down time, outdoor time, and even some mom-alone time! We went to our church's Easter service on Saturday night and loved having Sunday to our leisure. I put together brunch for the 3 of us (props to La for the menu idea: fruit, ham, muffins, and baked oatmeal [Mel's recipe!]) and we headed over to the Arboretum for a late morning picnic. The weather was a bit cool, so we were bundled up, and yet M loved trekking around, watching birds and airplanes (her newest fascination), and petting some animals in a little petting zoo. Later, she participated in her first Easter egg hunt in our front yard and quickly figured out where the eggs were and what to do with them. It took about 20 minutes to round them up, but she loved it and excitedly would point and say her famous "OH!" whenever she spotted one. What a wonderful weekend to reflect on the hope of our faith in Christ! He is know the rest. :)

I think M looks too funny in this one!
Let's eat!
Having fun in the fountain
Isn't her face so sweet here?! I love it!
Easter bunny love
Egg hunt


Tree egg
Happy times and a leafy butt

Prizes inside!

Friday, March 21, 2008

tulips (and the big bow)

Today dawned bright and beautiful. I spent the morning at the Dallas Arboretum with my good friend Erin, and her son Hudson (who is 2 weeks older than M). The tulips are in full bloom and are absolutely breath-taking. I snapped some new shots of Mags; she was gleefully saying, "OH" over and over again and pointing at every flower in sight. If the weather is good on Sunday, I plan to do a brunch for our family there, picnic-style, before church. Since we are orphans, we will just celebrate Easter as a family and then head to church. I'm actually really looking forward to it (if the predicted rain stays away).

What do you think of Mags' new bow? Kathryn, I think you'd be proud. It's Maggie's largest yet and I think it was time to upgrade. Kathryn, my good, good friend from Chicago, is my bow expert and tells me that a bow should be in proportion to how much hair a child has and I do have to agree with her. If you don't, that's fine, but for me, this has worked out the best for Maggie. Anyway, I'm LOVING this new bow and it stays perfectly in her hair.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

home again

We arrived back safely on Wednesday night. Maggie finally seemed to end her fight with a nasty virus by week's end, hallelujah! We had a busy rest of the week and rested up today.

Here are some pictures of our time in the OC. Even though M was sick for the trip, it turned out wonderfully. I enjoyed some really good connect time with good friends over good food: dessert with Linds and new baby, Shelby Grace at Cheesecake Factory, Wahoo's with Cayla, The Yard House with Jason, and Claim Jumper with Linds, Jason, and Shelby. Aron's Aunt Dinah came for dinner on Saturday night and we enjoyed time with her. I cooked dinner for the fam and Jason on Monday night and spent the day with Dawnielle and her son, Asher, on Tuesday. Wednesday morning found us able to make a quick playdate with friends at a nearby park. The weather was *amazing*--how did we ever leave?! And everything was so *green*. If we didn't see you this time around, there is always the next! And you may notice that there are no pics of Pops and Mema (Maggie's CA grandparents) and I'm really not sure how come we didn't snap more. But never fear! They are coming to visit us in early April and we will post lots of pics of them with Maggie. As always, they were fantastic hosts and so loving and generous with us and our little girl. Thank you both for everything!

Enjoying her first bite of Del Taco
Enjoying some time away, eating Pedro's and relaxing at T-Street (below)

Mags and Aunt Dinah
Jason, one of our oldest friends, always makes it a point to hang out with us as often as he can when we are in town and we love him for it. I think he needs to move near us so he and A can hang out all the time. He is a fantastic guy!
It was awesome to see Cayla briefly, as we caught her during one of her busiest times of the year. She is on staff with Campus Crusade and is busy recruiting students for missions trips, mentoring leaders, and a host of other activities, not to mention having just hosted an 80-person shower for her soon-to-be-sister-in-law the weekend we arrived. Cayla is one of the most amazing people I know; it is always so encouraging to talk to her and see what God is doing in her life.
Cayla, M, and mama after yummy fish tacos from Wahoos
Linds, one of my oldest and closest friends. We met literally the first day I moved to CA in the summer of 1996. She and her hubby, Jason, are raising support to do missions work in Peru. They move to Nebraska next month for 12 weeks to be near his family, move to Costa Rica in August for 1 year of language school, and then are off to Peru for 2 years. Aron and I are talking about visiting them while in Peru, but other than that, I'm really not sure when I will see her in the next several years. We really tried to soak up as much time together as possible.

