Sunday, September 29, 2013

Illini Volleyball: 2013

Now an annual tradition, we've made it to an Illini Volleyball game at least once a year since Troy was born. This weekend is Dad's weekend at U of I, which means its mega-sports weekend around here. The volleyball team had a special game at the Assembly Hall (er, I mean State Farm Center) tonight and they were giving away free tickets! Score! I heard over 7000 fans were there. That's an awfully large crowd for volleyball, in my opinion!

My photo quality from the night is almost laughable, so I have to share the "best" ones, haha :) 

We sat near our friends at the game, and Troy and Eydie kept looking back and forth at each other. Finally we let them up to start moving around and they got to talk. This was my best photo of these two cuties...

And this was Corrie's best of them...

Troy's shirt was a bit large. He got this free shirt this week now that he's in the "Illini Kids Club" and was so excited about it. When we tried it on him before the volleyball game, he could tell we were checking it out and thinking about taking it off. He quickly pounded his chest and said "it fits!!" and ran out of his room, leaving Mike and I behind. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tonight's prayer

Troys prayer before bed tonight.

"Jesus, pray for Cassidy. In mommy's tummy. She come out and play now. Amen."


Thursday, September 26, 2013

38 weeks

Lots of random updates around here. Pregnancy is definitely drawing to a close and I feel noticeably different than I did at the beginning of the week now. That's not to say anything is imminent, but I can just tell we're getting close. This week has been mixed with some good nights of sleep versus not so good (read: up at least once an hour going to the bathroom and rolling to my other side, along with all my appropriate pillows). Thankfully every night hasn't been that way!

I'm starting to get that end-of-pregnancy time-bomb look from the people around me. Funny, because I don't feel like a time-bomb. Perhaps its because my last labor started out slooooow and I don't expect a big "boom" to start this one. Today Troy didn't want me to leave him in daycare so I spent a few extra minutes down there and then my co-workers looked all disappointed when I made it to my desk a little late. One said they had just noticed I wasn't there and were wondering if something was up :)

A Starbucks date before work with my special guy :)
Troy's had a much better week this week than last. Some of the behavior I expected to come from an almost-three year old after a baby arriving has showed up a little early, but like I said, this week has been much better than last. On Sunday I was praying about it and I got the word, "just love him like crazy right now." That's made the hard moments a little easier to deal with, and its also helped me to be more intentional about showing him love during all the great moments too :) This morning, we were on the couch together and he looked at me so seriously and said, "Mommy, you got a pillow?" And I said no buddy, not right now. He got up and looked at all the pillows on the other couch and said, "mmm, this one!" And promptly brought it to me :) My thoughtful little helper.

And now, a few quotes I've had said to me in the last week. Enjoy some laughs, I know I have!

Troy: "Mommy, hurry up! Mommy!"
Mike: "Didn't we just have this last week for dinner? (pause 1/2 a second) I mean, YAY, santa fe chicken!"
Troy: (very seriously) "Mommy, don't eat all my pretzels, okay?"
Well-meaning older lady at church: "You just hang in there, girl. Just keep hanging in there!" (I figure I must have looked pretty miserable at that moment or something.)
Stranger (these are the best): "Umm, how much longer do you HAVE?!"

A bug's life

Troy is obsessed with bugs right now. So much to the extent that I absolutely know what we'll be doing after nap every day, all week. Going outside with a container of some sort while he chases bugs down and brings them to me to show me what he finds. He puts on his sweet "I love you" voice that he uses for babies and the dog to talk to the bugs, like he think they're the cutest and sweetest tiny things he's ever stumbled upon. I think he'd be devastated to find out that at least 50%, if not more, of these creatures don't survive their encounters with Troy :/ Nonetheless, he continues to enjoy them!
Above, a "ladybug" which really does look like a ladybug, but its one of those crazy Japanese beetle-y things. 
On another note, I felt like we really lived in the country when this gem blew into our backyard from the neighboring corn field. Yep, my kid played with part of a stalk of corn for nearly a half hour. That's a pretty "country" play toy if I ever saw one!

Getting dressed

The other day we were getting ready and I said to Troy, "Next its your turn to get dressed!" (i.e. iPad time is almost over buddy!) While I finished getting ready myself, he ran into his room, picked out clothes and got himself dressed. Not bad at all, considering I think he may have put both legs in his pants like that on purpose, to be funny. This kid, I tell ya :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall park time

This little guy adores being outdoors. Yesterday playtime on the playground was short-lived, as he wanted to "go walking" over the bridge and down the trail. He loves sticks, acorns, leaves, whatever he can get his hands on this fall.

We found one of these artsy spots we'd never noticed before on our walk. He called it a stage and insisted on me coming up there to dance with him. Yep, its these moments that all the toddler misbehavior and potty training frustrations melt away and we are simply both full of pure joy :)

College Football Saturday - September 21

Troy suited up in his Auburn gear for Uncle Brian this week... War Eagle!

