Monday, December 30, 2013

iFamily

Both my boys, both on iPads. We love our iDevices in this family, that's for sure.

this week's cuteness

You know you want 'em. More cute pics of Cassidy this week from my phone :)

The boys were both sleeping. I expected Cass to be sleeping during this time too. Instead she was laughing up a storm. Can't be disappointed about that, that's for sure!
She has the most gorgeous, big, brown eyes. I may be a little biased but oh my goodness. And check out her extra long eyelashes. #heartbreaker
I washed up several 3-6 month sleepers since the others were all getting too short on her. We've been blessed with many sleepers in this size too, but I have to admit, I was most excited about this one and put it on her first. Love, love the pink ruffles!

warmth!

With temps near 50, I knew we had to take advantage of the "heat" and get out to burn off some energy. Troy was absolutely in bliss! This kid misses playing outside, that's for sure. He was drawn to the tires at our favorite park and since jumping is his "thing" these days, he practiced jumping from tire to tire, over and over. Mike encourages it, since this age is "fast twitch muscle development", or something to that effect :)


Cass spent the trip snuggled up next to me in the Ergo. Thank God for that thing. She doesn't like the moby wrap much but she sure does love the Ergo. And honestly, that's way easier for me to put on and get her in and out of quickly.

Spring can't get here soon enough! But first, several more cold weeks of winter...

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad's birthday is the day after Christmas, and this year we stayed up through the day so we could go to a celebratory dinner with him and the fam :) I dug through some pics at my parent's house and thought it'd be fun to post this pic to Facebook. Here's my dad with me in 1984. I'm roughly Cassidy's age here.

He picked Wah Sun, my family's favorite Chinese restaurant in the city for dinner. I remembered my parents and my grampa getting takeout from there when I was a little kid, and my family has been eating there literally for decades! We quickly figured out that Troy's favorite cuisine is Chinese since he ate a TON at this meal. Happy Birthday, Grampa!!
Troy next to the guest of honor
Beema getting some snuggles with Cass. 
the whole group

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Daytime date: Hunger Games

Mike and I hadn't had a date for just the two of us since our anniversary in August... and I hadn't yet left Cassidy for anything longer than about 30 minutes! So my mom kindly watched both of her grandkids while we ventured out to see the Hunger Games. Yes I realize we're the last people around to see it, but I was just happy it was still running in the theaters when we got around to going out! We went to a matinee at a nearby luxury movie theater where you can have dinner while you watch your movie in certain theaters in the evening. I would love to return to try that out some day!

Hunger Games was great, as expected. But not at great as four quality hours of time with my love!

Christmas Day

Christmas Day brought us to our travels out of town to celebrate Christmas with family, and it was a great celebration indeed! We just got up, had a yummy breakfast of biscuits and gravy and hit the road. We let Troy open his present from us on Christmas Eve this year so he could play with it instead of just hitting the road. This year's gift for Troy were some accessories to his train set he got for his birthday, and for Cassidy, her first Bible. (insert imaginary pics of Troy playing with his train set Christmas Eve night)

After a super quick drive (NO ONE is on the road on Christmas morning) we arrived in Chicago! We weren't there long before Troy got to open his first gifts of the day... new cars and a car case!


My mom and I spent some time getting ready for the family Christmas while sipping champagne.

Then it was time to get dressed and ready! I should have taken a pic of the kids' Christmas clothes. For Troy, a red shirt. And in the next pile for Cassidy, a dress, tights, bloomers, a bow, shoes...etc. The difference between a boy and girl!!
Oh my little cheesy guy...
A little more relaxed here. They're both so precious to me!
Before our family Christmas fully kicked off, the kids, Mike and I walked down the block to visit my best friend, who was also at her parents house. It's quite surreal making that walk with a husband and two kids when I made it so very many times as a kid and teenager, going to hang out at my friends house.

After we all ate dinner, it was time for more gifts. We were doing the white elephant gift exchange for the adults first and Troy and cousin Emily were very patient while we played the game. Here's Troy asking for the 10th time if it was his turn to open a gift yet :)
A shot of almost the entire group during white elephant. Ironically Mike's copy paper box of beer glasses was opened by my dad, who works at a beer company and already has quite a few beer glasses himself. I walked away with a duvet cover straight from Poland. I was pleased it fit my bed since I wasn't sure what the packaging said. White elephant score!
Troy playing with his "awesome new truck" in his words, a remote control monster truck.
Cassidy was generous with smiles, as always. Such a happy girl!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve, all! Our Christmas Eve is winding down so time to upload a few pics :)

Mike was a busy little elf, getting his white elephant gift ready for tomorrow. Wrapped in a copy paper box with a Christmas cookie taped on top. Yea.... We posted this pic to Facebook and multiple people commented on the halo/hat/light balancing on Mike's head. And his creepy smile :)

After naptime, it was time to get ready for church. We opted for the 3:30pm service, so while we had to wake Troy from his nap, it was great to get home before dinnertime. Nice decision, Vineyard Church! Here's a pic Mike snapped of me and the kiddos. 

