Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not Quite Sure What To Do ;)

Tonight I find myself on one of those rare occasions where I have the evening all to myself. My boys...all 3 of them...are tucked in bed, and it is only a bit past 7:45! I am really not quite sure what to do as it is a rare, dare I say treat (!) to have a night to do whatever I want! For now I suppose I will do some catching up on this blog diary of mine!

For those of you who have noticed a lack in posts these last few weeks it was due to our extended stay away from home for the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. It just so happened that our dear Dr. Aldape had an elective rotation wedged in between two of the busiest and joyous holidays of the year, and it just so happened that the rotation was located within a stones throw away from our families, and thankfully I had a free schedule, *wink*, so the boys and I came with him...gotta love being a stay at home mom! ;)

We are now back home and getting into the swing of things again, which is always nice, and of course a little bittersweet since we are missing our family. BUT, we have lots of wonderful memories that we will keep with us until we're able to make some more. AND, we sure did miss our "Dear W's" it's nice to be here in the same town again with them! (We love you, Whitehurst Family!)

Of course I have lots of pics to post, but I think that I will wait for another day to do that. For now I am going to enjoy doing whatever it is that I come up with to do...maybe I will just do nothing, haha, wouldn't that be a change! ;)


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{7} In Heaven

This past Sunday, December 19, 2010 was our precious Gideon's 7th Heaven Birthday...can you believe it...7 years?...seems like just yesterday he was still a precious little life squirming happily inside of my tummy. Seems like just yesterday, and also at the same time it seems lifetimes ago. So much has happened since then, and yet I can still recall the smell of his sweet baby-scent, can feel the softness of his precious little cheeks, and can remember the lines and curves of his beautiful little body. I remember it all, and not unlike another young mother from long ago I have treasured it all in my heart, every little memory that makes up our precious Gideon James.

We went to visit the Gideon and Daniel at the grave site Sunday and as always it was bittersweet. So strange to see our two live sons next to the markers of our sons who have passed away. To think, we could have had 4 precious little dudes running around with us right now, how amazing would that have been?!! We got to "introduce" Eli to his two biggest brothers, and told Johnathan again about them. He even waved good-bye to them when we left.

Precious, precious Gideon. We love you so much. Oh to know the glories that you are surrounded with each moment. Hold onto your little brother, and keep him close until we are all joined together in Heaven. Have a most blessed Christmas with the Savior of the World, who was born as a baby in a manger, and lived as a man among us, who died for the sins of the entire world, and resurrected to conquer death and bring LIFE to all!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy. Mama, Dada, Daniel, the Angel Babies, Johnathan and Eli all love you so very much.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finally, Some Food!!!

Well, this past weekend I started to give Eli his first taste of baby cereal...sure he's almost 7 months, and I could have started this about 3 months ago, but I held off until he could sit reasonably well on his own in the high chair, and guess what???...the little dude LOVES to eat "real" food!!! It's crazy! Johnathan took a while to get used to eating more solid food, but Eli is catching on pretty quick, and anytime he sees food he wants it, haha! Seriously, today we were at Chick-Fil-A and Eli threw a fit until I gave him a waffle fry to chew that normal??? He already is loving to gum on little teething crackers, has tried sort of chewing on some toast, has gummed a few chips and will try to grab any food item and shove it in his little mouth! I am going to the store in a bit to get him some more baby 1st foods...veggies and fruits and maybe some more teething crackers...he really likes those!

Anyways, just thought I'd update with what my little sweet boy has been up to. If he's anything like his big brother he'll have a real healthy appetite. I have a feeling that our grocery bill will be getting maxed out soon! I wonder what they'll be like when they're teenagers! Yikes!

Happy Tuesday!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eli: {6} Months

We sure have been busy bees lately, and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays it has been hard to set aside time to get on this ol' blog...but, I just HAD to update it with little mister Eli's 6 month stats...especially since I know I will forget them if I don't write them down, haha! (Sorry, Eli, I'm just trying to keep things real!) ;)

Last week at his 6 month check-up Eli was 25 and 1/4 inches long, weighed 16 pounds, 5 ounces and his little noggin' was 17.5 inches. According to one growth chart calculator that I looked up Eli is in the 22nd percentile for height, 52nd percentile for weight, and the 90th percentile for head, it sounds like he's a short, tubby little dude with a pumpkin head! ;) He must have lots of brains in there like his big brother! ;)

This pic was taken at Thanksgiving. It is my sweet sister, Gail and her son Cole posing with me and sweet lil' Eli in our BabyHawks.

We love you, precious Eli! Happy {belated} 6 month birthday!


