Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Outdoors Photo Dump

As is custom, in the early spring weeks, I can't take enough photos of my kids enjoying the outside. So here ya go, a little taste of where we've been much of the 50 degree plus days!

Mother Son Date - Y Pool

One of the many expected benefits of a Y membership was that I could have "dates" with both of my kids without 1) much pre-planning and 2) without paying a sitter. Especially handy now that were in travel season for Mike and opportunities to just hang with one of them are limited. Hooray for this mommy-son date to the Y pool while Cass happily played with her friends in Y childwatch :) Y win! (Again!)

The Great Egg Chase at the Vineyard

We had a great time at this second annual event at church! Unfortunately due to 20 degree morning temps, we had to move inside and it was more of an Easter egg gather than a hunt or chase :) But the organizers did a great job and the kids all had a BALL still.

We started out with donuts for all. I let Cass have her own donut but she didn't really do much other than lick it a little. Troy on the other hand, made quick work of his. 

Then we waited in a not-too-long line to see the Easter Bunny. 

They both kept a safe distance :) 

Next we moved into the Auditorium for some fun and prizes, followed by a dramatic telling of the Easter story for kids. Troy was into it! It's amazing how much he gets it this year. He seems to totally understand what this special holiday means. 

Our friends Rosemary and Anya were with us, and Anya happily shared a chair with Cass for some of the program. 

Then it was Egg Chase time! There were tons of groups all over the church so it wouldn't get too crowded anywhere. 

Troy was on a mission! And happily scored nearly two dozen eggs. Thank you Vineyard, for not putting candy in every single one!

Well child visits for the kids

Troy and Cassidy had check-ups scheduled for the same day. Last year when we did this, Mike kindly took the afternoon off work but this year I was flying solo since they fell during a trip. 

Troy weighed in at 48 pounds and is 43.5 inches tall. This puts him at the 96 and 93rd percentiles for his age. He checked out great and was disappointed he had to do the "house/apple/umbrella" vision test instead of the one that used letters. 

Below, "playing" a game where he pushes the doctor away and pulls her towards him and shows her how strong he is. 

Cassidy came in at 28 lbs 7 oz and 32.5 inches, which is within a pound and an inch of what her bro was at that age :) She was a little tentative of everyone we came in contact with that day, including the person trying to measure her head :)

Insert no pictures because I was busy dealing with my two melty children and the vaccines they received. Picture me dragging Mr. Almost 50 pounds out of the doc bawling and getting our butts to DQ as quickly as possible. After some ice cream and some rest back at the house, he came walking out of his room sighing and said, "Ah... all better!"

"without you even telling me"

Troy's latest "thing" is doing something he knows he should do and then proudly declaring "and I did it without you even telling me!" Being the encouraging parent I am (and wanting to continue seeing this behavior) I make a big deal about it and tell him he made a great choice, etc.etc.

I did feel pretty bad when he came walking in while I was changing Cassidy one morning in a tee and shorts and said "Look! I got dressed without you even telling me!" And snow flurries were in the weather forecast that day. I told him shorts season would be here soon and sent him back to find some pants. Appreciated the effort though!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Holy Grail of Showings

Scenario - we had safely removed ourselves from our perfectly cleaned and show-ready home for a scheduled showing.

Upon driving home from the perfect "we have a showing" destination (the Y) I get a call for a last minute showing in 90 minutes. YES PLEASE! Two showings from one round of cleaning, YES!

So we went to Sams Club for dinner. Yes, we did.

Troy below, with a massacred giant piece of pizza.

And then we walked...

And read...

And eventually drove home after bedtime to see if anyone seemed to be in our home any longer. Phew!

....anyone? Wanna buy it now?

Spring Break Visit from Gramma

My mom came down for a visit to watch the kids for a couple days over spring break while Troy was out of school and I was scheduled for some extra hours at work. The kids LOVE getting to stay at the house with Gramma while Mommy goes to work! They were both lounging in their pj's when I left each morning and happy to have some Gramma time! Thanks for coming, Gramma!

We made a visit to the phone store and Troy gave Gramma a tutorial on how to use a tablet on display. He had NEVER seen one of these tablets before (one of the Galaxy ones) yet he "showed" Gramma and I exactly how to use the camera and note pad among other features he navigated to. He has his Daddy's sales genes and a natural ability to manipulate today's electronics!

After the kids were in bed, Mom kept saying "we should do something!" I *think* she was referring to playing a game or watching a movie. I asked if we could work on my cabinets. She happily agreed and jumped in. Again, thanks Mom!

"Rock" and rolling up the wall

Troy had another visit to the climbing wall this week. He is growing in confidence on the wall and after one slower climb, his second climb was much faster! Go Troy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

First Trip to Museum of the Grand Prairie

Best kept secret of Mahomet perhaps? :) Everybody always smiles and laughs a little bit when they talk about Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet and how it can be a little cheesy... when our friends invited us to check it out for ourselves, we were so pleased with this little gem! There was plenty to keep the kids occupied and Troy already has asked if we can go back. Small town museum success!

