Friday, August 28, 2009

My Rachel

I feel like I don't post enough about my First Born!! The only thing I usually post about her is how bad she is. Honestly, I am hoping that it is the age. Two is just hard. I hear that three is even worse but I refuse to believe that!!! Rachel is not a bad kiddo. She is just challenging at times. She is loving and very sweet. She loves her baby sister and is very very smart!!! She must have gotten that from her daddy! =) She has trouble sharing sometimes but plays well with others for the most part. She is my first born baby and I love her with all my heart...and MORE!!!

Here are some pictures I took of her yesterday.






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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today

Today is a special day to me. Why? Because today is my birthday. I am not having a party and no one is giving me gifts. I got the most incredible gift of all on this birthday. Fourteen years. WOW!! It actually seems like so long ago and I can't remember my life before I was "born."

Today is my spiritual birthday. Fourteen years ago today I was "born" into Christ's family. He saved me! ME!! A soul that is not worthy but oh so very thankful.

I had not really grown up in church. I had been here and there and went to GAs when I was little but never consistent and I never really knew what it meant to be "saved." When I moved to Arkansas in 1994, I started going to church with some friends on Wednesday nights. I went pretty regularly until the summer and I stopped going. One of my friends came to me at the end of the summer and said that there was a back to school party and invited me to church, a youth rally, church that evening, and then the back to school party. That morning, the preacher kept talking about being saved and I had no idea what he was talking about. At the youth rally I was definitely shaken. The girl that spoke was a girl by the name of Dayle Evans and she was talking about how she thought she was a Christian and then later determined that she wasn't and gave her life to Christ ultimately at the age of 15. She sang "Jesus Will Still Be There" and had the voice of an angel. I was moved. ***Side note****Dayle died in a car accident at the age of 17. I believe I was 16 at the time and it devastated me because she meant so much to me.***** On the way home from the youth rally, the Holy Spirit began to work on my heart. I didn't know why I was feeling what I was feeling. That night at the service, something was different. I felt something tugging at my heart and was not sure what to do about it.

After church we went to Charlie and Christi Zumwalt's house for the party. I was talking to one of my friends and told her I didn't know what it meant to be "saved" and I wasn't sure what the preacher was talking about. That night, in that very room (their guest bedroom where I would later spend many nights) I was saved. August 27, 2005. I asked Jesus into my heart and my life has never been the same!! It has not been an easy road...in fact, I know that it has been harder but knowing that I have Someone in my court and on my side is an incredible feeling. I know that this life can offer some pretty hard blows but God is all I need to make me whole. At times, I wish I were closer to Him and I fail Him daily but I know that He is MY ALL.

That, my friends is REASON TO REJOICE!!!!!
Saved by Christ Pictures, Images and Photos

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Joys of Parenthood

So we are back in the routine after Rachel was the center of attention of her grandparents for a week. Things around our house this morning have been anything but pleasant! It's a daily struggle with her. DAILY! Let's see...this morning, we have struggled about:

*Her wanting to take a shower with me and me saying "NO"
*Putting her tights on for dance class
*Putting her skirt on for dance class
*Putting her shoes on for dance class
*Brushing her hair
*Putting her hair in a ponytail
*Which bow to wear
*Wanting some ball in the car that I could not reach
*She tee-teed during dance class (not too much of a big deal to me...I talked to her about it but it was a new atmosphere and she didn't know the lady so she didn't get in trouble)
*She tee-teed again in the playroom. Ran down her legs and made a puddle in the floor. Me=NOT HAPPY!!!!
*What she wanted to eat for lunch
*What she wanted to watch on TV
*She didn't want me to feed Lauren
*She went to the bathroom finally (after me asking her to for about an hour) but when she came to let me pull up her pants, she was wet!!!! Another battle.
*She wanted to watch TV and I told her no more TV as a consequence for going in her panties
*She didn't want to take a nap

And, folks, it is only 1:26 in the afternoon!! What will the rest of the day hold???! Why can't some things just be easy??? OH, and to top if all off...I have had a headache for 2 days and Brice isn't coming home until late tonight because he has a dinner meeting.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Nothing Really

Well, I don't have anything real monumental to post about. My family is all back under one roof. It was a nice break but it is nice to get back into the routine of things as well.

