Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Wedding!

This past Saturday, Jeremy's little sister got married. Kennedy and Ansley were both flower girls again, along with our niece Chelsea. They made the cutest little trio of flower girls! We were just happy that Ian and I could attend, considering that Ian's due date was the day before the wedding! We are very glad he came early! Although he had no job in the wedding, he did look awful cute in his "tux."

Kennedy and Ansley sure do love their little brother. Today Ansley and I were looking at Ian together and she put her arms around me and said "I really like Ian. He's my very best boy!" They are constantly smothering, I mean, kissing and hugging him, and always asking if they can hold him. We have found many papers around the house that say "I love Ian" written by Kennedy.

Speaking of Kennedy, her last day of school before break is tomorrow, and then Thursday we are heading up to Peoria for just under a week. My entire family will be together for Christmas this year, so we are very excited for that!

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Not only do we have our first Christmas as a family of five to celebrate, but December 30 is Jeremy and my ten-year anniversary! How time flies! Then shortly after that I will celebrate my birthday, followed soon by Ansley's third birthday! Lots of fun times ahead!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He's Here!

Despite all the changes my doctor made, Ian decided he would be the one to pick which day he would be born. Around 11:oo Sunday night the 28th, I started having contractions every 4-5 minutes or so. They came out of nowhere, and I tried to ignore them, but they kept picking up. We decided to call the nurse at the hospital who told us we needed to come in so I could be monitored. Luckily, Jeremy's mom was already at our house, so we didn't have to figure out what to do with the girls.

We arrived at the hospital and they gave me an IV hoping it would stop the contractions. However, they continued to get stronger and closer together. Finally around 1:30 am, they gave me a shot that stopped the contractions and told us we would have a c-section around 6 am.

The surgery didn't get started until about 7:15 and by 7:38 am, our little guy was here! He weighed 8 lbs. 6 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Initially, I thought he looked a lot like Kennedy, but many think he looks like Ansley. We don't get to go home until Friday, so we are just hanging out and recovering for the next few days. He's doing well, and I'm feeling pretty good too! Here are a few pictures from our week.

This is from Sunday morning. Wowzers, I was huge! We had no idea what was coming that night!

Do you think they are just a little excited?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yet One More Change...

Well, our baby will be here one day later than we had planned due to a change in the hospital's schedule. Our c-section is now at 11:30 on Tuesday, November 30th. Not a huge deal, but it was kind of a bummer to have to add a day onto our countdown! Jeremy took an awesome picture last night of what we think was a knee sticking out in my belly. It was crazy! However, I will not share that with you, due to the fact that my belly looks like a road map with all the stretch marks all over it. It grossed me out to see it from the angle he saw it, so I will not put my blog readers through that!

We had a very untraditional Thanksgiving at Cracker Barrel today with Jeremy's grandma and great-aunt. The food was actually fantastic and came complete with yummy pie! Now we are at home relaxing and napping, while watching gigantic snowflakes falling from the sky! Our deck already has a nice little coating on it! Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Update to the Update

Wouldn't you know, not long after I posted the last blog, my doctor called with our c-section date. It's actually even earlier than we expected. Our baby boy is scheduled to enter this world on Monday morning, November 29th! Guess I better get off the computer and start getting busy!

Baby Update

Since I know you are all sitting around checking my blog daily just wondering what is going on in our lives, I thought I would give you a baby update. I went for my 36 week appointment on Monday to get a final sonogram to check things out. We learned two things at this time:
1. We have a very big boy on our hands (his measurements show he is already over 8 lbs.)
2. Due to my placenta previa, we have to have a c-section.

I know a lot of people are unfamiliar with placenta previa, but in a nutshell, it means that the placenta is lying too low and covering my cervix, meaning that if I had a normal delivery the placenta would come out first, leaving the baby with no oxygen, and causing a large amount of blood to be lost by me. Obviously these are all very dangerous things. I actually had placenta previa with both girls, but often times when the baby grows it causes the placenta to shift up higher, which is what happened in those cases. However, we did have quite a scare after I delivered Ansley, in which the doctor had trouble controlling the bleeding due to how low the placenta actually was. I definitely would not choose a c-section, however, I was a bit nervous to have a normal delivery after what happened with Ansley. We'll all be much safer this way.

