Sunday, December 11, 2011

4 months...

...since I updated the blog. Just kidding. No, it's been four months since we became a family of four. Little Sister is a third of the way to one year and she's got the four month immunizations to prove it. At her check up she was in the 80th percentile for height and 99th percentile for weight. (17 and a half pounds.) Her Daddy's lovingly tagged her "The Refrigerator." She's not yet rolling over but the pediatrician said it's tough to be agile when you're as big as she is. (Hopie, not the pediatrician.)
She wears size three diapers and nine month clothes. Her big sister is her constant, preferred source of entertainment. She makes her laugh more than anyone else. Reesie still gets excited when she makes her smile. When big sister's not around, it's almost as if she doesn't know what to do with herself. This month she's definitely found her voice. She squabbles all day long testing out all kinds of noises.

Friday night we said good-bye to the swaddle and put her in a sleep sack. She didn't miss a beat and slept great. When she wakes up in the morning she yells down the hallway. Not a cry, just a holler to let us know she's ready for breakfast.
When people see her in public they either comment on her size or the color of her eyes. She's quick to smile when spoken to and is the spitting image of her Daddy. I love how she crinkles up her nose when she laughs. She's learning how to operate her hands and will clamp down hard on anything that brushes by. We've all fallen victim to a Hopie hair snatching or two. And if I end up bald, well it will be a small price to pay for getting to be her mama.

We love you Little Sister!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

an interview

I don't know about other children but when our daughter turned three, we had to step up our parenting game big time. Age two was a cake walk compared to this. I wouldn't trade our beautiful, spunky firstborn for anything in the world. (Although I'm not above handing her over to a baby-sitter for a few hours to replenish my mothering stamina.) I feel like the most privileged mama in the world. And she is the greatest gift of sanctification I never knew I needed.
After a long day at church I decided to make her do all the blog work for me. I found these interview questions online and couldn't wait to hear her answers.

1. What's your favorite food?
Cake and cupcakes and ice cream cones.

2. What's your favorite sport to play?
The Missouri game! (football)

3. What's your favorite T.V. show?
Little Einsteins.

4. Who is the coolest person on earth?
Mickey Mouse.

5. What's your favorite part about school?
Getting to be the line leader.

6. What's the thing you do best?
Play games and have fun.

7. If you could change your name what would it be?

8. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Wendys or McDonalds.

9. What's your favorite color?

10. What's your favorite toy?
My little Barbie.

11. When you grow up what do you want to be?
A mama.

12. What's your favorite movie?
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

13. What's your favorite song?

14. What's your favorite book?
Our family picture book.

15. What are three words that describe you?
Loving, safe, warm.

16. When you were little what did you do?
I can't remember because it was a long time ago.

17. What's your favorite season?

18. What's your favorite snack?
Animal crackers.

19. What's one food you really don't like?
Chicken beans.

20. If you had one wish what would it be?
For everybody to obey me when I'm grown up.

21. What's your best memory?
Playing the Minnie game on the computer in Daddy's office.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

3 months old!

Our favorite little sister turned three months old yesterday!
(I know Sissy! I can't believe it either!)

This past month has been really fun especially since she started smiling and laughing in response to her crazy family. She adores her big sister and is content to sit and watch Chica entertain the rest of us.
What else? Well, she eats five times a day, weighed 15 and a half pounds at her two month check-up, wears size 3 diapers, 6 month clothes and she's sleeping great. So great that one spot on her head is a little flat. :( Reesie asked me this morning, "does Hopie still have her flat head?" Such sweet sister sensitivity right there.
This month she started going to church nursery and Danny and I started our date nights back up. In both settings she's taken her bottle like a champ and not thrown a tizzy for "strangers." Go on girl!
I love seeing her interact with the rest of our family. Saturday Reesie and I were playing take some babies to church. Reesie noticed the three buttons on Hopie's shirt so baby sister got to be the elevator. Last night she got her face "painted" with a q-tip and she was so tolerant.

We love you Hope Margaret. Our family is better off because you are in it!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

stuff I'm loving

I would say that this post is about things I'm loving right now. Except I read a book several years ago that called me out by saying you should love people and use things. It's stuck with me all this time. So instead, this is a list of things I love to use at this stage in life.

