Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Hayley!

My baby girl is officially 2 years old as of last night at 9:31 pm. I had a little party planned for her and some of her friends/family yesterday at 11:00, but Tuesday night around 7:00 I was holding her in my lap while she was throwing up. It almost seems as if we are living under a little gray cloud of sickness as of about 2 years ago. Poor Hayley has had one thing after another for awhile now. We made the decision to cancel the party that night---no one wants to be in a house where a tummy bug is lurking. (Including me!!) She only got sick twice and was back to normal yesterday afternoon so it was just a 12 hour bug. We slept together on the couch Tuesday night and she actually went to sleep around 4:00am and was up playing with her toys at 7:00.

It ended up being a great birthday. I was super bummed not to have the party, but she was of course oblivious that anything would have gone on at all. My mom was here and they made banana bread yesterday morning. Then, while she napped from 10:30-1:30 I decided to go ahead and keep the balloon order b/c everyone needs balloons on their birthday!! When she got up from her nap she was so excited to see a living room full of balloons. Not ONLY were there balloons, there was a "Wiggles" balloon and a "Mickey Mouse" balloon! So funny what little it takes to totally make a toddler's day!

It is amazing to think that two years have gone by since I held that little 9 pound baby in my arms. Someone asked me if I was sad that she was 2---absolutely not!!! I LOVE this stage with her! Although it has its challenges (what stage doesn't?) every day is so much fun and filled with so much laughter and so much joy. I look forward to watching her grow this year and being amazed at how fast another year will go by. I'm enjoying each day, even the not so good days, as my heart continues to overflow with thankfulness to my God for the blesssing of my Hayley Brooke! I love you sweet girl! You are precious to me and even more precious to our God!

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Big Step. . .

It is a big day. Tonight we are leaving Hayley and Jack with their first non-family/friend real live babysitter. Tra and I have committed to start going out on dates every other Friday. I have been praying for awhile that God would lead us to a babysitter so that Tra and I could have more time together and not feel like we are imposing on our friends/family while we are out. God was faithful to lead us to not just one, but TWO girls who live minutes away from us, who are extremely reliable and responsible, and who are sophomores in high school! We get them both for 3 whole years!! I met them at church and already love them both dearly. I just finished typing out the 3 pages of instructions for sweet Jessica. I am a little nervous, but I know that everything will be just fine. I'm very thankful for cell phones. How did our parents leave us with babysitters and not have a way for them to be contacted most of the time?? YIKES!

I am so excited about being able to look forward to our new date nights. It is VERY easy to see how I could get so wrapped up in my kids that I could start putting them before Tra on my priority list. It is something I really struggle with and have to make a conscious effort to work on. My parents had date nights frequently growing up. I remember watching my mom get ready and putting on her "pretty" clothes and putting on her make up and smelling the scent of her perfume. I remember feeling really bummed out that they would leave, but the positive about that was that I felt good to know they liked going out together. It made me appreciate the times we all had family nights together too. I also remember, for the most part, liking my babysitters. It was kind of fun to have new routines when my parents were gone. I know they left instructions, but would you really be a fun babysitter if you followed them completely?? : )

Alright---time to go and figure out what to wear on my date tonight!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Doctors. . .

Rejoicing today that we live in an area with such wonderful doctors! Hayley had her first appointment with her pediatric urologist today and we loved her. Not only did she answer questions about Hayley's refulx, she also solved a problem that we needed solved about a year and a half ago. I even remember blogging about this problem a LONG time ago---Hayley's constipation issues. Without being too graphic, the x-rays that we were looking at today showed that she is SEVERELY backed up. We were given a prescription for her constipation as well as hope that we should have a much happier baby girl once that junk gets moving. Hayley is a pretty happy kid overall, but some of you who have spent a lot of time with her lately might see what I'm talking about when I say she has random moments of extreme clinginess/ fussiness/irritability. It has just seemed so strange b/c it isn't "typical" for her. As I told the dr. today, I know she is almost 2 and that 2 year olds tend to be fussy sometimes, but I am anxious to see how she acts once her poor little tummy feels better. For more detailed info, feel free to inquire in person. I'll spare the random readers the description of my kid's bowels. : )