Monday, November 15, 2010

My Two Lil' Monsters {in Cloth}

About a month ago we switched over to cloth diapers (Rump.a.rooz pocket, one-size diapers that I purchased here) and we...and I mean me!...absolutely love them! Changing diapers is so much more fun now, and I love washing them and getting them ready for my sweet boy to use again. I pretty much love everything about my cloth diapers...the way they contain the mess, the fresh, clean smell they have after the wash and of course the cute, when I got in a couple more that were matching I couldn't help but to put Johnathan in one too! So, here are my two little dudes sporting their "Lil Monster" cloth diapers.

Aren't these little fluffy butts too cute?!!

Johnathan is now into the silly smile stage where it is almost impossible to get him to give me a nice smile...ugh! And Eli, well he was too intrigued with the little silver box that mommy had up to her face to smile at all! ;)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm {Dreaming} of a White Christmas

I have got the Christmas itch...and although I have doubts that I'll wake up to a white Christmas, I am ready for all the fun the holiday season brings...the problem is, I am almost totally clueless as to what gifts I'm going to give this year. Usually I have a rough idea of what I would like to get the people on my list, but this year my creativity is definitely lacking! What's a girl to do? I need ideas, big time.

Last year Christmas came and went, and our sweet, almost 2 year old little Monkey had to have his Christmas morning sweets stuffed in his "Baby's First Christmas" stocking...because, well, I was too lazy and didn't get around to buying him a "real" stocking. This year though I will be ready with this cute stocking for him, courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids, and also with a coordinating one for baby brother Eli! I am in love with these boyish Christmas stockings, and I can't wait to fill them with goodies for our two precious sons.

If you have any good Christmas gift ideas, feel free to pass them along my way...I have a long list and I am short on creativity! I really need to get my act together!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Feeling Nostaligic & Wanting a {BFF}

This morning was weird. Out of the blue I started aching for someone I've wanted for a long time...a "best friend forever"...or as Anne of Green Gables called it, a "kindred spirit or bosom buddy." Now, don't get me wrong, growing up with 5 sisters I sort of have an instant circle of friends, and I do consider my sweet sisters (and my mom) my best {girl} friends on earth...but sometimes I just want someone to pick me as their "best friend"...I want someone to have a choice in wanting to get to know me and to pursue a friendship with me that would last a lifetime. Is that silly?

Growing up I never had a huge group of friends, and there was a time when it seemed like I didn't really have any friends at all. I remember distinctly feeling so lonely for a comrade, especially after one of my really good friends had moved away. Fairly soon after God brought someone into my life that really helped to fill that good girl friend void. We became fast friends, best friends, and we did everything together. It was great. Then college came, circumstances changed and the person that I thought I could count on forever was gone.

Fast forward to today. I don't know what got me into this nostalgic mood...maybe it was seeing some pics of old childhood friends on facebook and yearning for yesteryear...probably...and probably also from feeling somewhat isolated here in our current "home town"...sad, we've been here 4.5 years, and the friends we've made are so different, for the most part, in their choices of how to live their lives that it really isn't possible to have that forever kind of friendship with them. Generally speaking, the lifestyle of doctors and the circles of friends that surround them are so extremely worldly and so out of touch with any kind of moral standard that becoming close friends is difficult. You really start to feel like an outsider and with residency schedules being so unpredictable it's been hard for us to plug into a Christian community. I miss being able to talk to someone, a friend, who loves Christ.

I know that friendships require give and take...when it's all one way or the other it doesn't make for very good grounds for a deep friendship to grow on. I am not trying to say that I've always been the best friend, no flaws, no faults...but I have often felt that if I don't keep giving and pursuing my friendships that they will just fall apart...and in fact, a lot of them have. I have felt though that if the other party isn't willing to give to the friendship that maybe it really isn't a friendship worth pursuing anyways. Maybe this isn't the right kind of attitude, but sometimes I am just plain tired of keeping up with people who are just as well without me in their life. So, I stop trying and the friendship fizzles out. It stinks.

Every once in a while someone comes along that I get really hopeful about...we come from similar backgrounds, our values line up more or less and I'll try to initiate a friendship. Seems that everyone is already set in their group of "good friends" tho, and I feel like I'm back in high school, wishing to be a part of their "clique"...but feeling like an outsider who doesn't belong. And, I admit, I'm jealous of those people who have had their best friends since they were young. That must be so amazing to have.

