Archive for September 2012

Swimming Lessons...a Shakespeare Tragedy...

Sunday, September 30, 2012
Oh swimming lessons, swimming are thou be?
They are dying....a.slow.painful.death....AH!
Solon does not like love tolerate them and we have a power struggle every.single.time we go.  Last week he did great, this week he cried or rather screamed the entire 30 minutes on the edge of the pool.  I literally wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out.  We are at a VERY difficult point with him discipline wise and boy is he testing us.  Swimming lessons, are not really the issue, it just happens to be effected...which is a real bummer because he loves the water and we REALLY want him to learn how to swim.  I think we might take a break (depending how next week goes) and try again after the next session.  I did snap a shot of him somewhat listening to the teacher...(it was one of those I swore my child will never do that, but he did moments - it happens to all of us folks, every last one of us, so humbling ;)

We will keep you apprised of the situation...until then we bid the pool adieu!

A Trip to the Zoo...

Saturday, September 29, 2012
Some of our good friends are moving to Adel by way of Winterset (while their house is being finished) so a natural meeting point is at the zoo on the south side of Des Moines.  We always love hanging out with them...
The kiddos especially loved the seals exhibit with the under water window.  The little seal was really interested in us and kept sneaking up on us - one time Shadd, one of our little friends, was so startled, he ended up in my lap!  The seal then proceeded to follow my finger around in circles on the glass...It was SO cool.  The kiddos LOVED it!
Getting up close and personal with the kiddos...and Solon is squelching with joy at this point.
We of course had to ride the train and the 3 older kiddos rode together while us mamas and the 2 babies rode together.
Bathroom Solon hopped in their stroller to keep baby Sage company!
Checking out the tigers jeep....sorry tigers you get shown up by this jeep every single time...
We ended the morning with a nice picnic and running around in circles (for the kiddos not us - surprisingly enough) before heading home and napping (I think for all of us that day ;)

Diaper change anyone???

Friday, September 28, 2012
I think this signals a diaper change...or is it just me?
She didn't seem phased...

Things that make you go hmmm....

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Like this giant chair on close out for a mere $79.99....on clearance folks....I guess there is a reason it is on clearance.  Scott couldn't get over the fact it had 6 cup holders and well I couldn't get over the obvious size and storage issues and what reason someone would "need" said chair...we did enjoy taking pictures in it but we left it for someone else to take home...

Family Biking...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
We invested in some bike stuff (how is that for technical) with some anniversary money we received.  We got each other bikes for mother's/father's day and we shopped around for deals on everything...We have enjoyed tootling around the neighborhood and even went all the way to the elementary school (a good 4 mile round trip)....the kiddos have fun in the trailer together with some toys and Solon chats our ear off!  We look forward to many more biking adventures...and yes we practice safe biking by wearing helmets....we practice what we preach, except Solon doesn't wear a helmet on his trike yet (parent fail)...

How to get in the sandbox Vera's way...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Take note that 1 of the sides as no side rail but alas that would be too easy for our little climber...
first you hike your leg over...
Then you swing your body over...

....hitch other leg...

...and looked slightly preturbed about something upon entry...
...and smile at mom before grabbing a cup full of sand and drinking it...
Yep that is my girly girl Vera....loves to eat sand...
But she loves that sandbox...but she needs a permit for this place too - constant, don't look away for 1 second adult supervision required!  (She has been known to have a sandy diaper if you know what I mean - ouch!)

Multitude Monday...

Monday, September 24, 2012
246.  Pumpkin spice latte (YUM!)
247.  honeycrisp apples
248.  the orchard and all the fun they have for families
249.  Crisp mornings that turn into beautiful sunny afternoons
250.  Items on clearance that fit into our budget
251.  my dad's lungs are clear and appointment set for the GI doctor
252.  mom loved bible study
253. answered prayers
254. playdates at the park
255. a clean house (even if it short lived) & crockpot meals
256. free stuff our neighbor's throw away (this week it was a little tykes jungle gym)
257. fresh flowers dropped off by a sweet friend
258. natural remedies
259.  a new spunky haircut and a chance to get away
260.  kiddo kisses and impromptu I love you's
261.  the funny things kids say and the questions they ask
262.  forgiving children....moms are not perfect either :(
263.  a loving husband (for a wife who has been a tad crabby while sick)
264.  healing...we are all getting better
265.  a forgiving God - there are too many mom fails to count

The last couple of weeks have been trying....but God used our sermon this weekend to speak to my heart and remind me that perseverance and patience is what He desires for us.  Not to grumble, complain or wallow....

