Big day over here

Today has been a day I have looked so forward to and dreaded all at the same time, Liesel Cosette started preschool!!. It’s funny, I never expected to be emotional about school with my kids. However, my thoughts changed last February when I went to register Liesel. I was sitting in the room filling out paperwork and it hit me, starting next year, as long Liesel lives with us, she will be going to some form of school. wow. My emotions took me completely by surprise. My mixed feelings about preschool do not reflect our decision to send her to school. She is beyond ready. It is the realization that my baby is not really a baby anymore.

Liesel on the other hand has had zero mixed emotions whatsoever. She has been ecstatic about this whole big girl school thing! Since last February she has talked of little else but, when I am 3, I get to start preschool.. Come June 26th when she actually turned three, we had to carefully explain that even though she is three, preschool will not be starting until the end of the summer. She took this news quite well, but boy was she ready for today to get here! We lucked out in having a preschool that is in our church. Liesel knows the classroom and teacher very well. Our church has a wonderful Sunday school class for parents and two year olds that we faithfully attended and LOVED last year. We are blessed to have gotten the teacher who taught that class, she is a slice of heaven here on earth!

The day started off just like any ordinary day. Wake up at 7am, the girls eating their banana first thing, while I enjoy my one cup of earl grey tea. However, I just could not stop looking at my Liesel. Boy she looked older all of a sudden. Even while eating her oatmeal, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her

20130827-205110.jpg. Yesterday I had a three year old, today I have a preschooler! After breakfast it was time to get dressed, make sure back pack was ready, and snap a few quick pictures.

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Of course it really wouldn’t be a complete Liesel photoshoot with out a silly face thrown in 😉

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Then we were off. Once we arrived, Liesel said her goodbyes to daddy and Moira (we decided it best to leave MJ in the car since she really believes she is going to school too…) and the two of us walked hand in hand into the building. Liesel waltzed through the hallways so confident, smile on her face (it was my stomach in knots, not hers)

20130827-210547.jpg. She quickly found her room and began making friends instantly, “what’s your name? I’m Liesel.“,a few seconds later, “you’re my friend, Evan“, was one sweet conversation I overheard Liesel having while waiting in the hall with the other nervous moms and confident kids. The doors finally opened and Liesel was welcomed by a sweet smile and kind hug from her teacher. She found her cubby with ease and although I attempted to help, she hung up her own backpack.

20130827-211103.jpg My big girl, ready for this new stage. As the kids began to gravitate towards the teacher I quickly gave Liesel a kiss and watched her march up front with the rest of the kids. Before I left I snuck one more quick picture of my girl sitting with her peers about to embark on an exciting new adventure!

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As I walked back to the car, the tears started to come. I blinked them away, knowing she is in the right place, at the right time. I can’t wait to hear all her stories and learn all her new friends. This is going to be a great year for us all!

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Thoughts on Three…

This past week we had the big ultrasound( which is just crazy that we are this far already?!). Since then I have been thinking a lot about our upcoming addition. It’s funny how pregnancy seems so much more real after an ultrasound. I mean, I feel the baby move constantly, I’ve been in maternity clothes for weeks now, but for some reason it’s not until you see your little miracle moving, waving, and tiny heart beating that it really hits home. this baby is going to be here in 18 weeks or less!

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This realization has sparked many questions. What is life going to be like with three-3 and under? How are our girls going to respond to this new little one? How will Eric and I juggle our life – time alone etc? Who is in there? Are just a few of the questions I’ve been mulling over.

Life with three. Before I dive into this, I first need to think about life with two, one and no kids. Definitely going from zero to one child was the biggest change for us. Life as we had known it ( revolving around Eric and I) ceased to exist. We quickly learned a new normal and in no time at all we couldn’t even imagine a life before Liesel! She was a great baby and really made the ease into parenthood easy! When Liesel was 10mths old we became pregnant with number 2. I remember feeling nervous about this addition. Liesel would be so young when we had another baby. Could I really love another as much as I did her? But when Moira Jane entered our world all my fears went away, we fell in love with her instantly! Adjusting to life with two kids took time. I remember at first my hormones were running high and I would cry at night feeling like I wasn’t the mom I used to be to Liesel and I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be for Moira. I felt torn and inadequate for the job. so thankful for a husband who always listens and seems to have the words I am needing to hear. He is the best partner!!!

