Monday, December 15, 2008

Dry Spell

I have been a blog slacker lately! So much has gone on in our lives since I last posted. My sister-in-law Abby got engaged on a family trip to Aspen! It was so much fun to get to be a part of their special night! I'm so excited to have Ryan join the family. He is such a wonderful guy and we are all big fans. My baby girl turned ONE on December 4. It's so hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since her birth. She is such a little joy. She has the sweetest smile and is a little ball of energy. She's not really into sitting still. Her trademark is that she puts everything she gets her hands on into her mouth. It is frustrating, hilarious and disgusting. : ) I think the most disgusting was a dead bug at Tra's parents' house one day. She also loves to play in toilets. Neither of my other 2 did either of these things. It amazes me at how different these 3 already are in such a short time. She loves music and singing. We have made up a song with her name in it and we all sing it to her multiple times a day and she eats it up. (pardon the pun!) She is very tall (95th percentile) and how can I say this nicely to where it will not hurt her feelings one day---very "healthy" (90th percentile). She and Jack have been in the same size diapers for awhile now and he is almost THREE. Impressive. She can wear his jeans from last year that he wore when he was 2. Ha ha! I love it!! It is going to be fun to watch her in the role of big sister. She is a tough little cookie---Hayley and Jack love playing with her. I should keep track of how many times a day, "Please be gentle," comes out of my mouth.

Since her birthday, we've been in Christmas mode over here. My family gets to come this weekend (we're so excited!!) and we are doing "Christmas" with them. Then next week we get to spend with Tra's family---and we're so excited about that too!! I LOVE having two familes that are just fun to be with! We're doing a little party for Jack the week of New Year's for his b-day (which is actually the 23rd) but I would rather get that done before sweet Mallory arrives. She is due the 15th of January. We'll see if I make it that far. Of course I hope I don't because I think she is close to 7 pounds already and there's just nothing fun about recovering from a 9 pounder. : ) Not to mention I'm ready to hurdle all the safety gates around here with a little more grace/ease. And to sleep normally---without sitting up, having to take Tums before going to sleep, etc, etc. Not that I'm complaining---what a BLESSING to be carrying this little gift around. We are beyond thankful for our sweet babies and are looking forward to having little Mallory join us in just a few more weeks! I hope to do better on posts, but if I don't. . . Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sneak Peek!

I had the kids' pictures taken last week. I love my new photographer! She has been in the area almost a year and I am SO glad I found her! Here are a few reasons why. . . 
The many faces of Riley Kate. . . she is 11 months old today!!

Love that Jack!

Hayley Brooke. . . such a joy!

My 3 little sweeties!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Way I See It #198

I love the quotes on my cups of coffee from Starbucks. This one was especially impactful to me:

"You can shower a child with presents or money, but what do they really mean, compared to the most valuable gift of all--your time? Vacations and special events are nice, but so often the best moments are the spontaneous ones. Being there. Every moment you spend with your child could be the one that really matters." --Tim Russert (Host of NBC's Meet the Press and author of Wisdom of Our Fathers.)

I know his son is especially grateful for the time his dad spent with him---as a child and an adult! It is definitely something I always want to have plenty of to give to my children. I have a GREAT example and have some BIG shoes to fill!! (not literally---although they are pretty big---sorry mom!!)   : )

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Here are a few pictures I got at the pumpkin patch last week. It was a CRAZY trip and definitely a blog-worthy post. The bottom line: me (keep in mind I'm pregnant and look more pregnant than I actually am), THREE kids, one wagon, a million other people/kids, and LOTS OF BEES!!! Hayley got stung recently at home and broke out in hives and stuff, so we were all a little more freaked out than usual about them. I was meeting one of my roommates from college and her kids and I don't think we had a conversation the whole time. It was nuts. At one point H and J had gone through a bounce house and I couldn't FIND THEM for about 5 minutes. (seemed like 50) 

After we sat down to unpack our lunches and Jack was grabbing his ears screaming and running away from the table, Hayley was screaming, bees getting on our food and in the wagon with Riley, I made the impulsive decision to load up the car and go back home. (Sorry, R, for the craziness!!)  I was holding Jack, pulling the wagon and RUNNING back to our car to escape the bees. Hilarious. You'd never know from these pictures how crazy it was!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deeper thoughts. . .

