Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ugh! A bug!

Not of the insect type either. I mentioned that Caleb threw up as we were driving home on Sunday. Well, it hit me at about 7:00 on Tuesday and it hit Stephen 3 hours later. At 3 am we heard Abby throwing up and within a few minutes Lauren was climbing out of bed telling us she was going to throw up too. There's nothing worse than your baby throwing up. Stephen stripped the sheets of Abby's crib, then she threw up on me, the boppy, and our bed. Caleb slept through all the commotion.

We all went downstairs and Stephen couldn't get up from the floor. I knew we needed help. Soon we would be too weak to even pick up Abby. I had to call his parents at 4 am and ask them to drive 3 hours to come help us. Stephen and I were in and out of sleep most of yesterday and luckily, Abby slept a lot too. We were weak and sore up until about bedtime last night. I think we are all just about better now. I get weak if I'm on my feet too long but other than that I feel fine. My neighbor is our pediatrician's nurse and I went to ask her for advice on when it would be safe to nurse Abby again. She said there is a bug going around with all the kids being back in school. For all my Aggieland readers, I hope your family is not exposed to this evil, evil bug.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 24, 2004

On August 23, 2004, 5 1/2 weeks early, my water broke. I had no idea what was to happen next. As I was admitted into the hospital, the nurses told me that Lauren's lungs might not be fully developed. I just wasn't prepared for a preemie. At 8:04 on 8-24, she was born, 4 lbs 8 oz and 18" long. Right after she was born, I held her for a few seconds and they whisked her away.They sent for an airplane to come from Texas Children's Hospital to pick her up because there was no NICU in town. I'm from Fort Worth, I had no idea hospitals didn't have NICU. The airplane was diverted to a more serious baby and they sent an ambulance. They took her to Houston and I had to stay in the hospital in Aggieland another night.
We were there for 3 weeks and it seemed like 3 years. We went to feed her and change her every 3 hours, we wanted to do anything and everything the nurses would allow. During the time that she slept, we would watch TV in the Ronald McDonald House that was in the hospital or take a nap. We felt hopeless and lonely. We had each other but we had no friends or family there to cheer us up. We had to eat every meal out which was expensive. We were lucky to have Hyla and Stephen's parents visit but that was short term. We had to beg the doctors to release her with a heart/breathing monitor that we could rent.
But look at her now!
Lauren is such a smart little girl who LOVES to create and learn. She loves to write words, she is always asking how to spell this or that. She remembers what you tell her too because the other day I asked her how to spell Papa and she remembered. I hadn't spelled it for her since we sent him a Father's Day card.
Lauren loves The Lord and understands way more than I give her credit for. Just last night in bed she asked if Jesus could wrap his arms around her and as always I said yes. She asked, "But how if his arms are on the wall?" Of course she was talking about her crucifix.
She loves her little brother and sister and it melts my heart to watch them all play together. Just this morning she went upstairs to get Caleb a pillow because he is still not fully recooperated from his bug and was falling asleep just after waking up. She helps us entertain Abby when she cries by singing songs to her (and it works). She sings Jesus Loves Me to her as well as The Aggie War Hymn. She lets Caleb "help" her put puzzles together and then she even shows him how to do it. They love to color together and create with Play-Doh. I know that they will not always get along but I hope that this innocent love lasts forever.
I love you so much Lauren and Daddy does too. You are still Daddy's little angel and Mommy's little Love Bug! We look forward to watching you grow (but not too fast)!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tinker Bell Birthday Party

For my little Tinker Bell's 4th birthday invitations, we pasted this picture inside and sprinkled a little Pixie Dust. We made the information rhyme and it started with words from the movie.

As guests arrived, there was a banner that read, "Welcome to Neverland." There was a bubble machine blowing and Tinkerbell music playing at the entrance. Also Peter Pan's shadow was on the door.

Jessica dressed up as Tink too! It was great for the Tink make-overs. As guests entered, they went into Tink's garden.

Lauren gets her Pixie Dust (glitter in aloe vera).

The girls had jewels added to their nails and they got to make their own wands.

Corey helped the boys become pirates with skull necklaces, tattoos, an eye patch, and a pirate hat that Corey quickly assembled before the party.

Look what Aunt Patty and Adrienne did to my baby!!

Playing Pass the Pixie Dust (a vial of gold glitter). This is like hot potato, when the music stopped, the person holding the Pixie Dust was out.

Creating Station: we had Tink crayons, markers, rubber stamps, scissors, and more...all found at dollar stores.
Beware of Pirates!

As the guests entered the Pirate Cove, we had one of the pirate songs playing from the movie.