I heard this one time and I am pretty sure it is true....if we all threw our problems into a pile, we would probably pick ours up over everyone elses'.  It is good to be reminded how blessed we truly are, I am so thankful I am counting my blessings because sometimes you forget to see the forest through the trees.

This is my memory verse this week -

"Ah, sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm, nothing is too hard for you."  Jeremiah 32:17


Solon goes to the dentist...

Sunday, September 23, 2012
Solon went to his first check-up when he turned 3.  He did awesome.  It helps that we have a great dentist and hygenist and they have satellite TV - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, anyone?  It was a little humbling when they found an eency weency beginning of cavity in his mouth - I wanted to crawl in a hole because we brush his teeth - MOM FAIL moment!  Luckily for us, it was a quick fix with no novicaine required and we have been much more thorough with the back molars ever since (learn from my mistake - brush well those back teeth ;).

In the backyard..

Saturday, September 22, 2012
Our kids LOVE to be outside, I mean love might be an understatement.  Solon puts miles on his tractor daily going around and around and down to the stop sign and back with Vera and I trailing behind in the little red car...After dinner, we like to head back and relax in the backyard to enjoy the nice fall like weather...
We have to watch this little one and unhook the battery, she still has a permit (requires an adult driver)...

Hanging with my babes....

An occasional mom slips in front of the camera shot...

The boys favorite activity - RUNNING between fences and tagging Cy...not sure of the rules but I know there are some...I enjoy spectating!

...oh yeah and ruffling Solon's feathers by hopping on the tractor (I do it once a year - call it deprivation as a child - I always wanted one and never got one so now I have to enjoy at 29).  Solon gets a little stressed and probably for good reason...this might fall under the "don't exasperate your children" category or "need a depends" category...
We love our fenced in, end of the road, private back yard - it is our haven for sure and we love our neighbors both the people, pet and corn varieties...

Vera's 1st Birthday Party...

Friday, September 21, 2012
With all the craziness, I failed to get any shots with all the grandparents and great-grandparents so action shots will have to do...but we had a great turnout and have a beautiful day to celebrate!
Nana and Papa the bakers with the birthday girl (this is the best picture of the onesie I had made that says "cute as a button")

Family photo

Singing Happy Birthday...I don't think she smiled the whole day (which is very unlike her) but I think the multitude of "new" people made her a little overwelmed...

Not too sure about the cake but interested if mommy gave her some - she had a total of about 3 bites and she was done with cake or being confined in the high chair - not sure which!

The Great-grandmas with Solon and Evan eating cake and ice cream...

All enjoying a little dessert...

Then it was time to open presents, Solon and Evan were big helpers...they were so excited, I think they would have had them open in about 5 seconds but we took our time ;)

Vera got some baby dolls, a bumblebee scooter (which Solon has thoroughly enjoyed), a tea set, some puzzles & lots of clothes...Solon got a few gifts for being a great big brother!
We had a great birthday party despite some special people missing...Happy Birthday cute as a button Vera, hope you had a very special first birthday!

Vera's 1st Birthday: Cute as a Button...

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Vera's 1st Birthday Theme was "Cute as a Button" - my friend Mandey found a cake much like the one my inlaws made for Vera almost right after Vera was born BUT I loved the theme and a little different...
Her invitations read "Vera Ann is one and cute as a button!"
The food for the 11am party was brunch themed and all "cute as a button" or little!  We had mini doughnuts, doughnut holes, mini cupcakes, mini muffins, veggies, grapes, cheese and crackers, mini quiches, mini savory appetizers, mini zucchini bread loaves and mini yogurts.  There weren't too many leftovers but I think it filled everyone up!  I glued some buttons on some toothpicks and stuck them in the food for more fun decor!

As you can tell the color scheme was mostly pink, yellow and grey with hints of light blue, green and purple.  I fell in love with the pink, yellow and grey in the scrapbook aisle and Michael's....I used the scrapbook paper for the food labels, banners and backdrop for the button V and 1.  I also used a few pieces under the flowers around the house to bring in some color and our theme!
I opted to go with the chinese lanterns since there is a helium shortage and balloons are outrageously expensive, these were cheaper and I can reuse them.  I also made the little scrapbook banner for the window (look close - bummed I didn't get a better short of my hard work)

My mother in law made the cake and my father in law made all the fondant turned out so cute.  I will have cake for years though as this was 3.5 cake mixes worth - whoa!