From the day we moved Chica out of her crib and into her toddler bed the rule has been that she's not allowed to get out of bed without parental consent. I decided that if she needed something I'd rather go to her than for her to suddenly appear when I least expected it. Few things would freak me out more than to open my eyes in the middle of the night to see a small child standing by my bed. Whether she's my offspring or not, that's just unnerving.

It became routine for her to wake up in the morning, yell from her bed, "I'm ready to wake up now!" and for one of us to go in and get her. This worked well until Baby Sister arrived on the scene. Now she wakes up a little before Chica and is well into breakfast before her older sister starts to stir. You can imagine what would happen next:

"Mama, I'm ready to wake up now!"

From my room as I'm feeding the baby, "Ok baby, you can come out!"

"I'm ready to wake up now!"

"Ok, you can come out!"

"I'm ready to wake up now!"


Our rooms aren't that far away, but Chica likes to listen to music while she sleeps, thus making our yelling that much less affective.
Enter, the stop light alarm clock. My mom heard about this clock from a co-worker and it is just what we needed to end the dueling wake up calls and preserve the baby's sense of hearing. Red light means it's not quite time to wake up. Yellow is an optional night light. Green means let's get this party of a day started people! There is much rejoicing by a certain 3 year old when she wakes up to find that the light is green. :)

My mom gave me this bag when Sissy was born and I'm using it as her diaper bag. If we're walking somewhere and my hands are full all I have to say is, "grab the Reesie handle!" She can reach it easily even when I'm wearing it over my shoulder. She loves it and so do I.

We started incorporating this book into our family worship time. It details the spiritual needs of every country in the world. Each night we read about and pray for a different country. I can't yet convey what this process of intercessory prayer has done to our family, but its effects are seeping deep in our hearts and lingering in our minds long after we've put the book away.

4. Baby Jeggings/Pajama Jeans (according to Dan.)
My friend Alex tipped me off to these $5 baby jeggings at Target. They're soft, stretchy, look like regular jeans and best of all, they go with everything.
When Reesie was a baby Dan would joke about how much he loved her plain white onesies. Whenever he was in charge of getting her dressed for the day he would sift through the closet until he found the white onesie. Why? Because the plain white onesie went with every skirt, pair of pants and set of shorts we owned. Hopie's jeggings are the plain white onesie of bottoms. They go with every top she has. By slipping them on under dresses we've extended Reese's old summer outfits well into the fall.

Last weekend I went to the pre-conference of this event. I loved every session I was able to attend. Vicki Courtney was one of the speakers and she warned about parenting from a place of fear. Whoa nelly a big red flag went up in my heart because I so see myself struggling with that. Great, great stuff. I can't wait to get my hands on the audio of the sessions I missed.

6. Maternity Clothes
My baby was born nearly three months ago. I am still rocking my maternity clothes. Judge me if you will, I cannot part with them yet. There is no explanation except that I love maternity clothes. The shirts are nice and long. And the jeans with that soft stretchy panel on the top. Simply divine. I know some women can't wait to pack up their maternity clothes. Not me. I'm holding on.

So there you have it. Just a few things I'm using to help those I love most. Have a great night!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

three year old thoughts on heaven

"....and exchange it someday for a crown."

"Mama, I have a crown but it's just a toy one."

"I know baby, but someday when we go to heaven the crowns there are going to be real."

"Do you think they will have our names on them?"

"I bet God will let us know which one is ours."

"He's going to be surprised that there are three girls there."

(Laughing) "I sure hope He isn't surprised we're there. Remember, God knows all things so nothing can surprise Him."

"Daddy is going to need a king's crown because he's a boy. Are there going to be toys there?"

"I don't know baby, but it's going to be the best place ever and Jesus is getting our special place ready for us right now. Are you ready to pray baby? Who should pray, you or mama?"

"You do it. But make sure to pray that God will write our names on the curtains so we know which crown is ours."

