Friday, April 26, 2013

Run! (a tee ball update)

Luke is really progressing in his tee ball games. The games are a hybrid of coach pitch and tee ball. The coach throws three pitches and if they don't get a hit then they get three tries off a tee. The last two games he's gotten at least one good hit in the air! I couldn't be more proud of him. Joby says that when he hits the ball, he gets a surprised look on his face before trotting off to first. And trotting is exactly what he does. I hoop and holler to get him to run faster, and occasionally he does, by for the most part it's a little trot without moving his arms much.

Every game they play different positions in the outfield. This past Monday was Luke's turn to be the "pitcher". He looked so cute out there on the mound, and while he's got a ways to go, he did stop a few grounders headed his way (and froze a little, turning around trying to decide who to throw it to).

But I have to say, the highlight of the game came in the very middle. Luke was standing there on the pitcher's mound, in between batters, and for what ever reason he stuck his hand up into his mask (the pitcher wears a helmet with a football-player's like mask on the front). I don't know if it was an itch, or the attention span of a 4 year old, but not only did he stick his hand up through it, he wiggled his arm in up to almost his elbow.  And then. AND THEN. Ya'll. He was stuck. He could NOT get his arm back down. We (me, Mom, Ashley, Patrick, Shae, Stephanie, and Chris) (the last couple are a part of our small group and came to see the boys) were laughing so hard in the bleachers that we were crying. No one on the field saw what was going on and no one was coming to his rescue, so the boy finally shook his glove off and got the helmet off with his free hand to release his arm. OMG. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

So, we always have a good time at the games. Between cheering the boys on and visiting with kind friends who take time to come watch our children, it's always time well spent.

He tends to stand there on home plate when he's made all the bases. I'm assuming its him being proud!
Don't be fooled by the face or the coats. The day they had team pictures it was faaaa-reeezing, but normally it's pretty comfortable. This girl has a blast running around and climbing on the stands!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Training up children

Last night in bible class, Scott was teaching about Abram and how he started a ripple effect- God led him to Canaan, but Abram took it upon himself to move his family to Egypt after that instead of staying, all without asking God what he should do. In Egypt he was given great wealth, which led to the destruction of his nephew's family. He was given a maidservant, Hagar, and we all know where that led. (Ishmael? Father of the Muslims?) All these seemingly good and "right" choices were made by Abram alone. Not once did he involve God in the decision making.

Obvious take away from this is.......always involve God in your decision making. Even if it seems like an easy no brainer that we can figure out on our own. That got me to thinking. Of course Satan whispers the lie of independence to us. Of course our selfish and prideful hearts want to do things on our own. BUT. As parents, have we failed our kids by not modeling this so that it becomes second nature when they have grown up?

We model everything for our kids. To death. We use please and thank you so when prompted, children won't look at us funny when asked to be polite. We say prayers out loud to instruct them of the proper and respectful way to come before our Lord. We buckle our own seat belts so that little voices won't pipe up from the back seat "Why do I have to if you aren't?" Same for eating our vegetables and following through with responsibilities we don't particularly enjoy.

So at what point do we, as parents, need to accept the responsibility for when the next generation goes a little awry when it comes to how they make choices for their life? I've realized that I'm going to have to be a chain-breaker. I am going to have to start making a conscious decision every day to model for my children what it means to include God in their life choices. I want for it to be in their nature to ask God for guidance in what they should or shouldn't be doing. And this means, just as I lost all private bathroom trip privileges when I bore children, I've also lost some of my rights to private prayer requests. (I said some. Not all. They are still children, you know.)

Luke's going to be making a choice in a few months on whether he wants to continue to play tee ball or switch back to soccer. I can't forget to pray about that with him.

He'll be starting kindergarten in the fall, which means choosing new friends. I can't forget to pray about that with him.

Will my children get it right all of time? Please. I hope no one is naive enough to think that eventually they will. But hopefully they will gain insight and learn to hear what the voice of their Father really sounds like so that when the REALLY BIG DECISIONS come (like... Should I get baptized now? Should I marry this person? What career should I have?) they will be able to decipher between the quiet whisper of the One who knows all and the subtle wooing of their own selfish desires. And maybe, just maybe, they won't be thirty and looking back, wondering where it all went wrong.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

14 Weeks

How Far Along: 14 weeks

Size of baby: size of a lemon- CTR is about 3 inches

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Haven't weighed myself since the dr's appointment, probably up to 113 or so now.

Maternity Clothes: Yes for pants, no for shirts. If I'd gotten XS on the shirts, then I could start wearing them, but I've bought all size S so far and they are a tad big. Hopefully they'll start fitting soon though, I didn't realize how much a stretched out my shirts last time by wearing my regular clothes as long as I did, and I don't want to do that again!

Gender: Still fully convinced it's a boy. Had to suppress the urge to buy a blue diaper bag this week.

Movement: Not as much as I was hoping for by this time. Soon please?
Sleep: Counting my blessings that I've been sleeping just fine, in whatever position I want. It does help that I'm totally spoiled, having been single so long now, with having the whole bed to myself. No restrictions on how much room I take up!
What I miss: Not having to think about caffeine intake.

Cravings: Still the flavored tea. Nothing much more specific than just snacking. I could snack all the time, dangerous when I'm not hungry all the time.
Symptoms: Still the tender boobs.
Best Moment this week: Evan patted her belly once and said baby! It was the sweetest thing. She knows I've got one in there! And Luke has asked what we are going to name the baby. I asked for his suggestions and he came up with Doctor. And Spinley Head. And Thomas. As in Thomas the Train. Evan has named her two babies "Baby" and "Girl", so I didn't bother asking her.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A letter to my girl

My baby girl, we've made it almost two years together. And my, how you've changed these twenty two months. How I've changed.  First off, I'm totally smitten with you. Even though your favorite word is "no" right now ("Evan, can I have a hug?" "No." "Can I have a kiss?" "No." "Let's change your diaper." "No.") and your sass can get a little out of control, I love you so much and I can't get enough of you. Oh, the way you make me laugh. One day we were in your room and I told you to come change your clothes. You went and sat in your chair, held up your first finger, and told me in a minute with a grin on your face that told me you knew you were being a toot. The sass. It kills.

You, you my dear, have got to be the most beautiful little girl ever. I just stare at you all the time and wonder how I got such a pretty little thing.  I love your curls. I love your sweet skin. I love your pudgy arms and legs, the budah belly, and your long eye lashes. I even love your bed head.

But you have also opened my eyes in so many ways. The way you are such a little copy cat (something your brother NEVER had done) makes me realize the example I am setting for you. You try your best to get your leg up on the foot board of the bed to "put" on lotion like I'm doing. You want to sit on the bathroom counter while I put on make up, and yesterday when I looked down you had opened a tube of hand cream and was rubbing some on your face as I applied sunscreen. You want your nails done with mine, and wanted your necklace off on Sunday until I pointed out the necklace I was wearing.

So what am I doing to help encourage all of this budding self esteem? Is watching me put on makeup while saying "Look! Pretty Momma is back!" really helping you discover your true inner beauty? I'm going with no. I so hope over the next 15 years I can help you to realize that true beauty comes from a gentle heart, a caring soul, an attitude of compassion.  Kind and loving words make a far deeper impression than the make up you put on. Unless you put on an absolute ridiculous amount of make up. That can make quite the impression too. (and not the kind you want) So, I'm trying my best to set the example I want you to have. I will pledge, as your mother, to show you what it's like to not be just a woman, but a woman of God. And lady. Always be a lady. I hope that as you watch me deal with people, you learn how to treat fellow children of God. How to deal with the pressures of the world in a Christlike manner. How to be the kind of woman God designed you to be.

Baby, please don't ever forget how beautiful you are. There are going to be people who make you feel ugly. There are going to be days where you hate every part of you. There will be pressure to look certain ways. But don't listen to the lies. Be you. All the way. Because it truly is enough. And I know that one day is coming where you won't want to do what I do. You'll roll your eyes at how old fashioned I am, and start the painful/awkward/necessary transition into being your own person.

I do promise that it gets better though. If you don't believe me, just look at my middle school pictures. You'll figure out what to do with your hair, realize that clothes CAN fit your body (which I promise looks fantastic), and which shade of eyeshadow really makes your eyes pop. Not that that will matter in the long run. Because you'll also figure out you have a Savior who loves you no matter what- no matter what you look like, feel like, have done, or will do, and that His transformation will make your already beautiful heart shine.

Sweet Evan Elaine. I love you. Grow up well, little girl.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easter 2013

So I'm only a couple of weeks late on the Easter pictures. Not too bad.
The weekend before Easter weekend was the Saturday our children's ministry at church put on the "bunny breakfast". I thought it might be cancelled due to rain, but nope. The kids just hunted eggs inside the auditorium!
I have some goofy kids.

Rain shmain. Luke tried his hand at some games.

Sister instructed Bubs on coloring.

And they both participated in the cake walk. Thank goodness they didn't win anything...that's the last thing our house needs.
The Saturday before Easter is the day we went over to Mom and Dad's and had our big Easter dinner and hunted eggs outside. The original reason we moved it from Sunday to Saturday was it was supposed to rain again. But in hindsight, I'm so glad we did. It allowed us to have the fun, secular Easter celebration on one day, and keep the focus on Sunday to what it should be- on the fact that the tomb was empty we don't ever have to fear death and our salvation is sealed.
And true to form, Sunday morning I didn't get the picture I wanted. I had the kids dressed and posed on the fireplace...went to turn on my camera and the battery was completely dead.
So. I did what any sane mother would do and put them back in their outfits a week later and took the picture then. Probably much better than I would have gotten on a hectic Sunday morning!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Update on the no dairy, dr appointment, and tee ball

So, this whole no dairy thing has been tricky. And frustrating. Turns out that one of Evan's babysitters didn't realize that she was dairy free too, and both days had let her have things. So, that set me back a week for her on results. They aren't drinking the rice milk like I feel like they should, which makes me worry that they aren't getting enough calcium and other things. We couldn't go get ice cream after Luke's first tee ball game this weekend, and all of our favorite places to grab food are land mines. Thankfully, I've been able to come up with some dairy free alternatives to some favorites. While quesadillas are still out, I did get some buckwheat pancake mix for pancake nights. I was uneasy at first. The batter is almost black. But I put fresh blueberries in them, and the kids LOVED them. Like- more than regular pancakes. I had to drown mine in syrup and fresh fruit, but I got it down. (it tastes like Sprouts smells, in case you're wondering.)

spider spying

LUCKILY, Cindy's been a huge resource. I got a note in Luke's folder that his class had won a pizza party on Thursday so they won't need to bring lunches. Well, that would be great if he could have pizza. I thought I would just send him some chicken nuggets (I never send chicken nuggets), but I asked Cindy this morning what she's done when her son was in this situations. She said to ask if they can order him a small personal cheese-less pizza, offer to send in extra money for it, then to ask if they could just pull the cheese off for him if they couldn't get a special one, and if those were both no's, she would show up with a pizza just for him. Yes, my baby sitter is that awesome. She said it was important that he get to have what the other kids were having when they had it. And you better believe she would have done it too.

I emailed Luke's teacher this morning and she contacted the coordinator for me- they are going to be able to get a sauce and meat pizza just for him. Between Cindy's fierce determination to get him what he needs, the extra mile taken by some lady I don't know, and pregnancy hormones, you better believe I got a little teary over the fact that so many people are taking care of my boy. And he doesn't even know it.

we tried gluten free pasta one night. luke wouldn't touch it. her bowl is the bowl on the left (empty). she got down, went around to his chair, and promptly finished his dinner for him.

The dr appointment yesterday went great. The nurse had to do my initial blood draw, plus a little extra because I've been exposed to 5th's disease and that needs extra testing, and I was so glad Jacob was there to hold my hand through it. I HATE giving blood. He let me squeeze his hand until I cut off his circulation, and even lied to me when I apologized that my palm was so sweaty. :) Plus we were both grateful to see another picture of our sweet baby!

sunday morning before church. i am OBSESSED with these smocked dresses.

Now for tee ball. Ahhh tee ball. Luke is by far the smallest boy on the team. Not a real clue as to what's going on. But he stood in the outfield "baseball ready", chased after it when it came his way (one time he got it, and threw it! to first base, one time another boy beat him to it and he was so disappointed). He hit the ball and trotted to first. We need to work on throwing. We need to work on hitting. We need to work on running fast with a batting helmet on his head. But he had fun and that's what matters. Plus, look how CAAAA-UUUUUUTE he and Dakota looked!

photo courtesy of Shae
yeah. she's figured out how to get out of bed and play instead of nap. it's fun.

Monday, April 8, 2013

12 Weeks

Okay. I said last week I'd to an update every other week, starting this week.  And unless I find a questionnaire I like better, I'm copying and pasting the one I used for Evan's pregnancy. Which made me look at the last updates I did.  Where I saw pictures of me 37 weeks pregnant.


I was huge.

And I still had two weeks after that to go.

Holy shitzu I'm going to have to be that big again.  O_O

And let's forgive my self portrait this week. It was 9:30 last night and I was about to get ready for bed when I realized I needed to get a picture. So I set my camera up on the dining room table with the timer on. Plus, I'm on a computer that doesn't have my photo editing software on it, so ya get what ya get. And don't throw a fit. (that was for my kids) (even though they can't read)

never mind that my head is almost cut off and part of the table is blurrily visible at the bottom

How Far Along: 12 weeks

Size of baby: one app says lime, one app says plum. Both agree on 2 inches long.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I don't even want to know. I'm hoping about 5 lbs. I had gone up to 110 right before I got pregnant (I think), so I'm hoping for no more than 115 at the dr tomorrow. But the last time I got weighed I was actually pregnant and didn't know it, so I could really be up 10 lbs. YIKES.
*edit* At the dr's yesterday the scale showed 111. Not as bad as I was expecting! So, I'm thinking I'm up 6 lbs total. Not the 2 lbs most people gain in their first trimester, but not terrible either.

Maternity Clothes: Yes. By the time I found out I was pregnant, I was very concerned about the muffin top I had going on with my regular pants. I made the switch almost immediately. Well, as immediately as I could after purchasing some online, since I'd sold all my maternity clothes all ready. Shirts are still normal. They are getting a little tight, but maternity shirts are still a bit baggy.

Gender: I am fully convinced it's a boy. Fully. As in, I've bought two boy onesies already. As soon as that stick turned positive, I just knew it was a boy in there.

Movement: Actually, I'm pretty sure I've felt him popping around in there at night when I'm in bed and lying still.
*edit* The dr couldn't find his heartbeat with the hand held doppler, so she took me back to get another quick sonogram to make sure he's okay. As soon as he popped up on the screen you could tell he kinda jerked away from the pressure of the sonogram wand. It was so fun to see him moving around in there. He even waved at us!

Sleep: Ooooo, this is a no go. I already pee at least once a night, and my allergies have been KILLER, so I'm up all night blowing my nose and hacking up a lung. It's pretty special.

What I miss: Not having to think about caffeine intake.

Cravings: Tea. Flavored tea. With lemon slices and lots of Splenda. Plus I've really enjoyed Fuzzy's Taco's or Tin Star tacos, and baked potato soup. Is eating each thing at least once a week considered a craving?

Symptoms: Boobie. They are sore. But their BAAAAA-AAAACK!! And my poor shoulder and back are so broken out. :( Plus, as Jacob can atest too, my hormones are slightly out of whack. I may cry easily. Oops!

