Monday, May 11, 2009

We Did It!!

I did something on Saturday that I never thought I could do. I participated in my first 5k. I have to say that I had a lot of fun and it felt awesome to cross the finish line. I ran a little and walked fast the rest and was excited about my time as I finished faster than the goal I'd set.

Jon's Run & Stroll was held at Brackenridge Park and started shortly after a memorial balloon release by those who have lost children or been touched by the loss of a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There were a lot of teams in matching shirts with info or pics of a child who had passed away due to SIDS. It was fun for me to see so many groups of people come together in memory of someone they loved. I also loved to see the young kids participating in the race with their parents.

Saturday was also Birth Mother's Day (the day prior to Mother's Day) and so I thought about our sweet birth mother as I had my thoughts to myself while I worked my way through the course. How blessed my life has been because of her unselfishness and love!!

I have been motivated all spring by my awesome friends. Check out the before and after pics of us below. I'm looking forward to the next time - though it's probably going to be a few months since it's getting too hot here :-))


After - We Did It!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where Is the Time Going?

Kaitlyn turned 18 months on March 5!! And we celebrated the anniversary of her sealing on March 8!! I know it sounds so cliche, but I cannot help but ask "where has the time gone?" I sometimes like to gather my little girl up and cradle her like she's a little baby and ask her if she'll be Mama's baby . . . that usually lasts for all of about one second as Kaitlyn would much rather be running and exploring. More than once it's been said to me "she just never sits still does she". The answer to that is NOPE!!

Kaitlyn has truly been a joy to us and Jeff and I can't imagine life without her. What a miracle that she is part of our family!! A few things she enjoys at 18 months:
  • Doing it herself. Be it eating, reading, or playing, Kaitlyn likes to do it herself. I've worked out a few tricks with eating and know that if I give her a fork to hold and me a fork to hold I can sometimes get a few bites of more than just crumbs into her mouth. Doesn't always work . . . sometimes she wants to hold both utinsels - one in each hand. (A little beside the point, she's actually a little bit ambidextrous.) She wants to eat whatever Jeff and I are eating. For example, last night I was eating my highly nutritious & healthy dinner of Chik-Fil-A and Kaitlyn wanted some. Happy to share, I fixed her up with her own nuggets and fries, but little missy wasn't happy until she too had her own dipping sauce which she proceeded to eat (straight sauce and nothing else) with a spoon and then her finger once Daddy took away the spoon. She likes to turn the pages of her own books so there's no sitting on Mom's lap to read, she sits on her own chair and I sit on mine and read out loud while she looks at a different book and turns her own pages. Brushing her teeth is another thing she loves so long as she gets to do it herself. But when Mom takes over to scrub, the mouth closes and that's it.
  • Climbing. Onto the barstools, up the stairs, down the stairs, onto the counter, onto the table, onto the piano bench (thankfully not any further there). Pretty much nothing stops her. She likes to try to climb the gate I have at the entrance to our family room. So far she stops when we tell her no, but I'm sure some day she'll figure it out. I've seen her get her leg up to try to climb out of the crib, but she's still a little too short - though at 35+ inches it won't be much longer until she figures it out.
  • Playing outside. Though winter was mild, with spring has come beautiful weather. Kaitlyn likes to walk outside, play in the grass, and loves the playground. She goes up and down the slides, rope ladders, and climbing walls.
  • Her babies. She is a good Mommy who will carry her doll around loving and kissing her. She'll also feed her bottles and with a spoon.
  • The computer. Kaitlyn thinks that the funnest thing ever is to play with the mouse on the computer. So we've taken to moving every chair far, far away from the computer desk and pushing the computer and mouse as far away from the edge as possible. Nevertheless, I found one day that a folder had been renamed to "nmnmnbmbnn". Sadly, I have no idea what it used to be named so thus it will remain forevermore.
  • The cell phone. Not just any phone - it has to be a real one. BIG thanks to Grandpa O for giving her not just one, but two, phones that were no longer being used at his house. She now has more than me.

I am watching her grow every day and love watching her learn new things. Just recently, she picked up her diaper after I had gotten her out of bed and changed her and she went down the stairs, straight to the garbage, and threw it away. Who knew that she had picked up on that routine. And she goes straight for the bathroom and her toothbrush after scriptures at night. Good thing too - Jeff and I have a bad habit of forgetting teeth at night so she's keeping us on the straight and narrow. And this week Jeff told me that he'd found her with our mail key (which I keep in a kitchen drawer) trying to "work it" at the back door.