I made little floral arrangements in a few vases around the house with pink, yellow and white flowers...I was excited to use flowers, not something you get to use for boy parties!  I also made a "V" and "1" out of buttons...The "V" was on the table modge-podged in a frame...not sure what I will do with them now ;)

I had Marty make a matching smash cake and I made a little banner for her high chair...the poor smash cake had like 2 bites out of it - Vera was so not into it...odd, since she is my child!
I also make a photo book for my kiddo's 1st birthdays and have everyone that comes write a little message to them.  The book is full of our favorite first year photos and memories.  A nice little keepsake to keep with their baby book. (which is a work in progress ;)
The favors were "candy buttons" - I was so excited to find them at World Market - wahoo.  Perfect!
I had SO much fun doing all the planning with my lists and to dos but I am glad to take a little down time after it is all said and done...

Vera's Actual Birthday...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Vera's actual birthday fell on a Wednesday this year.  We had dinner, opened presents and gave her a 2nd taste of cake (her 1st being at her 1 year photos).  She was equally unenthused at her 2nd taste test...She doesn't get that from me ;)!  As you will see from the pictures, Solon was a BIG help to Vera and was more excited to open her gifts then anyone else....he was equally excited to take a turn with them too!
Some girly girl necklaces....Vera loves to wear necklaces around the house!
Solon helping Vera with her gift from him...
A pink car....we figured she needed her own car...she gets lots of things passed down but it is fun to get a new toy now and again...I will say there was some false advertising with this little car, I thought the balls shot out the front, they more or less fall out - womp, womp....
Of course we sang to her and Solon helped by spitting blowing out the candle...
...and this was as exciting as it got before she got annoyed that she had "stuff" on her hands...
Off to take a birthday bath with her new bath toys!

It's the little things...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Like this cart at hy-vee with our huge mum for our fall...this cart is the bomb diggity folks...that is all I have to say!

Little Miss is 1 Year Old...

Our sweet little lady is such a dolly, always full of joy and is always on the go....this is what she is up to at 1 year old....
  • She now has 2 teeth on the bottom and is working on cutting the top 2
  • She sleeps through the night and goes to bed around 7:30pm and wakes up about 7am
  • She takes 1 short morning nap from 20 minutes-1 hour and a long afternoon nap from 1-4pm
  • She still nurses 2 times a day (down from 5 times a day at 11 months) - before afternoon nap and bedtime - I am not too worried about weaning her from those 2 until she takes whole milk better
  • She can now stand unassisted for short periods of time
  • Took her 1st few steps on the evening of her first birthday
  • Scoots around furniture and walks assisted most places
  • Preferred mode of transportation to get some place quickly is crawing and she is ruining ALL her pants in the process!
  • Loves to be outside playing - loves the sandbox, swinging, riding in her car, eating anything from nature, etc. :)
  • Babbles all the time and says Dada and means it
  • Waves hello and bye bye and shakes head yes
  • Starting to understand simple directions like "no Vera" and "Do you want more?"
  • Loves to be sung to, dance to music
  • Starting to play with play food and loves our little tykes house in the basement
  • Pushes her stroller around
  • Likes to ride on things like cars or Solon's tractor
  • Still wears 6-12 month clothes/12 month but her legs are getting long - her waist is not ready for the next size up though, wears size 3 diapers
  • Starting to wear shoes and getting used to them and socks
  • prefers straw sippy cups to the traditional ones (I should own stock in sippy cups ;)
  • ticklish on her belly and laughs a little more liberally (you still have to work hard unless you are Solon)
  • loves beads and necklaces and wearing one at a time
  • favorite foods are pancakes, all fruit except bananas, meat, yogurt, breads, crackers....still working on veggies and eggs
  • Weighs 18 lbs 4 oz (20th percentile)
  • 29 3/4 inches (31st percntile)
We have a happy, healthy baby girl on our hands. She will be walking and talking before we know it. I still cuddle her a little longer after she falls asleep and enjoy me and her time each night before bed....she is a true gift and we love her forever and always!  Love you sweet baby girl!

Multitude Monday...

