Saturday, July 30, 2011

2 month old Kella

Kella turned 2 months old yesterday (Friday)! She is so sweet! She just loves to bhee held and she's really starting to pay attention to her brothers. She's smiling now and I can see a dimple on her left cheek. Her hair is what everyone notices-probably because it's red-mostly because it sticks up in an awesome mohawk. I like to say her hair is "exciting". She gives us a good stretch of sleep at night usually after mindnight to around 5 am. I find that I am watching a lot of reruns of a show called "Numbers" while I'm feeding her in the middle of the night. Recently, she's been trying hard to keep herself awake, in the evening, getting overtired and fighting sleep. Sleep wins in the end, but she puts up a good fight. Another thing, when Kella wakes up to eat at night, she goes right back to sleep-so nice! She eats whenever she wants which accounts for her stats: 13 pounds 4.5 ounces and 23 inches long. I hate to compare my "dainty" girl to her brothers, but I pulled out their baby books and discovered that she's right in the mix for 2 month Shaffer baby size. The amazing thing (at least to me) is that she has gained 2 pounds since July 6th. Our favorite pediatrician thinks she looks terrific and is very strong with great head control (all the tummy time Daddy gives her is paying off :-) ). What a blessing she is to our family and we are so thankful for her!

with Daddy

and with Mommy

a close-up of sweet Kella

a rare eyes-open photo. Don't you love her hair?

Happy 2 months old!

camping boys

One of the things Andy's been wanting to do with the boys is to take them camping. Last year, they "camped" in the backyard. This year, they went a step further and went to a nearby state park. Originally, they were going to camp in loaner tents, but a friend from church lent Andy his pop-up, air-conditioned camper. Nice. They boys were super-excited. They were so excited that they actually played a board game together in the camper without arguing. It was an overnight trip-Thursday to Friday. Thursday night they had their campfire and played at the campground park. Then it was back to the campsite to have s'mores. Cale and Marcus didn't have any because their stomachs were a little upset from having too much fun on the tire swing. From what I understand, everyone was in bed by 830. The camper opened up to have a bed on either end and 2 beds in the middle. (Sorry Mom, no pictures) Grandpa Jerry went with them. I stayed home with Liam and Kella.

Everything tastes better cooked over a campfire. They had hotdogs and some type of pie-sandwich made with bread and pie filling.

In the morning, the went hiking on the trails. Mounds State Park is called that because of Indian mounds in the park. I asked if they saw any and I think the answer was that they may have seen one. They got to go swimming after that and then packed up to come home. You could tell they were worn out. But, they had fun. I think, when asked, all the boys liked the camping food the best-and the swimming pool and playground. I don't think any of them thought the hiking was the best part, but, Ewan liked looking for the number 4-keeping them on the 4 trail.

I think this will become an annual tradition!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I forgot to include this story in our Chicago trip

(I forgot to include this story when I was posted the blog about going to Lincoln Park Zoo.)

We stayed in Schaumberg overnight after the cousins' reunion. I missed the window to low-ball an offer for hotel rooms on Priceline, so I looked on and found pretty good prices for 2 rooms. Turns out, the hotel was right across the street from IKEA and the mall. We did not get to go to either place. Bummer.
We split the fam into 2 teams. Team 1 was Andy, Marcus, Cale and Ewan. They took the room on the 5th floor. (I didn't even think to call the hotel and request adjoining rooms.) Team 2 was Liam, Kella and me in the 4th floor room. After the reunion, we came back to team 2's room, had a snack, managed to warm some milk for Ewan and Liam (giving the cups a hot water bath) and watch part of Despicable Me. After that, Andy took the bigger boys upstairs and Liam watched some more of the movie. When the battery ran out (it was our portable DVD player), I put Liam in the pack-n-play. He did great! He settled in with his blankie and pillow pet and went to sleep happily. I nursed Kella and she eventually fell asleep.
The rooms aren't soundproof, and I could here what sounded like kids playing in the next room and people running down the hallway. So, I kind of wasn't surprised when, around 1 am, the fire alarm went off. I wasn't too sure what to think, but I was a little skeptical. I had just finished feeding Kella, so I put her in her carseat and strapped her in case we needed to get out. I got my sandals on and made sure my purse and diaper bag where ready to go. I decided to let Liam sleep until I knew for sure what was going on. I looked in the hallway and didn't smell smoke and no one was running or yelling fire. Andy came down to my room with the boys. I said that I wasn't going anywhere unless it's neccessary. Andy decided to go downstairs to see what was going on and took Marcus and Cale with him. I'm sure they thought that this was a fun adventure. Ewan came into my room and fell asleep in one of the beds.
While Andy was gone, the alarms in our area shut off but I could still here them coming from another part of the hotel. I called the front desk (maybe I should have done that sooner) to ask what was going on. They said that their techinicians had isolated the problem and there was no fire. Andy came back up and collected Ewan and everyone went back to bed. Liam slept through all the noise. Maybe that's why he woke up at 530am the next morning ready to go. I can't remember why the fire alarms went off: it was either that someone broke a sprinkler head in their room or a flat iron somehow set it off.

