Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clean up, clean up

After a visit with the former owner of our home (and passionate landscaper), we had our marching orders as to how to approach fall clean-up around our house. Because this is what we do when we have spare time, now :)


Cassidy loves digging in dirt. In sparkly shoes of course.


Winter weather is going to hit this family HARD this year! Don't make us stay inside, old man winter!

The latest installment of "glimpse into the future"

In the latest installment of a glimpse into my future of raising a growing girl, I bring this pic. All of a sudden she looks like a big kid.

Cassidy's Second Birthday Party

We had a gorgeous fall day to celebrate Cassidy! As evidenced by the sunshine and clear skies behind my girl in this pic below :)

We got our party faces on!

Aunti Patti, cousin Emily, Cassidy and I out in the yard that morning :)

Later, Grampa, Beema and Auntie Daria arrived. This scene unfolded on the couch when Cassidy stared at Grampa's head and said, "No hair there!"


After some pizza for lunch, Cassidy spotted her cake for the first time! Check out peeping Troy from behind the counter in the distance.

Cassidy has asked me to play this video about 100 times since that day.




After our cake, Grampa and I took the kids for a little walk around the neighborhood. Cassidy happily pushed Olaf all around in her stroller.


Later that evening, after all our guests had left, we had a fire to close out the night.

And our girly CRASHED hard!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The building of Princess Anna

Birthday cake wish: Princess Anna cake

Cake: Made from scratch vanilla yellow cake. 1 standard 8 in round, 1 8 in round in springfoam pan and one Pyrex bowl with 8 in diameter.

Frosting: Made from scratch buttercream. Dyed in various colors. Mainly blue. Blue EVERYWHERE.

This is Cassidy staring at a photo of my inspiration on my computer. I think she's looking at my like "whatttttt are you doing Mom!?"

My Aunt Patti and cousin Emily came down for the night and were around for all the cake baking and assembling. The kitchen island was the hot place to be as crumbs were abound :)

After Cassidy got to bed, I got back to work on decorating. I invited Troy and Emily in for the fun.


TA-DA! There she is. She went from looking like a Pinterest fail to a princess in the matter of about three minutes.

Cassidy is 2 Years Old!

Can it possibly be, my dear sweet girl turned 2 years old? She actually did! Bye, bye babyhood, hello full-out toddlerhood. Prepare for photo overload in this post. She's awfully adorable :) I don't really know where to start with this post so I'll just hop in.

Eating: Cassidy is a great eater! She eats pretty much everything we eat without complaint or refusing much. I think its safe to say we've miraculously done it again with the whole "getting a kid to love veggies" thing. She LOVES veggies. Salads, side dishes, whatever. She scarfs 'em down. Her favorite foods include cheese, bananas, eggs and "shake". She drinks regular milk and almond milk but doesn't go crazy with it - she rarely finishes her sippy cup.
Cass loves her milkies and nurses twice a day, once before nap and once before bed. She does fine when anyone else puts her to bed, but if I'm here, she asks for milk. It's not a big deal to me so here we are, doing what we do for now :) Bonus is that she often passes out in my arms at nap time, giving me a moment to snuggle her before laying her down. Those eyelashes. My goodness.

Sleeping: Cassidy takes one nap in the afternoon, from about 12 or 12:30 until 2:30 or 3. She wakes up between 6:30 and 7am typically and goes to bed at 6:30pm. When we started this year she wasn't sleeping well through the night at all. We started moving up her bedtime because it was something we hadn't tried and when it got all the way up to 6:30 we realized that was the winner. In recent weeks she's been waking again a few nights a week, but she'll go back to sleeping all night again before long. Early bedtime, who knew. We moved her out of her crib earlier this year and she's been in a makeshift toddler bed just like we did with Troy ever since. That was a winner too. The girl that always fought sleep anywhere other than home (and often fought it at home too) sleeps so much better in regular beds at hotels and grandma and grandpa's house now. She's obviously happy to have ditched the pack and plays. 
New things she's doing as of late: Oh I don't even know where to start. Singing, lots of singing. She hears a song a few times and can sing a few lines back. She will sing a few lines over and over. She cheers "yay!" for everything. The end of a song. Mommy doing a workout. Brother going potty. The list goes on and on. She's incredibly outgoing. The other day she was saying hi to people at a bus stop from our car with the window down. She greets people in checkout lines, restaurants, etc. She mastered pretty much everything at the playground this year and has handled herself very well on playground equipment. She's willing to try (almost) anything!


Words she's saying: SO SO SO MANY words! I think back at 18 months the doc said they would expect her to have 50 words by her second birthday but she already had that down :) She literally has hundreds of words in her vocabulary. Today she was rattling off some colors for me. She puts two and three word sentences together. Its SO fun to talk to and with her! She knows her name is Cassidy and she knows her brother's name is Troy.