Monday, September 17, 2012
They say "When it rains, it pours" and it is also said that "God does not give you more than you can handle"...well to say I am holding a lot right now might be an understatement....partially it is my own fault doing DIY in the midst of so much chaos but I think it was my way of trying to control something when so much has been out of my control recently.  Today I am TIRED emotionally and physically...

We had Vera's party this weekend and right before my dad (yes you read that correctly) got very ill.  So much so that we insisted (as good nagging loving women do) he go to urgent care.  Well, he didn't last long there before they kicked him out to go down to Lutheran ER.  Not quite what we were planning on....since the rest of the family and friends were due to arrive momentarily.  My sister went with my dad and my mom (who had just had lymphnode surgery on Thursday) came home to hang out for the party while my dad under went a series of tests. 

Needless to say, my dad spent the night in the hospital with my mom by his side.  He had a bad case of pneumonia and they also found some concerning stuff with his GI track like thickening and expanding of his esophagus and backed up food causing a lump in his upper GI....(he told me to tell all you blogging peeps, he is fine....ahem, I think he has a few more things to take care of but we will agree to disagree **smile!)

We still don't know much and the process is kind of like all things, one step forward, three steps back and a lot of sit tight and wait SO that is what we will do -- wait on God's timing.  He knows the path, He knows the plans, we need to just sit tight and wait for direction....but I won't lie it is exhausting....but I have yet to ask "why us?" because in this life we are all faced with trials and in the midst of the storm there are always unintended blessings SO I am going to find more than a few things to be thankful to God for this week....because we can find joy in all circumstances, now can't we....

226.  We were THERE when my stubborn dad got sick
227.  His white cell count quickly retreated with IV medication proving the medicine was doing the trick
228.  Lots and lots and lots of prayers - they do help
229.  Amazing friends who offered words of encouragement and support throughout this past month
230.  1 year old birthday parties that lighten the mood (and inlaws that made an awesome cake!)
231.  Good nurses and doctors who, even on the weekend, provided some answers and a good course of action for my dad.
232.  My dad's secretary for sharing verses for my mom and dad - can you imagine how brave she had to be to share - but I am so thankful she did, what an encouragement she was to me ;) 
233.  Thankful my dad got sick when he did, he was scheduled to go to China on Sunday
234.  Laughter and jokes - they make things a little lighter
235. Naps and Sleep - my body needs it!
236.  Family that cleaned up the whole party mess for me - THANK YOU is not enough
237.  Pneumonia (you say what?) but finding the pneumonia also found the GI issues that would have otherwise gone undetected
238.  insurance
239.  a little shopping trip with my mom before my dad got sick - so fun to spend a little time with just her
240.  Good news on my mom's surgery - despite doctor's thinking the cancer had spread - it did not - only radiation required - no chemo - that is good news!!!
241.  Good report at Vera's 1 year check - more on that to come in a blog post (I promise I will get caught up ONE of these days when things settle down)
242. Being back in our TITUS bible study at church....there are some naughty women in the bible, hope I can learn from their mistakes....have you heard of Jezebel - naughty, naughty!
243.  God's promises and knowing Him - I would not have survived this last month without my faith and resting in Him most days
244.  Our church and our family's churches that have interceded for us in prayer - my mom's cancer not spreading is an answer to prayer - it works folks!
245.  A reminder that family is so special and each moment we have with them is a gift

Nothing like a trial to pull you closer to God, see the tiny blessings, be reminded of what is important, and be so could always be worse. 

Solon memorized this verse this week and I love it too....

Nothing can seperate us from God's love.  Romans 8:39

Thank goodness that when you ask Jesus into your heart, he never lets you go....I am so thankful, He goes before us and holds our hand even when the trials come.  He never fails us...his love surpasses all understanding and for that I sing His praises!

A Year in the life of Vera Ann...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
I am going to attempt to not cry (it is really hard - I have already a few times) but my baby girl is one today.  She is all I ever asked God for in a daughter.  She is the perfect addition to our family.  Her little personality lights up the room and she can make anyone smile with her 2 toothy grin.  She is happy 99% of the time and is so busy.  She loves life and we think she is just about as perfect as perfect can be! We love you Vera Ann.  We can't wait to see all God has planned for you - but we know you will do mighty things for Him with your sweet, sweet disposition.  We love you always and forever!
Vera Ann Port
7 lbs. 3 oz
 9-12-11 5:30 PM



Happy 1st Birthday Vera!

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