Friday, June 22, 2018

Birthdays, Tea Party, and Biscuits

The Sunday that the whole family was in town we decided to have a big celebration for the 4 littles for their birthdays. With Jonah's birthday in April and Holden's in August, and the girls in between, their birthdays all happen within 4 months of each other. We ordered pizzas and salads and spread out all over the house and patio (all 23 people!)

We bought cupcakes from Target and set the kids up to sing happy birthday. Clara dug right in to hers and clearly enjoyed the icing. :)

My mom, sister, and aunt were on top of things and had gifts for the kids to open. Which was of course the most exciting thing!

Me and my Grama. 94 years old and she knows how to party. And of course she enjoyed a cupcake because why not??

My poor brother arrived in TN with some really bad back problems- he's not sure if/how he pulled something, but he was having a really hard time getting around. Originally we had planned to have him sleep on an air mattress in the bonus room, but that would have been too uncomfortable, so we pulled out one of the futons in the main room each evening for him. Which of course meant not much sleep for him since at least one of the kids was up early. And the boys especially wanted to climb all over him.

My mom decided to plan a little early birthday celebration for Noelle at the American Girl Store in their cafe. We had an afternoon tea complete with little sandwiches, tiny desserts, and tea (or lemonade for the birthday girl), as well as chairs for our old school American Girl dolls to sit in. Despite Noelle not being much of a doll person she had an absolute blast!

She wore her birthday tiara with pride, dressed up in one of her fancier dresses, and the only "sandwich" she ate was the muffins.

Clara did really well for being there for about two hours, and was mostly entertained by the tiny teacups and plates that were given to her and the dolls.

That evening, we took the whole crew (minus Luke who volunteered to stay home with Clara) to Loveless Cafe for food. Luke ate there with his family when we all came down in 2014, but I stayed behind with a then four month old cranky Jonah. Then when we came in November to look at houses, we went so I could taste the goodness that is Loveless Cafe. There were 18 of us for a 6:45 p.m. seating, but they were ready for us and our waiter was full of southern hospitality. After we ordered, my sister and I took the kids out front to burn off some energy until our food came!

After we stuffed ourselves with biscuits, fried chicken, salad, and waffles for my Grama, we hung out outside for a little bit to say good night to everyone, and then headed to our respective beds.

It was a full day for sure, but Noelle felt super loved celebrating her birthday early, and all the West coasters and my immediate family got to experience the deliciousness of Loveless Cafe.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

TEN Years

Our 10th anniversary. That right there makes me feel OLD.

Ten years of learning about each other, learning how to be married, learning how to live together, learning the ins and outs of insecurities and struggles, learning to laugh when life with littles just gets bonkers. Learning the age old lesson of communication. 

ah, so young and free

I am so incredibly thankful for God's work in each of our lives and in our marriage. Luke was my favorite on the day of our marriage, and I can say without a doubt he's even more my favorite now. 

As a brief break from jotting down our Perrault reunion memories, I want to dedicate today's memories to when Luke and I were able to sneak away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. My mom stayed after everyone else left so that we could head on down to Chattanooga. Now, rewind to two years ago when we were celebrating our eighth anniversary and we thought it would be fun to celebrate our tenth in Europe. Yup, little did we know we'd have an almost one year old (though that was most definitely my hope and prayer!), or that we would no longer be living in MD!

finally heading off on our adventure!

So after Luke delivered some of the family to the airport on Saturday morning, and then took our cat to the emergency vet (because of course she managed to get herself into some sort of mess right before we were going somewhere), we drove on down to Chattanooga. 

Our plan for the few days we were there were mostly to just chill and really just do whatever we felt like doing. By the time we got to our hotel, it was 8:30 (7:30 central time, but Chattanooga is just over the line into the Eastern time zone) and we were ready for dinner. But of course nothing but fast food was open, and I still try to eat mostly healthy when we're out, so to Walmart we went. Super classy for the beginning of an anniversary trip. :)

Our first full day was Sunday and we headed downtown to walk around. We wandered around what seemed like a businessy area, as well as right around the aquarium.  We drove to another part of town to eat at a place called Bread and Butter which most definitely caters to vegans, but we both got delicious sandwiches and a yummy cookie. After lunch we wandered around the nearby mall, and went to the movies to see the latest Star Wars movie. (And also the first movie we've seen together since Clara was born!)

The next day we started off at Lookout Mountain to do the tour of Ruby Falls. It's an underground cave with one of the biggest underground waterfalls. After grabbing lunch, we went to the North Shore part of town, and as soon as we parked the car and paid, a thunderstorm hit and we took cover for about 10 minutes waiting for it to pass. It tapered off a little and we dashed to a coffee shop where we sat for about two hours so I could read and Luke could work on some coding. It was so peaceful. And so nice. And so not ever how are lives look now.

Tuesday morning we checked-out of the hotel, and started for home. But since my mom wasn't expecting us back until evening, we headed into Franklin to wander around downtown, ate lunch at Puckett's, got ice cream, and then drove to Carnton Plantation to look around the grounds. We decided not to do the actual paid tour of the garden and house, but we could still walk around part of the property reading about the Civil War battle that took place there. 

The long weekend was filled with delicious food, slowing down and just being together, leisurely eating, we binge watched the final season of Parks and Rec, we slept in past 6:30. It was beautiful, and maybe not exactly how we imagined celebrating our 10th anniversary, but it was good. All we wanted was to just have some time with each other without distractions, and that's what we got.

I'm thankful for 10 years and all that God has done in that time! (And praying for many, many more years together!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Beginning of the Reunion

The day after Mom and Dad W left to go spend time with the other TN Wiedemans, my sister and her boyfriend arrived from CO. It was my first time meeting Austin, and I'm SO glad that I finally got to! And lucky him, he got to meet literally everyone in our family in a few days time. After they got in on Thursday night, Luke and I went to the airport to pick up my mom and Holden. Once we got home, it was time to get the kids cooled down in our little backyard pool!

cousins reunited!

On Saturday morning, we had some time before everyone else would be arriving, so we took my mom and Holden to The Factory. Definitely our go-to for something fun to do! The farmer's market is on Saturdays, so we got Ellie's Donuts from the food truck and enjoyed those outside before wandering around inside.

I'm pretty sure in the course of the week that everyone was here, we got donuts four times. I mean, how can you go wrong with donuts? :)

It was so good having the four cousins together and Holden fit right in. Running around with them, playing in the water, and he LOVED Clara! She at this point has learned to just push people away when she doesn't want the attention. But Holden was always so sweet with her! I really miss that kid and watching him grow up!

I'm so thankful for the week that we had and for the time that these kids got with each other. I only saw my two cousins every so often when we were growing up, and now that's how it will be for our kids with their Perrault cousins. I so hope that they see each other often enough to always jump right back in to their friendships with one another.

The rest of the family- my Grama, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and dad all arrived throughout the day on Saturday and we ended the evening with a cook-out. Our house was loud and chaotic and it made my heart happy to have everyone together. I can only imagine how my Grama must have felt being able to see her entire family gathered in one place! It happens so rarely, and she's 94 so I hope that this trip was good for her!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day 2018

Happy Father's day to Luke! and my dad! and Dad W!

Luke had an early morning today to go help with setup at church. I had planned on just meeting him there, but they finished quickly so he came back home, and was able to come to Starbucks with us. :) Noelle had her sugar cookie, Jonah his donut cake pop, and I got my vanilla sweet cream cold brew. Then we headed off to church for a great sermon that I was able to hear the entirety of because Clara was in nursery!

I made very last minute plans on Friday for Luke to spend a few hours at a vintage arcade game place a few towns over. I texted with my sister-in-law to see if Luke's brother would want to join in, so now they're out there hopefully having some kid-free fun! And hopefully I'll make it out to the store to buy steak so Luke can grill himself some yummy dinner!

I asked the kids some fun questions about Daddy in honor of today!

Noelle (age: almost 6)

My dad's name is Luke.
My dad is 32 years old.
He is as big as a baby tree.
His favorite food is cereal.
His favorite color is blue.
He is good at playing games on the upstairs t.v.
He likes to go to the zoo!
For fun he likes to play with all of us.
My favorite thing to do with my dad is play games.
I love my dad because he is the best dad!

Jonah (age: 4)

My dad's name is Luke.
My dad is 22 years old.
He is as big as an elephant.
His favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs.
His favorite color is purple.
He is good at work.
He likes to go to the mall?
For fun he likes to race with me!
My favorite thing to do with my dad is race around with him.
I love my dad because he plays with me.

Luke, we are so thankful for you! You are a great dad- the calm when I'm frustrated, the voice of reason when I worry, the example of hard work and love for the Lord, and the one who can turn whining and complaining into giggles!

Friday, June 15, 2018

The First of Lots of Family Visits!

Phew! The last three weeks have been full of family! It's been fun and busy and crazy and I let myself get a little stressed and anxious, but now that everyone is gone, I miss them and just want them to all come back!

Luke's parents came for about a week right when Noelle finished school, so they got to be here for her kindergarten graduation. It was so good to be with them after not having seen them since we left MD at the beginning of January.

It was a mostly chill week, although the Friday they were here got a little stressful for me so I was thankful they were here. Jonah had a fever on and off all day that day, Clara was getting fussy, Noelle had her last day of school and I knew I couldn't really take them anywhere since Jonah was sick. So we ended up driving up to Franklin to say hi to Luke, and he got to show his mom and dad around his office. We hung out for a little bit, and then we stopped by The Factory on our way home. We grabbed Chick Fil A for dinner, and then Luke didn't get home till after midnight because of a deadline at work. The combo of sick child, fussy baby, and long work day for Luke was stressful, but having Mom and Dad W was so helpful!!

Jonah's sick face while visiting daddy

and Clara's happy to be out of the house face

That Saturday we met up with Caleb and my niece at the zoo, which was of course fun for the kids! Noelle especially just takes charge and loves to lead the way to the next animal. Jonah's favorite of course is the rope bridge, which he gladly took Grandpa across three times.

Luke and I got to escape for an afternoon date on Sunday, and we tried the Thai sushi place in our town, which we liked a lot! Our first date since moving! And quite possibly our first date since Clara was born?? We planned for Caleb and Debbie to come over for Memorial Day, but of course Noelle woke up with a fever and was down for the count, so they stayed home to avoid the germs.

escaping the littles!
Mom and Dad W were able to spend a little bit of time with a realtor looking at different areas/houses to get an idea of where they might want to buy! Hopefully they get down here soon!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kindergarten Graduate

Our almost six year old is DONE with kindergarten. We could not be more proud of Noelle and all that she has accomplished this year! Especially amidst all the changes and living in three different places (MD house, my parent's, TN house) during the school year, she more than rocked it!

She had a really fun last week of school, including a trip to Dairy Queen on Wednesday with the class so her teacher could treat all of them to some yummy ice cream. I drove all three of my kids and one of the other little girls over to Dairy Queen, and they all sat together getting the occasional reminder from their teacher to keep their voices down. Jonah even got treated to some ice cream, AND invited back to the classroom to have some juice afterwards. His little sugar loving heart enjoyed that!

Last Thursday was a half day of school for the kindergarten class so that they could get ready for graduation that night! We ate a quick dinner, got her dressed, and snapped a few pictures of her wearing her cap and gown. I love that they had a cap and gown to wear- it simultaneously made them seem grown up, but also captured how little and cute they all still are!

The little ceremony started with them walking down the aisle to 'Pomp and Circumstance', which almost had me crying, and then they did a whole bunch of their chants and songs with facts and Bible verses that they've learned all year! Each child had a speaking part they said by themselves, and then the whole class did the chants. I was again impressed with how much they've learned!

They all walked across the stage to get their diploma, and each kindergartner received a Bible with their name engraved on the front. It's such a precious present, and Noelle was SO excited for hers. She held on to it for the rest of the night, and was eager to find words she could read and underline verses she's learned this past year. The grand finale was the whole class dancing down the aisles to Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'- adorable, hilarious, and so fun for them! They ended the evening with cake and finger foods!

