Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Phone Picture Dump.

I have way too many pictures on my phone right now that I need to document, but have been so busy I haven't taken the time to transfer them over until now. I love having a camera on my phone. They're not the best quality, but they capture those quick moments in life that I don't want to forget... the good and the bad :)

I previously mentioned that Brayden got to go to the LSU/Arkansas game with my sister and her boyfriend. I had accidentally deleted the pictures she sent, so I am just now getting these up. The one plus side of the Hogs having a crappy year is that tickets have been free/cheap, so Brayden has gotten to go to 2 games. He LOVES it, and often talks about how when he gets really big that he'll play there too.
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Don't worry... there's a Hog jersey under his jacket. We wouldn't let them dress him in LSU gear :)
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Brayden LOVES Jacob. Also, please note the flashlight Brayden brought to the game.
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With his Aunt "Wawa". He loves her too!
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They only stayed 1 quarter at the game, and he still crashed on the way home. Football games are exhausting!

Moving on to everyday life pictures...
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The boys often pretend to be animals together. This day they were snakes, slithering through the jungle my kitchen.
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Brayden loves to play dressup. On this particular day he came into the living room all proud of himself. I have titled this picture "ghetto cowboy" IMAG0652
Connor got a playdough set for his birthday. It was his first time to play with playdough, and he loved it
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Connor loves to grab my hat off my head and say "no, my hat!" then he laughs really hard. No idea why he thinks it's so hilarious, but it's so cute!
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One night we went to Wendy's as a family for some frosty's. Connor does not like to share his ice cream anymore, so he got to  eat a frosty all by himself. He likes to take rather large bites
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what a mess!
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good to the last drop
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Brayden was mad at me for something. I can't remember, but this picture just cracks me up. The boy has some attitude like you wouldn't believe! Also, if he gets mad at me while he's dressed like Spiderman, he will turn around while running away from me, and shoot me with his webs. It's equal parts funny and maddening.
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This happens a lot when we are trying to get him in the car. He'd much rather run through the parking lot dodging moving vehicles. I'm such a mean mom for not allowing that to happen, obviously.
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The boys have been fighting the crud for the past week or so, and one day we had a movie marathon. Connor requested Nemo, and then set up a little seat area in the laundry basket in the middle of the living room. He sat there like this for atleast 30 minutes.
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this boy. Man, he can drive me nuts sometimes, but then I see pictures like this, and my heart just melts into a million pieces. So glad that God chose me to be his mom. He has my heart, that's for sure!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Multiplying Love.

In an earlier post I mentioned the way that my love for my kids wasn't divided when Connor was born, but it was multiplied. I got a comment from a blog friend who is expecting her second. She's in the throws of second pregnancy questioning. Been there, done that. Got my ribbon for weird fears. I'm here to say, you'll live to look back on the fears and realize that most of the things that we moms stress about before we have a baby (first or second or third child) usually iron themselves out and we end up looking back on the fears and laughing at our past selves for even questioning our abilities in the first place.

I had fears throughout my pregnancy with Brayden. I had a truckload of fears throughout my pregnancy with Connor. In fact, I would say that in many regards, my pregnancy with Connor was haunted by fears. Mainly fears of my ability to parent more than 1 child. What I found is that while there is a definite learning curve to juggling more than one kid, it's doable. And in some regards it becomes easier as the kids get older. I absolutely LOVE the ages my kids are right now. They are best friends. They want to do everything together. Women would stop me in the grocery store when I had a screaming 20 month old and a newborn, and they'd tell me "it's hard now, but you'll love this age gap. You really will!" Guess what? They were right. I love it. In some ways I was a bit sad after we had waited so long to decide to have a third child, because I knew that the age gap between Connor and this next baby would be a bit bigger than the one between Brayden and Connor. I guess I say all that to show that sometimes our fears seem like monstrous boulders in the present, but in the future looking back it's merely a pebble in the journey.

