Wednesday, December 31

Holidays...

The day after Christmas, we loaded up the car and headed to Iowa for a week of pure fun and vacation. It was so great to see most of the Hunger side of the family and spend time together! We were super busy the whole time. A few highlights of the trip:
  • Celebrating Emma's 2nd birthday! (see next post)
  • Having a big Christmas party with Dennis's mom's side including seeing our 90-year-old grandma.
  • Singing in church with 4 of my 5 sisters-in-law (this was my first time singing for a musical number in church - I was by far the least talented but they were sweet to me anyway)!
  • Visiting "the farm" near where Dennis grew up and seeing our 92-year-old grandma.
  • Learning how to crochet... again. I think I finally got it this time.
  • Going snowboarding for the first time in almost 6 years - so great!
  • Experiencing our first ER trip with one of our kids.
  • Cheering on the Hawks in their crushing win on New Year's Day.
  • Having a girls night and seeing a movie in theatres for the first time in over a year.
  • Going to an extremely yummy German family-style restaurant.
  • Enjoying being with FAMILY!
Sarah and her best little buddy, Samantha. They LOVE playing together, and I'm shocked considering they are both 3 that they really don't fight.

Goofy Emma in the flower hat her Aunt Megan made.

Sarah striking a pose in her hat...

Andrew liked playing with Grandma Hunger

My big girl and me

Grandma White and the gang

Post-game nap on New Year's Day. I love this one!

Sarah's "owie." When we went snowboarding/skiing, the kids had been with family all day. They were safe and everyone was happy. Twenty minutes after we got back, Emma got her hand shut in a door. It turned purple and looked pretty bad for a few minutes but was fine in the end. Then, about 10 minutes later Sarah was running and started to trip. She kept going full speed and feel in a window sill. It was pretty gross... we took her to the ER and the doctor opted to glue it shut instead of doing stitches. I really wondered how many stitches it would have taken, so our sister-in-law that is an RN and used to work in the ER guessed about eight stitches. Sarah was a trooper most of the time and kept telling us, "I'm a little bit scared."

On the slopes once again!

Sporting his true colors

Sunday, December 28

2 Years Old... and Cute 2!

Little Em turned two while we were in Iowa. Emma seemed to really enjoy herself with a bunch of cousins running around "helping" her play with all the presents. We are so grateful to have Emma in our family. She is: a live wire, a tease, a sweetie, a stinker, a happy girl, a little dramatic, and super fun!

Little known (or well-known) facts about Emma Mae Hunger...
  • She's a great middle child. When the other two are going nuts, Emma usually settles right down and is the peaceful one. On the other hand, she gives us a run for our money when the other two are quiet!
  • She is a TEASE! Emma really likes to push people's buttons. Example #1: She is always willing to share food or toys with Sarah, but she likes to make her cry a little bit before she gives it away. Example #2: She is known to knowingly defy her mom and dad. On night during dinner she stood up on the chair and wouldn't eat. Dennis & I both told her to sit down and so she pointed one hand at each of us and kept saying, "No Daddy! No Mommy! No Daddy! No Mommy!" with a little smile on her face the whole time.
  • She just started talking a little more. We have been concerned about Emma's speech, but in the last 4-6 weeks she's finally willing to repeat things we say and is saying quite a few new words each day. The first two words she strung together was about a month ago and they were, "No Mommy." That's our girl!
  • Emma is a good mommy. When Emma turned one, we got her a baby doll because she was so interested in Sarah's dolls. Ever since then she has carried around little dollies feeding them, changing diapers, scolding them, and cuddling them. She loves to play pretend.
  • Emma is very sensitive. Whenever she gets in trouble, she begins to cry and won't stop until we give her a hug. It's like she needs the reassurance that we still love her. It really makes me stop and think!
  • Emma loves to sleep. She takes a good 2-3 hour nap every afternoon and still is very happy to go to sleep each night at 7:00 or 7:30. She doesn't cry or stall or anything. We just give her the mouse and tuck her in under her two favorite blankies, and she's set!
Posing with all the presents. Daddy especially thought the John Deere bag was great!

Minnie Mouse was - and still is - a hit!

Emma loves Cinderella and calls her "Lella" (thus the tongue sticking out to say Lella). Her sweet Aunt Megan made her this gorgeous cake for her birthday. It was amazing!

Family photo op... gotta hold Lella's hands!

Happy Birthday to Sweet Little Em!!!!

Friday, December 26

Silver Bells... It's Christmas Time!

We had a really fun Christmas this year. It seems like the more kids you add to the mix and the older they get, the more fun it can be. Dennis and I continued our tradition of making doughnuts on Christmas Eve. I was very pleased that some friends we took them to didn't believe they were actually homemade! We also spent the evening at said friends' house and then put the little kiddos to bed in anticipation of Santa coming.

Six dozen doughnuts... some with traditional vanilla glaze and some frosted in chocolate

After bedtime, Dennis and I stayed up until 1:30 or so wrapping presents and getting things all set up. Then, Andrew woke up with his very first tooth! Congratulations little guy... it only took 9 1/2 months.

Cuddling with Daddy and checking out what Santa brought

On Christmas morning, we did the typical opening of the presents. Even though it's just our little family we really enjoyed it. It's nice to have our own traditions! Sarah and Emma played all day with their new kitchen and some fun dress-up princess dolls. Andrew seemed to like his first Christmas. Daddy found some great John Deere stuff that even the girls were envious of!