Her last day of school was a half day on Friday, and it was full of fun with an awards ceremony, yearbook signing, and ice cream from Andy's frozen custard. I ran out to pick her up while Luke's parents stayed home with the other two, and after a hug for her teacher, we headed home and chatted about how much fun she had at school all year. As soon as we pulled in to our garage, she started crying and said she already missed school! She has a folder full of papers to work on over the summer, and has already pulled it out a couple of times.

first day
last day
Now it's summer break and we're enjoying the next few weeks with family, and then hopefully lots of trips to the zoo, the farm, the pool, and any other fun places we can find!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Clara Irene: 11 Months

e.l.e.v.e.n. MONTHS! What and how? May 24th marks ONE month till my baby is a year old, and my oldest graduates from Kindergarten today! How is this possible??

(also, I attempted twice to take her monthly pictures and she was NOT having it either time!)

We're at a weird stage where I LOVE how she interacts with us and hearing her giggles and the fact that she sleeps through the night (mostly!) But she also seems to need a nap early on in the day unless we're out doing things, and even then, sometimes she ends up being the one calling the shots because she's just fussy and I know she wants to nap, but just won't if she's not in her carseat or crib. Oh life with a baby.

Height and Weight: Sitting her on the scale at home, she is 16.6 pounds. And no idea on length, but this is my reminder that I should schedule her one year well-check!

Diapers and Clothing: She's steadily hanging out in size 2 diapers, though we may need to start going with a bigger size for night time. I did have to buy a box of size 2 diapers, which I think is the first box of diapers I've had to purchase for her since people were so generous and gave us so many diapers at her baby shower! Clara fits best in to 6-9 month clothes, but can also rock a 6 month onsie no problem. I need to go through her dresser and pull out all the size 6 month clothes that are for colder weather because those will not be used any longer. :(

Sleep: Overall her sleep at night is great! She woke up the other night and fussed for a bit until Luke went in and sat with her while she drank a bottle. I'm pretty sure she's teething and that's why, but after Jonah keeping us awake two nights before it feels rough when little people are disrupting your sleep. Naps are kind of all over, and with all our family coming in over the next few weeks, there's not much chance of getting into a summer routine yet. But hopefully eventually I can get her a somewhat consistent nap!

Eating: This girl loves food, and will easily down a pouch of veggies/fruit. She loves eating cheerios, sometimes raisins, crackers, blueberries, grapes, and she'll often eat bits of whatever I'm eating. She takes 4-5 bottles of 4-5 ounces of formula and it's so nice that she can hold it to feed herself now. I can finish getting ready in the morning, or tidy up while she's drinking. Or since we're on the go so much she'll drink a bottle in the car. She does get tummy troubles pretty easily, so I try to make sure she's getting a lot of fiber and liquids, and have been giving her a bottle with pear juice and water to help things.

Social/Milestones: Her big thing this month has been pulling herself up. She's not consistent, but she's done it a few times, including the Target shopping cart twice. She also rolls around all the time, and scoots like a pro. She recently started waving to people, and still loves to clap when we say "yay!" She loves the water, and went in the pool for the first time. We have a little float she can sit in, and she LOVED it! Still only has her two bottom teeth, but I think her top ones must be coming soon! We left her in church nursery last week, and she survived and wasn't even crying when I picked her up, just needed to be held for the last little bit by a nursery helper. She says "mamamama", sometimes "ba", "ah", and probably a few other sounds when she's getting fussy.

Likes: She is definitely a water baby at this point! She goes from fussy to happy when we put her in the bath, and she wildly kicked her legs with delight the first time I put her in the float in the pool. Jonah and Noelle can usually make her laugh, and she thinks it's hysterical when she "chases" them around the house (aka Luke or I holding her and running over them.)

Dislikes: She doesn't like being tired or having teeth come in, but who would really?

Fun things: It was a fun month with lots of end of the school year happenings and mom events with our church. She came to the second part of Noelle's field trip for lunch at the playground, a little fair at the nearby assisted living place for their grand opening, a church picnic at a farm, playing in our baby pool and the neighborhood pool, library events, Friday morning Bible study, the Franklin Rodeo parade, her first mother's day outside of the womb, the zoo, and more!

Pictures from the month:

We love our Clara Irene!