Last night we were hanging out in the backyard and Hayley brought out a paper plate of some "snacks" which consisted of crasins and one cheeze-it for all of us to share. So thoughtful! She ran back inside to grab her drink and while she was gone a gust of wind blew the plate of snacks off the table and all into the yard. When she came back out, she looked in disbelief at what had happened and with sadness in her voice asked me, "Mom, why did God let that happen?" I proceeded to explain to her how God gave us brains and he wants us to learn to use them really well and that next time maybe we'll think about putting something heavy on top of the plate so it doesn't blow away. And I started thinking about the recent times I've asked God that very question---friends with illnesses, sick babies, loss of babies, just the hard stuff in life. Why, God?? Why do you let these things happen? Although Hayley's scenario was much more simple than the ones in my list, was it really? It was a good reminder to just have faith and trust Him in ALL things and to remember that His ultimate plan is to ". . .prosper us, not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11)  

And one more deeper thought to share that I've been wanting to jot down for awhile. . .
I've been asking God for guidance and direction in some specific areas of our lives over the past several months. I read this verse one day in a rare moment of "quietness"---"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." Psalm 32:8 (NKJV) I thought that wording was so interesting, ". . .guide you with My eye." I started thinking, "How do you guide someone with your eye?" Why did He choose His eye to guide us and not His "word" or His "voice" or His "hand"? How does an eye guide? So I imagined trying to guide someone across a room with obstacles only using my eye---that person would have to keep their eyes on MY EYES, not the obstacles in front of them. They would have to stay VERY focused on MY eyes and trust me as they walked. More than likely, they would run into an occasional obstacle b/c it is not easy to guide with your eyes and distractions are EVERYWHERE. But after standing back up, they would again look into my eyes and keep on moving forward. How sweet is that picture with us and God? It just makes my heart happy and at peace to know that #1 He IS instructing me in the way I should go and I have Him as my guide through life and #2 He chose His eye to guide me--He wants me more than anything to seek His face and stay focused on it day after day as I "walk". #3 when I stumble or fall, His eyes stay on me and He actually helps me up and hopes that I choose to "lock in" on His eyes as I move forward. 

And I'll wrap it up with one more verse---Psalm 32:10 "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him."  I LOVE the Amplified version that says, "Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness. Prasing the Lord today for being our Teacher and our Guide and for His mercy and loving-kindness!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's a . . .

GIRL!!!  We found out this morning that we are having another little sister and couldn't be more thrilled! We're still working on a middle name but her first name is Mallory. It's SO much fun knowing who will be joining us in just a few more months. How did I NOT find out with Riley?? I love knowing ahead of time. We're telling the kids tonight when Tra gets home, but they've called it from the very beginning. Every time we ask them what they think it is they both say it's a girl! When I got home from my appointment Hayley said, "Are you going to tell me it's a girl??!!" Sooo fun. Can't wait to break the news to the brother and sisters tonight. Praising God for daughter #3 and that she looks healthy!! Now the long wait for mid-January to get here! Although I'm thinking it won't feel that long---days move FAST around here! : )

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And how did you spend YOUR Wednesday evening?

These pictures don't really do the mess justice. Our 2 oldest were playing upstairs having such fun---no fighting or fussing while Tra and I finished up dinner and actually got to have some uninterrupted conversation (we should have known something was up). Hayley asked us to come upstairs and see a surprise and that she did something really bad with our games. I wish I would have had my video camera on. It was one of those moments where it was SO bad you just had to laugh! There were 5 games, 4 of them with cards in them, one with dominoes, that were emptied out and scattered all over the gameroom. It was amazing. We had worked 30 minutes and hardly made a dent! H and J had some practice sorting and stacking colors while helping me pick up Cranium. Ugh. (Tra wasn't as upset as he looks in the picture---I just thought it was hilarious because I KNOW he was feeling that way inside.)  It did make us want to play some of those games though! Game night, anyone??

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things that make you go "Hmmmm."

My 7 month old and my 2 1/2 year old can wear the same size diaper.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Question. . .

I am 13 weeks pregnant and I look a little more like 23. I accept that and I know it better than anyone because I have to see myself every day. : )  I cut myself LOTS of slack because not only is this one my 4th child, my 3rd child was a mere 4 months old when we conceived this one. Obviously my body had not gotten back to its pre-pregnancy condition in that short amount of time. I know there are women out there who either work their tails off and get their baby weight off in a matter of weeks, and there are the ones who don't work at it and still get it off in weeks--I am neither of those. : )  So here is my question---what is it with the women out there who have HAD CHILDREN themselves and been in this vulnerable state and feel it is okay to say things like, "How far along are you? (jaw drops when I respond "12 weeks" and they continue) "Whoa! You're going to have a BIG baby!!"  I smile and politely say, "Yes, I do actually tend to have bigger babies (my largest was 9 pounds, smallest was 8), but what you are seeing is a lot of leftover fat from my previous pregnancy." Still smiling. Fighting urge to confront her and say, "How do you think that makes me feel?" Didn't confront her. . . just went to my car and finished off Jack's donut holes he didn't eat that morning. : )  I mean, really?? Do you not remember that at 12 weeks your baby is the size of a lime?? The bigness is not from my 3 inch child growing inside of me. It's just not polite and I sincerely apologize if I have EVER made a tacky comment to another mother out there like that. I feel like I make a big effort to try to make people feel good about themselves---and it isn't really that hard! 

No cute pictures to share today, just a little venting. We get to find out the first week of September if we're having a girl or a boy! Makes being a little on the chunky side SO worth it! Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Living in a fog. . .

I can't believe it is July! I can't believe I let June go by without one post. Between our family vacation the first week of June, a trip to see my parents, and being in the thick of 1st trimester ickiness and my 3 little ones, I've been grabbing sleep every chance I get and by the end of the day I'm completely spent. I will be 12 weeks tomorrow and I am feeling a little bit of my energy returning---slowly but surely. I really do feel like I have spent the past several weeks living in a fog. Meals get made (or ordered) : ), laundry gets done (with lots of help from my WONDERFUL husband---he is amazing with all the help he provides around the house), the daily routine has continued but I find myself tucking my babies in at night wondering where the day went. I'm looking forward to getting my energy level back up again so that I will be able to enjoy more of my days instead of just "drifting" through them. Hayley and Jack are little buddies, now more than ever, and they have so much fun playing together. They are at such fun ages right now---most of the time. : )  Riley is growing up way too fast. She is a "do-it-yourself-er" and will sit and play by herself for extended periods of time. She doesn't ever have much time to herself with her older brother and sister wanting to entertain her most of the day, so she takes advantage of her "quiet times."  

My parents have been in town since yesterday and it has been wonderful. We treasure the times we get to spend with them---it's not often enough! 

Counting our blessings. . . 

Everyone have a happy 4th! I hope to post again before August. : )
See what I mean about Riley rarely having a moment to herself??  : )

Saturday, May 24, 2008

BIG Announcement. . .

Many of you readers are already aware, but Baby Willbanks #4 is on the way!!! We knew we wanted another child, and although we didn't think the Lord would bless us with him/her THIS fast, we are SO THANKFUL that He has!! His plans are the best! My due date is January 15---just a little over a month away from Riley's FIRST birthday! : )  Hayley will be almost 4 1/2, Jack will turn 3 on Jan. 23, and little Riley gets to be a big sister at 13 months old!! I would never have mapped it out like this, but thankfully I am not in charge and the Lord knows what is best for our growing family! We are so excited about this new addition and can't wait to find out if it is a boy or a girl. We ARE finding out this time---yay!! I'm only 6 weeks at this point, so it's very early, but my sonogram last week looked great and things are right on track. 

So that's our latest news. We are just amazed that almost 4 years ago we were told we might not be able to have any more children after Hayley because of Tra going through chemotherapy. So to have THREE more in this short span of time is just an EXTRA huge blessing. 
I can't believe Riley will be 6 months old week after next! Where has this time gone?? She is such a little doll and we are all in love with her over here. The other day Jack was playing with her on the floor and she was "talking" and smiling at him and Jack said, "Mama, Ri-Tay's tute!" (Riley Kate's cute)  It is so sweet to see how God made Jack AND Hayley with such big hearts for babies. There has never been an ounce of jealousy over her and they actually get really annoyed that she takes so many naps during the day! This morning Hayley announced, "I hear Riley!"  She and Jack took off to her room, and by the time I got there all 3 of them were in her crib! I know I will have my days of exhaustion, insanity and tears, but it's all worth it. What a joy and an honor to be Hayley's, Jack's, Riley's and ????'s MAMA!!  As you seasoned moms will attest, all of us "rookie" moms are going to blink and these little babies are going to be teenagers. Oh Lord, help us all to enjoy every crazy moment with these little ones you have entrusted to our care. Thank you for such PRECIOUS gifts!!! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jack's First Spring Roll Experience. . .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blog Slacker

I'm having a hard time believing it has been a month since I've blogged. I feel like my days are moving faster than ever. I'm really working on enjoying this stage of life with my 3 little ones, but I will not lie---the past few weeks I have been WORN OUT!!  My Riley is sleeping all night (around 8:30ish until 6 or 7) but I don't think I've had a full night of sleep for weeks. My 2 and 3 year olds who are typically great sleepers have had issues sleeping through the night for various random reasons. One morning at 2am I hear noises and find Jack coming down the stairs wanting to watch the Wiggles and crying his eyes out when I tell him it is bedtime. I mean who doesn't get the urge to watch the Wiggles at 2am???  Another night I am startled from my sleep with the "presence" that I sense next to me---don't you love it when you open your eyes to your child staring you in the face in the dark??  It freaks me out!! Then of course my reaction scares her and she is crying, "My alarm is going off!"  Apparently my 3 year old is capable of dressing herself head to toe but does not have the ability to hit the "snooze" button. : )  And my favorite part of all of this is that the next morning I'll say to Tra, "Did you hear Hayley come in last night?"  You can guess what his answer typically is. . . "WHAT?? She did?? I didn't hear a thing!"  Although in his defense, I think there have been a couple of occasions when he got up with one of them and I was clueless. : )   I've come to the realization that I will most likely have fewer full nights of sleep than nights with interruptions for most likely the rest of my life. : )  And I'm becoming okay with that. I'm learning to roll with it. 

Here are a few things that have gone on lately that I want to remember:
The other night Hayley was picking out a Bible story to read and she chose "Jeremiah" in her little toddler Bible (by the way--does anyone have a Bible for kids that you love?? Let me know b/c I'm not nuts about the one we're using right now.) I started reading and she goes, "Jeremiah?? Like, Jeremiah was a bullfrog. . . and continued singing the WHOLE SONG!!  I was cracking up saying, "How do you know this song??? Where did you learn this song???!"  Hysterical! Apparently the learned it in music class at school. 

This girl is really making me laugh lately---another incident was one afternoon I was unloading groceries and she was looking through all the "loot" and found a new box of band-aids and very dramatically exclaims, "OH MY GOODNESS!!! MOM!! You got new Dora Band-Aids!! I just LOVE them! OH, thank you SO MUCH!! You are the BEST HELPER!!"   

At the pediatric dentist we go to (we LOVE her--Dr. Sandra Armstrong if anyone needs a referral), I went back to meet w/ the dentist after the kids were finished up pushing Riley in the stroller and she says to me, "Hayley tells us your expecting again?"  WHAT??  I said, "Well she knows something I don't know!" 
She told them I had a baby in my tummy and it was going to get REALLY BIG and that it was a little boy. Hmmmm. When I asked her about it she said she was talking about Riley being
 in my tummy. So it was just a misunderstanding. It just makes me laugh thinking about the conversations that most likely took place b/t the dentist and the hygienists, "That lady is out of her MIND having another kid right now!" And to set the record straight, we are NOT expecting. : )

Jack has really started to blossom with is vocabulary. One of my favorite things he says is, "Nooo, not yet."  He always shakes is head back and forth rapidly when he gives us that response. It's typically after we ask any question--"Do you want a snack?" "Are you ready to go to bed?" "Do you want some juice?"   

When we were getting ready for Adalyn's b-day party a couple of weeks ago I was telling him we were going to see Adalyn, and started naming other family members when he jumped in with, "PoppaMimiCow?" Which stands for "Poppy, Mimi and Scout."  It's like in his mind they are all ONE. And you don't have one without the other. : )  

We are doing swimming lessons with Hayley and Jack and Jack LOVES going to "sim." Tra gets in the pool with him and he can now go under for a good 5 seconds. It's amazing to see how much progress he has made in just a few short weeks! Hayley is doing great too, but she is fighting her nerves much more than Jack.

I can't leave out Riley!! This week she started rolling over from her back to her tummy! It's so hard to believe it's already time for that! She loves being upright and facing out. She is so smiley and LOVES her brother and sister. Hayley makes her laugh harder than any of the rest of us. It's so sweet!!

Last thing---I'm impressed if you're still reading and not a close friend or family member---I've started going to a Ladies Bible Study and the book we are going through is AWESOME---It's called Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. I think every Christian parent should be required to read it when they have a baby. I know there is not one formula that works for raising and parenting children, but it is sure hard to go wrong, in my opinion, with Biblical principles and teachings. I have really enjoyed this book and encourage any other parents out there who are interested in gaining wisdom and insight into parenting to get your hands on a copy of this book!
I'll try to be a better blogger. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Giving BIG. . .

Sunday night we were blessed to be part of an AMAZING experience. We have a monthly service on Sunday nights at our church. Last month we were told that this month we were going to have a "party" at our next Sunday night service. It was not the kind of party anyone expected---it was BETTER!!  We actually lived out the verses in Acts 4---"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."

It was incredible---people who had needs over $2000 were asked to stand, then those who had needs under $2000. Those who remained seated were asked to pray about who to give to and how much to give. There were also baskets of cash up at the front and several leaders of the church standing up there ready to give it away!! The people standing were asked to come to the front and make lines to be prayed with and receive from the baskets----and when they started walking out of the aisles to go down to the front, not ONE of them made it very far because people all over the church started standing up and walking towards them to hand them cash and checks. There was hardly a dry eye in the place. It was the sweetest experience. Several gave testimonies afterwards---some were not even members of our church but just visiting! Can you imagine?? One lady said, "I needed $500 for bills and before I left my seat a lady handed me a check and it was for $500!"  Our "homework" for the month was to be givers and pray about opportunities to give. 

What a precious God we serve---He meets our every need! Sometime even to the exact PENNY! And it wasn't just money that was given away---if anyone had ANY need---need for healing, prayers for struggles they were going through, etc. people were there to pray and ask God to meet those needs as well. It was such a great faith booster and a reminder that "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

So I encourage anyone stumbling across this blog today---many who already have a personal relationship with Jesus, but possibly some who do not---if you have ANY need---Jesus not only wants to meet it, HE WILL meet it. Not always in our timing or in the ways we think He will. In fact it is usually in circumstances we could never have imagined on our own. Also, I want to encourage you, blog reader, to join me in praying that the Lord will lead you to give extra big this month---not necessarily of money either. I believe He will provide plenty of opportunites of TIME for us to give to others. How we would ALL benefit from someone giving their time to us---a listening ear, encouraging word, a phone call to let you know you're being thought of and prayed for, a note in the mail just to say hello. : ) 

I am extra thankful this week, as Easter is just a few days away, of our most precious gift of all--"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dreams. . .

I have always had very vivid dreams. Most of the time they are crazy and make no sense whatsoever. When I was a kid I had some pretty scary ones---some were reoccurring and I would be afraid to go to sleep some nights b/c I would be afraid to have them again. One in particular that I still remember---I would dream that I was dreaming and I would "wake up" and really feel like I woke up but would actually still be sleeping. (Does that make sense?)  At that point my bedroom door would open and this lady that looked like a witch would come in and start walking toward my bed and I would be frozen and unable to move or scream or anything. It was horrible. Then I would wake up for real and be scared to death that I wasn't really awake. I'm praying against things like this for my children. Anyway---I had a horrible dream last night that I was holding Riley and trying to clean up a broken wine glass that Hayley knocked over in and around my bathtub. (I spend so much time in my bath sipping on glasses of wine---must be where that one came from)  : )     I was worried about her stepping on the glass so I was telling her to get away and picking up the glass and I heard splashing and looked down and Riley was completely submerged in the bath---face up looking straight at me. I had somehow managed to drop her in the bath without knowing it. I reached down to get her out and couldn't get a grip on her with my free hand---the other one had broken glass in it. I finally was able to get her out and she had been holding her breath the whole time and was perfectly fine---no coughing, no crying---just fine!  There was more after that----like I left Hayley in a hotel room to watch Riley while I took Jack to some soccer game. But when I went to check on them really quickly---I guess I just left Jack with the "team"--- Riley was closer to 3 years old and Hayley hadn't changed ages, but they were just laying in a bed playing.  WEIRD, huh?  Not sure why I decided to blog about this. If anyone has an interpretation you would like to share, feel free to do so! I believe the Lord still speaks to us in our dreams and it is possible He is saying something to me through these. It is also possible that I simply have vivid, crazy dreams. : )  

On an totally different subject---any Biggest Loser fans glad to see who went home last night? I won't write the name in case anyone hasn't caught up on DVR yet. : )  I LOVE that show. Tra and I are in the middle of se
ason 2 of Prison Break. It's one similar to 24 where every episode leaves you unable to turn it off until you see "just one more."  And we've been LOST fans since day 1. Another show I really like and that I watch in the afternoon sometimes during naptime is Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. And last thing---while I'm on my tv topic---is everyone aware that Beth Moore is on "Life Today" with James and Betty Robison on the Daystar channel every Wednesday?? She speaks for about 20 minutes on certain topics and it is SO good. Today's was especially good---about renouncing strongholds in your life and the power of our words and the power the spoken word has over the Enemy.  Gotta have my "Beth fix" every week! That woman is overflowing the the Holy Spirit like no other person I know! So thankful for people like her in my life who can help steer me in the right direction in my daily walk. 

