Wednesday, April 30, 2014

spring in central IL

Yep, spring is here. One of the more ominous skies I've seen in recent years showed up the other night and quickly passed over without anything eventful happening. I was pleased this one kept moving along, even though it looked awfully impressive!

miss personality

This girl is beginning to just ooze personality. She's chatty, bubbly and full of love and excitement. Moments like this make me feel like she's got a little sass to her too... "Look at me, mom, look what I did!" I absolutely love seeing her grow into the beautiful little girl she already is!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Scovill Zoo Trip

Okay, so I quickly realized after the marathon it was going to be a summer-like day today (just checked and it was up to 81!) and I just knew we had to enjoy this day to the max. With Mike still on the road, I decided to take the kids over to the Children's Zoo in nearby Decatur for a visit. We've been there at least once per year for the past several years and its a great little zoo. On the way there, it crossed my mind as to how this was one of the first "field trips" I had to a zoo/museum/etc. by myself with both kids. Funny how that adjustment is still continuing even six months later! It all went great though :)

Below, our first visit to the gator exhibit. Second visit was a little more exciting...

Just this year, they built an impressive penguin exhibit. I love when you can walk up and see them swimming right in front of you.

Cass wasn't very amused and continued to doze on her first zoo trip.

And then off to the goats. Cass was up by this point. Oh the goats... this boy has always loved the goats at this zoo. In all fairness, they are pretty friendly and they always have so many babies!

Cass was like a deer in headlights when a baby goat hopped out to Cass level :)

Then came the highlight of the day. I sat down to feed Cassidy and Troy was just standing up by the alligator exhibit again. All of a sudden I realize a worker has walked over and has a baby gator and my kid is already TOUCHING IT. Multi-tasking to the max, I moved closer to the action to make sure he was listening well to the zoo worker. You don't mess around with gators of any size!

Maybe the runner up highlight would be the train ride. That's what really sets this zoo apart from the other little ones around here, like the one in Bloomington. This train ride is AWESOME and we always have tons of fun on it. Plus it takes you right by the cheetahs/monkeys/camels and other big animals. It's awesome! Train selfie below :)

My boy was on cloud nine :)

Check out his description of the camel in this short video. Cass was chiming in appropriately, as usual :)

This zoo also has an impressively huge playground right outside. So much for the swings or slides, Troy wanted to climb the big rock. I feel like he's going to be skydiving by the age of 9 or something even crazier...

He climbed it swiftly without assistance of any kind, like he'd done it several times before. Then, this look crossed his face when it was time to climb down. This is his "what the heck do I do now" face :) A little bit of coaching from me and he was on solid ground again!

Illinois Marathon Weekend

An annual tradition for us every year we've lived here, the kids and I went to cheer on the runners as they came through our neighborhood. (Mike's always out of town for this weekend, bummer!) Here's the obligatory "runners charging our neighborhood" pic.

Troy lost interest after about 10 minutes and the helicopter flew away :/ But thankfully our neighbors showed up with their family, including their school-aged son, who happily entertained Troy with his lego guy he brought with. So we stayed for a bit longer!

Then we had the slowest walk ever home. Thanks "Wild Kratts" show for teaching my kid to "help out the worms" when you see them on the sidewalk. It is pretty stinking cute how he talks to them as he relocates them to the grass, "here you go worm, see ya!"

Bank time

Last week for Easter, not only did Troy get a bounty of yummy treats in his eggs from the egg hunt at Gramma and Grampa's, but he also found a quarter in one egg! (Thanks Gramma and Grampa!) And he has been ALL about this quarter in the week since. Problem is he kept losing it. Stuffing it in the couch cushion, leaving it in his closet in his room. Pretty sure there's an extra couple quarters floating around our house this week :) We decided to teach him about taking money to the bank with this opportunity.

I explained to him that we would turn it over to the bank and they would keep it safe for us until later. Troy seemed a little unsure as to when "later" would be and when he'd get it back :) I assured him it would be there waiting for him, and they'd even add some money to it over time.

Here he is turning the quarter over to the teller... she asked him what he was saving his money for and his response was "for when I'm big".

He locked in on the bowl of lollipops at the counter and just awkwardly stared the teller down when we were done. I told him he could ask if he could have one and he was excited to pick one :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cassidy is 6 months old!

My girly is 6 months old, and halfway to one year old! She's growing and changing by leaps and bounds every day, so here's a few updates on her! And of course, tons of pics!

Eating: Cassidy is nursing about 8 times a day still, I would say. She still takes the occasional bottle well (4 ounces or so) and I'm very thankful for that! The big "eating" news was that she's started solid foods now. We're doing "mostly" baby-led weaning with me spoon feeding her a little bit from time to time. Usually just like a mushed up banana or some applesauce or something. She's definitely tried way more things than Troy had at this age. The list probably is something like: avocado, sweet potato, banana, apple/applesauce, mango, green beans, breakfast sausage, eggs, toast, crackers, hummus, chicken, beef, beans, the list goes on and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things! She usually just gets a taste of something we're already eating, once or twice a day. (Below, Cassidy's first taste of Gramma's homemade applesauce!)

