Thursday, May 29, 2014

Leonhard Center review

Today we made plans to go to Prairie Farm for the first time this year. Of course I talked it up to Troy and of course, it had to rain today. But it cleared right before our planned meeting time with our friends Sarah and Benjamin so I headed over there. And then we arrive and they're not open. Keep in mind the POOL behind it was open so it clearly was fine weather wise. Sad day for Troy. He was SO disappointed. (Note to self: just tell him we're going to "do something fun" from here on out this summer to save myself the grief if it falls through.)

Sarah and I came up with Plan B on the fly and checked out the new park district play area at the Leonard Center. It was like a much cleaner, nicer McDonalds play land. Troy headed straight for the slide.

They even had a little babies' play area, and once I plopped Cassidy down in it, Troy and Benjamin had to come check it out too. I thought it was pretty funny to see those big boys playing in there but they wanted to check out every nook and cranny I guess!

This will be a good spot for rainy days and cold winter weather. I don't foresee us going here too often, but we had a great time today with our backup plan on the fly and we'll surely make a visit from time to time!

cuteness of the week

No I do not have a more creative title for this hodgepodge of photos. So it was either a) not post the photos at all or b) post it with a dull post name like this. I opted for b. Enjoy!

My model baby girl below. Gosh she's beautiful. Not that I'm biased at all :)

Who is that big boy digging in the sand? :)

This girl is working HARD to push up on her knees. I saw her do it two or three times yesterday. Not ready for you to be mobile yet Cassidy!

Growing a love for books in this girly, I hope :) She enjoys them more and more now that she can sit up and turn the pages!

Love for her bro :)

Amber teething necklace has arrived! The jury is still out as to if its helping her with teething pain or not. I have skipped giving her any tylenol since we got it though, and she was getting it quite often especially in the evenings.

Got this photo from one of our daycare workers today. Cass was enjoying the sunshine and overall having a pretty fantastic morning. So thankful for her happy disposition!

Summer Bucket List

We've been talking about what we're going to do this summer for MONTHS. Literally. (Did I mention it was a LOOOOONG winter?!)

So, partly Troy's contributions (marked with a *), and of course my own added in, the Cunningham summer bucket list! Hopeful to cross off MANY of these this summer! (And some may have already been crossed off this past week :)

  • Swim in the pool with the dumping bucket (Crystal Lake)*
  • Float around the lazy river at Sholem at least once
  • Go to the (county) fair with Daddy* (guess Mommy and Cassidy are irrelevant for that trip)
  • Pitch our tent* in the backyard and roast marshmallows
  • Splash in the sprayground at Hessel Park
  • Pet the goats at Prairie Farm
  • Make it to at least one Urbana Neighborhood concert in the park
  • Watch the 4th of July fireworks together
  • Attend at least one parade
  • Sign up for the library's summer book program
  • Catch a $1 movie at the movie theater. 
  • Go for a hike and picnic at the Homer Lake playscape
  • Drive down to Amish country for deliciousness :) 
  • Make it to the drive in!
  • Picnic at Allerton Park in Monticello
  • See the trains at Monticello Railway Museum
  • Eat ALL the ice cream and popsicles at ALL the places*
  • Ice cream at Sidney Dairy Barn (cash only!)
  • Custard at Jarlings Custard Cup
  • Ride ALL the wiggly waterslides on vacation*
  • Enjoy some buttery sweet corn at the Urbana Sweet Corn Fest
  • Bands, bounce houses and the best tastes Chambana has to offer at the Taste of CU
  • Visit one of the small town's carnivals
  • Head up to the Blues, Brews and BBQ fest 
  • Date night for Mommy and Daddy on the patio at at least ONE downtown Champaign restaurant (Escobar? Seven Saints? KO Fusion? What will it be?)
  • Run a 5K (that's one for me only)
And our Chicago summer bucket list...
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Watch the horses at Arlington Park
  • Visit Navy Pier
  • Play in Grampa's sprinkler* (Yep, just an average sprinkler folks, and he keeps talking about it..)
  • Go to the pool with the rocks* (Gramma? Grampa? anyone know what he's talking about?)
Welcome summer!!! What's on YOUR summer bucket list? 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"You're my best!"

Today after wiping my son's bottom I was helping him pull up his shorts in the bathroom when he caught me off guard, flung his arms around me and declared, "Mommy, you're my BEST!"