Last story for this random post---The other day I was at Chesley's house making a "special delivery" and about to leave. I was looking for Jack and couldn't find him. I called his name a couple of times and asked Calista (who was also at Chesley's) if she had seen him. She gave me the weirdest look as if t
o say, "What do you mean have I seen him?"  As I was processing her look I realized. . . I was HOLDING HIM. Yes---I could very possibly be losing my MIND!!  : )  Gotta love "mommy brain."  

And here are the reasons for my loss of brain cells---I wouldn't trade them for ANYTHING!! Thanks, Nana, for the fun package you sent!! Getting ready for Easter!! 

And look at that little Riley smile---most likely laughing at one of the bunnies!  

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jackalopes, Sleep (or lack of) and Dinner

This morning Hayley was eating breakfast and randomly said, "I like Jackalopes. They're good. I like to eat em'."  I sat staring at her w/ a confused look on my face trying to figure out what she was talking about when I realized she was talking about CANTALOUPES!! Ha ha ha!! That kid cracks me up!

Riley slept last night from 11:30-6:50!! That would be even more exciting if Hayley wouldn't have come down to wake me up at 2:30 saying she was soaking wet. I know I will get a whole night's sleep again. . . one day. : ) 

Tra and I got to go out to dinner last night w/ our third wheel (Riley) and had the best time. Riley slept in her carrier the whole time. LOVE that girl. Valentine's day is extra special to us b/c it is our engagement day! It's so fun to think back on that night. He surprised me w/ a proposal after a mere 6 weeks of dating--I know CRAZY. And topped it off with taking me out to dinner and BOTH of our families were there to celebrate with us!!  It was one of my red letter days for sure. And that was 7 years ago---it seems like it was just yesterday! 

A Day Late. . .


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

When I woke up this morning. . .

. . . I didn't think the phrase "Put the poop back in the potty NOW," would have come out of my mouth. GROSS.

I'm so excited---I found a gymnastics place where Hayley and Jack can take a class at the same time! Hayley goes w/ a 3/4 group and Jack and I will do a mommy/me class in a separate group, but we'll all be in the same gym! (Actually, it will be Jack, Riley and me---she'll get to be in the little Snuggly pouch thing if she isn't sleeping in her carrier--which she did today!)  I've been so bummed b/c it is something I've especially wanted to get Hayley into, I just didn't know how to make it work w/ the other 2 tagging along. We did a free trial class this morning and it was so cute watching her do everything. She loved it. I didn't know until we got there that Jack and I could do a class at the same time, so he sat with me in the bleachers while we watched Hayley for an hour. He did pretty good, but did have some meltdowns b/c he wanted to go "pay" too! So I'm looking forward to going back next week and seeing how he does! And an extra special treat--one of her friends from church is also in the class she is in! We didn't know it until we got there today---fun!!

Why did they have to move LOST to Thursdays??? Every Wednesday I've gotten so excited only to have the let down when I remember it isn't until tomorrow night. 

And that's my random post for the day! : )

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Today was one of those days that I imagined in my head it would be like having 3 children. It started out with Hayley getting up earlier than usual and she found me laying on the guest bed in Riley's room (I had fallen asleep there after getting up what seemed like at least 20 times to put the paci back in the mouth.) LOVE IT when that happens. I wake up and feel like I didn't even sleep since I am on top of the comforter and not in my own bed. So I take her back to her room and go down to Riley crying in daddy's arms needing to be fed. (Riley, not daddy) : ) Hayley comes back down as I'm feeding Riley and hangs out with me as I get ready for church. She complains of a tummy ache and I respond every time with, "I'm sure your pretty hungry. It will feel better after you eat." So I make her breakfast, still complains of tummy ache. Says, "Mommy, I have to stay home from church b/c I'm going to throw up." I say, "Noooo, you're fine! We're going to church." We get to church (all 3 kids in coordinating outfits---not typical for me to do but made me want to do more of it--they were so cute!) While sitting on floor w/ Hayley putting her shoes on the right feet : ) she starts to whimper, "If I go to my class I'm going to throw up!" At that point I start to panic. This girl LOVES going to class at church, school, wherever. You don't have to bribe her to go places. I say, "I'm sure you're going to be okay. You'll be fine! (Big smile on my face trying to cover up concern.)" So she goes. We make it through w/o being paged, get in car and head home. And then it happened. For the FOURTH time in her life she threw up in the car. So it's chaos from there for what seemed like the rest of the day. We get home, get 2 clean kids in house, transfer H from car to garage, strip down to take to bath, Riley's screaming at this point, Jack's hungry, Tra's cleaning out car seat/car. CHAOS. So we get everyone situated finally--things are going better. Hayley feels better, is up playing acting FINE, she and Jack take off around the corner and go upstairs (so I thought.) Tra had gone to get the car washed and cleaned out, Riley swinging, I'm eating lunch (finally) talking to my mom on the phone. After a few minutes I head upstairs to check on them and I hear them in my bathroom. So I go in and they are standing in the shower---Hayley has my little pair of scissors in her hand and you can imagine it isn't pretty. Thankfully she didn't think to cut her OWN hair---but she did decide to cut her brother's hair. Lots of hair---chunks in the shower floor, shirt covered in hair. It actually doesn' t look too bad and we're considering having her cut it on a regular basis. : ) Ohhhhh boy. The day ended with Riley crying if she wasn't being held from 5-9 and Hayley again complaining about her stomach and at 9:00 I headed out to the store for my weekly run and actually enjoyed the quiet time in the car and walking around for an hour by myself.

