Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strawberry picking.

This morning we headed out with my dear friend Anna to pick some strawberries.  I was extremely excited because this is Leeland's 1st time picking. So exciting to see his reaction to new things, and seeing him get into so many more activities as he is growing up. And after I got home this afternoon and started thinking on it a bit, I'm pretty certain that this was my 1st time actually picking strawberries too. At least I can't recall ever picking before. Sad, huh?
Anywho, other than the fact that it rained yesterday and we got a little muddy, it was pretty perfect.  Leeland got into it, and had fun picking the berries off the vine and collecting them in his little red basket.  And of course the part he really liked was the fruit of his labor, literally. We were trying to take a few photos at the end, and he was munching away at the sweet berries before we headed out.  Of course picking the biggest berries in the box to eat. He's a smart one that kid!

 Now it's on to cleaning, chopping and storing all of these delicious strawberries! I do believe we have some tasty smoothies, and strawberry bread in our future! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Leeland is 2!

Over the weekend Leeland turned 2! Holy wow! We celebrated by going to the zoo on Friday (Leeland's 1st time going), and we had a small family birthday party on Saturday. His birthday party was "choo choo" train themed in orange and blue matching this birthday invitation we ordered from Etsy.  Leeland loves all things transportation-- cars, trains, airplanes, helicopters so he really really enjoyed it.  The menu was very NC, we had BBQ, slaw, baked beans, chips, fresh fruit, pasta salad, and of course I made cupcakes for my boy.  Along with some choo choo candy pops that I made with blue and orange candy melts and a candy mold I ordered from Amazon. Here are some photos from the party--

I think he had a blast! He was showered with gifts, enjoyed some really yummy BBQ, and of course lots of sweets with cupcakes and ice cream cones and candy.  You only turn 2 once!

Also, today he had his 2 year check-up at the doctor and he is a healthy growing little boy!  He weighs 26 pounds which puts him in the 25th percentile (up from the 15th percentile at his last appointment), and he is exactly 3 feet tall in the 85th percentile for height. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Who knew?

Who knew that such a tiny person could take up so much space? We live in a quaint 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment.  We have about 900 square feet to ourselves and I'm pretty sure that calculation includes our balcony and closet spaces... the living space is much less.  We moved to this apartment when we were pregnant with Leeland in the Fall of 2009 from our 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment.  Last year when we found out that we were expecting Hayden, and our lease was up in October, we couldn't afford to even look at upgrading to a 3 bedroom.  Apartment rates are through the roof currently-- I'm told that it's due to the high demand from foreclosures.  Not to mention, with Daniel's schooling and a toddler and me being pregnant, we weren't exactly sure we had the time or energy to even try to move. 

So we were expecting #2, no big deal! And another boy, even better, they could share a room.  We set up the Pack & Play in our room knowing that he would be in our room for at least a few months, and then we would transition him to share a room with Leeland.  Leeland would transition to a "big boy" (twin) bed and Hayden would get the crib.  I cleaned out and organized Leeland's current dresser and closet to contain Hayden's clothes as well, it was going to work out perfect! .... Right?

The walls are closing in around me!!! Literally.  Now that Hayden is here, we pulled the baby swing out of storage, we have a car seat coming in and out of the house, a baby bath tub taking up the counter in the 2nd bathroom, a bouncy chair, we moved the glider from Leeland's room into the living room...... and the list goes on. Oh and please let me add, the Pack & Play in our room next to the bed-- we already had furniture on all four walls, with the Pack & Play added to the mix, I literally have 8 inches to squeeze through to get to our bathroom. Ugh!!

I feel terrible and I feel SO incredibly selfish complaining about our space.  There are so many people who are making do with much smaller spaces and larger families.... and there are so many people that don't even have a space.  But we are out growing this place.  The walls are closing in around us.  Leeland doesn't have room to run and play, I don't have room to breathe.... it just doesn't make any sense that this tiny tiny person could push us out this place.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter dear friends from our family to yours!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Coupon Update.

Since being a stay at home mom, we've had to cut our budget quite a bit, and in my New Year's resolution post I talk a little bit about being a better couponer, and trimming our grocery budget.  Since the New Year I have been keeping track of how much I'm saving with coupons and my store savings card (VIC card) at each grocery trip.  Here's a little update on what I have saved up to today! 

I will confess that I slacked off a little bit in February and early March with my couponing, we had Hayden, and were all sick for a while.... excuses, excuses. The few random grocery trips we had, it was easier to send Daniel on a quick errand.  Also, to be honest, we didn't do a whole lot of major grocery shopping during that time anyway because very friendly people were bringing us cooked meals every other night.  Gotta LOVE Food Tidings!!

