Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2014

It is sad to see that I haven't been on my blog and haven't posted a thing since May. I hope to be able to change that as I continue to find a balance with my family and with my ETSY shop. Each year I seem to make positive strides at finding that perfect balance.

As I have done now for the past four years, I will be posting for the MDR 2014. I absolutely love doing this each year. I can quickly go back and see what I wrote, the changes we've gone through as a family. I'm shocked at the things I forget in just a couple years. If you are on the fence about participating, do it! I promise you won't regret going back through and reminiscing.

Links to my previous MDR posts:

MDR 2010
MDR 2011
MDR 2012
MDR 2013

1. Me
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I know it's a really crappy iPhone picture, but I don't have any pictures on my main camera with only me.

2. I Love You
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My love for these 3 kiddos is like an endless river of loving love ;)

3. Still Laughing  photo Sistermeme_zpsc6eef086.jpg
I LOVE this photo so much! I love how close these kiddos are, but sometimes the little one's can make their sister go crazy. I know she wouldn't trade it for the world though. 

4. Winter Wonderland
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The kids and I made our first "big" snowman. This is one aspect about Quebec I love, the snow! I love watching the snow through our windows, love walking in the snow and love the sound of the snow crunch beneath my boots. I love sledding, snowball fights and soon I know I will love ice skating...when I actually try it.  If we ever go back to living in Arizona, having snow would be one of the biggest things I would miss. I'm sure when I was little I built snowmen with my parents, but this was the first time I remember making a decent size snowman. And of course, the kids named him Olaf.  

5. Birthday
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For Parker's 4th birthday we decided to have his birthday party on a train. We took an Amtrak from Montreal, QC to Plattsburgh, NY and back. It was the coolest party I have done. We all had a blast and the train ride was relatively stress free.

6. Friends
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We were so lucky to be able to stay with our good friends for a few days during our stay in AZ. After almost 2 years, it was so great to be able to see them.

7. I was inspired
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This is a picture from Eliana's 2nd birthday. She had asked for a Frozen/Tangled birthday party and after much thought, inspiration finally hit me which resulted in this dress. A mash up of both themes.

8. Spring Fever
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I think I've started to understand the true concept of, "spring fever" now that I have lived in a place that experiences some pretty cold and snowy winters. My old definition of spring fever meant the great desire for spring training games to start. I sure miss going to spring training games.

9. Travel or Vacation
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Our trip to the Grand Canyon on our way back to Arizona from Idaho. I thought it was funny because the park now equips popular picture areas with camera stands. Now you can make sure everyone in your party is in the picture and not have to rely on other people being there at the same time to take the picture for you.
10. Summer Days
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This past summer we took a trip to visit our families in Idaho and Arizona. While in Idaho, Pops took us all fishing in a little lake nearby. 

11. A Day in My Life
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Some people are born to do amazing things, my amazing thing is being a mom and my big accomplishments are my children. No matter how much laundry I have to fold, how many dishes I have to wash or how many times I step on a toy lying around, I love being a mom and I know I'm good at it.

12. All Smiles
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These two kids are twins, born two years apart. They are extremely close...nearly inseparable, they defend each other no matter what and they drive each other crazy!

13. Autumn Harvest
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We celebrate two Thanksgivings...Canada Thanksgiving in October and US Thanksgiving in Nov, but we all know which one is the real holiday.

14. Family or Home
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 We also had an opportunity to fly out my in-laws for the Christmas holidays. I know I have written this before, but the holidays are always the hardest for me. I miss family and friends so much. It was a little better this year, having some family here to celebrate with us.

15. Celebrate
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Since we were in Arizona over the 4th of July, we got to celebrate the Independence Day. I sure missed seeing fireworks on the 4th the previous year.

16. Let's Do it Again
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One of the coolest things we did this fall was go on a ghost tour of a section of downtown Montreal. It was so awesome to learn about historical events of Montreal. I will definitely be doing another ghost tour next Halloween. 

17. I Miss You
 photo Vegasdaytrip8_zps8627ea9e.jpgI know I've said this before, but moving to Montreal and away from all my family and friends was one of the hardest things I've done. The hardest part is not being able to drive to visit my parents each weekend. Or hang out when my brother comes for spring training. Holidays and celebrating our kids birthday's away from everyone is really tough. This move, though, is also one of the most amazing things I've ever done.

