Friday, September 26, 2014

Cassidy's friends

A rarity today, we had friends over that ONLY had babies, no big siblings for Troy. He was totally fine with this though and had fun counting the babies we had in our house :) Our friends Laurice and Jade brought their new friends Sandra and Hugo over for a visit today. Cassidy and Jade are both turning 1 next month, just seven days apart... both growing up so much! Hugo is about 6 months, so awhile to go until birthday fun for him :)

Hugo really loved Cassidy. And Cassidy didn't mind him climbing all over her and trying to hug her. His mom commented on how she must be used to being bumped into thanks to big bro. Spot on, she was completely unfazed :)

Cassidy passed out for a great nap after her playdate. I snuck in to grab some laundry and had to take a pic because her foot is even propped up on the side of the crib. Too funny!

Family Trip: Curtis Orchard

The four of us headed to Curtis Orchard for some non-weekend craziness (seriously weekdays are a DREAM at Curtis Orchard, in case you haven't tried it!) on a perfect (albeit warmer than normal) fall day! Troy ran up to this sign and said "take my picture Mommy!" To which Mike responded, "he IS your son!" :)

Playing in the pumpkin patch and sitting on hay bales.

Troy's favorite thing to do is chase cats. Now Cassidy has joined in the fun and eagerly tries to pet them too. (Side note, after all the talk of petting kittens yesterday, Troy asked to pet a baby we were visiting with today. Yikes.)

Big girl gets in on the playtime now, too :)

It was such a fun time! I love spending time with my fam!!

Playing with Gossett Gals

Okay so really this should read playdate with Michelle, or as Troy says, "a mommy friend". He has started calling all my friends "mommy friends" and says things like, "we'll play upstairs and you can sit here with your mommy friend!" While Troy and Madelynn ran around upstairs, downstairs, outside and everywhere in between (have i mentioned how great it is for two four-ish year olds to play together lately?!), and the babies entertained each other, I got to catch up with my friend! Here's a pic of the babies in all their baby cuteness :)

Cassidy's favorite read

I don't know why it surprises me that my girl is already developing preferences for certain things and opinions of her own :) But it still does surprise me! She has her first favorite book! When I read to her before bed, if I pick up another book other than "five little ducks", she stops paying attention, looks over to our table and says, "Duck! Duck!" And then when I pick this book up she's SO happy. She laughs. She says "duck" and "quack". It's beyond adorable in case you were wondering. Shakespeare and the heavier reads will have to wait for awhile :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Mommy Nirvana"

Nirvana: a state or place of great happiness and peace.

Hear me out before you think I've become Buddhist :)

I've coined a new phrase in recent weeks. Mommy Nirvana. See, when we just had Troy, we had this phrase going for times when he would be playing "in the zone", AKA in his own little world, just playing independently and having a good old time. This can last for minutes or even an hour sometimes. And we would say, "you just don't mess with that" AKA let him go and go!

Well now that Cassidy is in the mix, saying both kids are "in the zone" doesn't quite do this state justice. When BOTH of our children are BOTH playing independently, quietly, safely, etc. its simply Mommy Nirvana. This happens more and more each day, and I literally just sit and stay out of the way, as moving around or doing chores draws attention to myself and ends the peace :) Today Mommy Nirvana lasted for two entire cups of coffee (yes, I did get up for a second cup and it even continued!)

I love my children. And I love when they're happy and content, all on their own, too :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall Photo Session: Preview

We had fall photos taken with Carrie on what turned into a hot and humid, sunny, summer-like day! Thankfully we did them first thing in the morning so it wasn't too bad yet :) Carrie did a great job of capturing several photos of our cuties and some of all four of us, too! She even complimented Mike on how well he did during today's session. It's no secret posed photos are not my man's fav thing in the world :) Here are a few to give you a taste of what we did today!

These were taken at the Arboretum at U of I. Same place we took our wedding photos. In fact, we even did an "update" photo in between the same trees we took our favorite wedding photos! Thanks so much Carrie!

Mahomet Homecoming Parade

Friends of ours invited us to meet them for the Mahomet Homecoming Parade! We had fun at a small-town parade, which for the record, I much prefer to the bigger parades in C-U. Main reasons being 1) you park like a block away from where you're going to watch, 2) the parade lasts like 60 minutes max, and 3) my kid has even more fun than the longer parades we've experienced.

We were told to bring a bag for candy and WOW, candy was in bountiful supply. It helped that our little group of kids knew a handful of the people in the parade (sitters, mainly). Those girls made sure our kids would be loaded up with candy!

Below, left to right: Ben, Clara, Liam, Troy, Cohen.

Cass getting lots of attention before the parade started from Troy and Liam :)

Troy showing off his bag of candy. The pic doesn't do it justice! He also made sure to tell everyone this was "gramma's bag" :) He takes it very seriously when Gramma gives him something from her house to "take care of" for awhile!

Cassidy is 11 months old!

Cassidy is 11 months old today! This beautiful girl has been around for nearly a year... look at all the new things she's up to!

Eating: Cassidy eats three meals a day and two snacks. Still loves anything and everything, but favorites include grapes or berries of any kind, chicken, and guacamole! Nursing about five times a day and whatever she does overnight. With our original one year goal in sight, I did decide this week to keep going a bit longer, maybe 15-18 months. She's nursing a bit less these days and neither of us are ready to be done :) And I'd really love to get her through another winter, or at least a good chunk of it, to do everything I can to keep her healthy! She has tried a little unsweetened almond milk and I'll give her some whole milk once she's nursing less. For now we're going to keep doing what we're doing!

