Princess Party.

FOUR. Really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby girl is growing up.  She is developing into a smart, loving, honest, kind, witty, stubborn at times, hilarious, independent, athletic, artistic young lady. For her birthday this year we decided to throw her a princess party with something every little girl dreams of…….a REAL princess! Her princess of choice – you guessed it – Rapunzel.

It was a blast planning her big day.  I spent hours crafting up banners, lanterns and other decorations which included my coolest creation to date…..a huge 4 foot braid made of yellow yarn and adorned with flowers which wrapped around our column at the front door.  I took the Rapunzel/Tangled theme and ran with it!

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Our little princesses anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rapunzel.

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Story time with Rapunzel! This included a treasure chest, music, bubbles, dancing and face painting – FUN – and you can see it written all over their little faces!!!

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After story time inside we all headed outside for more pictures! I must say, having the princess here at the party was a huge hit with the little girls.  So worth it to see the looks on their faces as they interacted with Rapunzel! Jensen was so excited and still talks about getting to meet Rapunzel.  In fact she has already asked me if we can have another princess come to her party next year.

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I set a kids table up outside (too bad it was like a million degrees and humid) and immediately after Rapunzel left the kids got to sit at it for a bit and munch on sailboats made from orange wedges which sat on cup of blue jello, goldfish and fruit snacks – yum!

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After some snacks we headed over to the jewelry station – every girl’s dream! There were crowns, wands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all.  I even had some crowns for our little princes.

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J was so happy when everyone was singing to her. Makes me tear up every year as I think about how quickly she is growing up.

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The finale of the party – her big girl bike!!

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Happy 4th birthday to our princess!  Mommy, daddy and baby brother love you more than you’ll ever know!!!

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Celebrating EARTH.

Before heading outside for our Earth day fun, Jensen colored a picture of the Earth while Owen was taking his morning nap.  She was sooo excited to show it to Drew when he came home from work that she came running inside and pulled it off the refrigerator.

Technically our celebration started on Sunday night when daddy planted new flowers around the house.

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Once we got outside it was all about drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing and taking a walk!  I asked Jensen to assist me in drawing all the things we love about the Earth.  She decided we would draw a sun, some grass, the sky (we drew clouds) and flowers.  Owen pretty much walked up and down the driveway the whole time and then played with his cars.

We ended our celebration with a stroll in the neighborhood.  Of course we had to go inside the house to grab snacks and Jensen’s purse before we could head out – ha!  These kiddos LOVE being outside and it was a very nice morning to be out!

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Christmas, The New Year and Beyond!

I have not done a good job of staying current with my blogging and I apologize!!

CHRISTMAS

Our Christmas was great this year!  The kids of course were spoiled and I very much enjoyed getting to spend time with lots of family.  We kept Christmas Eve pretty low-key this year and grilled burgers – in freezing degree temperatures..ha – and they were amazing.  I was so excited for the kids to go to bed so that Drew and I could stuff stockings and set up all the toys.  Before bed, Jensen wrote Santa a note and put out 2 cookies and a glass of milk for Santa – she was soooo excited!

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On Christmas morning I was expecting both kids to be up by 7AM, normal for us around here, but Jensen didn’t get up until 7:30AM and Owen wasn’t up yet by 8AM…..what?!?!?  At that point we decided to let Jensen go downstairs to see her gifts from Santa.  When she got downstairs she LOST it when she saw her guitar!  She had been asking Santa to bring her a guitar for weeks and she was so happy he did!  She also got a microphone – which she had also been asking for!  After that chaos, Owen woke up and enjoyed opening his presents with a little help from mommy.  Drew had a surprise up his sleeve and bought a new tablet for all of us to enjoy!!  Then it was time to play, listen to my new Taylor Swift CD (thanks babe) and eat breakfast….I LOVE Christmas morning around here!!