Placenta previa is still a dangerous situation and my doctor has asked me to change my preference of hospitals to one that he would feel more comfortable with me being at. In extreme cases even following a c-section, the doctors have trouble stopping the bleeding and a hysterectomy is required. My doctor plans on having a team of doctors prepared in case this were to happen. Obviously, we are praying it doesn't, and there are no complications.

We are still waiting on a date, as my doctor has to get it scheduled with the hospital and make sure the other doctors that he would like to be there will be. The goal is 10-14 days earlier than my due date, which is December 17th. We are hoping to know by tomorrow what the date will be. Until then, I am getting more and more uncomfortable by the day, sleeping less and less by night, and right now am dealing with an awful cold. Two weeks ago, Kennedy had strep throat, and this past Sunday Ansley woke up throwing up, so we are hoping all of our sick germs will be gone before Ian gets here!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Party

This is a little late, but last Thursday I got the pleasure of helping Kennedy's class with their Halloween Party. I had signed up to be a volunteer, but only two other moms besides me had volunteered as well, so I think I became a "room mom" by default--which is totally fine, I just hadn't signed up to be one given the fact that I will be out of commission soon and then will have a 2 year old and newborn to look after. Luckily the other two moms were super organized and had some great ideas, so I just had to help with some of the preparation of treat bags, etc. We had a pirate-themed party and the kids seemed to have a blast! I love being able to spend time in Kennedy's class with her and see how she interacts with the other kids. She's really growing up! Here are some pictures from the party:

Walking the Plank
We went on a treasure hunt and Kennedy found the treasure!
The treasure was hidden in the music room and the music teacher made the students have a "dance-off" to see whether he or the students were the better dancers. Whoever danced better got to keep the treasure...the kids won! :)
Look at my cute pirate!
Enjoying the snack

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Report Card and Other Things

Today was our first parent/teacher conference for Kennedy this year. She's doing great, and her teacher had nothing but wonderful things to say about her. We are very proud of how well she is doing, and how much she is adjusting socially. We were so worried about her shyness, but she seems to be breaking out of her shell more and more each week! She also got her first report card and got all M's and +'s. I know what you're thinking--what the heck does that mean? Basically it's the best "grades" she could get. Her P.E./Art/Music teachers use M's and her main teacher uses +'s. She got to eat dinner on the "special plate" tonight in honor of her awesome report card.

We are excited for Halloween this weekend. There's no school this Friday, or the following Monday, so we have a nice long weekend with not much to do. We trunk or treated this past Sunday as the Scooby Doo crew, and had a lot of fun, and are ready for even more fun this Sunday! Here's a picture of us from that night: Velma, Shaggy, Daphne, and Fred!
And finally, one last picture for you. Jeremy took this of Ansley the other night. The girls were taking a bath and he asked Ansley if she was ready to get out. This was her response. I'll let you be the judge as to what it meant!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Field Trip!

I had the pleasure of joining Kennedy and her class to a pumpkin patch this week for a field trip. We had a lot of fun and I was so glad to get to go with her and finally meet some of the kids in her class. I love the fact that kindergartners are still so young and eager to meet each other's parents. I think Kennedy got a little jealous at times when I was holding hands with two other students and not her! I also love that kids that age do not see a person's skin color, size, gender, etc. They all just love to play together regardless of what they look like. I know that will probably change for some of them sooner than later, if nothing more than girls not wanting to play with boys (which of course that will again change again a few years later!)

Tonight Kennedy starts Girl Scouts. She will be a Daisy Scout--keep that in mind when you are craving Girl Scout Cookies in a few months! :) Although I am not one of the leaders, I am helping out and going to the meeting with her tonight. After that, one of her friends from school is coming home with us until her parents get off work. They live right up the street from us, and the really crazy part is that her mom also grew up in East Peoria! In fact this little girl's uncle was in the same graduating class as my sister Stacy! It is such a small world!

These next few weeks are crazy busy with Halloween festivities, parent-teacher conferences, a bridal shower for Jeremy's sister, Jeremy's mom coming to town, a book fair at school that I am working, and more! I'm afraid though that the word "busy" may just become a normal part of our lives until Christmas is over! We have a few down weeks in November, but the closer we get to December, the closer we are getting to becoming a family of five! Yesterday Ansley asked me "Mommy, when is that baby Ian coming out of your belly anyways?" Not that she understands weeks, but probably in the next 8-9 weeks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Future Artists?