And if you're still reading---(didn't mean for this to be so long!) I guess you need crazy days like this to fully appreciate the days that are semi-normal. What a joy to have these crazy days though. I wouldn't trade them for anything! (Well--- maybe a spa-day) : )

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


How cute is this template and header??? Amanda (see link) did this for me and I LOVE IT!! Thank you for using me as a guinea pig! It is going to be extra fun to blog now! 

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Apparently the new, cool template I downloaded the other day caused problems on other people's blogs too and erased their links. What is the deal with that??  Oh well---back to my search for a cooler, cuter blog template that doesn't cause problems. : )  Sorry Angela and whoever else was affected by that particular website. For now, I will settle with blogger's pink template.

Riley turned 2 months old yesterday! She is so much better in the evenings lately. She is doing lots of smiling and cooing---so fun! She's also wanting to hang out in the middle of the night more than usual lately. Lots of "bonding time" last night. 

Hayley picked out the book "Love You Forever" last night before bed. I cannot EVER get through that thing w/o choking up! And then I get to the part where the mom drives across town and climbs into her "little boy's" window and crawls across the floor and picks him up and rocks him in her lap and it kind of creeps me out. That's just weird. It is a sweet book though. 

Jack is becoming more and more his own person. Last night I learned he does NOT want his food to mix together---never mix guacamole with his beans!! He screamed and cried about that for several minutes. Tra and I were having a hard time being serious trying to get him under control b/c we were laughing so hard! He is very much into routines at bedtime in particular too. He has a certain order he likes to do things in and heaven forbid if you mess it up! Hayley is actually the same way. Hmmmm. I wonder where they get their OCD-ness? I'll give you a hint---it's NOT from mama. : )  I say that, but I have those tendancies. Our everyday plates and bowls are 3 different colors, and I always make sure to order the colors before I put them up out of the dishwasher b/c I don't want 2 of the same color together. So maybe I'm weirder than I thought. : )  I need to finish this book I "borrowed" from my mom (sorry I haven't returned it yet, mom!) but I love the title---"Everybody's Normal Until You Get To Know Them."  But life would be boring if we were all normal! Hope you other "weirdos" out there have a great day!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A New Look!

I'm so excited about my new blog template---not too excited that somehow my list of "Blogs I Read" was deleted.  That's like losing your cell phone in the sense that I don't have people's blog addresses memorized!! : (  I've been wanting a cuter template for a long time but haven't been able to figure out how to make it happen. This particular one was SUPER easy! The link to the site is on top of my page. It's the nice orange strip that I will change to a softer color if I can ever figure out how. : )

Hope everyone has a great week! 

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Road Trip!

Thursday morning Tra went to the dr. and found out he had bronchitis and spent the rest of the day in bed. As I went about my day I thought to myself, "Stay at home and take care of 3 children by myself AND a sick husband, OR take 3 children to Austin to stay w/ parents and celebrate my mom's birthday." Either way would take some serious effort, but I opted for our first road trip of 2008! We said goodbye to dada at 7pm Thursday and were at my parents' house by 10! We didn't stop on the way there. Riley did great and slept the whole way. Hayley slept half of the way, and Jack kept me company the whole time. About an hour outside of Austin he was wanting his juice that he had dropped that I couldn't reach, so I handed him my large chick fil a cup of ice water that was about a quarter filled and he spilled it ALL over himself. I thought about stopping to change him but he stopped screaming after a couple of minutes so I kept on truckin'.  Poor baby was SOAKING wet when we got there. : (   He's the best little kid. We had such a great time being w/ Nana and Big D! My dad was working in Florida all week and we surprised him at the airport Fri. morning by all going to pick him up! Neither of my parents had seen Riley since she was 2 weeks old! Needless to say, they were both very excited to have us hang out for the day yesterday and this morning.

