I found this picture of Mom & I a couple weeks ago, and couldn't help but notice how much my Kristie looks like me when I was a kid! Holy cow! Kind of neat because a lot of people who knew my Mom tell me how much I look like her - I absolutely love hearing that. (And if you didn't know, we named Kristie after my Mom.) Anyway, these pictures make me smile. =)
We graduated to a real tree this year! We've always been in apartments, so we've just used a tiny fake tree and called it good. But Dev found an awesome tree farm in Redmond, so we HAD to go get one! We all went together the day after Thanksgiving. It was SO much fun, and we wouldn't have had it any other way. Kristie just had so much fun she could hardly contain herself! She loved holding our hands and walking around the farm trying to find the perfect tree. We absolutely found a perfect one, took a tractor ride around the farm, then had free hot chocolate and candy canes afterwards. Such a fun day!
Dev on the hunt. =)
Jason cutting ours down!
All set and ready to go!
Devin's took like ten minutes to cut down - it was hilarious. He celebrated as soon as he was done!
We had a great Thanksgiving! The Duces held their big dinner the day after for the relatives coming from Idaho, so we had Thanksgiving dinner with my fam the day of. Love getting to spend so much time with both families! I only took a few pictures from the Frank dinner, and forgot my camera for the Duce dinner. =) Oh well. Two amazing dinners, two amazing families...I love the holidays!
Kristie and Uncle Dev enjoying our traditional cream cheese & chili sauce...YUMM...
Kristie and Aunt Leslie showing off their cute outfits. =)
We got some snow the week of Thanksgiving, which was way exciting! Dev & Leslie came over and took Kristie out sledding. I was fine with just watching and taking pictures. =) This was Kristie's first time sledding and she had a ball!!
Poor thing, I haven't gotten her snow stuff yet, so she was sporting last year's coat which is small, and my hat! Luckily we were handed down some snow boats, so that was great. =)
Notice her humongous smile! She was having soooo much fun. =)
I'll try to keep this simple and short - I could write a novel on how frustrating potty training has been, but I'll spare you. =) This was my facebook status the first day I started...
Candace Frank DuceDay one, hour 4 of potty training Kristie - completely unsuccessful and miserable. I already want to quit. Now, I know this was only 4 hours into it, but the book I was using was "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" and usually it takes a mere few hours to get success! Yikes, not for Kristie Duce. I did EVERYTHING by the book and it was absolutely not working. Using a doll that goes peepees to show Kristie how to do it, having Kristie "train" the doll, showing how the doll gets a reward (candy) for going in the potty, having Kristie ditch diapers and wear underwear around the hosue, giving her tooons of drinks and salty snacks to give her lots of chances to go, having her sit every FIFTEEN MINUTES, recording when she went, doing dry pants checks every 5 minutes...I mean, we did it ALL. It was just wet underwear after wet underwear all day long. And when they wet themselves, they're supposed to "practice" running to the potty, pulling their pants down, sitting down, standing right back up, and going to another place in the house and running back to the potty...TEN times...we only got to 5 times with a lot of tears. It was anything but pleasant.
After a week straight of all wet underwear, I was about ready to give up and put it on hold for another month or so. (She literally would wet herself just minutes after sitting down on the potty, so it was the most frustrating thing on the planet.) Then she went finally went peepees in the potty. So we kept trying. And since then it's been a good 5 or 6 times in the last couple weeks. Not very often and just here & there. Last night she went twice in a row so she's showing some progress!
So here's the pros - through that program you're supposed to let them do everything themselves. So she's a pro at putting on and taking off her underwear by herself. (Before this she had no idea what underwear was and how to dress herself.) And through all this we've learned her behaviors with having to go. Before she showed absolutely no signs of having to go and we had no choice but to sit her down constantly in hopes that she'd happen to go. But as of this week, she started doing the potty dance! Woooooo. So now we can just watch her and tell her she needs to sit when she starts marching and hopping around. (It's kinda cute.) So we're getting somewhere. I keep praying that she'll understand and just get it and go. But I need to be praying for patience and understanding. She'll get there. =)
The first picture and the one above was from the week after we started potty training and we were just exhausted and trying to stay sane at home. So Kristie and I made fruit loops necklaces that put a smile on our faces for awhile. =) The picture above reminds me of how Kristie just looooves "Baby Joel." I don't think she completely grasps that the baby inside mommy's tummy is going to come out and stay with us some day, but she sure talks about him and loves him. She loves to give him kisses and hugs and it's just the sweetest thing ever. =)
This was 3 weeks ago, so there'll be another one soon. =) Joel is QUITE a mover these days! It will never cease to amaze and fascinate me! Growing a baby inside of yourself is something you can't imagine or explain until you've been through it. I'm just so grateful I have the chance to go through this amazing life experience, to make a little home for a little baby for awhile and then bring it into the world to be with us for forever. My goodness, I can't wait to see what you look like, little one!
This has been a very smooth, uneventful pregnancy, thank goodness! I can only complain about being more tired this time around, since there's a toddler in the picture. And I'm having some back issues, which had started before I was pregnant with Joel, so it's naturally gotten worse with being pregnant. So I've started seeing a physical therapist and it's helping a little bit. Overall though, that's about it!!
My friend Mindy started up a little group doing "Letter Days." It's fabulous...we get together once a week to focus on one letter with our kids, starting with A, and we'll go through the whole alphabet together. This art project was from the first one for letter A where we talked about Autumn and made little sun catchers with leaves and melted crayon. We have so much fun every week!
Gorgeous, I must say!
And here's just a couple random cute Kristie pics. =)
...how grateful I am for this haircut. So easy to do and so stylish. I miss long hair lots of times, but love the functionality of this. I think I will appreciate it even more when there are two kiddos around the house. =) Thank you Jessica for the amazing job you always do!
Did you get to soak in yellow and orange leaves this year? We sure did - aw, I loved it. One day Kristie and I went over to Kate's house to play (where Leslie is a nanny) and just took some fun pictures in the backyard. This just happened to be one of the last really sunny days we had this year! And they just have SO much fun together...
This is darling little Kate.
My darling Kristie. =)
They had sooo much fun running around the yard together - it was adoooorable.
This is my absolute favorite. =)
And a picture perfect fall street in Kate's neighborhood. I would move to a house just for this in the fall! =)
Better late than never right? Gotta have this on the blog, so here it is. =) Halloween was a ball this year! We were house/kid sitting at the Duces for the week before, so we carved pumpkins there. Kristie took one look at the guts inside the pumpkin and said "Ew, gross." Then walked away and wouldn't come back! haha. Maybe next year she'll get into pumpkin carving. haha.
Dev & Leslie had a Halloween party which was a blast! It was them, us, the Hatches, Becky, the Shurtz and the Browers. We looove our friends! For part of it we carved pumpkins, so we did Jason's there.
These were all the finished products. =)
Day before Halloween was the trunk or treat at church, so we all got dressed up as Seahawks (which is truly dressing up for us, 'cause we aren't the biggest sports fans. teehee...) Kristie was a little confused as to why we were going around to the back of peoples cars in the the parking lot, in the dark, asking for candy. =) But she sure LOVED the huge bucket of candy she came home with. That night we also went to the Sorenson's for their annual Halloween party which was also a blast.
These were our family pumpkins - mine was the stork, Jason's was the scary one in the back, Kristie's was Winnie the Pooh and Joel's was Mickey Mouse. =)