Best Moment this week: Well, it wasn't this week, but Luke's been occasionally thoughtful about the baby. He asked one night what bed the baby would sleep in. And he's been a little curious about how the baby will escape from Momma. But last weekend when I was laid up on the couch with a sinus infection he told Mom that the baby was making me sick. And he's patted my stomach and said that it was getting bigger. Ha!

I'm just loving this baby already and so excited to meet him! T-28 weeks!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

No dairy please

Monday afternoon I was speaking to the pediatrician's office about some...digestive issues...Luke's been having. (to spare his dignity in years to come, that's as far as I'll go with that. Publicly. I've already discussed it with my friends, because that's what moms do. ;) The dr wanted me to take him off dairy for a couple of weeks to see if it helps.

The problem? I had just walked out of Walmart with a fresh gallon of milk, a big bag of Smart cheese puffs, and every intention of feeding him pizza at a birthday party Friday night.

I've never had to make special arrangements for my kid's food. As far as I know, they aren't allergic to anything. If you don't like what I fix for dinner, tough. I guess you'll eat extra breakfast in the morning. So the idea of cutting out their precious milk, cheese, and yogurt was a daunting idea. Not to mention it's their favorite things.

I'd actually toyed with the idea of taking them off dairy in the back of my head before. Both kids have asthma and allergies. Evan's nose has had a hard time keeping up with the horrible season we've had, and I feel like her face or somewhere on her body is constantly broken out. My friend Niki had suggested a long time ago that dairy might be the culprit to all of their health woes, but the idea of doing anything about it seemed overwhelming when it may or may not help.  BUT, since the dr needed me to do it for the big one, I went ahead and jumped in with both feet- both kids are off dairy to the point that I'm reading labels. I plan on doing this for at least a couple of months.

Sweet Jesus. I'm THAT mom. I actually told a lady last night to not give my girl the wafer she was drooling over (dinner at church) because I didn't know if it had dairy in it. THAT mom. I wouldn't let Luke eat the chocolate dessert, and I really didn't plan it well because they served King Ranch casserole. You know- laden with cream and cheese. Luke ended up eating two corn dog wienies (I tore off the crust, just in case), and Ashley was sitting by Evan so I don't even know what she ended up with.  What a mom fail.

Finding replacements has been hard. Ashley swung some coconut milk by Monday night and the kids HATED it. Tuesday night while they were with their dad I went to Sprouts and loaded up on fresh fruit, gluten free snacks and cereal bars, and picked up some rice milk. I called Cindy and asked her what her son drinks (Cindy- babysitter  Teagan- high school son that my kids are straight up nuts for) and she said rice milk. When they got home I let them try it (playing up the big Teagan factor) and they liked it much better.

Luckily we don't eat out much. Obviously we are still going to Luke's friend's birthday party tomorrow night, but I asked Luke what special treat dinner we could pick up to have instead of eating the pizza. So, Brandy, if you are reading this....I hope you don't mind us showing up with Chick Fil A. :)

Oh. And don't worry about all that food I had just bought the kids can't eat now. I brought the bag of cheese puffs to work and yesterday alone ate a third of the bag. Plus I plan on buying some oreos at the store today (apparently I live there) so that milk won't go to waste either. Momma needs the calcium so this baby can have good strong bones, right?  Ha!

Speaking of baby, all things are looking good pregnancy wise. My main craving is Sonic unsweet iced tea with sugar free raspberry, two slices of lemon, and 3 packets of Splenda. I'm not high maintenance at all. Why do you ask?  I haven't decided what I want to do about writing regular updates on here. While I am so glad to have the weekly record of Evan's pregnancy, it was such a beating by 32 weeks to write every. single. week. And get the picture. I'm thinking of doing it biweekly, and I couldn't start on the odd number of 11 this week, so be looking for that next week starting at week 12. WEEK 12 ALREADY!!

Sneak peek- me at about 9 weeks

Same night- I had just gotten my first order of maternity clothes (remember that one time I sold everything because I wasn't having any more babies?) and Evan helped me try on two shirts at one time.