Sunday, April 22, 2012

24 and more

This week marked my 24th week of pregnancy. Trying to get "bump photos" is always challenging with these two and today proved no different. It's pretty funny how these two pictures taken within moments of each other look so different (belly-wise)....I will say I was laughing in the second one  and it must have tightened things up a tad because Avery was (for some unknown reason) terrified of the magnolia tree today and it was taking all I had to keep her from lunging from my arms and I just had to laugh. The laughing must have shrunk the bump!

We made an exciting purchase this weekend - I'm now a proud member of the Minivan owning Mama brigade ;). We realized shortly after moving Kennedy into her booster seat and moving Avery from the infant car seat into the convertible car seat - that we were not going to be able to fit Greyson between the two of them in the Jeep after his arrival and August will be here before we know it. We've been looking for a while and that search is frustrating because these vans...they are popular (despite what y'all with minivan phobias out there may think), they are hard to find with low mileage and they are hard to find in this area (we saw lots in Ga, FL, and AL). Tim found one last week on AutoTrader and when we realized it was in Florence, KY and met all our "wanted" criteria minus being equipped with a DVD player, we were excited to go take a look. I kept thinking on the way there  yesterday how ironic the whole trip was because the last time I went to Florence, KY I was going to David's Bridal to pick up my wedding dress. I dreamily looked over at Tim on the way and sweetly asked "do you remember our last trip to Florence"? (he rode with me when I picked up my dress...though it was completely covered in plastic: no worries I was traditional in that sense). He straight up looked at me and was all "have I been there before"? Sigh! Really?!?! My response:" don't remember anything?" Crickets Oh well! I still think it's hysterical that 7 years ago I bought my bridal gown  in Florence and yesterday on our second trip to that same city, we were purchasing this:

I love the way it drives and we got a great deal on it and it will be wonderfully convenient when Greyson arrives in August so we are just so thankful. The time has flown - it doesn't seem that long ago that we picked up that gown and then said "I do" and now here we are with 2 kids, another on the way and proud owners of a new/used minivan.  Bring on baby #3! ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A trip to the Kentucky Children's Garden

Last summer I had several friends tell me great things about the New Children's Garden that had been built at the UK Arboretum. Everything I've heard about it has been positive, but the one negative thing I've heard about it is that you have to pay an admissions fee to gain entrance. I admit that knowing there are tons of free parks around Lexington made me a little disinterested in paying to go to the Children's Garden and thus we've never been. As you well know, with kids you must take into account nap time and meal time and transition time (between waking up and eating and going to get somewhere) whenever you make plans to do ANYTHING & I just wanted to be sure we'd get our $$ worth if we went! So...finally, last week we had beautiful weather and I really wanted to get myself and the girls out in it - so we packed snacks, a change of clothes (the website said they might get wet) our sunglasses and went to the Children's Garden. Here is a little aerial map of the layout of the garden.
Right when we entered we could see a group of people huddled around the pond where there are little bamboo fishing poles with bobbers tied to the end and kids can pretend fish (there aren't actually any fish in the pond). Kennedy was ALL ABOUT this part!
The first time we "fished" Avery just hung out in her shades and took it all in:

Next up was the garden plot/digging area complete with a miniature shed where kids can pick out their desired digging items:
I cracked up watching all the other kids because you could tell for the boys who were at the park: this was definitely the highlight. Kennedy kept asking me how she could get a really BIG hole dug as she proceeded to attempt what she thought would produce said hole.
Although she was all work and no play in the digging area, Kennedy did stop long enough to bring Avery a digging tool she found most appropriate for her size. Avery decided she'd just hang out with her tool rather than attempting to do anything with it.
Over near the tool shed and vegetable gardens, there were some wheel barrows kids could play in so that was what we did prior to our snack stop for the afternoon. Again...big sister made sure to get some items for little sister (a miniature shovel and butterfly net).
She swung them around a bit but mostly just chilled and watched sister dig in the wheel barrows. Can we talk about the accessories?! Glasses: check, pacifier: check, sweater: check, shovel and butterfly net: check and check!
Over by the vegetable gardens there was a big sunflower that had some educational tidbits on it and Avery crawled over that and proceeded to whack said sunflower with her shovel:
She found said whacking noise to be most comical and proceeded to repeat the action about 247 times...I figured whatever floats your boat sister...we are out of the house and y'all are having fun: Go!
Kennedy wanted to fish some more so we headed back over to the pond after our snack time and Avery wanted in on the action this time. I only got whipped with her pole about 15 times and only had to pull pond grass out of my hair 3 of those 15 times: ew!
I really wanted a picture of them fishing together but walking back even a few steps made me super nervous because I could totally see my brave and daring Avery plop right into that pond. Luckily...she didn't fall in and I got this sweet picture:
I thought this painted horse was so cool...Kennedy did too:

This is the entrance/exit to the park - you can't really tell but there are all kinds of colorful insects and flowers painted on the metal and I figured I'd try to snap a picture of the girls together in their matching outfits from Nana before we left.

Of course a trip to the arboretum is not complete without playing on the "logs":
Avery cracks me up - she tries to lift everything - even if it's WAY too heavy:
My little balancing gymnast:
There are all shapes and sizes of stumps in that log area (for lack of a better description) and Avery was determined to find one just her size...she finally did and was tickled about it:
Truthfully - it was totally worth the admission fee of $3/person (babies 2 and under are free). For $6 we got about 3 hours of play and some good ole sunshine. I probably would have stayed out there longer if I wasn't worried Avery was getting sun burnt (didn't eve dawn on me to grab sunscreen). There is a person who walks around the garden talking to the kids about ecosystems, recycling, metamorphosis, and all other things nature pertaining to anything they have access to in the garden - you could tell she had a knack with kids and she even offered a story time for those who were interested (though Kennedy was more interested in "fishing" so we didn't do story time. I'm so glad we decided to go..if you live here and haven't gone...pick a gorgeous day and head on over there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Avery TV & some random pictures!

So - remember how I was saying that my girls love a musical card? Well, here's proof!
And our  newest development in the Taylor household: Avery is walking! She can only go a few steps before  needing assistance but I know from going down this road with Kennedy - she'll be running before we know it!

The weather has been so nice here and at night after supper Tim has been taking the girls for a wagon ride while I clean up and get bed time stuff together. Here is a picture of the girls on Avery's first wagon ride (please ignore the dumpster in our neighbors driveway). She loves riding in the wagon and Kennedy still does too - it doesn't get old I suppose.
 The girls are playing together and interacting more and more and I just love it - I love watching them laugh and I love seeing Avery's little adoring face as she stares up at her sister: precious!
For whatever reason Avery enjoys getting herself into some interesting spaces ~
~and sometimes she just chills once she gets herself there.
Big sister is never far away:
 My little animal lover was spending some quality time with Harley (aka - the best and most tolerant dog in the world) the other day and she asked me to take pictures of them together:
She didn't realize I was still snapping away when I caught the next one - don't you love how "baby" is lovingly tucked on the other side of her...oh and her ballet outfit (24/7 y'all!)?

Avery was starting to get a curling over and under her shirt collars (ew) so I gave her a little trim on Easter weekend. I know some people are all sentimental about their kids hair (not wanting to cut it until they are a certain age or it's a certain length and what not) but it's kind of up their with snotty noses and waxy ears for me...the whole mullet thing is, so it had to go!
It's not the straightest cut ever, but it looks so much better to me that I'm ok with that ;)

