Archive for March, 2013

This Week’s Happenings–March 1-27

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Well, another few weeks have flown by with no update from me.  I have a good reason though.  One, Ben was out of the country (in Ethiopia) for one of those weeks and then his parents have been here for the others.  We have a down day at the mission today with no traveling so I thought I would take advantage and do some blogging!  Here are some quick recaps of what we have been up to.

Ben traveled to Ethiopia for a week to do some visiting and information gathering of the Catholic mission they have there.  He also had an overnight layover in Dubai where he explored the city.  He came back very excited about his time and wants to take us there one day!  Anyone want to meet us?Mikayla and I stayed in Swaziland and had fun working on some Dr. Seuss stuff.  Check it out here (it isn’t an exhaustive list of what we did, just what I managed to take pictures of).

Ben got back home and we had a day to recoup before his parents arrived.

Ben’s parents arrived and we have spent the last 2.5 weeks showing them around this part of the world.  It has been a whirlwind.

We started the tour with some stops around Swaziland including Execution Rock (in Mlilwane Park) and a visit to the Mantenga Cultural Village.   We also visited Malolotja Park for some beautiful scenery and a pretty intensive hike for a lady who is 25 weeks pregnant!

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 047

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 076

Dad's Camera 050

Then we packed our bags and headed toward South Africa.  Our first stop here was Blyde River Canyon.  We had a great day, despite the fact that we had some car trouble.

Dad's Camera 256

Dad's Camera 231

I find this picture really hilarious!  Between Ben showing off his thigh and Rita’s face…classic Kickert pose!

The next two days were spent in Kruger National Park where we got to see all kinds of fun wildlife!  The highlights of the trip would have to be seeing six cheetahs that walked right up to our car and hung out for a bit (check out the video here) and an elephant knocking over a tree with his trunk (video can be viewed here)!  Both were pretty incredible.  Ben, Steve and myself took advantage of our overnight in the park (which by the way was amazing), and participated in a night drive.  I would highly recommend taking one if you ever find yourself with the opportunity! It was also our first trip where we were able to see all of the Big Five in one day!  (More pictures can be found here on my FB page).

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 287

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 308

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 318

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 329 (2)

Kruger Mlilwane and Malolotja 273

While in South Africa I was also able to get my hair cut.  (It was no Ali Townsend cut, but at least it is even, unlike my last African cut).  We also visited the Botanical Gardens in Nelspruit.

Dad's Camera 722

We headed back to the mission long enough to sleep and repack for our beach trip to St. Lucia.  Mikayla absolutely loved the beach!  Unfortunately, I don’t think we took a single picture while we were there (the pictures below are from Steve’s camera that died shortly after arrival)!  She played so hard in the water and sand, and even wanted to continue playing after a minor run in with a jellyfish!  What a trooper.


We went to two different beaches, unfortunately we only managed to take pictures on the uglier of the two!



We picked up a pig for our pig roast/princess birthday (read the full party details here).  Since we were heading back from St. Lucia and had stopped at the grocery on the way, we were a little limited on space.  So, Mikayla got to ride on my lap and the pig in her car seat for the 45 minute drive home!  I don’t think Rita was too thrilled to be sitting next to a dead pig, but she was a trooper!

Dad's Camera 764

Saturday and Sunday were spent prepping for the big party, and then celebrating on Sunday afternoon.  I think everyone had a good time. 

The next few days were down days at the mission, a couple quick stops in town and then the Kickerts start their journey back to the states bright and early tomorrow morning.

  Dad's Camera 766

Mikayla went on an adventure with her grandpa one morning while we were prepping for the party.  She saw all kinds of fun things!

It has been a jam packed couple of weeks.  I have enjoyed all the visitors, but I am ready to be back into a normal routine!  Easter is this weekend and I think the plan is just to take it easy at home and maybe have a special dinner!


Preschool–Dr. Seuss edition

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In between all of our visitors and traveling, we managed to squeeze in some Dr. Seuss fun!  After all, he is my favorite children’s author!  Like always, I planned way too much and we ran out of time to do it all.  I guess it is better to over plan than to under plan, right?  I have also been really bad about taking pictures to document our school time lately, so here are just a few from our Dr. Seuss fun!

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 002

This is similar to a game I used to play in my classroom called write the room.  The kids had to go around and write words they saw in the room on a piece of paper.  For Mikayla I hung up Dr. Seuss letter cards.  When she found the letter she put an X on that letter on her paper (which was filled with each letter).

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 015

Green eggs and ham dinner.  Cat in the hat fruit stacks with raspberries and banana slices.  I also made biscuits and gravy because I wanted them!  We watched the Lorax (the new one) while eating.

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 017

She clipped numbered clothespins to the correct box (each box was filled with a different number of Dr. Seuss stickers).

