Archive for February 2016

Life of Lucy Violet: 8 Months Old...

Monday, February 29, 2016
2/3 of a year gone by in a blink of an eye.  Toots, you are just too much for my heart sometimes.  People ask us all the time, "Is she always this chill and happy?"  The answer is YES!  You only cry when someone harasses you one too many times (cough cough big siblings ;) or you are hungry and even then its more of a whine cry.  You only REALLY cry when you bonk your head by falling from seated position or when you were on your tummy BUT yay you don't mind it anymore now that you roll off it in 1 second ;)!  Your smile can make our heart sing, you are growing more curious by the day and are so proud of yourself and all your big new tricks.  We love you so much and are just so happy you are ours.   Now let's hope that last 1/3 of the year SLOWS WAY DOWN (chances are not good!).  Let's see what you are up to in month 8...

  • Took your first airplane ride to Florida and dipped your tootsies in the sand and surf.  You were a great traveler on the plane, in the airport and at the beach.  You took naps in arms and in your carseat and by day 3 on the beach, you tolerated the water on your toes and you were trying to take handfuls of sand and shovel it into your mouth (good fiber ;)!
  • You sit up all on your own and like to take toys out of your basket.
  • You bop up and down to music and LOVE to be sung to.
  • You can copy kissing a doll.  Mommy kisses a doll and then I say "kiss the doll" and you open mouth kiss the doll.  We have not gotten you to kiss us willingly yet ;)!
  • You can clap your hands.
  • You drool a lot but no more teeth, just the same bottom teeth.
  • We have finally got the solid food GI issues figured out.  Apple prunes to the rescue...I miss non-solid food diapers.
  • You go to bed around 7:30pm-8pm and generally wake yourself up at 11pm and 3am.  We don't feed you anymore but have to soothe you a bit.  We are hoping this is short-lived.  You get up for the day happy around 7-7:30am.
  • After we got home from Florida, we started breakfast with you.  A little cereal mixed in with apple prunes, applesauce or pears so far.  (we have 4 more new fruits to try in month 9 - exciting)
  • We have covered all the vegetables at this point and you tolerate them all, but of course you like the orange veggies best.  We are now doing combos and you eat it all.  If we don't feed you fast enough, you let us know.
  • You like to eat puffs on your own now, and my mother's helper is always quick to tell me if you shovel them into your mouth TOO fast.  We got you 2 new flavors and you really like those too.
  • Still working on drinking out of a zippy cup, you like nursing best these days and we still nurse about every 3.5 hours for a total of 5 times)
  • Got your 2nd flu shot and cried for about 10 seconds and then were fine.  The nurse and I couldn't believe it, you tough girl you!  I almost cried longer than that as your mommy!
  • Still wearing size 3 diapers, size 3-6 month shoes and size 6-12 month clothes.  You still have a longer torso and shorter legs (sorry girl both mom and dad gave you that).
  • You get so excited to see your family now and will make squeals and smile so big and flail your arms.
  • You are very attached to your white blanket and like your pacifier too.
  • You have settled into the gym and church nurseries (so far no stranger danger!)
  • You push up in a downward dog and then push back on your arms to scoot backwards and around the clock but still haven't figured out all 4's or forward motion.  You roll from your tummy to back but why would you want to roll back on to your tummy?!
  • You are trying so hard to get back up to sitting when you topple over but can't quite yet.
  • Still loves to sit and play with toys, jump in the jumparoo, look at books, be entertained by your siblings or hang on mom's lap while we tote the other 2 places.
  • Love to make BIG splashes in the bath these days and don't mind water poured on your head.  You had baths with the bigs on vacation and you were so perplexed.  
We all love you to the moon and back and you are growing like a weed.  We don't have any official measurements this month but you are happy and healthy!  Next month another plane ride and your first Easter with cousins.  It should be a really fun month.   

Happy 8 months Lucy Lou! :)

Snapshots from the Beach {Anna Maria Island 2016}

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I love the beach
The beach loves me
We are content as can be

{Anna Maria Island 2016}

Father-Daughter Dance 2016...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The Porter's asked if Scott and Vera would again like to attend the father-daughter dance at their church and when asked, Vera was ready to get dressed that very second :).  She picked Chick FilA for their dinner date first and was dressed and ready a good 2 hours before Daddy arrived home.  She helped me pick out his attire too and we even applied a little bit of mommy's lip gloss and powder for the special event.  She was smitten.
Are they not the cutest, oh my heart :)

Daddy even brought her home purple flowers, her favorite color and she was inspecting them...

They met up with Maleah and Justin, enjoyed their chicken and then headed off for a night of fun.  Scott texted and said they spent the majority of the time crafting a bracelet and coloring in the craft room, did a little dancing while he carried her and spent time at the snack table too :).  Vera was all smiles and full of details when they arrived home.  Solon opted out of a date with me in favor of a date with his best friend Max.  We took pizza to their house and had dinner together and the boys played.  It was a fun night for everyone :)

SNOW DAY 2016...

