Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Today You Are Five

Dear Nicholas,

As of 4:28 this morning you are FIVE years old!  It is so hard for Mommy to believe that you've been with us that long and that you are that old!  We celebrated your birthday on Saturday with your friends, but today we get to celebrate just the three of us.  This is a BIG birthday!  You are no longer considered a baby in any way, you are definitely a big boy now!!!  

The next few weeks will bring so many changes in your life.  This week you get to go on your first field trip in kids camp, in about 6 weeks will be your first day of elementary school, and in 12 week or less, you will become a big brother!  We are so proud of the boy you've become. You are no longer our little boy, but rather our big boy who is ready to take on the world. (Even if we aren't ready for you to go out into the big world without us!) 

My prayer for you as you begin all of these big changes is that you always have a desire to learn, help those who may be struggling around you, and they you always love the Lord. 

I also wanted to document a few things about you on your 5th birthday for me to be able to remember when you are a really big boy! 

- You are 44 pounds and 45 inches tall
- You wear size 5 clothes and an 11.5 wide shoe
- You love your friends and your best friends are Tate, Braxton, Trey, Lucas, and Will. 
- Your favorite thing to do is play on your Nabi
- Your favorite food is fish or shrimp and any dessert
- You would rather have chocolate milk than anything to drink.
- You love Legos, Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, and Transformers. 

One day you will look back and remember your first day of elementary school, the day your sister was born, and the many changes of this year and I hope you have good memories. Your 5th year is going to have so many wonderful changes and I pray you embrace them with the enthusiasm you embrace life. 

Daddy and I love you so much!  We are so proud of you and the sweet, loving little guy you've become!  Happy birthday buddy! 

Love, Mommy 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thoughts For Thursday

1. It's birthday party week at our house! It feels strange not to be crafting and making all of the decorations, but we are going much smaller and simpler this year and it's all from the party stores. We only invited immediate family and his close friends, and booked it at a party facility, not the back yard. He even insisted his cake be "a grocery store cake only!"  I may have mourned a little over the cake situation!

2. Nicholas swam for the first time without his floaties on Sunday!  Because I had to be in the water with him, I didn't get any pictures, but he did well. He even got into the deep end on accident and dog paddled his way out. 

3.  Baby sister's canvas scripture came last week. It is beyond perfect! I found it on etsy and it couldn't match any better!
I chose Proverbs 31:25 because it was a scripture my Nana had on her refrigerator for years and the one I read at her funeral. I had actually declared it my scripture for the year 2 weeks before she died and 3 weeks before we found out about Aliza Kate. There was never a doubt what I would hang in her room! 

4.  Speaking of Aliza Kate, I realized this week I only have 59 more work days until maternity leave (including 2 holidays and a vacation day!). Needless to say, that freaked me out a little! There is a lot to do in a short time! Ahhhh! 

5.  Six months from today is Christmas!!! I have such a cute vision of my house on Christmas morning: kids in matching pjs, playing with our new toys, and watching the Disney parade while we wait on family to come in the afternoon. It's hard for me to believe that there will be TWO children posing for pictures in front of our tree this year (and in coordinating outfits of course)!!! And I can't wait!!!! 

6. 

A few weeks ago we were having a lazy Saturday morning and Nicholas laid on my legs and said he wanted to cuddle with his sister. Yes, I almost died right there. I pray he always loves her as much as he does right now. He is so excited and can't wait to be a big brother!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day 2015

We had a fabulous, low key day all about Michael yesterday.  We spent Saturday seeing the grandfathers so that yesterday could be a day just for the 3 of us. I loved making sure he had his own special day!

When we got married I had an idea in my mind of how I wanted our family to be and what kind of a dad I wanted him to be. It is an understatement to say he has far exceeded my expectations!  

From the moment he first held Nicholas to spending all day on his special day just throwing him across the pool and doing whatever the 5 year old wanted, Nicholas is his focus. He told me yesterday that being a dad is the most important role he has and I think he puts 100% in all the time.  

However, it's the other times in our lives that have made such an impact on me.  It's the times no one can see but me: helping with homework, giving Nicholas a bath or brushing his teeth when he is crying because he doesn't want to do it and Michael stays calm (unlike me), or reading a book at bedtime when they are both tired and I know Michael would rather be on the couch watching TV. Those are the moments that really matter and those are the moments I'll always be thankful for. 

Michael, I want you to know that we love and appreciate all you do to make our family function. I couldn't do it without you. You are our rock, our strength, and our best friend. We love you more than I could ever express and can't wait to see you with our new little girl! I've been blessed beyond measure to be your wife and share in the role of parenting our children with you. There is no one I would rather share this crazy journey with! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lately

I'm I know, I know. I did so good for a couple of weeks, then fell off the wagon again. The last few weeks have taken a toll on me between work, home, and being pregnant. I'm behind in every aspect right now. Here is what has been going on and what has been on my mind lately... 

