Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

To say that it was a challenge trying to get the perfect picture for our Christmas card is an understatement.
I guess when you have a 3 year old who loves a fake smile and a 9 month old who would rather be on the floor playing you have to take what you can get.  

We almost had to go with this picture:

But thankfully our awesome photographer, Auntie April, was able to capture this one:

We hope this holiday season is filled with lots of love and joy!.  
Merry Christmas from the VanZoerens!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sneak Peak

Arden's school puts on a little Christmas performance each year.  This will be her first year to participate and she is so excited!  She's been practicing every day and we can't wait to watch her live, on stage :)  However, we wanted to capture one of her "rehearsals" on video.....just in case she catches a case of stage fright :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pitiful :(

Arden has been sick since Sunday night.  She started running a fever and complaining that her eyebrow and tummy hurt.  I quickly figured out that by eyebrow, she meant head :)  By Monday night, she came down with the stomach bug and she spent all day yesterday in mommy and daddy's bed watching cartoons.  

This was Arden last night:

She seemed SO much better!  No vomiting all day and her temp was maybe 99.

This is Arden today:

Terrible picture, I know...I tried taking it while she was sleeping, but the flash woke her up and she wouldn't let me take another one :(  Her fever is still gone, but she has been vomiting all day.  

I hate that she is so sick, especially with the stomach bug.  She deals with this enough with her cyclical vomiting that I wish she never had to have the stomach bug.  Poor girl.  And no one ever tells us how hard it will be for mommies.  Not only am I trying to make my sweet girl feel better, but I have a curious little 9 month old to try and keep away from Arden and the messes!  Oh the fun :)

Please pray that by tomorrow she will be back to her old self.....for her sake....and mine!

Warm Welcome

In early November, Brad (Geoff's brother) and his fiance, Abby, came for a visit.  We don't get a chance to see them very often, so we were thrilled to spend some quality time with them.  Arden was so excited for Uncle Brad to visit and quickly warmed up to Abby (she had met Abby maybe once before).  I'm pretty sure that by the time they left, Arden was confident she had made a new best friend ;)  

Brad and Abby, we are so happy for you guys!  Thank you so much for coming to visit and we hope you will come back again very soon.  We are looking forward to your big day in May :)

9 months

I seriously don't know where the time is going!  Tucker is growing way too fast---I'm trying not to think about the fact that his 1st birthday is less than 3 months away!

I don't have any growth stats for him because his well check is later this month, but I do know he is a big boy.  He is beginning to outgrow 12-18 month one-piece outfits because he has such a long torso.  I'm pretty sure he weighs 21+ lbs so he's a bit of a chunk, too.  

He is a very busy boy....and oh, he is fast!  It only takes him seconds to crawl and find trouble something to get into ;)  He definitely keeps me on my toes!  

Tucker is already testing us, too.  Our little mischievous boy does not take "NO" for an answer!  If he is getting into a cabinet that he's not supposed to, or playing with the nightlights in the hallways, we pop his hand and say "No, Tucker".  Instead of crawling away and finding something new to play with, he just smiles and laughs....then goes back to what he was doing.  Oh boy....looks like we may need to baby-proof a little more :)

He is also becoming more confident in standing unassisted.  His balance is getting better each day and I see him  standing and playing so often.  I bet it won't be long before he starts to take a few steps!

Tucker is finally starting to sleep well during the night---PRAISE GOD!  He is consistently sleeping 5+ hours at a time which means I only have to get up once a night to feed him.  Also, I am in the process of transitioning him to bottles.  He isn't super excited about this, but I pray that we can make this transition as quickly and easily as possible.

Tucker can also wave bye-bye and he is really great at smiling for the camera!  This is such a fun age as we watch his little personality grow :)

Happy 9 months sweet Tucker!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just Daddy and Arden

Arden has always loved the movie Shrek.  We aren't sure what sparked her interest, but for several months it was the only movie she asked to watch.  When we found out Shrek: The Musical was coming to the local Broadway Theatre League we knew we had found the perfect birthday gift for her.  

Instead of making this a family event, we decided this would be the perfect Daddy/daughter date.  They had a great time and we are so proud of Arden for making it through the whole performance (they went to the 2pm show---which is usually her nap time!)  I know Geoff is looking forward to many more daddy/daughter dates--what a blessing those are for both of them :)

Dear Daddy, 
Thank you for taking me to Shrek.  I had lots of fun.  I love you!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3 Years Old and All Grown Up

I just don't believe it has been 3 years since this little girl graced us with her presence!  
Our lives were forever changed on that November afternoon and we cannot imagine our lives without her.
God has blessed us with a spunky, big-hearted, strong-willed, super-smart little girl and we are so thankful He chose us to be her parents!

Sadly, I think it has probably been a year since I did a little "Arden Update" so hopefully I won't leave anything out!

