Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jackson 4 years old

Now it is time for a Jackson update

Here is what Jackson is into now:

-picking on Elizabeth. He is constantly teasing her and it drives me crazy.
-hitting when he gets really mad. Then he says sorry right away and tells me he will be reverent.

-He is still completely potty trained!!!! No accidents, and self sufficient.
-He gets himself ready every morning, completely dressed from head to toe without me telling him
-he loves doing chores for money. He will help empty the dishwasher, pick up all the toys, wash the toilet and bathroom mirror (with my supervision), and put his clean clothes away. He is currently saving up for a skateboard.
-he loves riding his big boy bike with training wheels and is very careful about going down hills (walking the bike carefully, always so cautious.)
-coming up with new ideas that are clever. Like today Elizabeth wanted to be spiderman and so did he so he gave her the mask and he wore the costume body. Then he responded "that is a good idea, that would work great." He was so proud of himself.
-singing songs to himself, especially in the car. He has a great memory.
-Loves being Superheroes. The other day he found a green marker and drew all over himself. I asked why he did that and his response was, "I am being the HULK mom." Hard to be mad about that.
-Watching movies with mom. Usually a Superhero movie or Star Wars lately.
-Puzzles. He is really good at puzzles.
-Playing video games on my phone or his leapster. His favorites are puzzle games, connect the dots, CARS 2, train track building, and UNO.
-building long train tracks with his wooden train set
-buckling himself into his car seat, he is so proud
-running through the sprinkler
-drawing pictures, especially stick figures of people he knows
-pretending to be pirates (Jack Sparrow, Captain Hook, or Peter Pan)

Favorite Movie-Peter Pan/Pirates of the Caribbean/Captain America
Favorite Book-Peter Pan
Favorite Food-smoothies/corn dogs
Favorite Toy- Superhero Costumes/his bike
Favorite Color-dark blue
Favorite Sport-tennis (watching and playing)
Favorite thing to say-Mom I want to give you a kiss (then he laughs and asks what he tastes like). This is usually after he eats or drinks something and thinks it is so funny.

He is my little man. So excited to be getting bigger and tells me how strong he is every day. But he still comes in every morning, snuggles in my bed, and gives me morning cuddles. I love him to pieces.

Elizabeth 2.5 Years Old

Since I posted an update on myself I thought I should post a little update on the kiddos. Let's start with Elizabeth.

Right now Elizabeth is:

-trying to potty train. She loves wearing her undies until she pees in them then she just takes them off and pees on the floor. Very annoying. Not sure how to proceed from here. Just keep trying I guess.
-throwing tantrums, especially in the grocery store when I say no to something. Again annoying.

-singing all day long. She is always singing. Church songs, songs from the radio (her favorites are Moves like Jagger and We Are Young), songs she makes up.
-dressing up like a princess every day
-obsessed with lipstick (chapstick) and makeup. When I do my makeup she sits on the counter and does her own makeup. It is so cute.
-painting her toenails
-spinning and dancing
-she gallops everywhere. When she walks she has a little hop and gallop to her step.
-jumping off my bed into a big pile of pillows (pillow fights)
-taking baths, sometimes 2 times a day
-telling me what foods she likes to eat now. For instance she would always say she didn't like chicken, then the other day she said, "Yeah mom because I like chicken now."
-when she talks she will raise her sweet little voice higher to emphasize the situation
-she likes to be a mother type to Jackson and his friends telling them to be careful with swords and when it is time to eat
-cooking with me every night
-being tickled by her daddy
-riding on her princess scooter

Favorite Movie: Mulan
Favorite Food: eggs
Favorite Book: If You Give a Pig a Party
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Toy: her piggy
Favorite thing to say: That's a good idea

She is such a sweetheart and so cute when she is not throwing a tantrum or crying about something. I love how she wants to be just like mommy and giving the baby kisses on my tummy.  She tells me I am beautiful every day and loves to cuddle with me.

Bump Watch-21.5 weeks

Here I am in all my half way through pregnancy glory. I have to admit I am definitely bigger this pregnancy than either of the other two. I guess that happens. I have gained 14lbs so I am right on schedule even though I crave french fries, pizza, and doughnuts every day. Oh and root beer too. All the junk I guess, and I haven't really been trying to avoid the junk food either (hehe).
Here is what I am feeling.
-fat. Most people don't realize I am pregnant still.
-still sick whenever I change Elizabeth's dirty diapers. That child needs to be potty trained NOW.
-lots of energy actually.
-tiny back aches in my lower back
-lots of baby movement. I feel him all throughout the day actually. He likes somersaults and kicking down low. THIS MAKES UP FOR ALL THE REST!