Troy was excited to go to big church with Daddy and Mommy. He knew he'd see Laura singing and was disappointed whenever it wasn't her turn to sing.




Tonight's special "out of the ordinary" dinner was a beef roast straight from our farmer this past week with a mushroom sauce, made in our crockpot. It was delish! Looking back at previous years, I've chosen beef as our main dish every single Christmas Eve. Must be a meat-eaters holiday or something :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

selfie

Selfies are all the rage, right? First mother daughter selfie :)

Sunday Best


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Baking Day 2013

Remember what I said about not having many traditions yet? This is another one that's early in the making :) It seems like the weekend before Christmas is a great time to make some cookies each year! (Especially kid-friendly ones)!) This year, we invited a friend over for Troy to bake with, too! (Which necessitated me to be even more organized before we began. Two toddlers in dough and sprinkles is twice the fun as one!)

The highlight for Troy is cutting out and decorating sugar cookies. I have used this recipe a couple times now and I really like a) that its easy, b) they taste good and c) they bake and cool quickly. All good things! After we cut them out, baked them and cooled, we use this glaze and sprinkles to decorate!
Hard at work. Troy loves this activity! He helped roll out the dough and did almost all the cutting out himself. 
Cassidy and I hanging out while we wait for them to cool! She was a good helper by being super content the whole morning. 
Some of the end results. What Christmas is complete without a heavily sugared up school bus!?

After Troy's hands-on morning, I continued on with cranking out a few more. He was interested in what I was doing but since he'd played with cookies all morning, he just came over to check periodically :) And attempt to swipe one, too!

2013 baking success! Not bad for one day while balancing the care of an infant, too :)
Starting in the jar and moving clockwise: Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookies, White Chocolate Peppermint (with Andes mint bits substituted for the M&Ms), butter cookies with buttercream frosting, sugar cookies (recipe above) and M&M cookies (I'd received a jar with all the dry ingredients as a gift a couple weeks ago!)

Cunningham Family Night Out

Still relatively early in our marriage/family, we don't have too many traditions yet. But the ones we do have, are definitely special and meaningful! On Thursday, my hard working hubby received a promotion at work :) He works very hard to support our family and do his job well and I couldn't be more proud of him! Anytime he gets promoted, we go out that night to celebrate. So all four of us headed out to the Great Impasta for a special meal. Sadly we were looking for Gordon Ramsey to come peeking around the corner any moment as we dined. Not C-U's finest establishment :/ But we still had a good time and enjoyed continuing this tradition. Congratulations, Mike!
Troy really liked the fact that he got to color directly on the table at the restaurant. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cassidy is 2 months old!


Oh my goodness, this girl :) She absolutely melts me! Look at that smile! We've had a fun and exciting month around here so let's get to all her updates :)

Eating: Cassidy eats about 8 times a day, for 20-30 minutes or so. Sometimes longer, rarely shorter. She likes to take her time :) Breastfeeding is still going relatively well, though we've come to realize she has an upper lip tie and a slight tongue tie. Waiting to have an appointment next week to see if we need to do anything about it and if it might make breastfeeding more comfortable for both of us. Regardless, we've worked out a system that works since Cassidy is growing and I'm pain free. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to stick with it during our first month... I'm SO glad we did!
milk drunk :) 
Cassidy's "straight jacket" AKA the miracle blanket. Thanks for the loan, Anne!
Sleeping: Cassidy likes to spend most of her day awake :) Not just that, but she's awake, happy and bright-eyed most of the day. Anyone that meets her comments on how wide-eyed she is for a two month old. On the flip side, when she's not awake, well, she's sleeping. And sleeping well. I seriously don't know how or why this has happened but Cassidy sleeps through the night! Its been about three weeks and she only wakes up in the middle of the night once or twice a week or so. She sleeps about 8 hours, so if I put her down at 8:30, she's up at 4:30 or 5 and while she'll go back to sleep, I usually start my day. She takes about three naps during the day, one of which (afternoon usually) is long, around two hours. The rest are shorter, like an hour.

