Mr. Cade- This little man is 22 months and growing, growing, growing! Well, maybe not so much physically, he's still as little as ever, but he has this huge personality to make up for it. He is learning so fast and surprises us every single day. His vocabulary has really taken off in the last month. He's at that fun age where he tries to repeat every word and gesture we say. The first thing out of his mouth almost every morning is, "Where's Ebba?" He thinks Ella hung the moon and wants to be where she is, doing what she is doing. He loves cars, trucks, anything fast. He enjoys throwing any kind of ball around, and though he knows the difference between a baseball, basketball, soccer ball, etc, he thinks a football is called a "Cowboys!" He walks all over this house, yelling, "Go, Cowboys!" and everytime he sees a football game on TV, he squeals and says, "Go, Cowboys!" You can imagine his daddy's delight. It is too much! He is so busy and always into something; throwing things in the toilet and hiding Ella's most prized possessions are two of his favorite pastimes. He loves adventure and danger and thinks nothing of leaping off the top stair or the back of the couch. We have to keep a careful eye on him. For all his wildness though, he is such a little cuddlebug and pretty possessive of his momma's lap. And he will give hugs, kisses, and say "duv do" (love you) all day long. Chris and I crack up at bedtime, because once Ella and Cade are in their beds, they will spend five minutes calling out to each other- "Love you, Cade!", "Duv do, Ebba!" then "Night, night, Cade!", "Ni-Ni, Ebba!" It's straight out of the Walton's, but it's pretty adorable. We are crazy about the little guy and cannot believe he will be turning two in two short months!
Miss Ella- Our little diva is still spirited and determined as ever, yet we have seen so much change in her in the last couple months. I feel like she is finally growing out of the defiant toddler stage (yes, it lasted a long time for her!) and becoming an obedient and respectful, little girl. We have been talking a lot lately about how God wants us to have a right response and a cheerful heart, even when we don't want to do something. It makes us proud when we see her struggle with a decision, and then choose to obey. She loves helping out with small jobs around the house, especially in the kitchen. She has told us repeatedly that she wants to be a "cooker" when she grows up and open her own restaurant. She really gives it a lot of thought, coming up with names for it and all kinds of different menu items. Then, in her next breath, she will say, "Well, I want to be a cooker, but maybe I'll be a doctor or dancer, too." She takes her job as Big Sis very seriously and enjoys teaching Bubby everything she knows. And though she and Cade have their moments, for the most part, she is very nurturing and patient with him. She loves preschool and is so excited to start kindergarten in the fall. She is just a little sponge when it comes to learning anything new and she is ready, even though it makes us a little sad to realize she is growing up so fast. She told me the other day, "Mom, I don't want Cade to turn two. I just want him to stay one forever!" I said, "Well, I don't want you to turn five. I want you to stay four forever!" She laughed and said, "Mom, I can't do that! You know I have to grow up. There are all kinds of things I have to do." And I'm sure she is right. I know God has big plans for this thoughtful, little girl with an iron will and a heart that wants to please.
Chris- I've said it before and I'll say it forever- my husband is the hardest working man I know. And as of last week, his hard work has finally paid off. I'm excited to say that Chris is now the official plant manager of the Cincinnati Sonoco plant. YAAAYY! We are pretty thrilled. This is what he has been working so hard for for the last nine years. And though he still has a few rough months ahead of him, especially until he hires the replacement for his previous job, we're hopeful that things will eventually slow down and he may have a little more time at home. I'm looking forward to that time and am just so proud of him! Our minds are a little more at peace, too, because now we know we are staying put and won't be moving anytime soon, at least not for a few years. That is such a nice feeling.
Me- Still loving being a mommy and watching these little kiddos grow and change every day. Yes, they test me, they challenge me, but they make me laugh all the time, and I find that I'm constantly learning new things about myself. I feel very blessed to have a job that allows me to stay home with my kids through the week. However, I don't want to do what I'm doing forever. I understand how nurses get burned out, and, physically and emotionally, I'm ready for a change. I've applied to the FNP program at University of Cincinnati and am anxiously waiting to hear back. If I'm accepted, I will start in January of next year and finish in 24 months. I've given it a lot of prayerful thought, and though it would be a lot of work, I think it's the right step for me and for us. I think I would love it and and it will open a lot of doors, plus, once I'm finished, I would have a "regular schedule". We'd have more time to travel and see family, our kids could be involved in things on the weekends, we'd have more holidays together- all things we want for our family in the future. So keep your fingers crossed for me!
All this being said, 2011 will be a busy year for us. Chris' new job, Ella starting kindergarten, me preparing for grad school. Did I mention that we're expecting a NEW BABY?!! Ella and Cade will have a new little brother or sister in July. We're almost four months along. We're super excited, so very thankful, a little overwhelmed. Our little surprise blessing. We know God already holds the plans for this little life in His hands, and trust that His timing is perfect. Our families are thrilled. Ella is happy and wishes she didn't have to wait so long to meet him/her. Cade doesn't really know, but he loves on my tummy and yells, "Hi, Baby!" into my belly button all the same. Makes my heart melt. So we are looking happily toward the future. It's going to be a full and exciting year!