Well, this post doesn't need to be a total pity party. I am very grateful for the friends that I do have in my amazing husband, who is truly the best of all best friends...aside from Jesus, of sweet sons who are perfect little companions, my wonderful parents, my precious brother and sisters, and my extended family...seriously, who could really ask for more than that? I am blessed beyond measure, that is for sure. And who says you can't be best friends with your family? Maybe that is how it should be. Whatever the case, I guess the most I can do is keep offering up my friendship and be the kind of friend that I want someone to be to me.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eli Update & Some Pics

First off I want to thank you all for your prayers for our sweet Eli...his little body fought off the RSV, and he is now on the road to recovery! We have a follow-up visit with his doctor in a few days to check how he is doing, but from all appearances he seems to be doing much better and the RSV symptoms are pretty much gone. Good thing too, because now he is in full teething mode, and his little gums are really kicking his booty...and ours too! He is NOT sleeping well at all, always is chewing on his fingers and drooling like crazy, and no matter what we try to do to help calm him down it just is not working! Aah! I am seriously sleep deprived (and poor Dada is too) and can only function once I've had my morning cup (or two) of coffee. Plus, with the time change my lil dudes are back to waking up around 6! Not fun! So, you can now kick your prayers into high gear for Eli's teeth to come in, and to come in quick! Mama needs her rest!

I realize I haven't posted any pics in awhile, so here are some from the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Johnathan enjoying the dolphins at the aquarium.
Eli & Mama
Me and my boys...and the dolphin!
Dolphins are so graceful and playful too!
Hey there, big guy!
Enjoying beautiful South Texas!
Is there a doctorate in Johnathan's future???...looks like it!
Our little doctor, all dressed up for Halloween!
"Yay, I'm a doctor like daddy!"
Having fun at the fall festival.
Our little pianist!
Eli getting a breathing treatment...usually he screamed his head off, but was very calm this time.
Poor, sweet baby!
The boys in our room watching Toy Story 3 while I did laundry!
This movie is priceless!
Hello, Eli! Sweet boy!
Our precious Monkey boy!
Just to prove how much of a puzzle genius Johnathan is...he now likes to do them upside down, just looking at the shapes and trying out different pieces 'til he finds which ones fit where! It is so fun to watch him work his puzzles!
Ta-da! Good job, buddy!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Keep Eli in Your Prayers

I just wanted to write a quick post to have all of you keep our sweet Eli in your prayers. He got sick last week and got worse as this week progressed. He has RSV (clinically, although he tested negative for it, but he has all the signs), and there is not much we can do besides stay on top of his symptoms since it is a virus. We have to give him oral steroids 4x per day tapering off to once a day over the next 2 weeks to help open his airways. We are also giving levalbuterol breathing treatments through a nebulizer to help his lungs to open as well. He is having a little trouble breathing even with the treatments so far, and of course this has us concerned...but I am trying to NOT freak out. I am still focusing on the truth, and I know that Jesus will be with precious Eli every step of this illness until he gets better. Still, it can take 1-2 weeks to fully recover, and I am hoping for my sweet boy to get well asap. Thanks for your prayers.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And The {Truth} Will Set You Free

..."Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”... -John 8:32

This verse very aptly describes the latter part of last week for me. Both boys ended being sick, seems they share germs as well as love and they both had some upper respiratory issues and double ear infections. The early to mid part of the week I was really struggling with them being sick. Not just from being worn out from sleepless nights, but from an unhealthy fear that I was going to lose them...they were far from being that sick, but my mind had me convinced that things were worse than they really were. I was having a hard time eating, I felt an ache in the pit of my stomach every time they coughed and I was overall just being eaten away by my fear. It wasn't fun.

Then, I think on Wednesday, I called my mom. I was crying, felt totally out of control of the situation (which I was) and just needed some advice and encouragement. I can't remember the exact words that my mom said, but the gist of it was that I needed to focus on truth. I was letting my emotions control me, and I was listening to lies that were leading me down a scary path. I was trying to get my emotions under control, but nothing was working because I still was not focusing on what was true. My mom gave me some practical advice, true things to think of, and asked me what lies I was believing about the situation. Seems so simple, and yet it totally changed my perspective, and once I began to focus on the truth the lies weren't able to permeate my mind.

This "new" revelation of focusing on truth has truly been life changing. I mean, seriously life changing. Once I began to focus on the truth...that Jesus was watching over my babies, that kids do get sick and that it's actually good for them to in order to build up immunities, that we were on top of the situation by addressing their illnesses with prompt medical care and the necessary medications, etc...the lies that had me nearly paralyzed were unable to enter my mind and render me frozen in fear. And, once I was able to focus on truth my emotions began to change. Instead of being fearful and scared I was able to just spend time being compassionate to my two precious boys, I could carry on with our daily activities and not just pace the house feeling all out of control and crazy. The truth has truly set me free, and this principle of focusing on truth has carried over into other areas of my life already as well. When I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself about one situation or another all I have to do is to think about the truth of the situation and poof, those lies that try to wedge their way into my life get squashed...and it's hard to feel sorry for myself when truth is staring me in the face. Truly amazing!