1.  Grilling out and lots of fresh veggies! 
Michael has taken over as our main cook lately. Bless him! Baby sister has caused me to have pubis symphysis diastasis (meaning my pelvis is essentially dislocated and I'm in pain) and by the time I get home at night I'm done and can barely walk. We buy meats at Costco and this was our buggy at the grocery store last week. All nice and colorful! I love eating in the Summer! Nicholas is a huge fresh fruit eater and had been begging for a watermelon. He loved it so much he wouldn't open his eyes for a picture! Lol! 

2.  Lazy, hazy pool Sundays 
We've been at the pool the last 2 Sundays. This was last week and it just cracked me up. He is swimming really well this summer and LOVES the water. 

3. Busy Days 
Nicholas and I have both been worn out by the end of the day. It's my busy trauma season and I'm slammed with patients and not sleeping well. Nicholas is just playing hard! Last Monday he had day camp all day and as soon as he hit the door I found him on the couch under a blanket! He stayed like this until dinner and bath time! Haha!

4. Summer TV
I'm not a big TV watcher anyway, but Summer TV is terrible. I'm counting the days until Scandal comes on...which happens to be Aliza's due date!  It is actually only 99 DAYS AWAY now! We may be watching together in the hospital!  

5.  25 weeks! 
Well, now that I'm almost 26 weeks, I'll post a comparison shot from Nicholas to Aliza. I've said it before and I'll say it again, pregnancy is a lot harder at 34 than it was at 29! Ha! 

6. Nursery Progress! 
I'm not going to post much until it is all together, but our guest room is starting to look like a nursery!!!  Nicholas and Michael put the crib together last weekend and this weekend my mom and I will be organizing and hanging some wall hangings. Our family is hosting a shower at our house, so I want her room ready by then!  Hard to believe we are just a little over 3 months away from meeting our little princess!  

7. Cuddles 
Nicholas is already showing what a sweet big brother he is going to be. He loves to "hug sister" by rubbing my belly or giving me big hugs and last week when he was so tired he wanted to rock in the glider. If you think I didn't capitalize on this bedtime stall tactic you're crazy! We spent 30 minutes delaying bedtime so we could rock!  I tell him several times a day that he will always be my first and special baby and we love him SO much. 

8. Babies Don't Keep
It's so hard for me to believe this sweet baby is almost FIVE! On the days he goes to day camp he comes home acting like such a big kid. It's amazing how his vocabulary is bigger, he walks right into school without hesitating, and just acts big! In two weeks he will officially be in day camp, on his way to big school, and FIVE YEARS OLD!  I'm struggling with that and I'm 99% sure God knew I couldn't handle it if he were still an only child, so he gave us baby sister! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday

I've had a busy week, but made some time to do a quick brain dump for the week.


1.  Day camp at Nicholas' school is no joke! These kids come home exhausted, which has worked out great for me! Ha!  He gets to go twice a week between now and his birthday and last night he came in and just laid on the couch or in my lap all night. Those of you who know my wild man know that means he is TIRED!  He didn't even try to make up excuses to get up once he went to bed! Thanks kids camp! This tired mom is thankful! Ha!

2.  We are a little more than 3 weeks away from Nicholas' 5th birthday party!  He has chosen to have a ninja turtle party and we are going simple this year. We've booked a facility and all I have to do is show up with paper goods, cake, drinks and pizza.  I can handle that!  Against my will, I've given up on a Pinterest inspired party at home this year and letting him pick it all out. Again, I'm tired and picking my battles! Ha! 

3.  It's trauma season at work and we are busy!  Let me give you my annual reminder... Use your head. No kids on lawnmowers, stay away from motorcycles, and keep an eye on your kids in the pool! 

4.  Being pregnant at 34 has been a lot harder than 29!  Don't get me wrong, I've been blessed by two healthy pregnancies I was told I may never have. I LOVE feeling my baby move around and see the excitement when Nicholas feels her move, but...I've had a LOT of back and pelvis pain. I've been diagnosed with pubis symphysis dysfunction and combined with a spine that doesn't move out of the way, I'm in a lot of pain just about 24 hours a day. I had similar issues with Nicholas, but it has been much worse this time. By the time I get home from work I'm done.  I'm so, so thankful for all the help Michael has given me over the last month. He has been cooking dinner, helping with the laundry, and Nicholas' bedtime routine. I couldn't do it without him! We will be 24 weeks tomorrow and we will meet her in about 16 weeks!!!

5. Speaking of baby sister, I've registered again this time because my family has offered to host a shower for me and since we thought we were done with babies, the only thing I really had left from Nicholas was furniture! (thank goodness since it is so expensive) Any must have baby items that you think I should have? We plan to buy all the big stuff ourselves (mamaroo, monitor, car seats, etc) but I'm clueless on what are the current must have items! 

(Not sure why some of the font is messed up, sorry!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Recipes: Grilled Shrimp Tacos


Ingredients: 
32-40 peeled, raw shrimp
1 corn on the cob
5-6 green onions (use entire onion including stalk)
1 medium poblano pepper
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 tortillas 

To make the salsa:
Grill corn (shucked already to get the kernels nice and brown), poblano pepper, and onions. When cooked, cut corn off the cob, slice pepper and onions. Mix with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime juice from lime, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, set to the side. 

