Monday, November 5, 2018

Soccer Shots!

It's no secret that Nathan loves kicking a ball around, so when I found out there is a little kids soccer program that starts at age 2, I was really intrigued! I found out about Soccer Shots right before we headed out to Albuquerque, so I signed Nathan up for the fall season. What I love about it is that they focus on teaching them skills on their level. Each kid gets their own ball to practice with. There aren't any games where they run around in a herd around the ball (even though that's terribly cute). I just love that it was on his level and he learned age appropriate skills, and left still loving soccer! We'll for sure be signing him up again.

One of the skill they learned was "control", where they stand on the ball with one foot. (I'm a total soccer novice, so I learned along with him!)

Nathan following instructions!!

They played fun little games where they would kick the ball around and try to knock down the cones. The tricky part for the cute little kids was not using their hands!! Nathan was really getting the hang of it there at the end.

At the end of each practice they would get a turn shooting a goal. It was probably Nathan's favorite part. He always looked so proud of himself when the ball went in!

We had the best time watching Nathan play soccer, and I loved that he loved it too. Soccer Shots is a great program if you're looking for an age appropriate way to teach your little kids soccer! I believe it goes from age 2-8. I can't recommend it enough! 

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Halloween Cuties

Last year I was holding a newborn baby while Nathan went trick-or-treating for his first time! This year I had a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and it was kind of the best. Holidays seriously just get more and more fun with kids! And now that Nathan's older I'm much more inclined to be fun and create fun traditions. I love making the day feel special!

The Saturday before Halloween we had a trunk-or-treat at the church. I went back and forth on if I should decorate the car, and at the last minute I decided it would be cool to decorate it with glow sticks! So I ran to the dollar store and bought candy and almost all the glow sticks they had, and ended up getting to the parking lot late, so I was frantically taping up glow sticks randomly, and the tape kept falling off, and it wasn't even dark enough to see them glow and really... it was a disaster hahaha. Next year! Next year I'll be prepared! (maybe.)

Nathan went as Cat Boy from PJ Masks. His friends Brynlee and Benson were Owlette and Gekko, and they looked adorable running around together! Mia was a whale, because she has a whale beanie, and it was perfect for her. She didn't go trick or treating this year... but I can't wait to see her little legs toddling down the sidewalk next year!

I love how in these pictures Nathan looks almost exactly the same in all of them, but Mia keeps changing. They are so fun together!

And here's all the PJ Masks together!

I hope you all had a wonderful, safe Halloween! Here's to next year with more planning and preparation, and even more candy. :)

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Amelia is One!

This is Amelia. (Mia, for short.)

She's lived on this earth for one whole year!

She's pretty happy about it.

At one year, Amelia is completely delightful. She brings sunshine and rainbows in to every room she enters. She'll happily give a huge smile to anyone who looks at her, and she'll be your best friend without hesitation. No matter where we go, she manages to make a new friend. She loves exploring, and crawls really fast to any location! She pulls herself up to standing on anything or anyone, and cruises along things with grace. She practices walking every now and then with us, but she seems to still be happy with her efficiency at crawling.

She also refuses to keep socks on, and since having her I have received more mommy judging than ever before. (Won't keep her socks on when it's cold, won't keep her hat on when it's sunny, etc.)

She is starting to babble a lot more, and I've heard her say a couple words. (I base this off of if she says it more than once, in the correct context. Dadadada does not count as a word in my mind haha.) She says hi, yay, night-night, and ooh! any time she sees something she loves haha. Maybe it's more of a sound, but she says it literally all the time when she gets excited about stuff and it's the cutest. She also still really enjoys screeching and screaming like a banshee, especially when she's tired.

Mia has the cutest little personality. She's super friendly, happy and active. She loves trying new things, and she knows what will make us ooh and ah over her. She's starting to try to be funny on purpose. She loves to "rawr" at us. She learned this from her dad and brother who have been roaring at her since she was born... I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a boy thing. When she does something correctly and you cheer for her, she gives you either a happy dance, or her smug face.

Amelia is very curious. She wants to touch everything and eat everything and know how it all works. I'm constantly pulling things out of her mouth or moving her away from things I don't want her to get in to. This is the opposite of Nathan. With Nathan I could tell him to stop something, and he would immediately stop. If I tell Mia no, or stop, she smiles at me and continues doing what she wants to do. I may have my work cut out for me.

She's a little bit tall, and kind of a lightweight (I may add her actual stats tomorrow after her doctors appointment) and I love it. She had a kidney checkup the other day and it was good news! The cysts on her kidney have started shrinking, so they will likely disappear with a little more time. Her body is perfect and smart!

Our Baby Mia has brought joy to our lives since the day she was born. I was so nervous about adding another person to our family, but she fits in just right! She's the perfect addition in every way and we can't imagine life without her. I love her beautiful blue eyes, the way she purses her lips, her cubby neck, her long legs, and most especially her big heart and smile. She is our little princess and our wonder baby. Here's to more good years to come!

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patches, oh my!