Those are all the random pics for now, though at the rate that I'm taking pictures lately (not nearly as much as I used to) I'm sure there's way more random picture posts in my future.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday morning was a good one at our house - we leisurely woke up with no rush (um...did you hear the hallelujah chorus because I did) because we went to church the night before and it was really nice. Typically I either work on Saturday AM or Tim goes to men's breakfast at church so Saturdays are seldom laid back sleep in kind of days and with church on Sundays we just don't often get that kind of opportunity and it was awesome. I woke up with the girls and made muffins for breakfast. Kennedy was busting at the seems because she could see from the kitchen into the playroom on the hearth that the Easter bunny had been to our house overnight. I had to remind her three times that we'd not be getting into our Easter buckets until Avery was awake and we had all eaten breakfast. Finally Daddy woke up and we all had eaten our breakfast, but before it was time to see what surprises awaited them we decided to read the Easter story out of Kennedy's Bible. I LOVE her little Bible...the illustrations, the wording, EVERYTHING about it is so perfect for her stage:  
Chelsea gave her a devotional book for Christmas and we've been pretty good about doing it daily and she loves it. It truthfully wasn't until we got into that devotional that I realized how ready she was for time in the word and time discussing Jesus ~ everything about Jesus. It makes me so happy to have something that I can do with her that's easy to do and creates talking points for us to really strengthen her faith and understanding of why we believe what we believe. Anyhow - I'm just thankful for these two books and thankful for those sweet opportunities where we can talk to our little ones about such important things. They really help break things like crucifixion and raising from the dead down enough for kids to "get it" (thank you and Amen says this Mama).
On to the Easter basket fun:
Kennedy was tearing into her Easter bucket and Avery was just kind of watching at first but then she caught on and dug into hers too:

I got these headbands in the Target one spot and they were worth the $2 just for the photo opportunities they created:

Don't think for a second that this isn't going to pop up one of their wedding slide shows years from now! Ha! sweet little flower:
After our Easter bucket hurrah, I finished up lunch preparation responsibilities and we began the process of getting ready for the day. We had lunch plans with Derek, Billie, Jonathan, Abby, The Ellingers (love them to pieces) and all our kiddos and the weather was PERFECT for the lunch we had planned to occur on the Motsch's deck! I'm so thankful they volunteered to host because their yard was perfect for the kids to run around and play and the weather was simply amazing for an outdoor lunch.
Eli took Kennedy for a little gator ride:

Avery decided she wanted in on it too:
Eli had a little balancing bike that Avery wanted to try and clearly she enjoyed it:
The kids had one heck of an Easter Egg hunt - Kennedy even had her own special section of hidden eggs to challenge her and of course keep her from swiping all the little kids eggs. Sometimes it's crazy to sit back and realize she's the "older one"! Older though she may be - she's still a kid and enjoyed every second of that Easter egg hunt:
~pure joy~
Look Mommy!

Avery didn't really participate in the egg hunt, but she did play with a couple eggs and scored some animal crackers out of them.
again with the perfect toe point to avoid leg touching grass sensation: ha!

Family photo - seriously it's like we were at a photo shoot locale: their yard = gorgeous!

My how our priorities have changed - we remembered to get a picture of all the kids together but failed to get one of all the adults! I'm so impressed they all had their eyes open. It's also impressive that Adalyn is almost smiling in this picture because folks - it's hard to squeeze one out of her on command...she's the most content and easy going child ever but she doesn't just hand her smiles out for free left and right ;).
Eli decided to take the photo opportunity to grab a smooch!

That's my girl - brush that shoulder off ;)! I love his look of determination..haha!

I was in charge of bringing dessert and I thought what springier of a dish than dirt cake (easy and so super yummy) :
I took a bunch of pictures of the kids with my favo lens and for whatever reason I'm completely in love with this picture of Eli. I don't know if it's so much the picture or just how stinkin' cute he is - his little Easter outfit seriously excites me about the options for boy clothes out there and dressing my little man Greyson up soon:

I got one that I love of Adalyn too - her eyes are so incredibly blue and this picture shows them off:
We really had a great time - I love watching all our kids running around together having fun and just knowing we are growing "the party". Next year Cayden and Greyson will be joining the party - going to be exciting and busy and even more fun!