Monday, August 6, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

tired baby

Happy Auntie.

Monday, July 23, 2012

summer bubbles...

...even more fun when you're chasing them with your cousins.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

funky music

One of Reesie's favorite past times is listening to the musical greeting cards at Target.  Her mama's too cheap to buy her one, so when we have time I let her listen to a couple before moving on to our other errands.  I always forget just how loud the music seems to echo through the store once the card is opened.

Today as Reese rocked out to the greeting card and I avoided eye contact with other shoppers, I looked over at Hope to see her dancing away in the shopping cart.  Apparently she shares her sister's love for musical cards.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

the daddy in our house

To the Daddy of a house full of women,

Happy Father's Day!  Thanks for letting us hang all over you as often as we want.

Your Girls

P.S- For your gift we will do our absolute best to leave for church on time regardless of the status of our hair accessories.

water skiing then and now

The chill stole my breath as I slid off the back of the boat and into the water.  I bobbed up and down hoping the movement would help the wetsuit to hurry up and work already.  Dad had had the foresight to grab it before we pulled away from the dock.  I'm so grateful one of us knew what he was doing.  Missouri lake water in May isn't all that bad when you're ten.  Unfortunately my circulation isn't quite what it used to be.

I tried to relax but it was difficult wrestling the ski into position while waiting for the boat to bring the rope around.  Doubt slithered through my mind like the rope through my hand.  It's been a seven year hiatus from water skiing.  The sun's setting fast.  If I pull a hamstring how in the world will I haul Hope around?  Or survive the long drive home?  There is no worker's comp in my field of work.  The chilly water wasn't the only thing that caused my hands to shake as I gripped the handlebar.

But Dad believed in me.  And if anyone could get this mama of two up on a water ski, it was him.  He can drive a boat better than most with one hand tied behind his back.  Heaven knows I contributed to his many hours logged at the helm.

I remember the summer I was determined to learn how to slalom ski.  We were out there for hours.  Everyone else had gone inside, tired of watching me fall over and over again.  It was just Dad and me.  Each time I crashed he would pull the boat back around, ready to try again.  Sometimes he gave me a pointer.  Not once did he criticize or try to talk me into quitting for the day.  We stayed at it until I emerged from the water on one ski.  Mission accomplished and a victory for us both.

This time it took two tries.  The boat powered forward, the water sprayed my face and for a minute I was transported back to the summer weekends we spent at the lake.  They are the crown jewels of my childhood.

As Dad zipped the grown up me around the lake it hit me.  Attempting to ski wasn't so much about seeing if I could still do it, it was wanting to relive one of my best memories from growing up in my family.  The strain on my legs, the wind whipping my hair, the roar of the boat.  It didn't disappoint.

Thanks for believing in me Dad.  And thanks for taking me skiing- then and now.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

it's only fair

I'm turning the tables today.  After all the sharing I've done about my girls I decided it's only fair to tell on myself.  I read somewhere one good prompt of getting out of a blogging slump is to write a simple list of ten things others might not know about me.  Here goes nothing!

1.  I cannot sleep while wearing socks.  It makes me feel like I'm suffocating.

2.  Going to the grocery store is my least favorite chore.  I'd rather scrub toilets.  I also feel serious guilt about this fact because there are people all over the world who would love to have an entire store's worth of food they could bring home and give their families.  Dan is always willing to go if I send him with a list but it's hard to surrender the control.
 2A. I might have an issue with control.

3.  My favorite subject in school was reading.  I loved Nancy Drew books the best.  Every time I take the girls to the library I contemplate checking out a Nancy Drew book.

4.  I love action movies.  The more intense and explosive the better.  There are very few romantic comedies I like.

5.  I'm bad at fixing my hair.  Some girls have the hair gift.  I'm not one of those girls.

6.  I have no clue what my love language is.  If they added taking a nap to the official list then that would definitely be it.

7.  I had my two front baby teeth pulled out in China Town (in New York) by a dentist who barely spoke English.  I went on to have braces twice before high school.  I had some messed up teeth.  Heaven help our girls.

8.  I love mountains.  For our July honeymoon we went out west to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  I'm dying to go to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.  Something about being so small in the midst of such grandeur is incredibly comforting to me.

9.  My favorite toy growing up was Barbie.  I'd go up to my room for hours and play and play.  My family called it "Barbie Heaven."

10.  Seeing Celine Dion in concert is on my bucket list.  


PS- Aren't the smaller Hinton girls so much more interesting? :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

10 months old

Hope is ten months old!  

I can't believe she has hit double digits!  Our baby is going to be one before we know it.  At ten months old she can drink from a straw and bark at dogs.  She started saying "Dada" and "Bye."  She loves doors.  In the morning while the rest of us get ready she goes from door to door swinging them back and forth.  I figured out if I hang a couple of hangers on the knobs, she can't smash her fingers.

