Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trick or Treat @ The Mall

Our friends Sarah and Benjamin invited us to join them for the annual Halloween event at our local mall earlier this week. We'd not been to this event before and with a high of 40 degrees forecast for Halloween, it sounded like a good idea to do some indoor trick or treating in case things don't, er, pan out tomorrow night to go door to door.

Below, Bumblebee the Transformer. This is the ONLY time he's worn the mask at all. Not a huge fan. But he did humor me for a pic. The rest of the costume he loves and doesn't want to take off!

The cutest little ladybug.

We were there right when it started at 5:30pm. None of us knew what to expect but these boys were ready for it all!

There were several games set up all through the center part of the mall that the kids could play for candy. When the night started there were no lines. By the time we were heading out, there were lines of like 20 kids waiting to do these things.

Any store that was participating in the event put an orange "treat stop" sign out front so you knew to stop there for a treat. Some of them you had to go all the way to the register and others had an employee right out front.

After about an hour things got CROWDED (and I mean really crowded!) so we decided to take a candy break before heading out. This was supposed to be a candy break for the boys before leading them outside but Cass put up a fight and earned herself a little milky way :) So serious as she devoured the tiny chocolate treat!

We had a fun time! Though I'm not sure this will make an annual tradition for us due to the crowds. It was quite a popular event! Thanks for inviting us to join you, Sarah and Benjamin!

My little walker!

Our baby has been taking steps for quite some time now but as of yesterday, I would call her a "walker!" She's been practicing so much that she's quite steady on her feet now... check out her moves below!

And a few other Cassidy randoms. Someone found the snack and sippy cup drawer and pouted her lip out. Guess she was ready for a snack!

And one from today. Literally she had been walking around like crazy and then just sprawled out happily on the kitchen floor for a break. So funny!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Troy writes his name

So about three or four weeks ago Troy walked up to us and had written an "R" on his magna doodle and proudly showed us. This was the only letter in his name he couldn't previously write so I excitedly walked him over to the table and made a big deal about how he could write his name now. He refused to write it. Said he didn't want to. Oh, my boy.

Fast forward to today and I brought up writing his name again and he actually seemed excited to do it. I reminded him how when you write your name, you have to put the letters in order straight across. He didn't like this. He wanted to write the letters all over the page. But he did listen and write them all in a line.

Then I excitedly picked it up to show Mike (because he has said his next tattoo will be Troy's name when he writes it the first time) and Troy burst into tears because I "took his picture" and he wanted to color on it some more. Oy. Well we know he CAN do it now. Now to work on doing it even more so its not such a big deal. And Mike has said he needs it to not have "five foot tall" letters in order to get the tattoo. Fair enough :) And way to go Troy!

Progress Pics: October

Lots of progress still happening over here at the Cunningham house, I'm proud to share! Still eating low-carb (Mike is eating VERY low carb) and still dropping pounds. I've lost a total of 33 pounds this year, 15 of those since making the carb changes beginning in August. 

Still feeling great and I love feeling more comfortable and healthy on a daily basis! I've also been drinking a protein shake nearly daily for breakfast now for more than a month, after trying a couple different ones, I've settled on Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein (vanilla). It fits in our budget unlike some of the more costlier meal replacements out there and its really versatile!

Mike doesn't know I made a progress pic for him this month, but I did, hehe :) I'm ridiculously proud of this guy...34 pounds gone since the beginning of August! Way to go baby, you're doing amazing!

Thanks to everyone for their continued support and encouragement as we journey along! We so appreciate you!

Mini Dribblers

Mike has a dream... a dream of his son playing college basketball :) In reality, we'll be glad to support Troy in any sport he wants to play, but we certainly wanted to expose him to basketball. So he's in mini-dribblers at the park district now for the next month! 3-4 year olds learning beginning basketball skills.

First they started with a warm up. Check out the tall kid in orange in the middle of the pic below.

Next they worked on dribbling. This one is tough. There was lots of ball chasing. And he wandered off the court at this point and asked me if we were done. I walked him back out there and he was good to go for the rest of the time.

He is about at eye level with the baskets they're using. They're able to make them, which is good. 

Passing went well for the most part. It was cute to see them all lined up on the red line waiting their turns.

Afterwards, I treated him to a post-basketball donut. Yummo!

U of I Homecoming Parade

With Daddy still away on his trip, the kids and I headed over to the U of I homecoming parade! I took Troy a few years back when he was even younger than Cass, but we haven't been since. We ventured over to spot right in the heart of Campus to watch this year, and had a blast!

This is Troy patiently waiting for the candy throwers parade floats to arrive.

Illini Jacket + orange and blue headband = I can't even handle the Illini cuteness!

Selfie with Altgeld Hall in the background!

The highlight of course was the Marching Illini. Other cute moments were the girls that brought Troy glow in the dark bracelets and the entire float of sorority girls that squealed over Cassidy's orange and blue headband in unison as they rolled by.

Fav of the night :) Cassidy wanted nothing to do with sitting in her stroller and wanted to catch candy just like all the other kids. Even if Mama didn't let her eat it :)

Apple Picking

I know, ANOTHER post from the Orchard! But we did some different things on this trip to Curtis Orchard, which I would probably call my absolute favorite place to take my kids (out of the whole year!)

We started out with going apple picking this time. Troy enjoyed filling a bag with apples. I enjoyed the peacefulness of the orchard with my two special little people :)

Yes, she did try to sink her teeth into one at one point.