She was sneezing the other day and I said bless you, then said to her "Do you need to do it again?" She promptly responded with a quick "Choo" and a giggle. And watching her clap her hands mimicing her Daddy the other night while they played left us all in stitches. He clapped his hands with a big whoosh and she would clap her hands, grunt, and laugh. Oh my gosh - this girl makes me SMILE!!

Enjoy the pictures that were taken March 14.

By the time we finished with the first outfit, I was hoping we'd get her Easter dress. But Kaitlyn usually has her own agenda these days and more pictures was not high on her list. The Easter pictures aren't the cutest pictures she's ever taken, but I'm posting anyway.

I never could get her to put her arm down and with a really cute smile in the previous one. And the last one - well that just pretty much says it all - the columns are knocked over, the bow has been pulled off, and the look on her face pretty much says "she's had it!!"

Here's to the last 18 months and to a great many more yet to come!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

We had a nice Christmas morning. Of course after staying up late buying batteries at the gas station late Christmas Eve, we were up before 6 a.m. (Why, you ask, on the one day that I can sleep in am I awake before the sun?? A good question!! And no good answer!!) Kaitlyn, on the other hand, was smart enough to take advantage of the looming laid back day and woke up at 9 a.m. She did, however, quickly determine the day was slightly different when she immediately noticed all the new toys to play with in the front room by the tree. What was even more out of the ordinary, she knew things were different when she was encouraged to go into the front room near the tree that had been off limits for almost a month!!

Kaitlyn's favorite gifts were her new piano and baby doll with stroller. She loves to sit down like her idol Schroeder (Peanuts) and pound out some Beethoven or Bach (often giving herself a standing ovation as Mommy and Daddy shout out "Encore!!"), then sit down and feed a bottle of milk to her baby's eye. She is a good Mommy and pushes her new baby doll all over the house so she doesn't miss out on anything. Hopefully she'll make just as good a big sister someday.

Kaitlyn and Mommy got new Christmas jammies and special matching slippers to keep their toes warm. Daddy prefers his cold scratchy feet to stand out in the jungle so he passed.

It was a nice day and we enjoyed being together as a family. Some of our friends are still overseas so we definitely thought of them and their families and hope it was a nice day for all. We enjoyed using the webcam to visit with grandpas and grandmas later in the day and even snuck in a nap during the afternoon. We enjoyed our traditional Christmas breakfast (from the Oldham side) of orange juice, hashbrowns, link sausage, eggs, & toast and had ham later in the day. I baked cherry rolls in the evening and oh they were heavenly!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kaitlyn meets Santa!!

We took Kaitlyn to meet Santa today. We had heard that Santa visiting the North Star Mall in San Antonio was really good. So we didn't see Pajama Santa at South Towne in Sandy when the line was very short over the weekend. Of course we didn't get out the door as early as we had hoped and by the time we got to the mall it was noon. After standing in line for an hour, they cut the line off one person in front of us so Santa could go feed his reindeer. After debating what to do for a few minutes, we opted to wait another hour while Dasher and Dancer and Rudolph and gang got their gingerbread treats. Kaitlyn did amazingly well through this very long wait. She even didn't seem to mind sitting on Santa's lap -- initially. However, by the time they were ready to take the picture, she had had enough of this jolly old elf. Luckily Mom saved the day and got in the picture too!! Thankfully Kaitlyn didn't ask Santa for an ice cream maker two days before Christmas -- it's just not an easy thing for Santa's elves to put together in the middle of the winter. But Santa did come through at the last minute somehow for Kaitlyn's cousin Aaron -- way to go Santa!! :))

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Center of our Life

If for some reason after reading our blog you weren't absolutely sure what the center of our lives is . . . we'll just have to come out and say it with all these cute pics -- enjoy!!

Kaitlyn is doing so many new things. She has become quite the gymnast . . she will arch her back leaning her head backwards until gravity does its thing and she falls on her head. She also has decided that though she still doesn't like to cuddle, hugs are pretty cool. This was great because she started doing this just before we traveled to Idaho & Utah the week before Christmas so all of our friends and family were the recipients of her great hugs!!

