A New Year

A New Year

We ended 2014 and rang in 2015 in a pretty low key fashion this year. We drove home from our week at the ranch on New Year’s Eve and after a week away from home, we opted for pizza delivery and a quiet night at home. It was perfect! We unpacked a little, cleaned up the house a little, and just spent time relaxing. New Year’s Day was great. We did some more work around the house and then ate our traditional meal of pork chops, black eyed peas, rice, & cornbread. Parker was most excited about getting a chance to play with all of his toys from Christmas.

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A far cry from our NYE dinners out at nice restaurants a few years ago, but pizza, puzzles, and these two are exactly where I wanted to be!

Each year, I usually try to set some goals for the year, but with baby #2 coming soon, I decided to be realistic. For us, this year is going to be all about adjustments and contentment. Adjusting to life as a family of four, adjusting to having two kids, and remembering to be content with where we are. For the first few months, keeping everyone happy, fed, and in (mostly) clean clothes is pretty much all I’m hoping to accomplish. Meals will not be glamorous, there will be piles of laundry, we’re going to be tired, and life is going to be crazy, but oh so fun! One of the beauties of being a 2nd time mom is having more realistic expectations. I know how hard the first few months are, but I also know the difficulty doesn’t last forever. Life is never “the same as before”, but you find a new normal and get into a groove that works.

Since Christmas ended and we’ve been home from the ranch, we’ve pretty much in baby prep mode.  Getting the guest room cleaned out and baby stuff pulled out of the attic has been top priority, along with trying to clean out and reorganize closets and cabinets and just trying to make the most of the very little storage space we have in our house.  I’ve been buying sweet little girl clothes (so fun!) and pulled out all the neutral stuff we have from Parker’s baby days.  Seeing all these sweet dresses and girly outfits hanging in her closet is still so surreal!  We still don’t have anything hung on the walls in her room, but the walls are painted, curtains are hung, and all of the furniture is (mostly) in place.

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So excited to get this room finished and bring our baby girl home!

Ranch Trip 2014

Ranch Trip 2014

The day after Christmas, we loaded up the cars and headed to the ranch outside of Fredericksburg. It was a fabulous week of relaxing, eating, shopping, and just enjoying family. Unfortunately, because of how rough and rocky everything on the ranch is, I pretty much had to stay around the house. No 4wheeler, ranger, or truck rides through the pastures, but I enjoyed lots of time relaxing by the fire with the other girls and we even ventured into Fredericksburg a couple of times to do some shopping!

The (big) boys got up early and left before the rest of us so they could hunt that same evening, but my mom, Parker, and I took our time packing and left around lunch time.  All of the boys shot something, so now we all have freezers full of meat for the year!

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Right as we pulled up, Christo came in from hunting with his prize for the week, a mouflon (basically a wild ram or sheep)!

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Driving the ranch truck with Daddy!

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Love these two boys!

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Driving with Chief!

As always, big time thanks to Monica and Brad for letting us enjoy the ranch for the week!

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

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Sweet boy, desperately waiting for Pak & Chief to arrive!  I was busy trying to get a few things wrapped and he was getting antsy waiting for them to get to our house, so he pulled up the chair to the front window & told me he was watching for Chief’s truck to come down the street.  Melt.my.heart.  He was so excited when he saw them & RAN through the front yard!

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Making his gingerbread train with daddy one night!  They had so much fun doing this together and he’s already talking about making another one!

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Pak & Parker making their annual Christmas cookies for Santa!

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Pak & Parker’s gingerbread men -he had a blast mixing up the cookie dough and cutting them out!

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Our sweet little boy as he headed to bed on Christmas Eve!

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Goodies & a note for Santa!

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I’d say Santa definitely found Parker’s house this year!  He was so excited about his bike and rode it all around the house that morning!  He was AMAZED at the mess the reindeer made on the back porch with the carrots he left out for them and LOVED the fact that Santa ate all of his cookies.  He did not love that Santa didn’t drink all of his water though…remember that next year, ok, Santa?

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Christmas morning chaos!

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Riding his new bike from Santa!

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What’s better than riding a new bike?  Riding a new bike with your new headlamp on!

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Christmas fun with cousins at Nana & Papa’s house!