Jeremy and I are not the most artistic people in the world. However, somehow we have two little girls that love to draw and color. Kennedy has been impressing us lately with her coloring and drawing. She does really well, stays in the lines, and is getting more creative with her drawings. Ansley, on the other hand, usually just scribbles. However, yesterday during church she was coloring a picture and it was the first time she has been deliberately trying to color certain things certain colors. I was way impressed with her skills, especially with her only being 2 (okay--and a half). She finally got bored and started scribbling with yellow, but for a good 15-20 minutes she was focused on coloring each little thing. Here's her picture:
Yesterday afternoon, Kennedy came up with this picture. It's an alien, in case you were wondering, and she tried her best to glue on the red pipecleaner/antennas, but it just wasn't working, so she decided to go with masking tape. After she finished, she was putting it over her face saying it was a mask, and she mentioned she could hardly control herself with it--whatever that means!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dora the Explorer

Ansley has never been super interested in the TV. However, there is one show that she loves that I let her watch each morning...Dora the Explorer. This picture shows where you can find my sweet child each morning while eating her breakfast. Notice she is totally focused on the TV. I have never seen a child so focused and engaged in a television show before. If you've never watched Dora before (consider yourself lucky), Dora asks a series of questions throughout the show, and Ansley answers every single one and does every single thing Dora asks her to do, as if Dora can see her doing it. It's quite funny. However, I give complete credit to Dora for teaching Ansley the shapes and some Spanish words. I have certainly never worked on those things with Ansley, yet she can show you a triangle, circle, square, and rectangle with no problem! In fact, as I'm typing this, she is yelling "Para!" which means "Stop!" in order to help Dora out. It's quite humorous!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fashion Statement

Thanks to a trendy, accessorizing, shoe-loving Nana (Jeremy's mom) our girls will always stay somewhat in fashion. Check out this super cute outfit Kennedy sported today (Thanks Cheryl!)
Our only problem was her beloved "ruby red slippers" no longer fit (she asked me to add those to her Christmas list), and she had to settle for black sparkly shoes instead. Unfortunately, she has no black socks, so she is sporting a Michael Jackson look today with black leggings, black shoes, and crisp white socks. Oh well, it doesn't bother her!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Conversation of the Night

Here's a glimpse of how silly our little Ansley is. This conversation took place tonight before bedtime: (Keep in mind Jeremy is standing within arms reach of Ansley during this entire conversation)

Jeremy: "Ansley get in bed."
Ansley: "What did you say Daddy?"
Jeremy: "I said, Ansley get in bed!"
Ansley: "What did you say Daddy?"
Jeremy: "Ansley get in bed!"
Ansley: "What did you say???"
Jeremy: "Ansley! I said get in bed!"
Ansley: "Oh!!!! You did say that, didn't you?" (and finally she climbs into bed with a big grin on her face)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Grant's Farm

Kennedy had her first day off of school this past Friday, so we told her she could pick out what we should do together as a family on that day. She chose Grant's Farm, which was a perfect choice, given the awesome weather we had that day. We invited our friends the Teigen's to come along and we had a great time. It's another one of the great places in St. Louis that is free, and lots of fun!

Our family with a Clydesdale
Our favorite picture taking spot at Grant's Farm!
The girls doing their best scary faces!
Watching an animal show!
Feeding the very feisty goats a bottle.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Princesses on Ice

Last week my friend Amber called to see if the girls and I wanted to go to see Disney's Princess on Ice with them today. I had been thinking about how much the girls would enjoy it, and we love to hang out with Amber and Corinna, so we decided to go for it. We had such a great time! Ansley was a little overwhelmed at first with all the lights and noise, and got a little scared. Once she stopped crying she put her fingers in her ears through the first fifteen minutes or so of the show, but then finally relaxed and enjoyed the show. The girls sported their favorite princess dresses and looked oh so cute! We got to see Jasmine, Belle, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel and Snow White in the first half, followed by Cinderella in the second half. Tinkerbell, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy also made appearances, as well as the princes from each story and extras like the Dwarfs, Sebastian, etc. Here are some pictures of my little princesses on the big day!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And This Girl

This girl never ceases to crack me up! She loves being silly and making people laugh. I'm afraid she may someday be the class clown--unless she lets her "shyness" get in the way. I don't think she would actually have a shy bone in her body if she didn't see how her big sister acted at times. But since she sees Kennedy being shy, she often follows along. Her personality seems to be much more like her father, unlike Kennedy who is a carbon copy of me.

