Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy (belated) 1st Birthday to Luke

Luke celebrated his 1st Birthday on May 4th.  We threw him a birthday bash on the actual day, a Sunday.  The party was, appropriately, whale themed and seemed to go off without a hitch.  While Luke had no idea what it was about, he was certainly a ham and seemed to enjoy the day and all the attention!  We were so grateful that Nana was able to spend the weekend with us and help with all the party prep.

Decorations and present stacking.  

Food/treat table

                               The Birthday Boy's Seat                                                           Sweet Treats

Smash Cake

First taste of cake.  He was a fan!

Our sweet little boy!

Maddie and Lily enjoying the party!

Present opening-  with a little help from Madison!  As he opened he would say "Oh Wow."

Sweet children!

Luke enjoying one of his gifts!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Papa and Lainy come to NC

Ryan had to travel for a week and Lainy flew to NC to save me!  We had such a fun week filled with gorgeous weather, outdoor play, fun at the pool, park trips and even a girls night out.  Ryan returned on Thursday and Dad flew in Friday night, all the way from the Czech Republic to spend the weekend with us.
I promise Luke actually had a lot of fun at Pullen Park! We met our sweet friends for a morning of train rides, boat rides and lunch!

First face painting. No surprise that she requested a purple butterfly with sparkles!

Sweet Luke out to lunch!

Farmer's Market Fun!

More horse riding with Lainy.  Pullen Park has the most magical (and fast) carousel ride

Thanks so much to Lainy for coming to help me out and the kids had such a blast.  We hate to be so far away from Lainy and Papa, but love and appreciate our visits so much. We are already counting down the days to the beach in August!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

Today we celebrated Ryan's 3rd Fathers Day!  Madison and Luke are so lucky to have such a wonderful Daddy.  And Ryan and I are both fortunate to have close relationships with our own dads!  We spent the morning at our favorite brunch spot, La Farm.  Anyone that visits us in Cary knows that this is our most favorite local restaurant.  It was gorgeous and we were able to sit outdoors!

Luke enjoying his brunch - this child eats EVERYTHING (except broccoli and green beans!)

Fathers Day kisses from Maddie

Currently it is a big challenge to get both kids to look at the camera at the same time.  Short of bribery, I'm fairly unsuccessful. 

Sweet kiddos and their daddy!

And, a very happy Fathers Day to our own parents!

Love you Daddy!!!

Happy Fathers Day to Paul (and Uncle Jay too)!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Baby Boom!

We spent the past weekend celebrating the arrival of Kelly & Armando's new baby girl, name to be determined!  Casey, Krysta and I have been planning this shower for several months and it was fun to see it all come together.  Kelly's little girl is due in September and we couldn't be more excited for her to make her arrival.  As a wonderful special bonus, our college girlfriend, Suzanne, and her sweet little family made the trip for the weekend.  It was really amazing for us four college roomates to all be together again, now with our husbands and all of us with our children (one still in the belly!).  As Suzanne posted, "we've come a long way baby."

We spent all day Saturday celebrating with a delightful girls shower (plus baby Luke and little Jack), where Kelly was gifted so many gorgeous and cute pink baby things!  Her mom made this amazing cake and overall, I think it was a success.
The gorgeous cake Kelly's mom made!

Kelly opening gifts!

The day continued with an evening BBQ that include all of our husbands.  Casey and Travis' beautiful home was over-run with laughing, screaming and sometimes even whiny children!  It was great to remember who and where we used to be and catch up on current events.  The girls even got to "sneak away" (for about 10 minutes) without kids or husbands and just gossip. Driving home that night I was ridiculously sentimental...I blame the new baby hormones...just feeling so lucky to have these friendships that have stood the test of time and even distance.  Given how much we have all changed in the last TWELVE years, its amazing that we all have anything in common.  Perhaps the common thread is the past that allows us to continue to lean on each other for the future?  I just felt so blessed to spend time with these now women and our children and husbands and enjoy our lives!
Madison and Jack doing a little water play

I love this one b/c none of the kids are cooperating, which is pretty much life right now!

Love these girls!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Happy 4th of July Week

We had such a fun week over the 4th of July.  Our fun started on Wednesday when we traveled to Durham to spend the morning with our best-buds Casey and Lily at the Museum of Life and Science.  Casey is so wonderful and was able to help with the kids a lot, which made the morning totally enjoyable and doable!  Madison's favorite part was the choo-choo train, no surprise here! She enjoyed time with Lily and it was such a treat to spend so much time with them!
All Aboard!  Madison, Casey and Lily on the train

Madison, Lily and an "extra" kiddo playing with the lights

Madison is captivated by the "clouds"

The city of Morrisville does their firework display in July 3rd.  Our tradition (all 2 years of it) is to go to the DQ and sit outside on blankets with ice cream to watch the fireworks.  This is a neighborhood event filled with kids and fun.  We enjoyed a BBQ with some neighborhood friends before heading out, which was a great distraction for Madison. The fireworks didn't start until 2.5 hours after bedtime!!  We were not disappointed by Madison's reaction, she was truly mesmerized.  She squealed with delight and asked for more after each display!
Madison covered in ice cream!

