Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Ideas

Big brought home a coloring sheet from school today which was a version of this picture.  I know it's not a super original idea but I thought it was cute and I liked how it made the 5 year olds giggle.  I don't have anything against the Easter bunny or Santa Claus and I love holidays in general but it was a good reminder to keep Easter about the spiritual meaning that is so important to our family.

Here are some Easter activities (the first two involving food) that I'm hoping to do with my girls this year:

Make Empty Tomb cookies - we did this a few years ago and Jenna asked for it again this year.  Then, they made them with the kids at church last weekend.  It was a big hit and she wants to make them again at home.

Make Hot Cross Buns - I've read that this is a Good Friday tradition and it seems like a fun one to start since my girls have been asking to bake lately.

Dye Easter Eggs - a classic and something I always enjoy.  I am seeing visions of egg salad sandwiches in our future.

And, this year we're not going to pull off this craft but I bookmarked it (yay for Pinterest) and am hoping to get my act together for next year:  Mini Easter Gardens.

Hope you have a blessed Easter!  I'll post some photos if I'm able to pull off my activities this weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

February 2013

February is the shortest month, often doesn't have the greatest weather, and is the month that I and Tiny were born.  I was organizing my photos the other day and couldn't believe the things I packed into those 28 days.  Before I move on posting about other stuff, I wanted to recap our family happenings in February 2013.

On February 1st, I took both girls to California Adventure by myself . . . which later I decided wasn't the smartest decision I've ever made but we had a great day.  The girls bought Jessie hats with some of their Christmas money.

Big learned to ride a 2 wheel bike without training wheels and amazed us by zooming up and down our cul de sac.

 Little turned two and a half on February 4th.  I took her to the park for the morning while Big sister was in school.

On Saturday the 8th, it hailed and we had friends over for dinner.  Between the 3 couples there are 3 February birthdays which we celebrated along with long-time friendships, better health and baby Gwendolyn - sad I didn't take any photos!

Then the next day, I took my girls to the Aquarium of the Pacific with our Claremont friends.  I had been promising this trip for a long time and wanted to make good on it before baby girl arrived.

We celebrated Valentine's Day at home with pink drinks, heart shaped sandwiches, and a "fancy" dinner at home.

My family celebrated my 35th birthday at family dinner with an amazing meal, fun gifts, and a birthday cake!  Although I was told a few times in the coming weeks that 35 is officially "advanced maternal age" I kept protesting "but I just turned 35!"

My husband and I had a night away at South Coast Winery in Temecula.  Because my doctor told  me to take it easy and come in every 3 days for non-stress tests (photo below), we missed our walking tour of the winery but had a delicious dinner and a much needed break (translate:  conversation without being interrupted by our kids and a full night's sleep that didn't involve sleeping on our kid's floor or in their bed with them because they are scared)

And, you all know the end of the story (which happens to be the end of the month) but it's the best part . . . Tiny baby sister made her appearance on 2/26 and on 2/28, we took her home with us!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

An early surprise (of the best kind!)

So, last Tuesday I had a baby!  For months I've been telling people how much I need baby girl to hang on and wait until her due date (March 16th) to be born.  I'm in the middle of a quarter at work and my maternity leave was supposed to officially start on March 5th.  I've been planning for my March baby and then, she decided to be born in February!  Having a baby is a perfect example of how little control we have over things in our life and how God knows what's best for us and will bring everything about in his perfect timing.

For about a week before her birth, the doctor was concerned about baby girl's rate of growth and had scheduled non-stress tests and an appointment with a specialist.  I reconsidered my work schedule and decided to go in only one more time, on February 25th, and finish my class by working with my students online and grading their work at home.  On my way home from my last day in the classroom, I realized I was having contractions (which I've had on and off this pregnancy) that were pretty regular.  I thought I'd lay down, go to sleep and they'd go away.  Instead, the next morning (and about 45 minutes after we arrived at the hospital), our daughter was born!  The doctor was right in predicting that she'd be small - at 4 lbs 6 oz, she's little for a 37 week baby but like our other girls, she's strong and healthy.  Had I made it to my appointment with the specialist (scheduled for 24 hours after she was actually born), it's likely they would have induced labor or I would have had a c-section.  Everything worked out and our little miracle was born at the perfect time - even though it's not how I thought or what I had been wanting in terms of my own convenience.

We are so grateful for her safe arrival, her good health, and our family of 5.  We are also grateful for all of you that have been praying for us and all your well wishes.  Allow me to introduce you to our brand new baby daughter!

Minutes old - in Daddy's arms

Alert from the beginning!  She doesn't want to miss out on anything.

Middle looks so grown up now that she's the "big sister"!

For some perspective, this is Mini next to Big's American Girl doll.  And Mini is 2 inches shorter!