Then before the Troy game, he switched into this jersey. Fortunately he got to celebrate one Trojan touchdown before bedtime. Unfortunately, this was the only Trojan touchdown in the entire game, as the rest of the evening was not a great one for the Troy Trojans :/ There's always next week!

Curtis Orchard with Gramma

I predict lots of trips to Curtis Orchard in our fall this year. I absolutely adore this place, and my love for it grows as my child grows each year!

After picking some delicious honeycrisp apples last week, we had to take Gramma back to pick some more while she was down for a visit. Troy (of course) went for the kittens first again. Unlike some of the others, this black and white one was perfectly content sitting in his lap and purring (or "praying", as Troy thinks we're saying).

Then I sat down and the kitten came to snuggle on Cassidy. That was fun :)

Finally we headed out to pick some apples! Troy showed Gramma the ropes right away.

He was very happy that we used a wagon this time. I think at first he wanted a ride in it but then he got so focused on pulling back our treasures.

Friday, September 20, 2013

37 weeks plus a day

And so begins the waiting period...

A couple weeks ago I read my last few blog posts in the month before Troy was born and wondered why I blogged so infrequently. Since I usually update several times a week, I was surprised to see a week (or more) at a time without any posts.

Now I remember why.

Its not that things are dragging on. Or I don't feel well. Or that I'm "done", as many people say. Thankfully, time is still moving, even though a bit slower, I feel pretty great for carrying around an almost 7 pound-ish child 24/7 and I definitely don't feel that "I'm done" feeling. I'm excited for what's to come but trying to stay focused on enjoying these last few weeks as a mama of one.

So there's not really a whole lot to say :) Don't take my blog silence to be that anything is amiss, or impending for that matter. Not posting for a week doesn't mean I'm about to spring into labor. It just means I'm spending more time with my son and my hubby and less time blogging it up.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers in these final weeks, and I promise to keep you posted! And now, a few pictures of the cutest soon-to-be big bro around :)

He so, so badly wanted to climb this version of the monkey bars like the big kids. While he wasn't able to swing from bar to bar, he was SO proud when he got on and could hang on for awhile, and safely get down. He did it over and over!
Troy and I painting outside. It was supposed to be painting with brushes but we ended up getting good and messy with our hands as time went on :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

down on the farm

We've gladly been customer of Triple S Farms for the last couple of years now. Two years ago, we made it down to the farm for our first visit, and tonight, we were able to return! Each fall, Farmer Stan holds a customer appreciation event where all his customers in the various buying clubs are invited down for a night of fun, food, farm tours and more.

Troy was VERY excited for this over the last couple of weeks. When I tried to explain the invitation to him a couple weeks ago, it somehow translated to (in his words), "Farmer Stan said, 'Come to my farm!!!'" And thus the excitement began to build.

When we arrived, we tried to eat first but Troy was completely hooked on seeing the animals. so off we went. First up, the most gigantic pigs I've ever seen. These pigs were begging for an apple snack in the bin next to us.

These pigs were just four weeks old! I loved how they had their own pasture alone with their mama.

Checking out the free range chickens. I was a little hesitant to get so close, but they were friendly. As Troy later said, "The chickens don't eat me, Mommy!"

Thanksgiving turkeys, right here. Farmer Stan sends photos with his monthly updates and he's been sending photos of these guys since they were teeny back in the spring. 

Next up we enjoyed dinner, complete with Troy's first hot dog from the fire (courtesy of Mommy's fine cooking, thank you very much). This was just one of the farm dogs, which may have actually been the highlight of the night for him. He loved all the little farm dogs :)

Hayride time! My big ol' pregnant self was able to hop up fairly easily so I got to enjoy the ride with my boys.

We had front row seats! This is one of those blog pics that's more for Troy than anyone else, since he loves tractors :)

We were the last hayride of the night, as the sun was starting to set when we headed out. So pretty.

The cows were pretty far out tonight so we didn't get to see them up close. As the tractor rumbled by, a few of them acted interested and started walking towards us. Hey to the beef :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome, fall

Last Friday, we were outside attempting to stay cool in 100 degree weather in the backyard pool. This Friday, it felt SO good to throw on some warmer clothes and head out to the orchard to celebrate the first "fall-like" day we've had around here!

Troy couldn't resist scooping up a cat as soon as we walked up. I don't know how these cats deal with the constant attention, but this cat was purring while Troy scooped her up "gently" (his words, not mine).

After running around for a bit, we headed inside where Troy watched them make the donuts for a good 15-20 minutes. They even came out and talked to him. He loved watching the machine work! After awhile, we enjoyed warm ones fresh out of the bakery for a treat!