Rachel spent this past week with her grandparents in Little Rock and she had a blast. I know how challenging she is so I commend the grandparents for an entire week! =) She is home and ornery as ever but I just love the mess out of her!!! =) She starts dance class tomorrow which I am SUPER excited about!! She has her little tap shoes and ballet shoes! How cute is she going to be??!

Brice is back home from the U.K. and seems to be sporting a bit of an accent..okay, not really but I wouldn't mind at all! I LOVE British accents! Is that weird? He took some video of some things over there and I could listen to the people talk all day long. He had a good trip and adjusted to the time difference quite well.

Lauren is getting bigger....well, she is definitely getting fatter! She is so round! I really thought she would be the smaller one (not sure why I thought that since she was a whole 2 lbs bigger at birth than Rachel) but she isn't! After everything we have gone through with Rachel I am almost not looking forward to her 6 month appointment next month because I am afraid she is going to be too big. I honestly don't know what else to do though...she eats every 3 - 4 hours and it's breast milk. We are starting baby foods but not much...1/2 of a container twice a day. She has had squash, applesauce and green beans so far. OH, and prunes....she needed them! =) Here are a couple pictures from today and yesterday..
She is teething!

Me...well, I'm still here. I have been off work for a few weekends but I go back this Saturday. I am actually looking forward to it...I like my job for the most part even though things at work right now aren't great. I can't believe it is almost September. I am still doing Weight Watchers and I am down 9 lbs since I started 5 weeks ago. I am about 3 lbs away from pre-pregnancy weight and already in pre-pregnancy clothes. That makes a mommy feel good!! I gained right at 55 lbs this pregnancy. I would love to get to my goal weight which means I need to lose about 15 more lbs! It's hard work. My accomplishment as of lately....I have completed 2 scrapbook pages and have started Lauren's!!! YIPPEE!! I hope that I am on a roll and my goal is going to be to complete 3 pages a week after Rachel starts back to Parent's Day Out next week! Maybe I will eventually finish Rachel's 1st year and get Lauren's caught up...I know she is only 5 months old but a lot has happened in this 5 months!


**UPDATE** I am now listening to 2 (almost 3) year old scream upstairs. She is seriously screaming at the top of her lungs. I am not sure why but she is hollering for me. Her daddy is with her and me going up there is only going to allow her to "get her way." She is hard...you think I'm kidding??!!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Baby Showers

Okay, so at Kelly's Korner she has been doing a series each Friday for months now and I have wanted to join in but didn't really know how. Well, I still really don't but want to try it out. This week the theme is baby showers. I have helped with a few in the past few years especially since nearly every lady in our Sunday school class has had a baby in the last year and a half! We do all of our showers at the church. When I started going to this church the norm was to have a big shower for 1st babies and then a diapers/wipes shower for babies thereafter but we have recently started doing baby showers for all babies. Not sure if this will continue if we will start a new tradition soon after all of the "current" babies are born. Here are pictures from showers that I have attended/hosted:

This one is actually not one from our church. It was my cousin's and there wasn't really a theme but this cake was adorable. I ordered it from a bakery that I love but is a little drive from my house. This was the design on Tonya's baby bedding. I love the way the cake turned out!


Here are a couple of my favorite shower themes that we have done...

Candace's Shower


This shower was musical themed because Candace named her little girl Cadence and because Candace is so musical. We had a soda fountain where we made root beer floats. It was so much fun!!

Krista's Shower



This shower was special to me for a couple of reasons. First, Krista is my best friend and I love her kids like my own. Second, Lauren was only a month old and I was so excited to be out with and about with my friends!! Her shower was movie themed and was adorable!!

And last, here was my shower when I was pregnant with Lauren...polka dot themed.




