Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eighteen months old


Can you believe that this little boy is already 18 months old?  I can’t believe how fast time is rushing by.  Gavin is such a fun little boy.  He doesn’t say a lot of words yet.  His vocabulary is limited to ma-ma, da-da, bye-bye, night-night, ball, go and whoa.  He is however, a big babbler.   He will look at you and spout of a rather long sentence of babble.   He is very serious and I believe that he knows what he is saying.  It will be nice when the rest of us do, too!  He loves to play outside, especially in his sandbox.  I think he would stay out there all day if I let him.

Gavin also hit another milestone by turning 18 months old.   At our church, they can’t enter the nursery until they are eighteen months.  Gavin’s first day was this past Sunday.  He did so good!   He ran right in and started playing with the toys.  The nursery leader said that at one point, he cried for about a minute and then found another toy and moved on.   I am so happy he likes it.  I will actually be able to get something out of church now, too.

The Atlanta Zoo

My sister Laura and her husband Chris were in town last week.  We had such a wonderful time with them.  Last Friday, me and the kids went with them to the Atlanta Zoo.  It is a great zoo with wonderful exhibits.  The weather was a little warm, but there was plenty of natural shade around the entire zoo.    We had a great afternoon together.


They have a new exhibit where you enter an area that has hundreds of parakeets.  You can get very close to them.  We purchased a little seed stick and Mikayla was able to feed one of them.IMG_2832

Mikayla LOVES getting in these photo stand things and posing for a pic.  Isn’t she a ferocious lion?IMG_2838

Gavin did great at the zoo.  He had the seat of leisure and was pushed around from exhibit to exhibit.  I would have liked to have gotten him out more, but Jeremy wasn’t with me and I wasn’t up for carrying him through the entire zoo.  Gavin is good when you first get him in the stroller, but if you get him out after that there is no going back in (without a major meltdown at least).  In any case, he seemed to enjoy himself and liked looking at the animals.IMG_2849

This was my favorite part.  Our zoo has a relatively new baby panda, Xi Lan.  He was born last August and has been out in the exhibit since February.  Mikayla (and everyone else) thought he was very cute.  We even came home with our very own stuffed version of the baby panda.IMG_2860

At the end of the zoo, there is a petting zoo for the kids.  Mikayla had a lot of fun going around and brushing all of the animals.  I was amazed at how easy going these animals were. IMG_2853



Gavin enjoyed petting the animals, too.   The petting zoo was a little nerve-wracking for me.  Gavin kept running up the animals and giving them rather heavy pats.  I was so worried he was going to hurt one of them, or vice-versa.  Thankfully, I think these animals are used to wild and crazy children. 

Sweet boy

Last week, we had some afternoon plans and I desperately needed Gavin to take a good morning nap.  So, I let him go to bed with his bottle, in hopes that he would fall asleep quickly.  Well, it worked and when I went in to wake him up this is what I saw.  He is cuddled up in bed with his ba-ba in his mouth.  He was actually still lightly sucking on it too.  So sweet!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My good shopping day!

So have been trying the whole spend less/ save more thing that I think every0ne in America is trying to do right now.  We are doing great, but I have felt this urgency to get a good emergency fund in our savings account, just in case.  Best to be prepared!

One way that I have been able to free up more money is in our grocery shopping.  I have started cutting coupons and shopping the sales. I have been able to really build up our food storage for very little money.  I use this website to help me out – this lady matches up the sales and coupons for you so that you can see where you can really maximize your savings.  Usually, I am able to save about 40 % on my bill, but today I did awesome!  It was pretty exciting to see how much I was able to get for so little.

 IMG_2814 First, I went to Publix.

Total before sales and coupons: $70.13

Total after sales and coupons: $32.95  ( I saved $38.08 – that’s  54%!)

I was pretty impressed with this total since I had some non-sale items in there as well (lettuce, bread and produce).IMG_2815

Next, I went to Kroger:

Total before sales and coupons: $25.18

Total after sales and coupons: $8.12 (I saved $17.06 or 68%!!)IMG_2816 My final purchase was some diapers and Rite Aid. 

