Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Yoda He Is!

And my-oh-my cute, he is! We decided Jon's idea works - use both. Light saber in belt, stick in hand.

My mom will be so proud because I actually sewed this thing. But really, a jedi robe is the best thing to sew because it's okay to look all tattered. The stitches are so pathetic I will hide it when she comes to visit so she can't critique. The hat was crocheted by my fabulous friend Cindy. She can make you a yoda hat in any size, just let her know.

Now I must admit, I did not know who Yoda was until I was married and introduced into Star Wars. I am better for it, of course.

And obviously we wish we had our strawberry here with us... though this year she probably would have been Princess Leia and wondering why that princess doesn't have wings and a wand.

We are so glad for this cute boy in our lives and for getting to celebrate holidays with him!


Book Win.

I will post a photo of our costumed-kid later but for now... I must recommend this book-buying site: Better World Books. They are awesome. They support literacy throughout the world plus are environmentally conscious. They donate books for every book purchased. Win.

From them:

Better World Books utilizes the value of the book to fund literacy initiatives locally, nationally and around the world. Know that your purchase will help us in our efforts to promote and support our literacy partners and their initiatives. Your order has provided much needed funding that is instrumental to the efforts of those whose passion it is to provide the world's least fortunate with the opportunities that literacy affords.
They are having a flash sale that UDPATE: ended at 4pm ends today where you buy 5 (or more) used books and you get 50% off plus free shipping. No code needed. I bought seven books for $15 with tax. Christmas shopping for Eli. Win.

But the best? This shipping confirmation that made me totally laugh and think "I want to share this with people."
Hello Heather,
(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?'

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

But hey, enough about me, I've been asked to brief you on a few things:

That's punny. I love supporting companies that rock my world.


UPDATE: I'm sure they will have another sale soon... it's worth liking them on facebook or keeping them in mind for future! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stick or Saber?

Here's a sneak peak of Eli's Halloween costume. If you know who he is just by this shot, then you can help us decide if he should have a stick or a saber in hand come Wednesday. We have both and it's a toss up. Leave a comment if you have an opinion!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

18 Months.

Yesterday was a milestone for the little man. 18 Months. A whole year and a half with him here. I reflected often yesterday about this marker day and how grateful I am to have Eli in our lives.

We celebrated his birthday-and-a-half eating at Chick-fil-A and letting him eat a few waffle fries. Because nothing says love like waffle fries.

I can't wait to show you his Halloween costume... soon!


Friday, October 26, 2012

My Nest.

My friend Sarah knows this person that owns an etsy shop. Melody is crafty and organic and she has a blog that I found myself looking at awhile back. You know... the click on a link of a friend of a friend and then you wonder thirty minutes later how you got there. I checked her blog sporadically and then I actually saw her at the zoo a few months ago (so weird to see someone you've never met but via their blog, you know of them). I introduced myself as Sarah's friend (more actually as a blog stalker).

I had told some people about her etsy shop before. You see, she makes these beautiful nest necklaces. Nests with little bead eggs. First off, they are trendy. But much more importantly, they can represent babies. Your children. Alive... or not. Full term... or not. A woman can wear one and she's the mama bird and her little nest can represent her baby chicks.

It almost makes me want to have like six kids to have a really big, full nest necklace with lots of colors.

Anywho, when I met Melody briefly at the zoo, I told her about Maelee and encouraged her to keep doing what she's doing. Us baby loss moms need beautiful things to adorn our necks and to keep our children not with us close. We need something tangible to represent our children. Even if no one else knows what it means, we do. We can be out and about grocery shopping and know this jewelry tells a story. Even if no one else sees it, we know.

Melody was so gracious and offered to send me a necklace. It wasn't until Sarah saw her later and Melody mentioned it to her that I decided to take her up on it. I do wear my Maelee necklace an awful lot and I thought it would be nice to have something that represented our first ectopic baby and Eli, too.


Sidenote: I really do have freckles. Close up no editing. Yikes. I'll update a better photo, a more instagramy one soon.

Admittedly I didn't think I could pull it off... me, minimal jewelry, unstylish me. But I do love it and I am probably going to wear it out.

