Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Free Day at swimming lessons

We finished out our first session of swimming lessons today. With that, came some free time for the kids to enjoy all the water features and slides that are normally turned off. Troy was most excited for the big slide he was going to get to ride with his teacher. And afterwards, he couldn't stop talking about the "squirting things" that came out of the ground. He always loves those!

Here's a pic of when everything turned on. Their faces were priceless!

Troy absolutely adores his teacher this session. He held her hand as soon as he saw her today and happily did the slide with her three times in a row :) She's been fantastic with him!

first day in daycare

I've had the opportunity to keep Cassidy with me since I went back to work in December. While its gone really great, its time for her to head down into the daycare room with Troy during my two mornings a week I work. We had a little test run this afternoon while I went into a meeting for an hour and she did great. I love both our workers and I know they'll take great care of my girl!

I love the look she's giving Miss Brittany here. Classic "who are you, you're not my mom!" look, haha.

A picture of my beauty from her time out of my care this afternoon. She generated quite a few likes on Brittany's Facebook page :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 for Troy

Ever since the memorable haircut fail, every time I cut Troy's hair we say "Red for Daddy, yellow for Troy" so I'm reminded of the proper guard selection. Well, his hair has changed a bit recently and has still been unruly after a haircut with yellow so it was time to work another color into the routine. Now its "red for daddy, BLUE for Troy!" I like it!

iPower fun

When I found out our moms group was cancelled for today, I knew we had to get out for a little while to do something and burn off energy today (didn't realize at the time they were going to do kids fitness instead, how awesome!) We rounded up our friends Keira and Caden for some fun at iPower, one of those places on my local mommy "bucket list". You moms all know you have them, lists of fun things you'd like to do with your kid someday but the time is never quite right. Pardon my subpar pictures as I walked around the gym at the end of the 90 minute "mini camp".

Troy in the massive foam pit. When I walked up they were playing "baseball" with a foam bat and foam cubes.

Falling into the pit over and over and over...

There were stories and coloring pages too.

Here's Troy tackling the big trampoline on his own! Bounce away boy!

We may try to do this once a month on our off week from mom's group. Let me know if you want to join us next time!!

one new thing

It's amazing how one seemingly small developmental milestone can dramatically change the way you look at your baby. My sweet girl is growing big much too fast, as she holds her head up for a LONG time, until she either rolls over or face plants in the carpet from exhaustion. She loves looking at me, her brother or herself in the mirror. She grins at herself, its adorable.

Yes I realize her head looks disproportionately huge here.

It's like she's ready to take off crawling. NOT YET Cass!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A much awaited playdate

Now, I look forward to all my playdates with anticipation, don't get me wrong. But this one in particular, I've REALLY been looking forward to for a long time! My wonderful friend Sarah has been waiting and waiting to bring her son Benjamin home and at long last, they brought him home just a little over a week ago!!! Troy has enjoyed following all their photos from their time together in Korea and when I told him this morning he was getting to play with him, he was VERY excited!

We met up at the library for some playtime before the Lunar New Year celebration (which we also attended last year). They played at the train table together so peacefully :) Benjamin seemed to really enjoy his first visit to the library and Troy was happy to show him the ropes!

After a little while, we headed into the area where the performance would take place. It was, again this year, so very crowded and I wasn't sure if the program would grab our boys. But it did! For nearly an hour they sat on their little mats on the ground watching from the front row. Then they started to get a little restless (hey, the program said it would last 45 minutes, they must have picked up on that, haha) so we packed up and headed out. But while the performers were on, they shared snacks (Troy realized Benjamin had lots of great snacks with him, and he was eager to share!) and clapped for the performers. 

Congratulations again, Fred and Sarah and Welcome Home, Benjamin! We can't wait to have many, many more times getting these boys together in the future!

National Vineyard Conference

This week we had the opportunity to host leaders and pastors from Vineyard all over the country for a National Vineyard Conference. It lasted several days and while I wasn't able to make the whole thing, the sessions I attended were absolutely great! Bonus, Alicia was back up from St Louis to participate in the conference so I got more time with her!