Anyways, I just wanted to share my experience with {Truth}...and of course, just as a reminder to everyone of WHO truth is...Jesus! He IS The Way...The Truth...and The Life. Without Him there is nothing, and we can only know truth because of Him.

Happy Tuesday!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharing Lessens Sadness

Just when things seem "normal" something comes up to shake our lives up a bit. This week it's been Johnathan being sick. He has been battling allergies for a couple of weeks, and this past weekend they got the best of him and he came down with a fever Sunday night. When I took him to his pediatrician Monday afternoon Johnathan was pretty hot feeling, coughing and hadn't been eating like he normally does. The doctor listened to his chest...for a long time...and decided we needed an x-ray to rule out pneumonia. *I started to freak out a bit...okay, a lot*

We headed over to the radiology dept to get the x-ray, and I had to leave poor Eli out, alone, in the hallway because he couldn't be close to the about a scary situation. Luckily Eli has a set of lungs on him and screamed the whole time, so at least I knew he was still out there and that no one was taking him. It was awful though. The x-ray came back, lungs looked okay, so we got some scripts for an oral steroid to help with the decreased breathing sounds in Johnathan's left lung and some antibiotics for the double ear infection that he had. Poor baby!

Anyways...I have been having a rough time with Johnathan being sick. I have been trying to pray, to not worry, to concentrate on what is true...but is really has been a battle...a spiritual battle I am sure, and the Devil wants to keep me in this place of being scared and not living in truth. Yesterday was a bad day. I cried uncontrollably for a large part of the morning and some more throughout the day. It was weird. I felt so oppressed by fear. It was scary. I felt so vulnerable and not in control...which is why maybe I have a hard time with trust...I like to be in control of things, but really, I am in control of very little and I need to leave everything in God's hands.

Yesterday I had a great conversation with my sister, Gail. After hearing my fears she prayed such a beautiful prayer for me, spoke God's truth and words of comfort. It helped. And I realized, as I often have before, that sharing my struggles lessens sadness, helps to ease fears and gives me truth to think about. I am so thankful for sweet people in my life who are willing to help me along when my days are less than perfect. *Thanks sweet Gaily, I love you!*

Today we went back to the doctor since Johnathan's cough has worsened. Our pediatrician (who I love, and have mentioned this fact numerous times!) looked Johnathan over and just smiled and said, "lungs sound good!" Phew, relief! But still, poor Monkey has an awful cough that has made him throw up and interferes with his (and the rest of the family's) sleep. So, he got a steroid shot to help his breathing/cough and will continue with the other meds until they are completed.

I am starting to feel better about Johnathan getting well...but...Eli now seems to be getting sick too. Aah! Congestion and starting with a little cough today, but not very frequent, no fever, so we'll see where it leads. I have been suctioning out his little nose like crazy, and I hope that I can ward off any real sickness.

I know that kids get sick. I know that it is common for kids to get sick frequently. I know that most of these little colds/viruses/etc. when caught & treated early aren't a huge threat...however, I still can't seem to calm down the stress levels that seem to rise to enormous proportions in me. Trust. I am learning it. But it is going to be an ongoing process, but, I suppose that is how it is supposed to be.

Here's to two little healthy guys soon...hopefully very soon, that would be nice!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Things I Want to Remember

Going through life things happen and change so quickly that little incidents, major or minute, often get forgotten. Here are some things that have happened recently that I want to remember. Some sweet little happenings in our hive of a home!

-Yesterday Johnathan busted out of our bedroom closet where he had been hiding. He began to excitedly tell me about going to the park (which we were just about to do) and he totally forgot that he had taken a little sneak of Eli's pacifier, and it was still in his mouth! I asked him what was in his mouth, and he had the cutest look on his face like, "uh-oh, you caught me!" Johnathan has been without his own pacifier completely for about a month or so. I wonder how many times he has sneaked off to suck on Eli's paci?!!

-When Johnathan is calling for either Aaron or me (Dada or Mama) he will often get us mixed up and call us the wrong name, however, he corrects himself mid-name...for example, if he's calling for me and gets mixed up say "Da-ma" or calling for Aaron he'll say "Ma-da"'s pretty cute!

-Johnathan is a puzzle genius! Seriously, the little dude loves puzzles and is amazing at working them. A few weeks ago I went to Target to get him some more board puzzles...just wooden jigsaw pieces on a plain board...and I bought him 3 new ones figuring it would take him at least a few days to figure them out. Wrong. He did them all super fast the first time he worked them. So, now we're up to regular jigsaw puzzles that you buy in a box and just work on the floor or on the table. He is excellent at those too! Such a little smartie pants!

