Sunday, March 16, 2014

Preschool Sports Day

This past week was Graham's preschools annual Sports Day. I remember when Peyton had her sports day…almost exactly two years ago! It is amazing how quickly time flies and how now the little baby I had back then is off riding a bike around and doing his own sports day. 

We started the day with a bike rice. Graham was super excited to be riding his bike at school. 

And I thought it was so cute when Graham and his friends were hanging out before the bike race and were talking about how they liked each others bikes or helmets. So cute!

Getting all lined up for their bike race!

They did other activities as well like hopping races, running races and other various games. Graham was ready to go for the running race!

He had a fun day at preschool Sports Day! It was fun to encourage him and watch him play!

Friday, March 14, 2014

29 Weeks With Baby #3

We are 29 weeks along with our baby girl and still feeling great! I should really work on getting John to take a real picture of me and my bump but by the time he is home from work we are busy with activities, dinner and bedtimes that I just forget.

28 weeks
As for everything with baby and pregnancy…everything is going well. I have no idea how much weight I have gained so far because we don't have a scale, and I don't have a doctor's appointment for another two weeks but I am thinking it is less than with the other two since when I look at old pictures it looks like less and I am feeling really good. It is amazing how much calories I am sure I am burning just by caring for two kids all day. And I know with living here and not having many takeout options and having to cook homemade food almost every night helps considerably! It is has been a nice and healthy feeling pregnancy! 

Baby is a kicker and puncher and mover! She moves so much and is so much more active than either of the other two and she is strong. John can easily feel her move from side to side and punch and kick away. She is still breeched as far as I can tell as her kicks are all low and an occasional high punch. The kids aren't patient enough to wait for her to kick them and her active period is 8-10 PM when they are asleep but they have felt her once or twice and did listen to her heartbeat again the other day with a doppler I borrowed from a friend.

28 weeks and 5 days…close enough to 29!
No real cravings, no food aversions and a decent amount of energy. I do get tired a little more easily but it isn't too bad yet and it is only about once a week that I need an afternoon nap to make it through the day and that is normally after a busy morning (like Graham's sports day or his birthday party). I am still able to walk Graham to school every now and then and do some modified workouts when I know I don't have some other activity planned for that day like soccer practice or a school field trip to chaperone. It tends to be one main activity a day that I can handle. Thankfully I experience very little to no cramping unless I have done way too much but it is avoidable and goes away pretty quickly. In the past few weeks the only time I was experiencing the cramping pain was after Graham's birthday party and it was much more mild than earlier on in the pregnancy and with my pregnancy with Graham.

I am starting to feel the uncomfortable, this belly is huge feeling at night time. By the time we are done with dinner I am achy and feel huge but thankfully a bath and just laying down the rest of the evening helps and by morning I am feeling great again. 

We have our next doctor's appointment the end of the month and are continuing to pray that my blood pressure stays low/normal and that this continues to be a healthy and easy pregnancy! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Graham's Birthday Celebration at School

The day after Graham's actual birthday, the birthday celebrations kept on going! He had a birthday party at school and I came and brought cookies to help celebrate. 

I have to thank John for making them the night before for me. I was so tired from the weekend and needed to relax and he stepped up and made them for Graham and his class. 

Graham was so excited to see me when I came and was so excited about another round of Happy Birthday! 

This is the same preschool that Peyton attended when we first arrived and I am so thankful for the lady who runs it and gives so much love and time to this kids. It has been a wonderful first introduction to school for Graham and he loves going!

A fun day celebrating Graham at his preschool! And that concluded his three day long birthday celebration!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Three Years Old

Three years ago we welcomed our sweet little boy Graham into our family! What a blessing he has been! It amazes me that it has been three years. It was such a time of change for our family with adding a new baby and preparing to move to Saudi so soon afterwards. I remember thinking in all this craziness that he was so calm, so easy going and so peaceful and being so thankful for that. And three years later he is still so calm, easy going and peaceful….and I am still so thankful for that.

Graham is our sweet, tender hearted spirit. He loves to give affirmation to his friends and his family and is our encourager. He is always saying thank you and recognizing things you do to serve him. He is my nurturer and loves to care for people. He constantly talks to baby Rosey and says good morning to her everyday and wants to cuddle her and talks about how he will hold her, comfort her and tell her that he loves her and that God loves her. 

Graham ADORES his big sister. He looks up to her and has so much respect and admiration for her and thankfully she adores him and takes such good care and protection over him. Often when friends come over the first order of business is explaining that they "will" play with her and her brother and she makes sure he is included in everything. They play so well together, sort out conflicts very well and learn so much from each other. Peyton has learned to be more compassionate, listen more to what someone is trying to explain or wanting to play while Graham has learned from Peyton on how to stand up at times for things you really want, work on building projects like legos or this build it machines and to keep at it even when you are frustrated. It is a sweet relationship between them that I am so thankful for and continue to pray for daily. 

Some other things we want to remember about Graham at this age….he LOVES trucks, excavators, planes, helicopters, boats, trains and any sort of transportation object. He is my little boy! He still eats really well and will try everything at least once and often times remarks, "that is delicious, I LOVE it." He loves to go play soccer with mommy during Peyton's soccer practice and has really good ball control for his age. Graham loves cuddles and will often ask for cuddles or just come up and climb in your lap. He is my affectionate one and I am often just given a giant huge and a kiss and an "I love you mommy," for no reason. He is going to a preschool in the mornings four days a week and although it offers a fifth day I don't want to give up my one morning with him yet. I love my Thursday mornings with Graham and we often build crazy train tracks, play at the park or build construction sites and towers in the playroom. 

