Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Highs And Lows In Lynchburg


Both kids in the pool at the same time. Gracie is getting better and better about swimming and her fear of water, and she even got to drive the bumper boats mom has! Plus, this was Thomas' first time in the pool. He wasn't super excited and splashy, he just kind of laid back and enjoyed it--my typical little surfer dude!

Severe lack of nap times and sleep! Gotta love this face.


The great new Fisher Price Jumparoo I got him from a consignment store for $35!! He needed a stationary gym of some sort as he is easily bored and I debated between this and an activity gym. Clearly I chose well :)


My four month old not fitting into the cutest costume EVER that was sized 9 months!! He is so big and I decided I better try it on him before I took off the tags. Sure enough he couldn't even stretch out his legs, so there was no way it would make it to Halloween. I had to return it to the consignment store with a heavy heart. He wasn't heartbroken though--he cried and cried until I took it off. If you look close you can see the tears in his eyes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pre Fourth Fireworks

Imagine how excited I got when I found out that Lynchburg was having fireworks tonight! Actually, I think poor Grandma didn't mean to even mention them...but she was a trooper and decided to go with Gracie, Thomas and I.

Gracie hadn't taken a nap, and hadn't slept much last night, but fireworks are a rare event and I decided to take her anyway.

Surprisingly she was on her best behavior. She was clearly beyond exhausted, but she was good.

We didn't go to Liberty (the fireworks and all day fun were one of their events) until around 8pm so the kids wouldn't have to wait long.

We set up our blanket and chairs and Grandma and GRacie entertained themselves with those glow sticks. MOm had found a kit where you make them into a ball or lantern. Thomas and I played tickle monster and cute baby. He was in an awesome mood!

It got dark pretty quickly and we all snuggled down on the blanket. I was prepared to pick up Thomas and hold him, but my little pyro just watched in amazement. He didn't even flinch and he never took his eyes off the sky!

Gracie wasn't scared either (it is always a toss up with my chicken little!). And we all seemed to enjoy the show.

After the fireworks was the hard part: waiting in the car and trying like the other thousand people to get out of the parking lot and back home.

By 11pm we were back at Grandma's and my two little sleepyheads barely made it in to their respective beds.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gracie Bappa-tises Thomas

Thomas and Mommy arrived in Lynchburg to find a very tan, and several inches taller Gracie. We hadn't been in the house too long before our little sun-kissed babe was back out and in the water. I laughed so hard when Gracie went over to her little pool got a handful of water and walked over to Thomas, who was sunning himself on the deck in his bouncer, and declared "Thomas I Bappatise you!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Look At The Bargains

I got all of this for $11 and change today from my favorite thrift store.

16 outfits for Thomas, many of them vintage (someone cleaned out a grandma's basement and I could not be more thrilled!!!) .25 each for baby clothes

6 Baby receiving blankets .25 each

1 Grandma bib .25

1 Fisher Price Little People Pirate Ship (retail $25) 1.50

1 Fisher Price Peak-A-Block shape sorter with blocks (extremely hard to find and retailed for about $15+) 1.25

1 Playschool Game .50

1 Barney Colorforms (good luck finding these, they don't make colorforms anymore!!!) .50

1 Strawberry Shortcake toy carrier purse .50

1 Vintage Burger King movie cup, still in the box. Gotta wonder how much I could get for it on EBay!!! .50

Yep, all this for $11!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Day In The Life Of Thomas

I did this once with Gracie just to show what our day was like. And with Gracie gone to Grandma's I thought it would be neat to have a rundown of a day with my new baby boy.

I got the idea around mid morning, so we are missing some data, but you get the idea :)

12:53 pm: Thomas wakes up from his nap--with the hiccups!

12:55 pm: Tummy time on the living room floor with toys

1:05 pm: Mommy kisses, several rounds of super baby

1:10 pm: Leap Frog gym and pillows, and Thomas shows off his new mouth sound skills

1:15 pm: Thomas talks to Grandma on the phone

1:18 pm: diaper change

1:20 pm: Here comes the tickle monster! Lots of laughs!