The Kliewers and sweet Shelby. This little girl is one of the sweetest and cutest babies I have ever seen. She nurses like a champ, sleeps well, and is just a super contented baby. What a dream!

Mags and Asher played in the sand at Doheny; it was super fun to watch them interact as they are the same age (Maggie was born on the 11th of Dec. and he on the 19th).

She LOVED the sand
I had fun burying some of her leg; she thought it was funny.

We are just missing daddy's feet to make this a complete picture. So sweet! This day with Dawnielle was one of my favorite while visiting. I loved walking down to the beach with her, playing with the kids, and catching up while they napped. Overall, it was the most relaxing and encouraging time.
Maggie is really into raisins these days; don't worry, I do supervise her! Here she is eating them at the park playdate with our friends.

Megan and her son Chase (who will be one next month). Meg and I were friends from high school youth group, lost touch, and have reconnected through blogging. She goes to church with the two girls below, whom I used to teach with. Small world! It was really fun to hang out in person, if even for short time. Chase is such a sweet boy!

Sarah and her daughter, Ivy, and son, Gabe--Sarah taught at Cornerstone 2 years with me. Her kiddos are awesome!

Laura and her twin boys, Cole and Kai. They are so polite and full of lots to say! It was fun to watch them interact with eachother. All of these ladies are such encouraging mamas; I love being around them and really enjoyed our park time, even though it was short and hard to have long, meaningful conversations. Such is life with kids! I hope we can meet up every time I'm in town, girls!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

home again

We arrived back safely on Wednesday night. Maggie continues to fight this virus, but we definitely had a better day today and are going on more than 24 hours with no fever, so this is good news! She

Sunday, March 9, 2008

we're here!

Just wanted to shoot a quick blog out to let you all know we made it just fine to SoCal. The plane ride may just have been her best ever and most likely due to the fact that she had a fever the entire flight. Poor thing! She slept some and mostly just sat in my lap and vegged. We took her to Urgent Care today and the verdict is a virus, which there isn't much treatment for except time. So, we wait and give Motrin when the fever returns. This trip is turning out differently than I had anticipated, but that's OK. If people still want to get together, we'll make it happen, but I have a feeling most will want to steer clear. Maybe the fever will break and she'll be totally better by tomorrow. Who knows?

We have enjoyed the weather so far and the time with family. I've been noticing how *green* everything is here. While Maggie napped this afternoon, Aron and I ate lunch overlooking T-Street in San Clemente with our Pedro's burritos (Heth, I ate some in your name!) and enjoyed driving PCH.

I will post pics and update how the rest of our week goes when we return.

PS: Happy Birthday, Laurie!

Friday, March 7, 2008

california dreamin'

Aron has business in OC Monday-Wednesday of next week, and he was able to get his company to expense my ticket (as we stay with his folks and not in a hotel), so we are flying out tomorrow morning to jump start our visit! Aron's Aunt Dinah and sister, Cari, are coming to see us, too, which we are highly anticipating. I have a few playdates lined up with mom friends and will get to hold Lindsey's newborn baby girl, Shelby! I can't wait. We'll hit up the usuals--Del Taco, Pedro's, In N Out, the beach, Golden Spoon--and hopefully, have a nice dinner out alone one night. This all came together last-minute, but we can't wait! I am working on packing as we speak.

I must admit I'm a bit nervous about the flight because we have an almost 15-month old who walks and is super active. While Maggie has been on 18 flights (with a baby/toddler you have to count each leg because each is a huge accomplishment, right!? or is that just me?!), so I feel I have alot of the basics down, but I think it'll be a challenge to keep her occupied for 3+ hours. She'll only watch a DVD for so long, but we will try this and we'll bring some books and toys and snacks. We'll walk around some with her, of course. But, how do you reason with a child this age that they cannot be mobile the entire time, they have to sit in your lap (or if you are lucky, the seat next to you), or stand in the 3-ft. wide space between your seat and the seat in front of you, to play?! I'm open for any suggestions you have (SC, esp. you as you have done intercontinental several times!). Say a quick prayer for us. :)

twice in one week

Maggie enjoyed playing in the snow once again this week! She even helped mama make her first snowman (well, iceman)!

What he looked like by melted just like this.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

lazy park afternoon

We escaped for the afternoon to Frisco Commons, a local park that offers an enclosed wooden play area, walking trails, and a pond. Maggie thoroughly enjoyed herself. I especially love the 1st shot; her laughter is so evident! I also love the one of her pointing up to the kites in the sky; she was mesmerized for a good 10 minutes.