Since we were ALL together, I thought it would be nice to do some family pictures! Not sure if we'll ALL ever be together again so these couple of pictures are priceless! We went to Portrait Innovations and got the 6 pose package with cd! It was perfect!
Here is the whole Brewster Family.... (actually Grandma is JoEllen's grandma which makes this Saberniak Family). Wendy, Andy, and Olivia (2 weeks) Peter. Ambre, Brad, Owen (3.5 yrs), and Addyson (21 months) Brewster. Jerry and JoEllen Brewster. Grandma Saberniak. Chris, Holly, Lucy (3.5 yrs), and Simon (12 months) Brewster. What a clan!
The kids did great!! We weren't sure how they would do with all of the background and group changes but as long as they were together they went with the flow! I think Owen and Lucy held hands most of the time! They were a bit hesitant to be in a picture with just great Grandma since they don't see her very often but they did great as long as the two peas in a pod could be side by side!
Look at Simon standing!!!
This was one of our favorites!
JoEllen always has something silly up her sleeve! She comes by it naturally, both of her parents were clowns!!!
We needed a way to let our hair down after all of the "posed" shots!!!
Our main reason for going to Evansville, IN this weekend was to meet baby Olivia and attend her baptism. It was nice that Wendy and Andy planned it so soon after her birth so we got to see her as a baby!!! I hate to miss that baby stage and babies outgrow it SO quickly!
Andy comes from a BIG family and I think most of them live there in Evansville or near by. There were about 40 of them in attendance at the baptism! The priest is his uncle that also married Wendy and Andy! How cool is that!
Maria, Andy's sister, was the Godmother and Brad was the Godfather!
I loved watching Andy during the baptism. He just kept looking over at Olivia and a HUGE grin would over take his face! SO sweet! This is the baby they had been hoping for for over 3 years and I'm so thankful that she is finally here and a part of our lives and now she is a member of our church!
Here is the Brewster family with parents, siblings, and even Grandma!!! First time we have all been together since Wendy and Andy's wedding about 4 years ago! I hope it isn't another 4 years until we see them all again!
This weekend we drove to Evansville, IN to meet our newest niece Olivia. Wendy, Brad's sister, and her husband Andy welcomed baby Olivia Rose to the family January 11, 2011. They planned to have her baptism on January 30th so we figured that was the perfect time to meet her! It turned out that the rest of Brad's family was going to be in town as well! The last time we were together with all of the the siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandma was about 4 years ago when Wendy got married. That's a LONG time!
It was so nice to see everyone and an extra special treat for the kids who got to see their cousins Simon and Lucy who we just saw in November! The kids picked right up where they left off!!! Addyson was trying to be helpful with Simon and trying to feed him! She also kept telling him "down" during this dinner, he kept standing up in his highchair and she was telling him he needed to sit down! Awww, if she would only take her own advice!! : )
The same dinner, they had a musician that was playing guitar and singing and it was great entertainment for the kids! The big kids were so good at including Addyson in most of their games!
Night time was lots of fun! All the kids (minus Simon) cuddled up in a big bed on the floor and read stories with the dads! One night Lucy slept in there with them and it was so cute to hear them in the morning, they woke up telling stories to each other!
Girl cousins are fun to have because they like to play make-up with you! Lucy was the beautician and Addyson was the client. She sat there so patiently and soaked up all of the big, girl cousin attention!
I love how Lucy has her mouth open as she puts on lipstick to Addyson and Addyson is closing her eyes and the make-up is being applied. This is so how we would do it in real life!
I cannot get over how much these two are two peas in a pod!!! It doesn't matter how much time has passed since the last visit, they always pick up right were they left off. They get each other. They play the same pretend games and there is rarely a squabble!!! Holly and I love to sit back and watch them interact!
It looks like Addyson and Simon are starting to form the same kind of bond. They were often found together getting into the same things!!! : )
And the kids loved looking at and touching baby Olivia!!! I cannot wait until she is bigger and can run around with the gang! I love that the family bond is so strong that it over compensates for the distance between the families and when we get together there is always good Cousin Time to be had!
Size of Baby Brewster: a tadpole the size of a pea and is now developing eyes, ears, nose, and paddles for hands and feet!
Biggest Challenges: The nausea is still so bad. It actually is not only a challenge because I don't feel good but, it also causes me to worry! I was NEVER sick with the other two kids so the fact that I am this nausea and tired causes me concern. Of course I'm a worrier by nature so this is not helping this.
Cravings: I have day by day cravings, whatever sounds good that day. I hone in on it and can't change my mind. Pizza is a big one! I also crave ice cream at night.
Aversions: Smells still bother me and the thought of some foods bother me as well. It is not the same every day (like with the other two) it just depends on my mood for that day.