Playing: Cassidy sort of plays now! She likes her activity mat, she grabs for different toys to play with and Troy likes "showing" her different things. She likes to be a part of the action, which usually translates to me carrying her around. Yesterday I was cooking and thought to pull the high chair out so she could watch me. We're a ways off from using this for food but she LOVED being at my level while I cooked. Bonus: I got to cook with two hands and a quiet baby!

New things she's doing: Lots again. Rolling over. Holding her head up super well. Cooing to us more. Interacting with Troy.

Clothes: All 0-3 month for the most part. I could probably use some 3-6 month clothes if I felt like it but the 0-3s aren't tight yet so there's no need really. Finishing up our last package of size 1 diapers before moving on to 2s!

Likes: Being part of the action. Being pushed in the stroller. Car rides. Laying on the floor to stretch out and kick. Snuggles and being held :) Her bouncy seat.

Dislikes: Pretty much anything not in the above list.

Me and the rest of us: At 1 month, I still felt like we were very much figuring things out. At 2 months, things are starting to feel a lot more normal. And since Cass is such an amazing little girl, it feels so normal and regular to have her here. I'm back to work and cooking dinners and Daddy has long been back on the road. Troy is still adjusting and we're trying to navigate those waters the best we can (and as quickly as we can). That's really been the hardest part of transitioning to life as a family of four. Some days are still really, really hard and nothing seems to go according to plan, but for the most part, we're navigating the days pretty smoothly.

Now off to have some more Christmas-y fun... can't wait to celebrate Cassidy's first Christmas next week!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Life of a Second Child

Today we had no TV and no iPad for Mr Troy, which led to some more creative playtimes than we're used to while I did my chores. It really was kind of fun, to see how he'd entertain himself while I did things like fold laundry in Cassidy's room. Here's some photos over the span of a half hour or so.

First she's just relaxing and he comes over and starts giving her kisses...
Then he went and got his green blanket from his room and said she needed to be covered up and warm. I love how she's looking right at him here...
Apparently she was warm enough after a few moments, because he took his blanket back and decided to read her a book...
Lastly, the blanket returned, and with it, several stuffed animals. Not a surprise her tolerance for this game ran out pretty soon after this photo!

Its no secret that we're dealing with some less-than-desirable toddler behavior these days. However, I'm extremely grateful every single day that Troy loves his baby sister and has been nothing but caring with her, despite what other things we may have to deal with in the course of a day. So thankful to capture moments like this!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nothing greater

I'm convinced there is no more successful moment for me on my nights alone than two children asleep in bed :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lake Geneva Road Trip: Day 2

To document Cassidy's first hotel stay, we had to take the obligatory "baby in hotel bed" picture. Here she is ordering up some room service breakfast for herself. "Why leave the room?", she says :)

But alas, we did leave the room, as there was so much more to do at the hotel! With multiple buildings across the property, they had a trolley service to shuttle you around. Troy called the trolley a "charlie" which was pretty cute in my opinion :)

He had seen some Thomas the train posters and such around while we were there, so he had been asking about him, but the big surprise of the trip was a Thomas show with Gramma! First they had breakfast in the theater. He wore his new Thomas hat and played with a holiday Thomas they gave him when we walked in. And ate like two entire bowls of fruit!

After the show (which was appropriately timed for toddlers, less than a half hour long) they had a Thomas "meet and greet". Troy decided he wanted Gramma to go up to take his picture with Thomas as I think this photo shows he was a bit wary of the train up close. 

While they were at the show, Cassidy and I had a lovely mother daughter date. Starbucks in the gorgeous decorated hotel lobby. It was a fabulous way to start the morning and so relaxing, in front of the giant windows looking out on the snowy landscape.
We all met up again after the show. Troy is NOT posing for pics these days, but here's a photo of my beautiful mom and Cass in front of the huge Christmas tree.
Yep there's my boy trying to run away mid-photo!
Okay, so we moved on from the photo ops inside the hotel and ventured back out. Another trolley ride and we were off to the stable to see the horses. Those ponies are such troopers, giving out rides on such a snowy day (though it wasn't really that cold that day). Troy got to ride Blue the pony around and around the ring in the snow. He did a great job holding on!

When he was all done, my mom told him to tell Blue thank you. He promptly slouched down so he could look Blue in the face and said, "Thank you Blue!" I think its pretty funny he had to make eye contact with the horse to thank him :)

We couldn't leave without spending a few more hours down in the waterpark. Thanks Gramma, for getting suited up for yet another pool trip! I sat this one out, instead enjoying a bath back in our room while Cass snoozed in her carseat.

We headed down to watch again towards the end of the morning, and Cass was even more interested in all the things to look at than she was the night before. Next time, Cassidy! What a fun trip!