Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun in the Shade!

With the temperature on the rise, I thought it was the perfect day to get out the kids pool. Ellaina & I got busy cleaning it off and filling it up while Braden was taking a morning nap. Our house is perfect for the kiddy pool. If I fill it up in the morning, the sun warms up the water by the afternoon. Then after Ellaina's nap, the house shades the pool. The kids can swim and have fun without worrying about getting burnt. This is really important to me...just look at how very fair skinned both Ellaina & Braden are. I have been burnt more then someone should in one lifetime.

It was so much fun! This was the first time Braden played in this pool and he had such a blast. He was laughing so hard at Ellaina when she was splashing around. There were some pruney hands and feet when the fun was done :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

McKinney Firehouse Trip!

Today the kids and I headed to McKinney's Firehouse #1 for a play date with my MOPS group. It was such a great time! Ellaina was so excited about it and all she kept talking about was the fire trucks...that is until we arrived at the station. I think she was a little overwhelmed with everything.

It started off promising with Wolfie and her walking hand and hand to the firehouse, but got a little hairy after that. She didn't want to walk through the firetruck right away, so she came back and sat in the stroller. Once she saw Wolfie go, she headed up to do it and gave Firefighter Hutson her half eaten granola bar as he lifted her into the truck. After that she was upset and got helped down immediately. That kind of set the mood for the rest of the time at the firehouse. There were moments when she was having a good time, and on the way home she was talking about how much fun she had. I guess that is a toddler for you...a little up and down :)

Three is a Crowd

Well it is official, there is no chance of me getting a hot shower anymore unless I wake up really early :) Ellaina has been all about taking showers with me for about a year now. It was actually really cute at first, but after a while a hot shower seemed to trump the cuteness.
Today I just couldn't get moving early enough to take one before the kids woke up. Ellaina insisted on joining me, but as we were showering, Braden stood at the door upset. He wouldn't stop crying, so I finally put him in the shower with us. He didn't like the water hitting him, but didn't mind playing in the corner. I guess this is where the saying three's a crowd came from...?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

We had such a fun Memorial day! The kids actually let us sleep in, which was a bonus! Braden woke up around 6:00 to eat and then went back to bed. Ellaina woke up at about 7:30, but was happy to lay in Mommy & Daddy's bed for some cartoons. It was around 9:00 when she asked for breakfast and Braden woke up again! It was very nice!!

We played a little & decided to head to Lifetime Fitness' outside pool for some fun in the sun! We packed a lunch and played in the pool a little while. Ellaina was all about Daddy & Braden was happy to be in Mommy's arms. It was such a great time. We got out to eat our lunch and Braden decided it was time to head home. He was really tired and very vocal about it. So on that note, we headed home.

The kiddos toke a nap, so Brad and I did some yard work. It has been five years in this house, and I still do NOT like the landscaping in front of the window. I started cleaning everything out and getting it ready to put up a brick retaining wall and some more plants. Ran out of time though.

We came in and got ready to head over to the Hodges' house for some fajitas. Wolfie, Ellaina and Braden all played so well together. It was such wonderful time and a beautiful day!

This holiday wouldn't be possible without the sacrifice of so many brave men & women! Special thanks to all who keep this country safe and free. It is your sacrifice that allows us to enjoy our family and friends! We are forever grateful to you all!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Smith Family!

Sunday the family headed to Arlington so I could take "Nursery Portraits" of Carter Smith, our newest little nephew. I have been wanting to try on site pictures for a while now & Mr. Carter was the perfect little model! Ryleigh did such a great job too :) Here is a link to some of their portraits.
Brad and the kids went over to Grandpa Dave's house. They went for a quick swim, since the pool was still a little chilly. Braden enjoyed sitting and splashing on the first step. Whatever they did while I was taking pictures, sure got the kids tired. When I got there they both looked beat. We headed home and put both kiddos to sleep. Afterwards, Brad and I played some cards and watched basketball. It was such a GREAT day...and we still get tomorrow together. I love holiday weekends!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

All Better!

Well as of yesterday, Braden seemed all better...yay! He is still a little fussy, due to his teething, but I will take it. It was so rough for the tough guy, and for Mommy who was waking up at least three times a night. It felt like having a newborn, which I find myself longing for again :)

It is something about Braden's age. When Ellaina was about nine months old I had a surgery which helped us get pregnant with Braden. What do you know, Braden is almost eleven months and the urge is starting to be overwhelming. If it wasn't for Brad's upcoming college commitment, we would probably be trying again already. Wow, if I can say that after the week I just had, then that says something :) We have such wonderful little kiddos!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Could it be?