She continues to be a great sleeper---usually sleeps 10-12 hours a night
Still walks on her tippy toes :)
First things she asks for each morning: brekstast (breakfast) and daddy
She is so curious and is always listening to everything we say (hmmm.....this sounds a little more like nosey instead of curious!)
Has been fully potty-trained since May (2 1/2 yrs)
Can recite her ABC's and can identify many of them when written
Is learning letter sounds
Can count to 15...almost 20
Knows her full name as well as our first and last names
Is often shy when she first meets someone, but will soon talk your ear off if you let her :)
Has an imaginary friend named Carmeniques (sounds like Dominique) who has been around for almost a year
Loves her friend Molly---talks about her NON-STOP!
Apparently has a boyfriend @ school named Jackson :)
Is extremely strong-willed
Loves music
Has an excellent vocabulary
Asks LOTS of questions
Loves books.  She is starting to "read" and it is so cute!
Is becoming a better eater.
Loves to help make decisions---from what she is going to wear to what car we drive or what we will have for dinner.  She is very opinionated :)
Can buckle and unbuckle herself in the carseat---this is a HUGE help!
Her favorite color is blue
Is the best big sister Tucker could ask for!

Arden Leigh, we are so blessed to call you our daughter.  You are the light of our lives and you bring us so much joy each day.  We are proud of the little girl you are and can't wait to watch you grow this year.  

This is getting dangerous!

Our photo sessions have now moved to the floor...Tucker is just too mobile for the couch!  

Wow...8 months already!  
We have such a happy guy on our hands.
He smiles so big every time he sees the camera...his whole face lights up with each smile :)
He is crawling EVERYWHERE! (started just before turning 7 months)
Can stand unassisted for several seconds
FINALLY cut his first tooth on 11/7/11
Is sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night
Pretty much loves any food I feed him
Loves drinking from a straw
Is still extremely clingy to mommy...especially when I'm in the room but not holding him
Wears size 4 diapers
Has a little temper when we have to take things away from him 
Is the sweetest little boy in the world...and we are so blessed to call him our son!

Monday, October 3, 2011

7 months with Mr. Bear

After taking two months off, Mr. Bear is back in action for his monthly pictures.

And Tucker is on the move and as happy as can be!

It was a little difficult to take his picture because every time the camera would flash, he would laugh and try to crawl off the couch!

Instead of picking just one picture to post, I decided to post the whole shoot so you could see what I mean!

I just can't get enough of his big, bright smile.  It brightens my day and fills my heart with so much joy!  

Who wouldn't have a good day after seeing his face?!

We love you big guy and are so blessed to call you our son :)  

Friday, September 23, 2011

6 months and growing!

Our sweet baby boy is growing so fast!

How have we already gone from this

to this?!

At 6.5 months, Tucker:

Weighs 20 lbs. and is 27.5 in long (90th percentile for both)
Is sitting unassisted (started around 5.5 months)
Scoots EVERYWHERE!  (also started around 5.5 months)
Occasionally uses his hands and knees to move---it won't be long before he is crawling
Loves to pull-up on everything--even tries to "walk" along the furniture he is holding onto
Eats avocados, pears, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas
HATES cereal of any kind
Loves his sippy cup...for chewing on the spout ;)
Has taken a few sips from a straw
Has poopie problems just like Arden did at this exact age (NOT fun!)
Loves laughing and playing with Arden---and Mommy and Daddy love watching this :)
Seems so much happier now that he is mobile
Can sleep 5-6 hours at a time---if he wants to :)
Goes anywhere from 3-6 hours between feedings
Prefers to fall asleep in his crib over anywhere else---including mommy's arms :(
Hasn't cut any teeth---but we expect to see some very soon!
Wears a size 3 diaper, but this may not last too much longer
Is already in the clingy phase---he doesn't like strangers to talk to him even when I'm holding him!
Prefers his Mommy over anyone else....but I think Arden is a close 2nd :)
Is generally a very happy and easy baby!

Tucker Gerrit, we cannot believe half of your first year of life is already behind us.  We love watching you grow and learn new things every day.  You are a sweet, happy boy and we love you so much!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Look what I can do!

"I don't know about this, Mommy!"
 "Is this how you do it?"
 "Uh, guys....I could use some help over here!"
 "I think I've got it now"
 "This is my new favorite thing to do!  I can pull up on the ottoman..."

 "the couch...."

 "and even an old diaper box!"
(how on earth his is standing like this--I have NO idea!)
 "I can even play with Arden---how fun!"

(sidenote--don't these two look just alike?!)

Our little man is growing so fast!  He's been scooting around now for a good month and just started pulling up on things about a week ago.  It won't be long before he starts crawling....and then walking!  Yikes, could time PLEASE slow down?!  

And Arden---our sweet, spunky, strong-willed Arden :)  She is growing and learning new things every day, too.  I need to do a separate post on her---soon, I promise!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Watchin' Airplanes

Moontown Airport hosted the annual Grass Field Fly-in today.  Geoff is an airplane fanatic so yesterday he mentioned he wanted to take Arden.  Instead, we decided to make it a family affair, and I am so glad we did!

It was a beautiful day to be outside---lots of sunshine, a cool breeze, and of course, all the airplanes you could ask for :)

I'm not really sure why this shuttle model was there, but we took the opportunity to take a group photo!

 We watched the MedFlight helicopter land and the kids were so excited to get a chance to sit in it!

 This blue plane was tiny!  In the air it didn't look so small, but sitting next to all the other planes it looked like a child's toy!

Our kids are destined to love fact, they already do.  I'm pretty sure this makes their daddy/Uncle Geoff and Tuck Tuck really proud :)