Monday, November 25, 2013

October 2013

October this year brought all of the classic 'fall' activities: pumpkin patches, college football, Halloween, and lots of hot chocolate.
Owen really enjoyed the pumpkin patch.. orange is, after all, his favorite color.
And these were the biggest pumpkins, EVER!
He loves this orange vest and refuses to take his hood down.
He is getting great at picture posing, too!

Amelia (who did NOT enjoy the pumpkin patch) sure looked cute and at least looked at the camera. In fairness to her, she was working up a nasty virus. I just didn't know it quite yet.

She's generally content if she has some food in her hand.

Best attempt at a pic of the 2 of them!

My little pumpkin.

Gotta love her little hat!
Oct 26 brought a trip to Champagne for an Illinois (blowout) football game. The tickets were M's bday present. He loves his Illini, and his only request was that he have something to cheer for. They did score 3 points in the first quarter and then proceeded to allow 6-7 touchdowns to Michigan State. Ouch.
A good time was had by all, though! Owen loved the 'music people', and as you can imagine, this made his Marching Illini Alum father quite happy.
ILLINI! O has the fight song down.

Great shot of these two in their orange and blue. The weather was comfy at the beginning of the game, but it trended downward and was in the upper 30s by the end of the game. BRRRRR. Good thing I had a 2 year old to chase!

Partial Selfie

These two... they melt me. Mike and I had a blast just parenting 'one' kid that day.
We felt like it was SO easy! Amelia stayed in StL with our friends the Cipriani's,
and she had a blast with her little friend, Luca.

A Michigan State fan captured this one for us =) We actually sat in front of the drivers of the Spartan's equipment truck. They were 'spirited' but fun and even played cars with Owen!

We learned that generally Owen likes baseball a little better. At least he likes the individual chairs at Busch Stadium better than the football benches. I think he was also thrown a bit off guard by the different cheering at a football game, but he sure did perk up when we found the toy table outside of the stadium. This entertained him the entire 3rd quarter!

Oct 31 brought a load of fun this year. The older your kids get,
the more fun the holidays become!

Millie enhanced this holiday with her newly found walking skillz, too.
I mean, what is more precious than a walking elephant?!

Answer: A walking elephant shaking a box of nerds and
 thinking it's the absolute most fun ever.

Elephant Profile. Does this suit make my butt look big?
 I got this little costume on sale at Kohls last year around Christmas time for $7.
I'd say it was $7 well spent!
That face. Mmmmwwwwaaa.

The hype leading up to Halloween was fantastic for my little monster truck. He really wanted to have a monster truck costume, so on to Pinterest I went. This was constructed out of a cardboard box, pie plates (hubcaps), paint stirrer sticks, and duct tape. Thanks to post season baseball, I had some time to work on a homemade costume!

Monster truck with his Elmo pumpkin. It should come as no surprise that Owen had no interest in 'gutting' the pumpkin. Heaven forbid his hands get dirty. (That's Mike Wade's son for you!).

Side view. Some firefighters came around that night handing out flashing lights for the kids.
They called Owen by name and oh boy was that cool! 

"This is serious business, and I am very cool."

My little girl turns in to a pumpkin (literally) at 6:31 pm so she obviously didn't go out in the cold and rain, but she did have a nice cuddle and bottle with MiMa Cooper to end a full and fun October!

Monday, November 18, 2013

First Birthday Bash

 Amelia celebrated her 1st birthday in style, 1 done, twice over. The Nieders clan couldn't celebrate on her birthday weekend (and they are 50% of our guest list), so we did a celebration for Miss Millie on Oct 6, and a combo celebration for Millie and Ava (bday Oct 11) on the 13th.
A birthday girl has got to wake up with balloons in her crib! She loved them...
a totally new texture, shape, smell... a 12 month old girl's dream come true!

From the first day I met this little love, I've adored her half moon eyes.

Mima and Papa Cooper were our guests of honor at birthday bash #1. It was also an excuse for us to watch post season baseball together and to let Amelia wear her special birthday outfit. I might have splurged... but maybe this will be my only girl's first birthday. Some occasions just call for fancy!

Love that little tutu

Peek-a-boo! She was going through a really sweetsie phase around her first birthday.
It's since passed (wink), but we enjoy these smiles when we can get them!

She was enthralled with the packages and bows.. of course even more than the actual gift.
 I'll love to watch her again at Christmas!

Owen was (of course) right on top of her as she was opening presents. What are big brothers for anyway? Well he was a little bit croupy that day, and he is a frequent cough-so-hard-that-you-throw-up kind of kid. Can you see where I'm going with this picture? Yes, moments, seconds, after this shot he vomited ALL over her present. At least it was still wrapped, and at least we'll have a good story for years and years....

The good thing about her being so little is that she didn't seem to mind at all!
I cleaned up the mess and she sat right on the box. I felt like a hot mess, but I calmed down eventually ;)

Next up was smash cake #1. You can tell this was my second kid because the cake size doubled! Owen never tasted a lick (that I know about...) of sugar before his 1st birthday and he got a small cupcake. Amelia's cake took up 60% of this large plate and she's already had bites of ice cream several times...
My foodie was concerned that the cake wasn't getting to her quickly enough!

She's also a texture lover, and she played in it more than eating it.
Look at that clean face!

Daddy encouraged her to eat a little and then she dug right in!

I'd say she did well!
I love that she always crosses her feet like this while sitting in the high chair!

Tea for Two?
The first bash was a great party !
Next Sunday we celebrated Bitsy (2) and Itsy Bitsy (1).
Talk about Tutus... Ava can rock them!

Sweetsie toddler. Is that an oxymoron?

Millie obviously adorned her party pants once again.
Carson, Livi, and Lindsey did a beautiful job on the fancy cupcakes. One fun thing about the age spread between the big kids and Ava is that they love her. They helped pick out her presents, decorate for her party, make cupcakes, etc. They're super special helpers!

A girl and her MiMa.

Her Marilyn pose. She loved standing over that vent!

Please, can I go outside and play with the big kids?!

Livi came in to love on her a bit. What a sweet girl!

Ava's present was this rocking horse which, as you can imagine, was quite the hit. It allowed ALL of the kids the opportunity to practice sharing. Owen needs a lot of practice in that area....

Lots of presents for 2 little girls!

Carson and Ava are like two peas in a pod. He will do anything for her,
and she's obviously engaged in whatever he is telling her!

It only took her once to figure out how to open presents. She was set the next time!

MiMa Wade recorded a reading of 'Counting Kisses' by Karen Katz. I think she is one of my favorite childhood authors, by the way! This book has been a HUGE hit for Amelia, she wants to read it all of the time. And she claps when Mima's voice 'speaks'.

She got a grocery cart and food from Mima & Papa Cooper... another huge hit. That night we all sat down to dinner, and Amelia sat in her high chair on the floor and played with her groceries! I got a huge kick out of her pretend play :)

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

Cry if I want to! You would cry to if it happened to you!

Ah, that's better. No hat and lots of cake. A great end to a great celebration.
Thanks, Ava, for sharing your birthday celebration with Miss Millie! We look forward to many October birthdays in the years to come!