And the whole multiplying love thing? It's true. I don't really know how to explain it to you, but it is. It's similar to when people would tell you that you would love your child more than anything the minute you saw his/her face. And you questioned them. And then you saw that little person and all of your doubt melted (at least mine did). In a split second I went from not knowing a little person, to loving that little person so much I would do anything for him. That's how it is with the second child. You question whether you could love him or her just as much as your first. But you see them for the first time, and it's like you have the same amount of love in an instant that you've had growing for your first all this time. And each little thing that the second one does (especially if it's with your first child), your love just continues to multiply. This sounds awfully cheesy, I know, but trust me. You'll love your second one just as much.

And that whole fear about ruining your first child's "good" life by bringing in a second child? Don't even believe it for a second. Sure, there's adjustment, but that much can be said for all involved. I never really feared about this because I am the oldest of 4 kids. I love, love, love each of my siblings. They are my best friends in this world, and the ones that will stick with me through thick and thin. Sure, we fought (a lot) growing up, but I look at them as precious gifts my parents gave me. My prayer is that my kids all feel the same way about each other some day. Brayden and Connor are best little buddies right now. They play together, fight together, get in trouble together. I can't imagine Brayden not having Connor, or vice versa. Brayden never complained about giving up his room because we adjusted early enough for him to not make that connection with a room change and a baby coming. He absolutely LOVED getting a big boy bed, and thought he was the coolest ever, so he never had anger towards Connor for taking his crib. There are more examples, but I'll spare you the novel.

Hopefully that all makes sense and I haven't rambled my head off. All in all I would say that while your fears are valid (most all moms have them), in the end they all iron out and you end up head over heels for your kids,  however many you have.

Monday, November 26, 2012

13 Weeks.

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(this picture was taken at the end of the day on Saturday, a day when I had eaten 2 Thanksgiving meals in 1 day. Thus, my belly looks a lot bigger than it really is. Atleast that's my story :) )

How Far Along: 13 weeks, 3 days.
Size of baby: The baby is the size of a medium shrimp (that sounds like such a bad comparison!), is almost 3 inches long and weighs a little over an ounce.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 3 pounds last time I checked. I don't worry much about weight gain so I only really know when I have my checkups.
Maternity Clothes: maternity tops for the most part, non-maternity pants. This baby is riding HIGH, so I really haven't felt a need to wear maternity pants yet.
Gender: won't find out till January-- can't wait!
Movement: still too early... can't wait to feel those flutters!
Sleep: It's still bad. I'm getting used to it though, which is probably a good thing, considering I'll be up a lot in the middle of the night in a few months ;)
Symptoms: I'm still having occasional spells of nausea, but it's getting a lot better. I still have a few headaches every now and then, but nothing like I had last week.
What I miss: consistent sleep, and being able to sleep on my tummy.
Cravings: Mexican food. Praise the Lord for chips and salsa!
Food Aversions: it just depends on the day, and the smell.
Best Moment this week: Having my family here for Thanksgiving... not necessarily pregnancy related, but definitely the high of my week!
What I am looking forward to: Feeling the baby move, and finding out if we're having a girl or a boy.

I know I've said this before, but I just feel so blessed. When I see my boys romping around the house and hear the pitter patter of their feet, I thank the Lord for blessing me for being their mom, and for answering our prayers to add to another little life to our family. Make no mistake, we have hard days around here, but being a mom is a dream come true for me, and I never ever want to take it for granted. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012: Highs and Lows.

We had a good Thanksgiving, albeit a rather uneventful one thanks to two sickies. I was super bad about not taking pictures, so my apologies to my readers and specifically to my future self, who will more than likely be bummed I didn't get picks of the boys on Thanksgiving Day. Considering I don't have as many images, I figured I'd do a high/low post.