Fishing in the Mermaid Lagoon. Never smile at a crocodile!
Look at the sky, you would never know that is was about to POUR!

Pin the star on Tinker Bell's wand.

Tinker Bell Bingo. Just as we got settled inside, Stephen told me that dark clouds were rolling in and it was thundering!

Let them eat cake!

The Pirate Cove. This is where the kids got their goodie bags and loaded them with loot (beads, coins, pixie sticks, tattoos, ring pops, and pirate duckies for all. Compasses and telescopes for the boys, and Tink pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpeners for the girls). Most of the props and goodies were purchased at one of the local dollar stores.

As the guests left, we had CDs with the Peter Pan soundtrack and Stephen printed Lauren's picture in her Tink costume on the front.

A very special thanks to Corey for helping the boys become pirates, Jessica for dressing up as Tink and making Lauren feel extra special on her birthday, Lynda and Jessica for the pictures, and Jeff for giving us a copy of the pictures!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Coming Soon!--edited

We just got back in town from Lauren's Tinkerbell Party and I'm currently editing the 150 pictures my niece and sister-in-law took. I can't wait to share all the birthday fun with you.

Let me just say the "fun" didn't stop there, today as we were driving home and approaching the University Drive exit (about 20 minutes from home), Lauren quickly got our attention by saying, "Oh no, Mommy...Caleb!" He was covered in his lunch and it just kept coming up. Stephen just pulled over right where we were and I immediately began praying for our safety because tomorrow is the first day of classes and MANY cars were exiting at University Drive. As I got back to Caleb, Lauren said, "I don't want to see that!" Well honey, none of us do. I got Caleb out and stripped him down as Stephen got the carseat out and took it apart. Caleb got to ride home in his diaper and Lauren sat in the actual van seat, not something I felt comfortable doing but what do you do? What would we have done if we were further away?

Poor Caleb can't hold anything down right now. We were letting him have the 2 tablespoons of water every 15 minutes and we put him to bed with every intention of Stephen going to sleep with him...then we heard him moan and I went in to find him covered, hair and all, in that 'water.' So Caleb got 2 baths tonight and Stephen is sleeping with him right now. I'm off to bed as tomorrow is the first day of school. Good night!

Edited: Would you believe this is the first time Caleb has ever been sick?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kids Say the Cutest Things

Okay, so I know I should be in bed but there's a cake in the oven...hurry up cake!

The passed few days you'd think we live in Florida because it has been raining and raining and raining. I could break into rain-songs like "Raindrops keep falling on my head"....or "Rain rain go away, come again another day" but I'll spare you. And I just saw the forecast and it's gonna keep on raining for another 4 days! Good grief, we got a letter from our homeowner's association about our tall grass but um, hello nice homeowner's association people? When, just when do you think we could mow? So did they waste like 100 pieces of paper and 100 envelopes mailing those letters to the whole neighborhood cuz like...all the yards need to be mowed. And with lots of rain comes lots of critters. The other night at like 4 am I heard the strangest noise. I thought it was coming from the monitor in the girls' room but when I went in their room, no noise. So I went back to bed and couldn't sleep with the crazy noise. I couldn't tell if the neighbor's dog was out again or if a goose took shelter under my window. I couldn't stand it any longer and I started going from window to window to see if I could see this thing. At 4 am. And I wasn't going to go outside not because of the pouring rain, but Stephen was at work and creepy thoughts started going through my head like maybe it's a burglar making a sound so I'll come outside and he can get me. Crazy huh? I wondered if it was an animal in distress and if I needed to call someone out. In the pouring rain. Yeah, right. I turned the monitor up and put a pillow over my head and finally drifted off to sleep. It was 5.

So yesterday morning Abby woke Lauren up (they share a room now) and Lauren snuggled up in bed with me while I fed Abby. Out of nowhere Lauren said, "Jesus....Thank you for the rain but the plants and flowers have had enough now."

Later yesterday we had gone to pick up the truck at Firestone. They were supposed to have completed the work because we had left the truck there overnight. When Stephen went in, they said they didn't even know the truck was there, they thought we had left the van. the key that was attached to the work order said "FORD" and why didn't they call us when they started to do the work order and a van wasn't even in the parking lot? Okay, so they said they'd work on the truck immediately and we wouldn't pay a dime. Anyway...Stephen was following us home and Lauren was asking questions about the streets we take to go home. I asked her if she was trying to learn how to get home and she said, "Yes, where will you and Daddy sit when I drive the van? Oh, I know, you can drive the truck."

