Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beautiful day in the neighborhood...

While we had a WONDERFUL summer, it's also great to be HOME...  One of the things that the girls enjoy the most about being back home is getting to play outside in the neighborhood...  Ellie has just learned to ride a bike, so she LOVES to get out and do that as much as possible.  But she also loves to play with "the kids" as she affectionately calls them, though almost every kid in the neighborhood is older than she is!  Above is one of our cute neighbors named Kinsley...  Here is a pic of El catching a ride with her on one the neighbors electric cars.  She has to enjoy theirs cause we only have ones that she has to peddle herself!  Ha!
Below is Ellie's new pride and joy...  Her PRINCESS BICYCLE and matching helmet...  She is learning to master "bumps" or aka... cracks in the sidewalk.  Her Daddy and I are trying to help her gain a little confidence to peddle up hills and make sure and put on the brakes when she is going downhill. :)  She is getting better by the day!
Alexa has been a little bummed that SHE is not big enough to ride a bike.  She tries so hard to reach the peddles of Ellie's tricycle, and she looks pretty cute sitting on it, but unfortunately for her, her little legs are still just a few inches shy of reaching.  So, for this year, she will just have to be content with riding along in the stroller!
This pic doesn't necessarily fit the theme, but had to add it in there!  Alexa got her hands on Ellie's priness crown from her birthday and had to try it on for size.  Isn't she a little doll?
And last, but not least, this is usually how we end our days...  In the bathtub!  They play hard and have the dirt to show for it at the end of the day, that's for sure!  But the good thing is all that playing makes them champion sleepers at night as well! :)  Loving the summer days and being back home in the neighborhood!

St. Louis Zoo!

"On the road again!"  This was Ellie's theme song through the summer months as we would pack up and hit the road!  From Manhattan to Kentucky to Alabama to Florida and through many other states on our summer adventure down to our summer KALEO project!  She would often burst into song when we would pack up the suitcases an get buckled into the van...  Well on the final leg of our trip back to Kansas, we decided to make one more pit stop before we reached home...  or our "green house" as Ellie calls it. :)  We were about 6 hours from our final destination when we passed a sign for the St. Louis Zoo!  The girls are at a really fun age for field trips like this, so we made a last minute decision to stop!  We are so glad we did.  It ended up being a fun family memory!  Here are a few pictures from our 2 hour tour of the zoo!
Family Photo Op at the Zoo!

Mom and Alexa Joy
We had to get a few pics at this statue!  It actually brough back some fun memories.  My brother Joe and I took a spring break trip to this zoo together the year after I got out of college and he was a junior.  We have a couple cute pics right at this spot!  Unfortunately, Alexa wasn't quite so fond of it.  You might not be able to tell from the pictures, but she was stiff and trembling!  Scared her to pieces!!!  And can you find Ellie in the above pic?  She was hiding. :)
Ellie looking at a cool frog!
Ellie is turning out to be a lot more like her Daddy than her Mommy in the arena of loving animals!  I am okay with animals, but Joel and Ellie LOVE them...  So, she is always enthralled with every exhibit and wants to tell me ALL about each one.  Pretty cute, actually.  :)
Playing Vanna - showing off the huge snake!

Gotta take time to cool down at the mister!
It was a very warm day, and our girls are definitely hot blooded!  So they would take every opportunity to run through the misters that were strategically placed throughout the zoo!!! 
Daddy and his girls!
Though we didnt' have time to make it through the whole zoo, it was a great place to stop and stretch our legs and get out of the van for a while!!!  Lots of great memories at the St. Louis Zoo! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A few fun pics...

First, a 15 month Alexa update! Took her in for her 15 month appt today and here are her stats!

Weight: 21 lbs. 4 oz - 20th percentile

Height - 30.5 inches - 50th percentile

Head circumference - 46.5 cm - 70th percentile

Both of my girls seem to have small bodies and big heads! Ha! :)

Poor Alexa had to have her 1-year shots today cause we left for KALEO before she actually turned 1, so they wouldn't do them back in May. She was a trooper, but it always is so painful to watch them go from happy to this look of "Mom, what are you letting them do to me???" Always makes me a little sad. :(

Ellie and Alexa have both become pretty avid readers lately! I love looking over to find one of the girls has picked up a book! Ellie has many of them memorized, so it has the appearance that she is actually READING it cause she will have all the words down pat.