Right now the baby is about 1lb and 8inches, the size of spaghetti squash. According to the books he has eyelashes and eyebrows and hair on his head. He can hear and recognize voices and can now perceive light and dark.

I am so excited to meet the little guy. This month has really been dragging on. Mid-pregnancy plateau I guess.  We still don't have a name, Brandon refuses to talk about it until the date gets closer. I am such a planner I would love to have a name picked out ASAP.

And I am getting into baby planning mode. Blankets, swaddle wraps, crib bedding, etc. There are so many ideas out there now for new babies and I can't wait to take advantage of all the wonderful ideas. I have a feeling it is going to be a long summer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Busy Growing in the Stoker Home

AHHH we have been so busy!!! I have been seriously slacking on the blog updates. Sorry.

Here is what we have been up to.
-I started my own sewing blog, SEW WHILE THEY GROW....... GO FOLLOW ME. I am still going to be working on A Couple of Craft Addicts but I wanted a blog that was just mine where I could share sewing tutorials, projects, and other parenting related posts.

-with the beginning of a new blog I have decided to start a new branch of my business, pattern making. I finished my first pattern this week and am ready to launch it in my shop next week. This is very challenging but so exciting for me.

-We have been going to lots of playdates. Between the mom's group, baby sitting co-ops, church functions, and just getting together with friends we have an activity planned for nearly every day of the week.

 -We had our first camp out. We are planning a camping trip for this weekend so Brandon and I decided to try camping in our backyard first. We went and bought a tent, sleeping bags, and all the supplies. Set up the tent (which we had to return because one of the poles what bent) and had a family camp night. The kids loved it! I don't know why I was so worried. They thought the tent was their own house. They brought all their stuffed animals into the tent, set up beds, cooked with play food, and just plain old enjoyed themselves. They were so upset when we had to take the tent down. The only downfall was the meowing of a random cat all night that has been frequently visiting our backyard. The kids love the cat but I want it out of here. It doesn't have tags so right now we are just tolerating it. Except for today I found it in the house so I am thinking it is getting a little too comfortable around the Stoker home. Anyways, that was really annoying to hear cat meowing all night.

-Jackson has been making huge strides in his writing and drawing skills. He wanted to make sure I documented that he can now write his own name and he can make stick figures. Here is his latest creation:

 I love that his pictures now have sustainance and are not just scribbles. :) 

-We also started doing chores around the house and the kids get money for completing their chores. These include helping with the dishes, cleaning up the toy room, putting their clothes away once they are washed and folded, and feeding the guinea pigs. Jackson earned $3 over the past 2 weeks so today we went and bought a new sword (his choice, my words were "ANOTHER SWORD?"). He has been begging me to buy it for him and so I told him to earn it himself. He wasn't too happy to give me his money for the sword but then I think he realized he can earn more so that gave him hope.

-Jack has also been riding his big boy bike a lot and getting better. Maybe he will be ready to take off the training wheels by the end of the summer!

-Finally I took some pictures of the kids in front of the house. They love having their picture taken. Jackson has been taking pictures himself lately. His interests are expanding so much. It makes me really excited for what the summer has to hold. 



Obsessed with Superheroes. Showing me his HULK impression.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby NAME...????

We are playing the name game around here and I have to tell you I am stumped. Brandon isn't much help. He just turns down my ideas without giving any of his own. Right now I have a list of names I like on the refrigerator that I look at and ponder over every time I go to eat...which is a lot these days.

So I am asking you for help. Anyone have a great name that will go with Stoker they are willing to share? With Jackson I knew what I wanted right away and had to talk Brandon into it. We knew right away that Elizabeth was going to be Elizabeth. There was no other thought and no other option. PLEASE HELP ME. I want to hear a lot of names this time and get a large sense of this little guy growing in my belly, who happens to kick every night at 11pm :).

My Favorite Smiling Faces

Last week the weather really calmed down and gave us a few rainy days. We did catch some rays of sunlight for a few photo sessions with the kiddos. I have been slacking on taking pictures of them lately. Real pictures not just candid snapshots.

Anyways, here are a few smiling faces that make my days so happy.

 Still pretending to be a pirate.

