There were a couple of things that I decided for myself as a single adult in my twenties, and one of them was that I would NEVER be a minivan mom. Never. I figured that as long as I could choose my own cars, I would never have to own one. I simply did not like how they looked and I did not like the stigma attached to them. After all, why couldn't I be one of those moms that cruised around town in a cool looking SUV or crossover? Well, never say never is what I have to say to that. After we bought my sassy, orange, Dodge Caliber over two years ago, we quickly realized that the back row was not wide enough to fit three car seats. As a result, we knew that the time would hopefully come (sooner than later) when we would need to replace it with a larger car. So, ever since that day, Ron and I have casually been looking for our dream, family mobile. From the edgy, Ford Flex to the sophisticated, GMC Acadia, the list of cool crossovers that we drooled over could go on and on. But, there was always the same problem. They were just too dang expensive! Even the used ones were way more than your basic, brand new minivan. And, once we found out that we were expecting baby #3, we started going back and forth between choosing the practical option and the dream option...and I fought the practical the entire way. Until this past week that is. It all changed when we found a steal of a car deal on a minivan and I suddenly found myself saying goodbye to the crossover fantasy and driving a brand new, minivan home on Thursday night. I must admit, I was actually depressed leaving the car dealership in my shiny, new car that smelled so good. But it had to be done. And so I enter a new world with millions of other mothers and, hopefully, I'll find myself comfortable and content being there one day.
Farewell to my cute, little pumpkin that was always so easy to spot in a parking lot!
Hello to my silver, soccer mom car that looks like everyone else's! Wah!
You know you live in Western Washington when you pack up and head to the beach when it is cloudy and 40 degrees outside...and that is exactly what we did today! Both Ron and Lia had the day off for MLK Day and I was determined to do something more as a family than go to the park or the play area in the mall. As a result, I convinced Ron to head out to one of the many beaches on the sound in the morning for some play time in the sand and a picnic lunch. We visited a beach we have never been to before--Dash Point Stake Park--and really had a great time. Lia enjoyed making endless sand, birthday cakes for Logan while the little dude wandered around with his shovel, stick, and watering can! It was just nice to be outside for a little bit and do something different as a family!
Ever since Lia got her American Girl Doll a year ago, we have wanted to visit the American Girl Doll store in Washington, but have never made it a real priority. However, after her best friend, Kaylee, moved this past summer to a town minutes away from the store, Lia and I have been talking ever since about going to see her new house and visit the store. And we finally made it happen today! We met Megan, Kaylee, and Emma (who just got her doll for Christmas) at the store for lunch in the bistro and for some quality browsing around this amazing store. I just love this doll company because they think of ALL of the details--just like Disneyland! We had a delicious lunch with the dolls at our sides and enjoyed perusing all of the sections of the store. We then returned back to Kaylee's house where the girls played for three hours while Megan, Lance, and I watched the Seahawks game and cheered them on to victory. Hooray! Only one more game until the Super Bowl. If only every Saturday could be this fun...
The girls and their dolls getting ready to head into the bistro for lunch.
Sitting down at our table all ready to go!
All eight of us (dolls included) after our lunch was served.
Lia and Marabella enjoying their grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.
Lia and Kaylee having fun in the store while pushing the complimentary doll strollers around. Oh, these two are so cute! Five-year old girls are so much fun.
I can't believe it, but we are exactly one month away from Logan's second birthday! Ahhhh! As crazy as this seems, Logan really started to make some changes this past month that demonstrated how he is starting to leave the baby stage and move into the toddler stage. So, it just makes sense that his second birthday is right around the corner. He has become VERY social and loves it when the cousins or Lia's friends are over. He is really interested in following them around, doing what they are doing, and making them laugh (mainly by repeating words that they tell him to say). In addition, he now wants to be up on a big chair at the kitchen table coloring in a coloring book EVERY time he sees Lia making one of her "books." Logan and Lia have also started to actually play together successfully for several minutes before he starts crying. Back in the day, he would cry within a minute whenever they were together due to something Lia was doing. I know that this is partially due to the fact that Lia has made great progress in this department ever since we started a behavior chart this fall, but it also shows that our little boy is growing up! He is also head over heals in love with Elmo and Sesame Street. He loves all of the Elmo stuff he got for Christmas and will now sit down every morning to watch an Elmo movie. Amazing. Also, Logan has finally turned a corner in the picking eating department and is almost back to his old self. He now eats most meats and vegetables again which is absolutely wonderful! I hope it's not premature to say that I am so grateful to have my good eater back after a few months of finicky eating. Another funny development in the eating department is that he now LOVES any kind of sauce and request some to be put on his high chair tray any time he sees something on the kitchen table. Besides the obvious ketchup, Logan loves ranch dressing, hummus, soy sauce, and katsu sauce. He is just like his dad! Pretty soon, he will be requesting Ron's hot sauces! And, lastly, Logan's vocabulary development has continued to be on fire this past month. He says new words every day (and half of them are without any prompting) and parrots people all the time. I tried to keep up with documenting every new word, but it is getting to be a bit impossible...but this is what I came up with: milk, juice, snack, love, panda, TV, downstairs, orange, hand, noodles, eggnog, table, Bryce (his cousin), help, pen, cheek, nice, rice, fish, moose, all gone, "Hi grandpa," flush, trash, cup, ketchup, ranch, seal, cow, clean, zebra, hole, big truck, owl, whale, wall, "are you Papa?," Zoe, Cookie Monster, Oscar, and Grover (all characters from Sesame Street). Logan will also nod and shake his head in response to many of the yes/no questions that we ask him. It's so cute and so funny!