(Something tells me she doesn't want her baby sister or anyone else for that matter putting their hands on her eternal things.) :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

all gussied up

Another successful Halloween on the books. As long as successful doesn't entail a trip to the pumpkin patch or carving pumpkins or even having pumpkins at all. I suffered a total lapse in pumpkin acquisition this year. Saturday night as we dropped something off at a friend's house, I saw their jack-o-lanterns on the porch and thought to myself, "Hmm, they carved their pumpkins early this year." (Note: this was on October 29.) It didn't hit me until Halloween afternoon that our carved pumpkins were "due" and we had nary a pumpkin to our name. I don't know what I was thinking. (I swear I had a brain before children.)

Believe it or not, the show went on. Here's Sissy getting a quick nap in before all the hoopla of her first Halloween.
While Tiger Baby slept I took a few pictures of "Sparkly Barbie Girl."

After a quick sandwich and Big Girl declaring that she was the "beautifulest of all" we were off.

By the time she was outsourcing her trick-or-treating tasks to others in the group, we decided it was time to go home and cheer the Kansas City Chiefs to victory. Which is exactly what we did. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

wedding week

Two weeks ago our family of four traveled to Missouri to see my best friend Debs get hitched. It was an unforgettable weekend in more way than one. The wedding was a family affair- Chica was a flower girl, Danny sang and played the guitar during the ceremony and I got to be Debs' matron of honor. Among the wedding festivities, my mom and I hosted a luncheon for the bridal party. On top of that, it was Baby Sister's first trip back so tons of extended family members were itching to meet her.

Thursday night Debs' sister Lisa hosted the bachelorette party. She went above and beyond to make it a fun night that Debs would love. We met up at the hotel, boarded a party bus and went to dinner at a Tapas restaurant.

Moment of truth: I took Sissy with me. My daughter went on a party bus at two months old. (I hope no one from child services finds my blog.)

(I can hear the therapy session now, "You see doctor, it all began when my mother took me to abachelorette party on a party bus before I could support my own head...")

To make a long story short, we had planned for her to stay home with her father but due to the timing of events she would have needed two bottles in a row before bedtime and I wasn't that prepared. So she came to dinner with us on the bus.

Dinner was sooooo good. I've never eaten tapas before. We each ordered a plate and then passed them around so we could to try everything. I sat with the groom's family and loved getting to know them better. At one point Sissy spit up all over my shirt. Mrs. Ebert was so sweet, she held the baby while I went to the bathroom to hose off. And then I ate all her leftovers. I am the Queen of first impressions.

After dinner it was time for salsa lessons! My mom met us there to take the baby and she snapped this picture of the bride-to-be (in the orange.) Do you think she had a good time? :)
After salsa lessons Mom and I headed home to load up the cars with stuff for the luncheon. Friday morning we arrived bright and early to set up. Both my mom and Danny worked sohard. It was important to all of us that the Bride was blessed.
As we arranged the room and the flowers and the food I was surprised with how emotional I became. A little weepy, but there wasn't a hint of sadness in it. More of just being overwhelmed with God's goodness. Debs and I have been friends a long time and with that I've witnessed her seasons of dating and singleness. Danny and I have prayed often for her future husband even before we knew who he would be. As she held fast to her standards, God ushered in a man who was beyond what she had hoped for or imagined. The courtship was a whirlwind but I know when he got down on one knee it was the easiest decision she's ever made. I think I was crying that morning over God's faithfulness to bless her beyond her wildest dreams.
Jenna sang during the ceremony. It was sooo much fun catching up with her. She even came to the luncheon early to help us with last minute preparations. I love her.
Funny story- Friday night of the rehearsal both Danny and I had to be on stage before Reese came down the aisle. The plan was for her to sit with my mom after she made it down. My mom wasn't at the rehearsal so Chica was unattended in the first pew. As Jen started to sing, Big Girl, overcome by the music sprang up out of her seat and proceeded to perform a lyrical dance. Lost in a movement, she toppled over and face planted on the carpet. The bridesmaids all gasped, waiting to see what would happen next. She jumped up and raised both hands over her head in victory. Jen, unable to hold it together for the last note burst out laughing. Thank goodness it was just a run through. I assured everyone that the Flower Girl would be supervised the next day.

Here she is welcoming our guests. She wanted to turn off the lights and yell, "Surprise!" when Debs came through the door. I had to break it to her that Debs already knew about the party.

I love this picture of Debs with her mama.