We headed home around 1pm this afternoon and made it back by 5. I stopped to get gas in Belton and ended up feeding Riley and making the dreaded trek into the gas station w/ all THREE children b/c Hayley had to go potty. grrrrrr. At least she let me know she needed to go and didn't go in her car seat. It actually went fine--much better than I played it out in my mind--and we got treats for the rest of the way home. I'm hoping Jack doesn't get sick tonight from eating a whole package of Skittles. : )  Whatever keeps em' happy---if the babies ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!!  : )  I was in such a hurry packing before we left, I forgot my camera. So no pictures of the weekend. It sure was fun! We love you, Nana and Big D!!  (These pictures are of the last time my parents were here---Nana making gingerbread house w/ Hayley and Jack and Big D holding Riley for the first time at family Christmas party!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jack! (and a Hayley story)

One of the funniest things Hayley has said lately is, "Hey mom, for Christmas I want the Charmin video!" Yes, Charmin--as in the toilet paper. They have those cute little cartoon bears on the commercials. : )  She was very disappointed that they do not have a video. Then a couple days later when a Charmin commercial was on she said, "I sure do wish I had some Charmin. Next time you're at the store, will you get me some?"  So we may be saying goodbye to our "Quilted Northern" on our next toilet paper purchase.

 Jack is officially TWO years old! We had a fun family day on his actual birthday. We loaded up before breakfast, drove through a donut place and brought them to a bounce house place. We all 3 played in the bounce houses while Riley hung out in her stroller sound asleep. After a couple of hours we headed home for lunch and naps, got up and loaded up again--this time with dad--and went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner! We went for Hayley's birthday in August for the first time and they LOVED it. We didn't know it, but last Wednesday night, kids' meals were $1.99! They also had a guy going around making balloon animals, and a guy in a frog-suit costume walking around waving to the kids. The looks on their faces when the animals "come to life" is priceless. It was a GREAT day! Happy Birthday precious boy!! 

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy New Year!

I went on a blogging fast the first week and a half of this year and it appears I am still fasting! I've actually been a faithful reader---just haven't taken the time to post. Things are going great over here with 3. Riley is such a good baby---until about 6pm-11pm.  I have always been skeptical of the "colicky" baby thing. God humbled me with my 3rd. I can count on one hand the number of nights she hasn't screamed and been fidgity since about her 3rd week of life. So for the past month (she's 7 weeks tomorrow!) every night we are bouncing, rocking, feeding, patting, bathing, ANYTHING trying to calm her down. It is so weird and SO exhausting. I know many of you have gone through the same thing with yours and can empathize. Hayley and Jack were both so calm and chilled out as newborns. So this is a whole new experience for me. Any ideas or suggestions to help calm the child down are MUCH appreciated and welcomed. Thankfully during the day she is an angel and very easy. She's still and angel at night---just a noisy one. : )  

I took all 3 to the mall by myself for the first time last week and it was so funny to watch
 people's mouths drop as they said, "You have 3!!"  I wanted to respond, "Great job! You can
 count!"  Hayley is turning into such a little lady and is so much fun to hang out with all day. She says and does the funniest things. One of my favorites lately is "Today is today, right mom?" To which I respond, "Yes--today is today." And she says, "Today is not tomorrow, right?"  And we go on for a little while and I'll throw out an occasional, "But tomorrow it will be today and today will be yesterday."  It totally shoots her wheels off---yours too, didn't it?? : )  She also likes to put Jack down for naps in her bed at the most random times. It's hysterical because Jack obeys her. Sometimes he just plays along for fun, but other times it hurts his feelings and he goes reluctantly into her room, lays down and sucks his thumb while crying his eyes out and STAYS in her bed until I come up and tell him he does not have to take a nap and he does not have to obey Hayley. It's sad, but it cracks me up to see him in there laying down by himself just crying. Poor buddy. I'm having a hard time believing he is turning 2 on Wednesday! Goodness---where does the time go??