Below, paddling a canoe.

When we connected with our friends, the little girls held hands to walk around the museum. Sweet Clara even came up to Cassidy to give her a hug and kiss to greet her!

The famed life-size rubber Abe Lincoln was much-anticipated. Cassidy preferred to keep her eyes on him while the rest of the kids uncomfortably smiled for a photo. If there wasn't a large buggy to ride in, I think everyone would keep there distance from ol' Abe!

Stained glass windows with Abe Lincoln in them? Now THAT is something you don't see everywhere!

The kids all loved playing in the wigwam. This is before the party started. They brought in play food and met new friends and spent a LONG time in there. Wigwam win!

When things got crazy in the wigwam, the little girls found a more chill place to play nearby.

One more visit to ol' Abe before we left. Troy asked if he could touch him and this was his reaction :) 'Til next time, Museum of the Grand Prairie! Thanks for the invite, friends! :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

sibling love

Man, when things are good they are GOOD. Troy has been showing some super loving behavior towards his sis in the last week. One day as he was gathering his things at the Y I overheard the worker tell him "I saw you with your baby sis, and you are a really great big brother!"

This was when we dropped him off one day. Since hardly anyone was there they put Cass straight on the big kids' side. Troy ran off and she just stood there kind of frozen. (Of course I'm still standing there watching this.) Troy returns and gives her a hug and then gets a ball for her and she runs after him. Pretty sure I teared up.

With Troy on spring break, he joined Cassidy for daycare at church today. They must have been exceptionally adorable all morning as I got pics from both women working of the two of them playing together and hanging out. Again... my heart bursts!

17 months update

Another month update for Cassidy! I feel these drawing to a close soon. Perhaps 18 months will be my last update - I made it to 19 with Troy so I guess I could go there too. I digress...

Such personality in this little girl! Here's a few glimpses of my precious daughter.

There are a handful of girls near her age in daycare at church and I heard they've been playing babies a lot. Cassidy has since taken more interest in her baby at home here. Caring for baby, hugging baby, pushing baby in the stroller. It's too precious for words!

Other things she likes playing with are animals, BOOKS (loving to read these days), crayons, watching us do puzzles, the list goes on. She's pretty easy to please. She will play with pretty much anything!

She gets into mischief sometimes.  Case in point the photo below when she scaled the table while I was preoccupied for a few minutes. The look on her face says it all. She knew EXACTLY what she was doing here!

She's learning TONS of new words. Literally every day. And will try to repeat back anything and everything. She WANTS to repeat things back badly actually. She brings me books (where its just an image and a word on each page) and wants to practice it like three times. Each time we do it she masters a new word. It really kind of amazing to watch. And she knows her name now, what!?

Sleeping! Progress! We had three blissful weeks of sleeping through the night. Like a solid 12-13 hours. Now she's cutting canine teeth and I remember those being the worst for Troy too. She's getting up most nights again. We'll get through it and get back to that blissful sleep soon though. It's truly AMAZING to get a full night's sleep again. I can't wait until it returns :) (Below, pictured with "snuggle bear" her #1 buddy for bedtime.) 

She loves helping out at the counter. That ol' stand on the chair trick has proved invaluable. I do think these activity towers are awesome but for $200 I think we'll be sticking with the chair and just hoping for the best. (Below, I gave her a near empty jar of peanut butter and a spoon to "stir" and play with while I cooked.)

Independence. I think that best sums my girl up at this age. She is SO proud to do things independently and wants to do it more and more and more.

Plus she just makes me smile. I have such a blast with her and love her like crazy!

Keeping Busy

Here's a little taste of Troy keeping busy in recent days. He's started to show an interest in puzzles more, so we've been working on some of those down in the basement. If gets some help with the "frame" he does really well filling it in! Cass is doing a great job of NOT destroying them all.

This awesome alphabet train is helping him learn letters... and Cassidy too apparently.

He has been playing in the yard every chance he gets. I went out to the garage one night and found this scene of football players across my sidewalk!

It was really quite elaborate! I love continuing to get these glimpses of how his mind is working!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Fish-In-Training

Troy takes swim lessons one afternoon a week at the Y. When we were a little early last week, I noticed that there was open swim immediately before swim lessons and hardly anyone was there. I thought we could make that happen this week with some swim time together before lessons!

These are just a few token pics from "the beach" area, but Cassidy happily swims out to the deeper water with us. She likes to stick her face in and kick her feet just like Troy. EVERYTHING he does, she wants to do :) She just wants to be like one of the big kids, I think!

Too busy to play, he's practicing his skills...