Thursday, December 27, 2012

To My Dearest Owen on your 2nd Birthday...

To my Dearest Owen, how are you already two years old? Last year I prayed a prayer of thanks to God. Naturally, His trusting your dad and I to raise you is one of our greatest blessings. I prayed a prayer of thanks that parenting you has allowed me to better understand how He loves us with grace and patience. Oh how I even better understand that now that we're entering your 'terribles'.
 You are uniquely you. God's perfect and precious gift, created in His image. You are my unique little boy who loves to stack, play cars, race cars, wash cars, cuddle, and jump. You are my little boy who loves to dump everything  and comment every time we drive uphill or downhill. You're learning to tease, use adjectives, dress yourself, sing songs, and have opinions. Your sentence structure usually follows this pattern:'Owen drink milk, OK?' You have an extra baby tooth, a twinkle in your eye, a gentle (but often stubborn) spirit, a strong desire to learn, and also a strong desire to be involved in absolutely everything around you (even if you have to forgo sleep). You light up our lives, Dear O-bug.
This year, I continue to pray for you in the same way that the animals pray for 'Little Kicker' in our new favorite book.
"Dear Father in Heaven, may your Holy Spirit guide this special, unique Owen."
"Please Lord, help Owen to do something special for you someday."
"May Owen tell others about You, Lord, so they can know how wonderful You are."
"Dear God, please let Owen love Your Word."
"Dear Lord, please help Owen remember to talk to you everyday in prayer."
"Please help Owen learn to do good things so that he may help others."
"May Owen always love You and want to learn more about You, Lord." 
 1 Year
2 Years
Thank you, Jesus, for the amazing blessing of Owen Michael Wade.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

As I mentioned before, Mike was up until 1ish a.m. playing Santa.. but I think he loved every minute of it. As Owen was only 12 months at Christmas last year (and we were traveling for the holidays), this was Owen's first Christmas were Santa came in to play.
Mike's family has a tradition that Santa's gift is unwrapped under the tree. We'll carry this tradition on in our house...especially since Owen's gift was far to big to wrap this year. Santa cheated and brought a Christmas/Birthday gift for O this year, but hopefully he'll love it. It's a little tikes fort/play house with loooots of fun places to play cars.

I love this picture for the look of wonder and his little Santa jammies.
A highlight of some of the car tracks.

Now playing with some of his other gifts from Mommy & Daddy.. Mac truck, Cards hat (infant size), etc..

Millie enjoyed the festivities as much as the rest of us! Santa brought her Etsy prints for her nursery. She was thrilled.

I do love the 2 of them in Christmas jams. My favorite big boy and my favorite little lump.

 Christmas afternoon we went to the Wades to celebrate Christmas and MiMa Wade's birthday! (She shares her birthday with Jesus).
Aunt Lindsey made big snuggly blankets for Owen and Amelia...and Amelia's outfit matched hers perfectly! Maybe it was OK that she pooped through absolutely every Christmas outfit I had for her by the time we reached Christmas afternoon.

MiMa's favorite thing to do is snuggle babies.
Here are a few shots of Owen playing with his remote control 'Wee New Fire Truck'. We have now added in 'fire truck' to the wee new.


 The last box opened was full of Purdue gear in each kiddo's size. MiMa and Papa Wade went to Purdue & fell in love there. The rest is history. I though this was the cutest idea. Here they are showing off their black & old gold. A close second to the better black & gold school =)
I regret that I don't have more pictures of this day. Ava's now walking all over the place, and Carson & Olivia are so fun to watch opening presents. More next year.. I promise.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Christmas for us this year started out with explosive vomiting.. by Owen. It was then passed on to me and then to Mike. After we finished with the gut stuff, we caught Owen's cold. Fortunately we weren't traveling by plane this year which did make the week somewhat easier.... and we tried not to let the crud ruin our spirits!

Christmas Eve we dropped vomiting Owen off with MiMa Cooper.. and then Daddy, Millie, and I headed off to the 2pm Christmas Eve service with Papa Cooper and Uncle Ryan. I was super excited to introduce Ryan to our church, and to dress Millie up in her 'Monday' best.

Somebody has her daddy wrapped around a little finger. I can't decide which of them is more cute...

