Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

On Christmas we packed the kids up bright and early to head to Westside! My mom was hosting Christmas lunch, so we wanted to make it there by 11:00. My sister's family was there, too, which is always a lot of fun. Mom made lots of our favorites (including my favorite: chicken and rice). After lunch, we opened presents. Quinn did a great job opening hers and Wes slept the whole time. He didn't take very good naps over the holidays, but he had lots of people who love him very much there to console him and snuggle him. We stayed overnight and left after lunch the next day. Quinn had a blast playing with her cousins!
Reading about choo-choos
Here, I brought you this!
Snuggling her new Fancy Nancy doll. She is a new favorite!

Christmas Eve 2011

We really enjoyed our first Christmas Eve as a family of four. The flu had hit the Kaspy house hard a few days earlier, so Randy and I weren't feeling the best, but it was a great day and evening anyway. After Quinn's nap, we headed to 5:00 mass. We have never gone to St. Boniface before on Christmas Eve, but I'd heard rumors of how busy all three services are. It really was crazy; we got there at 4:30 (plenty early with two wee ones...) and the place really filled up fast. Wes slept the whole time. He has never done that, not even when he was just a few weeks old! That was a blessing to me. Quinn wasn't perfectly behaved, but she did ok. I had made chicken in the slow cooker earlier that day, so we came home to a warm, delicious-smelling house. Afterwards, the kids opened presents, we all checked out what was tucked in our stockings, and then we put Quinn to bed. I love that Quinn is old enough to get excited about new toys. Wes was a sweetie, just hanging out and taking in the scene. :-)

Ready for our church! Quinn is NOT a fan of getting pictures taken lately, so this is the best I could get!
Quinn "helping" Brother sit up.

Alphabet board

Checking out her stocking!
Momma is excited about her new FitBit!
Quinn also got a set of ABC board books that I'd won in a giveaway earlier this year. I got new boots and a necklace, but I've been wearing those for a while. Randy got a new jacket and a saw but has been putting those to good use as well. We had so much fun just hanging out in our jammies!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Decorating cookies!

On Friday morning Quinn and I decorated and baked some cookies. I am not much of a baker, but I had great success with this recipe:

1 box cake mix (we used lemon)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Use a drinking glass dusted with powdered sugar to flatten into even circles.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before frosting. Makes 3 dozen.

These were so yummy! We used cream cheese frosting and sprinkles to add the finishing touches! I think next time I will try using applesauce in place of the oil to make them healthier for Quinn.

Frosting one cookie, eating another...

My sweet girl. :-)
We had such a fun morning decorating cookies! I am excited for a new tradition with Quinn.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Watch me grow: 3 months

Our little man is three months old today! I have to say that I love that he celebrates his monthly milestones on the 24th, just like Randy and I do! He turned two months old on Thanksgiving and is now three months old on Christmas Eve.

Wes, at three months old you...
*Eat 6 times a day (6 a.m. and every three hours after that until 9 p.m.)
*Are an inconsistent napper and are still learning how to sleep at night. We'll get there,  buddy! You usually nap in your swing.
*Wear size 2 diapers.
*Wear mostly 3-6 month clothes. You have a few shirts and a pair of grey cargo pants (seen above!) that are 0-3 that Mommy loves, so you still squeeze into them. You usually wear a plain long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans or Adidas pants or soft sweatpants every day. Mommy loves to dress you comfortably.
*Drool like crazy.
*Love to be held in the crook of Daddy's arm and snuggle on Mommy's shoulder.
*Are growing and changing every day! Now that you are three months old, Mommy and Daddy are ready to see you roll all over the place, get some teeth (ouch!), laugh, and smile and talk even more. We love you, sweet boy, and can't wait to watch you grow!

Friday, December 23, 2011

What's wrong with this picture?

Someone definitely has baby fever. Look closely...there is a baby in the swing, in the stroller, in the bouncer, under the gym, in Quinn's arms, and there are two little critters in the toy cradle. However, the real baby is just hanging out on the floor. :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New bouncer!

