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

Updates!

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

Buddies

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

ponytail!

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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011