1:28 pm: Milk time

1:35 pm: Big ole' burp!

1:37 pm In to chair to play with favorite farm toy

1:46 pm: There goes part of his lunch. Mommy cleans it up.

1:47 pm: Time to get dressed

1:54 pm: Mommy "ohh's" and "ahh's" on how adorable he looks and has an impromtu photo session

1:58 pm: In to carrier for errand with mommy

2:31 pm: swing time

2:42 pm: Getting fussy

2:45 pm: Mommy snuggles Thomas on the couch, where he falls asleep in her arms (awww!!)

2:58 pm: In to the crib

4:45 pm: Wakes up and has mini meltdown until mommy fixes a bottle

4:47 pm: Milk time!

5:00 pm: Diaper change

5:02 pm: Attempts to chew on Leap Frog gym

5:10 pm: Plays in bouncy seat and watches mommy cleans upstairs

5:39 pm: More practice with mouth noises and playtime in chair with farm toy

5:54 pm: Mommy takes too long downstairs, end of the world ensues

5:56 pm: Mommy snuggles

6:04 pm: Crisis over :)

6:08 pm: More bubbles, games of tickle monster and super baby. General cuteness and mommy lovey time

6:50 pm: Daddy's home

6:55 pm: Diaper change

7:00 pm: Cuddles and falls asleep with daddy in daddy chair

7:40 pm: Cat nap over and daddy hogs the snuggles

7:45 pm: Freak out begins

7:46 pm: Milk time

8:08 pm: Jammies on

8:10 pm: Wind down time in the bouncy seat

8:30 pm: In to the crib

8:35 pm: cries. relocation of binki, turn sea horse on.

8:40 pm: more cried, relocation of binii, turn se horse on again

8:55 pm: Asleep!

11:45 pm: Cries. Thomas has soaked himself and the crib

11:47 pm: Thomas gets milk, clean diaper, clean jammies, and clean crib sheets

12:00 mid: back to bed

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blessed Day

Our baby boy already blessed our lives, and today we got to officially "bless" his.

I grinned so hard this morning that my cheeks actually hurt. I was smiling from the love shown by our family who came so far to see this blessed event, and from the motherly pride that came with holding my boy in the front of the church, and from the love you could actually feel from all of those wonderful people who sat in the congregation this morning.

I am amazed that we made to church on time, since I can barely get myself and my three "children" dressed and out of the house on time each Sunday morning. But, surprisingly we were able to get 6 kids, 4 adults and a baby fed, cleaned up, and all dressed for church and in cars at the time we had planned on!

Of course I spent most of the morning running around like a crazy person trying to make everything perfect (as I tend do in these sort of situations). But, I breathed when we got to the church where Grandma and Grandpa met us, and filled up 2 pews!

They put Thomas' baptism at the beginning of the service, so the kids didn't have to wait too long (you know how it can be when you are young and have to sit still).

His service was beautiful and the whole family was invited to come up to the front of the church.

Garren and I (and the family) vowed to raise our son in love and faith. Reverend Ed took a very awake and curious Thomas in his arms. And then the crying started. He started to pour water on his head from his hand and I snuck my hand underneath and stuck in the binki. That worked and the rest of the service went off without a hitch. After the baptism the minister walked Thomas through the congratation for everyone to see him up close. And while he did this they sang a song. I could barely hold back the tears as I heard "Thomas, Thomas God Claims You..." They sang him his own song and I felt so warm and happy.

At the end of the baptsm we were given the candle they lit for him and a certificate, and it took a few minutes to get everyone back in their seats.

Today the church started a Wee Worship service for the kids, and Gracie went with Mark and Matthew upstairs for it. I am so grateful that this happened the same Sunday, becuase now that she has gone she will likely go again and again, and I would have had a hard time getting her to go. Score one more for the "cousits."

After the service we got the kids (and bribed Garren) to take some family pictures and we headed home for a little party.