We took this video and I didn't notice the cutest thing until I played it back at home later. Around the 16 second mark Troy quietly says, "great job, Mommy!" We must encourage this kid like crazy because he's constantly reflecting encouraging words back to us. I love this little part of his personality!

We had looked for the cats when we first arrived and couldn't find any. So we walked out back where the apples were and said we'd look for them later. This one came looking for us! Literally ran up to us in the apple picking area and laid down by Troy and Cass and started purring. Troy was thrilled!

For a special treat, I got the kids lunch at the orchard. Cass loved her first tastes of a hot dog and Troy devoured everything on his plate (except for the hot dog bun, of course. the kid has never eaten buns!)

It's really a shame my kids never smile or anything :)

As another added surprise, when you buy a kids lunch, you get a token to spend on one of the orchard's special activities (once again, that we never actually do). Troy was so excited to do the giant slide and didn't even protest when I told him he could only go once (one token = one slide). 

Below, admiring the donut making operation :)

so much love

I have so much love for these two I can't even put it into words. Here's Troy running in to say good morning to Cassidy. He tells me, "Mommy! Don't go get her yet! I want to go say good morning!"

Giant Book

Right in the middle of one of Mike's first trips to kick off travel season, our good friends called and asked if they could stop over with something for us. You may remember our friend Sailor from the summer. Thankfully, we've continued to get together with her and her family, and are looking forward to getting to know them even better as time goes on! We so appreciate their friendship. 

Anyways, they found this awesome giant book at Orphans Treasure Box store here in Champaign. We really want to go check it out soon, because this book was an INCREDIBLE find. Troy and Cassidy both love it. 

Troy wants to know the detailed names of all the different things on the various pages. Last night he and Mike were looking at it and Cass kept knocking it over and he said, "CASS. Come on, we're learning!" It was cute.

Here's Cassidy sneaking a peak while big brother was occupied with something else :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cassidy is One Year Old!

Cassidy Lynn is one year old!!! Happy Birthday to my sweet and dear girl. Oh how I love this little lady and this last year has been full of so much joy! A few updates on what's she's up to these days as we round out her first year. 

Eating: Cassidy loves to eat! Favorite foods include most any fruit or veggie (watermelon and celery rise to the top of the list), CHEESE, and meat. She eats what we eat! She does enjoy cinnamon raisin toast for breakfast in the mornings. Still nursing about five times a day and once or twice overnight. She's also tried unsweetened almond milk and 2% milk in a sippy cup with her meals, but hasn't really loved them much. She mostly drinks water from her sippy. 

Sleeping: Two naps a day, for the most part. One around 9am for 45-60 minutes and another in the afternoon for 90 min-2 hours or so. Bedtime is 7pm and she's up around 6:30am. Up once or twice in the middle of the night for now. She goes down to sleep easily now (when we're at home at least), which I'm very thankful for!

New things she's doing: up to 7 or 8 steps at a time! Talking a lot more. Giving hugs. Playing, playing and playing more!

Words she's saying: Definitely saying "brother" now for Troy. And dog. More animal sounds. "Uh oh". I swear I've heard her say "no". I'm sure I'm missing others. She does say "BA" for quite a few things :)

Clothes: 12 or 18 months, though most 12 months are on their way out. Poor girl had a hooded sweatshirt on today that didn't cover her belly. Size 4 diapers.

Likes: All animals! Especially farm animals (really!) Playing with anyone. Being outside.

Dislikes: Diaper changes. Being told she can't get down and explore. She doesn't like that much :)

Cassidy's Actual Birthday

Well since Cassidy had a very exciting birthday celebration over the weekend, we didn't have anything super exciting planned for her actual birthday. However, it was still a special and fun day with lots of people wishing her a happy day!

We started the day like a normal Monday, and Cass was in daycare while I worked. Miss Laura stopped by to get some snuggles from Cassidy on our way out!

After a relaxing afternoon (that girl was partied out from the day before!) we gave Cassidy her one gift from Mike and I after dinner. Troy was pretty excited about this toy kitchen and play food, as I he saw it when we first got it and helped me wrap the food up. They've both played with it a lot in the days since!

We gave Cassidy a couple of short minutes to play with it on her own :)

Our big birthday girl crashed at the end of the night. I thought it was pretty sweet how she nuzzled right up to her giraffe and called it a night. Happy Birthday to you, Cassidy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cassidy's First Birthday Party!

The second exciting part of our weekend in Chicago was celebrating Cassidy's first birthday with our family! But first, a round of family photos before most of the guests arrive :)

Lots of big smiles in this photo below :) Love it!

Then the guests started to arrive! Uncle Joe and Aunt Nat joined us to celebrate! T minus 1 week until they find out if they're welcoming a baby boy or baby girl in the spring...

Mike photobombed Beema and Cassidy's photo!

Troy had a blast playing with big cousin Emily and all of our old Playmobil toys.

Auntie Daria brought Cassidy her very own smash cake! Made from bananas, applesauce and other not-too-sugary goodness :)

Our masterpiece from the day before!

Cass was incredibly tentative (for Cassidy) when it came time to smashing the cake. I couldn't believe it!

"Thanks for the cake, Auntie Daria!"

And then it got really exciting :) Smash galore!

Opening a few presents from her party attendees. Thanks everyone! Apparently it was the birthday of farm animals, which Cassidy just loves :) Thanks everyone, for making Cassidy's birthday celebration so memorable!