Quinn and I were out shopping this morning, and we picked Wes up a new bouncy seat. We never got one when Quinn was small, but we need something else around the house to keep Wes up off the floor (and away from big sister's probing fingers and wild dance moves!). I hope that he will also nap in it while we are away for the holidays this year.

My little smirker! His shirt says "Big trouble, little shirt." What a handsome fella!

My sweet babies...

The first of many coordinating holiday outfits these two buddies will wear over the years! Love them! :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How are things going?

So we are one of the first sets of parents among our friend group to venture into life with two kiddos...(btw, so exciting that lots of new babies are being born/getting ready to be born/in the planning stages!). One of the questions we get most often: how are things going? This is usually followed by "you guys have it so together! You make it look easy!"


Last night was a rough one. Quinn went to bed well at 7:15, but was up at 11:00 screaming at the top of her lungs. I couldn't tell if she was hurt or scared. She wouldn't let Momma hold her or snuggle with her and didn't want a drink or a stuffed animal. She is working on molars, and I think that is what was bothering her. Since she was screaming so hard, I thought she was saying "milk," but it easily could have been "mouth." Poor girl!! I slept the rest of the night with her in her bed. She was restless and whimpered a lot, but a little Tylenol seemed to help.

Wes, on the other hand...I am at the end of my rope with this baby and his [lack of] sleeping! I feel like we've tried everything to get this little guy to STAY asleep and nothing works! Whenever we have a good night or two, the next three in a row are bound to be hellacious. We're staying firm on not letting him eat at night, but I am starting to question even that. We've done regular swaddling, swaddler blankets, sleeping with a paci, without a paci, sleeping in a crib, bassinet, swing, our bed, floor, a light blanket, quilt, no blanket, lights on, lights off, music on, music off, nursing before bed, bottle before bed, nursing AND bottle before bed, walking, rocking, talking, Momma putting him to bed, Daddy putting him to bed....you get the picture, right??? We had our best night ever a few nights ago, when Randy was in Moline. I fed Wes, then gave him two extra ounces in a bottle, tried unsuccessfully to get him to sleep for about 90 minutes, and finally plopped him in his swing at 11:00 p.m. He swung all night long! He could have woken up, but I didn't hear him. Last night, though, he slept in his crib for about 3 hours, then was up with Randy for the rest of the night. (Husband of the year, right??) I am not opposed at all to letting babies "cry it out," but when I have a little miss with a bad toothache right down the hall who needs her rest...it's a tough call.

In the past three months, I have been challenged more than I have ever been. I have cried myself to sleep at night out of sheer exhaustion, napped on the floor of my office, and convinced myself on multiple occasions that I can't do this. I have crazy high standards for myself, and I do not like to fail. Why can't Wes sleep all night? Is he getting enough to eat? Why can't I lose this baby weight? Is Quinn talking enough? Should she know more letters? Shouldn't she be in preschool? My neighbors' homes look more festive than mine. When will Randy and I ever get some time alone? Is our marriage suffering?  Why can't I make this work?

However, I know that I just need to stop and breathe.  I am so blessed. I prayed and prayed for Quinn to join our family, and she came along at just the right time. Watching her learn and grow and thrive has been more of a joy than anything I could ever have imagined. I see so much of myself in her, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for this perfect creature.

When we found out I was pregnant with Wesley, I couldn't believe my luck. Some people try for years and years to have children, or want a specific gender, and I am lucky enough to have two babies: a perfect little girl and boy!

So yes, we are very tired. Randy and I both work incredibly hard at our jobs and at home, and it's exhausting. But is every sleepless night worth it? Does every obstacle, difficulty, and hurdle make me a better mother, a more godly wife, and a stronger person?


Saturday, December 10, 2011

popcorn and pajamas...

...with my #1 girl! We had a relaxing, fun day at home, and this was the perfect way to end it. :-) Yes, my hair is wet and freshly colored!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2 month stats

On Wednesday morning, we loaded up the whole family and went to Wes' 2-month doctor's appointment. It had been originally scheduled closer to the time he actually turned 2 months old, but Randy wanted to be there, too, so we rescheduled a time that worked for both of us. Our pediatrician's office just built a gorgeous new facility right next to their existing building, and it was our first time there. Quinn loved playing with all of the fresh, new toys and books in the waiting room. Wes weighed in at a whopping 14 lbs, 5 oz. (90th percentile). Randy and I always try to guess what our kids weigh...we both thought Wes would be about 12 or 13 pounds. Wow, were we off! Wes is 24 1/2" long (90th percentile) and his head circumference is 16" (55th percentile). Our doctor was pleased with his progress. She was impressed with how well he holds his head up whilst on his tummy, which I thought was interesting because I never give Wes tummy time! Randy claims to, though, so I guess he is getting that practice while I am not around. :-) The doctor was also surprised that Wes still will only eat 3 oz. from a bottle, because he is such a big, healthy boy, and because most babies this age eat 4-5 oz. per feeding.

Our little man also got some vaccines! I can never stay long enough at our appointments to see our kids' vaccines (I see students bright and early every morning) but Randy assured me that Wes did fine.

I am hoping for a healthy winter with Wes; let's pray for NO ear infections!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chubby cheeks

Wes has these chubby cheeks that are to. die. for. Love him!!!

Just hanging out

Sunday, December 4, 2011

He's back!!

Randy is finally back safely from Ukraine. We missed him so much! Luckily for the kids and me, my dad came to stay with us Wednesday-Sunday. He was SUCH a big help. He cooked for us, did laundry, played with Quinn, held Wes when I needed a break or a nap, and as always, he and I had lots of good chats. He and I don't always get a lot of time for just the two of us, so this was a wonderful opportunity. I love that he is such an amazing grandpa and has a flexible enough schedule to help me out when I need him. Believe me, this week I really needed him! Thanks, Dad, for everything. :-) We love you!

Randy got home around 5:00. Quinn was SO excited to see him! She and I made a sign for him that he would see when he walked into the house. She has had a bit of a cold this weekend and isn't quite herself, but she gave Daddy lots of love and snuggles before she went to bed.

Trying on Mom's present: a beautiful new scarf from the Netherlands!

So very blessed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We miss you!

Sunday morning, Randy left for a week-long trip to Ukraine. The Kiev office needs him to work on a John Deere system that isn't functioning like it is supposed to. This is a fantastic career opportunity for him, and I am so proud of him and how hard he works every day.

However, back home we sure miss him! I've said before that Randy is the best baby-swaddler there is, and he can almost always get Wes to sleep in record time. While Wes no longer eats in the night (most of the time, anyway), he does kick out of his swaddle! I've had to reswaddle him two or three times a night. I hope that he will sleep through the night very soon. We are getting close, I hope....

Randy is such a good dad and husband. Quinn is absolutely crazy about him, and asks for Daddy, especially in the mornings. While I know that I am more than capable of taking care of both of my kids on my own for a few days, his presence is definitely missed around here. When he gets home next Sunday, you can bet that both of his girls and his little buddy are going to be extra excited.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 = success! We had such a great holiday this year. It was extra special because it was W's first Thanksgiving! Though he didn't enjoy any yummy treats this year, I think he really enjoyed being held by all of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course grandparents.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house Thursday night. It was a breeze! I don't mind traveling to our families' houses, but it was certainly nice to have a special evening at home. We kept it very low-key with soup, salads, and sandwiches. My sister Beth and I went out to the mall at 1 a.m. to score some Black Friday deals! I bought less than I had in years past, but that's just fine with me. She and my mom shopped most of the next day, too, while I stayed home with my kids and napped. Randy actually has a broken rib right now, so he needed help lifting the kids into their beds for naps, etc.

