Friday, October 29, 2010

Kicking Off Halloween

Our Halloween festivities began Wednesday night with our annual small group party. Costumes for this party are always kept a secret until the event, so I hadn't even told the kids what they were going to be for fear that they'd spill the beans. They were very excited when I finally pulled out their costumes. Aren't they the cutest garden gnomes you've ever seen?

Jake's beard totally cracked me up, & he managed to leave it on for a couple of long stretches during the evening.
To go along with Jake & Mal's theme, J was a gardener & I was a rosebush with Beau as my rosebud. We pride ourselves on the cost effectiveness of our costumes each year, so they're not always high quality. :) Since we're sitting down in the only pictures we got of the four of us, you really can't even see J's costume. He had on rubber boots & had various gardening supplies tucked into his belt & pockets. Other costumes in the group included Haylee & Brian (in spirit)...
Mark, Hattie & Charlotte...
Jacob & Jenn...
Cari & Emmie (our prizewinners)...
Rachel (we missed you Andrew)...
& Eric & Summer (with Baby Boy in tow).
Since all the kids ended up with garden themed attire, we thought we'd get a group shot.Sweet Charlotte!
Thanks for coming everyone. We had a great time!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Time!

We had a fun morning at the Arboretum on Saturday enjoying all the pumpkins! Since the kids now have school on Mondays, we hadn't made it to a Mommy & Me morning like we usually do. The great part of going on a weekend to get pics is that Daddy is a much better photographer than Mommy, & we have two sets of hands to keep up with the kids. We managed to beat the rain, & the cloudy skies made the weather perfect for picture taking.

Miss Mal checking out the pumpkins
Love that mischievous little grin of hers!
I'm always impressed when we get any pictures that are good of both of them.
Sweet Jake cheesing for the camera
Loving on his pumpkin
He's so stinkin' handsome!
Of course, in addition to the frame-worthy pics, we also had some hilarious outtakes!
Giggly girl
Me & my sweeties
Exploring the pumpkin houses

And, because I find it hard to resist a good opportunity for comparison pics, here's 2008...2009...
& 2010!Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We'll Just Call That a "Primer" Day

I've been planning for (& dreading) potty training the kids for quite some time now, & we decided that last Friday would be our day to start. I wanted to give them as many home days as possible to get it before having to try it at school. We already had four little potties, & I bought training pants & big kid underwear for each of them, as well as Sesame Street books & DVD's about using the potty & a bag full of cheap prizes to be given out for successes.

They excitedly said bye-bye to their diapers Friday morning & donned training pants after sitting for about 20 minutes on their potties without any action. We proceeded with breakfast, followed by more potty time. Mallory actually went #2 in the potty, which I think surprised her as much as it did me. She seemed scared to death by the ordeal but was quite proud of the purple tennis ball she selected from the potty prize bag.

Throughout the day, we camped out watching Elmo's Potty Time...
read books in the bathroom to keep them on the potties...
& spent a lot of time outdoors.
Unfortunately, the one thing we didn't do was celebrate any more successful pottying! Between the two of them, I think we went through about 15 pair of underwear or training pants that day. They got really upset every time they had an accident, so I think they really wanted to stay dry, but there was just a disconnect between the mental aspect & the physical ability to do so. They sure did look cute running around in Mickey Mouse underwear, though!
All that to say, I think their little bodies just aren't ready to hold it or go at will. We're using the experience as a "primer" to refer back to & talk about with them until we get ready to try again. I'm not sure when that will be, but it probably won't be too long. I would love to get them trained before Beau arrives, but we'll see if that's actually possible. In the mean time, we're going to start making potty time a regular part of our schedule when they wake up & after meals, just to get in the habit of going. Hopefully we'll get lucky & have some success during those times!

I'm currently reading Stress Free Potty Training, as recommended by our pediatrician & would love any insight on the topic that you may have.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beau Harrison at 18 weeks

As I mentioned in my post from 16 weeks, my OB noticed a slight dilation in Beau's bowel that he wanted to keep an eye on. We saw our perinatologist last Monday to take a look. Thankfully, Dr. Rinehart didn't see a dilation, which could have indicated an obstruction, but he did see that Beau's bowel appears brighter on the ultrasound than the rest of his organs. This could be from something as simple as swallowing a bit of blood, which won't harm him, or it could be a sign of something more serious.

Statistically, the odds are in our favor that he'll be just fine, but we're obviously concerned about anything being out of order with our sweet boy's health. We ask that you pray along with us that everything will look just perfect when we return for another sonogram in 3 weeks. Until then, we're learning a lesson in patience & trusting our awesome God to take care of Beau. I have been so humbled as we've shared this request with our small group, family & Bible class by the number of people praying for our little boy. We feel so loved, & your prayers & encouragement give us peace. Thank you!

The up side of having to check on things is that we get to see Beau! He's looking at the camera in this one (& practicing his creepy face for Halloween).
Sweet little profile (forehead on left)
Lately, I'm feeling him move more regularly & each sweet kick is a reminder of the little blessing growing inside of me. That's my favorite part of pregnancy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Aloha: The Feast at Lele

We spent our last evening in Hawaii at at traditional luau. These events are a bit on the pricey side, but I would definitely recommend the experience! The particular one we chose, The Feast at Lele, only seats 125 people per night, as opposed to others that seat 500. Doesn't J pull off wearing a purple lei so well?
The event takes place right on the beach in the town of Lahaina, which was once called Lele when it was the home to Hawaii's royalty. The wait staff were a bit scantily clad, but I guess that's just how they roll on Maui.
We began our evening watching a beautiful sunset.

Then came the food! Even though a few of the menu items weren't quite my cup of tea, there was still plenty to fill me up. I also loved that their entire cocktail menu could be ordered without alcohol, so I got to enjoy a Lava Flow. So pretty and yummy!
Throughout the evening, the performers take you on a journey through Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti & Samoa. Each segment includes foods from each locale, as well as chants, dances & native dress. It was a lot of fun to watch!

New Zealand


What a great way to end our trip!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aloha: Haleakala National Park

After spending our first full vacation day on the beach, we used part of our second day to head up to the summit of Haleakala, Maui's volcano which isn't technically extinct but hasn't erupted since 1790. It was really neat to see a different part of the island & to witness the beautiful views from 10,000 feet above sea level, just hours after having snorkeled in the Pacific.

Haleakala Crater is enormous! The sheer size of it really blew me away.
We were literally above the clouds!
God blows me away with this kind of artwork!
Views from the way down
Driving through clouds can get tricky. I was very proud of myself for not getting carsick on this trip. Winding roads are not my favorite!

There's about an 8-mile stretch of the climb in which free range cattle just might show up to share your roadway. This cow clearly wanted to point out to us that this was their turf, not ours.
It just cracked me up that these signs were part of our Hawaii trip. Go figure!
The other bonus to spending four hours in the car that day was that we settled on Beau's name on the way down!