 My beautiful, smiling girl.
The colors in our neighborhood have been amazing. The grass is so green, there is a huge yellow bush down the street, and purple flowers on the trees blooming everywhere. Spring colors are here and I am really enjoying this spring.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Joy School Graduation

This week we celebrated my son's graduation from Joy School. For those of you that don't know what Joy School is, it is a church sponsored home-school pre-school. I decided to put him in it this year before he goes to a 3 day week pre-school next year. He really showed improvements this year by attending Joy School. He is my first born and a bit of a mama's boy. Shy and likes to stay next to me all the time. When I first started dropping him off at the other kid's houses he would cry and beg me to stay. By the end he was so excited to go every week that he would ask when Joy School was and run to the doors of the other homes. He was really sad when I told him it was over, more because I think he is worried he won't get to see his friends anymore, but I assured him that we could still have play dates and see them plenty.

We celebrated the graduates with a party and presentation. The kids sang a few songs, received a report card, and a diploma for their work the past year. I made each of the students a graduation hat in their favorite color.

The kids all wore their hats. I even made an extra one for Elizabeth so she wouldn't feel left out. She was so sad all year that she was too young to go to Joy School. Every time I dropped off Jack she would say, "I'll stay here mom, because I'm too little to go to Joy School," with a little sad voice.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2 Weeks with Grandma Miller

These last 2 weeks my mom came into town for a visit. It was incredible to see her. A breast cancer survivor! She is still pretty weak and tired but these kiddos gave her a jump start to get going in life again. Her hair is growing back and she looks great.

We had a wonderful time. I just love having another adult to run around town with and chat. We spent our weeks at the playground, in the backyard when it was nice and sunny and checking out our local child centered activities like the zoo, aquarium, and children's museum. The kids hadn't seen her in almost a year but that didn't stop them from instantly accepting her into our home. They didn't stop talking all the way home from the airport and as soon as she walked in the door they pulled her around the house showing her all their toys, beds, and of course the guinea pigs. Here are a couple of pictures we snapped in our weeks of fun.

 Lizzy posing by the over sized pinecones.
 Jackson proving he is as strong as the HULK lifting the large shovel.
Going for a ride on the giant ant.
Nothing like watering the plants with a humungous faucet.

 Liz taking a detour through the hidden path.
 Sibling LOVE

Captain Jack sailing at the aquarium.

Children's Museum.
Jackson was totally fascinated by the PVC pipe building. He spent 25 minutes creating his fort.
He was so proud.

 Elizabeth loved the balls section. She kept sticking the balls through the tubes and down the ramps. She would get so excited, squealing with delight.
Jackson was really interested in the giant ball erector set. He loved turning the wheels to make the balls go down the different paths.

We all had a great time playing with Grandma Miller and enjoying her company. It was really sad to see her leave and the house is a little bit lonely today without her. We miss her already.


This week I had my mid-pregnancy ultra sound. Between Jackson, Elizabeth, and this baby I have had 13 ultrasounds, yeah a lot, and there are many more to come I fear. Although I have to admit getting to see my babies more often is always fun I feel a close kinship with each of them. Everything looks great with this pregnancy. Baby is about 8oz now and seems to be growing and developing well. However with my past issues the doctor recommended coming back in 6 weeks to check my that amniotic fluid levels and placenta are fine.

The baby is very healthy and a mover. I can always feel it doing flips and somersaults in my belly. The ultrasound tech was having trouble keeping up with it. We saw head, spine, legs, arms, belly, bum, everything is so clear. And then we found out the sex of the baby...
We are so blessed and excited. I went through all Jackson's old clothes while my mom was visiting. Reflecting on his past clothes and remembering all the times he wore each item. I have so many clothes already stocked up that are in excellent condition. I can't wait to see the new baby in them. We even found some 1 year old Superhero t-shirts that Jackson was so excited about. He wanted to put them in his own drawer to show the baby when he comes.

The pregnancy has been really easy so far. No medical issues for me other than an extreme sensitivity to smells. My belly has really started to poke out in the last week or so though it is still just a little baby bump. I am not even in maternity pants yet which is SO NICE because for some reason all maternity pants look like baggy mom jeans around the crotch area. TOO MUCH INFORMATION but that is how I feel. Lots of skirt and leggings are in my future. I am just relieved to know the baby is a boy and we can start discussing names and thinking about preparations for the future. The kids knew it was a boy all along, I went back and forth this time.