This picture was from was from our time in Kentucky! Both of the girls just LOVE to be outside, so when it's too hot or raining, etc... they look longingly at the outdoors! Especially now that Ellie is riding a bike. She'd be outside riding ALL the time if she could!!! (pics of that to come soon!)... But I thought this pic was too cute to pass up. Can't you just feel the sister love? :)

We seem to spend a LOT of time at the kitchen table these days. For two different reasons... Alexa LOVES to eat and so she wants to be eating all the time. Ellie does NOT love to eat, so it takes us forever to get her to focus and get some food down her! Ha! Ellie usually tries to sneak her food to Alexa so she doesn't have to eat it herself. I keep telling Ellie that if she doesn't eat, Alexa will soon be bigger than her!

Another one of Ellie's pasttimes is trying to do everything Mommy does. She will often say "Mommy, I'm copyin' you!" Wow, what a reminder that these little ones watch every move and listen to every word. I want to be a Momma who is worthy to have a little girl walk in my shoes... I know I am far from perfect, but I am thankful that God continues to give me these little reminders...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alexa is 15 months... ALREADY!!!

Sweet Alexa Joy is 15 months!!! We had to start off her 15 month birthday saying goodbye to Papa Richard and Nana Becky after a fun 6 day stay together!

Joel and I had a staff conference, so Papa and Nana graciously offered to come and stay with the girls for a few days and they all had such a great time! It was my first time away from Alexa, so I was a little sad at first, but it was much easier than I had anticipated because she did so well while we were away!
Alexa is a girl of many expressions! And we just LOVE it! She can't say many words yet, but this little one DEFINITELY gets her point across. You very rarely have to wonder what she is thinking or feeling or try to figure out what it is that she wants. She has her ways of letting you know! :) One of my new favorite things that she does is if Ellie or some other circumstance frustrates her, she puffs out her nose kind of like a bull does right before he charges. Do you know what I mean? It's so funny! I need to catch it on video cause it's hard to get the full effect just explaining it. But I think she was doing it in the picture above. :)

Now this picture is of my FAVORITE Alexa face. She just has the CUTEST little thing she does with her lips. She gives you this smirk that absolutely melts your heart!!! Her eyes light up and it's like she looks right into your soul. She is a charmer, for sure!!!

And does this girl have some HAIR!!! It has gotten so thick and long over the last 3 months... It's incredible. It has this really pretty wave to it. I'm excited for it to get long enough to put into pigtails!!! Though, neither of my girls are huge fans of getting their hair fixed. If I wrestle some sort of bow or pony into their hair, it is usually out within 15 minutes. So, not usually worth the effort unless we are going to church or are going to be taking a picture or something. :)

Here are some other FUN FACTS about our 15 month old...

  • She still only has a few words that she says... "Momma, Daddy, hi, bye, uh-oh" are the most common things you will hear! Though she is really good at trying to imitate what you say to her. She babbles ALL the time, so it won't be long and we'll have TWO girls talking our ears off.. :) (which I love, by the way)

  • She is quite the go-getter!!! A mover and a shaker now that she has learned to walk and run! She took her first unassisted steps on July 1st and now that she is mobile, it seems like her whole personality is changing! She has become so much more outgoing and independent. Our cuddlebug no longer even likes to be held! She wants to be on the move.

  • EATER!!! This word describes Alexa to a tee... She EATS a TON! You'd never know it by her petite little frame, but this girl can pack away the food. :) She will make growling noises or cry if she sees you eating something and you don't share it with her!

  • TEETH - Alexa still just has TWO bottom teeth!!! I know, 15 months old and just 2 little teeth, but her top front teeth are beginning to make an appearance and I think will break all the way through in the next week or so. :)

  • Alexa LOVES her sister! It's so fun to see them becoming better and better friends by the day. They have their moments, but overall, they just light up when they see each other. Alexa follows Ellie around everywhere and Ellie could't be a more proud big sister.

  • Alexa is a KISSER. SO CUTE! She is always quick to pucker up with her little fish face and lean over to give you a smooch!

  • She LOVES when you read to her!!! Multiple times a day she will bring you a book and then back her little self up to you and plop down on your she's saying "okay, read to me!" I love it!

Alexa Joy Johnson, we are totally smitten with you sweet girl! So thankful for your first 15 months!