Thursday, April 30, 2009

so BIG!

Just had to post a pic of Kennedy's newest trick. Tonight as we were getting ready for bath, I was saying, "Kennedy is sooo big" and this is what she did in response. Such a cutie, my little monkey. Love her.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The kiddos had their respective appointments with the doctor last week. Carter had his three year exam and Kennedy her nine month-er. I foolishly thought it would be easiest to take them both at the same time - I think I'll refrain from that madness again. One would have been plenty. They were both quite well behaved, but Kennedy had ants in her pants and Carter was just his normal, active three year old self. Suffice it to say the teeny tiny exam room was a bit over crowded with the Phelan four. It was hard to stay on track and I'm not fully convinced that either got a thorough exam...oh well, I'll know for next time. The great news was that both are healthy and developing right on schedule. The pediatrician had no concerns which is always nice. Carter's check-up was a lot different this time around - more questions for him regarding his colors, name, birthday, age, etc. Basically the doc wanted to check his comprehension and language skills. Passed without incident, although I found myself crossing my fingers in hopes that he would "perform" well. He seemed to answer all the questions appropriately and there were no worries there. And Kennedy's doing great, too. I left feeling so thankful that for once it seemed like both kids were doing exactly the things that they should be doing.
Here are their latest stats:

Carter - 3 years old

Weight: 34lbs 8 oz (50-75% - kind of a broad range, but the chart is from 3-18 years, so it's pretty well smashed at the 3 year point. I'd guess he was pretty close to the 65%)
Height: 38 1/4 inches (50-75%)

Kennedy - 9 1/2 months
Weight: 17lbs 5 oz (25%)
Height: 27 3/4 inches (50%)
Head: 45cm (75% - love my kids and their big heads :)

They've both grown so much in the last few months, both physically and mentally. Carter is doing great with his letter and number recognition. He's counting well past tell, although he usually skips numbers in the teens. His speech is progressing so well. He'll be doing therapy only once a month now, but the progress that he's made in the last two months is remarkable. He loves "constructing", reading and helping Dad in the yard. He likes to help me cook and bake and will always choose to play outside if given the chance. We're working hard on keeping our hands to ourselves (he was in time out for hitting during Sunday school this week - super.) and remembering to use manners all the time. Tantrums are also on the rise recently so we're trying to nip them in the bud, as well. He can be so sweet, so loving and so funny at times. Just last week, I had asked him to get down from standing on a chair because I didn't want him to hurt himself. His reply, "trust me, I'm 3." He's really relishing in his new age and will tell everyone that he's three (or "free" now). Kennedy has started motoring around so much more over the past three weeks or so. She's still doing the army crawl, although just today she stayed on all fours and crawled a little. She's a pro at getting herself into a sit, has started waving bye bye and is now pulling herself up on things. She LOVES to feed herself and seems to be a good eater like Carter, although I question her taste as her favorite food at the moment seems to be bananas. Bleh. I'm still waiting to hear her say "mama." She's said Dada but I'm not sure she knew what she was actually saying. Who knows? She loves to cuddle, still finds her brother hilarious and enjoys taking in all the activity around her. She's vocal and knows what she wants but is also so sweet and loving. We're very blessed to have two high spirited and wonderful children.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Project: Complete

For the kids' birthdays, Nana and Pops purchased them a gigantic playground set (you know the one, it's from Costco and it's the size of a small house). We'd been talking about it since we moved in and when we came across them again this year it seemed like a good time to go ahead and do it. The actual set was purchased in March, but we didn't tell Carter about it until his birthday last week. He was so excited! As excited as Carter was, Kyle was equally as nervous about constructing the darn thing. The actual building didn't look terribly difficult (the directions were very detailed) but the challenge of leveling our yard seemed like a big hurdle. Living on a big hill definitely has its disadvantages and playground construction is a big one. We called around, got a bid to have the work done for us but then in the end Kyle decided to tackle the leveling himself. And he did an awesome job! He started with a shovel, digging out the perimeter and looking for any sprinkler system piping. He got that cut, capped and squared away. And then he rented a Bobcat machine thingy and had the whole area level in about an hour. We were SO thankful to have some wonderful help on "construction day" and could not have begun to finish so quickly without it. A big thank you to Tim, Kevin, Josh and Kyle's parents! Carter also was a super helper...naps were almost nonexistent and he was awake with the sun in anticipation of doing some building. It was a crack up to watch. We're lucky to say that the bulk of the project was completed on Saturday with a few hours left to finish on Sunday. Carter's been playing on his "park" non stop and really seems to love it. My husband is amazing and did such a great job - I'm so proud of his handy skills! Way to go everyone!
Here are some pics from start to finish:

This was taken as the day ended on Saturday - it was a long day, but they did a fabulous job!