High: My family coming into town. It wasn't until last week that we even finalized Thanksgiving plans. That's about how this year has rolled. I was glad to have everyone here though, and loved having a house full of loved ones to enjoy the day with (my Uncle and his family joined us on Thanksgiving day).
Low: Connor coming down with a cough/fever on Tuesday morning, which progressively got worse throughout the week, and was also combined with breaking his two year old molars. Having a sick baby is never fun, especially during Thanksgiving festivities. It was pretty brutal if I am honest, as he didn't really want anything to do with anyone but me. I ended up taking him to the doc on Friday after a scary Thursday night. He had croup and an ear infection. Awesome.
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High: Despite the clinginess and whining, I did get some good snuggles with the babe. Snuggles are always good.
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Suckers will make even sick children smile while waiting for the doctor.

Low: Finding out one of my very best friends has a very sick baby. Courtney and I have been friends since high school. You can find out more about Ava Jane on Courtney's blog. I would love if y'all would pray for her with me.
High: getting pictures of my sister, her boyfriend Jacob, and Brayden at the Arkansas/LSU game.  

Low: getting texts from my sister that said Brayden only made it 1 quarter because it was so cold.
Low: realizing I deleted all of the pictures that my sister sent.
High: The end of the Hogs football season. Normally I wouldn't say that, but this year has just been absolutely heartbreaking and I was ready for a new leaf. Hoping for a better season (and coach) next year. 
High: It's officially Christmas time in our home. We spent Saturday with my family at Lowe's picking out our Christmas tree. Considering Connor was in one of his two year old sick moods, it was an epic trip. I love going to pick out the tree with my family, and it was even more fun this year as Brayden totally understood what we were doing and was all about picking out the perfect tree.

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he looks so cute in his poofy down jacket
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let's not even discuss how old he looks in this picture. I can't get over it
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we found the tree! (actually, we ended up taking this one back when we realized they sold smaller ones, but never took a family picture with our actual tree we brought home)
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while we were finishing up our tree purchase, my family had a little fun with Santa
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Brayden was a big helper and helped Drew carry the tree to the truck.
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Meanwhile, Connor was throwing his epic fit. Sometimes you just have to take pictures of moments like this. Gotta keep it real.

We spent most of today recovering from the sickies and resting. After 4 straight days of turkey I requested Mexican food, so we ventured out for a bit to satisfy my craving. This afternoon we broke out the Christmas decorations and Drew strung the lights out on the tree. I'll be sure to share those pics later this week.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful in All Things.

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photo credit Mr T in DC via Flickr 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I've not joined in the 31 days of Thanksgiving on Facebook. But I felt like I needed to write a post about Thanksgiving at least, to give myself some perspective when I come back to look at this time in my life.

The Bible talks a lot about being thankful. And I think for the most part, Christians are a thankful people. But a lot of the Thanksgiving I see spewing out on facebook status' and tweets is for good things. Indeed, good things are certainly things to be thankful for. This past year our lives have been filled with plenty of good things to be thankful for:
- a buyer for our old home
- a new home that fit our family perfectly
- continued blessings in Drew's career
- relatively good health for everyone in our family
- a new (to us) car that was exactly what we had wanted and needed, at exactly the right price
- the blessing of a new life in our family

Jehovah Jireh (my Provider) has definitely been present in our lives this year. God has provided in ways I never even fathomed possible. To Him be the Glory.

And usually, we stop there. Because it's weird to be thankful for the bad things too. But if you've read this blog for long, you'll know that I'm ok with being weird.

I recently read that if we question God when bad things happen to us, we should question God when we are blessed as well. I am so unworthy of all of the many blessings I receive, and that quote made me really take a step back and realize that I was questioning God too frequently on why things were happening... but only when they weren't really going my way.

So today I thank God not only for the good things that have happened over the past year, but the seemingly bad things too. I trust that He makes all things beautiful. I trust that His plan is greater than my own. I trust that in my pain, He will be close. If it weren't for the bad things that have happened this year, I wouldn't be where I am today in my faith. I wouldn't have been able to extend encouragement to someone who had specific questions about God based on a situation that was similar to what we had gone through this year as a family. I wouldn't have been able to see how God miraculously healed Connor's finger. Yes, bad things aren't fun to go through. But I am grateful for where they lead me to in life.