And, so as to not leave little mister Eli out...

-Eli is our little roly-poly. He has been rolling over, both ways...front to back, back to front...for about a month now. One of his favorite things to do right now is to grab onto my arm when I'm changing him and wrestle it. It's so cute! He wraps his arms around my arm, pulls it close to him and rolls around. Precious!

Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Little Fluffy Butt

I have started a new endeavor with my sweet lil' Eli...cloth diapers! (This was the exciting news I was talking about in a previous post!) We started switching over to cloth from disposable last the encouragement from a friend here in CC who is the queen of cloth diapers! ;) So far I am loving it for several reasons:

1) Eli was starting to have lots of "blow-outs" with his disposable diapers which meant lots of outfits were getting poo all over them as well as whatever he was sitting on---yuck! We haven't had any blow-outs with the cloth...and believe me we've put them to the test (i.e. he had a major poop while jumping in his jumperoo and no mess outside of the diaper! Yay!)

2) It feels rewarding to sort of be more "natural" in the area of, it's way more "green" than throwing at least 6 or more diapers a day straight into the trash that eventually end up in some land fill somewhere rotting away for years and years . I'm not a tree hugger or anything, but it does feel good to be able to use something you don't just throw away.

3) They are super soft and comfy and they will grow with Eli as he gets bigger. The brand I bought is called rump.a.rooz, and they fit a newborn all the way up to 35 pounds by having several snaps on the front that adjust the diaper size. It's actually pretty cool! I bought them from my friend, Kyndal, aka the queen of cloth, from her baby boutique that she recently started up. It is nice to be able to support the endeavors of a sweet, stay at home mom. Kyndal is passionate about motherhood, and offers in her boutique several things that she enjoys using as a mommy to her sweet daughter.

4) And, maybe this should have been at the top of the list...they are super cute! There are several prints that are just totally favorite that we have is the fire trucks print...and even the solid colors are pretty cute.

5) I actually like washing the diapers, and love how fresh and clean they smell when I'm getting them ready for Eli to use again.

6) Eli's little bum looks so cute and fluffy in his new diapers...he's my little fluffy butt!

Anyways, those are just a few reasons why I am enjoying cloth! Here are some pics of my precious cloth diaper baby!

Now isn't he just precious?!! Yeah, I think so too!!! Bye for now, y'all!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sometimes Happiness Still Feels So Foreign

Before Johnathan was born and early on in my pregnancy with him I remember driving home one day and feeling extremely happy...and it was an odd feeling. It felt strangely unnatural to feel happy. I suppose that after living 4 years with the pain and heartache of losing our first four children that living with sadness had become a way of life, and being sad had become normal. Maybe even comfortable. Happiness was a new feeling again, and believe it or not it has taken some time to get used to that feeling.

Sometimes happiness still feels so foreign...

Last night for example. Aaron and I had just prayed at the end of our day right before bed like we always do. And, like usual at the end of our prayers we said our "I Love Yous" to our Heaven babies..."We love you Gideon, Daniel, Angel Babies." We do this every night, but some nights it hits me just how much I miss them. Like last night. I couldn't help but break down and cry...the kind of cry where you feel the ache in your very soul. It was a familiar feeling. A feeling that I used to live with day in and day out almost constantly. And, now that we have Johnathan and Eli, sometimes that ache for my babies seems stronger because I now know what the happiness of having children feels like. I suppose the same is true for the happiness that I feel over the blessing of our Earth babies...both emotions are felt at the extreme.

As I sat there in the dark, tears coursing down my face, heart aching for the babies that I don't have with me, there were plenty of thoughts going through my mind. Like how it is such a paradox to feel such anguishing sadness at the loss of our first 4 children along with the joy of having our two precious sons here with us on earth. Talk about mixed emotions. Often when I see our two little guys interacting I catch a glimpse of what Heaven might be like. Gideon loving on his little brother, and Daniel's face lighting up with joy at the sight of his older brother. I miss that I don't get to see that, to experience the love I know they have for each other. I miss my babies, and I miss being able to see the wonderful big brothers that I know Gideon and Daniel would have been to Johnathan and Eli. And I miss our "Angel Babies" too...and I can't help but think that maybe they are boys as well...that seems to be our theme!

Aaron and I recently had a conversation about how we find it so hard to trust God to protect Johnathan and Eli. We know that is not guaranteed that just because you pray for Him to protect and preserve life that it will automatically happen. I can remember specifically praying really hard, probably the hardest I've ever prayed for God to save Gideon's life. To let him live and to let his precious life be a testimony to what God can do. I was so sure that would happen. I had such faith. But after Gideon's death, and the the death of Daniel and our two angels, that faith is having a hard time staying strong. It wavers. And fear often overtakes it. And I don't like it. Not one bit.

