Sunday, March 31, 2013


Mid-March I had the WONDERFUL privilege of taking Millie on her first flight to visit my dear friend Chelsea from high school. In high school, Chelsea and I were giggly go-getters, focused on the next accomplishment, grade, and student-organization-task-at-hand. We were also girly, sappy, dramatic; we loved food, crushes, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, "The Bagel Basket", carmelitas, driving our parents' mini-vans, & day dreaming about the future.
After high school graduation, Chelsea's military family moved to San Antonio. She attended UT Austin where she met her love, Branden. They married, moved to Boulder to simultaneously pursue their PhDs in chemical engineering & the crazy world of parenting. First came Siena (now 4), and then Maya (16 months). Last spring they moved to Wake Forest, NC where Branden is working as a Chemical Engineer & Chelsea is teaching ChemE classes at Duke. She's obviously still a go-getter. And I'll attest that she's still giggly, too.
Although we're still the same overly ambitious, type-A personality women, we married men who've softened our edges, shown us grace, given us beautiful children, and partnered perfectly with us in our parenting journeys. We've grown 'up' similarly, despite not living in the same city since 1999 and not even seeing each other since 2009 (aside from 16 hours this past November). Turns out we're both tree huggers when it comes to bearing & raising children.. though she didn't buckle for the epidural the 2nd time around. We're devoted breast feeders, baby food makers, intentional meal preparers, limited toddler-TV watching, trying our hand at sewing projects kind of moms.  
I'm beyond proud of the woman, wife, mother, & teacher that Chelsea has become, and I was delighted to have 3 whole days to talk about the stuff you never get to on the phone because your toddlers are demanding attention.

Chels & Maya next to the hall where she teaches at Duke. You'd never guess she's 20 weeks pregnant with #3! She looks great!

Duke's Chapel.

A different view against a brilliant blue sky. You can see that the trees were still bare... but spring was just
around the corner on Duke's campus.

Stained glass & altar in the chapel
Looks almost European, doesn't it?

Saturday we went to a great park in downtown Raleigh. It had a train, carousel, paddle boats, motorized boats,
and a great play/swing set area.

Millie LOVED the carousel!
...and her FIRST time swinging!
The Salinas clan on the paddle boats.
Maya cheesing it up!

Don't you just love the color of her hair?

Siena adored Millie, she loved on her bunches! I think the baby didn't mind at all! Chels said it was nice to see how
both girls reacted to having a baby around. #3 will be here in July, so the timing was great!
Too cutsie.

Saturday night, Branden & Chels treated me to their HOME MADE Fajitas. Everything was home made. B marinated and grilled the onions, peppers, chicken, steak. Chels made the rice from scratch, shredded cheese, made guacamole...

...and hand rolled the tortillas. I was in heaven.
Thanks for your hospitality, Salinas clan. You're amazing... and Chelsea, I am SO proud of who you are.
Thanks for being my friend. xxoo.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Owen Year Two: A quarterly Review (Part 1)

Well obviously I've stopped Owen's monthly posts. This is because 1) I wanted to spend more time on Amelia's development (she totally gets the short end of the stick in every other part of my attention) 2) I'm really trying to job search. Honest, really. 3) I actually am totally in love with my husband, and I like to interact with him sans laptop. 4) I'm just tired.

I did want to document some of the absolutely amazing ways he's developing, though.
  • He's counting to 15 or 16, and sometimes he can accurately count objects.
  • He's teasing... saying something is the wrong color to check your reaction.
  • He prays to Jesus. Every night he thanks Jesus for church and his family (he lists everyone out). Some of my additional favorites: Presents, Trash Can, the letter W, Grocery Store, Airports, Salad, Ferrari's, etc.
  • His favorite color is brown. Maybe this is because Oskee, chocolate, and bread are brown?
  • He answers questions. "Owen, what are you doing?" "I good" "I fine".  Ok.. so sometimes the answer doesn't fit.
  • He never uses the word 'Yes'. Instead, he'll say, 'I sure am', 'I sure do', etc.
  • He really needs spring/summer to come because he is too long for all of his winter clothes.
  • He will attempt a behavior and then ask if he gets a time out.. does this mean my disciplinary actions ARE or ARE NOT working?
  • He has HILARIOUS faces: nose scrunched, eyebrows in some dramatic pose, lips pursed. Wish I could get a pic.. I'm tryin.
  • Sometimes understanding opposites.
  • Compared to other kids, it doesn't seem that he wants to be 'Mr. Independent'. We still have a lot of 'Mommy help you?' going on.
  • NO interest in potty training. He FREAKS out if his clothes are off when he doesn't want them to be.
  • He knows 'A' for Amelia, 'D' for Daddy, 'M' for Mommy, and 'O' for Owen. 
  • His current favorite phrase 'Amelia, No'. He doesn't want her touching anything that's remotely close to him, and he often requests that we 'put her on the ground'. However, he can't WAIT for her to wake in the morning, and he loves to be the first to greet her =)
  • He can identify many cars & construction vehicles (IE; monster truck, GTO, Porsche, mustang, Ferrari, mini van, etc). My favorite is the 'Garger'...(Dodge) Charger.