What are you thankful for this year? 

May you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

12 Weeks.

I actually hit my weekly milestones on Fridays, but because life is super busy, and because I rarely wear makeup on the weekdays, these will most likely come on Mondays (it's on Tuesday this week because I wasn't about to steal Connor's thunder on his birthday).
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Pregnancy Highlights
How Far Along: 12 weeks, 4 days.
Size of baby: The baby is the size of a lime, just over 2 inches long and weighs half an ounce.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 3 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: I can still wear most of my non-maternity pants with ease. I'm starting to prefer maternity tops because my belly is too big for most non-maternity tops (please see picture above for reference ;) ).
Gender: won't find out till January-- can't wait!
Movement: too early for that, but I can't wait, as it's my favorite part of pregnancy!
Sleep: If I'm honest... it's awful. I sleep well for about 3 hrs, then have to wake up to pee, and can never really fall back asleep. I never had this problem with the boys, which is so strange.
Symptoms: nausea. I had a fun bout of vomiting yesterday while shopping at Walmart- definitely my most humbling pregnancy experience to date. Serious fatigue. Probably from the lack of good sleep as well as the progesterone that I am on right now. Only 1 more week of progesterone! I've also started to have TERRIBLE headaches. Friday night it was so bad that anytime I moved, my head would POUND. Praying that this is not something that stays with me for the next 28 weeks.
What I miss: sleep and being able to eat whatever I wanted.
Cravings: I've not really had any weird cravings lately (at the beginning of the pregnancy I craved Taco Bell bean burritos, which was disgusting).
Food Aversions: it changes by the hour. I feel like it's getting better though.
Best Moment this week: Having Brayden ask more questions about the baby. I love how he can understand it this time around!
What I am looking forward to: I can't wait to start feeling this baby move and to find out what we're having! I also am ready to feel more myself-- constant nausea and fatigue have not made me the funnest person to be around lately.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Connor is 2.

Two years ago, my life was changed forever, as we welcomed our second son into the world. I'll admit, at the time I was overwhelmed by fear. Fear that I may not be able to do the whole two kid thing, fear that I wouldn't be able to love another little soul as much as I loved Brayden. Fear that life would change so much I may not make. I faced my fears, overcame them, and I'm here to say, the arrival of Connor Andrew made me a better person, inside and out. He was the absolutely perfect addition to our family, arriving at just the right time, and refining us in ways we never even knew existed.
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At 2, Connor is the epitome of a toddler boy. When he's not in his epic "noodle tantrums", he really is the most joyful little boy I've ever met. He says "hi" to everyone he sees. He smiles, laughs, sings and dances to his hearts content.

Connor LOVES to cuddle. He'll come to me throughout the day for hugs, or to "hold you like a baby". I try most times to drop what I am doing and embrace the moment. It won't be long before I'll get the backtalk and sass that comes with preschoolers :)
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As far as details, Connor weighs approximately 30 pounds. He wears mostly 2T clothes, but he has a few 3T shirts too. We're not potty training, nor do I plan to do so anytime soon. Sometimes he will ask to sit on the potty, so we entertain, but by no means is it something I plan on taking on right now. I waited until Brayden was almost 3, and it was the best thing I chose to do. Connor will probably be the same.
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He's still in his crib, but that will probably change in the next 2 months, as we start the transition of Connor sleeping in Brayden's room. I'm a bit nervous about the transition-- both to a regular bed, and to a shared room. Technically I could put each child in their own room, but I really like having a guest room, so I'd prefer to keep it that way if at all possible.

Connor's vocabulary has really sky rocketed over the past month and a half. He is talking in 3-4 word sentences now. My favorite that he says is "where did ____ go?" He says it in the cutest little high pitched voice and I just want to squish him when he says it. Adorable.

