Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Zoo!

We went to the zoo yesterday! The real one – not just the one we call our home Smile

We got there at about 9:45. The goal was to be there when it opened at 9, but let’s face it: we never get anywhere on time.

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We hadn’t been to the zoo in 2 years! Last time, not knowing better, we did the North America section, which we found to be not very exciting. This time, we walked through the Africa section instead – much better!

Here are the kids and Jason looking at the lions (you can sort of see one laying in the grass in the upper right):

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The chimps were all right by the glass and were very entertaining!

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Meredith said the monkeys were her favorite part. (Snack was probably a close second.)

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We were very happy that we got to see the zoo’s dinosaur exhibit!

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The dinosaurs were definitely Russell’s favorite part. They were the only thing he talked about the whole time: “When are we going to see the dinosaurs?” and then  “I want to go back to the dinosaurs.”

The dinosaurs moved and made noises. Meredith liked them at first, but got spooked by a very big one and wanted to be carried for the rest of the exhibit. Russell loved all of them! He kept asking if they were real or pretend.

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They got to dig for fossils at the end. My kids always love the chance to dig in rocks!

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We walked through the pavilion (a lush indoor garden) and there were a couple of hopscotch games at the end, which they took plenty of advantage of!

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And that is the end of my pictures.  It’s a good thing we live pretty close to the zoo, because they can only do a half-day trip right now. They were both tired – and frankly, so was I! It was a lot of walking – even for them, even though we had the double stroller. Other highlights: we let the kids each pick a toy/surprise from the gift shop. Russell picked a truck with dinosaurs on it and Meredith picked some chocolate. We also had a picnic lunch before we went home around 1. It was a wonderful family trip!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Family Party Weekend

We went down to Raleigh for 2 big events this weekend: a baby shower for Jon and Meghan, and a family birthday party for Meredith.

The baby shower was on Saturday morning – it was just beautiful!

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Meghan is due about a month before me! Paige and Ella are going to have so much fun together : )

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We left the shower a little early so we could take Meredith back for her nap.  Russell decided he didn’t want to take a nap. He and Kacki played car wash for a long time:

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He also enjoyed some chocolate almond milk  - goofy kid with a silly mustache!

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Meredith took a good long nap and I had to wake her up for her party at about 4:45! I didn’t get many pictures of the party guests (really should have made it a point to do that!) I did get this photo of Russell and Carson – Carson is almost 5 and is Jason’s family friends’ son:

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And of course Meredith is never far from Bogie. (I didn’t get any pictures of Mimi but you can see her legs! ; ))

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Blew out the candles all by herself, just like at her other party!

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Meredith got so many wonderful presents.

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She especially loved this baby doll (from Paw Paw and Kacki) which she named Baby Emily:

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But her favorite presents are definitely the Chapstick and the princess shoes! She got 3 types of Chapstick and 4 pairs of princess shoes, all from Pops and Mimi. Her favorite Chapstick is purple (of course) and her favorite princess shoes are the Cinderella shoes.

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Happy baby, Jon and Meghan, and happy birthday (again), Meredith!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

27 Weeks!

Well, I thought I should do an update on our sweet third baby! Here’s a photo of me before church on Sunday at 27w1d:

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Our little girl’s name will be

Paige Emily

Jason and I both love the name Paige. It’s a little more common/popular now than either Russell or Meredith are, but still not in the top 100 names, which is our cutoff. (I know, maybe we have some odd criteria, but it’s important to us!) And of course Emily is Russell’s contribution. I think one day Paige will think it’s sweet that her brother picked her middle name.

In pregnancy news: I failed my 1 hour glucose test last week, so I had to have the 3 hour test today. YUCK. I had to fast from midnight last night until after the test was over today around noon, drink that awful sugar drink again (I have determined that the orange is much better than the fruit punch), and have 4 blood draws. I really hope and pray that everything will turn out fine!

I definitely feel this baby girl kicking and squirming around in there. She must be in a diagonal position – it feels like her feet are near my right ribs and her hands are near my left hip. We have started working on getting some things ready for her: we have taken some baby girl clothes out of the attic (although somehow I have lost a bunch of them!), and moved a few things around to make a little room for her. I also made a new and bigger hair bow hanger – priorities! Smile

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A couple notes about Russell and Meredith, who are both very excited about “baby Paige:”

Russell loves to come up to me and hug and kiss my belly, or tickle it and tell me he’s tickling baby Paige – so sweet!