Yes it could. Braden hasn't been feeling very good the last few days. I figured it was due to the fact that ALL four of his one year molars were coming in. I have been trying to keep him comfortable with Ibuprofen, but yesterday afternoon his fever was at 102.3.

I called his doctor's office immediately and got him an appointment. Dr. Sutton was in the midst of saying it must just be his teeth, when she quickly said oh here is the problem. Poor little Braden has ulcers in his mouth. Yes...he has hand, foot & mouth disease. Ellaina got this when she was little as well, but fortunately hers came on her hands & feet only. Unfortunately for Braden his is only in his mouth. Dr. Sutton showed me his ulcers, and it is so sad. No wonder he woke up over a half a dozen times the night before, no wonder his is crying and fussy. As if all the teeth weren't enough.

Today has been a better day for the little guy though. No fever and only up twice last night. I think he might be on the mend...hopefully. The teeth will be no big deal after all this.

P.S. Thank you Aunt Kim for dropping off the popsicles. They were a big hit and soothed his mouth...Ellaina really liked them too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Big Boots to Fill

Ellaina was taking a spin in Daddy's work boots. As funny as the picture looks, it was even more funny to see her try to lift them up to walk. She is such a silly girl!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Scream, You Scream...I Screamed for Ice Cream!

OK, so I got a little overly excited about the ice cream man coming into our cul-de-sac. As a child, it was always so thrilling when the ice cream man would circle Zopfi Way (the block I grew up on). We would go running out to stop it, if someone hadn't already, and try to figure out what we wanted. It was always so much fun and something to look forward to.

I guess that is why I went skipping/running all exuberantly into the backyard to grab Ellaina so we could go pick out something. Ellaina had never experienced the ice cream man, but I think she figured out it was something great by my reaction, and the fact that everyone gathered around to get something. I even took a picture of the moment because I am such a dork. We got a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich & it was a fun time!!

Raquel, Victor & Ellaina at the ice cream truck

1, 2, 3, 4...there can't possibly be more?

Braden's final lateral tooth on the upper left punctured through the gums on Wednesday, but it didn't bring about much positive change in his mood. He has actually been even more fussy.

Yesterday at the church nursery they said he was a little fussy, which I have heard the last few times from Lifetime Fitness' child care as well. My little Braden is not a fussy baby, so I went inside his mouth to see if there was a reason for this. Unfortunately, I found many very good reasons for his mood change. He has three of his four 1 year molars already coming in, and I can feel the fourth not to far behind.

Poor little guy no wonder why he was up three times last night. It is hard to keep him comfortable, and sad to see him struggling so much. The upper and lower right molars and lower left molar already have a cusp poking through, and all of the gums are extremely inflamed. Ellaina got her molars in early as well, but not all at one time. This is going to make for some long nights in the week or two ahead. Not to mention real short cat naps. I'll be happy for us both when they are all in and I have my extremely happy guy back!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eleven Years!

Wow, it has been eleven years since Brad & I went on our 1st date to Lilly Putt in Coon Rapids Minnesota. Had I known a little miniature golf would have taken us here, I may have been a little more nervous :) It wasn't so much Brad's miniature golf skills that lead me fall for him, but our conversation. The entire ride home, in his red S10, he talked so lovingly about his Mom. What can I say, I was hooked! His tush was quite nice too :)

It is wonderful to think it has been eleven years...we may not look the same, but I still get butterflies! It has been quite a ride and I can not wait to see what our life together will be like eleven years from now. Thanks for everything Baby!! I LOVE U!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still No Dairy

I have not been so successful at fighting off my ice cream cravings lately (darn DQ truffle blizzard), and Braden has been paying for it. The poor little guy was up three times last night with nasty diapers. He has a terrible rash, which has made him moody. I figured if I put it out there, maybe I could tell myself to have a little will power.

I haven't been feeling good from the dairy (ie: chocolate & ice cream) either. It has really been upsetting my stomach as well. Anyone ever seen a hypnotist to help them with a bad habit? :) Maybe I could just be stronger, if not for me, for Braden since I am still nursing him. Yeah, I can do it...right!