This past week Johnathan has been sick. Nothing big. Really just allergies on overdrive that are draining down his throat and making him cough. However, sometimes just the sound of him coughing is enough to almost send me into a panic attack. My heart literally starts pounding in my chest like its trying to jump out, and I feel a dark dread pour over me. Fear.

As the time neared for Johnathan's birth I thought that once we had him with us, alive and healthy, that all my previous fears and doubts would just disappear. Funny how you actually have to deal with stuff though, it doesn't just disappear. And I know that I still have a lot to work through. I am just now getting to the point, probably since the birth of Eli and seeing God's hand so distinctly through that, that I am able to give Him praise out loud. Honestly in the past it was hard to give God credit for the good things. I was just so angry that His plans for our first 4 children were not my own, and upset that he could let them and my dream of being a mommy die. Thankfully God is full of grace, and I know that He understands all that I felt and still feel and I have always known how much He loves me...even when I felt like He was a million miles away.

Sometimes happiness still feels so foreign. Sometimes the happiness that I do feel gets choked out by nightmares from the past. Grief is an ongoing process, and I am finding out just how much of it I still have left to deal with. However, in the meantime, I have two precious boys to love on and hold and kiss and cry over and two little ones that know me as Mommy. Oftentimes it is quite overwhelming. Oh, how I love those little guys. And oh how I miss my Heaven children.

I am learning that there is more to life than the pursuit of happiness, it's a wonderful feeling but hardly all that life is about. Ultimately I believe that we're here by God's grace, to give Him glory, to live for Christ, to share with others about His love for them...for all of us. And I know that someday I will see all of my precious children together. And that will be something far better than happiness.

Signing off for now,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life with Little Ones

Life with little ones sure isn't predictable, but it sure is fun. And, with two little (and very active) boys life is pretty tiring, but in a {mostly} good way. *wink*

Last night was one of those crazy nights that parents find themselves enduring when a sick child will not go to sleep. Johnathan came down with a cough a day or so ago, and yesterday we gave him a few doses of some cough suppressant to help him be able to sleep...backfire, big time! He refused his nap and then when it was bedtime he actually did sleep for a few hours only to get up at 2 am and want to play the rest of the whole night! Aah!!! Finally around 7 am we let him "get up" and he was all smiles and ran to get his favorite toys out in the living room. Luckily I went to bed fairly early last night (I am battling a cold myself) and got about 4 hours of sleep before Monkey decided it was party time. Poor Aaron though, he stayed up until 2 working on a presentation for work, and right when he was about to go to bed Johnathan got up! Such is life with little ones!

I realize that I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, maybe longer, but not for lack of things going on around here...actually, the opposite! We've been quite busy with our daily happenings, and here are a few pictures that will give you a glimpse into our last few weeks! Oh, and I have some exciting news to share, I'm not expecting another baby!...and I'll just give you a has to do with diapering Eli...sounds exciting, right?! Haha! Maybe not, but I am having fun trying out something new! I'll tell you about it soon!

Our two precious little guys...aren't they the cutest little brothers?!!

Eli, 4 months old. Johnathan, 2 1/2 years old
Eli is a finger sucker, and rarely takes a pacifier these days...and Johnathan is a finger poker and luckily hasn't poked out Eli's eyes yet! ;)

Johnathan went to a friend's birthday party and they had the cutest little petting farm there.

Johnathan loved all the little animals, especially this little chicken!

He was fairly gentle with the bunny rabbit...and only picked it up and threw it once! (Poor bunny!)

This little goat was too cute, and Johnathan had a good time feeding it.

I still fall in love with Johnathan's eye lashes every time I see them...aren't they gorgeous?!

Eli is a pro at his bouncer chair and makes that thing hop up and down like crazy!

Mmm, yummy fingers!

Eli also loves his jumperoo, and jumped so much this day that he tired himself out!

He is a bit short so I have to put a pillow under his jumper so he can have something to push off of to jump! Poor little shrimpy!

One Little Boy + Unlimited Dirt = A Good Time!

"Ta-da!" Very proud of his dirt creation!

Before I go, a quick baby update for Eli (mostly for my records) his 4 month check-up he was a little over 23 inches long and weighed in at 13 pounds, 1 ounce. Head circumference was 17. The doctor says that he's taking after me, and he is around the 5th percentile! Tiny little dude! Of course we must remember that he came out a bit shrimpy, so I'm not worried! He's gaining appropriately, he is just small!

Alrighty y'all, I'm out to go work on stuff around the house and to play with Monkey...maybe I can wear him out enough to get him to take a nap!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Bragging on Our Boys!

