Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

My Mom and Jenna share a birthday of November 21st. This year my Mom had a very special birthday.....her 75th! I knew that deserved something a little more special, so I planned a surprise party for her the day after Thanksgiving. It was a week of celebrating around here!
My sister came over with her family, and my brother drove up to help us with the surprise.

We celebrated by watching old photos of my Mom, which was really fun to see.

My Mom is on the left....she has 3 younger sisters. It was fun to see pictures from the 1940's!

Can you believe this is what she wore to a high school prom? Looks like a wedding dress!

My Mom is on the left. You can see her little sisters and my Grandma on the right. (My Grandma is currently 98!)
Her hair! This isn't even as long as it got. She grew it down to the backs of her knees.

Isn't she pretty with my brother and sister?
 And with baby me!
 I love this one because it looks like something from The Sound of Music.
Ok back to the party. I made a Pecan Pie Cake for my Mom, since I know she loves pecan pie.

It was a fun afternoon celebrating my Mom. She is such a special woman who has taught me so much about being a mother and a Godly woman. She has always been such a steady presence in my life, serving her family selflessly. We are blessed to have her in our lives as a Mom and Grandma. I love you Mom! Happy 75th Birthday!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Jenna's Rainbow Party

On Monday we had a little party for Jenna's 2nd birthday. I decided on a rainbow theme and invited her cousins, as well as her Grandma Jan.
I had some little helpers, and Ryan was surprisingly really helpful with blowing up balloons and making paper chains!

Cousin Jacob.....not so much.

I knew I wanted to make a multi-tiered rainbow cake, but I wanted to avoid using artificial food dyes. So I found these all natural food colors at Whole Foods that are made with vegetable juice!
I even used natural sprinkles for the top.

 The food colors weren't as strong as normal food dyes, so the cake was more of a pastel rainbow cake. But still cute! (And no vegetable taste whatsoever)

For dinner we ate spaghetti and garlic bread.
 Jenna was a little sick with a cold so she stayed in her jammies all day instead of changing into a party dress.
 Here is a video of her blowing out her 2 candles!

Present time!

Jenna got some new shoes, clothes, and dolls with strollers. This was out pinkest party yet!

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Jenna: Two

Happy 2nd Birthday Jenna Mae Nullmeyer! These past 2 years have been so special getting to know my little girl. You are so easy to love.

You are a very smart girl! You recognize some colors now, such as blue, pink, purple, yellow, and red. You also love to read books, and you can tell me everything that is on each page. I will often find you sitting in your room looking through your books by yourself.

And you say absolutely everything! You will literally repeat anything we say. And it's not just that you repeat things, but you comprehend almost everything we're talking about. We will often not even be talking to you, but you are listening very closely to us. If we tell Lucas to go get his green cup and he doesn't listen, you will get up and go find a green cup for him. If we tell everyone to get their shoes, you will get yours as well as your brothers' shoes. The other day I was going to the bathroom (just #1!) and you were watching me. When I finished you said "Mommy did the baby come out?". You astound me every day with the things you say!

You adore singing, and being sung to. Some of your favorites are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Star Wars Theme Song, and Wheels on the Bus.

You love being in on the action with your brothers.

You are always playing with them, inserting yourself into everything they are doing. And they love taking care of you. The novelty of having a little sister doesn't seem to have worn off yet.

You are still a pretty great eater, although you are getting more picky. Some of your favorites right now are cucumbers, ranch or onion dip, ground beef, sausage (saw-saw), chips, smoothies, oatmeal, French fries, broccoli, apples, eggs  and any kind of dessert.

Most of the time you are such a sweet happy girl. But lately you are showing some of the typical "terrible 2's" behaviors. You have tried hitting a little bit, and you've started saying NO when I ask you to do things. You've also had a few tantrums and timeouts. You've mastered the pouty face.

I think you are almost ready to potty-train! You love sitting on the potty and practicing. You will always tell me when your diaper needs to be changed, and just the other day I caught you climbing up on to the changing table by yourself.

You don't seem to be as shy as Ryan, yet you aren't quite as attention-seeking as Lucas. You go into the church nursery really easily now and you love playing with other kids. However, you can be shy around people you don't know well, and you definitely prefer Mommy over anyone else. At home with us you can be SO loud!

Your sleep is pretty predictable. You usually sleep from approximately 8pm until 6am. However, you have been putting up a fight lately at bedtime. As I type this at 9:30 at night you are still up, refusing to go to sleep. Your naps are usually around 1.5 hours. If you sleep long enough you wake up really happy. But about half the time you wake up really grumpy and sensitive, and it can take over an hour for you to act like yourself again.

Sometimes you seem like a little mini-Mommy. You love helping me with sweeping and dishes. And you are very nurturing. When someone gets hurt you are the first to rush over and say "Are you ok?", followed up by a hug and an "awwww".

You are still our palest child, with almost translucent skin! You have fine, wispy strawberry-blond hair. I keep waiting for it to get thicker but so far it seems pretty thin. You have small feminine features, and everything about you just seems very girly to me.

God may have only given me 1 girl, but He sure gave me a very special one! I love you my sweet Jenna Mae. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day In The Life 11/15/16

I write these posts about twice a year, and love looking back on them to see what life was like at my different stages of motherhood. Ok here we go, a random Tuesday for you!

5:45am - I hear Jenna crying on the monitor. I bring her in to bed next to me and we snuggle and I wait for her to fall back to sleep. I usually get up at 6am. At 6:15 I try to sneak out of bed but she's instantly awake. I quickly get dressed and throw on a little makeup and we head downstairs to get ready for the day.
This shirt is a lot tighter than the last time I wore it! It's supposed to be 70 degrees today but the mornings are really cold so I throw on my army green cargo vest.

