Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Big Birthday Party

Who goes and has not one, but TWO children right around the holidays?? WE do! Growing up with a sister who has a birthday on New Year's Eve, I have heard the disappointment more than once in having your birthday lumped with Christmas or people forgetting and being "holidayed out". Craig's brother's birthday is on Christmas Eve. If anything, we wanted to avoid having babies around Christmas.

But obviously God had other plans, and we're just so thankful to have two children's birthdays to celebrate, so we deal with it! Which means we have a combined birthday party in between December 16th and January 4th!

Our "2 & 1" truck-themed birthday party was held on Saturday, Dec. 18th with our dear family who all drove a great distance to celebrate with us, in the midst of this busy holiday season no less! Gage is very into trucks of all kinds, shapes, and sizes these days so we decided to go with it. I took a risk and made a special cake.

He was quick to nab a gum drop accessory!

I also made a "1" cake for Eli (but failed to get any pictures so I am waiting on my sister's copies!). He's not so sure at first...
Then he starts to warm up... And finally he ditches the hat and the plate and digs right in!
Examining the damage...
It was a joy to watch Gage's excitement over his presents.

Eli was happy with the boxes.

And we're so happy we have two beautiful boys to celebrate!
(My only shot of them together...watching the traditional slideshow!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Turning 1... pretty fun I'd say! Our big party for both boys was coming up on Saturday, but we had to do a little celebrating for the Birthday Boy on the day. So we opened a few presents...Or should I say Gage opened a few presents, as the helpful big brother of course!

And took him to Hickory Park where he experienced his first serenade...

and had his first hot fudge sundae...

You can see he didn't like it very much.

Gage enjoyed himself too!

Both boys were in true form as one flirted with the waitress (Gage) and the other with a couple sitting nearby (Eli). One woman said, "Your boys are adorable" as she walked by us on her way out. Awww, we think so too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1 Year Old

Dear Eli,

One year ago today Daddy and I were at the hospital, just waiting for you to arrive. We were so excited to meet you and introduce you to your brother. See, you were our little miracle sweet Eli. God made you in Mama's belly at a time when we never expected such a wonderful gift. We are so lucky that God chose us to be your parents. Happy 1 year Birthday!

A year makes a big difference! In one year you have gone from laying in our arms, to sitting up, to sitting on your own, to rolling over, to crawling! You have gone from no teeth to almost 10 teeth! You have gone from crying, to babbling, to saying "uh-oh"!

Just in the past month you have started saying "uh-oh"! Whenever anyone else says it you say it too. Many times we have heard you say "Mo" after we have said "Elmo", and in fact there are other words that we are sure you have repeated after us. It is so adorable! And so fun.

Dr. Swanson was very impressed with you at your 1 year check up today. He couldn't believe how many teeth you have! And we think that is why you have had a difficult time of it off and on for the past several months. Hopefully they will all come in at once and then leave you alone! Dr. Swanson was also impressed that at 27 lbs., your weight has stayed the same since your 9 month check up so you are now in the 95th percentile for weight instead of the 150th! :)

Also in the past month you have decided that you do not want your bottle anymore. One Saturday morning you refused to take it and continued to refuse it after multiple attempts over a few days. So that is that. I am glad that it was as easy as that, but I have to admit I am a little sad to be so abruptly stripped of that little cuddle time that we had every morning and night. Just another little way your mama has to let you go!

You are completely done with eating baby food as well. You made that pretty clear to us too! For awhile there we were challenged in finding foods that you could, and would, eat. But now it's getting easier. You seem to be gagging less and liking more foods. Here are some of your favorites: peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, chicken, noodles, cheese, bananas, yogurt, and applesauce. You even gobbled up some chicken lasagna one night, and taco casserole another! Now if you would only eat your vegetables...

I love how you love books! I catch you looking at them all the time. You enjoy being read to before naptime and bedtime. And anytime in between.

It has been a year of tough times as we worked through your colic, RSV hospital stay, and tortuous teething, but it has also been a year of joy as we have enjoyed your smiles, giggles and love. You are our precious gift from God and we will always be so thankful for you. We pray that you will always know how much we love you, and how much your Father in Heaven loves you and wants you to know Him.

Keep growing well sweet Eli! I am right here beside you cheering you on!
Always loving you,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Best Man

I think that my hubby really is the best, and apparently his friend Dwight thinks so too...he asked him to be his best man at his wedding! What an honor! This was Craig's first experience as a Best Man, and I think he did a fabulous job!

Sam's maid-of-honor, her twin sister, was just a little bit shorter than Craig.

The wedding and reception were held at the Temple of the Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines. Such a beautiful place!

Craig gave a funny speech at the reception about the ways that Dwight has changed since meeting Sam. Using an idea from a friend's wedding we went to a few years ago, he handed out keys to several ladies before the reception began. Then during his speech as he was describing Dwight as "quite the ladies man" in the past, he instructed the ladies to turn in their keys since Dwight is now a married man. It was very funny the first time, and very funny again, as young ladies, and old ladies, got up to hand their key to Dwight. It's a fun surprise to the groom too! I would have taken some pictures but I, of course an easy target, had a key to turn in!

The Best Man Speech. Even though this shot is so far away, I love the detail of the room it shows.

The wedding was a lot of fun, and it gave us two date nights in a row!