Meredith tells me that every pregnant woman has a baby Paige in her belly – and also, occasionally she will tell me “I have a baby Paige in my belly” Smile

We are all excited about this precious girl!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Meredith is 2!

Our precious Meredith Claire is two years old today!
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Weight: 27 lb, 4 oz (73rd percentile)
Height: 34.75 in (71st percentile)

Meredith wears size 24 mo or 2T clothes, size 6 shoes, and size 4 diapers. She has a potty and sits on it occasionally, but that’s about it – I’m not going to push it with her yet (although she will tell me when she has to go #2). Her favorite foods are mostly fruits: grapes, oranges, blueberries, strawberries; she could probably live on just those!
We definitely have a strong-willed and independent child in this one. On Friday, she laid down on the floor at the mall and cried for 5 minutes because I tried to help her get on to a little ride that she was having trouble reaching. What a mean mommy for trying to help! She wants to do everything herself and can do lots of things herself, like putting on her shoes, drinking out of a cup (well, a small one, with plenty of supervision). Pretty much anything she can do for herself she will make clear that she does not want your help! So different from her brother!
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Meredith can count to 20 and she recognizes a couple of letters. She knows many (though not all) colors, and her favorite is purple. She talks up a storm – full sentences and conversations – and has done so for a few months now. She also loves to sing; her favorite songs to sing are Twinkle, Twinkle, Jesus Loves Me, and Jesus Loves the Little Children. Both her fine and gross motor skills are excellent, and she threw a fit when she learned she wasn’t old enough to be in Russell’s soccer class! She likes to read and color and make crafts. She loves princesses (especially Cinderella) and cats, but has a variety of interests. She is very polite and says “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” “bless you,” “excuse me” and “I’m sorry” without being asked – although we are still working on “please” instead of “I want!”
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Very Meredith expressions/sayings:
  • “I have idea.” If you don’t answer, she ask you to say “what’s your idea?” and then she’ll tell you what it is.
  • “I don’t think so.” (As in, “Meredith, do you need a new diaper?” “I don’t think so, Mommy.”)
  • “Noonels” (instead of noodles – which I find funny also because I usually call it pasta) and “bobana” (for banana) and she says her name is “mayDEEF”
  • “Hey guys…guys…”  - when trying to get someone’s attention
Meredith, you are precious in every way. I’m pretty sure you may give us a fit (and I know you’re having plenty) with the terrible twos – but you are still a polite and sweet girl too! We love you!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Meredith’s Princess Birthday Party!

I cannot believe Meredith is turning 2 on Monday. I mean, yes, she does all the things 2 year olds do, but wasn’t she just born?

Well, anyway, we decided to do things a little differently this year for birthday parties. I am getting really burnt out on having the huge party with all the food and the big crowd and all the planning and cleaning and decorating. So, for Meredith this year we had a small friends’ party today with snacks and a fairy godmother who visited and entertained the kids, and next weekend we’ll have a very low-key family gathering. Jason and I really like the way today’s party turned out – the biggest reason being that we weren’t stressed!

Meredith is very into princesses, so we went with a princess theme, even though some boys were there too. (I don’t think they minded or even noticed!)

D├ęcor/food:

This sign was on the door to greet guests:

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Favors for the kids – cups and reusable princess and knight stickers (if you were here, let me know if you didn’t get them since we have some left over!):

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The kids had a brief moment to play and enjoy some snacks…

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…and then the fairy godmother showed up!

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All the kids enjoyed her, but Russell was SO into it. He insisted on sitting right next to her and was constantly asking, “can I see?” and laughing hysterically at all her little jokes. It was so cute. Meredith and most of the other kids took a few minutes to warm up, but after a few minutes everyone was laughing. She really kept them engaged for a whole hour.

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She made everyone a balloon animal. Some kids chose giraffes, dinosaurs, mice, and bunnies. Meredith and Russell both chose puppies.

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In the other hand, Meredith is holding her little present from the fairy godmother: a glass slipper. Perfect for the girl who loves both shoes and Cinderella!

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She brought out several puppets for the kids to interact with:

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And everyone got a glitter painting on their arms! Meredith wanted a purple kitty and Russell – of course – wanted a red and green car.

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At the end, everyone got a magic ring. They each picked a ring, and she held her musical wand over it to put the magic in. (Russell went back again to ask for a little extra magic in his!)

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Photo ops before leaving:

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After she left, we had cupcakes and a little more snack.

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Sweet birthday girl licked off every bit of icing and I don’t think she ate a bite of the cake!
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What a great party! Happy birthday Meredith! We are so very blessed by you and love you so so much!