Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin Carving 2015

Last night we went over to my parents house for dinner, as we typically do on most Thursdays. My sister and her family and my Papa always come over too and the kids have the best time playing and driving us crazy!! ;-)

Every year, on a Thursday night around Halloween,  my mom will have pumpkins to carve for the kids. Before we had kids, my sister, Jason, Jake and I would carve pumpkins of something we wanted, now we carve pumpkins of something the kids like. The kids are really too small to carve pumpkins still, so it's really more for us, but they love seeing the finished product so we continue to do it every year. :-)

Here's a year by year picture of our pumpkins since we've had Jackson.

Landon's was Incredible Hulk, Jackson's was Mickey Mouse and Mason's was the Owls.

In 2013 we painted pumpkins so the kids could be a little more involved.

Jake carved a really cool Ninja turtle for Jackson! Landon's was a Transformer and Mason's said Spooky (pictured above with the 3 boys).

Mason's is Peppa Pig, Landon's is the Minion and Jackson's is Blaze and the Monster Machines!

Avery wanted nothing to do with any of it! Ha. She was totally grossed out and actually scared of the pumpkin guts. Ha. She's such a girl.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Avery is 18 Months Old Today!!

Wow, how did that happen? 1 1/2 years old! It just doesn't seem possible.

You are tall and skinny. You have pretty much lost your baby fat and have slimmed down quite a bit. You are tall enough though, to reach things that are on the edge of the counter, which is somewhat frustrating! Ha. You weigh 24 pounds!

You are still wearing mostly 18 month clothes, but I've bought mostly 24 month clothes for you for Fall and Winter so that you can wear them for the whole season.

Shoe Size
Size 5

Still a Size 4

You have all 4 top front teeth and all 4 front bottom teeth. You also have all 4 of your 1 year molars and your 4 incisors have just recently poked through. So at 18 months you have 16 teeth!!

Light Brown hair and Brown eyes

You sleep pretty good for the most part. You usually go to sleep between 8 and 9 and then sleep til anywhere from 6-9 depending on the day. You sometimes wake up once in the middle of the night and are hard to get back to sleep but thankfully this doesn't happen often. You usually take a morning nap for around 1-2 hours and then an afternoon nap for around 1-2 hours.

You're not really eating much these days. You do love chips and french fries though and I never have to twist your arm to eat those. Ugh. You also love fruit snacks too which you can't seem to get enough of. You will try new foods which I love about you and there really isn't much you won't eat. You still love macaroni and you really like pizza too but you'll eat corn, peas, carrots, green beans... there really isn't much I've found that you won't eat. The problem is you just don't eat very much of anything.Which probably explains why you've slimmed down.

Favorite Toys:
You love anything Mickey Mouse Clubhouse related. You carry around our stuffed Minnie Mouse and Daisy and even sleep with them some nights! It's really cute! You also like to play with whatever Jackson is playing with at the moment, which he is not a fan of. You are a collector, which you come by honestly from me. When you're in the bath, I will give you a few toys to play with and rather than playing with them, you gather them up and just sit there and hold them and then if one of them gets away from you, you cry because your hands are too full to try and get it back. Ha!

Other than the new tooth, there really haven't been too many big milestones lately. You have attempted to say a few more words I guess but that's about it. You are a climber and can climb all the way onto the kitchen table! Little stinker! That's one milestone we could have lived without! You also know where many of your body parts are like: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, hair, fingers, toes, butt and belly button! We've been saying bed-time prayers recently and you are so cute! I've taught you to put your hands together in the prayer position and I will tell you to close your eyes and you do, which is so stinkin cute! We say the "now I lay me down to sleep" prayer and before we're even done you start clapping at the end. We're working on getting you to say Amen. You try, but you don't quite have it down yet. ;-)

There are a few words that you say often like Momma, Dada, Papa, Ball, Hot, Hi, Hello, Eye and you try to say Brother. You also try to say my sister's name, Ashlee. Lately we've been working on animal sounds which you've got dog, cat, duck and bear down pretty well. You also try to do the cow and chicken most times. We're wondering if your speech may be somewhat delayed because of thick fluid in your ears. You had an ear infection in early August that ended up taking 3 antibiotics to clear up. Though the infection went away, the fluid in your ears never did. So the pediatrician referred us to a child ENT. We saw him in late September and he suggested we wait 6 weeks and re-check your ears to see if the fluid would go away on its own.
We had your follow-up at the ENT yesterday and the thick/chronic fluid was still in both ears. So the doctor said he wouldn't pressure us, but thought Ear Tubs would be a good idea. He was concerned about speech delays and thought with the fluid that you may not be hearing as well as you should. So we are looking into scheduling tube surgery soon.

You are feisty and relentless and you will do whatever it takes to get what you want. This will help you in the career world, but it's not very fun for your momma right now!! Ha. You throw fits and have a little temper. We're working on this but it's hard. You are sweet though and give kisses and squeezes when you're in the mood. You're a girly girl and love to wear jewelry, play with baby dolls and you love shoes! You are ornery, but yet can be so sweet and cuddly. You love your brother and when he wakes up or you are reunited after him being gone somewhere, you almost always run up and give him a hug. You have the cutest walk. It's like you have a little bounce in your step. It's almost like your walk even has a personality. Ha. It's too cute!

I think that pretty much covers you at 18 months pretty girl! 
We love you to the moon and back Avery and are so thankful for our sweet girl!
Mommy! xoxo

And a little side by side comparison of Avery over the last 18 months.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Boo at the Zoo

This past Saturday night we took the kids to Boo at the Zoo!! I've always heard how much fun it is, but had never gone in the past. This year we dressed the kids in their costumes and made it happen and I'm so glad we did. It was a lot of fun!! There were lots of things for the kids to do and see and they had the very best time!! It was so fun to see all the kids dressed in their adorable costumes! There were lots of activities and light displays set up. After we left, we asked Jackson what his favorite part was and he said riding the carousel. :-)

The animals weren't really out or where you could see them, but we did get to see the Polar Bear sleeping, which was pretty awesome. He is new to our zoo and when we were there a couple months ago, we didn't get to see him, so it was cool to see him sleeping (not something you would normally get to see during the day). 

Avery had a Minnie Mouse outfit that she got for her birthday earlier in the year. I loved it and just hadn't really had an opportunity for her to wear it yet. So I thought I'd dress her in that for this event since she LOVES Minnie Mouse right now!! Jackson wore his Batman costume again and just loves wearing it. :-) 

We had a really great time and will more than likely try to make this an annual event!!

There was one area where the kids could dance to The Monster Mash song. It was adorable and I was surprised that Jackson actually got out there and danced. It was the cutest, so I had to get it on video!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

5 on Friday

I'm linking up with April today for Five on Friday!

Earlier this month, my Mom, Sister and I went to the Vintage Market Days here in St. Louis. They have this twice a year and we went to the one in April earlier this year and had the best time! It's all outdoors and there are tons of Vintage vendors that set up tents and sell really cool vintage items. In April I found several really cute props for Storybook Photography. I found a little red wagon, an apple basket, a cute little ladder and a cute little wooden chair... all perfect for childrens photography.

This time around, I was looking for a few things for our new home... mostly for our kitchen since that's what we're working on now. I knew I wanted to find some blue mason jars, since that's the main color of the kitchen and then I found this cute blue cheese grater that I thought I could set out somewhere in the kitchen for decoration. I also found the cut tree trunk that I plan to use as part of the centerpiece on the dining room table. The license plate is to go in Jackson's room and the necklace I made while I was there at a vintage jewelry stand. I've been really wanting a camera charm for a necklace and I just love this one that she had. I paired it with an A and then cut the chain down a little shorter!! I love it so much :-)

Last week, I stayed home from work on Wednesday when Jake woke up sick and decided to stay home. Jackson had been coughing all night so I thought I better stay home and take care of both of them. Jackson's cough seemed to get a little better throughout the day but then at around 3:00 he had to go potty and when I helped take his pajamas down I noticed a crazy rash on his back, butt, legs and arms. He had had on warm fuzzy pajamas so we thought maybe he was just warm and we gave the rash a little while to see if it would go away, but after 30 minutes it was still very much there. So I called the doctor and they said to give him benadryl and see if that didn't help. After a little while of that, it wasn't getting any better so I called the doctor back and made him an appointment for the following day. The benadryl made him very sleepy and he slept the rest of the night. I stayed home again the next day to take him to the doctor but when he woke up, the rash was gone. I thought, well maybe it was just a weird thing and it's gone. But later that afternoon it came back. :-( I gave him more benadryl and was starting to freak out a little bit. It was like hives and combined with the cough, I was a little worried of what was going on. So Friday morning I called the doctor back and made another appointment, of course Jackson woke up later and the rash/hives were gone again, but this time we had taken a picture the night before in hopes that we could at least show the doctor what it looked like to see what was going on. The doctor said he really didn't know but said it was more than likely allergies or a virus. He said instead of using benadryl (which makes him super sleepy) we could try Allegra (which is non-drowsy) and see if that helped with the rash and the coughing. Thankfully it helped with both and the rash never came back! Yay. His cough is still here and getting worse. :-( Thankfully the Allegra does seem to help, but he and I are both ready for that to go away too.
My poor buddy's arm last Thursday night. :-( Thankfully he said it didn't itch or hurt, so that's good at least.