I promise I wrapped her in a blanket after our photo ops. Why do they make baby dresses with short sleeves?!

My dad got a picture frame that says 'Some of my greatest blessings call me Papa'. I think he'll put this pic in it..=)

O perked up a bit and had plenty of energy to play trains with Uncle Ryan.

And then the gift opening began. This is really the first time Owen has opened gifts since last year at his birthday/Christmas. He was much more engaged this year... so excited that he tried to open the next gift with the current one still in his hand. Quite a dilemma.

He had no trouble getting the wrap off now!

But Uncle Ryan is always there to help.

...and then he got to hold a sweet baby girl....until she let out a few rumbles on his lap.

After Uncle Steven got home and O went to bed, we had a nice adult dinner and then played our 'white elephant' game. We all bring a bunch of gifts. Some nice. Some gag. We roll a dice, and whoever gets the highest number picks first. The next person can steal that gift or pick another. You know how the game goes.
Well it turns out that my dad is notorious for picking the gag gifts which happened to be centered around Christmas Vacation this year. Here's our very own Cousin Eddy.. outfit complete with the hat and black dickie. I swear you can get anything on Amazon!

...but the winner of the jelly of the month club went to Ry.
We have an absolute blast playing this game, and it takes a lot of pressure out of shopping (etc).. especially for the boys!
We got home from my folks around 11:45 pm (much later than my normal bedtime ;) ), and then Mike played Santa till 1:30! I got to go to bed since I wake up for night time feedings ;) We were up bright and early at 5:45ish Christmas morning... .to be chronicled in another post!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Unfortunately, we'll miss tonight's big Braggin' Rights party because O is sick =(
Good thing I snapped these a few days ago...

May the Best Black and Gold team WIN!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Tree Farm

I know that Christmas is 5 days away, and obviously we've had our tree for some time... but it's still worth documenting our epic day of Christmas Tree Farm-ing.
As we are now official residents of the Midwest, we're starting a bunch of family traditions. Heritage Tree Farm is now on the list. Here's the crew waiting patiently for me to finish feeding Amelia in the car.

Ok, come on. This kid is CUTE!

We found our tree. Owen & Daddy did a great job picking it out together.

O was fascinated watching Daddy cut it down. 

I can't get enough of this bear hat (and his little face, too).

I can't get a non-blurry picture of the Nieders in front of their tree uploaded for some reason, but here they are after a victorious combo-cut-down effort!
Amelia and Ava; the Bjorn twins. It's amazing the difference a year makes. Front vs Rear View.

Here's that handsome Nieders crew!
And the whole clan all together.
The Christmas tree is up and has been stable since the weekend after Thanksgiving. That's more than we can say for some of our trees in Seattle. I should knock on wood, but we've only lost one ornament this year so far (Oskee ate it). I'm surprised at Owen's gentle curiosity. He obviously takes the ornaments off but has treated them well. I'm pleasantly surprised.
We have loved the magic of this Christmas season, and we can't wait for the next 4 days to commence!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Surrogate Aunties

When I was growing up, we called my parents' closest friends 'Aunt' & 'Uncle'. Aunt Chris, Uncle Rick.. you get the picture. I'm sure we'll have O & A do the same because Miss Willard or Miss Claire just seems too formal for someone that I hope they will know and love dearly! 
 And all of those years I was in Seattle, I romanticized and dreamed about seeing my closest friends more often... if only we could move to the Midwest. Alas my dreams are coming true.
I was able to meet baby George just one week after he was born, AND I was able to see Claire while pregnant. These visits would not have been possible if we lived in Seattle. Furthermore, I'll get to see Claire & George in just a few weeks... I'll get to see him TWICE before he's even 2 months old. Can't wait!

Right after I saw Claire and George, Auntie Britt flew in town from L.A. to snuggle Miss Millie and 'Play cars, Britt?' with Owen. She brought smuggled diapers & nipple pads from the hospital along with 2 extra arms, great hugs, and that impeccably perfect sense of humor.

Owen wanted to sit on her lap and look at pictures over and over. Now when he and I are looking at pictures, he says, 'More Britt?'

I think during her night shifts as a postpartum nurse, she dreams up scenarios for newborn pictures. A regular Anne Geddes. She had the idea to put Millie in a stocking.. and I did not object one bit!