This was such a special day in our lives and I am so thrilled to have been able to share it with family. Not just bilogical and technical family, but the amazing church family and friends that we include as our family.

I am not sure how, but only one camera made it in the church and I was thrilled to see Brian pull it out of his pocket while he was upfront with us. He captured some amazing pictures of Thomas' baptism and I am so lucky to have them! You can find more pictures from today in this picasa folder.

Thomas' Hymn

Thomas, Thomas, God claims you,
God helps you, protects you, and loves you too.

We this day do all agree a child of God you’ll always be.
Thomas, Thomas, God claims you,
God helps you, protects you, and loves you too.

We your family love you so, we vow to help your faith to grow.
Thomas, Thomas, God claims you,
God helps you, protects you, and loves you too.

We are here to say this day that we will help you on your way.
Thomas, Thomas, God claims you,
God helps you, protects you, and loves you too.

And if you should tire or cry then we will sing this lullabye.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

7 Kids In The Bed, And Little One Said...


I am thrilled to announce that we (Garren & I) made it through the night with 7 kids total in our home.

It was interesting to say the least, but plenty of fun.

Uncle Brian, Aunt Dawn, Isaac, Sue-Anna, Mariah, Matthew, and Mark all arrived in Strasburg around 6pm--just in time for a cooked out dinner.

Garren had hamburgers on the grill, and while my mother warned me these kids could eat, I was still astonished at how fast.

Lets see, 6 kids with teeth, plus 4 adults, equals 10 people to feed--and we went through 16 quarter pound cheeseburgers in less than an hour!

Actually, it was a lot of fun having my new nieces and nephews at our new home for the first time. Gracie was so excited I am not sure she found time to breathe. They bounced from the backyard to the playroom and everywhere in between.

You might think that with that many kids it would be chaotic, but my sister in law not only keeps her brood in check, she has raised them to be the most polite and well mannered children you could ever meet.

After dinner Aunt Barbara spoiled them a little and let them make their own ice cream sundaes. Then we had family movie night (Night At The Museum, thanks Mozingo's for letting us borrow it), while the kids took turns in the 2 showers.

I think the cutest part of the night has to be Gracie, who insisted on sleeping in her sleeping bag on the floor, eating up all the attention by her two girl "cousits." Mariah helped Gracie brush her teeth and get her nightgown on (even though she is perfectly capable herself, somehow she wanted help ;) and then read her a story before they finally snuggled down to bed.

Mommy and Daddy got a little thank you this morning and when Thomas fussed the three girls got him out of his crib, changed his diaper and entertained him all while I slept on! You could tell how proud they were and his little grin said it all.

Having family here and being able to share our home left Garren and I both with such a warm feeling. Not to mention how wonderful it feels that this family was willing to pack up all their kids and sleeping bags and such and drive 4 hours just to see our baby boy get baptized. We are so blessed.

And, we truley hope they will come back and visit again!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Guess Who?

Found these pictures at mom's last month and I asked Gracie "who is this?" She says "Thomas!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gettin' Ready

Gracie, Thomas and I have spent much of the week getting ready for lots of company this weekend.

Okay, I have spent much of the week balancing Gracie and Thomas and trying to get anything done in addition to getting the house ready for company this weekend.

It is going to be such a special weekend as Thomas will be baptized at our church. A Christening is such a blessed event and it fills my heart with joy that we will finally have a chance to celebrate our son and his life.

My parents are driving 3 hours to come in for this event, and my brother and sister in law and 5 of their 7 children are driving more than 4 hours to be here.

I feel a little guilty as my parents have made this trip so many times this year. They were here when he was born, for Gracie's birthday, when we moved...and now they will load up again. But, I am finally starting to see the truth in my mothers instance that her grandchildren come first and she would drive 10 hours to see them--especially for once in a lifetime events like this.

My children are so lucky to have a set of grandparents who adore them so much and would move heaven and earth to be apart of their lives.

So, this weekend we will bless our son and share in so much love from friends and family that surround us. It is so easy for me to feel alone here in this house in this small town, but I find those reminders of how many people out there care about me and my children just when I need it most.

