Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Visit from the Rockholds!

We had such a great visit from the Rockhold family last week.  They came in on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday!  It was a great time for showing them around, eating, relaxing, and laughing!
 It was such a nice break for me to have them here.  I think I only changed Charley's diaper twice the whole time they were here!  There were lots of hands on deck to help corral Jackson and hold Charley.  The kids LOVED all the attention.
 We had so much food!  We wanted to make sure they got some of the good stuff so we had Portillos, Cookie Dough Creations (one scoop of ice cream topped with a scoop of cookie dough), Giordano's, and Meatheads.

 Cole was able to get in some running each day he was here!  He ran 10 miles (in about an hour!) one day, did speed work at the high school track (in the rain while Robin took video so he could watch his form on the 200 and 400), and then finished with a 12 mile run on the third day.  Wow!
 I remember playing with Bailey and Cole when they were Charley's age.  Crazy!
 The last night we had dinner in downtown Naperville at Front Street Cantina and then finished it off with hot chocolate from Le Chocolat!
Our evenings were spent watching Running the Sahara, playing Mad Game (a funny game), and one night they watched the kids for us while Bryan and I went to our small group kid free!
Such a fun visit!  We are ready for Mimi to visit next!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bedtime Woes

I'm going to use this post to complain about share Jackson's bedtime issues while posting pictures of the zoo. We went to the zoo on friday and pretended it was warm. We had a great time!  I'm hoping these cute pictures of him help me be less annoyed by the poop storm that is bound to happen tonight.
Here come the bedtime woes:
A couple weeks ago a switch flipped and Jackson totally refused to go to bed.  He has always been (after some sleep training early on) a great night time sleeper.  I could put him to bed between 6 and 7 and he would sleep until 6 the next morning with no wake-ups.  He was consistent so it was very rare that I was in his room in the middle of the night.
 The majority of the past couple of nights he puts up a huge fight and comes up with every excuse to not go to bed.  He wants to keep the door to his room open but then he stands at the gate and yells, "Mommy, come up here.  Mommy, I want to come downstairs too."  There are lots of variations of this theme.
(Charley has been struggling too but she's sick/teething and is 8 months.  Her wakings are more acceptable.)
 We usually go in a couple times and tell him it's night time and that he needs to lay in bed.  After kicking doors, crying and screaming, and several visits from Bryan and I, he finally goes to sleep.
Unfortunately he is also waking up in the middle of the night several times.  He wakes up and basically does a repeat of the bedtime process.  Ugh. 
"You talkin' about ME??" 
 The morning comes too soon and he is up for the day at 6am.  The part that makes this so hard is that he doesn't nap.  We have similar struggles throughout his "rest time" every day as well.  After 12 hours of him being awake, he HAS to be exhausted.  I keep waiting for these short nights to catch up to him but so far, he is fighting hard to keep sleep away.  And I'm going crazy.
 We've had visitors almost every night the last week so hopefully now that our schedule is kind of back to normal (until Mimi comes in a week and a half) we can start fixing this.  In the meantime, I am using every last bit of patience and love I have stored up.
 Then I see pictures and see what a little boy he still is and it reminds me that this season will pass.  And soon.  But until then, SLEEP KID!
Good night!  May your children sleep tighter than mine.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Proof is in the Pin Link-Up

I am linking up again with Sarah at Life{Sweet}Life for another volume of The Proof is in the Pin.  My pins this month are all pretty simple. 
The first one is a rice sensory bin for Jackson. This site has a lot of great ideas but I have to get brave enough to try more.  As you'll see below, they can get quite messy.  He LOVED this though.  I bought all of the supplies at Dollar Tree.  I bought four bags of rice, rubbing alcohol, food coloring, and little sea creature toys.  While he was napping I dyed the rice.  It dried in about 15 minutes and all the rice was waiting for him to dig through.  I buried about 10 little toys in there too!  He was so excited.  I used an egg carton to put the toys in as he found them.

It only took a few minutes for all the colors to be mixed.

We eventually moved to the floor and got a bigger bin.  I'm looking forward to warmer weather so we can move this activity outside.  I was having mini heart attacks for the 45 minutes this kept him occupied.

This next pin was super popular on my Facebook page when I referenced my love for Pinterest with this photo of the kids in the bathtub.  I saw this pin and we have never looked back.  Every bath of Charley's has been in a laundry basket since!  Her toys are always close and I don't have to worry about looking away for a second.

The last one is a recipe.  I get so many recipes from Pinterest and we usually try a new recipe at least once a week so we have several that we really like. 
Here are some of my most recent:
Chicken Alfredo Roll-Ups- These were just kind of bland to me.  I didn't make my own alfredo sauce so that may have had something to do with it. 
Million Dollar Spaghetti- This was amazing.  And sinful.  But amazing nonetheless.
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats- These are really good.  The link to the Cilantro Lime rice is amazing as well! 
One Pot Italian Chicken Dinner- I was a bit nervous about this because it seemed too easy.  It's just fresh green beans (I used frozen which turned out fine), red potatoes, and chicken breast with butter and an italian dressing packet.  I have been trying to use less processed foods and this wasn't too bad and it was so, so easy.  I used half the butter that was called for and there was still a lot of butter.  You might be okay with even less.

Next month I will hopefully post some laundry room photos with some Pinterest inspiration.  I have been wanting to repaint in there for a couple years.  I'm not sure why I keep putting it off but enough is enough!  I'm doing it! 


Friday, March 8, 2013


We got a big snow storm on Tuesday.  They cancelled school which is rare around here.  It was so pretty though and the kids Jackson had a lot of fun in it.  We were so excited he actually touched the snow because usually we spend 20 minutes getting ready, he takes one step outside and freaks out and we have to come in.  Super annoying.  But, he did great on Tuesday!

Also, I had a photography class on Saturday so I am reeeaally trying to stay out of automatic mode on my camera.   All these photos were taken in manual mode so I controlled the shutter speed and aperature.  I was pretty happy with the way they turned out.  These are right out of the camera because I don't know how to edit them yet.  I do other crafty stuff in Photoshop.  Plus, I hardly have time to get them on the blog.  If I had to edit all the pictures before posting I would be 5 months behind. 

Here are some pictures.  The snow was coming down steadily from about 9am until midnight.  We got both kids ready and plopped Charley in the exersaucer.
Claire was in the back yard having the time of her life.

 Sometimes you're a polar bear in an exersaucer.  She looks really happy about it too....
 But she was a good sport as always.
 Especially when I took her out and plopped her in the snow.  Sidenote:  It's kind of hard to take photos of a baby dressed in white, sitting in a pile of white, while more white is falling from the sky.  Again, because she's the best baby ever she sat there while I messed with some camera settings.
 This one includes the neighbor who was no doubt judging me for putting my baby in the snow.  "Don't worry, Mr. Neighbor!  It's all for the sake of her baby book."

 Jackson slowly moved from inside the garage, to juuuust outside of the garage, to all the way out by the snowman.  Baby steps with this kid.
 Once he realized he could pick up the snow and throw it, things got much more fun!

 And then there was a snowman.  I wish I would have known Bryan couldn't build a snowman before I married him.  I would still have married him but we could have talked about it in our pre-marraige counseling.  "Well, since you can't build a snow man, when the baby gets tired of being in a polar bear suit, you'll have to take her inside while I stay outside with our other baby to make a decent head for our snowman."  This conversation early in our relationship could have saved us a half hour on Tuesday.  Kidding, of course. :)
But look at it.  That's the tallest head I've seen!
 After I told Bryan that the snowman was terribly mis-proportioned, he knocked the head off and did some surgery.  Jackson is actually throwing a snow ball here but it looks like he's cheering for Bryan as he decapitates our snowman.  The saddest part of all...?
I didn't take a final picture.  Worst.  Photographer. Ever.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Caroline Jane~Eight Months

 Caroline Jane, at eight months you:
  • are a FANTASTIC sleeper.  You go to bed around 6pm and wake up around 6:30am.  You have even slept as long as 14 hours before!
  • are still unpredictable with napping.  We're always on the go and your nap schedules suffers because of it.
  • are very vocal but you still don't make any consonant sounds.  Mommy tries to babble for you to see but you just laugh and laugh.
  • sit really well and are perfectly happy in one spot.  You don't make any crawling movements yet.  You still haven't pushed up onto your knees yet.
  • have 6 teeth and two more top teeth getting ready to come through.  They have caused you quite a bit of pain.  You love to soothe them by chewing on frozen mango in your mesh teether.
  • eat three meals a day and take 4 bottles.  Each meal is usually a container of purees or two.  You are really starting to put more table food in your mouth but you aren't the best at swallowing it.  You like to stuff your mouth with as much food as possible.
  • sit in a big girl car seat now!  Mommy wasn't excited about moving you because the carrier is so easy but you were about to outgrow your seat.  You moved into Jackson's seat and he got a new booster. 
  • still have brown hair!  Mommy and Daddy thought your hair would turn blonde like Jackson's but it hasn't!  It goes great with your big blue eyes.
You are 2/3 of a year old!  Mommy can't believe it!

I think they are looking less alike each month.  Their face shapes are just so different to me!  It's always so crazy to think that Jackson was ever this small and that Charley will be two someday!