Sleeping: This one's still a bit unpredictable these days. Naps, sleep, they tend to shift from week to week. Last week was pretty rough, the last few days have seen significant improvement again. As it is today, Cassidy takes three naps a day, with the more predictable one first thing in the morning about two hours after she wakes. She almost always sleeps over an hour. The other two are usually a half hour to 45 minutes, one in the early afternoon and the other right before dinner or so. Bedtime is 7pm and she wakes up around 7am usually. She typically wakes twice in that time these days, sometimes just once, and last week, quite a few times more :/ Praying this continues to smooth out a bit in the coming month!

Playing: Cassidy is old enough to "play" with her big bro! I tell Troy to go find a toy he thinks would be good for a baby and then I tell him if that's a good fit, and if so, he gives it to her. When he skips the step of asking, we end up with situations like the baby playing with the rubber snake (as pictured below).

New things she's doing: Sitting for longer stretches! Getting things in her mouth. Playing with toys. Pivoting a full 360 degrees on her belly or her back.

Clothes: All 6-9 months now, or 6-12 months, or 9-12 months... baby clothes are so crazy. They're all over the place with sizes. Moved into size 3 diapers.

Likes: Long walks in the stroller. Baby swings at the park. Baths, even more than before!

Dislikes: Not much, still. Really, I'm not exaggerating! Love this precious girl!


Troy has gotten awfully cozy lounging on the couch with Mike in the evenings before bed. With Mike on the road earlier this week, I looked over one evening and he had made a makeshift Daddy substitute with several pillows :) Not quite the same, but he was able to get in the exact same position!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

cunningham selfie 3/4

Mike showed Troy how to take a selfie on Easter this past weekend. When we were all sitting together earlier he insisted I take one of all of us. Cass's face is priceless here. Love these two!

It's a dog's life

We still get people often asking us about Bear, so here's a little glimpse into the great life she's living with Gramma and Grampa. Thanks again, Mom and Dad, for giving our (former) pup tons of love and attention!

Lucky dog pic #1 - Bear now has a dog bed (versus the floor she always slept on next to our bed).

Lucky dog pic #2 - Still getting to snuggle with (and clean up after) little people from time to time. But not 24/7.

Lucky dog pic #3 - A 24/7 canine playmate! Shaw and Bear love to play together, and Bear is one happy girl there :)

Easter photo outtakes

There were way too many of these not to share :) Enjoy our attempt at a photo with both of our children.

Troy's getting cheesy... Cass still can't take her attention off the grass.
This was the closest to a winning pic we got :)
Yep, no one is paying attention to me...
Cass is slipping...
I think they were both relieved I didn't make Troy hold her any more.
Here's Troy's first "pose" for me when he told me to take his photo alone. Seriously? You wanted me to take your picture!
So then I realize individual photos are the way to go. Cass is about to tip over at this point though. #exhaustion

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter indeed! It was a beautiful day and we were ready to celebrate :)

First up was a visit to a church nearby my parents, Park Community Church. The kids both did great in their classrooms and we enjoyed their service, which included a baptism. 

When we returned, there was an egg hunt set up around the perimeter of Gramma and Grampa's house! Cousin Emily helped Troy as he navigated finding the eggs scattered all over. He had so much fun with this!

Cass got in the egg hunt action while snoozing on the deck.

Troy was also blessed with several fun Easter baskets from our family. Here he is checking out some new matchbox cars.

Cassidy was blessed with her first basket too, from Aunt Sue and Uncle Danny. They also gave Troy his first basket when he was a baby. Cassidy now has her first doll and (Daddy's fav!) more bows, among other things :) Thanks to all of our family for everything this past weekend!

Easter Weekend (Friday and Saturday)

We headed up north to celebrate Easter during the day on Friday. Grampa and Gramma were both home from work to greet us and Grampa didn't delay in getting his girl in her stroller to show her off to the neighborhood :) Cass LOVES her stroller so no protesting from her there!

That night we met up with Uncle Ed, Aunt Blanca, Bella and Eddie. Bella is hooked on Cassidy and gave her lots of love during our visit!

All the kids (plus Blanca) gathering around the mirror that was fascinating Cassidy while they played.

More sunshine the next day, and Gramma got the wagon out for Cass to try for the first time. Troy loves this thing, but didn't protest when his sister got her first ride :)

Lots and lots of time outside throughout the day, including playing at the local park with big cousin Emily. Troy liked trying what she did, so he eagerly climbed this spider web when she was over there.

My girly decided to start a little sleep protest and ended up taking a nap or two on the big bed instead of the pack and play :/ She did look awfully adorable in that huge bed all sprawled out though!