Saturday morning we headed home early to Randy's parents'. They hosted Thanksgiving brunch, which was a nice, new event. Both kids took marathon naps all afternoon while Randy and I visited with his family. Later that afternoon, we headed to Carroll for his extended family's combined Thanksgiving-Christmas. We didn't stay long so we could be home at a relatively normal time and still get some things organized around our house. We did get to see Santa, though! Quinn was not scared at all, but she didn't really know what to think. He came over to talk to her while she was having a snack and gave her a Tootsie roll. He also taught her to say "ho, ho, ho!" Santa also held Wes, which was pretty cute. :-)

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were wonderful and spent with family or friends. I can't believe that Christmas is only a few weeks away! Happy holidays!
Santa and Quinn. She is not quite sure what to think!

Santa and Wes
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

The stockings are hung...

We went over our good friends Jenni and Eric's home the other night. Jenni is a fabulous decorator, especially for different seasons. She inspired me to put up my Christmas stuff yesterday! My house is not nearly as festive as hers, but I did my best between the two kiddos' naps.

When the stockings were finally hung on our mantel, I couldn't help but smile at the fact that there are four gold quilted stockings up there. At Christmastime last year, we were enjoying life with a vivacious 9-month old. Quinn was cruising along furniture, crawling everywhere, and eating everything in sight. We didn't do official Christmas presents, because Quinn wasn't into opening presents at that time. Quinn wore tons of beautiful velvet and tulle dresses and skirts and sported festive headbands on her still-bald head.

Never did I imagine that we'd be so blessed to have a new baby in 2011; what a wonderful, sweet surprise!

Christmas is going to look very different this year. I have presents for Quinn to unwrap, and I'm going to stuff the four stockings on our mantel. Wes might even get a treat or two in his. :-) I keep reading friends' blogs about all of these fabulous traditions that they have....but I'm not the kind of person who tromps through a field to pick out a real Christmas tree, I'm not really a fan of Christmas music, and with two kids under two, sipping eggnog, watching Jimmy Stewart, and gazing at our tree is just not going to happen.

However, this Christmas season I'll still make little treats for my family. Quinn will look gorgeous in all of her holiday finest, and Wes will be her handsome sidekick. Randy and I will steal sips of each other's wine between bouncing a baby, wiping spills off the counter, and reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 100th time. Perfect? No. Real-life? Absolutely. :-)

Somewhere, amidst all of the food and noise and family and friends, we'll find traditions of our own.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I know I haven't blogged in a while. Sorry! Here is a quick update of the four Kasparbauers and what has been going on with us.

Jill: My first week back at work has been an absolute whirlwind. I have a ton of new kids for whom I am offering literacy/academic support, which is wonderful, but finding time to meet all of their needs, plus collaborate with the teachers in my building, plus catch up on professional development, work on my teacher blog, serve on the behavior committee, review notes from my sub, catch up on progress monitoring...yikes! I have been going to bed with Quinn every night because I have been so tired. I love my job and am thankful for it every day, but this has been an exhausting week! I am looking forward to a two-day work week next week and then to hosting Thanksgiving for my parents and sister's family! (Oh, and Black Friday!!)

Randy: Randy is staying busy at work, finishing the basement, working on classes for his second master's degree, and doing some consulting. He has some work trips coming up and is getting organized for those. Randy is now responsible for taking both kids to day care in the morning and making sure that they both have everything they need. He almost always drops them off because day care doesn't open until 7 a.m. and I have to be to work by 7:15, and that's not enough time for me to drive there, drop off the kids and Wes's milk and whatever else they happen to need that day and then get back to work. Since I can leave work at 3:15, I pick them up each day by 4:30. I use the time in between to catch up on laundry, dishes, schedule appointments, organize the day's mail, tidy the house, run a quick errand or two, etc.