And...just a side note about me and baby showers....when I was pregnant with Rachel we had my baby shower on Sunday, November 5th. At my next scheduled doctor's appointment (Tues. Nov 7th) I was admitted to the hospital at 36 weeks. With Lauren, I had my baby shower on Sunday, February 15th. At my next scheduled appointment (Monday, Feb 16th) I had to go to the hospital (33 weeks). So, I am thinking with my 3rd we will just opt for not having a baby shower!!! =)

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Why?

I know I have blogged about this so many times in the past but it seems as though I gravitate towards tragedy in the blog world. Not just any tragedy but the loss of babies. I don't understand what God is trying to say to me. I am not sure what I am supposed to learn but He is yelling at me very loudly. I am so thankful for my babies and my family. I don't deserve the blessings that God gives me but sometimes the only thing that comes to my mind is "Why?" I think God can handle our "Whys." I just don't understand why babies have to die. Perfect. Innocent. Blameless. Precious. Why?

My heart is heavy for the Rowe family as their infant daughter died 2 days after birth. I don't know all of the circumstances surrounding it but she never was able to breathe on her own and she had no brain function from the time she was born. She was full term and beautiful.Read about her life here.

Lord, thank you for my children and their health. May I NEVER take that for granted.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feeling a little...

Nostalgic...is that right word??? Maybe just mushy or maybe just a proud momma...not sure...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OKAY, BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN THE ULTRASOUND IMAGE BELOW.....NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT!!!!!!! READ ON!!!!!

A blogger friend of mine posted that she found out a year ago yesterday that her (now 7 month old) daughter was a girl!! Well, it got me thinking and I believe that August 18th (yesterday) was the day we had our first sonogram and saw our little baby #2(who is now Lauren)!! Okay, I just looked at the picture before I posted this and sure enough...August 18, 2008 we saw our precious little baby for the first time!! She is such a joy!!

Here she was:



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Day's Accomplishment

So, I went to Frisco this morning with a friend to go to Stonebriar Centre...I love that mall. It is so far away from where I live so I only go maybe once a year or so. I only spent $15.85!!!!!! We walked the entire mall! I was so proud of myself! I got Lauren a pair of pants, a long sleeve shirt and matching hat at Children's Place! I was impressed! So, that's my happy news for the day. Brice will be so proud!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Lauren is 5 months old!



So many people tell me on a daily basis how much my two girls look alike. I thought I would post some pictures of Rachel when she was 5 months old....

Rachel

Lauren

Rachel


Lauren


And...here is my picture....I was a little older but look how much we look alike!!!


Here's Brice....the girls look like him, too!


What do you all think???!!!

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Under Construction!

If you go to my blog and it looks different every time it is because it is Under Construction! I did a header for a friend of mine and I am inspired to make my blog look better...it has been boring long enough!!


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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Long Post!

Well, basically in this post, I am going to try to cover everything I need to cover from the past few weeks! So...it will be long.

CHELSEA'S BIRTHDAY PARTY!
Rachel's best little friend is now 3 years old!! Chelsea had the best little birthday party at a small toddler-sized water park in Arlington. It was so cute and Rachel had a blast going under the water...her new favorite thing! She went down the slides by herself and everything. Chelsea's party was Ariel-themed and she had cute little cupcakes for the kids and cake for the adults. We got her a pretty little black/white dress with matching bow, a cup with her name on it, and some princess books. A good time was had by all!! Happy Birthday to Chelsea Joy!

UPTOWN VILLAGE
I have discovered a city nearby...well, I have known it was there for a long time but I just now discovered all of the cool things that they have there!!! So...a friend told me about a little splash area for kiddos that is free so we decided to check it out one Sunday evening since we don't do anything church-wise during the summer. Here are some pictures from then....



STUDIO MOVIE GRILL ~ THE GIRLS' FIRST MOVIE!
Heather found that for $1 for kids and $2 for adults, we could go see the movie Prince of Egypt during toddler movie time at Studio Movie Grill. I was very excited!! A group of us went as a playdate last week and it was a lot fun...chaotic, but fun! We ordered lunch and ate in the dark as we watched the movie. Rachel went to the potty about 5 or 6 times the time that we were there but Kaydi (who was 39 weeks pregnant and actually had the baby later that day) had to go frequently too so she took her most of the times! I asked Rachel afterward if she liked it and she said, "No, it made a really loud noise and it scared me!" She's such a drama queen! I took a few pictures...