About a month into our life as a family of four I had a kind of come to Jesus moment, it was during a time when both girls were crying for me and I couldn’t be in two places at once. I felt God give me a peace to deal with the situation. It was then that I realized Jesus says, be fruitful and multiply for a reason, I am a much less selfish person because I have my children to care for. Now that we have more children I know that they will be less selfish because the world no longer revolves around them! If Liesel has to cry because she has to wait for mommy to nurse Moira, she’ll be better for it, if Moira has to cry while I’m reading Liesel a book, she’ll be better for it! After I had this realization, life with two kids got ALOT easier!! We were lucky that Liesel loved her sister and never had resentment towards her, we were also blessed by the easiest baby ever in Moira! She was a dream. For me the toughest part to having two kids was learning to juggle two schedules and two children. Once this was mastered everything fell into place. It wasn’t long that Eric and I began talking about expanding our family again. We both felt strongly that God wasn’t finished with us yet in this department. Now that a third is eminent I go back and forth about what life will be like with 3 children so young. There is definitely a part of me that is nervous! Will we be able to do this and do it well? But overwhelmingly I feel like, we’ve got this! How hard can it really be? I may be in for a HUGE surprise, I’ll keep you posted once baby 3 arrives☺

How will the girls respond to another little one?. This question has me torn. I really feel like Liesel understands that a baby is in my belly. She talks about him or her often ( usually referring to the baby as a brother…we’ll see). She has also matured so much in the last year and turned into such a helper! I am praying this only gets better and that she will become my little helper once baby arrives.

Moira is a little puzzling. She has always shared me, she never had me all to herself, so in this aspect I feel like adding another wont be such a shock. However, she is quite the Mommas girl, something Liesel never really was. Moira definitely needs lots of snuggling and cuddling and there is a part of me that is nervous she may have some resentment when baby comes. My saving grace about this is MJs love for babies! She adores them. Always carrying one around the house, rocking them, feeding them, and sleeping with them. The other day we were over at a friends who just had a little girl, while I was holding the newborn Moira stretched out her arms and said, “hold you Clare? hold you?” Completely unphased by the fact that I was holding someone else. Praying this will be her reaction to baby 3!

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Time alone,sans kids. This is one I really struggle with. When we only had Liesel, Eric and I had a lot of alone time. She was usually in bed no later than 7 pm which gave us a good 4+hours or so EVERY night to ourselves! We would spend our evenings rehashing the days, sipping wine or watching a show. It was wonderful. When Moira entered the picture, we had to be more intentional about our time. It took us a while to find our groove. Now the girls don’t go to bed until 8/830 which doesn’t allow for a long evening ( especially with a tired pregnant wife who can barely stay up past 10!). We sometimes are able to shorten naps or avoid them altogether on a weekend day which allows us to do bedtime early so we can enjoy a date night dinner in😃. I fear that adding a third will decrease this precious time even more. I know it will take time but we will find our new groove again. I also think we will be more proactive in finding child care to allow for more, much needed, date nights!

Lastly, and definitely the question that has me wondering the most, who is this little one? To keep with Statler tradition we have once again decided to be surprised by the sex of the baby. But, boy were we tempted this time around!!!!!!!! While sitting in the ultrasound room Eric and I had to lock eyes to not peak at who this little one was. I know many people find out if they are having a boy or girl early, and that’s great! For me, the anticipation is what I believe gets me through my labors. It gives me an extra push ( for lack of a better word). We will love this little one, boy or girl. On one side, another girl would be fun! To have three sisters so close in age, going through life as partners together. But on the other hand I would love to experience a boy, to find out how to raise them, and allow for Eric to have someone in his camp😉. At this point I feel that there is another girl in there. This is due to the fact that I feel exactly the same as my previous two pregnancies ( but maybe I have easy pregnancies whether boy or girl…) and that the heart rate has been in the upper 140s ( similar to L and MJ). What about you, any guesses boy or girl?? Only 18 weeks and we will find out!

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dear little one, we love you so much already! All these questions will fade away soon enough when we are loving, holding and kissing you!! We cannot wait for you to get here😃

Summer Wrap Up

This summer has definitely been one for the books! I know we still have some time left but, confession, come the middle of August I begin to dream of apples, and pumpkins and everything fall. So, I’m doing our wrap up a bit early.

It’s amazing what can change in a year. Last summer I had a toddler and a small baby. A baby who slept everywhere, went in the wrap on the go, and who really didn’t have much of a taste for summer. This year I have two active little girls. Girls who love to experience everything and have the best time doing so. This summer was a blast!!

Our days were spent at numerous different parks. Swinging, running, jumping, and sliding.

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A memorable trip to Michigan. Spending loads of time with family, the girls soaked up every minute!

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First ice cream cones. Poor Liesel had to wait until she was 3 but Moira lucked out at being only 16months! Such is the life of younger children;)!

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Trips to the zoo with Mimi

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Our first family getaway not to see family and friends.

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Celebrating the fourth with friends. And experiencing fireworks for the first time.