Connor LOVES Brayden. He'll often call out for him when we're all at home. They play well together for the most part. Wrestling matches have now become a part of my life. At first I tried to make them stop but I decided that unless someone was bleeding, I'd let them go at it. They're boys. And since the wrestling matches are spurned on by Connor (A LOT), I figured if he could pick a fight, he could fight a fight. So far it's working out well.
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Connor Andrew--

2 years ago I never dreamed it would be possible to love another child as much as I loved your brother. But it's true. Love is never split when another child is born into a family. It's only multiplied. And I would say that your addition to our family exponentially multiplied the love that we have for each other, and for you. You have brought joy, laughter and fun into our homes. I love seeing the world through your innocent eyes. Watching you dance and sing, especially when you sing to Jesus.... it just makes my heart melt. I love you like there's no tomorrow... all the way to the moon and back. Happy 2nd Birthday sweet baby boy!

Birthday Parties and Parks {Weekend in Review}

We have had a great weekend, full of food, friends and laughter... the best of weekends for sure. The big headline was definitely Connor's 2nd birthday party on Saturday.

If you know me at all, you know I am a type A planner. I have everything on lists, either on paper or in my head. There is a rhyme and reason to most things I do throughout the day. This is how I operate. Unless of course, I am pregnant. Then all planning goes out the window and I just merely survive, especially during the first trimester. So when Drew asked me on Friday what plans I had for the party Saturday and I stared at him with a blank face, he promptly informed me to call up the bounce house rental and go with plan B.

It's a good thing we went with plan B. We simply invited our community group friends from church, our family that lives close by, and our neighbor's grandchildren. The problem with this seemingly "small" party is that it's never ended up small. Nearly everyone was able to come, meaning we had close to 30 kids in our backyard. I'm so thankful the weather was perfect. Connor had an absolute blast. I loved watching him run around the yard interacting with friends, enjoying the food, and stuffing his face with cupcakes (the best part of a birthday party if I do say so myself!). I was a slacker on pictures, but managed to capture a few. Unfortunately my camera was on JPEG, so I hardly edited any of them. I hate editing JPEG images.

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this was about half of the people that came. I love that our backyard is large enough to have a party like this and not feel cramped!
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Justin was super dad and loaded most of the kids on the trampoline to play "popcorn"
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waiting to sing happy birthday... I was SO pleased with how his cake turned out
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I didn't really have a theme to Connor's party, but decided to do a Thomas cupcake cake since Connor LOVES Thomas right now. I was SO excited when I picked up the cake. Connor LOVED it!
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singing happy birthday. The wind wouldn't let us keep the candle lit. He didn't seem to mind
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he DEVOURED his cupcake
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I absolutely LOVED watching him open gifts. He was so excited, and he just soaked up every minute of it. He delicately ripped the paper off, and when he could see the present he would say "oh wow!"
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opening gifts at a party is always a little chaotic, but it's also so sweet to see friends so excited about giving. Each child at the party was so anxious for Connor to open the gift they brought.
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after the party we had our little friend Nicholas stay and play (his grandparents are our neighbors). Brayden and Nicholas have become great little buddies.
Saturday evening we went to see the lights on our town's square. I didn't bring my camera, but wish I had. The boys loved it.

Sunday was beautiful, so after naps we headed to Sonic for some happy hour drinks and then landed at a local park.
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Brayden was all about this rope wall. He spent much of the evening on this contraption
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this is possible the funniest picture ever. He kept asking to do this again and again, but then would scream when he was hanging
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B figured out a way to get himself up on this perch, and once he did, he stayed there for about 20 minutes before we left.
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proof I was there :) This orange slushy ended up dripping all over me while we were sitting on the bench. Nothing like leaving a park covered in orange drippage down your pants.
Today is Connor's second birthday. We just have a laid back day planned. I can't believe he's already two-- time flies! Hope yall have a great week!