Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthday cupcakes at daycare

I love that I get out of work at 3:30 (hypothetically speaking - it doesn't always happen every day) because I was able to be at Raegan's daycare during cupcakes for her birthday last Thursday. My mom and I found some great tutorials on YouTube for making Sesame Street cupcakes, so I decided to make the Cookie Monster ones for her daycare celebration.

Gah! Beyond adorable, right? :)

Waiting to sing Happy Birthday. Raegan was chowing down on her apples (regular snack) while she waited. She actually ended up finishing her apples before she even started on the cupcake. What a girl!

Angie got Raegan a Mrs. Potato Head for her birthday.

"Thanks, Angie."

Nomnomnom, good cupcake!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Second Birthday

Dear Raegan,
Happy 2nd Birthday! It still blows my mind that you are growing up so quickly. It just doesn't seem like it's been two years since I first laid eyes on you, first held you and kissed your beautiful face. I feel like if I turn around for too long, I'm going to turn back and find a teenager in your place. As eager as I am to see what you are going to do next, I do wish that I could just stop time and enjoy where you are at now for many months before we move on.

Your second year has been full of as many changes as your first was. You've gone from walking to running to dancing. You love to dance so much right now. Most afternoons when we get home from work and child care, you point to the television and ask me, "Moosic Mommy?" because you love dancing to the music channels on the digital cable. You also love singing, and grace us with your beautiful versions of songs daily. I love the way you sing "Open, Shut Them": "O-poo, shut dem, O-poo, shut dem, Uh uh uh uh clap!" You are almost able to sing all the letters in ABCs, and I love hearing you sing Jesus Loves Me and Itsy Bitsy Spider. I love rocking and singing with you before bedtime. I also love saying prayers with you, because you are really starting to interact. Sometimes we talk to Jesus about things we did during the day, but mostly you like to say thank you for everything in your life: friends at daycare, goldfish for snack, and Elmo, to name a few.

You've become so polite and thoughtful. I love that you are already this way at such a young age. You are starting to say please and thank you without prompting a lot of the time, and I love hearing your little "Bless you" when someone burps or sneezes. You're starting to understand emotions, and your imitation of a sad face is adorable. I love your hugs and slobbery kisses, and I love that you always want "one more" before you can lay down in your crib to sleep.

Next year when I write this letter you will be getting ready to start preschool. Your late August birthday will always make you one of the very youngest in your class, but you are so smart and personable I think you will shine. I watched all the little 3 year olds walk into my class on the first day of school last week, and almost got teary thinking about how I would be walking you in to your class next year. My baby is not a baby anymore, which you frequently remind me of: "Raegan big girl!" Yes, yes you are little Mama.

I have such big dreams for you Raegan. I know that you are going to be something special, not just to me and your Daddy, but to the world. I can't way to see how your life unfolds. These first two years have been more than I could have ever hoped for, and I can't wait to see the rest.

I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

13 months old

15 months old

16 months old

20 months old

22 months old

2 years old!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birthday videos

Here are the two videos I took from Raegan's party. The first is of Raegan hamming it up before her party, and the second is of the family singing Happy Birthday and Raegan being unsure of what to do about the candle. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Raegan's 2nd birthday party

We did Raegan's birthday party yesterday. Even though her birthday isn't until this Thursday, we did it over this last weekend because it's the weekend that Zane was here. :) All weekend long, whenever we asked Raegan what she wanted for her birthday, she always said, "Cake!" She seemed like she kind of understood what was going to happen, because Saturday night she asked me to sing "Happy Birthday" to her a bunch of times while we were singing and rocking before bed. At first she was kind of overwhelmed by all the people (21 people including all the kids!) but she got the hang of opening presents pretty quick. And she absolutely flipped out when she opened the lift the flap Sesame Street book that Luke and I got her. She was like laughing hysterically and kept saying, "Abby! Elmo! Big Bird!!!"

Some of the pictures are a little blurry because the lighting in my basement always messes up pictures. I posted some of the slightly blurry ones anyways just because Raegan looked so happy in them!

Reading a card from Great Grandma Marie

Yay! A book!!!

A laptop from Granny and Papa J.

So happy!!

Something must have been funny.... :D

Raegan was super excited that Luke and I got her a little stuffed Abby to go with her Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Who's that crazy person opening presents with Raegan? lol

Elmo!! Do you see the kind of handprint off to the right side of Elmo's smile. When we slid the cake in Raegan's general direction, she immediately stuck her hand in it. It was hilarious!

Oh yeah....

The sugar is starting to hit her now....

Apparently Mommy had a lot of sugar too.

Raegan was super excited to play with her cousins Khloe and Koen. She kept calling Koen "Khloe" which was cracking me up!

Do you see Zane opening Raegan's wooden cookie set? Him and Keenan were O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with it. They were like super excited about it, and even went so far as to go bake a set of cookies in Raegan's play oven. :)

Raegan and Granny J checking out her jewelry box.

