Friday, February 25, 2011

My Helper

There are some things that you really don't want help with...

But you have a little girl PLEADING to help.....

And it is for her.....

So you give in and let your little helper have a go at it....

I started with a bit square on the wall and told Megan to color it in....

She did a great job and was VERY proud of herself. Somehow the square expanded to as high as she could reach and down to the floor. I have never been so thankful for acutally taping off a room before I painted!

I had to go back and smooth out all the paint gobs and re-roll the wall... but it was worth it for as excited she was to say she helped paint her "Princess Bathroom". you can't tell but the base color is a really really light purple. And the mess was worth the experience!Today I sponged the walls a darker lavender. The walls are really imperfect due to a previous taking off of wallpaper that had been on for over 30 years and the walls had never been primed under the wallpaper. So the sponging is perfect to cover up all the details of the wallpaper removal abuse. I don't have any "purple" pictures... but those will be coming. Then... it'll be all things princess!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mommy Days

With Megan at school 3 mornings a week, Nicole and I get some fun one on one time. I love it - it's the same thing that I got to experience with Megan and now that Nicole is on the move - we are out and about more often. I love it when we are inside and Nicole goes to the window and starts knocking on it and talking. I assume she's saying, "mommy it's so pretty out, lets go outside to play!!!" And how can you say no to this little cutie?

It is a blessing to get some of the same one on one time with Nicole that I got to have with her big sister. These are days I will cherish!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's a Zoo Day!

We couldn't let a great day go to waste today - so we headed to the zoo to meet up with some friends and check out the animals. One of our routine stops is the birds nest.... my little birdies! (that's Megan chirping at Nicole)
Even our friend will jumped into the birdie family. I wish you could hear their role playing about being the mommy and daddy birds and taking the baby to the bird doctor. It was sweet.

Nicole liked having her friend Emma to hang with!

This is the view I had the most on the playground... Nicole running away to find a new source of adventure and trouble...
Megan kept telling me that she was climbing "sunshine mountain" - I thought that was cute... and then later once we were home we put in a kids praise music DVD (Cedarmont kids) while we were waiting for Tom to get off work and head to choir, and at one point she yelled - "see Mommy, it's sunshine Mountain!" Well sure enough... there's a song that a boy sings as he climbs a climbing wall - and it IS Sunshine Mountain. She remembered that song had a climbing wall in it... boy, I wish I had a memory like that!

We also spent a little time in the petting zoo....
Nicole wasn't sure what she thought about all those animals....

Here she is getting a little brave and going over to the goat to brush him...

Then - AAAUUGHH, he moved. Look closely and you'll see the brush flying into the air. She threw that thing and turned on a dime and ran back to mommy. It was very hard to not laugh at how fast that change of mind happened. Let's just say, the petting zoo is not Nicole's favorite place!
She prefered waving from a distance!
And we had to finish up our trip with a ride on the train...

It was a great day and we are looking forward to more spring-like days to head back over there for some wild times.

Play days

Oh how I love this weather.... we've been outside every day and are just eating it up. Nicole's favorite thing to do is grab a ball!!!!
Or play in our little playhouse...

Our neighbor Coop came over and the kids had a jolly time in the backyard.

I know it's supposed to rain later this week but until that rain moves in... you'll find us outside!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It's been so beautiful here - the girls and I broke out the chalk and had some outdoor drawing fun! Megan was always nearby to remind Nicole that we don't eat the chalk....
It was a super messy adventure with them, but also super fun!
I just love those sweet girls!!!!

I have lots of pictures just stacking up - I'm hoping to get more posted soon. We've been pretty busy over here trying to get Megan and Nicole's princess bathroom painted and decorated before Grandma and Papa come next week. Not to mention getting ready for a little girls 4th birthday. It's all keeping us on our toes!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Hugs, Hearts and Kisses!!!!
Happy Valentines Day! OK, I had to get a shot of Megan with her fun Valentine's Day skirt on. That was my most recent naptime creation... ok, I can call it a naptime creation because IF Megan took a nap, that's when I would've made it. But, since she doesn't - let's call it a mommy nighttime creation.