Graham speaks really clearly and has a pretty extensive vocabulary for his age which I attribute solely to the fact that he realized early on to hang with his sister he better figure out what to say! He is potty trained during the day and we will work on nighttime when he seems more ready. He was relatively easy to potty train after the first few days of not caring and just having accidents he figured it out and it wasn't too bad after that. Again, his sister helped a bunch and he loved her praising him over mommy and daddy.

We are loving this age with Graham and are loving watch his personality come out and are excited to watch him become a big brother. It has been an amazing three years and we are so thankful for the blessing of our little boy in our family!

Happy Birthday Graham Bam!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Construction Site Birthday Party

For Graham's third birthday he wanted a Construction Site theme. He is in LOVE with the book "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site," and loves all kinds of construction equipment especially excavators. Since we still have really nice weather in March it was also a great party to have outside and limit the mess and clean up. 

I was really proud of myself for making this a manageable party and reducing the amount of projects and details I wanted to do. I really had so many more ideas that would have been super time consuming, more money and just were not that important at the end of the day. Even John commented how impressed he was! We did go over our guideline of inviting only as many kids that fit at our dining room table (8) mostly because the party was going to be outside and because when we started adding in just our family friends and their kids (who are all around Graham's age) we were at 8 and I hated to not have some school friends there as well. So I increased our number to 12 and it was still a nice and manageable number!

Here is our front door area….Caution, Graham's Birthday Zone Ahead!

The favors were in John's tool box and were not very much because the kids also went away with their own construction hat and vest that they wore at the party. But I found adorable construction site themed rubber duckies that included in the bag with some candy.


The first stop for the guests was to "Punch the Clock" and pick up their hats and vests before heading out the construction site. Some kids were very much into their costume and others not so much but they were so cute when they did wear them! These were also given out as favors when they left.

Then the kids headed outside to our construction site. We had seven different stations set up for them….a coloring station, "Hammer Away" which was a block of styrofoam and some golf tees and little wooden hammers, "Dig Away" which was our water table with sand instead and some trucks, "Bridge Building" which was toothpicks and marshmallows for them to build things, "Ring Toss" which is pretty self explanatory, "Break Time" which was a bubble machine and individual bubbles to play with and then the "Build it and Demo it" which was a homemade wrecking ball hanging from a tree and various sized boxes to build something and then demo it down. Lots of fun!

Graham at the "Dig Away" station

Friends working at "Bridge Building"
Graham's creation at the Bridge Building station
"Hammer Away" station with his friend

Graham was such a good birthday boy. He loved welcoming everyone and then would tell everyone goodbye and thank you for coming to his party. He was having so much fun he didn't want to stop for pictures! 

Peyton (although seems mad in the picture…she was just being bossy) was awesome! She was so excited for Graham and wanted to make sure he had everything he wanted and was happy and having a good time. Even in the morning Graham started throwing around the "I'm the birthday boy," card when they were taking turns doing something and she graciously just let him pick and was all about making this day awesome for him. So sweet and such a wonderful thing to watch!

Being in charge….
This was the set up when you walked out the door with the table/food for kids on the right and then an adults "Refuel Here" station with coffee and pastries.

The table had road stripes running along it
"Gravel" also known as Puppy Chow  
Grapes as "Boulders"

Yummy homemade gluten free chocolate donuts with a chocolate glaze as "Truck Tires"
Rice Crispy treats dipped in colored chocolate with sticks as "Paint Brushes"
Oranges as "Wrecking Balls"
Gluten free chocolate cake with gluten free chocolate brownies mixed with brown sugar in the middle as dirt. Graham LOVED his dirt cake and that the candles were actual construction equipment

The wrecking ball area….so much fun and the kids loved it and played there forever!

It was such a fun birthday and Graham LOVED his party. He had so much fun and was appreciative of everything. We loved celebrating with our friends and it was just a great day celebrating our sweet boy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

And onto T-Ball….

With soccer season winding down, T-ball season is starting up. We originally didn't sign Peyton up because she didn't seem all that interested when we asked her and then her two of her friends moms was coaching a team and needed another player and well, that changed her mind apparently. It works out well because there is only one week of overlap with soccer so we aren't having too many commitments and it is another thing to get her active during the week.

They had their first practice this week and I was surprised at how well she picked things up, much quicker than soccer! 

They worked on throwing and catching rolling balls and then learned about all the bases, which way to run, how you have to touch all of them….

And then it was time to start batting practice…

She had a lot of fun and I am excited for her to try something completely new for her. We are waiting on her left handed glove to arrive that we ordered online since baseball gear is hard enough to find here let alone a kids, left handed glove! We have practice once a week and then a game once a week! Go Red Sox!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our weekends lately

With soccer season going and the beautiful weather outside we have settled into a pretty nice weekend routine and the majority of it is outside because we know how soon it will be before it gets really hot!

Our weekends start with a lazy Friday morning and then we often take a walk or a bike ride down the path along the beach towards a coffee shop on camp and stop for ice cream and coffee before walking home and stopping at a park or two on the way. It is such a nice way for John and I to catch up, enjoy beautiful weather, the beach and start the weekend off with some great family time!

Not every weekend, but on occasion (like once a month) we have family movie night in our room. We move a TV into our room, get snacks, buy a new movie on iTunes and have movie night. The kids are allowed to sleep in our room that night however the last one they both opted to go to their rooms when it came to bedtime which was probably for the best since my baby belly takes up any extra space in the bed.

Saturday mornings are either spent relaxing around the house, working on projects like the nursery or other house stuff and sometimes heading out to do some errands. But in the afternoon it is soccer game time!

Peyton playing goalie. She has shut out two teams! 

We are loving the beautiful weather and the great family time we have here. One of the main reasons we came here was for the time that it would allow us to focus on our family and the work/life balance especially while the kids are young and we are so thankful to have that!