These were on sale for $8.99.  I had a coupons for $2 off the Overnite diapers (A must at our house, unless I want to be awakened at 6am).  I can also get a rebate through Rite Aid for $3.  So after all is said and done, I will only have to pay$3.99 for a pack of diapers!

That makes for a good day of saving in my book!

My perfect view

So, I have been having some pain in my right wrist for a couple of weeks.  The pain worsened over Easter weekend, so last Thursday, I finally decided to go to the doctor to get it checked out.   They just diagnosed me with a strain (thankfully!)  I have to wear a splint for the next two weeks and the doctor placed me on prednisone to help with the inflammation.  Well, the prednisone has helped with the pain, but it has made for some very restless nights.  My mom took pity on me and offered to take Mikayla last Friday afternoon so that I would be able to rest a little bit. 

After lunch, I let Gavin play outside before going down for his nap.  He LOVES to play outside, especially in the sandbox.  I think he enjoyed having a little alone time in there.

I was still finishing my lunch when Gavin was ready to go outside so I went ahead and let him go out.  We have a fenced in yard and plus, this is my viewpoint from our dining room table.

IMG_2812I just opened the windows and watched and listened to him play.  It was one of those nice moments as a mother where you just soak everything in and realized how blessed you are. 

IMG_2813  I just love this little boy! 

Circus Day

Every year, Mikayla’s preschool hosts a Circus Day.  They have activities and games set up for the kids to do.  The kids admission to the circus is a costume.  Mikayla decided she wanted to be a cowgirl, which thankfully, was a pretty easy costume to pull together from stuff that we already had. I didn’t get as many pictures as I normally do, because I was having such a fun time just being with her.  Jeremy stayed home with Gavin, so we really got to have some good quality mom/daughter time together.  It was fun!IMG_2807

Mikayla got to go on a pony ride, which was perfect for a little cowgirl!IMG_2809  She really liked bouncing on the ball.  She was so cute to watch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Look who spent the day with me!

 IMG_2790 My sister is in town this week to visit.  Her and her family will be moving here this summer (YAY!), so my sister wanted to go to Athens where they will be living, and look at some places to rent.  She didn’t want to take Andrew so he got to spend the day with me!

I was a little anxious about having a third child here, but luckily, Andrew is a very easy-going baby.  We had a fun day together.  He is such a cute and smiley boy that is growing up way too fast.IMG_2795

Mikayla was so excited to have her cousin here.  She kept cuddling with him and “showing” him how to play with toys.IMG_2796

This is actually Gavin cuddling in his own special way with Andrew.  He sat down and then backed up to him.  It was pretty cute.

There has to be a better way…

  We tried desperately to get a picture of all the cousins together in their Easter clothes.  The idea was good in theory, but none of the kids were very cooperative. 

There are a sampling of some of the “best” photos.  Hey, at least we have the memories, right?

IMG_2762  IMG_2764 IMG_2765 IMG_2766  IMG_2768 IMG_2769 IMG_2770   IMG_2773

Easter Festivities


The Easter bunny brought some nice goodies for Gavin and Mikayla!IMG_2733 Gavin’s favorite item was this ball.  Mom mom has one similar to this at her house that Lucy plays with (yes, Lucy is her dog).  Gavin loves to play with it, so I thought we should get him a ball that was intended for humans. IMG_2736

Mikayla’s favorite gift was this umbrella.  She has been asking for one for weeks.  It was raining the following morning and she was so excited to get to use it.  Even though we park in the garage – we went out the front door to get the garage just so she could use her umbrella.IMG_2739  Mikayla in her Easter dress.IMG_2742 Gavin in his Easter vest.  I tried desperately to get a picture of them together, but Gavin was less than cooperative and we were running late for church.  IMG_2743 After church, we went to my mom and dad’s for an egg hunt and dinner.  My sister and nephew are in town, so there were some extra toys out.  Gavin kept trying to crawl in the bouncy seat, so finally my sister set him in it.  He actually sat there for a minute or so and played with the toys on the seat.  It’s hard to believe that he was playing in this seat not too long ago.