I have mentioned before that jewelry is a great gift for baby loss moms. But really, it's good for any mom! Melody is offering a sweet sale, a B1G1 sale (buy one get one free) on nest jewelry until October 31, in her etsy shop. So REALLY, friends, you should take advantage of this! She's doing it in honor of pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. You can buy one piece for you, then the free one can be a gift certificate to give to a baby loss mom, or anyone!

Here's is her blog post about this special with instructions on how to redeem the offer and here for more details. So glad for people that try for a moment to put themselves in our shoes and to figure out a way to honor our babies and bless us. Having people remember our babies truly is a need in our hearts.

Thanks Melody!


Don't delay if you want to order one... you only have until the 31st for the B1G1 special and then her shop's on vacation since she is having a baby! I also found out she will update a nest with a new "egg" for $5 so you can buy one for someone who is not done having babies (which was my hesitation before).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

3 and 3.

Really these shots are mostly for one doting Grandma but feel free to love them, too. And instead of doubling up, you can see some great shots of us at my sister-in-law's blog here. Love this sister. Jill was so gracious to stop and look at many of Maelee's things and I'm so madly glad for that. The last time I saw her I was pregnant with Maelee and don't think for a moment that thought didn't cross my mind often. I wish there was another red-head in this cousin shot, another girl to make it three and three.


Vivi says "Eli those pants clash with your shirt."
The parents and their firstborn.
How crazy blessed are we to have married Kasowski men?!
John John is pure adorableness.
Alright, that's the photo blast of our time with this much-loved family. Stay tuned for a sneak peak at one Mr. Eli's Halloween costume. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

3 Into 2.

We have had to squeeze three years of family moments and celebrations and bonding into two weekends with our much-loved China crew. We had less than 48 hours with them and we filled it with a whole lot of happy. At one point, my brother-in-law said "I think we've got enough photos" and I'm fairly certain I did a little gasp!

And you know I did not listen to him and just kept snapping away.

our not-planted garden turned sandbox

baseball brothers

holy moly - trying to get a quick family shot with six, not easy!

we'll try again in december

just cute

sunset lighting on two cousins - love how sweet marian is to eli

oldest and youngest - sibling love

slide fun!

a pretty fantastic auntie and uncle here!

there was much giggling and laughter

this kid cracks me up - here he is walking silly and being "scary hippo"

goofy kiddos that i adore

this happened often in our short time together!
That's round one... round two of photo blast will come tomorrow.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bros and Wives.

The China crew arrived yesterday and are leaving tomorrow and we are smooshing in some fun in these two days! We went out to eat tonight to our favorite British Pub and I wanted a photo of us four, the brothers and their wives:

Super great, huh? The kids were with us... don't be deceived seeing this photo, thinking we had some quiet double date... it was more like this:

See that screaming child sticking out there?


Saturday, October 20, 2012


I took Eli shopping last week. To clothing stores. And now I remember why I don't like to take Eli shopping. It's not enjoyable or relaxing at this stage, he's squirmy and rightfully curious about everything. 

Plus he has had some, um, loose stools as of late. I got that remedied in the back seat of the car, thankfully no poop touched anything, but before I could get a new diaper on he decided to giggle and pee. And pee some more. And some more. With constant laughing. Apparently watching his urine hit the back seat was pure delight for him.

Seriously, boy parts cause boy humor.

I'm only blogging about this so I don't forget. And maybe I'll share this when he's sixteen to some girl that's being flirty with him.

So I had to de-clothe him and stick him in his car seat. Then I realized I forgot my much-loved new water bottle in the store. Palm-to-forehead. I couldn't bring my diaper-only kid into the store to retrieve it. So I called them, they found it and I southernly-nicely asked a random gentlemen in the parking lot to run in and get it for me. He was helping an old lady (his grandma?) carry her purse so I figured he'd be nice to me, too. Thank you random stranger for the help!

The water bottle? Def worth finding. It's a sippy cup for adults. It totally is. You bite on it to get the water out. But you don't have to tip your head back. I drink more water with this thing. The Camelbak is quite the fad these days (Greg says all the women at the fitness center have them) and now I see why. The only down side is Eli figured it out and now he feels like it's his giant sippy cup. I may have to get him one.