Pet the Puppy?

Our little Braden loves touch. He likes touching and hold hands, playing with fingers, touching my hair & face, pretty much anything he can get his tiny fingers on. It works the other way too...which brings me to the puppy thing. When Braden gets upset in the car, all we have to do is rub his head and he calms down immediately. Brad calls it "petting the puppy" and it is so funny. It started a long time ago out of desperation, since Braden was never a big fan of his car seat. It broke my heart to have him crying in the car, so I reached back and softly rubbed his forehead. From there it just became routine when he would start fusing in the car. Now, sometimes I do that while he eats or we play with each others fingers. He is such a sweet little guy and has such a wonderful demeanor.

Little Ellaina is quite similar to Braden in that manner. She will play with Mommy or Daddy's hair when we are sitting or laying with her. She also rubs Braden's head when he is upset. It is so adorable! My little sweetheart!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What a WONDERFUL Day!!

What a nice Mother’s day! Oddly enough, it was relaxing but very productive. I don’t know how that works, but it was. We decided to brave the crowds and head out for brunch after all. I LOVE IHOPS’ strawberry pancakes! Being that it is not Brad’s favorite place to go, I only get to eat there about twice a year, so it was worth the wait.

Afterwards, we came home where I got in a little nap while Braden was napping. Brad and Ellaina headed to Home Depot where they bought me a new bird feeder. A raccoon destroyed my last feeder. Then Braden and I ventured out while Ellaina and Brad took a nap. I got my hair cut and Braden was his perfect smiley self the entire time. He stood on my lap watching the stylist cut my hair. All the ladies in the salon were so smitten by him, and he seemed to really enjoy the attention.

We came home and played/worked outside for a while. Brad grilled kabobs for dinner and I finished putting away the laundry. We cleaned the upstairs…oh, Ellaina is in a big, big girl bed now. It is so sweet and she looks so little in it. I can’t believe my baby girl is in a twin bed. That was why we had to clean upstairs. The bed was taken off the top bunk in Braden’s room. So we had two rooms to put back in order. After the kids were in bed, I found myself thinking how truly blessed I am to have such an amazing husband and two fantastic kiddos!Special thanks to the mothers that did such a great job raising Brad & I. It is funny how much we find ourselves doing things they did when we were children. It is amazing to think about all the sacrifices they made for us. Brad and I both are truly blessed to have been raised by such incredible women!!
Brad & Janet in 1999

Braden, Grandma Patty, Papa & Ellaina in 2008Me, Janet & Brad at a Rangers Game in 1999Grandma Patty & Ellaina in Florida February 2008

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Now That's a BUBBLE Bath!

Most of the time Brad & I give the kids a bubble bath together. Ellaina loves the bubbles and Braden loves the bath. This time Brad had got the water ready & I was blown away by how many bubble there were. The kids had so much fun playing in them and we had so much fun watching them:) Ellaina that is was funny to put the bubbles on Braden and her head.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bye Bye!!

Braden said bye bye...or more like bah bah today! I was leaving Lifetime Fitness' Child care with the kids, and the workers were saying bye to them when Braden raised his arm up and said "bah bah". I was so excited and repeated Bye Bye to him and he said it again. In fact he kept repeating it after me with the hand motion until we were outside. It is so sweet and he is so cutie patutie doing it :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Other Little Monkey!

So...I went upstairs to put Braden down for a nap while Ellaina was in the kitchen coloring on Grandma's mothers day card . You could imagine my surprise when I walked back into the kitchen to see this...
Not wanting to scare her while standing on the counter, I softly asked her what she is doing. Ellaina turned around with an innocent smile on her face. It was actually really cute...but not good. My little monkey pushed the chair to the cabinet and climb up onto the counter. Those wheels are always turning :)

School days always wear Ellaina out. She doesn't get a long enough nap in, so she has a shorter fuse on Mondays & Wednesdays. After butting heads with her for most of the afternoon, I put Ellaina in her room for some "quiet" time. After a little while I went to get her and there she was playing with her pacifier in her mouth & bear blanket in her hand. Both items she does NOT get until bed time. I glanced at her tall dresser to see how she had gotten them off, to see her little chair in front of it. Cleaver Ellaina moved her chair to stand on and get them down. She it too smart. I need to get my act together...I won't want to be steps behind her when she is a teenager. At least if she is like Brad & I when we were teenagers...that will be trouble.