Gender: No thoughts on gender, just praying it isn't twins. I have myself convinced it is twins because of how I feel.
Movement: No movement from baby but I can definitely tell things are changing in my body with all of the cramps and aches.
Sleep: I am getting up once or twice a night to go to the bathroom and sometimes I can't fall back to sleep and lay awake for an hour or two which is super frustrating.
What I miss: I miss Dr. Pepper!!!
Maternity Clothes: Still wearing my regular clothes.
Weight gain: no change
Emotions: I feel a bit more emotional than usual but nothing too strong. I get teary eyed a bit more than normal. I also feel myself having a bit less patience than normal.
Milestones: Yesterday we told Chris and Holly we were pregnant and tonight we got to tell ALL of Brad's family! It was really exciting! We rarely get together as a family (last time was 4 years ago) so we took advantage of our time together and we shared our exciting news! I had the kids wear their shirts!
Sleep, and lack there of, is a sensitive issue. All moms have different ideas of sleep; where, how much, when, with how, and so on. We choose to cosleep with the kids when they were little to aid us in getting more sleep and easy of nursing during the night. I am super happy with that decision. Now that they are older and no longer cosleep with us, I'm trying to decide what the next move is going to be. Right now Addyson sleeps in her room all night long and rarely wakes up in the middle of the night and Owen starts out in his bed and comes to our room at some point during the night and sleeps on a mattress in our room.
What I've noticed is that we when are on the road the kids sleep in the same room and both kids sleep great and sleep through the night! Tonight was really cute, I put Owen's pillow in the middle of the bed and he crawled up there and moved it over and told me he was sleeping next to Addyson and both of them had a HUGE grin on their face! It is like that look out for and take care of each other. Knowing the other one is there gives them some sort of peace and they sleep so good.
This makes me wonder if I should change the sleeping arrangement at home. Should I move Addyson's bed into Owen's room? Should I have the two of them cosleep together? I've read about the benefits of siblings cosleeping and I love the idea I'm just not sure how to do it. All I do know is that my kids sleep so much better when they are together and well rested kids equal a well rested momma which makes for a great day!!!! Any ideas how I can make this happen?
This morning we got to go see how pizzas are made and we even got to make our own pizza at Eureka Pizza with the MOMS Club! This totally made for a busy day for us but I knew it would be a fun activity and it helped me stick with my plan of doing activities with the kids during the week before I go to school in the afternoon. So our morning went something like this wake up, pack, run out the door to make pizza, run the kids home to eat their pizza, I run out the door to go to school, Brad works from home while Ashley takes care of the kids, Brad packs up the car, they pick me up from school, and we leave about 4pm to head to St. Louis where we spend the night tonight and head to Evansville, IN tomorrow to meet our new niece Olivia. Busy morning??? I'd say so!
Busy but well worth it!!! Shag, the manager at Eureka Pizza, was so great with the kids! He took the time to show us how the dough was made, pressed out, and then tossed into a big pizza crust! The kids really liked watching his toss this pizza as big as he could!
After all of the tossing, each kid go to go up and pick the topping of their choice and help Shag put it on their pizza.
After it was topped with cheese, they could walk the pizza over and put it in the big oven to cook!
I had planned on our family just making one pizza so I was trying to figure out how we could include both kids. My problem was solved with Shag said that each kid could make a pizza! How generous of Eureka! Thank you for that!
Addyson didn't skip a beat taking her pizza over to the big over like the other kids did. I had to quickly catch up with her to help her put it in the over before either the pizza fell or she ended up touching the hot oven. Luckily she didn't object too much!
While we were waiting for the pizzas to come out, we got to take a peak inside the ovens to see them cooking! That was really neat for the kids to see since it was about perfect eye height for them to peak in!
It was cute to see the kids huddle at the end of the oven line with their friends Ian and Janie and eagerly wait for their pizza to come out!
Shag quickly cut the pizza into 8 pieces, slid it into a box, and handed it off to the rightful pizza owner! Owen was so proud to get his pizza he made!
Here are some of the kids from our pizza outing! Thanks MOMS Club for another fun event!
Tonight, crazy me, hosted the monthly MOM'S night out for the MOMS Club I am in. We try to do something every month that is just for the moms and we are always trying to come up with new ideas. I thought it would be insane fun to have everyone over to my house for a dinner of Flying Burrito (of course) and a white elephant swap where you brought your ugliest least loved gift from this Christmas (or other holiday) and swapped with dirty Santa style. Why I volunteered after my husband just got home after being gone for two weeks and I just started school and we are getting ready to go out of town in 2 days, I have NO idea. But, it was so much fun and I'm glad I did it!