Lately both Johnathan and Eli have been showing us a side of their respective personalities that we haven't seen before. Both of them have us cracking up pretty much from the time they awake until after lights out. They are both too cute, and have such vibrant little personalities!

Some of the moments that make us melt are as follows...

-First thing in the morning, most mornings, Johnathan will run to the fridge and pull it open for "a snack." When I ask him what he wants he'll tap his pointer finger on his chin and say "hmm, let me see" until he picks something out! Too cute!

-Sometimes Johnathan will want us to come look at something that he's done or come play with him. If we're busy and tell him to wait just a minute he'll turn around, put his hands down at his sides, slump his shoulders and walk away saying "I'm sad."...oh my goodness, it's pitiful, and gets us every time! Especially when he adds, "I'm crying" to his sad statement!

-Eli might only be 4 months old, but boy does he have a crazy little personality already! He is starting to grab for everything...and when he gets really excited he screams! He will literally scream out, and it's so funny! He also loves to be tickled, and has the cutest little laugh. I haven't caught it on camera yet, but trust me, it is the most adorable thing!

-Eli {LoVeS} his big brother, seriously, when he sees Johnathan his little face lights up, and he smiles probably the most at him. And Johnathan loves him right back. They are really sweet together, and I can't wait to see them really get to play together when Eli is a bit bigger. Johnathan is already sharing his toys with him...even his coveted I can only imagine that they're are going to have a great time when Eli is old enough to interact more.

In addition to showing us some of their cute personality traits, our little guys are also budding in their learning too. Eli can roll from back to front, and loves to play with the toys that hang over his playmat and on his bouncer. Johnathan has really been loving puzzles, and can now do the wooden jigsaw puzzles that we have for him quite easily. I am super proud of him because they are pretty difficult...the biggest one is 24 pieces, and they are just wooden pieces on top of a plain board, so you can't "cheat" by seeing what piece goes where, you just have to figure it out...which he does all by himself! Such a smartie pants!

Johnathan is also talking up a storm. Just a few weeks ago he would mainly speak in a sentences of just a few words. Now he speaks in full sentences with the correct usage of "I", "me", "you", etc. It is fun to see him learning, and I am really enjoying being able to talk with him and communicate better.

Alrighty folks, I'm out. The doc is gone, the boys are asleep, so I am going to go relax and have mommy-time! Yippee!!! ;)


Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's all fun & games until the toilet overflows!

***Disclaimer, this post may contain TMI for some readers, so continue at your own risk!***

Last Sunday was the beginning of a very interesting week. It had been raining, and I'm not talking a gentle pitter-patter, I'm talking a torrential downpour that went on for hours and hours (and lasted for days & days...I think we got at least a foot of rain over just a few days!). Anyhoo, by Sunday afternoon our yard was officially flooded, and I have never been happier that we're on pier and beam! The flooding came within a few feet of entering our garage which is on slab, so thank goodness the rest of our house is up off the ground!

Aaron worked Sunday morning/early afternoon, and so the boys and I enjoyed a cozy day at home, enjoying the sound of the rain and feeling snug here in our little house. I had the candles going, casting homey little shadows on the walls, and all in all I felt like our home was a place of refuge and safety from the storm. It was a great day, and I was content as could be inside our little cottage of a house. That all changed early Monday...

...Monday started off fairly normal, an early wake-up call by the boys, then breakfast and my routine chores to begin the week with. I always do laundry on Mondays, it just feels good to start the week off with clean clothes, and this past Monday was no exception. I had just put Eli down for his morning nap, and threw a load in the wash and then proceeded to hang out with Johnathan and work on other stuff around the house. After a little while I heard a loud splashing sound and knew something was up...I didn't know where to look first, because it sounded like the noise was coming from either the bathroom or the garage where the washer is...well, it was coming from both! I ran to the bathroom and to my horror saw what looked like thick, oozing mud (it wasn't) coming into the bathtub. I sprinted to the garage and saw water splashing all over the place, and I quickly turned the washer off. I ran back into the house, and as I neared the bathroom I could see a wet substance all over the floor and I screamed! I didn't know what to do! I called the plumber asap, and let him know that the sewer lines were flooding into our bathroom, filling up the tub and overflowing the toilet. He said he couldn't do anything because all the city lines were flooding and he would have to wait for the rain to stop...what???!!! Couldn't do anything??? Well, I tried to think of a solution myself, and the only thing I could come up with was to stop all water usage at our house (except for washing our hands) and at least clean the mess that was there and pray that the rain would stop soon.