The one downfall of the small family Christmas is how hard it is to get all the pictures I'd like to have. Here is one of the kids and I right before we started.

Just one last picture of our pre-Christmas activities. For Family Home Evening that week we dipped pretzel sticks in chocolate. They were scrumptious! I love Sarah giving the thumbs up sign. I do this to her sometimes when she's done a good job and now she even likes to "give me thumbs" like giving five, except with only the thumb. So funny!

Tuesday, December 23

Christmas Card

It's such a great time of year...

Have fun with family, friends, and food this holiday!

Tuesday, December 16

Oh Christmas Tree!

I'm so sorry Janna, but we decided to copy your idea of a gingerbread tree. I did put a new spin on it, though. The kids and I made green sugar cookies today that we turned into our very own cookie tower... er... I mean Christmas tree. This was so fun that I think it might be a new family tradition. Very easy AND kid-friendly!

Dennis and Emma doing their part

A little sugared up

"Hey look - I've got sprinkles!


The finished product - unfortunately the sprinkles didn't really stick, but I don't think anyone minded.

I felt bad posting without a picture of Andrew, so here's one from a warm day last month. He was watching the whole production with the tree, but wouldn't look at the camera.

Preschool Problem

I really want to get Sarah into a pre-school! There is only one program in my town that I would actually consider and they are full. All the other ones go every day or are daycares... and they are VERY expensive. The one I like has the option of going either one or two days a week from 9:00 am to 2:45 pm. Ugh! I'm frustrated.

Why is it so hard to find a good pre-school in this state? I'm now even considering the whole "Mother's Day Out" solution. I used to hate the name of that, but now I realize they are pretty much preschools for kids that aren't in daycare.

Does anyone around here have any ideas for me? I even would look into a pre-school that someone did in their home (if it's good), but I can't even find that!

Sunday, December 14

Where did it go?

Time is quite elusive, you know? The past month has been filled with nonstop activities, fun, and craziness. Our little family flew out to Utah the day before Thanksgiving to enjoy some good food and great company. My parents have a Wii, so wii had fun playing all the little games. Even Emma got in on the action:

video

Sarah was in heaven with tons of little kids to play with. Thanks to my three 5-year-old nieces, she now supposedly "only likes girls" (except for Daddy and Andrew and Grandpa and her friends), and she is infatuated with Hannah Montana, or Hannah Bantana as Sarah says it. One day she went out and helped my dad mow the lawn. When I asked her if she wanted to go play with Grandpa, she said "No! I'm going to HELP him."


It was really fun to see some of my nieces and nephews that I hadn't seen for about a year. This next video is really for my parents - they'll love it. My dad always read us the story of "The Tar Baby" when we were little so I recorded him reading it to my sister's kids and Sarah. I love this!! WARNING: it's very long.

video

Dennis came back home for work a couple days later , but the kids and I stayed longer to squeeze in more time with family and friends. Here are some of my cute college roommates I always miss like crazy... We got to relive old times and stay up until 3:30 in the morning, but it wasn't quite the same to wake up with all the kids at 7:00!


I was pretty nervous about flying back with the three kids all alone, but luckily some nice souls took pity on me and held Andrew when Emma had her meltdowns. Sometimes people can be so sweet and selfless (I'm sure it wasn't fun holding a stinky-diapered little guy at the end of a two hour flight).

Emma has finally started to talk a little more. It's not much, but at least she's trying to repeat us sometimes. On the way home from the airport, I wanted to show Dennis what she'd learned in the 5 days we were apart.


Once we got home we had a whole list of things that need to get done before Christmas... first and foremost being the decorating of the house and tree. It was a fun family night to put up the tree and all play together. Sarah is a really good helper - she tried to help Daddy do it just right!


Emma doing her best at helping - playing a good game of peek-a-boo


Andrew just enjoys being in on the action. Side note: Andrew had his 9-month checkup this week. It was quite the adventure! As we walked into the waiting room, Emma threw up all over the floor. I tried to get her into the bathroom, but someone was in there. She threw up 5 or 6 times from the door to the bathroom door. Once the bathroom was available, she's already lost her entire stomach contents. And... wonderful mother that I am (sarcasm here), I had given her pink cereal and strawberry milk for breakfast. It was quite a sight!!! She just had a short-lived little stomach bug, but what better place to get sick than the pediatrician's office, right? Andrew got all checked out and when they weighed him I was really excited because he was 17 lbs. 12 oz. Then they told me it's only the 10th percentile. Poor guy can't beef up to save his life. Big surprise on the length though... he's way above average. His doctor said you can't really fool genetics!


The other morning, I was doing dishes while the girls had their breakfast. Andrew started making some noise and Sarah asked me to go get him. I told her I would in a minute, but I wanted to finish. So, I turned around and both girls were gone. This is what I found! Sarah and Emma got in, but Andrew just desperately wanted out!


And later that day... Emma always wants to sit on my counter while I get ready in the morning. I guess I wasn't keeping track of my eyeliner when I found this. It looks like she tried to draw a mischievous little villain's mustache on herself.


Last night we made omelet's for dinner. It was really fun for everyone to do their part to help...


And then the evening ended with a dog-pile on me!


This year's Christmas photo we took while in Utah...