Grill shrimp for 10-15 minutes or until pink and cooked well. 

Grill tortillas for a minute or two or until warm then serve! 

This is one of our favorite summer meals, but it does take some time to prepare, so we have to make it on the weekends. It is so good and leftovers are just as yummy! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Busy Weekend

Friday night was our end of the year baseball party.  We had the party at a small carnival type amusement park near our house that I used to frequent as a kid!  It was fun to see him on the same rides I enjoyed 30 years ago!  Nicholas and Michael both got awards for playing and coaching and Nicholas loved showing his off! Haha!


We are so proud of how much better Nicholas did this season!  He can't wait to play "real baseball" next year on the 5 year old team!  

We hung out with his friend Brayden and his family after the party and rode rides. They had so much fun! 




We had a busy weekend getting our house ready for baby sister.  We decluttered Nicholas' room on Saturday and yesterday my dad and Michael moved furniture around and instead of our extra bed and dresser, we now have our sweet white sleigh furniture back from the attic read to be put together for baby sister!  I can't believe she will be here in about 16 weeks!!!  

Last night Nicholas wanted to ride his bike after dinner and I was feeling better than I usually do at that time of day, so I wanted with them. I was amazed how good he does now! He just took off and got way ahead of us! He is doing so much better on his bike!

Today we had a very exciting morning!  When we got to daycare he was invited into the day camp to spend the day!!! Once he turns 5 he can go on field trips with them, but for now he can go on any day that they have classroom days! To say he was excited would be an understatement!  He has LIVED to be in "kids camp" since he was 3 and he LOVED it!!! I have one tired little boy on my hands tonight. Apparently being a kids camper is hard work! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Bonus Year

Since Nicholas turned 3 I've been stressing and worrying over making the decision for kindergarten.  He is a smart child, loves school, and has always adapted well, but with a July 1st birthday, it just bothered me to think of sending him at 5 and even more so to think of sending him to college a few weeks after his 18th birthday.  This past year he has struggled a little bit because he was one of the youngest in his class and that caused him to be a follower when he has always been a leader as an older child in his previous classes. I didn't want him to go through school as immature or the youngest. I've cried and missed sleep over this decision, but I know in my heart I've made the right choice.

In our state we have a lottery funded PreK program that is equal opportunity, but limited spots. We entered the drawing and got a spot at the school he is zoned to attend kindergarten!!!  At that point I knew God was telling me I did the right thing.  On Tuesday we went for a meet and greet at his new school and saw his classroom. He was a bit overwhelmed, but loved it!  He was very shy and wasn't sure about them taking his picture, but he was super excited on the inside!  It's been all he has talked about!
(Here we are wearing our socks and sperrys again! Haha! Bless him and his fashion preferences!)

I was worried about how he was adapt to the news that he was repeating PreK, but he understands that he has a late birthday and some kids go to preK when they are 5. He calls it his 5 class.  I wanted him to know he wasn't going to kindergarten from the beginning and he has been ok with it the entire time. I'm so thankful for that. 

He will start his new school on August 17 and I know on August 14th, when we leave the only "school" he has ever known we will both cry.  It's a big step and I know he will do great!  I'm so proud of him and can't wait to see what his future holds! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summertime Favorite Meals

I love to spotlight a fun, tasty summertime food on here, but last year got out of the routine. I had several requests for the recipe of a homemade ice cream I posted over the weekend. This is one of my mom's classic recipes that I grew up with and it is pretty amazing! Enjoy!

Milky Way Ice Cream

Ingredients:
25-30 fun sized Milky Way bars
1 can Pet milk
1 small package of chocolate instant pudding
1 small carton of half and half
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2cup sugar
Milk

Chop candy bars in food processor and melt over medium heat combined with Pet milk. Allow mixture to cool. Combine pudding, half and half, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well. Once chocolate mixture has cooled, mix with pudding mixture. Pour into ice cream mixer and finish filling mixer with milk. Freeze according to mixer instructions. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Kickoff Weekend Wrapup

We have had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  We've enjoyed spending time with friends and family!  I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was just enjoying being in the moment. 

Saturday morning we split up and the boys worked around the backyard getting it ready for Summed and I went to order Aliza's bedding (!!!) and to Babies R Us to begin figuring out what we need.  I've realized that baby gear is a lot different than it was 5 years ago!  Saturday night we had the Millers over for a shrimp boil.  
It isn't Summer around here until we've boiled some shrimp! Haha! 

Yesterday we spent the entire day at the pool. Michael's dad and sister joined us in the afternoon and for dinner. Nicholas is doing so well in the pool this year!  I am so proud of him!




We also got a new grill because we had a charcoal grill that had rusted out and took way too long to use on weeknights. With my pelvis issue and being on my feet all afternoon at work I'm struggling at night, so we needed a way to cook dinner but not take an hour. We've grilled last night and tonight and are in love with the new grill! Look for some yummy summertime grilling recipes soon! 

Today we spent a couple of hours at the pool before it got too cloudy and Nicholas wanted to go home. We have been lazy and it was just what we needed!