A little over a week ago (what?! I'm finally caught up on the blog!) I took the kids to a local apple orchard with some friends. I had heard great things about this place and I was not disappointed! The trees were low enough to the ground that the kids could happily pick apples by themselves, and they had fun filling up their little baskets. I ended up getting a bag of apples, theeee most amazing apple dumpling scented candle, and a half gallon of apple cider. If you know me, you know I am passionate about my apple cider. Apple cider from the store is ok, but the good stuff is made from local apple orchards. It's worth the extra money 100%. Alex doubted me, but we had the good stuff, and then the store bought for a test, and he is totally on the same page now! I really want to go back and buy a full gallon or two haha, it was that good! (Oh, and if you're in Logan, Utah, go buy some Zollinger's cider. Ignore the $$ because it is the best you'll ever taste!)

Then, just this past Tuesday we made an appointment to check out one of the Purdue farms, and they let us pick as many apples and pumpkins as we wanted! It was cool to see all they are working on out there, and it was good to snag some more apples. (I made homemade crockpot applesauce with the others and it was so good!) All of their pumpkins were perfect carving pumpkins, and we ended up snagging some cute little gourds as well. It was fun to have some pumpkins to decorate my porch with!

 Somehow in packing to head to the farm, Amelia's jacket didn't make it in to the diaper bag, so she's wearing one of Nathan's coats I had in the car haha.

 It's very nice to have some tall dads!

I told Nathan to "look cool" haha

After picking pumpkins and apples, we headed back to to Cummock's house for dinner and carving! (Dinner wasn't always part of the plan, Whitney is just super nice and cooked for all of us!) I found this pumpkin carving video on facebook a few days before, and Whitney and I were determined to use the tips despite husband skepticism. We felt like all the tips were worthwhile, although we did forget to try taking out pumpkin guts with hand beaters!

Some days I can't wait for grad school to be over and get started on the next chapter of our lives, but most days I'm really happy right where we are. We're so lucky to have such good friends to make memories with, and I love watching our kids play together! I'm all about making the most of wherever you are in life, and it's pretty easy to do so when you're surrounded by good people.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

What's Up At Home - Our Daily Life!

Reading this blog you would think we only go on vacations!! The past 6 months have definitely been full of adventure and travel, but now things are starting to slow down. It's funny to look at my calendar from this year because from January to April almost every day is full of something to do, and then from May-August it's only the weekends that are full (hello to having no friends or obligations in Albuquerque!) and September and October are completely full again! So what have we been up to??

We've been going back to story time at the library and I've been convinced that nothing explains my children's personalities better - Nathan, sitting right next to me. Amelia, climbing in to some random woman's lap and meeting new kids.

I signed Nathan up for soccer! If you have read any of my updates on him, you know he's been kicking a ball better than me since the moment he could walk. There is the cutest program called Soccer Shots (I'll link it so you can check it out if you're interested!) and they start at 2 years old! They run and play games and each kid has their own ball to practice with. They don't have any soccer games where they run around chasing the ball, which is fine by me. Nathan is learning actual skills! At first I had him in the class for 3-5 year olds, but it quickly became apparent he wasn't comfortable with so many older kids, so I moved him to the 2/young 3 class. He has been thriving ever since! It's so cute to watch him try his best and learn new things.

We also started a co-op Joy School with some friends, and Nathan has been loving that as well! It's also been fun for me to put my teacher hat back on every few weeks. Makes me remember why I liked it!

I'm in charge of the playgroup at my church, and it's been such a blast for me to organize activities! I've never been much of an organizer - if you want to plan something, you can count on me to show up! But I've never liked being in charge. Until now! It's been so fun to create an atmosphere where all the women feel welcome, and it's been a blast to get to know all these beautiful people! A few weeks ago we went to Exploration Acres and all the kids got to pick out a little pumpkin. It was a huge hit!

Also a couple weeks ago, my friend Annie and I went to an event at the Indianapolis Children's Museum where we got a sneak preview of their haunted house exhibit! The kids weren't huge fans of the haunted house haha (they were mostly confused), but afterward we got to play wherever we wanted in the museum so that was a huge perk! I do have to say that the haunted house was very creative and fun, and if you live near Indianapolis you should go check it out! We ended up spending most of our time in the little toddler play space they have. It is perfect, and if I lived closer I would have a museum pass just to go there!

While Nathan was napping, Amelia and I did a photoshoot for her 11 month pictures, and also for her new magazine! We got the opportunity to collaborate with Highlight Magazine (do you remember that from childhood??) and it's the cutest! They make a new one just for babies 0-2 years of age, and it's the perfect size for them to hold, plus it's made out of this non-ripping material so Amelia can chew on it all day if she wants and it won't get damaged. It has cute little poems and stories, and I just think it's the best idea. Mia loves reading, and if you bring out a book she starts bouncing up and down and squealing, so it makes her very happy when a magazine comes in the mail! As far as collaborations go, I try to make a point of only accepting things that I actually need/or will actually fit seamlessly into our lives. I've been really happy with this one! I would totally recommend it to my friends, or as a good gift for a baby shower or something!

So that's what we've been up to lately! It's been so good to be back here in Lafayette. When we moved to Albuquerque, Nathan got really shy and reclusive. It made me really sad to see how much he missed his home here and his friends. I wasn't expecting it at all! Now that we've been back and he's got more involved with friends and activities he has totally opened back up, and will talk to anyone and happily tries new things. It's been so good.

Yesterday before Joy School I got Nathan all bundled up because they were going to be outside and he said, "oh wow, I look pretty cool!" and it was the best :)

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