Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A special 2nd birthday party

Here are a few shots from Millie's 2nd birthday party (now 6 weeks ago....). Last year on her birthday, Owen threw up on her presents. I was hopeful this party would go a bit better.

It started out with a bang,, this is a picture of us telling Steven's girlfriend, Alaska, about the time he pulled my mom's bra out of his pant leg on the bus in 5th grade. It might be my favorite story e.v.e.r from his childhood ;)

Cuddles to kick off the festivities.

There is a big difference from 1 to 2 when is comes to opening presents. I think Owen was hoping to be helpful, but she was quite capable, all by her little self.

I enjoyed the snuggle time too... although with Amelia, the snuggle time is abundant.

Accessories to care for her baby!
 
Feeding her baby. These little moments melt my heart.

Loving on her new elephant!

Time to put baby night night.  

We have new special guests this year at our family events! Introducing... Mary. We love her.

Millie helping daddy put together her new balance bike.

Love this girl's spunk!

'Ride my bicycle!'

Didn't take her long to balance. The girl has motor skills!

But is super shy when everyone is singing happy birthday!

She got the hang of it, though! (She also picked out the color of her icing.)

Delight.

Bitsy and Itsy Bitsy. These girlies share a birthday week.
 
Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate our little love!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

CHarming weekend in CHampaign & CHicago

This fall, M had two college roommates get married, 3 weeks apart. Both weddings were in Chicago which seems close until you consider traveling with your 2 & 3 year old! We picked one wedding to go to as a family, talked Mima & Papa Wade in to accompanying us, and had a lovely time!
 
 
We left around noon on Friday and headed up to Champaign, IL for the night. Mike often has dreams about this Papa Del's pizza; perhaps his most favorite food in the entire world. This pizza crust is so thick that it takes an hour to bake. I couldn't finish even 2 pieces, and the 6 of us even left a piece alone on the table. It's.just.huge. I was so full that even thinking about eating it 2 months ago kind of makes me want to burp now ;)

We then took a little tour around campus, marveling at it's beauty and also how quickly things seemingly change on an ever dynamic college campus.

A enjoyed the bike racks.

Saturday morning we hit the road toward Chicago, and Papa Wade gave us a tour of his home town. Park Forest, a suburb on the south side of Chicago, was built primarily for WWII vets returning home and establishing families and communities. His dad, Earl Wade, commuted to O'Hare and spent a career flying for United. It was fun to travel down memory lane and see where Papa went to grade school, high school, church, etc! Oh, and of course we had to stop at a playground to let the kids stretch.

The 4 college roommates. L-R: Andy, Mike, Matt (groom), and Greg (groom 3 weeks later). These guys are all engineers, trumpet players, and genuinely great guys (despite the fact that they bleed orange and blue).

Sunday morning we attempted downtown (before the Bears game).

Our goal was 'The Bean' but we had a bit of walking to do from our free (way to go M) parking space to Millenium Park.

Owen really got a kick out of The Bean!

Amelia required a little cuddling....

Skyline Reflection
 
I was intrigued by the new art additions since I've last been to Chicago.

These faces were a hoot.

Who comes up with this stuff?

Being downtown invigorated me and made me wish we had longer to spend. I'm not a city girl per say, but I sure do love the hustle, bustle, and culture of a vibrant downtown!
 
Thanks again Mima & Papa for watching the kiddos while we went to the wedding & for tolerating the 4 of us for so long in the car...! Love you.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Soccer

Owen entered the world of 'organized' sports this fall. I put organized in quotes, because the attention span of this group of 3 year olds unraveled significantly as each soccer week wore on. He had a blast, and we were glad it was only six weeks!
 
Week one... they are all in a line, listening.

The day before the first soccer practice, he wore his shin guards the entire day...
in anticipation of the fun about to come!

This little one ran around like a chicken with her head cut off most practices. Needless to say, the kids went down pretty easily on Wednesday nights!

Simon says, touch your ears.

Love this shot!

Excitement!

Celebrating the end of the 'season'. They never had real games of course, and actually I thought it would be a little bit like 'herd' ball. That would have required all of the kids to be focused on the same thing at one time! Competitively, O was more concerned that he was running the fastest than if he was dribbling or getting the ball in to the net! We, of course, are proud of him for learning both new skills and how to (kind of) be part of a team.
 
Until next year....

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Susson Farm

Time for a little Blog catch-up here. Sometime 2 months ago (....) on a nice warm day in September, we had a really fun & new outing, so I figured it was blog worthy. Mima Wade accompanied us down to Susson Park.. it's down in South County, somewhere we never go! This was a big adventure ;)
 
This park had a playground, but it also had a ton of live animals, real, up close, HUGE, live animals!

We were all enthralled with these pigs. They stunk beyond any vocabulary word I can think of to describe the stench....but we stood there for 10 minutes watching them fight over food, poop in the mud, then roll in the mud, etc.
 
Mama Sow with all of her piglets. I absolutely get how some cultures consider pork dirty.

This one was missing meal time, but somehow I don't think that's a problem.

Farmer Owen.

I think they were all looking at a (very) pregnant goat who was breathing strangely. Probably because she was (very) pregnant. Some of us have been there before...!

Mama Goat.

We went back to the pigs in the mud and watched for another 10 minutes.
 