Cass was in there with me the whole time and she did great (aside from fighting sleep like a crazy person). It was actually a bit reminiscent of the time Alicia and I went to a women's conference at her church in St Louis when Troy was just three months old as well! We always tell people to go into these conference expectant, expecting big things of God, and it wasn't until somebody used that word to describe Cass during one of the worship times that I realized that sums her up. Those big bright eyes are ALWAYS taking everything in and its just like she's saying, "Okay! What's next? What wonderful thing will we do now!?" So, Miss Cassidy, I pray that you are always expectant of what God will do in your life, and that you'll always look forward to your day with such enthusiasm!

Friday, January 24, 2014


Due to popular demand (AKA the request of Cassidy's great-grandmother), here's a video of her laughing :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Check-up Time

Both the kids were due for physicals, so Mike and I made plans to knock 'em out at the same time. He took off work for the afternoon to join us and I was very appreciative! Everything went super smoothly and we have two very healthy children! Thank you, Jesus :)

Troy had his eyes and hearing checked this year, along with his blood pressure for the first time. He passed everything with flying colors!

Cass demonstrated good head control and took her first two vaccines like a champ. We're following a very similar schedule to what we've done with Troy, which means some "shot only" visits this first year so we can space them out. Thankful for a great pediatrician who answers our questions without pressuring us into anything!

Troy's stats: 3 feet, 4 inches (94th percentile) and 41 pounds (98th percentile)
Cassidy's stats: 24 inches (75th percentile) and 12 pounds 15 ounces (67th percentile)

We ♥ Gramma

Man, is my mom the best. I mean, really she is. After venting to her about a particularly frustrating morning on Sunday while Mike was still out of town, she hopped in the car and drove down to spend the night with us. Not only did I appreciate the extra help with the kids, but it was great to have her company to chat with, too! Love you Mom!

Since I've been taking Cassidy to work with me so far, I took the opportunity to leave her at home with Mom while I worked and Gramma got some one-on-one time with Cass :) She did great for the several hours I was away and while I missed her, I knew she was in great hands!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cassidy is 3 months old!

Happy three months to my beautiful girl! This baby brings me so much joy and happiness every day that I seriously think my heart is going to burst some days. I love her like crazy and am so glad she's here with us. I spent a lot of time reflecting on the past year this past month, as this month last year was the month we found out prayers had been answered and she'd be joining our family :) She's a special little girl no doubt!

Eating: Cassidy eats about 8 times a day still, usually for 20-30 minutes at a time. Breastfeeding has improved once again this past month, and I'm incredibly glad its worked out. We still have challenges from time to time but she is doing remarkably well. We had her lip/tongue ties evaluated and her tongue is fine, she has great movement there. Her lip is a little restricted but the oral surgeon said he thought she'd grow out of it and doesn't recommend we do anything to it. If I leave her through a feeding (which has happened twice this past month) she takes about 4 or 5 ounces of milk. She takes a bottle great, too!

Sleeping: Cass takes 2 or 3 quick naps (20-40 minutes each) throughout the day and one much longer nap, almost always in the afternoon, for around 2 hours usually. The rest of the time she is awake, awake, AWAKE and those bright eyes are taking the world in. We moved her to the crib this past week, as I started easing her in there for as many naps as possible and then one night took the bassinet down and moved her for overnights. She didn't like her crib much but I got her a cute mobile that she likes and she is doing better now. She has slept through the night once since we moved her, but the rest of the nights has been up to eat once. She sleeps like 9pm-6:30am, sometimes later if her feeding is in the early morning hours :) I mostly rock or nurse her to sleep but a couple times since I moved her into her crib she has successfully put herself to sleep! Usually for naps or after an overnight feeding. I know "they" say nursing a baby to sleep is a "bad" thing to do but I look at that sleepy, beautiful face before I put her down and don't see a thing "bad" about it :)

Playing: Cassidy plays with toys now! Just on Friday, I was at a playdate and said she hadn't started reaching for toys yet. That very night I had a caterpillar propped up in front of her on her high chair while I worked in the kitchen and I looked over and she'd somehow grabbed it! She likes her activity mat and she likes watching anything overhead on her carseat/crib/pack and play/whatever.
New things she's doing: Reaching for things. Cooing even more. Laughing out loud. Taking cute to a whole new level.