When I got off the phone with the plumber Johnathan came up to me saying "star sticker in nose, star sticker in nose." Great, I knew that meant he had stuck something up his nose, and sure enough, when I looked inside I could see a shiny green star sticker shoved in the back. I got the tweezers out, and thank goodness I was able to retrieve it. However, like in times past when Johnathan has stuck something in his nostrils, his nose became irritated and he started sneezing like crazy. His nose started running, and I had a bad feeling that he might get sick. A mother's intuition you might say.

I took the boys out (in the rain) to the grocery store to arm myself for the most disgusting task I've ever taken on to date. We came home with bleach, lots of paper towels, gloves and a myriad of other household cleaning items...oh and a candle too. I had to try something to get rid of the stench of raw sewage...not a pleasant thing at all to have in your home!

Luckily Aaron got home from work early on Monday and hung out with the boys while I tackled the bathroom. It was a horrible experience that I don't want to ever have to endure again, and long story short I filled a trash bag with some towels I had to sacrifice to stop the spillage from entering the hallway and with the rest of the goo and muck that I had to clean out of the bathroom. It. Was. Gross. And I have to give myself Woman of the Year for cleaning it all up!

I ran to my aunt's to shower after cleaning up the mess, and boy, did that shower feel good. Who knew when I'd get another, so I enjoyed it and trekked back home to the stink-house!

Monday night Johnathan woke up, throwing up and with Croup. Just great. We cleaned him up, and Aaron went to sleep in his room for the night. It was a bad night. And it was still raining.

Tuesday morning I took Monkey to the doc and came home with the diagnosis of Croup and a double ear infection. Okay, so could things get much worse??...of course they can, they can always get worse...and better too...but this was just one of those times when our lives were on a downhill slope. I called the plumber again...really hoping he'd try to come and see if he could fix our plumbing...and was told the same thing, he couldn't do anything, the rain was still steadily pouring, and there was just nothing he could do 'til it stopped, and that he would try to come by the next day...if the weather held. At this point I was thoroughly frustrated with him, surely he could do something...or at least come by to see if he could figure out the problem. I was more than a little upset with him. How did he expect us to live without a was going on day 2 with no working toilet or shower in our home, and what's a girl supposed to do when nature comes a callin'?! I was stuck at home, with a sick boy and a baby, and sooner or later I had to "go"...and so I did, in a trash can, y' a trash can! That poor trash can saw my behind several times, because for 3 days we didn't have a bathroom! I felt like I was in the olden days, going in a slop bucket! Boy am I thankful that we live in a time with the convenience of modern plumbing...and I couldn't wait to get mine back!

By Tuesday night I was completely worn out and frustrated. Crying. I was a mess. We called our landlady and told her the plumber she preferred us to use was just not cutting it. She okay-ed for us to call another company, one that we'd used in the past, and we called for them to come out first thing Wednesday morning. By this point Johnathan was on the mend, so that was one thing that I was grateful for, but boy, did I want to be able to go in a toilet again! And I was tired of our house smelling like the sewer, literally.

Wednesday the reliable plumber came, and found out the problem...roots, clogging the sewer line which couldn't handle all the rain and our home usage, and a clog in the bathroom pipes from when the sewer line had backed up into it. Problem solved, and problem under an the rain. I wanted to hug the plumber I was so happy. I had my washer back...I had my tub back (after some major bleaching)...and I had my toilet back!!! I was happy! I did call that other plumber back and told him not to worry about coming. I told him that I had found someone who could come and fix the problem...and you know what he said..."Oh, I thought that it (the backed up tub/toilet) would just go down when the rain stopped." Are you kidding me?!! Poor business in my opinion! My goodness!

So, now it is Saturday, the end of a interesting, frustrating, and stinky week. The house is clean and smells good again. Johnathan is recovering nicely. Eli has managed to stay well. The sun is shining. And I am thankful that things are normal...but then again, what's normal?!

Happy Saturday!



Here is our front yard during the the worst of the flooding. As you can see, pretty much the entire yard is under several inches of water...probably about 6 inches deep at its deepest point.

I had to move our car up because the water started to get close to going over the rim of the wheels, and I didn't want it sitting in all that water. When Aaron got home from work, he had to take off his shoes and roll up his pants to avoid getting totally soaked...the water was about 3 inches deep at the middle of our driveway at that point.

Another view of our front yard. That little patch of green eventually was under water too! Seriously, I felt like we were living on the edge of the bayou or something, it was so wet!

You can see a portion of our neighbor's home, also pier and beam, and look at how close the water is to the bottom of it! And after this point it kept raining for 3 more days! Thankfully, the water started to recede a bit tho!

Here I am trying to have good humor about the job I was about to tackle. I felt like I should have been on Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe...yeah, it was that disgusting!