(Right: sitting at the table for the first time. She was VERY excited to work this out. And right below, stealing handfuls of her brother's oatmeal out of his bowl he left at the table. That adorable face is up to no good!)

Sleeping: Two naps a day for now. I thought she was going to one, and some days (like today) she does just take one longer one. But that usually ends up in a very overtired girl at the end of the night. So about an hour in the morning and an hour and a half or two hours in the afternoon! Overnights are consistently improving so I am convinced I see the light at the end of the sleepless night tunnel. Down at 7pm, *occasionally* up around the time we go to bed, and once or twice in the overnight hours, usually 1am and 4am or so. Up for the day at somewhere between 6:30-7:30am. Definitely better, overall!

New things she's doing: Climbing stairs. Standing on her own. No more than two steps at a time (like to get from the couch to the coffee table.) Clapping her hands. Playing peekaboo. Giving kisses. Giving hugs (makes this mama melt when she just lunges in for a hug out of nowhere!) Getting bolder and braver by the day :)

Words she's saying: Oh my this is fun! Says "mama" for me consistently now. And "dada" for Mike. Loves dogs and can say dog. Cat. Moo. Also can imitate a variety of sounds and words when you ask her to repeat them. My favorite is when she tries to say giraffe :)

Clothes: 12 or 18 months. Size 4 diapers.

Likes: Animals! Toys that make sounds when you shake them. Giraffes. Books! (yay!) People. Walks in the stroller. Baby swings at the park. Exploring (top pic of this post was at the mall.)

Dislikes: Diaper changes, buckling into carseat or stroller. Being forced to sleep :) What else is new! ha

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

baby's first....

Tantrum! Yep, full out laying on the floor, kicking and crying. Now that's a memory to relish! It was humorous more than anything else. Drama.Queen.


Troy was playing at our neighborhood park and got himself into a bit of a predicament. He was chasing this girl around and then... STUCK! Mike trotted over to take a pic before rescuing him. Troy was, of course, laughing the WHOLE time :)

Park Playtime - Carle Park

We were going to head to the library one morning this week but I changed plans last minute and headed over to the park instead for some sunshine in this beautiful fall weather!

Troy spent nearly an hour playing on the giant spiderweb climbing structure they had. I had to show him how to get started and then when I got out of the way he quickly moved throughout the ropes, all the way up to the top (8 feet or more??)

This has to be one of the prettiest parks in C-U. I can't wait until all the fall colors show up!

Chicago Randoms

A few more pics from our weekend with family and friends in Chicago below!

Cassidy and Beema reading books together before bedtime. I got no protest from Beema when I handed her a baby in footie pajamas and a book :)

Oh Cassidy, my little snuggle bug. Still not a fan of the pack and play on the road...

Though it makes a great holding area at 5:45am when she's ready to start the day and crawling all over me!

My favorite part of the weekend was my workout and brunch date with my best friend Nat. We had TONS to talk about as Nat is a soon-to-be-mama!! YAY! Among the pregnancy related talk were plans for next summer when we can have mommy meet ups with our kids when I'm up for visits! That calls for another YAY!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Fall-like temperatures have arrived, and as we contemplated what to do with a full day in the city, we were debating inside vs outside. We finally settled on the zoo, and thought we'd try nearby Brookfield Zoo! Upon arrival, Gramma surprised us with a "ho ho ho" and signed up for a family membership so we can go to the zoo as much as we want in the coming year for the kids' Christmas present. We're incredibly thankful for a gift that will provide tons of fun, all year long, for our little animal lovers! And so began the #yearofthezoo.

Our pass includes all the things we would normally steer  Troy away from attractions, like the carousel, petting stingrays, riding the train and much more. Attractions for one, attractions for all! Thanks Gramma and Grampa!

Photos from the zoo are spotty because my phone battery was being silly that day. But here was my favorite of the day. The primate house was incredible and this gorilla had a ten month old baby with her (exactly Cassidy's age!) They were laying on the rock together, with baby all snuggled in close to mama. It was exactly how Cassidy had slept the night before!

Cassidy's favorite attraction of the day: watching the underwater dolphin viewing area during the dolphin show. 

Troy's favorite attraction of the day: "all the things with all the animals."

Chicago Visit - El Train Adventure

The kids and I headed north for a visit with family and friends for the weekend and we didn't waste any time getting right down to fun! Gramma suggested taking Troy on a ride on the train down to the high-rise building she works in. At first, it was going to be a Gramma-Troy adventure, but then Cassidy went on nap strike and well... she bought herself a ticket along (with Mommy, too!)

Everything to Troy was exciting on the train. This is why I know he'll do incredibly well on his first flight later this year. The novelty of new things takes awhile to wear off :)

We headed up to the 56th floor and looked at all the other tall buildings, the boats on the lake, etc. Here are Troy and Gramma looking at Willis (Sears) Tower.

One very sleepy little girl, moments before she gave in to that nap she was fighting an hour earlier :)

Troy checking out the area around the fountain at Gramma's work. As he gets older, we'll surely explore on foot even more downtown!

After a quick nap to recharge, Cass was ready for more action! And happy to be riding a train :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Curtis Orchard Visit - Pumpkins!

We went to the orchard for a little while this afternoon and I thought we walk over to the pumpkin patch, where, YAY, pumpkins are out! Cassidy's first time checking them out and oh, I just can't stand the cuteness of this girl :)

Troy show me a pumpkin. This is what I get, lol.

I've always tried to get Troy's pic in front of this sign and he never stands for it. Cass, on the other hand, showed off her stellar standing skills! She's allowed to have some traditions of her own I suppose, that aren't just following in her bro's footsteps :)

"Oh, mom, you're taking a photo? I'll hop in that!"

Find the animal with the Troy-like face!