I practically cried. And gave him a gigantic hug in return and told him how much I loved him.

When I told Mike later, he told me I needed to seal that moment in time so I could look back on it. And I think he is right :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

First pool visit

I've said it before, I've been a faithful Sholem pass holder for four consecutive years now. But at the end of last year, I had to check out the new aquatic center here in Urbana, Crystal Lake, to see what would be a better fit for our family this year. Final decision? Crystal Lake won! The main determining factor was there would be more for Troy to safely do while I balanced holding onto Cassidy in the water, too. The partially submerged lounge chairs were quite appealing too :)

After our first visit, I'm feeling good about my decision! I was a little anxious to see how it would be managing a baby and a very active and water-loving three year old, and then of course Cassidy had to (finally) pass out for a nap on the way to the pool, thwarting my plans. It worked out okay, I let her nap in her stroller while walking Troy around to go over my own "pool rules", i.e. where he could safely play, what was off limits, etc. Then I let him in, and he lit up! He was also thrilled to see his favorite swim lesson instructor CJ life guarding at this pool. CJ instantly recognized him and came over to say hello.

I expected to be supervising Troy from a partially submerged lounge chair at this point but whatev. Go with the flow. Nap on, Cassidy.

Yay! She woke up! Nothing like hopping straight into the water!

The rest of our visit went quite smoothly. It was much easier to watch Troy from inside the pool, and Cass loved splashing. I was even able to take Troy to the "deep" water (um yea, 3 ft 6 in) to practice his swimming and jumping while holding on to my girl. This mama is ready for the rest of summer!

A couple final pics before we left. There will be fewer pics of swimming time this summer as I'm now watching my TWO littles in the water instead of just one. We'll take advantage of the times Daddy and Gramma or Grampa come to the pool with us this summer to snap a few  :) Hopefully we can return again with Mike as soon as his sunburn from the family grill assembly project fades!

Memorial Day Weekend - Saturday

We were happy to get a visit from Gramma and Grampa to kick off Memorial Day Weekend this year! They came down bright and early and we had no plans other than relaxing around the house and soaking up some sun. That changed just a little when Mike and Troy proudly brought home a new grill from their time at Lowe's. Assembly project, commence! Nothing like some good family bonding over a set of 25 step instructions. But really, it was awesome to see Mike, Mom and Dad get this thing put together so "quickly". (I thought it was quick, 2 hours, until Mike read the instructions which claimed 2 people could do it in 15 minutes! What, what?!) Troy helped for a little bit and I was on kid duty for the most part :) Thanks, grill assembly crew!

After it was operational, it was time to get some burgers on there and start the feast!

Cassidy took a good nap and woke up at the tail end of lunch. She gave Gramma lots and lots of snuggles before digging into her first BBQ.

Then it was time for some water fun in the yard to keep cool. Gramma was chasing Troy with this water squirter.

And my happy girl happily watched from the sidelines :)

Keeping the hose-wielding boy from spraying all of the spectators was a challenge.

We picked up some fruit and veggie medley popsicles (YES they are good) and let Cassidy try a little. She LOVED it. Probably felt amazing on her sore baby gums from all that teething (that is yet to actually produce a tooth.)

Mega bedtime fail

Cassidy is fighting sleep, especially night sleep, more than ever before these days. One night the only way I could calm her down was a walk in the stroller in efforts to get a clean slate and a bedtime "do over". This was about 90 minutes after "bedtime". Caption contest for what she's saying to me in this photo, lol. Something along the lines of HAHA MOMMY!

Friday, May 23, 2014

summer surprise

Our friends Sarah and Benjamin invited us to one of our fav parks to play this afternoon. After about a half hour of playing, their splash area unexpectedly came to life and began spraying water everywhere. Troy was drawn to it like a magnet. And once he realized I was actually encouraging it, he became even more excited. Sarah said the water was FREEZING but my boy certainly didn't seem to care as he ran and played for nearly an hour. It was an unexpected summer surprise for sure!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

more outdoors

This may be like my twentieth post that has a boring title like "more outdoors" this spring/summer so far. But its not old yet. Because we're still all SO SO glad it's summer time!

Cute story from today's park trip. This was a smaller park outside the parks and rec center (had to pick up my pool pass, YAY!) and there was a kindergarten/1st grade class from a local school playing there when we arrived. A little boy ran up to Troy as soon as we arrived, asked him his name and then turned to his classmates and said "hey, this is Troy!" and Troy ran off to play with them. It was really sweet and thoughtful.