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Excuse the popsicle :), we had a great Christmas!

Parker’s 3rd Birthday

Parker’s 3rd Birthday

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Its hard to believe we have a 3 year old! This year, we celebrated our sweet little boy and his love for dinosaurs. It was a fun party to plan because he’s at the age where he can really tell us his preferences and could help pick things out.

Because his birthday fell over Thanksgiving break from school, we celebrated with his class before break.  He was SO excited to have cupcakes with his friends.  It was seriously adorable.  He kept thanking us for bringing cupcakes and celebrating his birthday.

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For his actual birthday party, we kept things really low-key this year and really just wanted to give Parker a chance to play with all of his cousins and friends. I ordered a few dinosaur themed pieces of decor and had my cousin make an adorable dinosaur to hang on the front door, but other than that, it was very simple. We didn’t do a whole ton of food either, just some of Parker’s favorites (Chick-fil-A nuggets, chips, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, & ice cream) and it was nice not having quite as much to do in the days leading up to the party.

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We pulled out the bounce house and corn-hole boards and everybody just enjoyed each other’s company and the beautiful weather for the afternoon. The kids enjoyed swinging, jumping, “playing” corn-hole, soccer, and even throwing the football. We’ve been incredibly blessed the last 3 years to have had awesome weather on party day and we are so, so thankful!

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So thankful to all of our friends and family who helped us celebrate our little boy!

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Parker and I were out of school the whole week of Thanksgiving and it was such a nice, relaxing break!  We didn’t do anything major, just enjoyed being at home with each other with no real agenda for a couple of days.

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Our pine cone turkey!  He had so much fun making this…I learned very quickly why I teach high school instead of preschool!

Thanksgiving Day my mom and I got up early and started cooking.  Then, we spent the day in Beaumont at Nana and Papa’s and had a great time with everyone.  We enjoyed some good food, great company, and lots of laughs with each other.  We also celebrated a few birthdays and had a good time playing with the kids outside.

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Nana & Papa with the 4 great grandkids!  Next year, sweet Adley will have another girl in the mix!

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So thankful for these 2 boys!

Parker – 3 Years Old

Parker – 3 Years Old

I know all parents feel this way, but its so hard to believe that our baby boy is already 3 years old!  There are so many times that I look at him or listen to a conversation he’s having and wonder how we got to this point.  In so many ways, it really seems like yesterday that we were nervously walking out of the hospital with him feeling completely unprepared and clueless.  While time has marched on, those feelings haven’t really changed much.  We’re obviously not so concerned with survival or meeting basic needs at this point, but now just feeling completely unprepared and clueless as to how to handle some of the behavior issues that have begun creeping up.  I definitely spend a lot of time in quiet thought, reflection, and prayer as we move through this age of teaching obedience and appropriate behaviors.

So, a little bit about Parker at 3 years old…

He’s growing like a weed!  He weighs 35 lbs and is about 37 inches tall.  He wears a 4t in shirts, 3t in pants, and a 9 in shoes.  He still loves to eat and is still pretty much stuck on the same foods.  He does not like trying new foods, but every now & then, he does and finds that he actually some of it!  He really enjoyed his daddy’s fried turkey at Thanksgiving with our small group, but then wouldn’t eat on Thanksgiving Day…who knows…kids can be strange.  The latest addition to his diet is cornbread.  He asks me every evening if we can make cornbread to go with our dinner!  We attempted to switch him from soy milk to regular milk right before Christmas and he did great on it, but he didn’t really care for the taste.  So, we are back to soymilk, based solely on taste preference.  At least we now that he’s outgrown the milk allergy!

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He’s super into legos these days and loves to build stuff…and then destroy it!  He still loves to cook in his play kitchen and spend time outside.  He got soccer goals and golf clubs for his birthday and would be out there all day & night if we would let him.  He also likes to play catch, “play music” on his guitar, read books, do puzzles, and art work.  He also loves to help his daddy work on projects in the garage.

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he loves to help me clean!