Monday, February 15, 2016
The weather has been pretty mild this winter but we knew a storm was brewing over night after the Caucses causing heavy wet snow and high winds.  The odds were in our favor we would have a snow day and now that we have Solon in school, I got the ceremonial auto call at 5:45am...and then I had to try to go back to bed.  We enjoyed it to the fullest, staying in jammies, snuggling, playing and hanging out :).  A good snow day is a winter made!

We started out playing calico critters and legos...

Some of us bounced around and mommy did a youtube workout in the living room ;)

I worked out so I could enjoy our next project -- cleaning out the freezer of leftover bananas.  Note the pan was half empty by the end of the day -- banana chocolate chip mini muffins don't last long around here.  We all had fun baking together!

We played a few rounds of games with Solon including his favorite to beat me at (Catan Jr) before he retired to the basement to play basketball while Vera and I played a few rounds of CandyLand and Go Fish!  Yes she is wearing shorts, she is hot-blooded!

We then went out and shoveled and played wit the neighbors, it wasn't that cold and the wind and snow died down shortly after lunch.  The snow was heavy so I quickly rethought my gesture to shovel for Scott, he had to finish a little bit when he got home!  We enjoyed hot chocolate and a warm cozy meal to complete the fun day at home :). 

Happy Snow Day -- wonder if February and March will bring any more?

A Caucus-ing we will go...

Saturday, February 13, 2016
February 1st was an opportunity to let our voices be heard in a country founded on democracy where "we the people" get to cast our votes!  We packed up the kids, headed to our precinct, along with A LOT of other people, to hear representatives for each candidate share why we should vote for them.  The whole process took about 2 hours but we brought iPad and snack reinforcements so we all did just fine!
The line to register...we saw lots of our neighbors which was fun in the middle of winter :)

The Port Family of 5 ready to caucus!

Just hanging out...

Eric Trump (Donald's son) spoke at our precinct...better hair but didn't sway our vote ;)

I shared with my bible study ladies, why we should as christians get out and let our voices be is a snippet!

God placed Esther in position to save God's people, her people from imminent destruction. God's will would be done but Esther had an opportunity to be part of the solution, part of God's plan. She could have shrunk back saying the task was too difficult (it surely was, she could have lost her head) but she had faith that God would do His part if she simply did hers. 
Esther 4:14 says ...(Mordecai speaking) For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
What a moment for Esther, she had the opportunity to make a difference and stand up to the opposition for God. Let me take a leap... 
Isn't Iowa amazing? For another 24 hours the media will tout how amazing our great state is and I couldn't agree more. We have been given a gift to allow our voices to be heard for this great nation of 320 million souls. In the midst of countless phone calls, door knocks that wake sleeping babes, more kindling for the fire than needed I lose sight of what this means. Can God use little ol' Iowa to set the tone of this election? 
But it takes us to each do our part. Millions around the world live under oppressive governments where their say doesn't matter but we were born in a country where OUR voice does count IF we get out and vote. 
I know its hard especially with little ones but what an opportunity to share that God has commanded us to do our part to protect the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on, to defend our beliefs and make sure their generation is able to freely worship and share God.
Get out and caucus...its both a privilege and a responsibility.

So glad we went and caucus-ed...we had some good discussions with Solon about our rights and responsibilities :)  Now to wait and vote in November!

Life Lately: January 2016 in Photos...

Thursday, February 11, 2016
 January tends to be a quiet month around our house, after a very busy end of the year celebrating Christmas and visiting with family.  My parents headed back to Pennsylvania, Scott's parents headed south and our calendar was wide open for opportunities to see friends, hang at home, and hibernate.  I always enjoy a few down weekends after the hustle and bustle and embrace January pretty well.  By the end of January, I am always itching for spring...

This year our property taxes kicked in (Ouch!) so we instituted no spend January...I like things black and white but this was a "grey" area in which we tried our very best to save, save, save especially knowing we had two trips to see grandparents in the coming months.  We were able to successfully save more than we budgeted so although it wasn't a complete "no spend" January, we called it a success!  It has prompted us to keep our budget up on the computer all the time so we can input our expenditures and see where we are throughout the month.  To stay on budget is a goal for February too :).   Let's let the pictures do the talking...
Solon has become a Seattle Seahawks fan.  He was gifted a Seahawks football at my sister's wedding from my Aunt Lynne (who lives in WA) and now has become a fan -- who knew you could win him over with a ball, my dad blew it (but just wait :).

We made a tradition in January to make homemade pizza and have family room picnics while watching NFL football and trash talk texting Grandpa when his teams were was all in good fun!  The kids loved making their own mini pizzas, and a good budget friendly meal.

The infamous football...

We didn't have as much running to do in January which gave Lucy the opportunity to nap more at home (especially on Monday and Friday when we stayed in all day).  Vera and I got to do some fun things like craft, cook, bake, play games (she especially loved Guess Who? this month) and of course paint our nails :).