Somehow I missed the pictures of the Mama Cows (and those utters- wowza), the huge majestic horses, and the bull. Wow that bull. He had not been castrated. And I couldn't.stop.looking. Slightly embarrassed that I was with my mother-in-law;)
 
This free park is just one of the many kid-friendly gems that St. Louis has to offer. We love the zoo, but it was neat to see these animals a little closer and in different habitats. We'll be heading waaay back down to South County next spring for sure!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy 2nd birthday, my darling Amelia!


I know I'm a month late here, but we had a blast celebrating the 2nd birthday of our darling Amelia. Pictures of the party to come.. but for now, a tribute to this spunky & independent little girl. She weighed in at 25lb 3oz and is 35 inches tall. If you double her 2 year old height (rule of thumb for adult height), that would put her at 5'10''. Wow. I guess her good eating is really doing something. She's as sweet as she is sassy, and don't get too used to one mood. Just as Missouri weather can change in 5 minutes, so can the attitude of this little love. I suppose she comes by that honestly from her mother ;)

She loves to give kisses and the 'lub you mommy', 'lub you daddy' has begun. As you can imagine this certainly warms my heart to the deepest possible place. She's working on her manners, saying 'thank you' and 'welcome' in the same breath. Her beloved baby (sometimes named Blue, sometimes named Pink) is the favorite toy right now. She takes baby everywhere, feeds baby in the high chair, and tonight at dinner she sat baby down for a hair cut. Two weeks ago we took away her pacifiers, and instead of providing a chronicle of that 'journey/headache', I'll just let you use your imagination.

Amelia's personality is blooming profusely. She's shy and timid around new people and situations, but she's got guts and gusto when it comes to trying new things. She got a balance bike for her birthday, and she's already taking off and tackling bumps. I can't even ride a bike that well. I can already tell that she'll be a kind adult (teenager, who knows?) and a nurturer of sorts. She'll be an independent soul for sure, and though that might be harder to raise in the short term, it's certainly a characteristic I want to foster.

video
 
I love this baby with every cell in my body, and I feel so blessed to have spent the last 2 years with her. My prayer, always, is that she would continue to grow in health and in joy, knowing always that she was created by a God who loves her and knitted her together precisely in my womb for a specific purpose.
 
We looooove you darling Millie! xo, Mom & Dad


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

StL Summer Wrap Up


We packed Summer 2014 full of around town activities. The reasons abound! The weather was gorgeous allll summer long. Mike traveled more than his normal this summer, so I tried to incorporate activities both to keep days fun and to wear them out! When Mike was in town, we were out doing fun things, too... trying to enjoy his time with us!
 
Botanical Gardens' kid area is a must.

... but it's a must with 1 parent per 1 mobile child. 

Yay for water play! (Her favorite!)

Tell me about it, stud. He looks like John Lennon in Millie's sun glasses!
Love that Chihully glass, too!

His agility is improving by leaps and bounds!

Watering seeds in a miniature garden!

Maybe she'll have a green thumb?
 
We walked to the Japanese garden to feed the big Koi fish, but the machine was out of food. So we (tried) to take pictures instead.

One weekend we traveled to Brown County Indiana to have a family reunion with Papa Wade's  side of the family. On the right side of the photo is the family of Dave's sister Ruth and her husband Glenn. They have two daughters, Emily & Hilary, each married with one child. There was a year when four of Great-Granny and Grandpa Wade's grandchildren had a baby. Dec 2010 (Colin & Owen), July 2011 (Eliza), Oct 2011 (Ava). Carson and Livi came before that busy time, and Millie obviously later. It's fun to have kids similar in age. Owen and Colin loved playing cars!
 
One morning, Owen got to ride in a boat with daddy and papa. He said this was the best!
 
We spent lots of time perfecting the tricycle riding.

Birdseye View of the zoo atop Uncle Ryan's shoulders. That's the best place to be!

Ice Cream Truck Treats

Splash Pad Fun with Eden Merrill.

The occasional pool time.. I had a hard time with the 2 of them by myself still this summer.
Maybe next year?

Children's Zoo. (Special Treat!)

I was absolutely thrilled to meet these 2 little loves, Louis (L) and Calvin (R). They are the twin boys of two of my dear friends from college, Nathan and Veronica Shore. We got a quick visit with them when they were in town from Minneapolis.

Millie is showing off her 'solid' food.

Day trip to Co,Mo. Just love all that's wrapped up in this pic!

Zoo train.

Summa time and the livin is easy!

Little firecracker on the 4th of July!

Our July 4th was awesome! We got to spend the day as (whole) families with the Francis clan. This has never before happened, and may never again! Jeff Francis (golf course extraordinaire) actually got a July 4th off (his first ever,,,maybe?) and he was willing to come hiking and playing with us Wades  (Mike was actually in town too!)
 
We played and hiked, and ate, and played soccer. Pictured above: Nathan (2), Tyler (4), and O (3). Owen looooooves these Francis boys. Every time we see them he talks about them non-stop for at least 2 weeks.
 
We met out at Shaw's Nature reserve in Gray Summit. Despite it being a holiday, it was practically empty. We had the run of the place on a gorgeous day!

Little Miss enjoyed time with baby Grant. He was 7.5 months in this picture. Now 10 months and walking. Poor Ali! We had an absolute blast with you guys!
 
Summer 2014 had its ups and downs, but we are so grateful for great friends, helpful grandparents/aunts/uncles, cool summer weather, and St. Louis's many many free attractions!