Quinn: Quinn recently turned 20 months old! Wow! Her talking has really picked up, especially in terms of speaking in phrases/short sentences. She will say things like "Chrissy Wes car seat" when our babysitter is getting Wes organized at the end of the day, though sometimes only I can understand what she says. I love it when she surprises us with a new word that we didn't know she knew. We have been having some meltdowns lately, but I think that's to be expected with an almost two-year-old. Transitions are hard for her: we struggled just this morning with finishing breakfast, getting changed and dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, etc. Sometimes when she melts down it makes me feel like a failure as a mom, but I have to remind myself that I am as organized as I can be, and that I just need to be patient with her and support her as much as I can. We are both works in progress, I guess. :-) Her appetite has dropped off a little bit lately, but she is still a very good eater.

Wes: Wes is doing great at day care! He struggled with drinking from a bottle at first and could only do 2 oz. at a feeding, but is up to 3 oz. 3 times a day now. Quinn is having a hard time keeping her hands off of her Wes - she always wants to be all over him! Wes is sleeping much better at night. We have been putting him down at 9:30 and he has been sleeping until 3:00 a.m. I hope he can stretch that out for two hours longer very soon. He is just about ready to transition to his 3-6 month clothes.

I will share pictures of my kids/life very soon. :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photo Card

Christmas Mistletoe Christmas
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Dear Baby W...

This is a big weekend for you, buddy! Tomorrow night is your baptism. There are lots of people coming to see you on your special day, including your great-grandma (my grandmother), whom you will meet for the first time. I am so excited for you on this special day. To have you baptized into our church means a lot to us; not even two years ago, I (Momma) spent a whole school year preparing to join the church. Right after I did, your big sister was baptized. It is such a special, sacred time, and though you won't remember it, a lot of people will be praying for you. Even though I might get overwhelmed with details sometimes, I know that it won't really matter if the frosting on your cupcakes isn't the perfect shade of green, or if you scream during the entire ceremony, or if no one knows you are a boy because you are wearing an heirloom gown. What matters is that you are a child of God, perfect in every way!

On Monday, you get to go to a full day of day care for the first time! I have to admit that I am more than a little bit sad about that. I would never say that the last seven weeks at home have been easy, but I will miss you like crazy. I just put you in your swing after a marathon rocking chair session upstairs. You are such a sweet boy, and it is hard to think that I will be apart from you for eight hours every day! Other than the few hours you sleep at night and a few random errands I've gone on, you and I have been stuck like glue. I secretly love knowing how much you need me and that I am your favorite. Sure, there are times when only your daddy can get you to go to sleep, but there is just something about a momma and her baby, especially when the baby is as little as you. You know my voice and my smell, and I love the way you burrow your little face into my neck. When 3:15 comes on Monday, please know that I will buzz over to pick you up as fast as I can. I miss you already!

I love you, Wesley, my second-born, my first boy, the sweet child I held in my belly for nine months and in my arms for the past seven weeks. I know I am going to have to share you this weekend with all of those people who love you so much, and that's ok. After the party is over and everyone goes home, I will scoop you up in my arms again and hold you as tightly as I can. I love you, and you are mine.

Swaddled and swinging on your last day home with Mom

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Halloween Day!

Here are a few pictures from the actual day of Halloween and what Quinn wore to day care. See for yourself why I didn't post them earlier....:-) She wasn't really crying. She just did not want to sit still and pose for her momma!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A three-bedroom home

We moved into our house between Christmas 2009-New Year's 2010, about two months before Miss Quinn was born. We built this house with three bedrooms: a modest-sized master bedroom with a big closet and high ceilings; tucked right next door is a little nursery with a cornfield view and pocket closet doors painted a soft cream; down the hall, with a bird's-eye view of our beautiful neighborhood is a slightly bigger room with a walk-in closet and lots of space to play.