 I was recently at Target (my home away from home), shopping for Halloween costumes when I spotted this cute arrow with hooks. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and snatched it up to use as a place to hang my jewelry. I love it!!!

I took Avery's 18 month pictures a week or so ago and I just loved this one. I had her cross her ankles and told her to put her hands in her lap and she did it. :-) She seriously couldn't be any cuter!!

A little update on the house: We are still working on a lot of little projects around there. My dad is working tirelessly on finishing up the cabinets. He has all the boxes, drawers and doors built. Now he's working on getting them all painted and put together. We are in the home stretch of having the cabinets done. Yay! Once they are done, it should all come together pretty quickly. I can't wait to see and share the progress.

Here's a little sneak peek of what he had done as of last night. The gray cabinets (there are several more not pictured here) are for the u shape of the kitchen. This is the main cooking area. The white cabinets below are the top cabinets of our built in hutch/butler's pantry. They will have glass in the doors. I'm so excited to to be able to see them coming to life!! :-) We don't have the handles yet, but they have been picked out and just need to be ordered.

My mom and I got the wallpaper off in the kitchen and hall bath and the wallpaper border off in Avery's room and about halfway down in Jackson's room. We still have the rest of the border to take down in Jackson's room and then all of the border in the master bedroom to go. All the floor trim has been pulled out of the whole house and a good majority of the brush from the back yard has been hauled off. This past weekend Jake got rid of all the leaves in the yard, mowed and weed-eated and he and my dad cleaned the gutters and put gutter guards on so that he doesn't have to clean them anymore. :-) The pool has been winterized and closed for the winter. So we've made quite a bit of progress! :-) I'm hoping there will be a lot more to share soon.
While taking the wallpaper down in the kitchen this past Saturday, we found this mural that had been painted there at one point in time. It's always interesting the things you find in old homes. :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How we celebrated Jackson's 4th Birthday

Jackson turned 4 this past Tuesday and though his party is a week and a half away, we had to make him feel special on his actual birthday. I had considered taking the day off of work, but since he had school that day, it didn't really make sense to do that. So he went to school like normal and then when we all got home, we took him to his favorite restaurant for dinner... Steak n' Shake where he ordered his favorite meal: Grilled Cheese, Fries with dipping cheese on the side and a Dr. Pepper (he only gets soda when we're out to eat or on special occasions). 

After dinner, we decided to take him to Family Video for the first time and let him pick out a movie to take home and watch. There are very few video stores left around us now, but we do have one that's somewhat close-by. Family Video has a Free Kids Movie section! So we let him pick out one that was free and one that wasn't free. He picked a Blaze and the Monster Machines DVD (no surprise there) and The Lego Movie!! 

 Then after the movie store, we stopped by Baskin Robbins on the way home so he could pick out some ice-cream. He picked the green and blue berry sherbert you see up in the far right. :-) He didn't eat much of it, so Avery finished it off at home making quite a big mess. Ha.

While I got Avery in the bath, Jackson and Jake started watching The Lego Movie and he ended up watching quite a bit of it before finally falling asleep. I think he had a great 4th birthday and we all had fun celebrating our special boy!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Party 2015

My mother-in-law had an amazing Halloween Party this past Saturday night. She had it at her brother's old Farm House out in the country. It was a perfect setting for the party. It was a costume party so we all dressed up. She served chili dogs and all kinds of other goodies to go with it. There was a hayride courtesy of Jake's Uncle, a fire for roasting marshmallows (and keeping warm), several games and a pumpkin carving contest. The friendly ghost even stopped by and had the kids go on a little scavenger hunt to find their treat bags! It was a great night and the kids (and adults) all had a great time!

After going back and forth many times, Jackson finally settled on a Batman costume for Halloween this year. I'm not really sure what made him decide on this costume as he's never really watched Batman or had anything to do with him, but nonetheless, that's what he chose when we were at the Halloween store last week. So I built our costumes around his and we were all characters from Batman. Jackson: Batman, Avery: Cat Woman (Or just a really cute kitty cat), Jake: Robin and Myself: Bat Girl. My mom made mine and Avery's tutu's and they turned out so stinkin cute!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Happy 4th Birthday to my sweet boy!!