First off, I think I just look so tired in this picture. Oh well. It's the truth. I really have not acted very pregnant during this holiday season and it is starting to show. It's time to begin slowing down as I will be hitting my third trimester next week! Anyways, I am now 26 weeks along and finally starting to "feel" pregnant. It is getting difficult to bend over to pick something up or to get out of bed or off the couch. In addition, I notice that I waddle a bit at night after I am done with the day and very tired. I also am starting to get winded when walking up a flight of stairs in our house. So I guess it makes sense that I am facing the final trimester in a few days. My bump is definitely noticeable now when I wear regular shirts, but I can still hide it under a sweatshirt or coat. My appetite is basically back to normal, although I did get the lecture from the doctor at my last appointment (which was on Christmas Eve) about already gaining 25 pounds and still having 15 weeks to go! Hah! It's a good thing that I don't take this weight gain thing very seriously or else that doctor really could have ruined my Christmas Eve and Christmas day dinners! Sheez. So, here's to 13+ more weeks, a few more pounds, and an expanding waistline before our little, pink bundle of joy arrives!
We just returned from five days with my family for our annual, post-Christmas vacation up at the cabin at Priest Lake. Once again, we were blessed with several feet of snow which provided for hours of outside fun for everyone. As always, I barely saw Lia the entire time as she was so busy playing with her cousins and Ron, Logan, and I had a pretty good time ourselves. It's always such a treat to be up there in that winter wonderland!
I just had to snap this picture during our drive to the cabin of Logan trying to drink his water and suck on his pacifier all at the same time. Now that is what I call multi-tasking!
Lia breaking in the snow on our first morning there!
Logan also checking out the "no" for the first time. He sure loved playing outside!
My two, cute kiddos.
Lia hanging out with all of her girl cousins who she adores!
Ron taking Lia for a spin in the sled.
Ron taking both our children for a spin in the sled.
Lia and Logan up close. I'm amazed Logan tolerated this!
The Hartland fam in the winter wonderland.
Mama and her baby bump with Lia and Logan.
Such a cutie!
The four original siblings.
Getting ready to sled down the hill with Grandma.
I just love this picture of my mom sitting on her sled.
One morning, the older cousins headed down to the dock for their annual, polar bear plunge. For the first time ever, all of them actually jumped in!
All of the kids jumping in with Brynn and Kelsey in the lead.
As always, Lia enjoyed many hours on the catwalk with the triplets making blanket forts and playing with their stuffed animals.
The girls swinging their stuffed animals out and over the great room.
Sarah and Callie reading to Logan. Oh, how this boy loves books and anyone who will read to him!
As the week went by, Lia became braver and started sledding down the hill in front of the cabin. Here sh is about to go!
Flying down the hill!
And doing it again!
Posing with the snowman that Lia helped me make.
All of the girls playing on the stairs.
Logan and Trenton beginning to play with each other. It's hard to believe that in another year of two, these little guys will be inseparable.
One morning, Ron and I went outside just with Logan to sled down our neighbor's driveway over and over again. Logan was so cute and would say, "Weeeee," every time we went down the hill and would then ask for another "ride" whenever we reached the bottom.
He would always lay very still and patiently each time we pulled him back to the top of the hill.
The triplets working on building, "Olaf," the snowman from the new Disney movie, Frozen.
Taking Logan back down the hill for another run!
Logan and Trenton posing on top of the boulder near our cabin. What adorable snow bunnies these two boys are!
All twelve of the grandkids lined up in a row on our last full day there!
Lia and the girl cousins.
The wonderful grandparents that make this all possible! We sure do love you!