She loves to chew on shoes, her Daddy's wallet, plastic bags, papers, crayons and Uno cards.  (All things she's not allowed to have.)  We have to sweep her mouth constantly for random things she finds on the floor.  She gives kisses at will, thoroughly sliming the lucky recipient.  

She's a bit um, tenacious.  She hates getting her diaper changed and fights me at almost every change.  She's also started to bite me when she eats.  (Not fun!)  She loves baby food and Cheerios and wants to eat like a big girl at every meal.  She's not crazy about avocados but I keep offering them hoping she'll change her mind. 

She laughs easily and naps well.  She loves when people talk to her when we're out and about.  She has one heck of a pout.

She is loud!  When she's happy she'll suddenly squeal at the top of her lungs.  Last night we went out to eat and I had to take her out of the restaurant because she was yelling.  She was perfectly content, just wanted to test out her vocal chords I guess.  :) 

True to second born form she's pretty tough yet easy going.  She goes to the nursery at church just fine. The day I took her ten month pictures she leaned over the little brown chair and pulled to a standing position.  

She's our sweet baby girl who makes her daddy swoon, her sister giggle and her mother thank God for the incredible gift she is.  

We could never deserve her.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Hope's astute thoughts on the Kansas Jayhawks:

What can I say, we raise 'em right.  Rock Chalk Chickenhawks, go Mizzou!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

9 months

As of last week, Hopie is another month older and what a big month it's been!  In the past couple of weeks she started crawling and is pulling up to her knees.  She dances to music, waves at strangers and will initiate a game of peekaboo.  She blows raspberries continually and repeats sounds that her sister makes.  She also says "Mama."  She's shown a bit of a stubborn streak lately. :)  She loves to be startled.

After many fitful nights she had two tiny teeth appear, the same month her older sister got her first tooth.  At her nine month check up we found out she's in the 98% for height (30 inches) and 95% for weight (23 pounds).  She wears a size 4 diaper and 12-18 month clothes.  She's a sweet natured baby.  People love to talk to her when we're out in public.  My favorite is when little girls say "I like your baby."  I like her too. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

mother's day

I am spoiled rotten.

My mother's day celebration started on Saturday morning.  After donuts for everyone, we split up and my favorite four year old took me to the movies.  I could tell she was up to no good before we left.  There was some serious whispering going on with her father.  On the way there she piped up from the backseat.

"Hey Mama!"  Her volume gave away her mounting excitement.

"Yes Baby?"

"Do you know what's in my pocket?"


"NOTHING!  Hahahahaha!"

We parked the car and held hands all the way to the ticket counter.  The worker asked me how many tickets we'd need and before I could respond Reesie yelled, "WAIT!  I'M GIVING THE MONEY FOR THIS!"  She whipped her money out of her tiny pocked and slapped it on the counter.  Then she turned to me and bellowed "Happy Mother's Day!" so loud I'm sure even the people watching Avengers in theater 9 heard her.

We saw Chimpanzee (so good!) and only needed one bathroom break before it was over.  On the way home she talked about whatever popped into her head and I got to listen with undivided attention.  Conversations these days are equal parts interesting and hilarious with a heaping amount of the unexpected.

The next day we went to church and ate lunch in the parking lot of McAlister's.  Then I went shopping for an entire hour by myself.  Then we called our moms to thank them for putting up with us.  We ended the night eating Mexican food and playing corn hole with our new small group.

Like I said.  Spoiled rotten.

The women responsible for making me a mama.  I'm so grateful they haven't fired me yet.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

hopie's vlog

We can't leave all the video fun to Chica, it's Little Sister's turn!  Our baby just turned nine months old.  While this movie doesn't pack the humor punch of the last one, it does feature her waving and and crawling skills. :) Enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

church choir

I know I promised a recap of the birthday stuff, but this video is too good to keep to myself.  Each Wednesday night Chica's been going to children's choir at a local church.  Tonight was the end of the year performance.  

Danny and I laughed so hard we were both in tears.  

A few things to note about this video:

1.  If you watch it, watch it until the end (it's about 2:00)  It gets better and better.
2.  Chica's in the middle in the blue shirt and brown pants.
3.  Apparently hands on your hips is a great neutral position.
4.  If a little choreography is good, more is better.
5.  Why stand still when you can dance?
6.  I tried to hold the camera still, but it's a challenge when you're laughing hard enough to shake an organ loose.
7.  The baptists might not have us back. :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

there's a four year old in our house

She makes four look good!  
All the birthday shenanigans to come...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

almost four

"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, 
bringing something we must learn 
and we are lead to those who help us most to grow 
if we let them.  
And we help them in return.
Well I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
because I knew you."
"For Good" by Stephen Schwartz from the musical Wicked.

