Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Disney World - Here We Come!

So after much deliberation Matt and I decided that this spring would be a good (enough) time to try out a trip to Florida - we called it our Florida Sampler. I have been wanting this trip for quite some time, but the rational one of the group (that would be Matt) kept encouraging me to hold off a bit and wait for a more opportune time. Well we got our chance this April and, I am happy to say, we couldn't have been happier with our decision! After lots of thought and advice-seeking, we decided to leave Avery back while we took on this adventure with our two "big" kids :-) Though we missed her terrible we felt confirmed in our decision several times throughout the trip -both as we watched poor kids her age screaming in misery as they suffered through the heat and sheer boredom of being strapped into a stroller for twelve hours at a time and also as we were able to experience such an amazing trip through Caleb and Addie's eyes, because we were free to give them that attention. There was no need to stop for naps, we ate when we wanted to, and we snuggled each kid in bed watching movies each night until they drifted off because we could and we didn't need to hide out in the dark to help a baby fall asleep. The fact that Avery wound up with an ear infection right before we left didn't hurt either :-)
We spent five days in Florida which was just the right amount without our complete family there. One day at the beach, one FULL day at Magic Kingdom, two half days at Seaworld, and a day to just play - it was wonderful and Caleb and Addison had a BLAST experiencing the "Magic" of it all! I have said several times since we arrived back home that the best part of the trip was just how appreciative the kids were for being so young - they really understood what a special trip this was and were so thankful and grateful for everything they were able to do - it really made Matt and I feel confident in our decision to do this when we did. Below are just a few of the many great pictures taken during this wonderful trip! We look forward to doing it again - but probably not for another 3 years or so :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Meijer Gardens

Today we ventured out to Meijer Gardens - a botanical garden and sculpture park that we have heard so much about since moving here almost a year ago but have not yet checked out. Matt and I had the same reaction - why did we not visit this sooner?! It definitely lives up to its reputation! The gardens are beautiful and there is plenty for the kids to see and do. Today was an especially warm day for April and the kids had a blast playing in the little fountains and with the boats (there is a water-model of the Great Lakes for the kids to float boats in). A fun time was had by all and we look forward to going back soon!

Addison was geared up on the way with a real flower in her hair from home

The "big kids" were a little excited to be there

Addison had more fun trying to wash her hair in "Lake Erie" - it's cleaner than the real thing

Group pictures aren't so easy anymore

Caleb checking out the butterfly exhibit

My three little monkeys in the tree house

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Crafty Kids

So art has never been my children's strong suit, most likely because their mother has no artistic ability and rarely does crafts with them. Now that I'm feeling better, however, I have been much more up to being creative and trying to find some fun ways to pass the days until "real" Spring arrives and we can get outside. The kids have been having fun making paintings on canvas for us to have around the house - they've gotten so good that we are now using them as gift ideas. Through this process we have even discovered that Addison may indeed have a touch of a chance at some artistic ability (see last picture). Unfortunately I can only post pictures of Avery painting since they were all in their undies and Addie is in every picture Caleb is.

Addie's first drawing of a person - her mommy - in great detail for a two year old (and no, those are not my earrings...)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Catch Up

Okay, so anyone who has been following this blog knows that I have not done a good job of keeping it up on a regular basis. My New Year's resolution for this year was actually to do a better job with all forms of correspondence, blog included, and get our pictures organized. Well...that didn't happen :-) In January we were thrilled to find out that we were pregnant with our fourth baby! This news was wonderful to us as our Dr in Ohio did not think it would be possible for us to have any more due to a minor condition that I had developed. To sum things up, I was immediately sick with this baby, even prior to even knowing that we were pregnant, and was completely out of the loop for several months. As the blog will show, not many pictures were even taken during February and March as I was more concerned with actually being present for my children than capturing their every move on film - besides the fact that their every move often sent me into a 12-hour sick-fest :-)
Thankfully I can now say that we have moved on from the worst part and are all thriving and enjoying the latter half of my second trimester. We are pretty certain that we are having another girl, though, after Avery, we're not making any promises. As Matt puts it, "If it can disappear, it can also appear". Caleb is still adjusting to the fact that the baby is most likely a girl, as he has been praying for a little brother "for real this time" since Avery was born. Below I will post what few pictures I have of the rest of winter and am anxious to get caught up on the rest of our weeks.
We've been battling quite the bedtime struggle the past several months, as well, which seems to have corrected itself, so I am looking forward to having some quiet evenings now to maintain the blog. Though I don't have many pictures or stories to share, I will say this: We have seen HUGE developments in all of the kids during these several months spanning from Spring to Summer and I will share these changes with you as I go :)

Attending a Super-Bowl Party. We decided to wear our best anti-Steelers gear.

Caleb and Avery jamming to Bruce

Caleb and Avery rockin' out to American Idol

A trip to the dinosaur exhibit at the museum:

Caleb's T-Rex

This display would be a bit much even if I wasn't sick. For some reason they have movie theater seats placed just in front of a display of a giant dinosaur (forgive me for not remembering the names) being devoured by five smaller ones. Lovely.

We're finally getting some sleep over here:

Avery and her favorite book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Caleb fell out of his bed and didn't seem to notice at all.

Matt and Addison sharing a nap. Like father, like daughter.