Friday, March 3, 2017

Anniversary Date

One of the things about living in NYC is that we have access to all of these amazing places. With our kids it can be challenging to enjoy some things right now and dates can be hard to come by in this season.

For our anniversary (8 years!!) our friends Erica, Andrew and Aundrea offered to watch our kids for an extended afternoon so we took them up on that offer! They came over at 3 pm and we got home at 9:30!!

We got a groupon for bike rentals ($8 for two hours!) and rode bikes around Central Park. I hadn't ridden a bike in at least 10 years, and let me tell you - it takes a bit of an adjustment when you're riding on an ill-fitting bike and your first moments riding are on the streets of NYC with taxis whizzing by.

We had a blast touring Central Park, I got to see the castle that I've always wanted to see in person!


After bike riding we went to the Upper West Side and stopped in a cute bookstore, then ate at the Meatball Shop (always delicious!).


It was so nice getting a break from our normal routine, getting to laugh and be silly together. It was nice to talk uninterrupted and hold hands instead of pushing strollers.

But one of the sweetest things was coming home to this smiling baby:

(She loves her mama!). Annie took a bottle like a champ and our babysitters reported that the kids were great. Whether they were or not, we are so thankful for these precious friends who gave us a memorable day to start our ninth year of marriage!

Love you Will McGee! Thankful for another year of giving and receiving grace.   

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sleeping Edith

I have so many pictures of sleepy Edith on my phone I thought it deserved a post.

Edith dropped her nap a few months ago but every once in a while we snuggle on "Mama's Bed" with her stuffed animals and she can nap for 1-2 hours! I love it. But when she takes naps she will fight bedtime so hard and can sometimes stay up 2 hours past bedtime!


I love this picture where Edith fell asleep on the couch on a "no nap" day:


Sleeping in a Santa hat:

GAH! What is it about sleeping kids that makes them seem younger and sweeter?! Like you just want to wake them up and snuggle them?


Another no nap day where Edith fell asleep on the floor at like 4:30pm.


We took a family walk and Edith fell asleep in the stroller the whole time. Woke up when we got home around 5:30 pm ha. Not ideal for the bedtime routine!


When she has "room time" for naps she normally just plays hard. This day she not only played hard (obviously) but also fell asleep on the floor.


Snuggling in bed, she fell asleep holding me. I can't even!! Love her so much.


Another no nap day. She fell asleep at like 6:30 here hugging a pillow.

This 3 year transition to no naps doesn't mean no naps in our house. It's a transition. That's okay. I love snuggling her, love the days when she has extra energy and can rally for a fun afternoon because of a good nap. I also love the days she goes to bed easily at bedtime because she has had a long, full day of playing hard. She is such a blessing!  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Israel Update

Oh Israel. This little boy is the best and hardest thing in my life. I think in the last two months since the baby has come home, we have had a lot of high highs and low lows.


His teacher sent me a few pictures from school. He is very happy there and they take lots of field trips! In March alone he's taking four field trips (to a Dance Festival, Adaptive Gym, and Bowling twice!).


Israel's walking skills have continued to improve. When we go out as a family he will want to walk around instead of just preferring to scoot on his bottom like before. He's definitely proud of himself for walking and I love that he is finally becoming motivated! He still has a long way to go with transitions in walking but he's getting better and stronger. Just this past week he would push off of a wall when he'd walk into one place, to keep going instead of just plopping to the floor after going one way.


He's also started to have more interest in coloring. Instead of just putting utensils in his mouth, he is actually doodling. One day during midwinter break he sat and colored for maybe 15 minutes, which is longer than ever before! He's also had major increases in his vocabulary. He is putting real sentences together. He also knows the words to songs and I'll hear him singing to himself in his room. He will read "Go Dogs Go" to himself and shout "DOG PARTY!" at the end with such joy.


He also enjoyed the snow day! He has sensory issues but he enjoyed being outside with 'friends" and he never had a freak out for being too cold.


He and Edith are still best friends. Yet they know how to push each other's buttons so well. Israel tries to get Edith to do his bidding. He will shout "Baby!" and name the toy he wants her to get. Edith can be a little bossy with him and say things like "Israel, you're NOT scared/ we can't have ___" and she claims 99% of the toys in the house, and Israel typically rolls with it. He still calls Edith "baby" and will sometimes call baby Annie "Annie" but it sounds like Ernie.

Israel loves his daddy most of all. He lives for the moment when Will walks through the door at night, and he can't fall asleep until daddy "Sits" next to him and sings him to sleep.


One of the biggest updates for our little guy is that he was officially given the diagnoses of Autism and ADHD. This certainly helps explain some behaviors and fixations of our little guy, and validates the sensory issues that we have seen. We've started him on some medicine for his attention span and we'll see how that goes. Getting these new diagnoses brought back flashbacks of when he was officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It's both a relief and a new loss.

We recently watched a documentary on Amazon called "Life, Animated" about a guy with Autism. He's in his 20s now and watching his family talk about their love for him but also the challenges was good and hard. Will and I both teared up. Will also watched this clip about a guy with cerebral palsy who said that "God made him with CP On purpose... and when I think about the phrase ON PURPOSE, how can I not worship God?"

We know that our Israel was uniquely and purposefully made. We know that God has and will continue to equip us as parents - even on the really hard days. 

Snow day

A few weeks ago we had a snow day on a Thursday. It was Israel's first time in the snow this year and he did great.


We (ok mainly Will) took the kids out to the courtyard behind our building.


This time two sets of our neighbors were out there too and it was really fun chatting with them. Israel also played with them a little. He doesn't typically play with others (he's not usually included) and so it warmed our hearts to see them include Israel in their play.


I took Annie outside for just a few minutes in the Ergo.


We love living in a part of the country where we get a few snow days. It's also convenient to have a little courtyard to take the kids to without it being much of a trek (walking on the sidewalks is pretty complicated when people don't shovel!). Thankful for days to make memories with the kids! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Annie Photos - 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks!

For my own documentation, Annie's first four weeks!

 I feel pretty amazed at my self for remembering to do this every Wednesday.

One Week:

Annie was wearing a newborn outfit that I actually wore in the hospital!

Two Weeks:

Three Weeks:

Four weeks: 

She is such a doll and I am so smitten with her! She was 7 pounds 1 ounce at birth and over 10 pounds at 4 weeks. Love this little girl!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day

This year I felt a little ambitious and we made homemade Valentines. My neighbor Mary came over Saturday and helped me do the handprint and bubbles ones. Then Sunday morning before church the kids helped me make ones for their church peers. Israel colored and Edith did the gluing.


On the actual Valentines Day, I had my postpartum checkup and Annie wore a cute V-Day outfit!


Edith had playgroup so we went, but only lasted a few minutes after a potty training accident and an ill-prepared mama.


We came home and snuggled on the couch!


Israel came home in a good mood from school! He went on a field trip to a bowling alley and told me "bus, walking, beep beep!"  I can't wait to hear more about his adventures. He really does try to recap for me about his day.


I stepped out of the room for a minute and Israel climbed up to snuggle next to the baby.


Israel is really into coloring these days (for the first time!) and so he and daddy colored. The way Israel says "paper" sounds a little French almost. Like Pay-pear. It's adorable.

Little chunk. I love her so:

Israel made me a Valentine at school:


Also, not pictured are flowers for me & Edie from Dada, cards and books from grandparents, and a homemade meal and cupcakes delivered by a friend! It was a sweet day! Hope yours was full of love as well!
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