Friday, January 31

Birthday Fun

We traveled north for a big birthday lunch for my Grandma Alice last weekend. It was a nice afternoon, with most of her family and dear friends. They read a story of her life so far, which explained a lot of things about her personality:) With all this "polar vortex" talk, we've been going a little stir-crazy being indoors. Craig hasn't even worked a full week THIS YEAR because of the holidays and extreme cold. While it has been a bit uncomfortable walking into work with a temp of -45, our house has received some much needed attention with all of Craig's days off! And really, how did it get to be the end of January already?? Before I know it, the kids' 3rd birthday will be here and Spring will be on its way.

Grandma Alice turned 85 on the 23rd, holding baby Benson for the first time.
He's 1 week old here. Oldest and youngest family members!!

I'm not sure how he came to this situation...he called for me to help him
and then I told him I had to take a picture.

Getting ready to go out for my birthday brunch!

Kelsey inspired the saying for my cake - she's a special little girl :)
So the story that goes with this cake...Craig was talking to Kelsey about my birthday coming up, trying to get them excited. He asked Kelsey if they should get a cake and of course she said YES! Then he asked what color the cake should be and she replied BLACK. Craig told her that black is kind of a sad color for a cake. She then said, "that's great too dad and we can have a happy birthday in a one horse open sleigh!" (I think because Jingle Bells was the one Christmas song she knew all the words too!)

Friday, January 24

Growing Pains

The kids have been super whiny and emotional over any little thing that doesn't go their way! I don't know if this is a phase or the product of turning 3 soon but it is ugly! (And a lot of my friends said forget the terrible twos, it's THREE that you have to watch out for...and really so far, 2 hasn't been bad so I guess I'm waiting for something?). We will say one thing that shouldn't be upsetting and Kelsey will burst into tears! They are also so excited about getting more presents...uhh...I'm not sure how to address this. Like, did they enjoy Christmas so much that they just want to open presents ALL THE TIME? We tell them that they get presents for their birthday and Christmas...and we have to wait. I'm hoping they are just "growing", emotionally, intellectually and they are working some stuff out!! We don't buy them extra gifts/toys for no specific reason.

As we celebrated the birth of my nephew, Benson, we continue the January birthday extravaganza as my Grandma turns 85 years young! Including the newest January baby and my birthday and in-laws, there are 11 members of my family with a January birthday!! What was going on that made April such a "busy" month??

Another "sensitive" Kelsey moment was last night: we were heading upstairs to get ready for bed, brushed teeth, then went to the bedroom. Drew asked to go to bed right away and that sent Kelsey in a tail spin! She started to sob and said, "no bed, read a book." And actually they haven't been sitting still for long during nighttime reading but last night she had me read two books. Annnnnnnnnnd she took all of Drew's trucks, blanket, "buddy" and threw them in his crib, all while sniffling tears. Her socks were still on before head and she started to sob, took one off at a time, put them outside her room and said, "socks go to bed." Craig and I were looking at each other in total disbelief and at times trying not to laugh - only because we couldn't understand why she was that upset about things we do every night. Now when Drew lost his mind over Kelsey putting his toys in the bed, I had a hard time keeping it together:) But then she woke up this morning the sweetest little girl I could imagine and life was good again. If this is any precursor to how she will act as a hormonal 13 year old, I'll start accepting applications for anyone that wants to take her till she's 18;)

And then she does stuff like this - Kelsey put herself in there, shutting the lid
telling me she was going in time out!

Sunday, January 19


Benson Robert Stahl - the newest addition to my brother's family!! He was born Saturday, January 18th, at 11:52 p.m. 6lbs 8oz. Cassandra was admitted to the hospital that morning to be induced. My sister, Tara, and I visited her around 3 p.m. and was looking good, high spirits but the baby wasn't making a lot of progress. We left around 4:30, when they were giving her the 4th induction dose and kept in touch with Derek throughout the evening (we were celebrating our cousin Stacie's birthday that night!). It got to be about midnight and I hadn't heard from Derek in about 2 hours. Thirty minutes later, we finally get the "HE'S HERE!" text and that she had to have a C-section because his heart rate was dropping after each contraction. There was a little concern that he may have ingested/aspirated meconium so they watched him the special care nursery for 8 hrs. But we went to visit all of them today and everyone is doing great! He slept the whole time we were there and is such a little peanut:) We brought the kids so they could meet their cousin and we could observe their reaction to a baby - we can't think of a time they would have been around a newborn. Kelsey was super shy, at first, didn't want to look at Benson or talk to Derek or Cassandra. Drew yelled at Craig and I not to "touch it" when we were holding him! Eventually, the kids came around, warmed up, and started to play cars on the floor and chatted Cassandra's mom's ear off!!

Monday, January 13

Bathroom Bliss

Maybe you had forgotten that we even started remodeling our bathrooms; maybe you thought we just forgot to show you pictures of it...well I can see where that could happen because it has been three months since we started this whole thing. Actually it all started 4 months ago when the pipe was leaking and we did the plumbing - then it took a month to interview a couple tile candidates and get going!! It took SO.MUCH. longer to complete than we anticipated and became a matter of urgency as we were days away from hosting Christmas and one bathroom was still in shambles. The first tile guy ended up being kind of sketchy and the second one just had a run of bad luck - if I told you all the things that happened to us, you would think we should be on reality TV or HGTV/DIY fix my renovation programs!! One bathroom is way more my favorite (probably because I'm still tweaking the other one, so the extras aren't quite done yet) but so glad they are updated and finished :)

Bathroom 1 (where the pipe was leaking) mid-demolition

After!! (we added a shower, it was only a bath)

Bathroom 2 - in all it's pink glory!

The long, treacherous demolition


This bathroom connects to our room

Wednesday, January 8

Holiday Extras

It has been dreadfully cold this past week and to top it all off, school was cancelled because of the wind chills. So that means Craig had 2 extra days of Christmas break! We took the kids to the Betty Brinn Children's museum (which was a gift from our sitter) to get out of the house and wear off some energy. There was also time for lots of train track building, courtesy of some new Christmas gifts!

I did everything I could to get him off and move on to other exhibits!

Kelsey could have played with the music all day.

A leftover Christmas pic, Drew showing Uncle Derek his tow truck.