I need to post Lauren's 5 month pictures but I will do that tomorrow or sometime this week, I am sure!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On Hold....

So, I have several days and things to catch up on from blogging. On that list is: Chelsea's birthday party, playing at Uptown Village, Rachel's (and Lauren's) first movie experience, and Lauren's 5 month pictures but there is something that I must blog about first.

Rachel.

Strong-willed (the nice word for HARD HEADED!)

Frustration.

So, it is no surprise that my 2 year old is a little challenging...she is 2 and as some would say, she IS my child! All joking aside, I feel like her behavior problems are really becoming a problem. What do you do when your friends try to have play group and you are afraid to take your child because you are afraid that she will hurt one of the other ones or get so out of control that I will not be able to handle her and my infant at the same time???!! It is frustrating! It has really gotten to the point that I don't like taking her to church. A couple of weeks ago, she got a bloody nose (the other boy had a knot on his head) <~I actually think this was an accident, but still....last night she took a toy away from a baby and made her fall over and bloody her mouth. At Sandy Lake, we had everything but a "knock-down-drag-out" because she wasn't getting her way. This became a little dangerous because it was water and I had Lauren in the water at the same time. Two nights ago she was screaming at the top of her lungs because she wanted me to put her to bed instead of her daddy when I was on the phone doing Premier stuff....I was with her all day long...this was simply because it was not HER idea for Daddy to put her to bed, she wanted me.

I am reading "The New Strong-Willed Child" by Dr. Dobson. I really like it but there is a part of me that doesn't really feel like she is that childthat they speak of in the book because she isn't THAT bad. He talks a lot about how "The Strong-Willed Child" is that way from birth and Rachel WAS NOT! She was the easiest, most laid back baby...both of my babies are. I find Lauren to even be a little more high-strung than Rachel but she is still a GREAT baby!

It is really a power struggle. That is what I feel the issue is. She had a major digression in potty training a couple of weeks ago and I was on her like CRAZY for 2 days about it...she was having accidents every 20-30 minutes and NOT going in the potty at all. I spanked her. I took toys away. I praised her when she did go. I tried to tell her about rewards that are to come if she DOES go in the potty. I limited her TV watching. I did everything I knew to do and NOTHING was phasing her. NOTHING. I was at the point where I was really starting not to like my child because in my frustration I found myself taking it personally. After talking to a few wise friends of mine who have "been there, done that" I was advised to just leave it alone. I did. The very next day, she was back on track. We still have 1 accident or so a day but it truly is an accident and not an act of defiance as it was before. I gave up the power struggle and she decided she could go in the potty. Does that mean she won? Maybe. But how in the world to do you control potty training? YOU CAN'T!! It is up to them and she figured that out. I said she was strong-willed, not dumb! She is very smart and I think that is part of the problem.

So...as I sometimes feel like a failure, I know that praying is the only thing that is going to get this Mommy through raising this child. I love her with everything in my body but she is hard. She just is hard.

I am convinced that someone somewhere has prayed that God give me patience (yeah, thanks whoever you are) because that is what I am being taught through this precious child that He has given me. Bless her heart!!

Please pray for me (enough on the patience stuff, though, really)! I want to love her like she needs to be loved. I want to be the best parent that she can have but it will take lots and lots of prayer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sandy Lake Park Playdate

So...last.....Tuesday (a week ago) we had a playdate to Sandy Lake Park or what my friend refers to as SLAP! I think that's funny! Anyway, we had a good turnout and the kids did exceptionally well. I got a monster sunburn that is no resulting in what looks like a snake shedding it's skin on my back!! YUK! Anyway, here are some pictures....I so did not get any pictures of Rheta and her girls....bummer!!! We had a total of 14 there (kids outnumbered the adults!!)



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