How are you 4 already? These last 4 years have flown by! You were so cute this morning when you woke up I said, Good morning birthday boy! You stood up right next to me as if to measure your height against mine and you said "am I bigger now?" You certainly are getting so BIG and you amaze me everyday with all you are learning. Just the other day you ran over to me and proudly said, "4+4 = 8". I couldn't believe you knew that!! You are SO smart!! 

You are so sweet too. You love to "sluggle up" (a.k.a. snuggle up) at night before bed and you'll just randomly tell me sometimes, "I love you mommy". Melts my heart when you say that. I can't imagine any sweeter words.

You are definitely "all boy"!! You love everything cars, trucks, trains and planes. You love to wrestle and rough house. You love to play in the dirt and play outside. You love going to the park and riding your bike. Your favorite show is Blaze and the Monster Machines and we are currently collecting all the "Blaze" cars. You will play with them for hours and I love to hear your imagination while you play. It's too cute! 

Your favorite color is Blue and you will have nothing to do with anything pink or purple! Those are girl colors. Just this last Saturday we were at Grandma's Halloween Party and she put you on the purple team.  You were not happy!!

You love going to Steak n' Shake! It's you're favorite restaurant. Anytime we ask you where you'd like to eat, it's always Steak n' Shake. You often go to work with Papa when he's working at our new house. He will take you to Steak n' Shake for lunch and you just love it.! 

You love your baby sister, even though she often takes your toys right out of your hand!! You never retaliate and usually just tell me what she did so I can get whatever it was she stole from you back. You sometimes just randomly say, "I like Avery really much". You are such a sweet big brother.

(You and Avery in the Power Wheels car we got you for your birthday this year!)

You say some of the funniest things and I just enjoy hearing your little wheels turning. You love to learn and are really interested in numbers right now and learning what each number is. You often talk about the planets and the moon and really like to learn about outer space.  You have a lot to say and never stop talking, especially in the car. You are often shy around new people though, but you warm up fairly quickly. You love to play with all of your cousins and friends. You make friends easily anytime we're at the park.

Happy birthday sweet Jackson. You made me the happiest mommy 4 years ago today when you were born and words can't express how much I love you!! You are such a good boy and I can't believe how big you are getting. You amaze me everyday and I feel so blessed that I get to watch you grow and learn every day! I love you to the moon and back! I hope you always know that and I hope you have the best birthday yet! 

(You had school today, so I'm certain they are celebrating you there and then tonight, we are going to Steak n' Shake for dinner. :-) We are having a "Halloween" themed birthday party for you on Halloween day which is sure to be a lot of fun!! You picked the theme and you can't wait for your party!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Weekend Recap

We had a great, long weekend and I'm sad to see Tuesday come so quickly. 

Friday night, Jake and I (much to his dismay) went to the St. Louis County Library for the book signing for John and Sherry Petersik's new book, Lovable Livable Home. They are the couple behind the blog Young House Love. It was so great to meet them in person and they were so sweet! We had a nice dinner afterwards at Dewey's Pizza... yum!

Then Saturday my Mom, Aunt and I threw my sister a little baby shower for her and sweet baby Emerson. It was such a nice shower and she got a lot of cute things for the new baby. Now we're awaiting little Emerson's arrival next month.

Then after my sister's shower, I had a family photo session for my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law. They recently moved and found a very pretty park close-by their house that they chose to have pictures taken at. It worked out because Jake and the kids played while I took pictures and then we all went back to my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Laws house for dinner and games. Here's a little sneak peek from their session. :-)

Sunday we went to church and then had food and fellowship in our dining hall after church. After lunch my sister and her kids along with my mom, myself and my kids went and did a little shopping at Babies R Us. My sister had a gift card and I needed to update little miss Avery's Fall wardrobe so it was fun to do a little shopping (even though shopping with 4 kids can be a little stressful). All of their Carters clothes were on sale 50% off!! Can't beat that. Here's a couple of pictures of Avery modeling some of her new clothes later that evening. Isn't she the cutest?! Max decided to photobomb. ;-)

Then Sunday evening I had the pleasure of taking a co-worker of mine's daughter's Senior Portraits! Maggie is such a beautiful girl inside and out and I had such a great time in Forest Park taking her photos!

This Monday was my "every other Monday off" so I got to spend the day with my sweet kiddos doing fun things!! First we went to get Jackson's hair cut at the Hairy Elephant. Then we did a little stop at Target and then had lunch at McDonalds. After lunch we went and played for quite a while at a park we found that is close to our new house... Kirkwood Park.

Later that evening, we met Jake and my parents at the new house to load up some old tree limbs and brush along with some of the debris from the kitchen reno. It was nice to get a good chunk of that out of the way. :-) 

So that was our very busy, but very fun weekend! I hope yours was great as well!