18. Beautiful
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Montreal is truly a beautiful city! This is a picture of the inside of the Notre-Dame Basilica in downtown Montreal. We are starting our 3rd year living in Montreal and I feel like I've so much more beauty yet to discover here. 

19. Dress Up
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I had a hard time choosing a picture for this one. I was on a roll making Eliana dresses and outfits this year. This is what Eliana wore for Halloween, she went as Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time. 

20. Macro
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This is the closest I have to a macro photo. The ladybugs were out of control this summer. The kids loved it.

21. Holidays
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The kids standing in front of our very large tree. We haven't had a vehicle in two years now. Most times, I don't miss it. However, when it comes to taking home a tree with no vehicle, that is a different story. Nolan and I carried this beast for nearly a mile while it was snowing. Come to realize the tree was too large for our place and too large for the tree stand. We made it work, but we will be a little more cautious next year.

22. My Favorite
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The Legend of Zelda for the NES is my all time favorite video game. I've been really obsessed with it this past year and couldn't resist the opportunity to make Eliana a Link inspired dress. I'm actually getting ready to design our master bedroom in the theme of Zelda.

23. Don't Ever Change
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24. Just because...so there!
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Happy New Year!

25. Hopes and Dreams
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 To start off 2014 was a tough year, emotionally and financially. We struggled hard, financially, most of the year and spent the year working through those struggles. When we moved up to Canada, 3 other families and 2 single individuals arrived around the same time. Altogether we were a group of 16. Our first year we spent a lot of time together. We helped and supported each other, spent holidays, births and birthdays together. Last year two families left Canada, and as I'm typing this sentence the last of the 3 families is flying back to Arizona. After today there are only 7 of us from our tight knit little group, and our family makes up 5 of them. What an incredible 2 years we all had, so many amazing memories. I'm very sad that it ended so soon for many. I'm also sad that our only support system, our little tight knit group, is nearly gone. I know we will be okay, but they all felt like family and it's hard not to feel that way when you go through such a life changing event like we all did together.

We DO have a lot to look forward to this year. We are getting ready to start the Canadian permanent resident process.  I'm catching on to this French language and thanks to an amazing gift by a good friend we now have Rosetta Stone for French. Vanessa is making great strides in school and soon Parker will be starting kindergarten. I think my only other goal...and I think I have to let my hubby in on this one...is to buy a car.

I'm so grateful that Ashley Sisk at Ramblings and Photos hosts this each year. Check out all the other MDR2014 posts. Click on the picture below to go to her site. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Eliana turned 18 months old and Happy Easter!!

First of all I will have to just say...Happy Easter!! Our Easter was fairly unorthodox. We missed the bus for church. There was a lot of grumpy shenanigans all around...and I have no idea what is going on with my hair, lol. I seriously never wear my hair parted down the middle like this. Oh well, the point is we were altogether for in a picture for  Easter.

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It has been a couple months since I have done an update post! One is due for Parker too. So much has changed with both of these kiddos. 

Eliana's 18 month stats

Weight: 20.5lbs (< 5th percentile) 
 Height:  31.5" long (25th-50th percentile) 
Clothing size: Wears 18-24 month clothing and some 2T
  Shoe size: 5/6

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Eliana's vocabulary has grown SO much since my last post. Amazing how fast she picks things up. I remember Parker being a lot quieter at this age and Parker used sign language more and knew more signs then Eliana. She has had an easier time with her words, that she has pretty much stopped using signing for communicating with us. She still does sign please, more, and change.

I find it so cute when little ones are first learning their words. I hope one day I can make a book for each of the kids with some of my blog posts. I love re-reading the posts I wrote for Parker and seeing how different the two were at the same ages.

Some cute words Eliana says:

Grandpa                                        owie
bye bye                                          cheese
I uv oo (I love you)                        eww
juice                                                stinky
popcorn                                          yucky
Elsa                                                pee pee      
Olaf                                                tubby (bath)
please                                             happy
sorry                                               ball
scary                                               cracker
mine                                                baby
bo (which is her way of saying, "no") backpack

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As you can see from the above picture, Eliana is such a happy, fun loving and silly little girl. She loves to sing at the top of her lungs when she hears a song she knows. She finds ways of making us laugh, all-the-time! The combination of Parker and Eliana together, makes for a lot of fun times. Together they are both so funny. 