I had planned for 13-15 ladies and there were 21 of us! SO much fun! Before the ladies choose a gift they had to tell how they met their husbands. There were some really funny and really sweet stories! It was nice to learn a little more about the ladies, we usually introduce ourselves by saying our kids and how old they are so I wanted to find out something different about all of my guests. Then the swap was on!!!
There were some really good gifts and them some.... not so good gifts like this beautiful angle Angela opened. There were even some wedding shower gifts, one from a lady that has been married over 10 years! I can't believe she held on to it for that long! I opened my own not-so lovely gift and in the end also ended up with Angela's beautiful angle that she left in my bathroom! I was SO shocked to see it after everyone left! No worries though, I am coming up with a plan to return that sweet angle to her rightful owner!!! : )
Despite all the chatter and laughing, my sweet kids slept through it all!!!! Oh, wondering where Brad and the kids were during all of this? They were tucked away in our room watching movies and eating popcorn! They also had a bath in our big tub with the dogs! What a fun night for them! Thanks Brad for taking care of the kids and thanks to all of the wonderful ladies for coming out!
In an effort to start this semester out of the right food I'm trying to get better at preparing things in advance and the one thing I focused on this week was food prep. I use to try to organize a Cook & Conquer with a group of women but that turned out to be more complicated than I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the idea and would love to do it again it is just hard to find the right group of women who want to cook like you do and who want to make 6-8 sets of one item.
So what I decided to do this time was do a mini cook & conquer for myself! One morning, while the kids were at school, I took my cookbooks to Panera where I could prepare my menu and shopping list while enjoying a yummy breakfast. If you are looking for a yummy, low fat cookbook I highly recommend the one above! We love everything I make out of there and I have used it for most of my previous cook & conquer swaps. I tired to pick recipes that used a lot of the same ingredients so I could buy in bulk and save some money.
It ended up working out perfectly! I shopped the day the kids were at school and had everything I needed so today, while Brad was home to help, we could chop and prepare while the kids napped. I couldn't believe how much we got done in such a short time!
After an hour and a half we had everything chopped and I had almost every dish put together! I made "Livin' on the Vedge" which is roasted veggies with lemon couscous (pictured in the oven) and we ate that tonight and it was super yummy!!!! I also made two "Fromage a Trois" or three-cheese vegetable lasagna (pictured above). I cannot believe all the veggies that went into this dish (actually all of the dishes), made me really happy to be making such healthy meals that I can just pop in the over when I get home from school instead of going out to grab a quick bit of not-so-healthy food that I tend to do because I don't have the energy to cook.
To finish up all of the chopping and preping, I put together this yummy "Tuskinny Chicken" that is a one put Italian dinner that is suppose to be cooked in the over but I plan to throw this in the crock pot on Wednesday since Wednesdays tend to be our busy day. We don't get home from Addyson's gymnastics until 6:30 and by the time I try to cook it is 7 or later before we eat. I love how the crock pot can help with that! Now that everything is made and dishes are cleaned up I feel SO good about this. I hope I can stick with this plan and try to do this once a week or at least every other week! If you have a yummy recipe to share I'd love to hear it!
The snow is finally good for making a snowman!! So good that it rolls up so nicely in a ball! The plan was for Owen to roll the head and daddy would make the body.
Well Owen started rolling and rolling and rolling! And got a bit of help from Addyson!
He eventually, with LOTS of effort, rolled a snow ball so big that it was too big to be a head.
So daddy was left making his own snowman and Owen went to work making one for himself. After all, there is more than one person in this family so Owen thought we needed enough snowmen to go around (well... almost).
The snow looks so light and fluffy, I didn't realize how heavy it would be when all compacted together in a tight ball. What a good daddy to lift that up and make a BIG snowman for us!!
Addyson wouldn't put her gloves on so the snow would "burn" her hands and make her cry. But, she didn't want to be left out of the fun, she cried about that too, so it was a real dilemma for her.
Her compromise was picking up a tiny snow ball and adding it to the top of the snowmen, she was helping with the packing part to make sure the heads didn't fall off!! After she added the snow I would wipe off her hands and that seemed to help. Man, if I could just get her to keep her gloves on!
Addyson was also in charge of helping me get carrots and cucumbers (it is what I had) from the house and take them to Owen to add the finishing touches. She was pretty proud of this job.
Once the goodies were delivered the two of us came inside to get warm. Owen and daddy stayed outside. It amazes me how long Owen can stay outside, the cold doesn't seem to phase him. I put a towel or two on the floor for our wet stuff and I looked over and Addyson had made herself a little bed. That could weather must have worn her out! Silly girl!
The guys built the two bigger snowmen, one for Brad and one for Owen (the one with the scarf), when Owen realized they didn't make one for me so they went back to work! Now I have a snowman too, I'm the little one. Not sure what happened to Addyson's snowman, guess we'll save that for another snow day!