Dwight & Sam, we wish you many years of wedded bliss!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Catching Up

I have some catching up to do! First on the list: My dad's time with us.

It was great having him live with us for 2 1/2 weeks. We made the downstairs office into a bedroom so he could be close to a bathroom and not far from the main level. I think it was pretty cozy. The boys and I made lots of trips down to visit him. He came up for meals and "exercising" (walking laps around the kitchen and living room).

I hope he doesn't mind me posting half naked pics of him! :) Gage enjoyed watching him shave and trim his beard.

During the two Mondays he was here I drove him to Iowa City for his follow-up doctor appointments. We had some good talks. The day after he left Gage was wondering "where Papa" was? And I had a little spot of emptiness in my heart. It was odd to not see a light on in his room first thing in the morning, and to not make his coffee at the crack of dawn, among many other things that had grown into habits during the time he was here.

Dad was anxious to get home and be his independent self. I can't blame him. But we'll always have good memories! I'll take you in anytime Dad! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So very thankful...

for these special people in my life...


Craig's parents: Arley & Diana

Craig & Holly

Sweet Will (I can't believe I didn't get a close-up of my dear nephew!!)

And of course these guys...

Eli put his hand out to touch Uncle Craig during the whole meal. He was pooped before the festivities even began!

Gage loved the company...and all the attention!

Poor Craig gets forgotten in the individual shots. But I am so thankful for my sweet, fun, loving hubby!

Without him, we wouldn't have the wonderful family that we do.

Craig was in a wedding on Saturday so we celebrated Thanksgiving with our family on Friday! It was such a nice, relaxing time. Unfortunately my dad went home on Wednesday so he missed out. After dinner the men and the babies took naps and the ladies plus Will played Spoons. We had such fun! I hope we can host again next year! I absolutely love it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy 11 Months Old Sweet Eli!

Dear Eli,

You just turned 11 months sweet boy! And something major has happened in the past started crawling!! One day you took a few scoots forward and the next you kept going and going! I am loving it! You are so happy to get where you want to be now. And so far you don't seem the least bit interested in the stairs so I don't have to worry about you! We'll hope that continues.

But I have been finding you up to some mischief...

And in some pretty cozy places too.

You have recently started taking an interest in books! Up until now you just wanted to flip the pages or chew on them. Over the past few weeks we have started a new naptime routine. After lunch we go up to your room and read books with you on my lap and Gage next to us in the double rocker. Your favorites are the books he liked at your age too! (Peek-a-Boo I Love You, Tell Me Why the Stars Do Shine, Where is Baby's Belly Button?)

You seem to be liking a lot more foods now! You will try almost anything we put in front of you: green beans, banana, bagel, spaghetti, pulled pork, half of a cake donut... (I never would have done this a year ago! :-)

I am soaking up every minute I get to feed you your bottle. I know that it won't be long and I won't get to do that anymore. We're already starting to add milk to help you get used to it. I'm just not ready to give up you being my baby yet. So will you please stop growing so fast?! And will you let me hold you forever? No matter how old you are, or big you get, my lap will always have room for you.

I love you sweet pea! And I will always be.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I don't want to ever forget some of what Gage is up to lately so I thought I'd write a Gage update.

Last night Gage handed something to Craig and we couldn't quite hear what he said when he did. Craig looked closer at what he had handed him and then we could hear him plain as day this time..."Boogie"! Oh we laughed so hard. He has never done that before, so it really caught Craig off guard.

His latest fascination is sitting on the counter. He used to say, "I see! I see!" And now it's, "Sittin! Sittin!" He is so consumed with sitting on the counter and in the window, I have started to set the timer for 2 minutes per "sittin" now.

Another fascination is being outside. He can't get enough of it. After swinging and playing in the "dirt" (sand) we usually end up with Eli in the wagon and Gage running ahead of us on the sidewalk. He does so well stopping at the end and holding my hand as we cross the street. He loves to find dirt and acorns along the way. And sometimes he pulls a chunk of grass out of someone's yard and puts in the wagon before I can stop him. I hope the neighbors aren't watching!

Gage loves "tickles". Not the make-you-giggle kind, the soothing trail-your-hand-down-your-arm or head or leg or belly kind. He will ask for "tickles" quite often, especially at bedtime. This morning Craig found him in his crib with his jammies unzipped to his belly. Must have needed some tickles!

His favorite word/thing/toy is "truck". And this is how he says it: "truckkkkkkkk" It always brings a smile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Boys

Mr. Curious

and Mr. Cool

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Family of Five

We have a new member in the Engelbrecht household...


He arrived on Saturday and will be staying with us while he recovers from back surgery. So if you are wondering why I haven't called you back or emailed, that's why. I have my hands a little full. But believe me, they are blessed hands!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our Lil Punkins

Eek! I am so late in posting these, but better late than never!

I don't know who was more excited this year, the boys or me...I couldn't wait to dress up my little punkins into their costumes.

We were looking forward to walking around our neighborhood and talking to the neighbors we haven't met yet. Unfortunately many of them weren't home! (can't blame them when there are very few trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood) But we still had fun!

I love these pics with Daddy!

Just chillin'.

Gage walked all the way around our block but was ready for a ride in the wagon by the end.

We don't eat much candy at our house, but these two seemed to know they scored tonight!