Sunday, April 27, 2014


This is sort of the post that's the iPhone clean out from March & early April. Mike was in SoCal (eating delicious fish dinners) most of March, so we tried to plan fun outings.
We ended the month at the Lake of the Ozarks with Mima & Papa Wade.
Claire (and baby girl in utero), Adam, and Georgie (as O calls him) drove down an hour or so from Columbia to spend Saturday with us Wades. We hadn't seen Georgie in about 10 weeks and WOW has he changed. He is an animated little ham with delightful animal sounds and facial expressions to boot. I'm thinking he looks like his mom and has his dad's personality. Can't wait to spend more time with this little guy!
Sunday morning we drove to PB1 (Public Beach) for a little playing in the sand. We had intended to hike, but I had a *touch* of Millie's GI bug that erupted in car seat vomit on the way to the lake. Those Ozark hills did me in.. so I tried to maintain my cookies while the kids played. Turns out we also passed this bug to Mima & Papa Wade... sorry again about that :/

A stunning view from the Lake Condo. I think it was this night that we rented American Hustle. It was up for a lot of awards right... well we must not be movie buffs because we all gave it two thumbs down!

We also paid a little visit to GG one afternoon. O loves to visit her because she buys him oreos and popcorn. This particular day she chose to sit and visit in a room that was playing a terminator movie (loud enough for the entire nursing home to hear). Owen was enthralled with his first shoot em' up movie, and he's still talking about the 'Bad Guys' and 'the fuel tanker that blew up'. Next time we'll have to find a different room in which to eat our oreos.

We also had a great (still chilly) play date with Evan & Kaitlyn Wehmeier at the transportation museum. I took the boys on the (very) cold train ride.

And Leslie (E&K's) mom fed fruit snacks to the girls. We were too cheap to buy train tickets for the girls.. so we tried to lure them away with food. I'm not sure Baby Kate went for our trick... though she does love to eat just as much as Millie.

Wore her out at the museum!

One sunny & warm-ish day while Mike was away we joined the rest of the city of St. Louis at the zoo. We went after naps, so there was actually parking in the lot, but the place was still a zoo.
We also saw a girl fight that resulted in the loss of a fair amount of weave ;) Stay classy St. Louis!

It was so congested leaving the zoo that we crossed the highway and had a picnic
dinner at turtle park where the kids could continue to climb & play.
Like I've said before I loooove getting these kids out of the house. And I so appreciate all of the grandparental help during March when M was gone. It made some days infinitely easier! xo

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Parkway Classes, Again!

We did another 'Family Fun' class at the Parkway Early Childhood Center this winter. These classes are a great way to get the kids out of the house, learning, & exploring. I also like having activities like these because that's when the 'fun' mom in me comes out....when we're out! At home I feel bogged down with chores, meals, planning, etc. I wish I was a better play mom at home.. but alas, I get them out to do fun things!
Can we please share that big tray of sand?

No surprise that Owen's favorite class had the theme, 'On the Go'. Racing cars down a gutter sure is a great idea!

Beep Beep! She's a cozy coupe lover!

They let the kids play, climb, and do whatever they want for the first 15 minutes. Then they are so much more focused on the class agenda. It's pretty genius to me... maybe I should take note of this tactic.

No fear Millie, climbing away.


Shaving cream on tin foil. Super fun.

My little girl loves play doh. It can entertain her for a while.. which is great because all of a sudden she's acting one! She's in to everything....

Two Wades in a little house.
Pretty impressive tower, O!

Millie wanted to join in on the fun at this table.

Food coloring + corn syrup = sticky mess for an 18mo old.

But pretty cool for a 3 year old!

This was Millie's favorite activity of any session. Playing in colored, cold spaghetti. The object for the older kids was to practice cutting, but she could not get enough of this texture!

Owen works hard at his fine motor skills!

Ok, I'll try to cut, too... but really I just want to play in this!

Dipping marshmallows in paint.

Fun & messy!