We take Jack to his surgeon on Thursday for a consultation. He has a cyst above his right eye (left if you're looking at him) that he was born with. It keeps getting bigger and will continue to do so. So between the 2 of them, we will most likely be doing 2 surgeries in the next few months. Tra and I need to decide what to do for Hayley---we do have an option of no surgery YET but it doesn't seem like a great option. What would I do if I didn't have full confidence in my God right now? I know He will give us wisdom in our decision making and that He will bring them both through their surgeries triumphantly. (if He doesn't heal them before)

I'm so thankful for my healthy babies and God continues to gently remind me that He is in control and keeps my perspective in check. The other day after walking through Cook's in Fort Worth and seeing some REALLY sick babies, I asked Him, "I know I've gone through some tough stuff, but how could I EVER handle having such a sick, sick baby?" Immediately I felt like He said, "You would handle it just fine. I would carry you right through it, just like I always have before." It was a sweet moment. What a MIGHTY, LOVING, PRECIOUS God we serve!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

News. . .

Pictures are on the way of our night at The Wiggles, but it might be a week or so before I get them up. Check out Courtney's blog to get a report. It was so much fun!!

The big news of the week around here was that Hayley went tee-tee in the potty for the first time this week. She has a little "Winnie the Pooh" potty that several times a day she will ask to go sit on. She strips down, takes her diaper off and says, "I need to poop on the potty!" This has gone on for a few weeks now. We've done lots of running around with no clothes on lately. It's too exhausting to put her all back together, only to have her strip down within minutes. Well, one of my college roommates (Rae Hanan Boswell) was over with her little girl Macy last Tuesday (Aug. 1) when Hayley was sitting on her potty. After I told Rae that I hoped she didn't actually potty train until closer to 3 b/c I don't want to have to deal with stopping EVERY place we go to go "potty" I heard a noise coming from the bathroom. She did it! She tee-teed on the potty! We celebrated with her and called daddy and her grandparents to tell them the exciting news. She went twice the next day---once she came running out yelling, "I DID IT!!!!" and the other time she just went and then went about her day without telling me she went. I discovered it later when I was in the bathroom. It is apparantly not something she is 100% ready for b/c she hasn't gone since Wednesday. Ohhh, the things that we mommies get excited about. : )

Finally, for anyone interested there are pictures of Jack and Hayley up from his 6 month sitting. They can be found at Password: tra
I love Kristin, our photographer (and most of yours!) She is awesome. I am always amazed at how she totally captures their little personalities. It's hard to believe we're over halfway through his first year!

Friday, August 04, 2006

5 years ago today. . .

. . . at 2:00 in the afternoon I became Mrs. John D Willbanks III. (or as most of you know, Mrs. Tra Willbanks) I will never forget those double doors opening, everyone standing, and being so overwhelmed by the multitude of people at our wedding. I remember my dad whispering, "Walk slow---we're only doing this once." I got so overwhelmed by all of the people (around 600) that I didn't even see Tra until I had already started down the aisle. My "words of wisdom" to all brides are to take a minute before you begin walking down the aisle to stand there, take it all in, look down to see your groom (who is breathtaken by you, by the way), and THEN start your walk down the aisle to him. Our wedding was perfect---even with the whole unity candle fiasco. Five years ago as I was preparing to stand at that altar and promise to God, Tra and all of our friends and family that I would honor him and love him for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad until death parted us I sure didn't realize all that would entail in our first 3 years of marriage, much less 5. What a joy it is to go through this journey of life with my best friend. What a blessing it is to know that he loves me in spite of all of my faults and weaknesses. What a precious example he is to me of Jesus---who knows even MORE of my faults and won't only love me in spite of them, but who died for me because of them so that I could spend eternity with my Father in Heaven.

I wonder if Hayley would mind if I popped in our wedding video this morning instead of watching The Wiggles??