We work on manners alot at home, mostly in how we speak to each other/other people and how we treat the things around us (not standing/jumping on the furniture, throwing things, hitting things/people, etc…).  We also are really working on appropriate reactions when things don’t go his way.  They work on it at school alot and even though there are days that I don’t feel like he listens to anything we tell him, we consistently hear from his teachers at school and Bible class how sweet and polite he is, so maybe some of it is actually sinking in.  Unfortunately time-out has become a common thing at our house and usually if he’s left alone for a few minutes to finish throwing his fit, he decides he’s finished, and comes to apologize to us.  We’re trying to be really consistent in how we handle things so that hopefully he eventually realizes the outcome will be the same every.single.time.  I’ve never felt more inadequate, than dealing with a child who’s throwing a fit and I have no idea how to stop it.  Its a very frustrating, yet humbling thing.

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Chick-fil-A date with my favorite little boy!

He’s officially potty trained, though, due to his stubbornness, does still have accidents.  This usually happens when he’s doing something that he doesn’t want to stop, so we’re still asking him regularly and making him take potty breaks to try and prevent the accidents.  I know he has the ability to not have accidents because he stays completely dry all night long (but still sleeps in a diaper for my own sanity if there were to be an accident).  He does still get treats if he stays dry all day long and its amazing what one little piece of starburst candy does for this kid!

He absolutely loves school!  Most mornings, he practically runs to his classroom and most afternoons, he tells me that he just wants to stay & keep playing.  We are so thankful for his school and teachers.  It is truly a wonderful place and was definitely an answer to many desperate prayers.  He (finally) loves Bible class and asks multiple times each week when we get to go back to church.  This was something that I prayed about for so long and I’m so glad he finally feels safe and comfortable there!

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 modeling his new jacket!

 He talks to and talks about his baby sister alot and keeps coming up with different things that we need to buy for her.  We discovered though that we think some of his behavior issues the last few weeks may be stemming from all the attention on the baby and the conversations about her, so we’ve kinda backed off a little bit.  We still talk about her and definitely encourage it when he brings it up, but Matt and I have tried to make an effort to save alot of our planning talks for after he’s asleep.  We’re also planning some projects for his room at the same time we’re working on her room so he doesn’t feel left out.

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loves to climb all over daddy!

Watching this little boy grow up is such a privilege.  Each day I look at him and count the ways he’s gotten bigger and yet, so often, I’m still reminded of how little he really is.  We love you Parker James!

Baby #2

Baby #2

This is long (& picture-less), but I feel like I need to document this pregnancy a little bit.  I feel like our poor baby girl is already suffering from 2nd child syndrome.  There isn’t a single “belly picture” this time around.  We think about her and talk about her constantly (Parker loves to talk to her & feel her move!), but as far as actually doing anything to document or prepare for her, we haven’t done much.   The nice thing about the 2nd baby is there doesn’t seem to be as much preparation to be done.  We’ve got all the gear and the furniture, so really its just putting the room together and getting everything organized.  We’re pretty much planning to switch into baby prep mode once Christmas is over and we can focus whole heartedly on that.

Pregnancy wise, I don’t feel like this one has been much different from Parker’s.  Like I’ve mentioned, we found out I was pregnant the day after we got home from our beach vacation.  I had a suspicion that I might be pregnant, but didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I grabbed a test at the grocery store that afternoon, and sure enough – 2 pink lines!  Oh boy (or girl!), it was a ROUGH first trimester.  For starters, I found out that my ob-gyn was no longer accepting pregnancy appointments due to her impending retirement and that sent this newly pregnant and hormonal mama into tears and borderline sheer panic.  Thankfully, I found a new doctor who, after a couple of appointments, we both really liked and all is well on that front now :).  I was incredibly sick during the first 16 weeks or so.  Thankfully, the first 12 weeks were during summer and I didn’t have to do much during the day.  Sorry friends, I was definitely MIA all summer!  Parker definitely watched way more TV than a 2.5 year old should have, but we were in sheer survival mode.  Matt coming home in the evening was my saving grace.