Dipping cars in paint and running them along the table.
I love that these classes provide an environment for all sorts of sensory experiences that I don't have to clean up! Once I tried to make red & green finger paint with condensed milk. It was an awesome activity..but it resulted in baths and mopping. Lots of energy.
Owen is much more interested in the motor activities than the art activities, and once again he prefers not to have his hands 'too' dirty. Millie would be covered in paint from head to toe, and then she would try to eat it. I love watching them explore.
And now on to park season... much cheaper and more flexible. Welcome, spring!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

18 months: Gasp

The title of this blog has a double meaning... GASP, Amelia is 18 months. How did that happen?
Also.. this little girl GASPS (a big, animated AHHHHH) in regards to anything that she's excited about. This is usually a favored food (most food), getting shoes on to 'go go', or finding a paci that she's 'stored' or 'dropped' somewhere.
She's quite a consistent little bugger too. Here are her stats:
Weight: 23# 6oz (25-50%)
Length: 32.5 inches (75%)
Head: 17 3/4 inches (10-25%)
She's got about 11 words (Ped doesn't count animals sounds, unfortunately).
Kick Kick
Oskeee (Sounds like Ahhh, skgfhgurhg)
Sock (Gock)
Cookie (sounds like Coo sdjuufdgdighd)
Mama (NEW!)
GG (this is great grandma)
More (mo mo)
Go Go
Her animal sounds are even more fun & ever present: tweet tweet, meow (said for dogs), baa baa, choo choo (ok, not an animal), hoo hoo, quack quack, moo. 

This big girl can crawl onto and off of the couch with no problem whatsoever.
One of the most fun developments from the last month is that she'll approach me and point to her diaper when she's poopy. I love that she is able to communicate the desire to be changed!
She loves the water & is quite the splasher. I'm glad I'm not the routine bather.

She picked this book out at the library.. maybe she can already read?
She's still pretty impatient when it comes to meal time, and she has definite and distinct opinions about what she wants to eat. More words will really come in handy...

Love those lips, those cheeks, those soft eyelashes, that silky hair.

First ice cream cone of the season.

Loving her little kitchen. She hides things in the cabinets (her bib, Tupperware from my drawer).
At school she seems interested in all different kinds of toys, but man oh man she screams her head off every morning when we leave her. It's quite the start to the day.

She loves mess (in contrast to Owen). He likes to play shaving cream but will only drive his cars in it (avoiding the mess). She will end up with it everywhere... hands, shirt, eyes, hair. No worry about mess in her mind!

Spring is in the air!

I love when I find her independently cuddled and reading.
Have I mentioned she loves ice cream?

Mike was gone a large portion of March (maybe 17 days-ish?). It was hard on all of us, obviously, but especially this little love who is totally attached to her daddy. The afternoon he got home, she was just waking from her nap and she didn't let go for a long time. I love them.
One of the reasons that I think they're two peas in a pod is that they are a lot alike. Though Owen has some of Mike's tendencies (dislike of messy hands, lining up of cars, etc), I think he is actually a lot more like me (also recently evidenced by his poor 3 year old behavior.. apparently my  mom thinks that's funny). Millie, however, seems to be like her daddy at the core. She's brave, courageous & adventurous when it comes to motor skill activities. But interestingly, she's a little shy. I didn't realize this until she and George (17mo) were together last weekend. He was quite the ham, and when someone else had the show, she was quite content to take the backseat. Maybe she's a little shy?
It's crazy to me to think that Owen was 18 months when we moved from SEA to STL. Where in the world has the time gone?!? GASP!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rainbow Play House Play Date

Owen LOVES his friend Tyler. We talk about Tyler almost daily. 'Tywer is my favorite'. Turns out, Tyler's mommy, Alison, is also one of my favorites. We've been friends for 13 years or something now... can you believe that Ali? Ali's a well-balanced, working mom, who pinterests and is uber present during her 'at home' time with her 3 boys. She must not sleep.. but I sure do look up to her!
The never ending winter of 2014 led us to pick an indoor playground. This Rainbow warehouse sells these $15,000 play gyms for kids, but you can play in the warehouse for just $5. Ali and I obviously brought the catalog home to our hubbies because we've been saving for just this.

Millie liked the slide on the ground, unattached to any gym.

Grant, 3 months (at the time), was a gem at the gym. Turns out he's just a gem in general. He might just talk me in to #3 sooner rather than later.  

Nathan (2) did a great job keeping up with the big boys.

Millie loved the swing, too. 

And climbing....

Superstar mom holding 50+ pounds of toddler. I know the lighting isn't great, but I just loved the pic.

Owen and 'Tywer' had a total ball.

And Mills couldn't even make it home...
Thanks for hanging out with us, Francis clan. We heart you!