Big Girl got a dress up outfit for being in the wedding. She LOVED it!

Can you believe it, I didn't get a single picture with the bride? It was a bit of an unusual day. The groom was in the E.R. the morning of the wedding. By the time we got word he was going to make it to the ceremony on time there just wasn't a good moment. When I had my camera I didn't have the bride, when I had the bride I didn't have my camera, etc. Hopefully the professional photographer's turns out.

Here we are setting up of a quick family picture. Fingers crossed for a Christmas card candidate. :)

Dan fed Sissy a bottle during the professional pictures and she looked so funny with her chunky leg hanging out I had to take a picture.
The rest of the night we ate, danced, toasted, posed in the photo booth and all around celebrated the happy couple. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Ebert, we love you! Thanks for letting us be a part of your big day!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

three and a half

Today Chica is officially three and a half years old. For the past couple of months when people have asked her age we've rounded up but today it's officially official. Tomorrow she'll be closer to four and in just a year and a half she'll be heading to kindergarten. Sweet mercy I have some praying to do. :)
She insisted on a purple sign for the lamb to hold. I'm not sure if you knew this but something happens as girls get older. They start to develop opinions. Not only that they learn how to express their opinions. Quite well actually. In conclusion: women have opinions and it starts early on. So glad I could enlighten you on this monumental day in my baby's life.

Here she is one year ago.
And here she is when she was her sister's age. I could have sworn I took this picture yesterday.
We love you Big Girl. You rocked our whole world when you entered it three and a half years ago. Have a great day at school. How about when Sissy and I pick you up you we'll drive straight to Sonic for Happy Hour to celebrate? There's a purple slushy there with your name on it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Main Entry:
Part of Speech:noun
Definition:day for resting
Synonyms:Lord's day, Sabbath, Sabbath Day, Saturday,Sunday, day off, rest day

This morning I woke up two hours and forty-five minutes before church started. We had two hours to get out the door if I hoped to make it to worship on time.

I took Chica to the bathroom. I fixed her breakfast. I checked on her shirt hanging in the laundry room. It was still damp. I threw it in the dryer. I pumped a bottle for the baby. I cleaned up Chica's breakfast, refilled her water and started a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode on the computer. Baby Sister woke up. I fed her, burped her and changed her diaper. I also got her dressed. I started the bath water while Dan got Chica dressed and brushed her teeth. I bathed quickly and got dressed. I kissed Dan good-bye. I hunted unsuccessfully for some markers for Chica. I put on make up. I fixed Chica's hair. I dried and brushed my hair. I changed Baby Sister's diaper. I brushed my teeth and put on my shoes. I grabbed the diaper bag, the car keys and my phone and put them in the car. I took Chica to the bathroom. I strapped Baby into her car seat and strapped her car seat in the car. I strapped Chica in her car seat. I filled a cup of ice water and grabbed two packages of granola bars. I darted through the house turning off all the lights and locked the doors.

I pulled out of the driveway nineteen minutes after our goal.

I parked the car in the street and ran back inside to grab a binky. We drove thirty minutes to church. I ate breakfast in the car. We sang Kari Jobe songs and talked about how excited we were for the carnival that afternoon. I prayed for Baby Sister (it was her first morning in the nursery.) We pulled into a packed parking lot. I vowed to someday have a section of parking spots reserved for parents of young children at my make believe church. I scolded myself for ever being late to church back when I was only responsible for getting myself ready. I parked far away, unstrapped everybody, grabbed our stuff and trekked to the Children's building. I checked in Chica, dropped her off at her class and headed for the baby building. I got a pager, took Sissy to her class, filled out her form and handed her over. Too late for the worship service, I walked to the youth building to hear Dan teach Sunday School. I fell into a chair, took a deep breath and contemplated having a sabbath during nap time.

Or maybe in 18 years.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

sweet revenge

This post isn't going to win me any Mama awards. Dan couldn't believe I continued taking pictures as the following scene unfolded before my eyes. It was just a matter of days before Little Sis took justice into her own hands and well, the pictures speak louder. See for yourself. :)

Revenge is sweet.

Reconciliation is sweeter.

But I think those purple striped leggings Big Sis paired with her Tigers shirt is sweetest of all.