Clothes: Moving out of 2T and into 3T. She is TALL. Using size 5 diapers.

Likes: Frozen and "Princess Anna". Cookie Monster (brings me iPad and says, "cookie monster time!!!"). Her babies. She likes snuggling them and covering them up in her bed before she lays down herself. She likes listening to books. She loves being outside and digging in the dirt. Fav animals are "meow-meows" and "puppies".

Dislikes: Diaper changes. Things in her hair (though she's growing to tolerate them more). Not being allowed to "help" me.

Potty: this pic below sums it up. Sigh. Not there yet. So much for the magical kid that I dreamed would potty train herself. Love ya Cass :)

Here comes the photo overload! Happy Birthday Cassidy!




Sunday, October 25, 2015

College Football Saturday - Illinois Homecoming

I LOVE weekends. Seriously. The weekend days we've had in our new home since moving are simply the best. I'm soaking them in as much as I possibly can before Mike's travel ramps up and we don't have quite this many leisurely mornings.

Cassidy, AKA my sous chef, and I whipped up some waffles to start the day. Yes, she's wearing her birthday bling with her penguin jammies. #howsherolls


Afterwards, we gifted Daddy with the gift of a quiet home and a remote in his hand to kick off college football Saturday while we headed over to the stadium for some pre-football fun.

FACT - there are FAR MORE people at the pre-game festivities when its a 3pm game (and everyone has been out there already for hours) compared to the 11am games, when i'm out there at 8:30am with all the parents of the players, haha.

My son was NOT thrilled with his very impaired view of the parade of marching band and football players.

Though things DID start to turn around once the college kids with the free swag started making the rounds.

And by the time we made it to the bouncy houses, we were back to "this is the best day ever!"


The 16 yr old kid supervising this particular obstacle course was way too into having the kids race through it. Another way to put it would be he took his job very seriously. He was trying to match up kids of a comparable size and emphatically telling them when to go. All jokes aside, I hope my kids enjoy their first jobs like that someday, too.

Troy was eager to throw the football. Though he had to be moved up a bit to eventually hit the target.

And since Cass has deemed bouncy houses as safe now, she happily waited her turn behind her brother in a line this visit. And climbed right in without reservation to bounce!



We had walked past the "try on the football gear" booth earlier and Troy passed it up. After some bounce house time, he was happy to do it! And waited patiently for his turn with the blue gear, because his jersey is blue and he had to match it :)

Obligatory "kids eating on the side of the road" pic as they eat the pizza and free granola packets the random booths have distributed to them by this point.

When we got home, someone insisted on staying in his illini gear. I couldn't believe how adorable grown-up he looked all at the same time when I looked over at him like this!

He loves me...

Me (after a double workout day) to my husband (working late at a work event): "You know those decadent desserts downtown restaurants are famous for? Yea, that'd pretty much be awesome tonight."

He fakes me out and pretends he doesn't see said message until halfway home.

Comes home. No dessert.

Puts child to bed. (YES!)

Retrieves dessert. Surprise! Destihl's s'mores for me!

Best.Husband.Ever!

Jumping for Joy

No secret, the one morning a week that Cassidy and I have to ourselves while big bro is off at school is a welcome addition to our routine. So welcome that the girl is a constant bubble of grins and laughter no matter what we do.

Like walking through the parking lot becomes jumping off parking spots.


Or dates to Panera. The gift of a friend blessing us with a restaurant gift card like this is so incredibly appreciated for these little mini-dates.

She loves being a big girl and carrying the cup with the straw on her own!

Snake Skin

What: a very obvious snake skin
Where: found in a yard a couple of doors down from ours
How: scooting past, when it caught his eye. LOUD LOUD LOUD exclamations followed as he excitedly brought it right back to me. Ick.

I just don't know what he's going to do when he actually finds a snake. No, the better question is what am I GOING TO DO!?

"They are swimming... with SHARKS!"

The thought that humans could do this never even entered my son's mind until this week. Thanks, Netflix, for giving him yet another thrill-seeking idea. The smile on his face while he showed it to me and exclaimed, "They are SWIMMING with SHARKS in CAGES Mom! Can you BELIEVE that!?!?"

Happy Second Birthday, Cassidy!

Cassidy turned 2 years old! With her special "Princess Anna" birthday planned for later in the week, we had a pretty low key day on her actual birthday. There were little goodies to start the day though :) She loved her big girl jewelry, and putting it on her SELF. She yells "I DID IT!" every time she gets it on successfully.



Then there were dunkin munchkins on the way to the Y. A special treat for these two! I have a feeling I know what Troy will be requesting on his birthday as he was adamant about BIG donuts when we drove through.

The birthday bling is on all the time :)

A simply sweet day to kickoff my girl's birthday festivities!