Though Eliana is very funny and goofy, she is very sensitive. If we tell her, "no" she will break down and cry. It's so sad. Nearly, the exact opposite of how Parker would respond to, "no." For Parker, it was a challenge and for Eliana, it's the end of the world.
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Eliana just cut 4 more teeth. 2 are barely poking out of the gums as of today. She now has a grand total of 16 teeth!

Eliana is getting better at eating. She will only eat a few bites of her breakfast and lunch(sometimes she refuses to even eat breakfast,) but she does have a fairly good appetite by dinner.

She is still nursing, a lot. All day and at night. Obviously, this has a lot to do with her not eating enough food. It's not for lack of trying to get her to eat. If she's not going to eat, at least she is getting her calories and nutrition from nursing. She is only nursing once at night, but during the day it's quite often.  I don't remember Parker nursing so much at this same age, but after a certain time I stopped blogging about it so I'm not really sure. We are letting Eliana self-wean. We did the same thing with Parker and he ended up stopping a couple months before his 2nd birthday. We are hoping for the same timeframe with Eliana. 

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Eliana knows and can say a lot of the parts of her body. She will point and say where her eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, tongue, chin, armpit, belly, toes, hands, hair and butt. I didn't get them all in a video I took of her, but she did a lot of these. Her little voice is so cute to hear.

Eliana isn't officially "potty training," but she does understanding sitting on the potty. She knows you pee-pee in the potty. She will take off her diaper and sit on the potty, but she doesn't ever go. Anytime I'm in the bathroom she HAS to go in there and also sit down and "potty." Nolan and I have never been the type to push any of the kiddos to potty train. We will talk to them about it and tell them what it means to potty. We are very open with bathroom talk. When we see that they have a good understanding of the concept, we start to work consistently with them to potty train. They see daddy and I go potty and learn that the potty didn't eat us and it seems to help them not fear the potty. We let Eliana flush the toilet, when needed, so they aren't afraid of the sound. We did the same with Parker, so I think that has a lot to do with why Parker's potty training went so easily?? Vanessa was very easy potty train also.  Again, I can only hope Eliana is the same way. 

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Eliana loves:

-playing hide and seek with Parker and Vanessa...one of her favorites. She runs around cracking up the whole time. Doesn't really ever hide. 
-pretending she is a kitty. She will crawl around the house, meowing. 
-going to the park. She LOVES the slides. She will climb up the stairs and slide down all on her own. Though she is still terrified of the swings. 
-playtime with daddy. She might always seem to want mommy, but honestly she is a daddy's girl. So cute when she calls for him. She loves talking to him on the phone when he's at work before her nap. 
-baby dolls. She loves baby dolls. She walks around the house with no less than 2 dolls at a time. She has about 6 dolls and loves them all the same. 
-her red Fisher Price car she received at Christmas. She sits and plays in that car all the time.
-craft time with big brother. We do a lot of preschool crafts for Parker. Helping him to learn weather, time, letters etc. and it's one of Eliana's favorite times of the day.
-loves to cuddle mommy. She will stop everything she is doing to lay in my lap when I go to sit down. 

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Eliana doesn't like:

-to sleep in her own bed. To be honest, we aren't really pushing her a whole lot. I love to cuddle my little miss. It will be nice to one day have our bed to ourselves, but for now I'm okay with our sleeping arrangements. Having a 14 year old really puts in perspective just how fast these kiddos grow up. We do have the kids' room all set up for both of them to share the room. We separated the bunk beds and we decorated the room for each of the kids. Parker's side is firetrucks and misc. vehicles and Eliana's is just random cute girly things.
-swings at the park.
-to wear clothing. Unless we are going outside, she takes off everything I put on her. Most times she will leave on her diaper.

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I can't believe how big she is getting...so fast too. It's amazing that we are in our second Spring and heading into our second summer here in Montreal. With all that went on last year, in went by so fast.

Here's to another amazing, wonderful and happy month...happy 18 months my little miss :) We love you so very much. 

Friday, March 7, 2014


Sometimes being a big sister is a little more than she bargained for...

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Though I know my oldest gets overwhelmed with her little siblings, I know she wouldn't trade being a big sister for anything.
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