Any park that has these "real" rock climbing structures are Troy's favs this year. He scales them like a champ and (usually) gets stuck at the top. Not today! He was up and down over and over.

"Mommy, take my picture on the biggest rock!!!"

Touch a Truck 2014

This event signaled the start of summer for me! First big event we went to this year to enjoy some of summer's favorite offerings - bounce houses, trucks, ice cream, face painting and friends! With temps in the upper 80s and Cassidy strapped to my front in the Ergo I was a little curious to see how she'd fare. Turns out, she did awesome... and my boy of course had a total blast! It's going to be a fantastic summer!!! (Check out our pics from last year's Touch a Truck by clicking here.)

We packed a picnic lunch to eat there since it was going to be over lunch time. I assumed we'd park nearby and just grab our lunch, eat under a tree and head back for more truck fun. Alas, we parked FAR away since this is such a popular event and I was NOT walking back to the park. Troy was really upset when I said we weren't going to have a picnic at the park so we settled for a picnic in front of the house we parked in front of. Hey, you improvise as a mom when you need to.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cassidy is 7 months old!

Miss Cassidy is seven months old today! This girl loves life, to say the least, and does her best to live it to the max every moment she's awake (which is a lot of them, but more on that later). Let's catch up...

Eating: Cassidy is still nursing 8 or so times a day, nothing really new there. Other than her surge in activity these days is making nursing a little more interesting for me as she dances and kicks her way through drinking her milk :) Solids are going great! She's tried pretty much everything except she hasn't had anything with honey and hasn't had much dairy (though I gave her some shredded cheese tonight and she liked it). Baby led weaning from the get-go has been tons of fun and I highly recommend it whenever I get the opportunity to do so :) Only one thing has bothered her and that would be oatmeal. Poor girl threw that up. I think it was too hot for her but won't be trying it again any time soon. Strangely, the only thing that bothered Troy's tummy during the infant stage was oatmeal too. (He eats it every day now no problem.) Weird.

She did get a little sippy cup of water for the first time earlier this week while eating dinner. I love, love the look on her face as she sized it up!

Sleeping: she started rolling onto her belly in her sleep last week. Thus began the freak outs of how she ended up there and the screaming, oh the screaming. Finally this week, she gave in and just decided it was alright after all. So we're on like day 3 of all belly sleep. She's a pretty happy camper snoozing this way!

Sleep in general is a bit unpredictable with this one, and its been a rough month, not going to lie. Getting her down would take forever, she'd wake up like an hour after putting her down (at night) and naps have been like 30-40 min max. HOWEVER, the last week has been better. So TODAY (subject to change of course), she sleeps roughly 7-7 with one or two quick wake-ups in there around 1am and maybe again at 4am (though she slept through once last week again, hallelujah) and that early evening wake has gone away again. Naps have improved and she takes one that lasts at least an hour or more (if not the morning nap than the afternoon one) and two others around 45 minutes or so. It's much improved and I know that everything is pretty much hit or miss during this first year :) She's a baby after all.
Playing: Cassidy loves to play. With toys, with her brother, with a blade of grass, whatever. Anything is fair game. And she's not exactly mobile yet but she's not stationary either :) If you put her down, she won't be in the exact same place when you go back to get her, but she's not crawling or anything. Kind of a fun phase to be in, but again, everything and anything is fair game so we have to watch her closely.

About her brother: Cassidy simply loves her brother. She just does. He cracks her up (as he does us too). Oh my goodness. Check out this video below to see a glimpse of them at the "yellow park" (our neighborhood playground) this afternoon. This is just what he does with her all the time, its so very very sweet!

New things she's doing: Rolling a ton. Sitting better and better. Shimmying herself around to get things (oh boy). Pulling hair (ow). Lots of loving and snuggles for her mama, not just when she's nursing or sleepy.

Clothes: 6-9 months or 9-12 months. Size 3 diapers.

Likes: Anything outside, especially walks or rolling in the grass. Solid foods. Anything she can put in her mouth (cold teething rings, yes!) Baths and splashing water.

Dislikes: Sleep, during the day at least. Naps are your friend, Cassidy!

Stats as of today: 18 pounds, 11 ounces (75 percentile) and 26.5 inches (53 percentile). She grew about three pounds and 1 inch in just two short months. WOW.