Before dinner, we had an Easter egg hunt for Mikayla and Gavin.  Once again, Gavin focused on just a couple eggs and then walked around the yard. 


Mikayla kept trying to see how many eggs she could stuff in her little hands.  IMG_2756  My nephew Andrew –what a cutie!

Easter at Nana and Papa’s

We spent Easter Eve and Jeremy’s parents house.  To start off the evening, Mikayla decorated some cupcakes with her Nana.  After we decorated the cupcakes, the kids went outside for an Easter Egg hunt.   Gavin didn’t do much in the way of hunting.  After he had enough eggs to go in each of his hands, he pretty much just walked around the yard holding his eggs.  Mikayla kept getting hung up on eggs, too.  It was a long hunt, but the kids had fun doing it. 

After the hunt was done, we headed inside and decorated some eggs.  Mikayla had a lot of fun dipping and painting the eggs.  It was a fun day and we had a nice time with Nana and Papa (and Aunt Ashley, too!).


IMG_2726 IMG_2727

Children’s Museum

Last Friday, a friend and I decided to take our children to the Imaginit! Children’s Museum in Atlanta.  It was forecasted to rain all day, so we thought it would be a nice opportunity to let the kids get some energy out.  The only downside to our plan is that we failed to remember that it was Good Friday and the end of Spring Break for most counties in the metro area.  The things you forget when you have young children.  We had to wait about 45 minutes to get in, but the kids had a great time.IMG_2695 Gavin had a lot of fun playing with these balls.  He carried them all over the place.IMG_2698

They had a huge Moon Sand area for the kids to play in.  We have this stuff at home, so Mikayla was right in her element.  IMG_2700 Gavin has never played in the Moon Sand at home – he had a lot of fun playing in it, too!IMG_2703

They had a little toddler area that Gavin could run around in without getting run over by big kids.  They had a little piano there that Gavin had a lot of fun on.  IMG_2712

They had a big water area that the kids could play in.  They had this bubble that was in the middle of the water area that the kids could pop their head in.  Mikayla thought it was funny that I could splash her and that she didn’t get wet. IMG_2714 Both of the kids had a lot of fun splashing in the water. IMG_2719

They had these cute little raincoats that the kids could wear.  I thought Gavin looked like a little scientist in his oversized lab coat. 

The downside of the museum was definitely leaving.  Mikayla and her friend Matthew were not happy about leaving, but we had been there for two hours and were desperately trying to beat rush hour traffic.  It is always so fun to walk down the street pushing a stroller in one hand and a crying four year old in the other.  My friend was dragging a screaming three year old.   We must have been a sight to see.   When we got to the car (finally!), Mikayla asked me why she did’t get an animal from the gift shop – um, yeah, that was NOT going to happen.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter fun

Last night, we took advantage of Daddy being home and we decided to do some fun Easter activities.   The first thing we made were “Resurrection” rolls.  This was my attempt to try to teach Mikayla about the true meaning of Easter.  It is a difficult concept for a four year old.  She still had a hard time grasping the idea, but we had fun making these together.IMG_2685

Mikayla was VERY excited to help me cook.IMG_2686

First you take the body of Christ (a marshmallow) and dip His body in oil (butter).IMG_2687

Then you cover his body in spices (cinnamon sugar) IMG_2688

After His body has been prepared for burial, you wrap His body in a cloth (a crescent roll triangle).  Now that His body is ready, you place it in the tomb (the oven) and wait (at 350* for about 10 minutes)IMG_2692   When you pull the rolls out of the oven and let them cool, you open the rolls up.  The marshmallow has disappeared, symbolizing the Resurrection.   It was a fun little activity (and yummy!) to do with Mikayla.


While the rolls were baking and cooling, we dyed some Easter Eggs.IMG_2690

We got pretty creative with our color combinations.IMG_2693

When Mikayla picked out the egg dyeing kit.  She picked out this cute princess one.  I figure this will be the last year we can really do a gender specific kit – I am sure Gavin will have more of an opinion next year.