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Around noon we headed over to Lynette and Dave’s house for the “Dankert”/”Schmidt” Christmas celebration.  Our day was filled with kids running around, LOTS of amazingly delicious food and of course MORE presents!!  This year we did an additional gift exchange for all the adults which consisted of buying a $10-15 gift and once we got to Lynette’s, she wrapped all of them in the same wrapping paper so you couldn’t tell who brought what gift.  We drew numbers to get an order and then we started picking out gifts.  It was so much fun!  We decided we were going to do that again next year!!

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The day after Christmas both kids went to daycare and Drew and I went to see “This is 40” and it was a very funny movie!  We hadn’t been to a movie in a while so it was nice to spend our morning together at the theater.  The next day we packed up the car and headed to Wichita to celebrate Christmas with gma and papa Schauner!!  We ended up not getting out of KC until 5:30PM because at Owen’s 9 month check-up that day we found out that he had an ear infection 😦  which meant we had to stop at the pharmacy on our way out of town.  It seemed to be one thing after another trying to get there, but we eventually made it around 9PM….LONG trip.  The kids were both wired when they saw gma and papa so we decided to open presents before putting the kids to bed.  We had a very busy weekend while there, but we had a great time!

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THE NEW YEAR

The weather was very cold and snowy on New Year’s Eve this year.  We braved the weather and road conditions to spend the evening with Kris, Laura, all the kids and Tommy and Rachel.  We ate delicious food and of course chased crazy kiddos around!! We did not ring in the New Year by any means, but it was fun to hang out!!

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BEYOND

Hard to believe it is the middle of January already!  We have had a busy year thus far with play dates, game nights with friends and family and we are hoping to take the kids to see Sesame Street Live this upcoming weekend!! Until next time 🙂

 

 

Costumes and more!

Here are some pics of the kiddos on Halloween night in their costumes!  It was pretty chilly that night, so we weren’t out for long.  I thought with this post I would also give some updates on what these two kiddos are up to these days.

MISS JENSEN:

My little girl is very independent these days, but can still be very sweet when she wants to be!  These are the things that keep her busy theses days:

1. She loves playing “mommy” with all of her baby dolls and her baby brother.  She will push her dolls around the house in their stroller and use all of Owen’s baby things (bumbo, highchair, binkis) to keep her babies happy.  When you ask her what her baby’s name is she usually says Ella or aunt Laura and sometimes she still will say uncle dave……so silly!

2. She loves to sing and perform.  She is always using the remote as a microphone and has asked Santa for a guitar this year for Christmas!

3.  She is doing so well writing letters.  Her teachers say that she loves writing in her journal.

4.  Her favorite food these days is chicken nuggets.  When asked what she would like to eat she always says chicken nuggets.  My picky little eater chooses to have a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well!

5.  She loves watching movies.  Her favorites right now are Puss in Boats, Secret of the Wings and TinTin.  The other night at dinner she told Drew and I that she wanted to kiss TinTin…lol!!  Drew looked over at me and said “you don’t even know him.”  She smiled and I told Drew “and so it begins.”

MR OWEN:

My sweet baby boy has changed so much in the last couple of months.  He is such an easy going baby, which is a good thing because his sister brings lots of drama these days!

Here is what Owen has been up to lately:

1. Since turning 7 months in October, he is officially crawling all over the house!  I definitely have to watch him like crazy and make sure that all stairs are blocked and all of Jensen’s small toys are up off of the floor.

2.  In the last couple of weeks he has been pulling himself up on to everything, including me when I am sitting on the floor!  Amazing how strong he is!!

3.  He is cutting all of his bottom teeth at once.  Poor baby and poor mama!  Needless to say, neither one of us has been sleeping very well over the last few weeks.

4.  He continues to eat like a horse!  We are pretty much feeding him anything and everything.  He loves oatmeal with banana, but he has yet to turn down anything we have given him.  He has had pears, green beans, sweet potatoes, turkey, chicken, yogurt and applesauce to name a few.  He also drinks about 6-7 oz of milk every 3-4 hours.  Some days I’m left wondering where he puts all of that food!