More to do with the cookies....

Raegan LOVES her vaccuum cleaner! Today as soon as we got home from daycare she said, "I daccuum?"

Again with the crazy eyes. I don't know what I was doing! lol

Silly girl!

Baby Ryan

Raegan looooves Baby Ryan!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Seventh Grade

Zane started seventh grade this last Tuesday. I cannot believe that he's that old! It seems like it wasn't that long ago that he was this roly poly, mile-a-minute two year old. :)

Another trip to the lake

Raegan still isn't too sure about actually getting in the lake to swim, but she sure does like being on the boat. We had a lot of fun last Saturday when we went out. It was a perfect day for the lake - mid 80's, not much of a breeze. It was a great afternoon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Puppy love

Raegan loves when my mother in law's poodle Jessie comes to visit us. A couple weeks ago my in laws went on vacation so we kept Jessie with us for 6 days. Raegan was in hog heaven! And today Jessie spent the day with us because my in laws went out of town from dawn to dusk. Raegan was at home with Luke today because daycare was closed, so the lucky girl got to spend the whole day with Jessie. :)

Raegan and I went to a garage sale this evening, and I ended up buying her two pairs of shoes and a dress. One of the pairs of shoes is a sparkly silver pair, which Raegan instantly fell in love with. She wanted to carry them out to the car and hold them on the ride home, and she told me, "Show Jessie shoe." Because obviously Jessie is so wonderful that she will love Raegan's new shoes as much as Raegan does. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sibling love

Raegan is always so excited to see Zane after he comes back from spending the weekend at his mom's. He spent an extra day there this weekend, so she was super excited to see him last night. When he had to get ready to leave for soccer practice, she kept saying, "I baseball too!" (She calls the soccer ball in her Sesame Street book a baseball. lol)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update on milestones

I keep forgetting to write a post updating all of the new things that Raegan is doing now. It seems like as soon as August hit, she just took off and made leaps and bounds in a lot of new skills. You especially can hear it in her speech. She's using three and even some four word sentences quite often now. When Luke and Raegan dropped by my school on Friday to bring me a pop (awesome husband!), he handed over the pop to me and Raegan said, "I want my wa-wa." Smartest girlie ever! :) She's also getting a lot clearer in some of the longer words that she says. Yesterday she said "hamburger" and it came out perfectly. She's not dropping syllables (which is still perfectly normal for her age) nearly as often as she used to, so it's getting easier to understand her. For a couple months there, we had the problem that Raegan's vocabulary is huge, but her actual speech abilities hadn't matured enough to catch up with the vocab, and sometimes she could be a little hard to understand. Now, we're golden about 95% of the time! :)

Raegan's also becoming more independent, and she really WANTS that independence. She is able to put on her flip flops by herself now (almost always on the right feet!) and she's working so hard at pulling up her pants by herself. Anytime she's trying to get dressed or undressed and you offer help, she very emphatically tells you, "No!" :) Potty training hasn't really gone anywhere, but seeing as she hasn't even turned two yet, I'm not too concerned. I wanted to give her some time to get readjusted to being in daycare (and to check with our daycare provider about what all she's willing to do to help) before we went guns blazing into potty training. Raegan still tells you when she's wet, pretty much as soon as it happens. She calls it all "poopy" whether she's wet or poopy, but she will tell you the difference if you specifically ask her "wet or poopy?"

Another fun skill that Raegan has picked up is "reading". We still read probably 10-20 books a day, and she's started "reading" her favorite ones also. When she reads Baby Bear Baby Bear (which is similar to Brown Bear, Brown Bear) she says, "Bay-boo bay-boo, uh uh see" (Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What do you see?) and then turns to the page with the fox and says, "Red fox, Red fox, uh uh see." I've been trying to catch it on video, because it's just too adorable.

Raegan's big love this summer has been Elmo. The theme for her birthday party next weekend is going to be Elmo, and I think she'll be really excited about the Elmo cake! As a treat, sometimes I let her watch Sesame Street on the television in our room. It's fun to lay on our bed with her and watch. Sesame Street is really quite funny, and I like watching it with her. Now that I'm back to work, we'll have to get videos from the library. Raegan has also started to really like Abby and Zoe, and gets pretty excited when she sees them on Sesame Street too.

I'm sure there is plenty more that she's been doing lately, but that's all I can think of at the moment. I can't believe she's going to be two in a couple weeks! My baby is most definitely not a baby anymore!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I have a plan!

I have a friend who recently told me that her and her husband have a credit card that gives them airline miles whenever they use it. She said that her flight for her trip out to California this summer to visit a family member was free because of all the miles they've earned from the credit card. I've been thinking about this, debating whether or not I want to do something similar ever since she told me about it.