Her face is priceless!

On the actual 4th we braved the pool, which in retrospect, we could have skipped.  All the kids were tired from the night before and it was PACKED.  That evening we enjoyed a BBQ with our dear friends the Logues.  It is so wonderful to have family friends where the dads are friends, the moms are friends and the kids really enjoy each other.  It allows for a really fun evening!  The older kids tried sparklers and Madison was interested for a few seconds...
Madison loves the toys!

Cheese! I love that Luke's eyes are crossing with him trying to look at Madison

1st 4th of July!!

It was so wonderful for Ryan to have a four-day weekend and we filled it with lots of fun.  We are so thankful for our family and to have such wonderful friends to celebrate with.

Happy (belated) 2 months to Luke

Being late on month number 2 is not a good sign for things to come, but better late than never!
Luke turned 2 months on July 4th - we pretended it was a birthday celebration for him.  What a lucky guy:) More to come on that fun week! Slowly, but surely, Luke is becoming more awake and alert, which is fun for all of us!

Weight: 9 lbs 10 oz (3%)
Length: 20 inches (1%)

Feeding:  Luke continues to be a champ at nursing.  He is struggling with reflux and during his second month, Dr. R put Luke on Zantac to try.  We think it is a big improvement, in fact, at his 2 month appointment, Dr. R suggested I could add dairy back in (that it was likely reflux all along and not a dairy sensitivity).  Hooray!  Luke is definitely a spitter.  We have learned to keep lots of burp cloths handy and, I figure it isn't a day with
the kids if I don't have to change my shirt several times!  Luke has no trouble taking the bottle.  At 2 months he takes between 3.5 and 4 ounces.  He will easily go about 4 hours between feeds, but we are trying to encourage 3 hours so that maybe he will eat less "forcefully" and decrease his reflux.  

Sleeping:  Luke is making small steps of progress. He is consistently going 3-4 hours at night, which is an improvement.  Just before his 2 month birthday, he gave us a special treat and did 6 hours!  We're not sure if it will be consistent, but it was a great gift for us!  Luke sleeps in his crib in his own room.  During the day, he still struggles to nap in the crib. I'm not sure what the difference is! He continues to prefer to be held.  I'll take the snuggles while I can:)  But, it does make caring for 2 kids more difficult.

Likes:  His jungle mat.  He is interested in the lights and starting to do some very large swats at toys. He's not accurate at all, but seems to acknowledge that toys are dangling above him.  Luke continues to enjoy being snuggled close and loves the swaddle.  The paci still helps Luke fall asleep, but then he is quick to get rid of it.  He also loves to be outside.  Unfortunately, it has been pretty rainy and yucky here this summer.  His cord just came off (at his 2 month appointment - thank goodness), so he has only had washcloth baths, but he loves to be in the tub!

Dislikes: Being burped.  Luke is not a patient man and when he's eating, he does not appreciate a pause to burp.  We have learned that Luke doesn't dislike the car seat when he is put in it awake.  However, he really doesn't like being asleep and then strapped in - it is a surefire way to make him scream!

Fun Facts:
I ventured out with both kids to the mall, alone.  This was a big step for me, with Luke being so unpredictable in the car seat I was concerned about it.  Of course he fussed pretty quickly, but I ended up wearing him in the baby ka'tan (highly recommend this!) and it worked great.  In fact, I was able to ride the carousel and train with Madison while wearing him and he snoozed the entire time!
The Castile side of the family came to visit - Luke got to spend some time with his cousin, Jensen, who is a little over 2 months older then him.  Laney and Papa also came back to see the kids and spent a ton of time spoiling them rotten!

Madison is becoming more interested in Luke and will occasionally ask to hold him!

Madison with her right-hand man!
Luke loving on Laney


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Farm to Fork

You might remember reading about our attempt at a garden this year.  I should clarify that by garden, I mean, 3 zucchini and 3 tomato plants (and a small herb garden). We've been wanting to try this for several years now and finally, in my last trimester of pregnancy - - we planted it.  What's even more amazing is, it seems to be successful!  Well, truth be told, we lost one tomato plant.  However, I think we are going to be enjoying plenty of tomatoes that we aren't mourning the loss too much!

Picking the very 1st zucchini for "harvest"

The 3 winners!

One large zucchini made enough yumminess for a double batch of muffins and two loafs of zucchini bread! I sent one home with Ryan's mom and froze the other.  Madison cannot get enough of the muffins, which thrills me because there are lots of veggies inside.  I'm going to need some new zucchini recipes...anyone??