5.  He loves music……go figure!  Owen will sway to the music we play….quite cute.  I remember Jensen did this same thing when she was about his age.  His favorite songs are ABCs and pat-a-cake and he really likes when Jensen sings those songs to him.

6.  He is doing a lot of babbling and really trying to say words.  He is saying “dada” pretty much all the time.  I have tried to get him to say mama, but no luck yet.  I keep reminding him that “mama” is the one up taking care of him in the middle of the night! lol!

These two kiddos provide me with so much to be thankful for.  I love them so much more than I could ever express.

Tot Terror Twenty-Twelve.

This year’s Halloween party was sooooo much fun!!  We changed things up a bit this year and invited lots of our friends over for coloring, painting and eating of course!!  Laura helped me with hosting and we wanted to be sure we had plenty for all the kids to do so we had a pumpkin painting station, a cookie creation station, a crafting station and a pinata.  We offered a “soup” bar: chicken noodle, taco soup and potato soup.  We asked each guest to bring a sweet treat to share.

I had Lynette help me again with making my Halloween banner.  I gave her all the materials and ideas and she worked her magic to create it!  I was so pleased with the final product!!  Lynette gave me the idea of a “photo wall” using scrapbook paper.  I was so pleased with how it turned out as well!  Because the temp was pretty cold that evening, we ended up having most of our activities and the photo booth inside, but it worked!  I will say, I had a lot of hay all over my house though!

Our pumpkins we decorated about a week before the party that greeted our guests!

We had a great turn out of both “old” and “new” friends!!  We feel so blessed to have such amazing family and friends to share this life with!!  I believe our party was a HUGE success in great part to everyone that came to celebrate with us!  And of course, this mama is already excited for next year’s party!!

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FUN, FUN, FUN!!

 

Such a great party!!  Thanks to all of our family and friends for being here to make it great!  Next up, pics of Jensen and Owen on Halloween!!

Pumpkin Patch 2012.

We made it out to the pumpkin patch this year!  Jensen had a blast playing, riding out to the pumpkin patch on the tractor pull and searching for the perfect pumpkin!  I’m excited for next year when Owen can run around too instead of riding around in the stroller the whole time.

 

 

 

 

Jensen was brave this year and actually fed the goats!!  I couldn’t believe it when I saw her pick up the food and let the goat eat it out of her hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found 4 perfect pumpkins!  I could tell it had been a great day because both kids fell asleep on the way home!

Shatto Milk Company.

I’ve never been the biggest milk fan, but I have to say, after touring Shatto farm and sampling a variety of flavored milk, I have found some I could drink more often!  Shatto farm is located in Osborn, MO which is about and hour and a half north of my house.  We met the family there right around 10:30am which was when the tour started.

“Besties” ready to see some cows!

Our first stop: cow milking!  First we got to watch the machine at work milking the cows.  This was a pretty cool process and it is crazy that one cow can produce several gallons of milk per day!  As you can see by Jensen’s face, she was really trying to take it all in!

Grandma and Ella saying “MOO”

Then it was over to the barn to see the cows and practicing milking!  I was not brave enough to try milking the cow, but Mom, Rachel, Kris and Drew did!!  Ella and Jensen were a little timid around the cow, but in their daddy’s arms they were ok with it!  And I took a pic of Drew and Jensen milking the cow, but it didn’t turn out….pooey!  😦

From one photographer to the other! ha!

I just love Rachel’s face in this picture!! lol  (don’t hate me Rachie!)

Handsome boy just hanging out!

Then we stopped for a couple group shots!  Can you tell who the photographer is?!?!? 😉

Then it was time to sample the flavors!!  This was honestly the best part.  We tried banana, orange creamsicle (tasted like fruit loops), strawberry, cotton candy, root beer, chocolate and coffee.  Shatto chocolate and strawberry milk are like number 1 and 2 in the world……and let me tell you….I can see why!  The strawberry milk was my favorite and of course Jensen liked the chocolate milk best.

When the tour was complete everyone took some time to shop of course!  And daddy snapped a few pics of my little ham….she sure likes to play it up for the camera!