Vera is my mother's helper -- she takes good care of Solon and Lucy.  She was so brave helping Lucy get her 6 month shots...such sweet sisters :)

Vera was so excited to finally go with mommy on a date to get her dance things for her class that started in February.  She has been bugging us to do a class and they have a sweet lady who teaches at a local church and so we signed her up for the spring session, after 1 class, she asked if she could go everyday!  I had fun spoiling her with a pink sparkly tutu and watching her eyes glitter as the salesperson tried on the ballet and tap shoes she needed.  Grandma purchased her a dance bag for Christmas so she got it all ready to go and asked everyday if it was time yet :)...

We had some snow in January.  One night we were supposed to get an inch and it turned into more.  We had gone to swimming lessons 30 minutes away and essentially got stuck there as the interstates were bumper to number SO we broke the no spend January rule and ate at Chick Fila.  It was a fun little snow day adventure and we had the place to ourselves...the kids enjoyed playing and Scott and I could chat for a minute before heading home with a bit less traffic.

The bigs were invited to a friends church for AWANA which meant Lucy was the only child for the night.  We didn't know what to do with just her and she didn't know what to do with the silence but Daddy enjoyed some one on one time for sure :).

Lucy continues to struggle in the sleep department.  Given all 3 of my children have struggled and 2 have now successfully outgrown needing mommy at all times in the night -- I know this too shall pass.  Some nights I am just so tired by 4am that she comes and finishes the night in our king bed.  She snuggles right in and then sleeps in...which means I can get a quick shower in some mornings!
I was looking for a switch up in my workout routine and wanted something efficient given Lucy doesn't always love being at the gym nursery for too long (despite sweet workers who have had all my kids since they were babies).  So I started the Couch to 5K again.  It actually worked out well because a little girl in our church, Leilani, who received a heart transplant back in October needed to gain strength so her mom asked workout warriors to work out with her.  She keeps me motivated.  I am going a little slower than the target but I am just about wrapped up with week 5 of 8 weeks!  I hope it warms up sooner than later so I can do my longer runs outside!

We broke the rules again and celebrated an award Solon got at school.  He is on the hall of fame currently and I am all for rewarding hard work and great behavior :)  So we let him choose and surprise of surprises, he chose mexican!  It was Lucy's first time "eating out" with her food in a high chair...she did ok ;).

January also meant food for Lucy.  At 6 months it was time.  She still only eats one meal a day at dinner time.  After our trips coming up we will introduce more but I am not in a big hurry.  She loves her orange veggies best (even over fruit).

I was so excited about my super cheap fill up I took a picture.  Nearly 16 gallons of gas for $18 and change.  I use the HyVee fuel program and gas is cheap -- this definitely doesn't hurt our budget.  I think I was in college the last time gas was this cheap!

We face timed Grandma and Grandpa in Pennsylvania and Ellen was in Seattle condo-hunting for their upcoming move and between 2 iPhones we were all together.  Technology for this kind of stuff makes me very very happy!  I am still pouting that she is moving so far away...we are going to miss her!

We have lots of fun at home and Vera LOVES to match her sister.  Grandma is so good at finding them matching clothes, she just sent another care package with 2 matching spring outfits.  Blessed little fashionistas :).

Lucy spends a lot of time with her basket of toys these days...

One Saturday morning at home, Solon decided to pull ALL of his stuffed animals out and make a zoo.  He made signs and fences and sorted them all over the family room.  We all enjoyed a trip to the exotic Solon zoo.  My favorite was the "Afrcan Green Sheep".  He came up with it all on his own :).

Now remember I said Solon was won over by a football to the Seahawks, well Grandpa is a Steelers and Vikings fan...he mailed the kids a fun care package of a new Vikings dress for Vera, a Seahawks AND vikings jersey for Solon and shortly after that all of our favorite teams were out of the playoffs but they had fun wearing it to our Super Bowl party we hosted for the neighbors!

The last weekend in January, we tallied the numbers and were WAY under budget -- yippee!  Scott and I attended a marriage conference at a local church with Paul Tripp.  It was SO good and we both learned a lot.  To reward the kids for being so good at a new church and celebrating a great budget month, we decided to have a fun family date in Ames!  We told them it was a fun surprise and they were excited when we arrived.  We bowled first (I came in last, I should have used the bumpers), ordered some appetizers, and then played arcade games.  It was a really fun way to spend a cold January Saturday!

Lucy even got to take a spin on the little carousel, Solon was so sweet holding.  They also had a seatbelt so she was safe ;).

We ended the month with unseasonably warm weather so we took full advantage of avoiding the car line (which I have a love-hate relationship with) and walked to pick Solon up!  The kids asked to play for a bit in the sun so we did :).

In addition to all the pictured activities, we enjoyed catching up with our friends the Livingston's in Adel for dinner and fun, as well as dinner at the Porter's and we also invited some friends to our house too for dinner and hanging out.  We all enjoyed a fun, relaxing month of January.

February has already been full of fun visitors, Valentines, and and an upcoming trip to the ocean!  Life with 3 littles keeps me busy and lack of sleep, keeps me away from the blog more than I would like but I love reminiscing about our months.  The days do seem long but then the months zip right by!  

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