29 July, 2015

Welcome to the Church, Ellie!

We are so excited to welcome Ellie to the Church, to receive the indelible mark on her soul claiming her for Christ.  My niece was Baptized at the beginning of the summer by our friend Deacon Dennis. Deacon Dennis has celebrated almost all our siblings weddings, and almost all our nieces and nephews baptisms. We're a big fan!

 One of the reasons we love him is that he gets down on the kids level and talks to the siblings. He also personally talks to the parents and Godparents about their responsibilities.
 David and Paige chose my sister Katie to be the Godmother and my brother Alex to be the Godfather.
 I absolutely adore photographing Baptisms so the photos and photobook made the perfect Baptism gift for Ellie.
 Katie and Sam knew they were pregnant but hadn't announced it to the family yet, so they privately asked Deacon Dennis for a blessing on the life growing within her.
 My parents hosted another beautiful party back at their house.
You know it's been a good day when cousin Wrestle Mania breaks out.

We're so blessed to share in the special day!  Congratulations, David, Paige, Zachary, and Ellie!


22 July, 2015

Evie: Preschool 2014-2015 Wrap Up


 To say that we love Evie's preschool is an understatement. From the moment we went on the tour our whole family has felt loved. And a genuine love, not a let-me-sell-you-our-school type of love.  Evie was placed in a class of children who all turned 3 in the Fall. There were 8 kids at the start of the year and 13 by the last day. Lots of new families moving to the area.

 A few things that we love about her school:


  • all of the teachers know all the kids names
  • teachers and faculty are joyful, genuine, and invested in the children
  • they're very organized and great at communicating (we received the 2015-2016 calendar on the last day of school. my planner girl's heart is happy!)
  • the tuition covers everything except snacks and diapers (supplies, paper goods, baby wipes, and all!) so no nickel and diming every few weeks for supplies 
  • each family is responsible for co-hosting a holiday class party - and the teachers stressed over and over "KEEP IT SIMPLE" and they meant it
  • no sweets or juice allowed for snacks
  • 15 minutes of Chapel, 20 minutes of music and movement, and 20 minutes of science each week for the 3s and under (longer for older kids, plus Spanish for 4s and up)
  • each child is loved for who they are!
  • play based curriculum 
  • students are taught age appropriate responsibilities (cleaning, line leader, prayer leader, chapel helper, etc)
  • her particular teacher had a story book based theme for each day: art, games, and activities were all based on a theme from a book. Each week of books had it's own theme, like "pumpkins" "beach" or "zoo animals".  And the children had individual quiet reading time each day.  An invaluable life skill!

Evie had a great year. She woke up every morning ready and excited for school.  Evie looked forward to show and tell, and couldn't wait to tell me all about her day when she got in the car. Her teachers were very patient and encouraging with all of her potty learning struggles this year. Evie loves her school friends and is always asking what they're doing when she's not with them.  She has a love of reading, art, and prayer. She has gain confidence and leadership skills.  We've been so thrilled with her school and can't wait for her to begin the Threes (or Young 4s, can't remember - oops!) in the Fall.

Also, a shout out to her school for putting on THE BEST summer camp weeks. Evie went to 2 out of the 3 weeks of camp and I only wish we'd sent her to all 3. They went above and beyond my expectations for a week of preschool camp. The camp sessions included gardening, cooking/baking, snack, playground, art, and free play. She came home with the most beautiful art projects, including a little pillow she learned how to sew!  (And just to prove how awesome they are, the school provided dairy free snacks for Evie each day...and even bought her dairy free ice cream for the day they made ice cream in cooking class!)

We can't wait for school to start!!


21 July, 2015

Maggie: Fifteen Months



Measurements:

Weight: 21 lbs 14 oz (36%)
Length: 32.9 in (>97%)
Eats: 3 full meals with us, a snack or two if she's hungry,  and 16 ounces of cows milk (4 at her naps + 8 a bedtime). She has a sippy of water throughout the day
Diapers:  Bum Genius 4.0s & Elementals, Thirsties pockets and AIO, Bottom Bumpers OS and Smart Bottoms.  Size 4 in disposables (at night)
Clothes:  18 months; but moving to 18-24 months & 24 months 
Shoes: 5
Teeth: four bottoms; four tops; and 3 molars

Firsts:

5/13/15 - Pulled up to standing and started jumping
5/21/15 - Trip to the Zoo
5/30/15 - Trip to the Beach
6/9/15 - cruising around the furniture
6/11/15 - bought first pair of shoes
6/15/15 - trip to story time
6/22/15 - crawled to front of story time and listened
7/10-12/15 - weekend home with daddy (and not mama!)

Milestones:

Maggie is great with independent play. She loves exploring the house.
She gives the sweeeeeetest open mouth baby kisses. She even puts her hands on either side of your face as she's leaning in for a kiss.

Maggie will eat just about anything, she's like a baby disposal.

Maggie is quite the talker. She can say:
Mom/Mama (sometimes she says MOM in a deep raspy voice and it cracks me up)
Dad/Dada
E-E [Evie]
'aby [baby]  (this applies to all children)
dog
Spike
oof-oof [woof-woof] (this applies to all animals)
hi
bye (and bye-bye)
all done
uh oh
mine
beeeeep (mimics the sound of the elevators)

Maggie has finally started with some basic sign language, like "all done", but for the most part she just screams a very high-pitched ear-piercing scream.  Okay, that's not entirely true. She does her best to communicate. Like when she wants a snack she bangs on the pantry door. When she wants a drink she brings me her sippy cup.

While she's still not walking on her own, Maggie is finally squatting and pushing up to standing and back to squatting all on her own. Often times holding a snack or toy!

Maggie LOVES to read books. I often find her sitting in a room reading a book to herself. 

Maggie can scale the entire flight of stairs in seconds flat. She can also climb on the couch and large chairs....and then on to the coffee table. I have found her standing on furniture. Good grief!

Maggie continues to be a great sleeper and a great napper. I totally need this time as a break from my wild child. Maggie still naps 3-4 hours a day, often in two naps but sometimes one. She sleeps about 8pm-7:30am.

Maggie can feed herself with a spoon and fork, but I often forget to give her one. Eh.

Likes:

swimming in the pool
reading books (Hand Hand Fingers Thumbs)
climbing the stairs
playing with Sister

Dislikes:

when Mama says "no"
when Sister beats up on her
when it's time to leave or stop doing something fun

Other:

Maggie is so sweet and easy going...but boy is she active! She's in to everything all the time. If she's awake I am constantly on guard. She pulls things off the counter/table, or she's climbing something.

I think she's not walking yet because it is slower than crawling.

Maggie is not a snuggler, but is very affectionate. She will crawl up for a hug or kiss or a pat-pat on the back but then she's off again.

Maggie ADORES Evie. She squeals and jigs with excitement when it's time to pick Evie up from school or camp.

Just for fun: Evie at fifteen months