This was a great way to spend a beautiful fall morning and definitely worth the drive!

Omaha.

The first time we had been to Omaha as a family was back in August of 2010 – Jensen was 11 months old.  We love Omaha because of its amazing zoo, fun downtown atmosphere and exciting children’s museum.  Because Jensen had so much fun as an 11 month old, we were really hoping to make it back in 2011.  We came up with several excuses to not go on our trip in 2011, the biggest being the fact that I wasn’t feeling so great because I was 2 months pregnant, so I was determined to not let anything get in the way of our trip this year.

We left on a Thursday morning after breakfast and Owen’s first feeding.  The car ride took about 3 hours and for the most part it went well.  Owen struggled getting comfortable and falling asleep until I crawled into the backseat and put my hand on his chest.  We had some quite time for about an hour.  Jensen always does really well in the car.  She has had lots of practice going back and forth from Wichita 🙂

Since I am still mostly nursing Owen, I prepared everything for pumping in the car.  It worked out great!  I was disappointed I hadn’t ever thought of doing this before.  Earlier this year, we stopped at a rest stop in Emporia on our way to Wichita so that I could nurse Owen.  That delayed us by about 45 minutes.  So for all you nursing mommies out there, pumping in the car utilizing your battery operation function is definitely worth it!!

Our first stop in Omaha was the zoo.  We LOVE this zoo sooooo much!  Beautiful, clean, well organized, great exhibits, just an all around wonderful experience.  Owen took a long nap and Jensen had a great time walking around with us.  We thought about renting a double stroller (we have debated on whether we should own one, but can’t seem to justify it) but decided not to and Jensen did really well for walking almost the entire zoo with only having to be carried a few times.  A few things had changed since the last time we visited.  The aquarium received quite the make-over and was pretty extraordinary.  We were all fascinated – well except for Owen who slept through the entire exhibit!  Here are some of our pics from the zoo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jensen’s first time on a carousel!  She loved it!!

After our long afternoon at the zoo we headed to our hotel to check in.  We rested a bit, fed Owen and decided to walk downtown for dinner.  We LOVE downtown Omaha.  A great atmosphere with an abundance of restaurants and shops.  We decided to have dinner outside at Spaghetti Works.  After dinner we stopped at several shops on the way back to the hotel.  Once back at the hotel we all took showers and crashed……what a day!!

The next morning we woke up and went to breakfast at a cute little dive in downtown.  Pretty good food and yummy coffee which is exactly what this mommy needed!

After breakfast we went back to the hotel, packed up our things and headed to the Children’s museum.  The museum is a lot of fun and Jensen had a great time!  We played, explored and used our imagination.  Such a great time!!

Awww, just like mommy!! 😉

Grocery shopping!

She loved playing on this huge floor piano!!

After the museum we did a little shopping, had lunch and headed back home.  We had a great time in a great city and I’m looking forward to going back again soon!

Celebrations.

Drew and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary earlier this month and a few days later we celebrated Drew’s birthday.  We had a great time seeing friends and family for Drew’s day and his mother made him his favorite breakfast!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

We have also been celebrating accomplishments of our little man over the last few weeks.  Owen is sitting up on his own (for the most part) and on the move!!  He is sooooo close to having an “official” crawl.  He is still mostly inch worming around, but occasionally we have noticed that he moves his arms and legs just right for one move.  I have a feeling it won’t be long before my baby is crawling around my house 😦  what?!?!  He is supposed to be my “baby!”

 

 

Right along side all of this movement, Owen is also saying his first word – “dada!”  The first time he said it was on Drew’s bday!!  What a nice gift!  It sure is sweet to hear him say it – even though I am sure I have heard Owen say “mama” when he is crying 😉

We also celebrating Grandparents Day at the end of September!  My parents got to go with Jensen to her classroom one morning to see all the fun she has!  My dad got some really good pics while he and my mom were there together so I will add those photos to this post when I get them.  I went to pick my mom up and snapped a pic of my own.  Jensen had so much fun showing her grandma and papa around!!