To date, we have saved $147.57 with coupons alone!!!
And we have saved $308.13 with our VIC card!!!

$455.70 saved thus far!!!

Dying Easter Eggs

Yesterday, Leeland died Easter eggs for the 1st time! And come to think of it, it's Daniel and I's first time dying Easter eggs together as well.  We waited until close to bath time to do it because we knew there was a big chance it could get messy.  We also put a disposable diaper on him, and no other clothes (not risking dying one of my fancy cloth dipes. Haha!) And of course, we kept everything outdoors on our balcony.  Leeland had a lot of fun! He liked to dip the eggs in all of the colors, making some new interesting colors-- we thankfully only had 1 egg turn out brown. And he also insisted that the eggs, be in dye at ALL times, when Daniel and I would declare one finished and put it back in the carton, he would pick it back out and throw it in another color.  It was a lot of fun! See here:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Free Cone Day.

 Today is Ben & Jerry's free cone day!  They essentially give out 1 scoop of ice cream per person, you choose a cup or a cone and they have buckets for you to make a donation to charity.  My understanding is that they choose different charities each year, though I'm not really sure.  This year, the money was going to the local Children's Museum. 

Free cone day lasts from 12-8 at our local Ben & Jerry's but there's always a wait and a long line, so I wanted us to get there early to try to avoid that.  Getting there early, essentially meant that Leeland was having ice cream for lunch.  For the record, we have never substituted a meal for ice cream or cake or any other sweet before, so this one time, I didn't think it would hurt.  Plus, I have to admit, it was kind of fun breaking the "rules".  This may become a yearly tradition for us!

Leeland made a TOTAL mess, so I just have to share a few photos from our lunch.  We had a blast!!! And bodies and clothes can be washed, so I wasn't bothered by the mess. 

First Easter Egg Hunt.

We recently purchased a family membership to the local Children's Museum. It's a birthday present for Leeland a little early, and a present for Mommy too because letting him run some energy out there keeps Mommy somewhat sane since Hayden was born.  Mondays are "members only Monday" and they always offer little events along with a special weekly sing and dance time.  Yesterday, they had an Easter egg hunt.  I picked up some Easter eggs a couple weeks ago for Leeland in hopes of teaching him what a hunt is all about-- he just enjoys opening and closing them.  With that said, the hunt yesterday was fun, but he didn't last long.  We found about 7 eggs and then got distracted with some Tonka trucks and called it quits.  There were special eggs marked with a heart or a star though, and if you found one, you got a prize.  One of the 7 eggs he found, was a star egg and he got a Dr. Seuss Horton stuffed animal.
So apparently Leeland is always scared of Santa, but not of the Easter bunny! At least Santa has a face!
On a hunt!

Can't resist a Tonka truck!
And a pic just for fun... enjoying the Fire Truck.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What if?

It wasn't until I became a Mother did I ever worry about, "what if something happened to me?" I'm not talking about the after-life or what will happen to me, because I happen to believe in a wonderful Savior and I know there will be a party in Heaven.  What I am referring to, is what happens to those around me?  More importantly, my children.  You see, I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to my children-- I don't get away from them much and when I do, I definitely don't leave them for long.  It's not that I don't trust people, I just want things done my way and to ensure that, I do it myself. 

I find myself worrying often about who will raise the kids, what big events I will miss in their lives (graduations, weddings... etc.)  I do many of the household chores that involve the children such as washing their diapers and clothes.  At one point in time, I had even considered writing down exact instructions of how to wash and care for their diapers for Daniel just in case.

To many, this sort of anxiety may seem extremely unusual and really quite morbid, but for me it's very real.  My Mom passed away just before my 8th birthday.  She had breast cancer.  She missed many of the big events in my life, and sadly because I was so young when she passed, I really don't have a whole lot of memories of our time together.  Many of the times that I do remember are when she was sick. 

With all of that said, I recently started journaling to the boys.  I have two leather journals- 1 for each of them.  I'm just filling the journals up with memories, and essentially letters to them.  I date each letter and end them with an "I love you."  My hope, is that when I am gone from the Earth, it can be a reminder to them of how much they mean to me.  It will be filled with the memories that they themselves may not remember for being too young, or too much time passing. I don't write in their journals everyday, but they do contain some milestones, and funny stories.  The hope is that when they are of age, I will be able to give them the journals myself, but if something happens, Daniel will pass them along and I hope that they will cherish each and every letter from the past.