Now, Dave Ramsey would be very disappointed in me if he knew that we were thinking about going this route. When I took Financial Peace earlier this year, I learned that credit cards that offer cash back or airline miles incentives are usually not a good idea, because the interest you pay on the credit card negates any good the freebies do for you. What my friend does is set aside the money that they would spend on whatever, and then pay the credit card bill in full every month when it shows up. I've questioned whether I would be able to do that well or not, so I haven't looked into a airline miles credit card yet.

Yesterday in the mail we got a flyer from Old Navy. (I have an Old Navy credit card. It's paid off and has been for months. I'm pretty proud of that!) It says that from August 15 to September 30 they will be giving triple points when you use your Old Navy Visa at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. For every 500 points you earn, you get a $5 gift certificate to Old Navy. I think I'm going to give this a try, to kind of see on a small scale how well I do with paying the card off in full every month. I always buy Raegan's jeans at Old Navy because they're good quality and fairly decently priced if you hit the sales, and they always have fun shirts that Zane likes. I already pull out cash every two weeks for groceries and eating out (per Dave Ramsey's Envelope System) so that should be easy to pay off, and why not just do the same thing for gas too? I figure it should be pretty easy now that I've got the hang of budgeting, and we may get the kids some free (or at least really cheap clothing) out of the whole experiment. And if I'm really good at it, we may try a credit card with airline miles.

I'll keep you all posted!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Top Five Things I Love

So this post is inspired by Kim, my college roommate from my freshman year. I think she does Top Five posts every Friday (if you read this, correct me if I'm wrong about that, Kim!) and I liked the theme of this one, so I decided to yank it. While copyrighting her, naturally. :) So without further ado, the Top Five things I am really into right now (in no particular order).

1. Mike's Hard Lemonade (Black Cherry flavor). Does it make me an alkie that this is first on my list? Please note that I did say, "in no particular order". It tastes like cherry kool-aid. Just a loooooot better. I don't enjoy one very often, because they're empty calories (and I'm not a very big drinker), but I do like the taste.

2. The Sims 2. I love this game and have for years. I go through spurts where I really enjoy playing it, then I stop for quite some time. I think the last time I really was into playing it was maybe January or February of this year, so it must have been time to cycle back through liking it again. I actually don't care very much about playing the people through their lives. I just like building and decorating houses and apartments. My husband thinks it's really boring and he doesn't get how I can play it, but I don't get how he can shoot stuff in video games. So to each his own. :)

3. Jewelry. I was originally going to say long necklaces, but then I realized that I'm really into bracelets right now too, so I just put jewelry as one big category. I've loved bracelets for quite some time now, every since I bought this lovely turquoise and bright blue one when we were in Cancun. I've started buying long necklaces recently, especially since I discovered that Cato's has really affordable jewelry. So yeah. Really into jewelry right now. I'm excited to mix and match everything I've bought this summer once I go back to work next week. (I guess I have to find something to be excited about in going back to work, right?)

4. Hawaiian Coconut lotion from Bath and Body Works. It makes me smell like I've been tanning, but without that hot sweaty smell. And you know. Skin cancer. lol Sadly it was a summer only scent, and I was not smart enough to buy more than one bottle. I'm holding out hope that it will show up in the semi annual sale after Christmas, or at least again next summer. I've been using it very sparingly lately so that it will last a while longer.

5. Hanging pictures. I finally got around to hanging my diplomas and the picture of me in my cap and gown from my graduation last May. I also changed out some pictures in the frames in my office, and if I can remember I'm finally (3 years later!) going to buy a frame for the picture I got from swimming with dolphins in Cancun. I spent several of Raegan's naps this week cleaning and organizing my computer room in the basement, and part of that included putting up pictures. I love being down in my little "office" now. It's so homey and organized.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My cat is a jerk and other unpleasant names that I probably shouldn't say outloud. :) Radar has always enjoyed sleeping in our bathroom. I assume that he likes it because the tiles are cold and it's dark and quiet in there. This week he's taken to sleeping either on the closed toilet lid or on top of the counter. I don't mind if he sleeps on the toilet, but the counter I do. Actually, ever since we went to Branson, he's kind of been acting like he owns the place. I've caught him sleeping on top of our coffee table a few times, which is something he's never done in the 6+ years we've had him. Good things he's so handsome and loveable.

Notice how he didn't even wake up when I turned on the light, saw him, went to go get my camera, and took a picture. He sure did wake up when I tossed his fat butt on the floor! Jerk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Swimming with Friends

One of the nice things about the gym that we joined is that is has an outdoor pool that is included in the membership fees. My friend Katie and her family are also members, so we've gone to the pool with the kids several times this summer. Greyson and Raegan get to splash around together, and Katie and I get to work on our tans and chat. It's definitely one of the things I will miss about summer ending!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Last day of gymnastics

Yesterday was our last day of gymnastics. I think I might enroll Raegan in it again in the winter, when it's too cold to play outside. That way she has somewhere to run off some energy. Luke was able to come to Raegan's last class, and she was super excited about that!

I love listening to her laugh!