    Contemplative. (My attempt today at getting him to do his 'face').
Classically Boy.

He still loves to stack & line things up. I have an entire blog post working about this...

Love this shot of pure joy. BUBBLES.

What kid doesn't love the ball pit?

Favorite pass time: Inside car washes. This is literally how we've survived the never.ending.winter.of.2013.
Oh, O, we love you so. xo, Mommy & Daddy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Greg & Elena's Adorable Ring Bearer

On March 9, we celebrated the nuptials of Greg & Elena Hake (long time family friends). They asked Owen to be their ring bearer, and we were delighted to say 'Yes'!
Although it rained buckets that morning, the sky cleared in time for the ceremony, and the day went off without a hitch!
They were married in St. Mark's UMC, the same church Mike & I were married in almost 4.5 years ago to the day. We were absolutely sure we'd have a romantic and nostalgic experience at their wedding. Then we brought our 2 children... and we were forced to keep them calm and quiet so the real bride & groom could have a romantic and lovely ceremony. I can guarantee Mike & I will not bring our children to a wedding again any time soon!
We loved their ceremony, however, and we were thrilled to be present for their big day!

Our little stud prepping for his big walk down the aisle.  

Playing with cars while he waits.
I don't have any pics of him coming down the aisle, but I can tell you that he was quite enthralled with the petals falling from the flower girl's basket. He really wanted to pick them up, and he walked around her in circles, not quite sure what to do. Alas, the bag of M&Ms in my hand at the end of the aisle ultimately lured him down.

We had great help from both sets of MiMas and PaPas (thank goodness!). I think it broke my dad's heart to snuggle this little one while we waited for O to get his 'professional' pics taken with the wedding party.
I REALLY wanted to get a pic of the 4 of us dressed up. I think it turned out well!

After the ceremony we found ourselves (along with the wedding party) at Fritz's frozen custard. It's where we always go to celebrate! And little did we know that this was the nicest day we were going to get for the next 3-4 weeks, so I'm glad we got outside!

I absolutely LOVE this pic. My mom looks gorgeous with her perfect smile & beaming joy. I also love the fullness of Amelia's cheeks & the way the light is shining through her fine downy hair. Not too bad for a pic from my camera phone! (please ignore the water tank in the background!)
Congrats Greg & Elena! We wish you many years of great blessings.

Friday, March 22, 2013

First Cereal

We started cereal the weekend after little Miss turned 5 months. With Owen I was quite opposed to starting any solid foods before 6 months, because there was thought that digestive enzymes weren't plentiful enough to tolerate solid foods, and that  this could cause food allergies. Now, 21 months later, there is new research suggesting that exposure to wheat and other grains before 5.5 months prevents food allergies. What's a mama to do?
So we started at 5 months. From a motor skill perspective, she is certainly strong enough to sit in the high chair (and even unassisted for 5 seconds-ish), and she follows our food & grabs, etc. So we went for it.

She didn't quite go for it. What's this in my mouth?

Not that spoon again!

More out of the mouth than in. I've been working with her every other day since March 9th,
and I'm pretty sure she hasn't swallowed anything in that entire time.
We started with Oats instead of Rice for two reasons:
1. Remember this "Is this poop or chocolate" moment with Owen? Turns out it was poop & it was due to constipation from said rice cereal. Makes sense.. there's little to no fiber in white rice cereal...
2. Remember all of those reports about arsenic found in rice? Yeah it was in baby cereal, too... even the organic stuff. Again, what's a mama to do?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Play Dates

It's our first winter back in the Midwest, and I feel like it will never end. I'm not sure why I'm so impatient. After all, it's only March 10 and I lived in Seattle the last 6 winters. Those winters last until 'June-uary', for goodness sake. Nonetheless, we've been trying to have LOTS of play dates with both new friends and old to help pass the time stuck inside.
 Millie and Kaitlyn Wehmeier (no relation to my mom's maiden side... so we think). Both girls are a lot bigger now.
She has an older brother, Evan, who is about 5 months older than Owen. Their mom, Leslie, and I are both MU Nursing grads, and Leslie went to Hazelwood West with Mike. They also love Cardinal baseball. What more could we need in a play date?