I've never done the apple-picking thing before, but I thought it'd be a fun thing to do at least once a year. Troy took his apple picking job very seriously as we filled our bag to the brim. Bonus: now he's learned that apples grow on trees!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


This morning shortly before noon, I grabbed my laptop, a quick bite to eat and headed to what I thought was a meeting with a couple of colleagues today. But... surprise! It was actually a diaper and wipes shower from my lovely co-workers :) Even Mike was there, and Troy came down with his daycare buddies to celebrate, too. I guess when they told him about it earlier he started calling it "Troy's party" and he continued to refer to it as such later on this afternoon, too :) He walked in and saw me and Mike, walked right past me and gave Daddy the biggest greeting ever. It was so sweet.

It was a great (almost complete) surprise in my day and I still feel totally blessed that we not only have a great stash of diapers, but so many people that love and care about us, too. Thanks for celebrating Cassidy with us, everyone!! Much love :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Didn't expect to be full term pregnant in 100 degree heat, but alas, here we are. Thank God for shorts and tanks. 

Spelling Troy

We've been teaching Troy how to spell his name for ages it seems. He always would skip the "r" and spell "T-O-Y". This morning he was looking at one of his projects from childcare and pointed to his name and said...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Go Trojans - College Football Saturday Part 2

Okay, so the Illini win while Troy's taking a nap and then he moved into half Troy/half Illini gear for the rest of the night as we prepped for the 6pm Troy game. He calls the beads he got this morning his "football bracelets" and wouldn't take them off except to sleep. And he wouldn't let us wash his face because of the big "I" he had painted on there. After his bath tonight, he looked in the mirror and asked, "Mommy, where'd it go!?" Anyways, back to the Troy game...

Its always a special occasion when we can get the Troy game on TV (or through the computer, onto TV). Tonight was one of those nights! Troy and Daddy waved the flag in the living room for kickoff. And then continued to wave the flag every time they scored (which was a lot tonight!)

Troy was engrossed...

The game was still going on when I put Troy to bed and they were winning by a ton. Mike shouted "touchdown" at least twice during bedtime and Troy popped up from bed/ book/etc. to yell back down the stairs at him. Needless to say, it took him a little extra time to wind down for bed tonight!

"Mommy, where my beads???"

"Mommy, the football players, they wear HELMETS. BIG helmets!"

"Mommy, I see the coach and give KNUCKLES."

"Mommy, where my "I" go???"

"The band, it goes drum, drum drum...."

"Mommy, I a big boy. I play FOOTBALL. TOUCHDOWN. SCORE!" 

...and on and on it went as he settled down for bed!

One great college football Saturday in the books... Illinois and Troy both win!

Illini Street Fest - College Football Saturday Part 1

Now this is the way to do a football game on a hot day with a 2 yr old! Troy and I were up bright and early this morning, so we headed out to the market and over to join in some of the Illini excitement starting up in anticipation of today's game. At 8:30, "Street Fest" kicks off so I told Troy we'd go try to find the band (his fav). We ended up finding the best way to spend an early Saturday morning I think you can find in this town! We'll be doing this again more in the coming months, I'm sure :)

At 8:30am, the band and the cheerleaders perform and then the football players unload their bus and walk down First Street. We made it there with about three minutes to spare :) Ignore my dialogue with Troy in the video below as I encourage him to clap instead of chowing down on the cookies County Market gave him as we headed towards the fun.

I thought the band would perform longer but alas, they walked away as soon as the team had walked by. Troy kept asking where they went. We'll get closer next time, buddy. 

Then we headed down First to check out the rest of the fest. Let me tell you how many young children are out at the football game at 8:30am... not many. This made for no lines on the inflatables, lots of snacks, fun face painting and more. Troy happily did it all.

He loved trying on the football uniform. They had helmets out on the table and right next to them a big sign that said "please do not try on the helmets." I can't tell you how many times he asked to try the helmet on with his gear!

After a little while, we headed back up to our parking spot. We lucked out and found a free parking spot right by my old dorm, Hopkins Hall, the same place we'd park when my dad would come down super early for the games back when I was in college. I had to stop and take a picture because they're tearing the dorms in this complex down one by one, and Hopkins is one of the last ones standing. I would assume its coming down in the next year or two. This was home sweet home for freshman and sophomore years!

All face-painted up and decked out in orange and blue beads, we settled in at home to watch the actual game in the a/c. A perfect start to college football Saturday! Now hopefully we can finish this game out with a win!

"Look, Mommy, its the great pumpkin!"

Okay, Troy may not know what the great pumpkin is, but he was SO excited to see pumpkins at the market today. First he just saw these few on the ground, and this was his expression when he spotted the truckload of pumpkins nearby. He's going to have a blast at the pumpkin patch later this year!

End of Summer Fun

What else to do with two active toddlers on a cool, September hot, July-like afternoon, but make some water fun!? We did it all, pool, slide, sprinkler to stay cool in the yard. Troy and Madelynn had a blast chasing each other (and Bear) around, even the dogs next door hung close to the fence to be a part of the fun. Thanks for coming over to play, Mads!

This was moments before the green ball met Bear's teeth, getting a ticket straight to the trash :(

Bear steals a moment in the pool to cool herself off.