Friday, December 30, 2011

splashing around

No fantastic photos from this fantastic outing earlier this week, but still worth blogging about! The Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center has great extended hours during winter break, and being five minutes away from home, I figured we had to go take a mid-winter dip in the pool (why? because I love pools!) I invited my friend's 10 year old daughter (and seriously the best mother's helper around!) to join us and we were off.

When we arrived, we waited for Micaiah to arrive in the lobby, where Troy excitedly watched everything happening inside the pool area through the glass windows. This is the same place we took swim lessons but all the "fun stuff" (read: splashy water shooters) weren't turned on during those. He couldn't wait to get in.

We played for about an hour. Then the whistle blew and the fishing net and biohazard bag came out with the lifeguards to fish something out of the pool we'd just been playing in. Ew. And we're done.

Here's the only halfway decent photo I got of Troy in the water during this trip. He loved the mushroom waterfall thing in the middle of the kiddie pool, and the water sprayers that come up from the ground. I got a couple pictures in and then was told to put my camera away because photos weren't allowed. Oops. Now I know for next time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

getting fresh air

Troy and I decided to get some fresh air early this evening, letting Mike take a nap at the quiet house. It was 54 degrees so we went for a walk on the U of I campus. Who knew that the Union literally closed up for a week between Christmas and New Years. I feel like that's relatively new because I'm pretty sure I've gone bowling there before in this week. But maybe not.

We were pretty much the only people on the quad, except for a few campus tourists that were from out of the country. We talked to them for a few minutes and helped them find a bathroom since the Union was locked. We had a lot of fun pointing at different things and naming them. Troy is trying to mimic everything we say, so I pretty much name everything when we're out. Its such a great age!

We watched the squirrels for awhile. This photo is just for you, Gramma Mary :) 

Afterwards, we headed over to Rosati's for a mother/son dinner date. I had nothing planned for dinner since we were supposed to be hanging with Sarah and Fred tonight (we are sorry we had to cancel tonight, you guys!) so Italian beefs it was. Troy was so well behaved (so appreciated, of course!) which has pretty much been the case all week. He's been such a good little guy for me and Mike this week and I'm just so proud of him!

loving diner

I can't believe how old he looks in this picture! My handsome boy :)

sick :(

Poor Mike. Last week's mild cold turned into this week's sickness on Christmas Day. It takes a pretty bad bout of anything to send Mike to the doctor and that's exactly what happened this week. We're told its just viral but I was really praying it would be dramatically better by now. This is the mask they made him wear at Convenient Care earlier this week. At least they take measures to protect the other patients in the clinic.

Please join me in praying for his healing, that nobody else in our household gets sick and nobody that we were hanging out with for Christmas gets sick either. Boo, sickness. We would like for you to leave now!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to you! And Happy Birthday Jesus! Its been a wonderful day filled with good family time and joy. I love seeing Troy react to new experiences like celebrating holidays...even more exciting when its a holiday to celebrate our Savior! I can't wait to teach him more and more about Christmas every year and answer his questions about this very special holiday :)
We started the morning by sleeping in until 7 for the second day in a row (thank you, Troy!) and heading downstairs for breakfast and Troy's gift. Awhile back we decided, for this year, we would just give Troy one present on Christmas morning and we stuck to that (read: I held back my urge to shop!). I have heard several people share that they give their kids three presents each though to signify the three gifts that Jesus got for his birthday and I really like that idea too for the future. But back to this year...
unwrapping! he loved the ribbon!
its a farm!
time to play!
After a quick play with the farm it was time to pack, shower and get on the road up to Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that there was NO traffic whatsoever and we were up here pretty much without hitting the breaks the whole way.

Gramma and Grampa were ready to play (and eat lunch) when we got to their house and we enjoyed a few hours of downtime at their house before getting in the car again to head out to my aunt and uncle's house in Lake in the Hills. Troy had just woken up from a nap so we had fun singing in the car on the way out to the 'burbs :)

Our whole family was at the Marx house for Christmas dinner. We opened presents in shifts, so the kids opened some before dinner and some afterwards (Troy didn't open many after dinner since he was already getting ready for bed and enjoying a bottle with Beema.) A few snapshots below from Christmas night:
Troy and Beema

Troy playing with his new weebles slide and tree house...its a hit!

Emily finds out she's going to Key Lime Cove!

a portion of the dinner crowd

the best photo of the two kiddos from the night. yep, my kid is trying to dive off the couch. at least Em is smiling.
In addition to the weebles house, music toys and some new clothes, Troy received more than a dozen new books...I am so excited for these! Can't wait to add to his collection and read him some new ones each night!

Merry Christmas everyone. Blessings to you from the Cunninghams and hope you had a very joyful day today with those you love :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve, everybody! We've been blessed to have two extremely peaceful days around here at the Cunningham house, which after the earlier part of our week, I think we were ALL ready for :) For those of you that asked about our fraud situation, basically someone was able to get into our bank account and get out some of our money out of our savings. It was unfortunate and a headache for sure, but we're thankful its already resolved.

So back to rest and relaxation. Troy has been sleeping like a champ these past couple days. The three hour afternoon nap reappeared yesterday and today (as its been gone for awhile) and we actually had to wake him to go to Christmas Eve service at church earlier today. (You can imagine how that whole getting-out-of-the-house thing went before church.)