6:30 - I start preparing a smoothie for myself and fixing Jenna's breakfast at the same time. I've been on a big frozen cherry kick lately but I just ran out, so I try something new today. It's a recipe from "How Jen Does It" on YouTube. I blend together 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 frozen fig, a big spoonful of crunchy almond butter, and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. (I don't love almond butter but this salty crunchy kind from Trader Joe's is really good!)
6:45 - Adam leaves for work and Ryan wakes up. He's grumpy but he smiles for the camera.
I usually don't let Ryan watch TV before school but he turns on the TV and the Brady Bunch is on! I can't help it....I let him watch a little bit while he eats.

7:00 - I finish packing Ryan's lunch, feed Jenna, nag Ryan about getting dressed, and get Lucas up. He was pretty sick the past couple days with a high fever but he seems a bit perkier today. Ryan decides he hates his shirt at the last minute, Lucas drops his breakfast on the ground outside, and the boys start a fight. But we manage to get in the stroller on time.

7:40 - We walk Ryan to school. Have a great day Ryan!

8:00 - Back at home I sit down to eat my breakfast. In addition to my smoothie and coffee, I eat 1.5 boiled eggs. Jenna stole my other half.
While I eat, Jenna and Lucas watch PJ Masks. They both love this show. Jenna always requests it, except she calls it "TJ Maxx!!".

8:15 - Dishes dishes dishes. They're never-ending! Once the kitchen is clean I sweep and do a general pick-up downstairs. It's like stuff just randomly sprouts up....dirty clothes, toys, paperwork, shoes, just stuff everywhere.

9:00 - We head upstairs to get dressed and do a quick pick-up. I tell Lucas to read Jenna a book but he keeps tackling her.

We are blessed to have a big master bathroom. Unfortunately our countertop ends up being a dumping ground for all sorts of junk. So I finally clean it up. Before:


Adam calls and tells me he just got out of a meeting and now he's being sent to work in the Bay Area.

9:45 - I tell the kids to get ready to go. Jenna gets her boots on.

And this is Lucas' idea of getting ready.

10:00 - We leave for the library. I eat this mini Larabar in the car. It's about 1/3 the size of a regular Larabar.

I'm just returning one book and picking up another. I can't wait to start this new one! I put the kids in the double stroller and we go for a walk in the library neighborhood. We walk through a craft store and then Lucas spots Jamba Juice across the street and begs me for some. I get the kids a Berry Upbeat with added kale and they both love it. We walk back to the library to load back in to the car. There is a little lake with a fountain at our library. Do any of you remember when I saw the dead body here? I still can't believe that happened. (Read about it here)

11:45 - Back at home I switch the laundry and put Jenna down for her nap. Ryan gets out of school at 12:20 today but he's going straight to a friend's house so I don't need to pick him up.

Lucas eats a snack and heads up to the playroom for quiet time. Some days it works, and some days it doesn't. I play with him for a few minutes today and leave, satisfied that he'll keep busy for a little while. I get 20 quiet minutes out of him today.

12:45 - Lunch! I am so hungry. I stuff a whole wheat pita full of cucumber, lettuce, tomato, rotisserie chicken, and homemade ranch dressing. On the side I eat some mini peppers with more dressing because it is SO good.

After I scarf down my lunch I get to work on making some lists. I'm planning a little birthday party for Jenna, as well as thinking ahead to Thanksgiving. I don't know how people get by without making lists.

Lucas is popping in and out of the playroom. Sometimes he wants me to come watch him race cars, other times he has new creations to show me.

1:45 - I give up on my list-making and head upstairs to give Lucas some attention. We play and then he helps me put away a big load of the boys' laundry.

2:15 - Jenna is awake! She had a nice long 2-hour nap today so she's in a good mood. The kids eat popcorn and I move car seats around so they're all in one car.

2:45 - We leave to pick up Ryan from his friend's house.
I missed my big guy!
3:30 - My sister arrives with her 3 youngest to play and watch my kids. I walk over to school for Ryan's parent teacher conference.

4:00 - I'm back home and the cousins are in full play mode. Adam is also home! It's hockey season again, so he's parked in front of the TV.
4:30 - The cousins leave. Adam takes Jenna upstairs for a bath and the boys jump in the trampoline. I realize they aren't fighting, so I take a video to document the rare occasion.

About 5 seconds after I end the video a huge fight breaks out and they both end up with scratch marks all over their torsos. I send Lucas upstairs for a bath and start homework with Ryan.

6:00 - Dinner! We have taco salads. Mine has iceburg lettuce, turkey taco meat, black beans, avocado, pepper jack cheese, tomato, and pico de gallo. On the side I have some roasted brussels sprouts.

On this particular night Jenna clears our plates from the table, Ryan is in charge of wiping off the table and Lucas needs to sweep. Neither boy can find the broom, so guess what they do? They ask Jenna! And she goes and finds it! I thought this was hilarious that they asked their 2-yr-old sister. She's already such a little helper and everyone knows it.

6:30 - We head upstairs to the playroom.

7:00 - Bedtime! Lucas got sent to bed a little early for some bad behavior, so Ryan enjoys staying up to read us his school books.

8:00 - I shower, pack lunches, and sit down to do a little party research online before cracking open my new book and eating a bowl of Rice Krispies with milk.

And that's it! A very blessed, pretty easy day, unfortunately followed by a hard night of painful leg cramps and a migraine headache.

Other DITL posts I have documented: