Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday!

A year ago today at 1:28pm this sweet bundle of joy joined our family. Not knowing if you were going to be a "he" or "she" I remember being so excited for the big push. "It's a girl!" was the wonderful announcement I immediately heard from Dave. Followed by many tears I held my little 7lb daughter. Knowing that the journey following this day would be full of adventures unlike any, and it truly has been amazing. Today I reminisce and can hardly wrap my mind around how fast time has flown by and all that you have accomplished. From your first cry to your first laugh, tooth, crawl, bite of food, hand clapping and boo boo, each moment is forever ingrained in my heart. It is fun to tell people that we will always share our special day and joke about you being my birthday gift, but the truth is, you are a special gift-handmade by god. I am so grateful to be your mother and I want you to know that I will always love you. (even when you are a teenager and are reading this!) At this moment you are 29lbs and sporting your size five diaper and 2t clothing, a far cry from the newborn you started, and it reminds me that you are growing faster than I can blink. I am excited to watch you continue to grow, yet enjoying all the slobbery kisses I can get. Happy birthday my sweet girl. Thank you for blessing our lives !

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

That's junk food!

Today marks day 8 of a surprisingly seamless journey our family has ventured to take.  No gluten, dairy, corn or corn produce, or food dyes.  Yikes, looking at that list it makes me wonder what we can possibly be eating! So how did we begin this journey you ask? Well, one day while driving around town with my ever so perfect side kicks I passed back some snacks to the back seat.  Within minutes, my ever so calm child was scaling the walls with a very wild look on his face.  It started to sink in that something I was giving him was not agreeing with his body thus driving him to be angry and hyperactive.  I started to do some research (and without going into too much detail) found that food allergies are a very common cause of these behaviors.  So much in fact that once you eliminate the culprit, your child's personality can dramatically change.  Determined to find the harmony in my child's world we have vowed to do the elimination diet for two months.
Sounds easy right?  Yes and no.  First of all, one slip up means starting from day one all over again.  Ouch.  This has lead me to some lengthy conversations with teachers and other caregivers.  And, well, finding foods to eat outside of fruits and veggies can be a bit challenging.  I had never been so aware of what was being dumped into our foods-when I thought I was eating healthy- until I found myself tossing every food item we owned.  The empowering side of this is that we are eating so much more of the stuff I always hoped we would be eating.  It is such a wonderful feeling to have my child tell me he is hungry and needs an apple than that he is craving a granola bar or some other processed food.
So how is it going so far you ask?  Well, by day three we have seen unbelievable changes in his personality the main one being that he is very calm and cooperative.  I cannot even imagine what I will be seeing in him in thirty days!
Finally, in making this lifestyle change we have started to educate our children on the difference in junk/processed foods verses healthy foods.  We have been encouraging him to think about the foods and how it makes his body feel.  Here is an example of his thought process-unprovoked:
While at Publix picking up a few items we passed a lady holding a large back of M&Ms.  Noah excitedly pointed is finger to the bag and said "MMM Mom, look M&Ms!" Shaking his head side to side he followed with "But, I don't eat them because they are junk food and when I eat them they make my tummy sick!" The lady holding the bag smiled.  I wonder if she put the bag down.
I am proud that he is starting to understand that food is a fuel and we need to eat the stuff that makes us feel the best inside.  And that is what this lifestyle change is all about.

Monday, June 18, 2012

First steps

 For Maleah's birthday, grandma and grandpa got her this very cute doll stroller.  As soon as we put it together she took off.  Though she hasn't braved up walking on her own she is getting great practice.  I love to watch her smile as she walks around with her stroller!

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's day to my wonderful husband.  We spent the day doing relaxing family things like hiking and gift giving.  The kids got daddy a new drill, a special book and some goodies to take to Afghanistan. 
 We had a great time hiking together today.  The weather was wonderful and the kids enjoyed combing the rocky mountain.  Here are a few shots from the day:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

30 + 1

This time last year I was anxiously awaiting my 29th birthday where I was scheduled to give birth to my second born.  Though I knew that my life would forever be changed, I had little idea of the surprise that was awaiting me.  At 1:28 PM Dave announced "it's a girl!" and precious Maleah Kailey joined our hearts.  From that day forward, my birthday was going to be blessed in such a different way.  Now, almost a year later it was time to celebrate that grand event.  Because Dave will be in Afghanistan during our birthday we had a little party to celebrate the big day: My 30th and Maleah's 1st!
The theme was "wigging out!" Invitees joined us in wearing crazy wigs.  I made Maleah's smash cake and the theme of course was black, white and pink.

 Maleah sported her very cute tutu that I ordered and she looked so cute:
 Yes, that is me in the neon bob (this picture I had it on backwards) to match her tutu:
 And here are the birthday girls:
 As for the cake smashing, well this girl LOVED her cake.  She spent about 30 min smashing, eating and rubbing cake into her hair:

 Maleah made out with some great gifts, including this elmo:
We are so grateful for the friends that were able to join us and for the family that sent their love.  This was a wonderful celebration and one that we will remember for years to come!
Happy Birthday Maleah Kailey!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

11 Months Old!

Happy 11 months munchkin!
You are a growing girl.  So much in fact that I weighed you the other day and you were 29 pounds!  I cannot believe that you are already in 2T clothing and size 5 diapers.  It seems like yesterday that you were a newborn.  Now your two favorite things to do are eat and crawl all over the place!  

 You and Noah are becoming quite the pair.  Wherever he is you are.  You both enjoy swinging together on your new swing set and playing cars.  I love to see you becoming so close.  Often we will find you and Noah cuddled up on the floor with your blankies.  You just took your first bath in the bath tub with Noah (he wanted to show you how to take one like a big kid) and you had a blast splashing around.
 Right now you love to smile and wave hi at anyone who will give you attention.  You absolutely love your daddy--you cry if he leaves the room!  Here you are posing for him:
Being outside is another one of your favorites.  You love chasing balls and I think you will really enjoy it more when you are able to walk.  For now you are content sitting in a stroller as long as you are moving and seeing new things.
Your new tricks consist of blowing kisses, sticking your tongue out, and copying noises that we make.  Oh, and I can't forget the "toss the food over the side of the highchair" game.  You are one cleaver chick. 
I am looking forward to celebrating your 1st birthday next month.  It will be a surreal moment for me.  For now, I am enjoying each day that passes building up to this big event!
Much love,

Hiking Around

This is a picture to document our first family hike.  It was a short test run, but it went well.  Noah loves being let free to run the trails and hunt for "bears and hyenas".  Maleah, enjoyed the ride and scenery.  And, well, dave got a good workout carrying our big girl around!  What a fun time!

Friday, June 1, 2012


This is the perfect picture for me...I love to see my kiddos become best buds.  While swinging, Maleah reached out her and and caught Noah's.  And, they stayed that way for a couple of minutes.  This is a moment that I will always cherish.  I hope that my kids will forever reach their hands out to each other.


Well the kid's play areas is officially finished.  Whew! What a project.  We hope to have many years of fun filled laughter coming from this area.  I have to give props to those that did all the work...good job boys!

Grandpa and Grandma Parker come to visit

We had such a great time with Grandpa and Grandma on their visit.  Here are a few pictures of their trip.  Grandpa helped daddy build the kids a play area (and did a few things around the house too!) and we also got to enjoy bowling and the zoo.  It was a fun filled week.  One of the highlights was giving grandma a make over.  She cut her locks to a fun bob and looks fantastic!  Thank you for coming to visit!!