You've already seen some reference to this special play date with Tyler (3) & Nathan (11 mo) Francis...the two adorable sons of my amazing friend Ali (Zick) Francis from Kappa @ Mizzou.

Playing intently at the Museum of Transportation.

Ali got all boys engaged in (almost) the same thing at once. Amazing.

 Her boys love to read... but Nathan doesn't love to sit still. I think he started walking at like 9 months or something!! 

Amelia has a new friend, Luca, from church. He was born 9-22-12. We really want to baptize them on the same day, but Mike will be out of town. Maybe they could still get married even if they don't get baptized together.

Last week we went to play with Renee (Davies) Boni & Jessica (Davies) Swain. R&J are the daughters of my mom's great friend, Judy. We all grew up together, and our kiddos are the same ages, too!!
L-R: Ryken Boni (7 mo), Jaxton Swain (2mo), Amelia Wade (4 mo)
Owen (2) and Mckenna Boni (2).. she's a few months older than O. He thanked Jesus for her the other night =)
We've also had lots of great play time with Cousin Ava.
This is Ava at the end of our last play date. Classic.
I've tried to keep our schedules very full. It helps our winter go more quickly; it helps me not to get as frustrated with Owen's nap "issues", and it's helped me not get super anxious that my job search is slow.  (I learned my lesson last time, so I'm going to try to be more picky this time!!).
We do have a great time playing with friends, and we're also very encouraged by the nicer/warmer weather this weekend!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

5 months: Rolling Along

Well our precious doll is rolling both ways now. She immediately flips from back to belly in order to play & drool on whatever's in sight. Of course it all goes in the mouth, and we've started instructing Owen what toy sizes are 'Amelia appropriate'!
In the last week as well she's started scooting and rotating 180 degrees. She's no longer in the same position I put her down in the crib either. How is this all happening so fast?
Doll Baby

Owen wanted in on the photo shoot as well. OK seriously I know that I am biased, but I think they are both beautiful.
Rolls in action.
The Bitsy and the Itsy Bitsy all matchy-match. I'm sure this will not be the last photo op with these girls in matching clothes. 

Matching hats!

Happier to lay and play than be entertained any other way. She's sort of over her bouncy chair & tries often to flip out of the bumbo. She does like the exersaucer...but not as much as rolling on the floor! 

We got in a 20 hour visit with Auntie Britt in mid-Feb & Millie still fits in the vest! Here we are at the Toyota dealership in Co, Mo where Britt bought a gorgeous new Prius & drove it back home to L.A.

Daddy was gone much of Feb, so she tried to get her snuggles in while she could!
His arms are just so cozy!

She's rolling superbly, but gets stuck where she lands, so it was time to take the bumper out. No need for suffocating, I figure. Owen is LOVING the increased access to her now, and he'll often go in after she wakes to share his cars.

Here they are waiting to skype with Daddy. It's amazing what smart phones can do these days.

This baby is a faucet. She's a constant drooler.
But she's just gorgeous.

Tell me I'm pretty!
In other news, she LOVES the dog, and laughs hysterically at her.

Most nights of Feb she woke up 3-4 times at night.... uggh. So we've instituted the 'Miracle blanket' (IE... straight jacket swaddle), and nursing + formula before bed. In the last week or so she's gone from waking at 11:30, 2:00, 5:00 to sleeping from 8:30-2, and then usually again until 6. I feel like a brand new person, and I've even had enough energy to exercise twice. Who knew that could be so exciting? !

We're still not on a daytime routine of sorts, but we're getting there. She's a much better napper than Owen (who was & still is a 40-60 min napper). This week she's had several 2.5-3 hour naps!

When Owen was defending my doctorate and finishing up school. Though the 2 kiddos overwhelm me at times (OK, a lot)... I need to remember how awful that time was and how this is SO much better!!!! If you want a refresher on Owen at 5 months, just click the link.

I plan to start cereal this weekend, so stay tuned for some sure-to-be-awesome pics & videos.

We love you all. xxoo, The Wades