"Play cars, Britt?" Owen also loves Britt because her visit inspired us to make several trips to Dunkin. Britt runs on Dunkin.. coffee that is. Owen apparently runs on Dunkin... donut holes.

Thanks to Mike, we were able to get all snazzy for a night out at Araka. Lindsey joined too, and Ryan literally wined and dined us.
We ALL adore and miss you terribly. Please come back soon!

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we had another surrogate Auntie come visit. Chelsea, Branden, their two girls (Siena, 4, and Maya, 12mo), and two dogs (Rocky & Annie) stopped by for a night on their way from Kansas to North Carolina. Yes, they are an adventurous sort! Owen loved Branden because he shelled all of the pistachios for the kiddos, and Owen could eat them super fast!

As I haven't seen Siena since she was 11 months, I certainly had never met Maya. She's been walking since 11 months, and she's got the adorable drunken cowboy walk perfected. She's a sweetsie, sweetsie girl, and I hope to see much more of her in 2013!

We forgot to take a pic Sunday night, but we grabbed a quick shot of us Monday morning at 6:00 am before they hit the road again. Chels, it warmed my heart to see you. I am so proud of the woman, mother, wife, and professor (at Duke, no less) that you are. I respect you immensely. Here's to many more visits in the near future... now that we are no longer 4000 miles apart.
My heart overfloweth with love for you ladies, the surrogate aunties of my children. I cherish you each, and I am so grateful for you in my lives. xoxo.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 months: Sweetsie Smiles

Our sweet baby girl is 2 months already, and her stats are in!
Weight: 10lb 4oz (25-50%)
Length: 23 inches (75%)
Head Circ: 14 5/8 inches (25% and dropping!) We are a family of peanut heads.
I told the doc not to worr.
She also had her first round of vaccines. It's so hard to watch her cry like that, but you know my position on vaccines. It's something that has to be done, and she'll be better off for it. I will say that she had the typical sleep-all-day-after-vaccines response, so hopefully she's feeling better this morning.
I managed to catch this yesterday before her shots.
Doesn't she look JUST like her daddy?
She loves to smile when you are close to her face talking pretty, and she's most likely to flash that toothless grin when she's on her back.
Wrapped up like a little Russian Doll...

Both of my kids are obsessed with their Papa Cooper. She flirts with him more than anyone else.. until she met Dr. Cole yesterday. She was a big fan of him, too, till he started poking and prodding!

Early this month, Millie got to share her first meal with George. George was born on 11-2-12 to proud parents Claire & Adam Willard. I'm not thinking too far ahead or anything..but I would love to marry these two. Hey, it could happen! Just send them off to the left coast!

He is one week in this pic, and she is 5 weeks. They actually weighed about the same in this pic. George's weight is all in that noggin. He'll be a smart kiddo.

Nothin sweeter than cuddles with Papa Wade. They color coordinated well, I might add.

 "Oh, Daddy, this is my favorite way to play!"
....and this is my favorite way to sleep!

This is her first night in her big girl crib. We booted her out of our room at 6 weeks because she's such a noisy grunter/sleeper. I can actually still hear her down the hall, but I'm able to get back to sleep somewhat faster with her in another room!
Santa Baby

Her newborn acne face =( It's gone now, though, and she's so pretty!

This was all Britt's idea... and I didn't stop her!
Amelia's growth and development are progressing along well!
  • She's holding her head up better every day.. no thanks to my negligence with her tummy time.
  • She coos, ooos, and goos, and when she's real excited that tongue gets going!
  • Just this week she discovered her right hand, and it only seems to be there when she's getting her diaper changed. Otherwise, she forgets about it.
  • She loves to suck.. on pacifiers, on her knuckles, etc.
  • She's starting to follow us around the room with her eyes, and she can track toys, too. Way to go, Millie!
  • She's still eating about every 2-2.5 hours during the day (though more the last few days). She didn't growth spurt at 6 weeks, so maybe it's coming now?
  • During the night she typically goes for a 5 hour stretch, and then we are back to every 2 hours... Unfortunately, she and Owen haven't necessarily coordinated schedules. So if she eats at 3 & 5, and he gets up at 5:30, it makes for a looooong morning for me =) I am requiring an afternoon cup of joe for the first time in my life.