Clothes: Almost all 3-6 months, except for some 0-3 pants and onesies I use. I have absolutely loved pulling out her new wardrobe and rotating in new cute items! (How many times can a woman use the word "cute" in one blog post?!)

Likes: Baths and water in general. Being part of conversation. Trying to sit up. Sucking her fingers. Loving life.

Dislikes: Burping. Switching sides in a feeding. Getting dried off after a bath. And that's about it.

Food on Fire

After Alyssa's shower, the kids and I had a special guest stay with us for the night to hang out. Alicia and I ventured out with the kids in the snow for some delicious food at the hibachi place, Oishi. It was delicious and Troy loved it even more than last year, when he got a little scared of the fire mere inches from his plate :)

He watched cautiously as the chef got set up.

And here he is loving it! Asking if there was going to be another "volcano" onion on fire.

He even was brave enough to try and catch a piece of flying broccoli! The chef was kind and did his best to make sure Troy caught it :) So fun! Thanks Alicia, for spending a great night with us!

Girl Time

It does not feel like 3.5 years ago that my dear friend Alyssa was throwing me a shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of my first baby. Now, several years later, celebrating Baby Kolb's upcoming arrival felt even more special. You see, about four years ago, I had the pleasure of doing life with these ladies in a women's small group. And then when people started moving away just about three years ago and our group stopped meeting, Holly suggested we try out an email accountability group called "good morning girls". Basically the four of us would email each day that we had done our Bible reading and if applicable, a nugget or something that stood out to us that day. This was exactly what I needed to make daily Bible reading something natural in my day and it has been ever since. 

Since then, our group has grown into a place to praise what's going on in our lives daily, share prayer requests and just "hang out" via email every single day since. We all desire to keep growing closer to Jesus and at the same time, keep growing closer to each other :) The four of us haven't been in the same place since our group started, and Alyssa's shower this weekend was the perfect time for all of us to get together. I know just how special our group and friendship is and appreciate these women and their roles in my life more than ever!
Alyssa says, "I want one of these!" Good thing, girlie, since you'll be welcoming your own soon!
Cassidy says, "I like your pretty jewelry, friend!"

My boy :)

I love my boy. No doubt about that. He's a bright, energetic, inquisitive little guy who keeps my days interesting and gives me a fresh perspective on the world around me. His imagination is out of this world.

And in the fairness of having what I consider to be an "honest" blog that doesn't paint a picture of perfection and documents all our kids' ages and stages, I want to say just a few words to document this time in my boy's life. We've heard the word "stage" and "it'll pass" many times in the last few months, and while I have faith and confidence it will, as so many parents who have gone before us assure me, it certainly doesn't feel like its passing by quickly. And while I don't want to wish the days away with my kids, this is the first stage I've been eager to come out the other side on.

I could list 100 reasons why my boy is having a hard time these days but in reality, I have no idea why. Might it be tied in to his new role in the family, perhaps. Or might it just be the age he's at and the personality he has. Regardless, we're having some trying days around here. He's not listening the best, resisting potty training more than ever and just in general making things a little more difficult day-to-day.

Thanks for continuing to support us and pray us through this season. Thanks for assuring us that it'll be over soon. And thanks for continuing to love on us and hang out with us :) We love you all!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Life of a Mom

Yep. This happened. After a long and wonderful playdate with a couple of friends, my "I'm not going to take a nap" son fell asleep in the car on the way home. And my "I always fall asleep in the car" daughter was snoozing too. A mama don't mess with that. I ran inside and made myself a sandwich and sat in the car with the heat going to let them continue to snooze.