Starting school was hard.  The exhaustion associated with this pregnancy has been out of control.  By the time the end of the school day comes, I’m completely exhausted and ready to take a nap, but alas, Parker has already napped at school and ready to play when we get home.  Poor Matt, I fall asleep by about 9 pm every night and our normally neat and orderly house is almost always in a state of disarray & cluttered.  Eventually the sickness passed and other than the exhaustion, I feel good these days. My blood pressure is on the low side and I have alot of dizziness and faintness, but nothing that sitting or laying down for a few minutes can’t cure.  Cooking isn’t my enemy anymore, I don’t fall asleep as soon as I sit down in the afternoons, but sleeping at night is not great as of late.  Pregnancy insomnia is not my friend.  I typically sleep on my stomach or my back, neither of which is possible, so getting comfortable is difficult.  I’m hot at night, but with our air already set on 68, I can’t turn it down any further without fear of freezing the other 2 members of my family.

I don’t seem to have super strong cravings when I’m pregnant, which I’m thankful for.  The only things I have seem to have a strong desire for are tomatoes, pizza, breakfast foods (mainly eggs & sausage), and coffee.  I quit drinking coffee when I found out I was pregnant and have a serious craving for it every single morning.  I’ve already told Matt that my first request following delivery is a latte from Starbucks!

We got her room painted over Thanksgiving break (thanks, Mom!) and we LOVE it.  We also have a chest of drawers that my mom found at an antique store in Abilene and most of the rest of the furniture is being reused from Parker.  Since all of the Christmas boxes were pulled out of the attic this weekend, I took the time (& extra space in the attic) to pull out all of the newborn boxes that I had packed away.  Some of it is boy stuff that will be put back in the attic, but alot of it was very neutral and will definitely come in handy.  I’ve created registries at a couple of stores, mainly just to keep track of stuff we need.  I dream of dresses, bows, shoes, and all things girl, but (SHOCKINGLY!), I haven’t bought a single thing for her yet!

Baby girl, we love you so very much.  We have dreamed of you and prayed for you for many, many months and are so excited for you to join our family.  We pray that you continue growing bigger and stronger as you and I enter our last few months of having you inside of me.  We are impatiently awaiting your arrival in just a few short months!

Parker’s 3rd Birthday Photo Shoot

Parker’s 3rd Birthday Photo Shoot

 

 

 

We headed to the park one afternoon to get some pictures for Parker’s 3rd birthday (I’m sorry…what?  THIRD birthday?) and after a minor (MAJOR) meltdown because of the shoes I wanted him to wear, we finally headed out and got some super cute pictures!  We can’t wait to celebrate this sweet boy next weekend!

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Teaching him the fine art of rolling down the hill!

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And…the last two are from Halloween night after we finished trick-or-treating.  We love this little boy so much!

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More Fall Fun

More Fall Fun

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Fun at the pumpkin patch!  He could have spent HOURS searching for the perfect pumpkin. And yes, we came home with a pumpkin for every member of our family, including baby sister :).

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Teaching Parker the fine art of making hamburgers.  He was so excited to help me “pat, pat” them and then help daddy grill them!  Love this sweet boy and how much he loves to help cook.

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3rd birthday photo shoot at the park, teaching him how to roll down the hill!  He had a blast and we got some adorable pics for his invitations!

Fall Happenings

Fall Happenings

We’ve had lots of fun going on lately!

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Daddy went out of town to hang out with some friends from college, so we had a Mommy/Parker weekend!  He was a little sad about daddy leaving Friday afternoon, so we spent sometime drawing with sidewalk chalk and then had a pizza picnic and movie date at home.

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Pak came the same weekend that Daddy was out of town and brought Parker’s finished dinosaur costume for Halloween.  He requested to be “Buddy the Dinosaur” from Dinosaur Train on PBS, but all of the Buddy costumes we could find were made for children who live in the tundra.  Seriously – please make Halloween costumes for those of us who live in warm climates.  Anyway, we made it work and he was THRILLED…which is really all that matters!

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We also celebrated Gigi’s birthday with her!  Sweet boy was ecstatic about the cupcakes and getting to help her blow out the candles!

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The back of his costume at our church’s Pumpkin Patch Party.  He didn’t really care about or seem to enjoy walking around & getting candy, but LOVED playing with his friends :).

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The only picture we got of him with his friend Clara.  She was such an adorable ladybug!  We enjoyed a Chick fil A picnic with our friends and let the kids run around and play before calling it a night & heading home.

Parker’s 3rd Birthday Pictures coming soon!