Project complete! We've just got to get the bark chips in and we're all set. Happy playing kids!

Monday, April 20, 2009

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

This past week saw some beautiful sunshine in the Northwest, so we had to take full advantage of it and get outdoors. My friend Lindsey and I packed up our four kids, two strollers, diaper bags and coolers and headed to the zoo on Thursday. I was a little nervous about our outing, simply because I knew Kennedy wouldn't get a nap (I foolishly hoped she'd sleep in the car but no luck) and that we'd have our hands full with the four kids. But our worries were unwarranted as we had a FABULOUS time. The boys, Carter and Andrew, were so excited to see the animals and run around (and did they ever run!). They were on their best behavior and really enjoyed the day. Lauren and Kennedy were total troopers. They both hunkered down in their respective strollers and enjoyed the fresh air. Lauren got excited seeing the animals, too, which was cute to see. Kennedy ended up dozing off peacefully a bit before lunch and took a quick cat nap. It really was a super fun day and I'm so glad that we were able to enjoy our little adventure to the zoo.

Carter and Andrew watching the giraffes, although at this point the telescope was even cooler!

Kennedy riding in style. I was so proud of her, she did such a great job.

Carter and the baby elephant (way in the distance) It wasn't easy to see, but we did get a good glimpse of the little guy.

Also one of the highlights was the cement statue area

I was amazed that Kennedy fell asleep in the stroller, as Carter never did this. Not once. It gives me hope that she'll be a bit more flexible about things.

In the polar bear cave. The polar bears were really active and the boys enjoyed watching them play with a ball.

Our last stop at the zoo, Stellar Cove and the sea lions - very cool!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Carter's 3!

How can it be possible that my baby turned 3 today? It doesn't seem like that long ago that we were bringing him home for the hospital and trying to figure out life with a new baby. Boy, times have changed. At this point if we can't figure something out, Carter is likely to explain it to us. He's so smart...sometimes too smart for his own good. He can also be so sweet and loving when he wants, although at the moment he's going through one of his more ornery spells. He's so dramatic and has a tendency to be very sad if he doesn't get exactly what he wants when he wants it. Carter is still very much of an observer, often preferring to watch an activity than participate. He loves going to Sunday school and can't wait to start preschool in the fall. His favorite activities are reading (I've never known a toddler to sit for an hour and listen to story after story, but he LOVES it!), playing outside, "working" with his tools and work bench and playing games. He'd also sit in front of the tv for hours if we'd let him, he's mesmerized by it. He's a fantastic eater and will eat anything and everything that you give him. He especially loves fruits and vegetables, while getting him to eat meat is a little tougher. He might be skinny, but he can really pack it away and I'm thankful that mealtimes are not battles for us. He's inquisitive, chatty, excitable and observant. And he's 3! Wow.

On Saturday we celebrated his upcoming birthday with a big construction themed party. We had 9 kiddos over and I think everyone had a fun time. This year the party was definitely geared more towards the toddler set with activities, decorations and food. I had a great time thinking up all the details and Carter seemed to enjoy every minute! Here are a few pics from the big bash:

Carter blowing out his three candles on the dump truck cake. He was very deliberate this year and took quite a while gently extinguishing the three flames.

Our attempt at a group photo - not the easiest to capture, but fun none the less

Carter getting ready to party!

Uncle Tim and Auntie Kirstin got Carter his very own pool stick to use on their pool table. Carter loved it, although it will be going to Kirstin and Tim's house soon - too many things to hit and break at home!

Carter and his aunties. Val was a huge help in pulling off the party, thank you! We were so lucky to have Stacy and Bennett her from SF to help Carter celebrate. We all loved having them here!

Kennedy all dressed up and ready to party!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

We started our Easter festivities with our neighborhood's annual egg hunt on Saturday morning. Carter did great finding eggs (although they weren't hidden as much as just strewn about on the giant lawn!) and loved all the treats and prizes that he received. Later that evening we dyed Easter eggs for the first time and had so much fun. Kyle hadn't decorated eggs since he was a kid, so he really enjoyed himself too. Carter was up bright and early on Easter morning and was SO excited to hunt for the eggs left by the Easter bunny. (We got some great video of him squealing with delight each time he found another egg) It didn't hurt that we allowed him to eat candy at 6:00 am, either! He was quite spoiled with 2 baskets at home (one from us and one from my parents) and then a bag and basket from Grandma and Papa later in the day. All I can say is that if anyone needs any candy, come on over. We have enough chocolate to last us until next year! Carter has been on a permanent sugar high since Saturday morning, I'm afraid. Amazingly we made it to church early and Kennedy went into the nursery for the first time. She did well and made it half way through before our pager went off to go comfort her. Not bad for our first attempt. After church we headed out to Hillsboro for a wonderful brunch with the Phelans. Stacy and Bennett were in town, so it was great to see the kiddos having fun together. Of course, we were all spoiled with fun baskets from Kyle's was a fabulous day! In the midst of all the activity, we didn't loose sight of the true importance of the day. It was so precious to hear Carter explain that Jesus died on the cross for us and then rose on Easter Sunday.
Huntin' for eggs!