We've eaten lots of great food and lots of not-so-great snacky food. Ah well, its a holiday weekend and we're off work. I thought this was pretty funny, Troy and Bear lined up to mooch off Daddy's snack :)

We've all been having lots of fun. Troy and Mike are getting especially good play time with Mike home all day with us.

Troy finds these light up reindeer ears in his toy bin and holds them up to his head or brings them to one of us to put on. He thinks they're hilarious. Bear seems to be glad that we're not putting them on her this year.

We did all get out to the Christmas Eve service at church tonight at 4:30. I read that there were over 1,000 people in the auditorium during that service, supposedly a record for one service. The service is a "family service" and since we (and Troy) are accustomed to dropping him off in kids church each week (except for the occasional visit to the auditorium during worship), it was an interesting challenge to keep him occupied during a one hour service. I'm even more thankful for our children's ministry than I was before!

We came home to a wonderful dinner of pork medallions in blue cheese sauce with twice baked potatoes.

Troy ate dinner before Mike and I ate so he was ready for his bottle while we dined.

The R&R continued into the evening with Bear "lap dog" Cunningham curled up with Mike while I lit our fireplace to make for a cozy, warm evening...

Alas, here's the photo of our fireplace after my attempt. I was able to light the pilot light no problem but when I went to flip the switch...nothing. It was like Clark Griswold on Christmas Vacation. So everything got turned off and closed down and no warm fire for us tonight.

From our family to yours, hope you have a very merry Christmas full of joy and cheer!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

wine, cookies, and...

What has my evening been like? Well, I've had a glass of wine...I've eaten lots of cookies...and I've been changing every.single.password/username we have. 

Being a victim of fraud just stinks :(

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We've got exciting things happening at the Vineyard Church this! And lately we've had the really big trucks prepping the ground for our new building addition. We're fortunate to have these huge windows on the inside that we walk past every morning as we walk from my office to the daycare area, so we usually watch from there. But yesterday it was pretty warm out in the morning and that huge yellow truck (I need to learn the names of different trucks before Troy can ask questions) was in full swing so I thought we'd watch outside for a few minutes. Troy loves it...what kid doesn't enjoy watching trucks in action!?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

old school sleep

Troy used to sleep with his hands flung over his head all the time when he was younger (yet, despite my efforts, I couldn't find an old picture with him in this position). Last night, I noticed he did it again, and again this morning too. Since he's been able to roll over onto his belly, he's been burying his head in the corner of the crib, curled up with his bottom in the air. This position, is clearly different. I think he's saying "I own this bed. Its ALL mine!"

***Yes, this photo was taken over the video monitor screen. That is the only safe way to take a picture of a sleeping baby :)

jam session

Saturday, December 17, 2011

snowball fight!

Okay, it wasn't quite a snowball fight. But I got your attention didn't I? With the exception of a little dusting of snow on his birthday, we haven't had any snow yet in C-U this winter. But Chicago got snow this morning! And I was eager to introduce Troy to it :) His Daddy might not be such a huge fan (that's what happens when you grow up in the south) but I really do like it! And maybe Troy will too!

Thanks Grampa, for giving Troy his first sled ride!

cookies, cookies and more cookies!

My mom loves to bake. Each year, she takes about a week off work to bake literally thousands of cookies out of her own kitchen. I think she has 16-18 different varieties sitting in her house right now. Its pretty impressive! Troy and I joined her for the tail end of "baking vacation", he seemed to enjoy some extra sweet treats throughout the last couple days!

Troy says, "You can move me a few inches closer to the table. I won't touch..."

Enjoying being a "helper"

Bear was very close as well, waiting to drop any crumbs that  may head towards the floor...
Aunt Natalie stopped by to bake, too! Troy was pretty interested in the bells hanging from the ceiling while she held him.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

first trip to the urbana library

I confess...I've always taken Troy to the Champaign Library because I claimed it was better than the Urbana one (probably because its shiny new). But I had never actually been down to the children's department at the Urbana Library until today! And guess what? I like this library much better! I feel kind of silly for literally passing it for the last several months to drive across town and go to the other one. Ah well, live and learn.

Their play area is SO impressive! Troy woke up on the wrong side of the crib this afternoon and I thought we should probably do something other than let him be cranky here at the house. This was exactly what he needed and its less than 5 minutes away!

I know, you don't believe me that he was a cranky mess about 15 minutes before this.

A nice little girl set this whole thing up and then asked Troy to run the grocery store.

He loved the fire truck!

When did my boy get so big!?

Monday, December 12, 2011


The former camp director in me is REALLY excited to build up my kids craft stash here at home. I can't wait to make memories with Troy while encouraging him to be creative. Last night was the FIRST art project we created here at home, after purchasing some inexpensive crayola finger paint. After dinner, I taped some paper on his high chair tray, stripped him down to his diaper and let him have at it!

Christmas/birthday photo shoot

Reminiscent of Troy's first "official" photo shoot at 10 days old, Carrie Painter arrived at our home one night last week to take some photos of Troy and the three of us as well. I don't know which is harder to work with, an unpredictable 1 year old or a brand new 10 day old! I was so excited to get our disc of photos this weekend to see what she captured...thanks so much Carrie, they're great!

love this

Christmas card photo preview!

so, so cute!

We let him eat a cupcake for photo purposes :)

one of my favs

Such determination!

Su, thanks for the inspiration on this one! I remember seeing  you send Clover into one of Liam's birthday photos :)