So, I hope that when everyone gets here things will be perfect....okay, I just hope the house is still standing and they can find an un-sticky place to sit :)

I am so lucky to have such wonderful people who will be celebrating life with all of us.

And, on a not-so-sappy note; I can't wait to put Thomas in the vintage Christening gown I got (where else but a thrift store?!!). And I found a pair of vintage Christening shoes in a box of memorabilia that I think were my grandfathers when he was baptized! I am gently stretching them out so my chunky monkeys feet can fit in them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

4 Month Check Up

My not so little chunky monkey weighed in at a whopping 16 pounds and 4 ounces. This keeps him in the 75th percentile in weight. On the upside he got a little taller too. He measured 25.5 inches which has moved him from the 50th to 75th percentile in height. So, while I am concerned about his weight--he is proportional.

And before everyone floods the comment section telling me not to worry--I will ALWAYS worry about children's weight. I will NOT let them go through what I did, and what I continue to go through. I will spare them the label of obese at any cost. Well, not any cost, I don't plan to raise kids who are terrified of food either. I think you know what I mean.

While I wasn't super surprised about his weight, the sudden stretch length-wise was making more sense. I couldn't figure out why I was putting on 3-6 month clothes and they didn't fit. Gracie skipped sizes herself as she would grow so fast, so I guess he is following in her footsteps. Although it kinds stinks since I still had several cute outfits he never got to wear or squeeze into!

I mentioned to the Dr. about letting him try baby food. I didn't go into details. We initially wanted him to sleep better and my husband was convinced he was starving. When he didn't want the cereal I laughed at Garren and told him it was too soon. But when I kept trying the next day and the next, I started to wonder. So, I picked up some contianers of baby food. They had different stages, and I looked and there was no diference between Stage 1 and Stage 2, except 14 cents. So, I got Stage 2 since I am super cheap and they were in those resealable contianers.

Sure enough my little butterball LOVED the new food. He ate squash first, and then went on to try carrots, green beans, and bananas over the course of the week.

Here's the catch--it didn't help him sleep any longer!!! So, now he eats at least half a container of food at dinner time (he only gets it once a day), cries for his bottle (and takes all 6 ounces), and still only sleeps 3 hours.

So, I spared the doctor this drama and she didn't judge me at all (unlike Gracie's pediatrician) and just said she would have waited until 6 months to give him solid foods.

Other than that he is healthy as a horse. He got an oral vaccine and 2 shots and gave everyone a headache.

They have the nurse give the shots, but the doctor got an earfull as she had the audacity to touch him. She kind of freaked when she saw the whites of his eyes were pink and asked me if it was that way when I got there. I blushed and told her, nope he is just mad. His head gets blood red and he shakes, and if you let him go long enough he will choke from holding his breath. The doctor told me that was the first time in her career she had ever witnessed anything like that. I was so embarassed.

Thomas has milked his injuries all day and has been held with nothing on but a diaper--making him look even more pittiful. He soaked himself and if you bend his legs to get him in clothes he is in agony, so I have just been wrapping him in a blanket. Don't you feel sorry for him ;)

I snapped the picture above after one of his crying fits. He just crashed from the drama of the day while I was mean enough to put him down and in his swing so I could start dinner.

Oh, and freaky that all 3 of you guessed right!

One Pittiful Baby To Another

Dear Stella:

I hope your doctor's visit went well. Mine was fine until the happy faced lady decided to touch me. Then, I gave her a headache ha ha ha--that'll show her.

After that was more torture and mommy did absolutely nothing about it! I hope your mommy gave you hugs and kisses and pinched that nurse back. Or maybe you will get lucky and get ice cream--my big sister does!

I hope your thighs feel better soon. I plan to milk it for a while and see how much sympathy I can get.



Guess how much my little chunk weighed in today at his 4 month appointment...go ahead, guess.
Picture taken today, by the way.