You might want one of these.
Once home I cleaned our back seat of the aforementioned urine and I must say, having great cleaning products makes any spills and messes and bodily fluids much less stressful. I don't really bat an eye when our friend's kids spit up crazy amounts all over (seriously, it's happened twice). I don't freak out when our furniture or carpet is bombarded with grossness because I know I can get it out. This is my plug for Norwex. Even if I didn't sell the stuff, I would still use it because it's so darn easy, it works wonders, using no chemicals. I honestly can't imagine what parents do without an enviro cloth handy to clean up spills. If you don't have one or have no idea what I'm talking about, please talk to me. Especially if you are type A and tend to freak out at messes. Like me. See how much Norwex has changed me?

I'll end with our last Sunday afternoon post-nap kid. We were exhausted as a family and Eli woke up early from his nap. I brought him out to the couch and we all fell asleep to football on TV. Eli woke up the second time really disorientated and it looked like he had a really rough night... you know, the what-did-I-do-last-night look. His hair was all disheveled, his shirt half-buttoned, pants falling down, couldn't walk straight. I, of course, took a photo but it doesn't quite do the moment justice. Greg and I were crying laughing.


Okay, that's mean parenting. I'll really end with some much more adorable photos of our biggest blessing.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NC. Yes Please.

The China crew will be coming back this weekend so I figured I'd post one last barrage of photos from our time in the mountains... mostly for one wonderful Grandma that needs to see her grandkids!

Reading stories online.
I adore this photo (and these boys).
A very short walk from the lovely home we stayed at was this little piece of history...
one of the first highways that is still undisturbed (Old Cherokee Road).
With a really cool Lord-of-the-Rings-esch gate! Notice the walking sticks in hand.

Tried to get a shot of the kiddos in their pajamas and this one is fun, 
minus one little man that would have none of it...
He wanted to do this instead (draw). Such a little introverted artist.
For Uncle Chris #33
Wearing my TOMS and loving those leaves and (not so)
secretly wanting a phone with instagram for moments such as this. 

What a great weekend to enjoy family and fall in the mountains.


Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15.

This is our third National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We'll light a candle tonight at 7pm. All around the world people are lighting candles (at 7pm in their respective time zones) in honor of their babies that are not on earth with them. If you let it go for an hour, it's a continual 'wave of light' across the world for a day. I'm not really into candles (or waves) but I suppose I am today!

I took a few photos of Eli with Maelee Bear this morning. This is my favorite. He will sometimes run and grab M's Bear and give it to me... he fully expects me to stop whatever I'm doing and hug it because that's what I did the first time he handed me M's Bear. It's quite fitting, really. 

Yesterday I spoke briefly at church about this day. I had asked awhile back that our church say something about this day, about remembering our children in heaven no matter how or when they lost a child, about the fact we do not grieve without hope. Thankfully I didn't lose it except the one time I looked at my friend who had a miscarriage recently... it was hard to keep focused on speaking. But it was good, I had a few older women come up to me that had losses years ago and they were glad for this time of remembering.

I used some money my dad gave to me to honor Maelee to buy this gorgeous bouquet and invited families to come up after the service and grab a flower if they had lost a child. Yellow roses are the symbol of baby loss, I guess, so we went with that theme/color. It's nice to see beauty in the midst of pain.

Join us in lighting a candle tonight if you'd like. And I think it goes without saying, please remember Maelee. We miss our sweet girl.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

E & V.

Just a few shots of Eli and Vivi (who is six weeks older than Eli but about ten pounds lighter)!

Cousin Love.
They both LOVE to get thrown up in the air by their daddy's.
Also, check out that marvelous staircase!
"Don't cry, cousin. I didn't mean to eat all your food."
I asked them to give me their best deer-in-headlights look.
We faced Eli's car seat around for the first time and these two had some fun "talking" together.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

K Fam Zoo Takeover.

We had less than 24 hours with the China crew in Columbia... but we made sure a zoo trip was had! Great memories with these precious ones!

First stop: parakeets!
My great SIL working it with a parakeet nesting on her head!
Also, Marian was not a fan of these loud birdies!
If those other people weren't there, this would be a great photo of Vivi talking to this bird.
Da Boys!
Uncle Love.
Vivi saw me bend/squat down like this to take her photo...
all weekend she kept imitating me like this!
Isaiah is quite timid but I caught him take a quick pet of  Mr. Giraffe.
Marian did love these animals and would have spent all day there giving them lettuce.
This sweet, timid boy did brave the ropes thing with his uncle...
though they didn't venture too high!
This is the face he made at our traditional stop at the koalas.