She has also become an amazing dancer. She has gone from dancing to the music on TV commercials to hopping around the kitchen to the Christmas music on our iPOD. We took the young men and young women in our ward to a rest home to go caroling and, of course, Kaitlyn came too. One sweet lady asked the youth to sing her favorite carol Silent Night. While they were singing, Kailtyn decided she wasn't getting enough attention so she began break dancing right there on the floor to the tune of Silent Night (yeah, we were kind of suprised to see our little girl do the worm too!!). It's hard to tell what kind of dancer she'll be because in addition to the break dancing, she is practicing her ballet by walking around the house on her tip toes all the time. Who knew she was so talented and versatile?!?

She has also starting climbing everything in the house. This, of course, is Nell's favorite thing!! A few nights ago I caught her trying to climb over the gate we have to keep her away from the top of the stairs. Later that same night we started the water to fill the bath tub and then went into her room to get everything ready for bed after her bath. While I was getting out her jammies, Kaitlyn disappeared. I found her back in the bathroom trying to climb into the tub with all her clothes on. We find her trying to scale the back of her high chair and also caught her trying to get her leg up over the rail of her crib one afternoon after her nap. Though she's still too short, the mattress too low, and the rail too high, I can't believe that her mind is processing that all she needs to do to get out is put her leg over . . . hmmm!!

In tribute to her cousin Aaron, Kaitlyn has started running around the house with her arms stretched back behind her like Superman. She is so fast with her superhero speed, we can hardly keep up. :))

She also has become a much more finicky eater -- though, as you can see, she doesn't seem to have any trouble eating all of her chocolate cake!! I think we all wish vegatables and healthy things tasted more like chocolate cake!! Thankfully Kaitlyn does enjoy having her teeth brushed -- that is if she is not actively teething of course.

We are so grateful for our little PK (Grandpa O calls her PK, short for Princess Kaitlyn). She keeps us hopping for sure, but the smiles she brings keep us going everyday.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We had a great Thanksgiving this year!! We were excited to travel to Round Rock to spend a couple of days with Heiner's. We had such a wonderful time visiting, relaxing, & laughing with them. Kaitlyn has two great friends in Eric and Danny who doted on her the whole time we were there. They were all so cute together. Dinner was WONDERFUL as both Melissa & Jared are amazing cooks!! Last year we brined our turkey and Melissa did this year as well!! So moist!! I really think it's the best turkey I ever had this year. After dinner, the kids played outside for a little while, we went for a walk, and played Ticket to Ride. We had first been introduced to this game last Christmas, but hadn't played since. Love it!! We'll have to put it on our Christmas list for Santa!!

Jeff and Jared went golfing on Friday morning and Melissa and the kids and I went to Ready-Set-Play. Kaitlyn was in heaven! She had so much fun climbing around after the boys and going down the slides. We probably had more fun than the golfers (though they might dispute that).

Another fun part about this Thanksgiving was the cute turkey shirts Em made for the girls. Of course Kaitlyn was too excited to sit still for the photos, but she did offer to help out in the kitchen. :))

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Favorite Things

So after the "I'm Thankful For" post, I've had all kinds of ideas floating in and out of my head today. Though I am also thankful for these things, I thought maybe they were a little more inconsequential in the grand scheme of things so I decided to do a separate post. So in no particular order, a few more of my most favorite things . . .

  • the yummy smell of fresh-cut grass - especially on a Saturday nite as it reminds me of days growing up when the house would be ready for Sunday and the country quiet of a yard well-taken care of

  • spray-on sunscreen - what a novelty that I only discovered this summer; smart skincare has never been so easy

  • pumpkin pecan cheesecake @ The Cheesecake Factory - always a fan of anything on the menu, but this seasonal favorite can't be beat

  • Food Network - I'm an unabashed fan

  • a great pair of jeans - a wardrobe staple

  • scenes from next week - I get more excited about the scenes they show for next week than I do about the show we just watched

  • Christmas carols - all time favs are The First Noel & Angels from the Realms of Glory (arrangements sung by the Tab Choir) and O Come All Ye Faithful (any arrangement)

  • girly slippers - I'm in love with the cutest leopard print slippers at Nordstrom; the best part is that they come in my size and Kaitlyn's size
  • Cafe Rio - nothing compares