I am baking 3 separate cakes for Lauren's party so earlier today while everyone napped, I was baking and the house just smelled so delicious. Yes, a house can be delicious, have you heard of Hansel and Gretle? When the kids woke up, we went to pick Stephen up at the tire shop (not Firestone, we won't put their tires on our cars and it was too late yesterday to get a new tire) and as we were driving, Lauren said, "Mommy, that cake smelled AWFULLY yummy!" Yep, she's gonna be a descriptive writer.

My cake is finished and I get to go to bed. Just in time for Stephen to wake up and go to work. Goodnight!

Super Busy!

Wow, what a week! Stephen has been producing the morning show so he has been working 11pm til 7 am and as soon as he gets home, I am out the door for work. Poor guy doesn't get a nap until at least 2, if Abby naps at 2. So I've been trying to get him to nap at night and I've been putting the kids to bed.

I probably won't blog again until next week because I have so much to do to get my classroom ready, pack to leave town, wash clothes to wear when we go out of town, and on top of that, get everything ready for Lauren's Tinkerbell party this Saturday...and that party will give me a lot to write about. We have planned so many games, activities, decorations, etc... and of course I am making the cake. Speaking of cake..I need to go make it right now! Check back next week for lots of pictures of the children's birthday party event of the year!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's a sad day for me

Today is my last day at home with my family. Teachers report back to work tomorrow and it saddens me to think of all that I will be missing each day. For example:

I'll miss Caleb climbing into bed with Abby and me every morning for some snuggle time
I'll miss watching Caleb awaken Lauren every morning with a kiss
I'll miss interacting with them and watching them create things with paper, markers, rubber stamps, stickers, etc...
I'll miss watching Lauren and Caleb nurture their baby sister....starting her musical toys over when she begins to cry
I'll miss their smiles and laughter...their hugs and kisses
I'll miss watching Lauren and Caleb play together like best friends
I'll miss jumping in the van with the whole family to go run errands
I'll miss playdates with my friends and their kids
I'll probably miss Abby crawling for the first time
and so much more

and in all my sadness I have to remember that we are still truly blessed because I have a job that is NOT 8-5 and most days I can come home for lunch. I have a job where I am home for the holidays and 86 days in the summer. I am blessed to be a teacher that doesn't have to bring papers home to grade or work on lesson plans, I leave work at work and can be home by 3:40.

We are blessed because my husband can be home with them Daddy-time...teaching them about The Lord, family, letters and sounds, numbers and counting, building, etc... I have to remember that most daddys would not be up for the task of being home with 3 small children after getting less than 5 hours of sleep AND trying to run a business from home.

But I will still miss them all so terribly!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There's a new First Lady in town!

Welcome Miss Reveille Ma'am!

The Aggies have picked a beautiful Collie to be Reveille VIII, just in time for our first football game in a few weeks. As a matter of fact, we were driving by Kyle Field last night and Lauren asked if that's the home of the Aggies. Yes baby girl! That's where the football team plays and Mommy is going to take you there to watch them one day.
As stated on the official website: "The first Reveille was a mongrel that, according to campus lore, was picked up by some cadets alongside Highway 6, which runs through College Station. The precise date of her arrival on campus is believed to have been 1931, and it is well documented that she died on Jan. 18, 1944, and received a formal military funeral on the 50-yardline of Kyle Field. Her name was reportedly prompted by her habit of howling when the corps bugler played reveille to wake the cadets each morning."
Rev gets to attend classes with her handler and if she barks in class, class is dismissed. To read more about our special First Lady, read here.

My Dad Wants to Keep My Dog

I have had dogs my whole life. They were outside dogs because my dad, who is from another country, was raised to believe that animals are dirty. When I was in college and lived all alone in North Bryan (very shady part of town), my boyfriend at the time gave me his puppy Chase, to protect me. That was the first time I had a dog indoors and he quickly became my best friend. We went everywhere together and he slept on my bed where he kept me warm in the cold winters. The house I was in didn't have central air or heat so I had to rely on Chase and a space heater, but rent for this 2 bedroom was only $200. Can you imagine? Anyway, a few years later, a stray that my brother took home to my parents had puppies. They were beautiful, white puppies, and I had to have one because Chase was also pure white-except the underside of one ear that was golden with a white heart. I'm not a prejudiced dog lover, I love most dogs, not just white dogs. I like spotted dogs, brown dogs, black dogs, long-haired dogs, short-haired dogs, big dogs, and little dogs, but there is just something about pure white fur that I love.

So I named the puppy Chipper. Why Chipper? I insisted that it had to start with "ch" just like Chase, made sense to me.

I had to move back in with my parents for a short while after my college graduation and my dad protested every day about the dogs being in the house. He hated how he had white dog hair all over his black socks. He hated how they would roll all over the carpet and leave clumps of hair behind. He moaned and groaned about those dogs.