When Randy and I moved in, we were 25 and 24 years old. Our house seemed huge! It was easy to keep clean. Our brand-new canopy bed was a dream come true for me. I filled Quinn's closet with dresses and headbands, dressed her bed in pink and white butterflies, decorated her walls with Randy's handmade wooden trees and birds, and waited for her arrival. When she came, she slept in a bassinet at our bedside for three short weeks. For the 18 months that followed, the little corner nursery, with the beautiful cherry-red crib was her home. That nursery watched over her for hundreds of nights, many filled with sweet, sleepy dreams, and many filled with tears over sore teeth or infected ears. She left behind a row of teeth marks on the side of that crib, marking her territory for future brothers and sisters. At 16 months she climbed out of that crib, and at 19 months old, she moved down the hall.

Quinn has been sleeping in her big-girl room for two weeks now! (I will post pictures of it when I can get some taken.) She is doing so well sleeping in a big-girl bed. We didn't get a toddler bed; we just utilized the mattress and bed frame we already had, which happens to be a full-size bed. I can't believe I have a child old enough to sleep in her very own bed. I marvel sometimes at how the days can go by so slowly but the years so fast.

Wes slept in the little corner nursery for the first time last night. I wish I could say it was a peaceful, restful night, but it wasn't. However, he has the same trees and birds watching over him, now hanging on sage-green walls. Brown-and-white crib bedding provides a soft place for him to snooze, and the closet that was once filled with pretty dresses now houses Gap jeans, plaid shirts, and overalls. In time, he too will sleep peacefully through the night, and I will gently rouse him in the morning, breathe in his sweet, sleepy smell, and kiss his soft forehead because I've missed him so much.

While we have had plenty of guests stay with us over the almost two years that we've lived here, last night, for the first time, it felt like we were really filling up our three-bedroom home. Our canopy bed is now full of a wild-haired toddler, a nursing baby, and two tired parents. Our house isn't always so clean, and it definitely doesn't feel so big anymore. We will have many more sleepless nights in this house (but hopefully just as many peaceful ones). My house might never look like I want it to, and I will probably never have enough storage space.

For now, though, I will just be thankful for the funny, dynamic, sweet girl down the hall, the chubby-cheeked, wispy-haired baby tucked in next door, and the smart, calm, and loving man always by my side.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Snug as a bug...

On Sunday afternoon, little Wes got to go "farmin' " with his daddy! Randy wanted to go check out a planter at an auction in nearby Adel, and since it was Quinn's lunchtime and naptime, he took Wes with him. It was a chilly, windy day: perfect for a snowsuit.

How cute are those chubby cheeks?? We go to the doctor in two weeks for Wes' 2-month appointment and I can't wait to see what he weighs. He is getting to be such a big boy! He is not sleeping any better at night...still getting up every few Right now we put him down at about 8:30 and he is up before 1:00, then again at around 4:00, and then is up for the day sometime during the 6:00 hour. He gets so tired around 8:00 that we just can't keep him up much later than that!

I go back to work one week from today, immediately following a busy baptism weekend. I am looking forward to a tiring but fun day of faith, food, and family.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Quinn is starting to interact with Wes a LOT more. She is constantly bringing him blankets, pacifiers, hats, etc., and "helps" Momma with him all the time. She even helped give him a drink last night when she dumped a bottle of pumped milk on his face! (Most of it got on the chair Wes and I were in.) Seriously, though, I love watching her coo at him, call him "Buddy" or "Baby" or "Res." Though it isn't always glamorous or fun (or quiet) I love having two kids, especially these two sweethearts. I am so glad that God chose me to be their momma...I am truly blessed!

If Baby gets swaddled, so do I!
Hi, sister!
Giving Wes his pacifier
Helping brother figure out his new gym

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Yesterday morning I finally managed to get Quinn's hair into a ponytail. It is just barely long enough, needed a few clips to make the sides stay, and the elastic had disappeared by the time she got home that afternoon, but it was cute in the meantime!
pretty flower earrings :-)

Making sure Daddy's lunch looks ok