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 019

Special Lorax lunch.  Lorax was chicken nuggets with cheese mustaches and eyebrows (raisins for the eyes) and Truffala trees (banana slices for the base, pretzel sticks for the trunks, and glace cherries for the tree parts).  She ate a double helping of both!!

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 023

Cat in the hat stripe game.  She rolled the dice and put stripes on the hat, and she even did so in pattern form.

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 025

The obligatory Cat in the Hat hat!

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 029

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish pattern page – she completed the colored fish patterns.

Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 012

Dr. Seuss rhyming cards.  Each of her friends in the picture had to find their own rhyming match!

Have I mentioned before that I love that my daughter loves Dr. Seuss as much as I do?

Tags: , ,
Posted in Parenting |

Mikayla’s 4th Birthday, Princess style!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

I know what you are thinking, Mikayla’s birthday isn’t until April 28.  Well, you are right.  It’s not.  However, with Rita and Steve being around, we thought that it might be fun to have Mikayla’s party early so they could celebrate with us.  So we decided to join together and have a joint birthday celebration for Mikayla (turning 4), myself (turned 30) and Sister Diane (turned 70).  We had a pig roast with lots of sides, and a princess party on the side.  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  And I think everyone enjoyed themselves, even if we did forget to play our princess party games!  Here is a picture view from the party.

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 025

Me and my birthday princess.  How in the world did she get so girly?

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 023

Seriously, she was so excited and so cute!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 027

Princess Joe

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 058

Scooter and the birthday princess

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 028


And here is the food spread!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 030

Tea cups were made with round cookies for the plate, marshmallows with icing dipped into small sprinkles for the cup, broken pretzels for the handles and candy hearts for the cookies.  Also pictured are the princess cookies she gave as a thank you gift.

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 032

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 036

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 038

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 040

Baked beans not pictured because they were still being cooked!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 041

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 042

Managed to find the cutest star shaped pasta for Joe to make this salad with!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 039

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 043

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 044

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 048

The cake…I don’t know who was more excited about how it came out, me or Mikayla!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 061

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 052

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 053

The princess chair

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 066

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 068

This is probably my favorite picture from the day.  She just looks so cute!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 085

Her grandparents got her a pop up tent for her birthday, how perfect!

All in all I would say it was a success!  Mikayla had fun which is the most important part.  We will have a small "party" on her actual birthday with just us, where she will open all of her gifts that folks sent via Rita and Steve and her gift from us!  Nothing like extending our birthday celebrations for a month!

Tags: , ,
Posted in Parenting |

Pregnancy Update Week #25

Monday, March 25th, 2013

I have been meaning to do another update for some time now, but have been so busy with Ben’s parents I haven’t had the chance.  So here is my update for our 25th week!

How far along? I am 25.5 weeks.

Total weight gain/loss? I have no idea.  I can’t honestly remember where I was when I started.  Haven’t had the desire to climb aboard the scale lately either!

Stretch marks? None that I can see!

Best Moment this week? One evening, the baby was particularly excited and moving around a lot.  Mikayla got to not only feel him kick for the first time, but we were all able to see him moving from the outside.  Forgot how cool that was.  She was very excited!

Movement? Still moving like crazy, especially first thing in the morning and just before bed at night.   

Food Cravings:  No major cravings these past few weeks.

Gender? A baby boy, still deciding on a final name!

Labor Signs?  After three days of hiking last week I felt some mild Braxton Hicks contractions, but I am sure that was from fatigue more than anything.  After that day I haven’t felt any.

Belly Button in or Out?  In, but slowly working its way out.  I would say by the time baby Kickert #2 arrives it will be a full outie!

What I miss.  I miss being able to move freely without the belly getting in the way!  I sometimes forget it is there and bump into random things!

What I am looking forward to.  I am looking forward to getting some baby stuff together.  We got our first outfits thanks to some family from the states when Ben’s parents came over.  Ben is getting me a rocking chair for my birthday, we just have to find one in Swaziland now!

Weekly wisdom:  Just because you could do something with no problem before you were pregnant doesn’t mean you can (or should) while you are pregnant.  We spent three of the first few days of Ben’s parents visit hiking.  By the third day my body was through and extremely tired, and was not shy in telling me so!! 

Milestones:  I am definitely wearing maternity clothing now, no doubt about it!  Tried to put on some regular pants last week and was far from getting them to button!

And here are two belly shots for you.  Both were taken yesterday, one is just a little more flattering, but the other is a better belly shot!

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 088

St. Lucia and Pig Roast 090


An Interview with Mikayla

Monday, March 25th, 2013

When Mikayla was about 2.5 I did an interview with her.  I have been meaning to do an updated one, and finally got around to it the other day.  I find it very humorous, particularly her thoughts on her favorite food!  Hope you enjoy. 

And just for fun, here she is singing her song for the days of the week!

Tags: , ,
Posted in Parenting |