Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hunting for Firs

We had our 2nd annual Saturday-After-Thanksgiving-Christmas Tree Chop-Down with the Nieders, two Mimas and two Papas at Heritage Tree Farm in Washington, MO. 
These men are on a serious mission.

If my dad had on a hat this picture would be perfect!

O worked really hard to pull that empty sled =)

But a little rest is better. 
After a little rest, Owen got to work selecting the perfect Wade Family Christmas tree. These needles weren't too hard, weren't too soft... they were just right!
So we shot our family photo and Papa and Owen got to work figuring out the best way to go about sawing it down! (See below).

Sizing up his work and wondering how he'll ever pull this tree back up that hill!
Meanwhile, the Nieders were also selecting the perfect tree. Mima W occupied Ava....

...while Carson and Livi found their perfect tree.
I love how they cooperated in this effort =) 
My folks also got a tree! We've always loved live trees at the Cooper house.
 Can you see my mom's glee and my shadow? =)

Little full. Lot of sap. Looks great though!

A great cousin photo. Millie wouldn't be put down, so she missed out. 
We decorated it the next night. We had planned to let O help, but he peed on the floor and that was just our last straw for the day. Maybe next year! The next morning, though, he woke up in wonder, awe, and amazement, and he poured over every last ornament on the tree. I can't wait to see him Christmas morning.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is waking up to the glow of the Christmas tree. It just sets the tone for the season, and it brings me a lot of peace!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

14 months: Opinions

Well the time has come. My payback has arrived. If you knew me as a pre-school child/school age child/adolescent/high schooler... you know that I had (have?) sass and opinions. One year my parents gave me a gift for Christmas that modeled an extremely mean character on a show I liked to watch. That Christmas my brothers kept calling me 'Mean, mean, mean'. And it was accurate. Well here she is, my payback. She's not mean, but she's sassy and she has opinions! My parents are delighting in her personality =)
She's also a brave explorer. Compared to Owen's worrier-type personality,
 this little girl will try to climb up just about anything!

Recent fave for Miss Millie is the cozy coupe!
She'll bring her dolls and stuffed animals for a ride, too!

She's IN.LOVE with her 'Gog'. Oskee (who has several annoying features) is actually GREAT with our kids. She's not generally a fan of Amelia in her bed, but she tolerates her.

Crafting at the Parkway Early Childhood Center. Textures like cotton balls are exciting!

Mima Wade came to 2 of our classes at the ECC, and Miss Millie would not leave her side.
If a grandma or a dad is need for mommy.

They played together for a total of 6 seconds.... good thing my phone was in my pocket!

She has started imitating. Give her a towel and she'll wipe. Give her a mop and voila!
You'll notice she's also wearing a bib. This is a frequent ritual. She'll open the cabinet and bring a bib - open a drawer and bring socks and shoes.
(Please pardon the hideous linoleum. Remember it's a renal!) 

Before the weather hit 20 degrees, we were trying to still get outside as much as we could!
The girl LOVES to swing!

Speaking of swings, A and Kaitlyn had a great time on this indoor tire swing. We met this family at a swing set warehouse. It's a store where they sell these things, but you can pay $5 and let your kids run around. Genius. Kaitlyn also has a 3 year old brother, so this was a great play date.
This cuddle bug LOVES her daddy and this bear that Uncle Ryan gave her for her bday. And she loves her paci. I really need to work on that. After the holidays. After she has a few more words and isn't as whiny. After I have some motivation.

I just think she's so pretty in this pic. She and Owen had a 'tear the couch apart' couple of days.
 It was a blast. For them. =)
I know I've done a bit of complaining, but this little love certainly is God's great blessing. I want my daughter to have opinions. I'm just anxious to reach the 'conversational' opinions phase... =)
This is also what's up...
  •  She's wearing 12-18 month clothing... some 18 month pants. We are definitely out of anything that's strictly 12 month.
  • She loves music! She bops her little head along, loves 'The Wheels on the Bus', and loves to dance. 
  • We are up to FIVE (almost 6) teeth. The left front tooth caused her gum to split from the eruption site clear up to where the gum meets the lip. It (was) awful looking. Seems to be improving, but we are headed to the dentist next week.
  • She hasn't caught on to any signs, but she does flap her arms a lot?! She has also added Dada to her repertoire of words. Mike is Dada and of course I am Dada. 
  • She's finally drinking milk out of the sippy, and she still eats anything I put in front of her face (except meat). Maybe not enough teeth yet. 
  • I think she's working on adjusting her nap schedule, and for a type A mom like me I struggle through the transitions. But, she sleeps from 1830-0730 And I can not complain about that!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 did not disappoint. As per our usual, we celebrated twice!
In previous years I've made 'Monkey Bread' for Thanksgiving morning. One year it ended up baked/caked on my oven floor and Dave Wade had to scrape it off because I was 36 weeks pregnant and couldn't bend down. Last year I put it in the oven, went for a run, and our oven stopped working while it was in there. It was 'deflated' to say the least. Also.. I'm really working on healthier recipes, and if you couldn't gather by the name, monkey bread isn't healthy. So we opted for from-scratch pumpkin pancakes. They did not disappoint!

Owen requested an airplane. Can you see it? He was so tickled with his 'airplane' that he refused to eat it so as not to ruin the shape.

We served it them with blueberries.. can you tell who likes them!?

At noonish, we loaded up and went to Thanksgiving celebration #1 hosted by Mima and Papa Cooper. I helped cook, Mike helped get Amelia to nap (this took 4 hours), and Uncle Steven and Owen played with the color changing cars. Uncle Ryan and Owen played lots of wrestling, too, but I only have 'in action' shots of them that didn't turn out well!
Mom, are you telling stories on me? I'm so sweetsie!
Four fifths of the Wehmeier clan made it to Thanksgiving dinner. They were missing Katie who works at a hospital in Louisiana, and we all know that hospitals never close. Owen enjoyed watching Monsters University with Kelley & Kayla....

While Millie teethed on a roll.
My cousin Kelley is great with kids, and she just happens to adore mine. Thanks Kell! Owen calls her 'Kelley-play-cars' because that's what she does! This is a downloaded text that she sent me. An Owen/Kelley selfie!
Thanksgiving #2 started early in the day on Black Friday. This day was hosted by Mima and Papa Wade. Amelia behaved a bit better this day, and Owen, of course, had so much fun with his cousins!

I wish you could see her face, but I love this pic of Aunt Lindsey reading to itsy bitsy!

Carson worked hard on his Christmas list that morning. He poured through adds and came up with quite the list. Here he presents his ideas to Papa Wade.

These antlers from the $1 bin at Target were a huge hit!

These girls (and now Tippy, the dog) fight over Mima Wade's lap.
 I'll love to watch their relationship develop over the years!
Millie loves any dog bed.

Carson grabbed my camera and took a picture of all of us at the table.

And then he took a picture of the pumpkin bread.

And then a picture of his own picture. I found these pics as I was downloading, and I cracked up.

More bitsy and itsy bitsy playing/fighting.
Both days were delightful, and the food was delicious as well. This year I am most thankful for healthy children and the relationships they have with their grandparents. We hoped and dreamed they would be close with their grandparents when we moved back home, and it's truly awesome that they each have individual relationships with each grandparent. We are so blessed to have parents that want to be present in our kids lives.