A. 12 pounds

B. 14 Pounds

C. 16 Pounds

D. 18 Pounds

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Baby Food Score Card

In case you are playing our game at home :)

(Click to view larger)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Foods

Dear Grandma:

These people finally fed me some real food. They started out with what they "claimed" was food, but it was more like Kindergarten paste. I didn't eat that.

Mommy only gives me the good stuff at dinner time, but I stock up, eating half of a stage 2 sized container of food.

Oh, and they thought it would make me sleep longer and better, but I fooled them! I still wake up every 3 hours to eat.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Look Who's Four Months...

...and cute!


Being a new mom (again) has set in, and I find myself wondering how I'm going to make it fair for both of my children.

You may recall that when I was pregnant I was so worried about what a new baby would mean for my time with Gracie. That "worry" has now become a reality.

Thomas is so time consuming, as you would guess any new baby is. Although, unfortunately for his big sister, he seems to require even more time that most. While he is a much happier baby than he was in the beginning, he still cries--a lot-- and seems to get bored, tired, and fussy extremely easily.

This of course means constantly having to tell Gracie to wait. I have to put our projects on the back burner, and I have to stop midway in our game or story or craft. And, then there are days when I can't even get to her and do something special.

She has been a good sport--until now. She still loves Thomas dearly, but is showing signs of wear. She has been called down far more often then she ever has, and she has been sent to her room more times in the past few weeks then ever in her life.

We have talked to her and explained how much babies need, and how much time they take. She understands this, but she is 5 and she is ready for it to be over. In fact she often tells me she wishes he were bigger.

I fear that she is thinking we don't have time for her anymore, or that we love Thomas more. Despite how much attention we try to give her, it will never be as much as she once got. She was the baby, and the center of our world. The sun rose and set with her, and now she is having to find a way to entertain herself, and is hearing the word "no" again and again.

I know I have a lot of blame in this, as the best part of being a stay at home mom with her, was all of the ideas I would come up with. I spent my day focused solely on her and we had so much fun. Now, I consider it a success if we get to so school work for the day.

I know things will get better, and I remind her, and myself of that. But, my time is running out. I have a few short months left with her and then it will be over. She will be in school and life will roll by so fast I won't even know what is happening.

How do I make these last weeks so special and savor ever minute when I have gotten barely 6 hours of sleep a night, a shower every other day (if I am lucky) and constantly having to stop mid sentence and go and tend to the baby.

I knew being a mother of two wouldn't be easy, but today it is even harder.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Kindergarten Testing

Well, they called it a "screening," but basically they wanted to be sure she was ready for Kindergarten. And, yes, she is more than ready. Well those are my words, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed that they didn't tell me she was advanced--hey I am a proud mommy--I can admit it!

When we got to the school they seperated us, and I was pleased that Gracie sat where they told her and was calm while I walked down the hall where the other parents were.

I was in a room with a very nice couselor, and other parents and we watched (a poorly made) video about what a typical day in Kindergarten would be.

One by one the parents were pulled out to talk to a "screener" (I guess) about their child. When I was called, I was very nervous, but this super nice lady went over what Gracie had been tested on and how she did. She told me she could alsmot count to 30, and instead of saying "30" she said "20-10," so she only marked her as being able to count to 20. She also didn't know her address, phone number or birthday. I am ashamed to say I could feel myself getting very defensive and was not happy that she wasn't being scored based on more. But, I held my tounge and reminded myself this was not to be used for placement, only to prove that the child was ready and to give the teachers a better idea of what to focus on next year.

She told me Gracie was delightful and felt that she was ready for Kindergarten. I asked her a few questions and that was it. Gracie was to have a hearing test and verbal test and they would let me know if there were any problems--but she didn't forsee any.

Gracie found me 10 minutes later and it was all over.

She was proud of the stickers she earned and told me she had fun. She said she got to build a tower, walk across a balance beam and wore ear phones for the hearing test. Who knows what else, but thanks to her preschool experiences it was a painless morning and I couldn't be more thrilled at that.

She may not be the most advanced Kindergartener, but she will do well (and will likely be the cutest dressed!).