Chipper and Chase were both indoor dogs until a few years ago when Chase turned 14 and was unable to control his...let's say...bathroom issues. Lauren was just under 2 and Caleb was almost 6 months old and we just couldn't keep the house clean with Chase using the bathroom all over the place all the time. So out they both went. Stephen built them a nice doghouse and they also had a huge deck to provide shade and play under. But there was guilt on my part because I knew they weren't getting as much love and attention when they were outside.

In June 2007, Chase was unable to stand for very long and started to fall over, even down the deck's steps, so we had to put him to sleep. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. My other dogs passed away when I wasn't home. I never had to take a companion and leave him, knowing what was going to happen.

So last Thanksgiving when my mom came to our house, she asked if she could take Chipper home with her for awhile. I was expecting my 3rd baby, it was getting cold outside and Chipper could stay inside with my mom, AND she would keep my mom company. Also we were geting ready to put our house on the market and it just looks better if you don't have a dog when you're trying to sell a house. So we agreed it was a win-win situation for us all. We knew that soon we'd be in a new house with a great backyard where we'd give Chipper a lot more attention.

But my mom passed away in April.

When we went up to Fort Worth for the funeral, we were totally expecting my dad to ask us to bring Chipper back to Aggieland with us. He surprised us. He asked us if Chipper could stay with him just a little while. He said my mom loved her so much and he liked that Chipper would bark when anyone would come to the house, even my brother. We hadn't sold our house yet and we weren't ready to have Chipper back so we said sure, we'd get Chipper the next time.

When we went back in May, he again asked us if we could wait a little longer. We were to move into our new house in 5 days and knew we didn't even have grass in the backyard so again we told him he could keep her a little longer.

Now we are planning on going up there for Lauren's birthday and he called the other day to ask if maybe he could give us money to get the kids a new puppy so he could keep Chipper. I really feel bad for him. I know the obvious solution is for my dad to just get a dog of his own but he has no idea how to train them and a new dog would not have the ties to my mom. I even suggested that he go to the shelter for the next few weeks until he finds the perfect dog, that way he would be rescuing a dog, saving a life. He won't do it. He told me that he does understand if we want to bring Chipper back with us this time, he knows the kids love her and have been waiting to play with her, but I guess he just had to ask. I wish there was an easy solution.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Check your rice cereal!

We have always poured our rice cereal into a clean can and scooped out just the right amount for our children's meals. This morning I was preparing Abby's rice cereal and when I looked in the can for the scoop, I noticed a strange object. It looked like a pink grain of rice. It moved! I scooped it out and put it in a baggie. Then I called the number on the box and the Gerber representative apologized and told me that unfortunately, sometimes those little black bugs that we can get in our flour, get into rice cereal too. They grow into worms and eventually moths. She took the information from the box and said she'd be sending us coupons.

For those of you who are here in Aggieland, we bought the box at Wal-Mart less than a week ago so beware. If you have any questions, click below on comments and it will come directly to my email!

Makin' Homemade Donuts

Those are Mickey Mouse ice cream sprinkles.
No, he doesn't know the lid is on. I've gotta outsmart him once in awhile!

I'll be posting the recipe on my cooking blog later today...after laundry, cleaning, a shower, etc...

Monday, August 4, 2008

More pictures

Because I know you just LOVE to see tons of pictures of my are some more. Saturday our old neighbors came by for a playdate. Funny how we talk more now that we've moved apart.

Yesterday we drove to Georgetown to visit Keli and Brian, and their sweeties Luke and Caroline. Luke is 2 1/2 months older than Caleb. They used to live here in Aggieland and we really enjoyed our get-togethers but last summer they moved away. Keli and I went to IKEA to grab 10 more baskets for our "cubbies." I was devastated to find only 2 left in the entire store! The 3 big kids in the sandbox. I guess they don't mind the close quarters because later on they all got in the toybox together.

A great day for swimming but then again, every day from March through October is good for swimming!

Abby and Caroline. Now, anyone want to guess how old Caroline is? Abby is 7 1/2 months old so Caroline must be....what do you think?

Caroline was born 7 days after Abby! Can you believe it?
By the way, Abby's shirt says, "I yell at midnight too!" For those of you who don't know about Aggie Yell Practice, it takes place at midnight the night before a home game. For more info on the coolest traditions around, click here.

By the way, gas was $3.68 in Rockdale and it is still as much as $3.89 at some places in Aggieland. I think it was $3.71 at Sam's in CS Friday. Have any of you seen gas for less than $3.68?