Ansley is perfectly content staying home all day playing either 1) Dora House or 2) Pink Castle (a Little People castle). Both of these items stay put in our living room and many of our mornings are spent on the rug playing with these two things. Mommy however, gets very bored playing these two things over and over that I often try to find some sort of errand to run each day, just to get out of the house! Besides just running errands, we have gone to the Magic House, Butterfly House, some parks together, and the library each week for story time, and she does enjoy doing those things. It's just trying to pull her away from the Dora House or Pink Castle that is hard. Once we're out of the house she is fine.

She LOVES macaroni and cheese and requests it daily for lunch. She's trying very hard to give up her naps, but I'm just not quite ready for that. Many days she plays quietly in bed and never actually goes to sleep. She loves watching her sister get on and off the bus and often tells us about all the things she will do when she is a big girl: "When I a big girl I going to ride the bus to school too." She is goofy, goofy, goofy, but very sensitive too. She does not like to get in trouble, and rarely does for that matter. She generally is pretty easy going and doesn't cause many problems around here. She is starting to get a bossy side and last night I overheard her tell Kennedy "We don't talk like dat in dis house." I'm not sure what Kennedy said to evoke that response, but Jeremy and I both chuckled when we heard it!

She has also decided she wants to be Velma for Halloween. That would be Velma from Scooby-Doo, you know the nerdy girl with glasses? I found a Daphne costume at a consignment store that I bought today thinking Kennedy may want to be Daphne for Halloween. That's when Ansley proclaimed she was going to be Velma. She has not stopped talking about being Velma since this morning. She has also asked me about 87 times when we will get her Velma costume. Looks like I'm now on a hunt for a red skirt and orange turtleneck for the child! Now I'm really hoping Kennedy will want to be Daphne...how cute would the two of them be?

This Girl

This girl never ceases to amaze me! She is loving Kindergarten and is soaking up every little thing. She can tell me which kids got in trouble each day and why, how many girls are wearing Twinkletoe shoes (like her Nana gave her), all about each and every school fundraiser (and the awesome prizes she can get), and just about anything else I ask her. She has learned to read a total of 8 new words so far and loves pointing them out to me when I read to her at night. She has a friend named Montesweeni (I have no idea if I am spelling that right) who I think may come from a family of Middle Eastern descent, and a friend named Yadiera (again no clue on the spelling) that is Mexican and teaches her Spanish words and phrases. She has a few other friends that she talks about as well, but her circle definitely is multi-cultural!

Something else has happened to Kennedy since school started. The first week or two was not real pleasant for us once she got home. She was ornery, sassy, and cried at the drop of a hat. But since we have gotten more into a routine, things are going much better. I'm sure our 7:30pm bedtime doesn't hurt either. She has been super polite lately, using manners whenever she can, she asks if she can help do dishes/dust/sweep/etc., and she hasn't complained about my cooking in weeks! I don't know what's gotten into her, but we definitely like the changes we are seeing. Hopefully they'll last!

Last, I will leave you with a funny story. Every Monday at school each child can share something they did over the weekend, and apparently they draw pictures about it too. With this past weekend being Labor Day, we had a fun-filled weekend with Betsy and Chad in town. We went to the Cardinals game, had a cook-out, and went to Six Flags. When I asked her what she shared with the class she said: "I told them we sat at home and watched TV all weekend." I was flabbergasted and asked her why she said that instead of share some of the things we really did. Her response: "What? I don't know how to draw all those other things!"

My silly, silly girl!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Name Game

Who knew naming a baby boy could be so hard? Jeremy and I usually know the name of our baby the day we find out the gender, and had this one been a girl, she would have already had her name long ago (Brooklyn). However, we just could not decide on a name for this baby boy! We both had our two favorites, and they didn't match up. Jeremy wanted the name Landon, with his second choice being Jonathan (after both his favorite Bible character, and his Grandpa John.) I like both of those names, but I just didn't feel like they were "the one," plus I always spell Jonathan wrong! My favorite choice was Evan, with my second choice being Brayden, although Jeremy was completely against that one. Neither one of us was budging, even with the help of most of the youth group members trying to pressure me to pick Landon, so we decided to scratch all four of those names and start over.

