Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunny and 70 - finally

A beautiful sunny and 70 degree day meant we were outside all day - riding bikes and having a picnic lunch with cousins, buying and planting lots of flowers and a little garden (zinnias, marigolds, swiss chard, carrots, pumpkins, basil and sage) and eating dinner on the deck.  We are all tired and covered with dirt - head to toes.

So, in quick news:

  • Hadley had her 3 year appointment - she's a happy, smart and healthy girl (except for another ear infection) - stats:  height - 37 inches (51st percentile) and weight - 32 lbs (65th percentile)
  • Hadley started soccer this week - she did so awesome and had so much fun that she cried when we had to leave because she wanted to keep playing 
  • Grandma and Grandpa Gray left Saturday morning - back to Arizona.  We're so happy and thankful they were here for a visit.  
Mike is the only one that took a picture this week.  Here is it!

Miles and Hadley LOVE to have books read to them.  It was a running joke that they would always pick out the longest books with the weirdest words when Grandpa Gray read to them.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May Celebrations

After a long winter, May has been full of celebrations and sunshine.  I'm going to pack a lot into this post since we've had a busy two weeks!  

Cinco de Mayo
The start of May meant playing outside, riding bikes and eating the first Popsicles of the season out on the deck.  Miles learned about Cinco de Mayo at school and came home with a homemade pinata.  This was a huge hit and I'm so glad I captured some of the pure joy that a brown paper bag filled with candy can bring to our household.

Any sunny day that we have free time these two are riding around and around the cul-de-sac.  Miles is getting so good on his two-wheeler that his speed and daring ("mom, watch this trick - I'm riding with one leg!") makes us yell "slow down" and "don't crash into each other!"  Writing this makes me realize that family bike rides are in our very near future!

I realized that Ruby hasn't made an appearance lately.  She enjoys the sunshine too.
Mike's parents, Mike and Mariann, are staying with us for a couple of weeks and we're really happy that they are here.  Mariann took the kids' enthusiasm for the homemade pinata and threw us a Cinco de Mayo party - complete with tacos, jumping beans, maracas, jalapeno headbands and margaritas.

Mariann's Birthday
May 8th we celebrated Mariann's birthday with lots of deliveries that we all enjoyed (chocolate covered strawberries, an edible arrangement, and flowers), dinner and drinks at Houlihans, and cupcakes.  Miles and Hadley are thrilled anytime birthday cake is involved.  They love celebrating just as much as I do.

The kids are getting to spend a lot of quality time with this set of grandparents.  During the day they read lots of books, play outside (as long as it's warm enough outside for Grandpa Gray), help grandma with mending projects around the house, and even work on the Ford.

Hadley's Birthday
It doesn't seem that long ago that I was sitting down to write a blog post about the birth of my beautiful 9 1/2 pound baby girl!  Now, here we are celebrating her third birthday.  Here's our conversation when we were planning her birthday festivities:

  • me: what do you want for your birthday?
  • Hads: candy.
  • me: what kind of cake do you want?
  • Hads: candy.
  • me: what do you want to do at your party?
  • Hads: eat candy
So we threw a pink princess and candy themed party.  For the record, festivities included: a pinata (yes, filled with candy), a balloon drop, a fill-your-own-bag-of-candy bar, gifts, dinner - the menu was planned by Hadley and included macaroni and cheese, carrot sticks, and grapes, along with singing and a cake.

When I asked Hadley who she wanted to invite to her party she said "my cousins, grandma and grandpas, my aunties and uncles and the ladies."  The ladies are the wonderful women who help us raise our children when we are at work!  We had a full house - the love for us and Miles and Hadley is great - we're very blessed.

Doreen and MacKenzie
Darcy and Tia
Grandma and Grandpa Gray
The Sievers
The Nickolays
Nancy and Jon
Grandma and Grandpa Nickolay

The candy bar

What else can lively 4-year old little boys do at a pink princess party but put on crowns, grab a wand and a power drill and perform magic tricks for everyone.

 At three, Hadley Rose loves:

  • candy
  • Hugglemonsters
  • playing dolls
  • riding her bike
  • macaroni and cheese
  • her brother
  • putting on "tubestick" (chapstick)
  • reading books
  • going out for pizza
  • playing at the park
  • her cousins
  • bubbles
  • puzzles
  • to dance and sing
  • parties
She is exuberant, assertive and lively.  One minute she is letting everyone know exactly what she wants and the next minute she is fiercely loving and sweet.  This girl keeps us on our toes.  Her laugh is like a special prize - when we hear it - we know she is genuinely happy and it makes us laugh too.  Look out three - because here Hadley comes!

(Ok, again for the record because this blog truly is our family record at this point...)  Here's what Hadley got for her birthday (and she loves it all!)  A scooter, baseball glove, little toy kittens, puzzle, paint dobbers, a book, sewing kit, bike basket and bike bell, water bottle, tiaras and a wand, a kite, mirror, headband, brush, a matching game and princess craft kit, a doll stroller, a leotard, a princess art kit and magnetic dress-up dolls.  

She's a very lucky girl.  Thank you so much for everyone that celebrated with us - we had so much fun.  

Mother's Day
Today was Mother's Day and boy do I love being a mama.  Mike and I had both of our moms here to celebrate with us.  We went to church and brunch as a group of 16 and although chaotic - I wouldn't trade it.  
My favorite moments of the day after our official party were taking a walk with Miles and Hadley to the park.  On the way, Miles kept picking dandelions and giving them to me - each time saying "here's a flower mommy because I love you so much!"  I also loved just sitting quietly watching the kids circle around the cul-de-sac on their bikes.  They are so full of life and energy and their smiles make me smile and appreciate our life everyday.  I am very blessed and thankful.

I always like to commemorate these celebrations with lots of photos.  I think Hadley was starting to feel photo fatigue after her party yesterday.  There are always a lot of rare pictures taken.

Us with my mom
Mike with his mom and the kids

Me and my lovely mom and siblings - I'm so happy we were all together!

Attempts at cousin pictures just make me laugh...

At brunch

After a weekend of parties and dressing up - this is just me with my wonderful children (and a garden gnome).

Being a mom is all about being loving and patient and compassionate. "Love is not about what other people say or do, it is about who you are and how you want to show up in life.  Choose to be loving."

I'm so grateful to have had a loving mother in my life, see loving mothers in my mother-in-law, aunts, friends, sister and sisters-in-law.  And I'm so grateful to have the privilege of guiding these two special souls in this life.

Happy Mother's Day all!