Clap Clap Clap!

Braden has begun to really clap and it is nonstop. I would say it was Sunday when he finally understood clapping by himself, and ever since then he really likes to clap. He bounces with music and starts to clap. He claps at everything...that is when he is not trying to climb the stairs. It is so adorable!!

We had pizza the other night, and I cut some up for him. I could not get it on his plate fast enough. You would have thought he hadn't eaten in weeks the way he was shoving it in his mouth. Ellaina loves pizza too. We even made up a pizza song that we sing when we are having pizza. It is to the song "Peanut Peanut Butter...and Jelly". When ever I begin to sing it, she just keeps asking me to sing it again. It is so cute and interesting to see her little brain wrapping around the words. She was able to sing a few words with me the last time. Kids make everything so much more adventurous!

Personalized Plate!

My MOPS group got together one evening for a little artistic ceramic craft. I made a plate with the kids feet prints. It was intended to be a Father's day present for Brad, but anyone who knows me knows I am not good at keeping gifts secret. Needless to say I even told him about it before it was finished. I am really excited about how it turned out!

The kids and I went to Firehouse Studio (469-742-FIRE,, where the owner painted their little feet and placed them on the plate. Ellaina thought it was the funniest thing, and it tickled both of them. Then I took my plate home and drew with pencil what I wanted it to look like. My MOPS group all got together and painted it one evening at one the ladies house. Then Firehouse Studio toke it home to glaze and fire it. I have attached a picture of the finished look. It was such a FUN time!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Muffins with Mom!!

Monday was "Muffins with Mom" at Ellaina's school. It was such a nice time and Ellaina was so sweet! She sat on my lap while we shared muffins. She was really good about sharing it with Braden too. When it was time to go she gave me a hug and I was tears :) Her teachers commented on how silly and playful she is. Ms. Mary said any time she sits on the floor Ellaina comes running over to give her a big hug. If she is not paying attention, she said it can catch her off guard and almost knock her over. We absolutely LOVE her teachers Ms. Mary & Ms. Connie. Cottonwood Baptist Kid Care program has been the best experience for us all. I would highly recommend it :)

Update on Natalie...from Eric

Just a quick update on how Natalie is doing.... she is recovering very well. She had the staples removed from the back of her head yesterday. Everything is healing up nicely, all of her counts are good, and she is in good spirits. They started her on radiation treatments right away yesterday. She will have those Mon-Fri for the next 4 weeks.
She will be seeing her oncologist again in about 2 weeks. At that time, they will figure out how soon she can start up her chemo treatments again. The sooner the better, although they don't want to rush things too much either. It's a fine line they have to walk. Her double mastectomy surgery will probably be pushed out to later in the summer, to give the chemo time to get the lung tumors back down to a better size.
And even with this all going on, Natalie is still planning on attending the Walk fort he Cure at the MOA (Mall of America) this weekend! Our parents got a wheelchair for her to use for Sunday, and we'll be pushing her. Hopefully the weather is nice, and it should be a fun time. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bedtime Buddies!

We had some pretty bad storms this weekend, so Brad crawled into bed with Ellaina one night while I was feeding Braden. Ellaina must have thought she was pretty special, because tonight after we finished our bedtime routine, Ellaina moved over to one side of her bed and said "Daddy sleep too?". She was inviting Brad to lay down again. It was so adorable, that I left and grabbed my camera. It doesn't get better than this :)

P.S. Special recognition to Aunt Bonnie for making my old baby blanket that Ellaina can't sleep without, and Grandma Patty for making the fun princess pillow case that always needs to be washed quickly so she doesn't have to sleep without it! Oh also, we have added one more thing to bedtime routine and it is so silly. We squish noses, which leads to Ellaina wanting me to tickle her face with my hair. Daddy has been doing it too, so it seems to becoming a permanent request now.

Meet Carter P. Smith!!

Josh and Courtney had there little guy this week. Carter was born on Wednesday, April 29th around 9:37 pm after only arriving in the hospital two hours earlier. He weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and was 19 and 1/2 inches long. Mommy and baby are doing GREAT! Big sister Ryleigh is just adorable with him and could not be more excited. We got to meet the little pumpkin today and I could not stop staring at how perfect he is. Here are a couple snap shots I took of him.