And that is that :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

tummy times

Kella isn't the only one doing tummy time here. Liam, who is having a bit of jelousy, likes to do some tummy time, too. Ewan, who likes to hang all over his little sister, likes to just be right next to her. Good times. At least she's entertained.

Just sporting personalized pants :-)

Andy did the RAIN ride again!

Another year, another RAIN ride completed by Andy. It's a one day bike ride from Terre Haute to Richmond, Indiana-160 miles in all. That's a long ride anyway and then you have to remember that it is the middle of July. Oh, and the last half of the ride has some brutal hills to bike up, and there was a wind this year that the riders were biking into. Andy, Kella and I went down the night before (Grammy Pammy and Aunt Eileen came to watch the boys) so we could drop Andy off at the start at 7am. Here is the beginning (or "before") picture...

Here is sidekick Kella. She did great! She slept when I drove from stop to stop and then woke up to eat and look around. Unfortunately, she decided to be wide awake the entire ride back home from Richmond-about 2 hours. She was unhappy and I was unhappy and tired. Not a fun ride back.

There's Andy crossing the finish line!

The "after" picture. He doesn't look too tired! :-) We already have the date for next year's ride. I'm bringing all the kids. We're going to make posters and bring noisemakers like cowbells to ring at all the rest stops. It will be crazy great!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

family pictures

So, maybe you've seen the previous posts and figured out that we went to Decatur earlier this month. We did fun things like go to the childrens' museum, go to a zoo, had a baby shower for Kella-all things you can read about on this blog. What follows is some more pictures from our time in Decatur for your viewing pleasure :-)

the boys love the trampoline at Grammy Linda's

Andy's grandparents got to meet Kella, and Liam too!

more trampoline time

Andy's grandparents with the great-gran kiddos

time with Grammy Linda

It only took a week, but here are the cousins actually playing a board game together. Honestly, they made it through almost the entire game before someone thought an injustice was done. How cute are they all playing together!(it's Junior Clue)

Aunt Kim and Kella

and Kella with Mommy!

my favorite pose-the cousins on the couch!-Marcus, Savannah holding Liam, Cassie holding Kella, Ewan, Cale and Marie (holding down the dog-not in the picture)

one last photo op with Grammy Linda and then it was time to head back to Indiana.

a night of VBS

The last night in Decatur, we took the boys to the first night of Sunnyside's VBS. It was an Australian theme and the boys got to keep their hats they are wearing in these photos. I think the boys had fun. I also think they just liked being with their cousins. I spent most of my time in the nursery with Kella and then with Liam who wasn't having any of that sitting for arts and crafts and singing!

Cale and Marcus


Liam on a step ladder. He did not want to sit with everyone else.-typical

Liam and Ewan on stage participating the the skit of people being healed at the pool. Chris led the skit and I thought it was a bold move to pick Liam to participate. Liam didn't have a clue what was going on and just wanted to wander around on stage. He got up after this picture and took himself off, stage right.

Kella got a baby shower

Again, while we were in Decatur, Grammy Linda and Aunt Kim hosted an open house/baby shower for Kella. Ladies from Sunnyside came to meet the newest Shaffer grandbaby. I made sure she was passed around. I love having people willing to hold the baby. Kella got a ton of clothes and diapers. She is one spoiled little girlie and she doesn't even know it! The cake was very goo and the little frosting baby on the cake was cute. No one wanted to eat the baby, though, that would have been wierd. Well, Kella's wardrobe is well stocked, that's for sure. It was fun getting to see the ladies and watching them love on Kella.

quick trip to Chicago

We took a quick side trip up to Chicago while we were in Illinois. We went up for the annual cousins' reunion for my side of the family. We spent the night and on Sunday took the kids to Lincoln Park Zoo. It was hot and the boys complained until we got into the zoo and saw the tiger in its exhibit. Then, it was all good. Until they were hungry-then we had more drama. So we fed the crew and Liam had an apporx 45 min meltdown. I'm sure everyone else in the zoo cafe liked hearing it. We did sit back in a corner where no one else was sitting. After eating we walked through another animal house, rode the merry-go-round and called it a day. We were hot and sweaty and ready to go back to Decatur. In the end, the boys did like the museum. I know they liked the tiger, the monkeys and the seals they saw. I know we did not see everything, but the cool thing is that Lincoln Park Zoo is free-you just pay to park. With that in mind, I didn't feel bad about possibly not walking around the whole zoo. We got back to Decatur and the cousins were all excited to see each other again even though we had only been gone a day and a half. It was very cute to see how excited they were to see each other.

These pictures are stacked kind of crazy. On the merry-go-round, Cale was super-excited to ride the black panther. Ewan rode with Andy on the bench animal and Marcus rode a tiger. Liam was sleeping in his stroller. I guess the lunch-time tantrum wore him out. Kella was sleeping, too.

The end result of the zoo: 3 tired, awake, hot boys; 2 sleeping children. Andy was able to put Liam into the car without him waking up. Of course, he woke up as soon as he heard his brothers voices-probably arguing about something. I call this trip a success! I'm glad we did it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

trip to the Children's Museum

We went back to Illinois after the 4th of July. We got to spend Marcus's birthday there and just spend time hanging out with family. While we were there, we took the kids to the Children's Museum in Decatur. It is one of my favorite things to do and we like it better than the Indianapolis Children's Museum because 1)it is much more hands on-the kids can play with everything 2) you can stand in one spot on the first floor and see the entire area and 3) it is so much less expensive than the Indy museum-a family can actually afford to go here. It was Liam's first time going when he would actually get to play with things. Thanks to the coupons from Kim, we only had to pay for one person to get in.

Outside at the whipsering discs.

Liam's favorite thing on the first floor. I spend extra time with him there while everyone else went upstairs. The first floor is great because of all the hands-on features for the kids to explore.

Ewan worked on a car with Savannah and Uncle Chris.

Marcus and Marie worked on a news report on location-they appeared on a screen with a background behind them.

Cale and Marcus reporting other news. Cale is putting on a tie. The news area was really cool. Marcus, Cale, Marie and Cassie spent a good amount of time playing in there with the cameras, putting out "news reports".

While we were there, who walked in but Uncle Jim, Aunt Courtney and Xander. It was Xander's first time at the museum, too, and I think he really liked it. Plus, Jim got to meet Kella for the first time. Kella did fine at the museum. She slept and ate and fell back asleep. The kids got to play for a couple hours before they started falling apart. Then we went back to Chris and Kim's for lunch and naps/rest. One of my favorite things is how well all the cousins play together. I love seeing them get along. I hope they are always special to each other.

that joy in my heart

Liam loves this song! We get a kick out of how he does the movements whenever anyone starts singing the lyrics. He gets super-excited about it, too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

more pics from Marcus's birthday (mostly of Kella being held...)

lots of kids eating

Aunt Bitsy and Kella

the "2009-ers"-Liam and Abbie

Aunt Courtney and Kella

the baby cousins-Jacob and Kella

Lanny and Kella