Oh, and Natalie....
Megan would like to say THANK YOU for her Valentine makeup. This picture doesn't do justice to her ruby red sparkly lips with layers upon layers of lip gloss and the beautiful shimmering eye shadow. Much fun was had by this little girl after her school Valentine's day party today.
Her little sister has discovered the joy of a bean bag!
Oh yeah, she loves that bean bag!!!! Too bad it's her big sisters.

And I have to admit that I love it because it's one chair that Nicole doesn't get hurt falling off of. And falling off chairs has unfortunately become a daily occurance around here. Ugh!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

15 Months

Oh my goodness.... how is it possible that my baby is 15 months old?

We went to the Dr. today and here are her stats:

Height: 32 inches (90%)
Weight: 26lbs, 2 oz (90%)
Head: 46 cm (50%)
WooHoo... she's on the charts again!

She is a cute as a button little stinker! I say that with a heart full of love! Nicole is truly my snugglebug. Megan has always been a snuggler and even when she's on the run she still wants her mommy lovin' time. I really didn't think you could find a child that was MORE of a snuggler... oh yeah - that's Nicole. She will walk away only to turn around and run to me for one last hug. She just burries her face and sinks in trying to get closer and closer. Oh my goodness, I just love that! And she's silly. She will figure out what makes you laugh and then do it over and over and over again. She's also sneaky.... yesterday she figured out that if she pushed her new little tykes garage over to the couch, she could climb on it and then climb on the couch. AAAUUUGGGHHHH... because then she promptly falls off - usually backwards. She is the kid that you can't leave alone for a second because she'll be trying to scale something. This is my first experience with a climber. Megan was scared of heights... but not Nicole.

She's an eater... most of the time. The only problem is that "toddler food" is just not her thing. Sort of like how she refused baby food. Forget a piece of pizza cut up, she just wants the whole slice. And if her sister can eat it - so can she! You should see her trying to dip fries in ketchup like Megan or a chip in cheese dip. It's quite funny. She really doesn't want anyone to feed her - she'd rather have that fork or spoon to herself. And actually she's not to bad at handling them.
She loves to talk - most of it is her cute little baby talk. She's trying to say more words - like water (which sounds like ya ya) and bacon (which sounds like ma mah). You'll also hear all done, bye bye, ball, baby, ma ma, Dada, and Meh (Megan). If you don't understand her, don't worry she'll get her point across with an ear splitting scream. Let's just say that patience is something we will need to work on! :^)
She loves to dance and loves Sesame Street. Put them together and you've got the perfect morning.

One of her new "skills" is sign language. I have to admit that I'm not a big baby signer... mostly because most of the words that we work on, I've found the kids start saying about the same time they start signing. At least Megan did. Well we started this because we were asked to participate in a study at Emory University. They are always looking for children in the community to participate in various studies. I did a couple with Megan and it's always fun. So when the called with this I thought sure.... It's a 5 week study where for the first 4 weeks I teach 18 signs to Nicole. We have a little 10 minute session 4 times a week. I've had fun and Nicole doesn't seem to mind. When we got to Emory each week they play a game to see if they can identify pictures when the researchers make a sign. The first 2 weeks it was humerous because Nicole would pick the picture on the left side. Didn't matter if there was anything on the card, that's what she picked. So I wasn't really putting much into this because I figured she was just going to blow their data. ugh. Then last week we went in and Shazaam! She got every one of the right. I was shocked. They mixed it up to see if it was a fluke and still she was able to pick out every sign they made. wow. Now that said... it could totally be a fluke - we have 2 weeks left. This week we go in and I have to video me working with her (ugh) then we have a week with no signing to see if she retains anything. And then I get a nice Target gift card for all our hard work! WooHoo! The goal of the study is to see if kids can learn sign language from videos. We are in the other group to see if they learn signs from parents. They'll compare 3 groups, a control with no exposure except for the the testing times, the parent led group and the video exposure group. I'm looking forward to seeing what they determine. In the meantime, I have to admit that it's been super fun to watch Nicole start making some of the signs - like baby, banana, car, ball and hat. And it's been a fun little activity for us to do together while Megan was at school.
Nicole LOVES her big sister and her cousins. Here she is with Daniel, Megan, Justin and Anna.