Thanks to the Complete Idiot's Guide to 40,000 Baby Names we finally struck gold! Our son's name will be. . . (drumroll please)

Ian Jeffrey Picker

We both really like Ian, and it happens to mean "God is gracious" or "Gift from God" depending on where you look. But my favorite part about it is that it is the Scottish equivalent of John, so we feel like it has some meaning there as well. Jeffrey was my dad's name, so that was the given middle name regardless of what the first name was going to be. I immediately liked it and decided that was my new first choice, but Jeremy made me wait all day long before he admitted it was his favorite too. It took Kennedy saying in her prayer before bed "Please help Daddy to say we can name the baby boy Ian" before he finally told us he thought it was a great idea. We're all excited to finally have a name so we can stop calling him "Baby Boy."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Day of School

I cannot believe Kennedy is in Kindergarten! Where does the time go??? She was as happy as could be this morning as we left her in her class. In fact, Jeremy asked her if she was ready for us to leave and she very certainly said "Yes!" Then I lost it as I hugged her one last time and she looked at me like I was crazy. I was trying to hold it together, but I just couldn't do it! She only knows one little girl in class, and I'm hoping she knows a lot more by the end of the day! She has been praying each night that she won't be so shy and that she won't cry at school, so I hope God answers her prayers! She also decided she wants to ride the bus home (shocked me!), so Ansley and I will be anxiously awaiting her arrival around 3:30! Here's a look at Kennedy's first day of preschool last year.

I had planned on Ansley and I just staying home and relaxing today, but the hours were just dragging by. I kept looking and the clock wondering how Kennedy was doing, so I asked Ansley if she wanted to go somewhere. She said "I go get a haircut!" (we had been talking about doing that sometime soon) So we loaded up and headed over to Great Clips and got about 4 inches of her hair cut off! It is now almost all one length, and is in a cute bob, and she looks so grown up. She wouldn't stand still for me long enough to get a great picture, but I did my best.

So I just put Ansley down for a nap, and I think I am going to take one myself. I'm pretty sure I was up at least once every hour last night anxious for Kennedy's first day. . . but at least she slept great! Here's some before and after pictures of Ansley's hair.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The girls wanted to dress up like twins today, all the way from their hair bows to their flip flops. When I asked to take a picture of them, they immediately wanted to make a video. After posting this the first time I went back and watched the video and I'm not sure what is going on. The video is not in line with the sound, so it's weird to watch! I'll leave it on here, but don't say I didn't warn you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Deals! Deals! Deals!

I love a good deal! Today, on the search for our perfect new back-to-school dress for Kennedy I did my annual "buy Kennedy's summer wardrobe for next year" at Kohl's today. This time of year is a great time to stock up on stuff for next summer. Most of Kohl's shorts/tank tops/t-shirts are less than $4.00. This is the third year I have done this, and it is so great to not have to worry about it come next summer. Luckily she's always worn the next size up each summer, so it's worked out just fine. Today I bought her seven new outfits for next summer for less than $40. I even got little baby boy Picker a few outfits too! Unfortunately, the dress selection was less than stellar, so we made our way down to Target, where the perfect dress awaited us.

My Grandma Horsley had given Kennedy money for her birthday with the instructions to buy a new dress for school, and since shopping and dresses are two of Kennedy's favorite things, she was in heaven at Target. We were having trouble deciding, so for the first time in her life, I actually took her into the dressing room to try them all on so she could make her decision. After she found her perfect dress, there was no contest between the others. Her exact words were "Well at least Target came through with the perfect dress!" Here's a picture of my little, I mean, big girl in her new dress.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Big Girl and Hula Hooping

Sleeping in a big girl bed has been a success! Last night Ansley's own words were "I not a baby anymore, I sleep in a big girl bed!" Yeah for easy transitions!
*I'm not really sure what the squinty eyes are all about...she was being quite silly!

Kennedy learned from her cousin Sidney how to hula hoop while we were in Texas. In fact, if you ask her what her favorite thing about Texas was, she'll say "hula hooping." Never mind Sea World, the movies we went to, all the swimming and more. Her reward for getting her booster shots was getting a hula hoop. She loves showcasing her talents.