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Spending time at our new neighborhood pool. A definite hotspot for the girls

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A weekend getaway for Eric and I to Chicago. *bliss*

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And it wouldn’t be summer without a trip the State Fair. Pony rides, animal shows, delicious food. What more could one want?!

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Summer 2013 you’ve been good to us!!

Lemonade from scratch. Divine.

Nothing quite says summer like a refreshing glass of lemonade. Since I am not much of a juice drinker we rarely have any other beverages in our house than water and milk, so lemonade, as you can imagine, is a huge treat over here! We have had all the store bought kinds from powder, to concentrate, to straight out of a pitcher. None have been so amazing that we had to solely purchase that brand. This summer we decided to try our hand at making our own. This way we could get the perfect balance of tart and sweet without the added mystery extras the store bought brands have to offer.

We looked at a few recipes to get a basic idea, but left the real creating to ourselves and our palette. Here is the perfected recipe we came up with.

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice ( from squeezed lemons)
8 cups water

To make the simple syrup, heat 1 cup of water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil and whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Set mixture aside to cool.

While mixture is cooling, squeeze lemons. We did not have a juicer, so we used our own hands. This took…a while, and we probably used way more lemons than you would need if you had a juicing device. we will be purchasing one from BBB pronto!!.

20130809-221716.jpg. Once you have all your lemon juice make sure you have removed all the seeds, but kept pulp to your liking.

In a pitcher mix your cooled simple syrup with the lemon juice and remaining water

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And there you have it. A simple, refreshing, summers drink!

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Making our house a HOME

We have officially been in our house for over three weeks. It’s amazing how fast our house felt like our home. It was almost instantaneous for both Eric and I and the girls! Zero adjustment needed. As I wrote earlier we have been just drinking in our new life here, loving our new neighborhood and house. Starting to get our new normal down, our daily walk route learned, and finding places for all our things to go!

Being in a house that is OUR own has been amazing! I never knew I would enjoy cleaning and organizing so much! It really doesn’t seem like a chore. This may be because we are still in the honeymoon phase of home ownership, or this may really be the amazing feelings you get when something is completely yours, either way I’m loving it and hoping it lasts! Eric has also turned into quite the handyman. A hat he has really never had to wear before. I am so proud of him! It really suits him and has come way easier than I imagined it would!

The two of us have dabbled in a few DIY projects that are making our house into our own home as well. Ways that we are starting to put our signature on our new house. We were extremely blessed to buy a house that needs no immediate changes. Everything is in great shape! The previous owners built the house and took impeccable care of it, we are so fortunate. Here is a glimpse into the projects we have completed so far.

Painting. The first room that needed attention was the sister room. It was a lime green color, and one I really couldn’t live with ( I’m kicking myself for taking zero before pictures of our house). We decided to keep the girls room a purple color. After many trips to and from Sherwin Williams with zero decisions, they made up a color for us that combined a few of the ones that we liked but needed some tweaking. Here is a picture of the room. It looks a bit darker than it actually is. Special thanks to the hubs and our great friend, Matt, for getting the job done in one morning!!

20130805-211930.jpg Also in the picture is another project Eric worked on. Hanging the beautiful flower light in the girls room. One I fell in love with from ikea and am so glad to finally have it in their room!!

Another painting project was the kitchen/ family room. All the walls in the house are a tan/ beigist color. At least it’s not white, but we were dying to start on them. I originally thought I wanted a gray color but fell in LOVE with the Benjamin Moore color, Colorado Gray, which is way more blue than I ever thought I’d have in my house! This project was up to me to complete. I worked on it during naps and after the girls were in bed each night. After a week ( with help from Eric at the end) I finished it! We are so so pleased with the color. It goes great with our current cabinet color ( we will be updating them with an espresso gel stain, project tbd) and its a very peaceful and calming color in the family room.

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Lighting. This was another area we were excited to begin. A lot of the fixtures are brass globes and really just look a little dated. We decided to pick a few key areas to begin working on. The first was the girls room, which I mentioned earlier. The other main area was the kitchen. Our plan is to change all fixtures, knobs, etc around the house to the brushed nickel color. First up were the lights in the kitchen, again, kicking myself for no before pics!! We,( by we I mean Eric), changed the globe above the sink to a pendant light

20130805-213507.jpg. And the globe in center of the kitchen was switched to track lighting.

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Lastly, we put new covers on our kitchen chairs. A much much cheaper option to buying a brand new table! It was extremely easy, cheap and we love them!

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It has become a fun almost nightly ritual for Eric and I to discuss, create and determine what projects we will tackle next! Each one exciting in its own way. Here are a few on the horizon: outside shutters to be painted, living room painted, bookcase/desk built for living room, cabinets stained and backsplash put up, gallery wall in family room created and curtains made, to name a few. Stay tuned.