We were so thankful to have Nana here for a long weekend. Wish that Pops could have been with us too...

Dying Easter eggs in the buff - Carter and dye worried me a bit, so I asked him to take off his shirt. He took it a few steps further and stripped down completely!

So excited to see all the fun treats that the Easter bunny brought. And he REALLY loved hunting for eggs. His excitement never ceased throughout the hunt.

Kennedy didn't join in on the "hunt" this year, but she enjoyed her baskets none the less. She especially loved shaking her cheerio filled eggs.

Dressed in our Easter best. We found this outfit for Kennedy last year, before she was even born. She looked so darling and I can't wait for another occasion for her to wear it again.

Brunch at Grandma and Papa's after church was fantastic. Here are Kennedy and Bennett with Great Papa. They were both so good all afternoon!

The cousins played together a bit and actually entertained one another. They took turns with toys and played a little tug of war, too. Here Kennedy is exploring Bennett's face.
Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Carter + unrolled window = trouble

Perhaps this is something that I should have known, but I didn't even think twice when Carter asked me to roll down his window. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, why not let the boy breath some fresh air? After months of freezing cold temps, rain and snow, we were all long over due! I guess I learned my lesson - only roll it down a crack, otherwise foreign objects could be thrown. In this case, Carter's shoe. Which I didn't realize until we got home. Then I was so mad I didn't know what to do. Off we went to try to find it. Luckily he was able to tell me the general location and thankfully the shoe landed in the median of the road. Shoe retrieved. Crisis averted.
If I hadn't been so mad, I would have laughed really hard. Seriously. He thought it a good idea to throw his shoe out the window?!?! What's up with this kid? This little event did give me new found appreciation for my parents, though, as I know that I put them through much worse. My time is just beginning, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Our neighbor refers to us as "weekend warriors," because we are always so busy on Saturday and Sunday. We're constantly coming, going and doing. I won't argue, we are BUSY. I think it's because it's just easier to do fun things, get errands done and meet up with friends when Kyle and I can do it together. This past weekend was no exception...We got an early start Saturday morning and didn't really stop until Kyle and I both passed out Sunday evening.

The local firehouse does an annual open house and safety fair each year, and Carter really enjoyed it last year. So, we decided to squeeze in one more activity on Saturday morning. Carter was having an off morning, though, so we only stayed for an hour or so. He really enjoyed the fire engines, but he was terrified of the fire demonstration. Luckily that was towards the end, because after that he was done. Here are a few pics:

Carter driving the big engine

Our attempt at a group photo in front of a antique engine

Future firefighter?

Littlest firefighters

Then it was off to Hillsboro to spend time with Grandma and Papa. I am fortunate to have a very crafty sister-in-law who is always willing to help with Carter's birthday party prep. So, while the kiddos were napping, Val and I headed to her school and created some construction signs for Carter's upcoming birthday party. They turned out great and will definitely help set the theme.

Carter spent most of the day outside, enjoying the sunshine. He's getting much better at actually hitting the ball, too!

Sunday was even busier as we had to fit in church, yard work, house cleaning, grocery shopping, food prep and a bbq with 12 of our dear friends. Yikes. I'm happy to say we were successful and everyone had a wonderful time celebrating spring birthdays. (I have four friends with birthdays in March and April, so we always do one big celebration) It didn't hurt that we finally saw the sun and were able to be outside for the majority of the day.

Kennedy dressed in her Sunday best

Carter and Daddy (I had to snap a pic of Kyle eating at Carter's tiny table)

The girls - what wonderful friends! (Shanda, Michelle, Lindsay, Cheri, Carrie, Lisa, me, Kirstin)Happy birthday Michelle, Kirstin, Carrie and Shanda!

We were tired as we started our week but are thankful for all the fun times we had with family and friends. I wish I had a calm weekend to look forward to next weekend, but with Carter's birthday party and all the Easter activities, I think we'll hold tight to our weekend warrior status!