Other Random things: Your hair is soooo long. I just can't cut it! She loves shaking her head and getting the hair to cover her eyes. It's so funny... unless we are eating. Then she ends up with food in her hair. You love being outside. Anytime (rain or shine, hot or cold) I get you out of the car and sit you on the ground to walk inside, you take off running to where your little convertible car is sitting or the wagon because you want a ride and want to play outside. It's sweet, but also hard because to take you in means that a tantrum is seconds away. Oh lord you can pitch a fit! To say that you are strong-willed is an understatement... I sure do hope we can figure out a good way to deal with that temper. I think that you must be a closet red-head. And you love your baby dolls. It is so sweet to see you feeding them and rocking them and taking them for a stroll.

Nicole we love you so much - you bring so much laughter to our lives. You sweet smile and giggles melt our hearts. What a blessing you are - Every moment of the day we thank God for adding another beautiful girl to our family. You will always be our little sweet pea! Happy 15 month birthday.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

God Loves Me More Than That - Book Review

God Loves Me More Than That by Dandi Daley Mackall (illustrated by David Hohm) is a sweet book to help children understand the great is the love of God. I love that the book begins with Ephesians 3:17-19 - I pray that you may grasp how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Christ. The book takes each concept and gives short easy descriptions and ends with "God loves me more than that." The illustrations are beautiful and the text is short and sweet, yet full of meaning.

My daughter (almost 4 years old) loved the book. The first time I read it to her, she wanted to read it over and over. I had to cut her off after the 3rd reading. I was surprised how many questions it raised in her head. I can definitely say it was a hit at our house.

The only thing I was left longing for was a little snip it as to "why" God loves us so much. However, I don't consider that to be a negative because it is a great discussion starter. I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to it being an on-going hit with my older daughter, and one day, her little sister.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Here Comes Trouble

There it is..."THE" look....
THE LOOK that says - I can do it all by myself!
That was the look I got when I took her yogurt bowl away. Nicole is all about trying to feed herself and she wanted it back... to be honest I was fearing for the floor. I just hadn't put her floor cover back down. I just have one question... WHY is there carpet in the dining room?

But then her big sister entered the picture to make her feel all better!!!!

That's Megan saying, "It's ok Nicole you are growing into a big girl. I'll teach you how."
Then Nicole wanted us to know that all that yummy food was in her belly...
And for all those "feed myself" moments..... Kevin and Kelly - I LOVE my Christmas present!

And so does Megan.

Now that 1/2 Nicole's food ends up on the floor - our little stick-vac saves the day. And Megan has found a chore she loves. Which is funny to me because she's spent 3 1/2 years being terrified of the vacuum.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Park 2011

With our burst of spring like weather this past weekend, we had a great time exploring our local park. It was an interesting trip because it was our first park trip with 2 mobile kids. Now that Nicole is on the move - it's going to be a little more challenging to keep up with both of them. But this weekend we had the Daddy reinforcement so we could divide and conquer. The girls loved the special time with Tom. There's nothing as sweet as Daddy time!

Nicole LOVED the slides!

And the wide open spaces to just go, go go...

Megan got a special lesson on how to pump your legs on the swing

Nicole just wanted a twirling partner (and some snuggles)...

we swang....

and explored....
and slid...

And bounced.....

And we are officially ready for spring.... too bad we still have 2 official months of winter left. Hopefully we'll get many more of these great outdoor type days.