After a little while, Cass woke up. We chilled in the front seat for a little while before waking her big bro to head inside. How 'bout those baby cheeks?!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More swimming

Troy is loving swimming lessons! On an off day, we were driving to church and he said ever so politely from the backseat, "Mommy, can I please go swimming today?" I gladly signed him up for the next session this week so that we can continue on through the month of February. And he'll be moving into the class that meets for 45 minutes at a time, so that means even more energy expended during these cold winter months :)

They took them to the "deep" end for a little while yesterday (still only 3ft 6in) to practice. I've been really pleased with the instructor and how she manages her little class so far! And the aquatics director is really helpful too. Two thumbs up for Urbana swimming lessons :)

Free time is Troy's fav, no doubt :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Team Dinner

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of having the communication team, my co-workers, over for dinner, along with their spouses and children, if applicable :) We had a great time at our post-holiday gathering. Dinner was delish and I learned a new card game that was tons of fun - nerts!

These kids all spend lots of time together in the daycare room. All boys, and all played together so wonderfully! It was lots of fun to see them together since we usually just drop off and don't stay to watch them play or anything :)

On the menu was ground beef tacos, crock pot chicken tacos, skinny mexican rice, and unfried refried beans (except made on the stove top since my crock pot was busy working!) It was the perfect meal for a large group get-together since everyone brought sides/toppings.

Time to play nerts...
The game is played in teams of two and Ethan and I (with Cassidy's help) were the victors! We'll have to play this at the next family get together :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Playdate for Cassidy

A friend from church welcomed her first baby, also a girl, just two weeks after Cassidy's arrival, and while we were pregnant we talked about how fun it would be to let the two girls play together as they grew. Yesterday, they had their first chance! Cassidy loved Jade's mobile in her crib, and Jade loved grabbing Cassidy's hand :) Can't wait to see these two play as they grow!

Hittin' the Road

With the new year, comes an increase in Mike's travel as track season ramps up. (Though if you ask him when travel season is, he replies all year. I still think its safe to say there's an increase this time of year though.) Nonetheless, Troy is more aware than ever this year of Daddy's travels, so to help make it a little fun for him, Mike keeps coming up with fun ways to stay in touch.

First, there's the long-standing tradition of sending pics of "daddy's airplane" when he's sitting at the airport. Troy really likes getting these and asks to see them multiple times during a given trip. One time he even sent us pics from the air as he landed or took off.

Then last month, he thought to take Troy's favorite toy, Doug the dinosaur (a large T-Rex) on a trip with him, without Troy knowing. I wish I had a pic of when we FaceTimed with Mike the next morning and Doug was just chilling in the hotel room with Daddy!

Now since Doug is on the larger side, Daddy hasn't taken him on another trip yet. But when we say goodbye for trips, he and Troy pick out a toy for Daddy to take on the road with him :) Then we get pics and FaceTimes with that toy whenever we talk to Daddy. This time, sheep got to travel to sweet home Alabama, and we received 3 or 4 pics of sheep settling into his hotel room last night :) We love you, Daddy, keep up the fun with us while you're away!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Troy's First Swim Lesson

A fish from the get-go, I've been looking forward to Troy taking swim lessons for quite some time. We did one round of parent-child lessons when Troy was an infant, but I've been working with him on my own since then. However, now he's old enough to go into big kid lessons without me! He was pretty excited, and I was excited for him too :)

First we had to wait in the balcony for his teacher to come get him. The aquatics director gave us parents a nice talking-to about staying in one of the two parent viewing areas, and not on the pool deck where we could distract the kids. As soon as they called Troy's name he ran up to the kind teacher waiting for him, grabbed her hand and didn't look back!
(Insert pause where Mike makes fun of me.) I had no idea this would be one of those "can't believe how big my kid is" moments, but when I saw Troy marching down on the pool deck listening to the instructor, I definitely had an "awww" moment. Its the first time we've done any lesson or class like this.

He practiced front float and back float at his first lesson. The instructor was really great at keeping the four kids in her class organized. I was very pleased! They also played with diving sticks/rings at the end.

Troy had a great time. The first thing he told me when he came walking out of the lesson was "Mommy, let's go in and PLAY now" and the second thing he said was "they didn't teach me how to jump in" (since that's his favorite water thing to do). But he's excited to go back and we'll be going twice a week, for at least the next month, and likely beyond as long as its working out well. Way to go, Troy!