Dear Reesie,

Tonight I kissed the face of a three year old good night. Tomorrow morning, the footsteps of a four year old will patter down the hallway, round the corner and enter my room ready for some breakfast.  Cereal will have to wait because I will scoop you up, close my eyes and remember your first entrance.

You were round and wiggly and I couldn't stop looking at you- this new, little person.  Your daddy cried and the nurses said you were beautiful.  I held you and said, "hello."  I didn't know you yet, but you knew me.  You recognized my voice, peered up at my face and I was done.

A few days ago Daddy was working in the yard.  You went out to join him and I watched you from the window.  Your feet dangled from the swing and as you rocked side to side I could only imagine what it was you discussed with your father.  I welled up thinking back on all that's happened this year.  And I thanked God for the attachment to your Daddy that seemed to pop up overnight but really is rooted in three years of consistent, intentional time he has spent with you.

We're crazy about you, Sweet Girl.  This was a year of big changes.  There were a few moments that made me wonder if I'd survive age three.  It was the hardest year of parenting thus far.  I struggled with a multitude of personal issues that had nothing to do with you.  Often I could do nothing but ask God for help.

You know what is one of the best things about being completely His?  You aren't stuck with the things you don't like about yourself.  The things deep in your heart you just can't stand that come to the surface in moments of tension.  True ugliness.  They don't have to be a part of you forever.  A frustrated, short tempered, selfish, cowardly, impatient woman can fall to her knees before God, submit her shortcomings to His authority and by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, rise a different woman.  A better woman.

Baby, as tempting as it would be to wish away all the hard stuff from this past year I am so grateful for the difficult times.  It made us need Jesus more.  Because of the incredible privilege of being your mama, I am a different woman than I was four years ago.  Praise God.  Thank you.

Your Daddy, Baby Sister and I delight in you.  You brighten up everyday with your constant singing as you flit about in your own little world.  You are brave, inquisitive, and sensitive.  You love details, dancing, board games and order.  You could swing for hours and you've developed a fondness for the color green.  You have a silly sense of humor and a flair for the dramatic.  You're smart and a quick learner.  You want to stand on anything that slightly resembles a stage.

I love you Reese.  I can't wait for you to be four.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

seven and eight months

Guess what happens when you're the second born child and you've just moved to a new state?  Your monthly updates have to be grouped together.  :(  Poor Hopie.  

But, yea Hopie!  You are seven AND eight months old!  I thought I'd be able to remember what happened during each of these milestones, but I can't.  So here's a list of what you've picked up the past couple of months.

1.  You are on the move!  At eight months old you finally mastered rolling over.  This would terrify a first time mother, but for my second time around, I've enjoyed eight months of a precious, stationary baby.  I assured you it was perfectly fine if you didn't want to crawl until you turned one, but it's not looking like that's going to be the case.  You can push up to a sitting position, slide backwards on your belly and when I leave you in one spot you don't stay there for long.  

2.  At seven months you weighed 22 pounds.  The reason I know that is because it was the first time you were sick and they weighed you at the doctor's office.  You had the croup and the first night you had it, it sounded like a barking dog was in your room.  You wear size four diapers and 12-18 months old.

3.  You love to eat!  So far you've had yogurt, sweet potatoes, green beans, applesauce, avocado, bananas and carrots.  When we're at the table eating, you want to be eating too.  No teeth yet!

4.  You've started to wave.  A couple of times you've folded your fingers up, but mostly you flap one arm.  You can shake your head "no" but not in the correct context yet.  

5.  You scream for fun at the top of your lungs.  You're perfectly happy when you do it, but it's loud.  This week you happy screamed throughout story time.  

6.  You laugh hard and often.

7.  We can put a bow in your hair but you rip it out the moment you realize it's there.  

8.  People talk to you wherever we go.  They comment on your chunky legs or your blue eyes.

9.  Sometime in your seventh month, I felt like I finally acclimated to being a mama to two.  It's hard work and I'm still worn out at the end of the day.  But I feel like at almost eight months in I got my "sea legs."  The new normal feels a lot more normal now.

Here's big sister's picture at eight months.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the past month

Hello out there!  If all the non-posting isn't evidence enough, this past month has been a doozie!  Here's the short version of what we've been up to.

1.  At the beginning of March we packed up and moved from the only home Dan and I have known together.  We survived our first year of marriage and seminary there, changed jobs/cars/churches there, bought a house there and brought two babies home from the hospital there.  We found incredible people there who for some unknown reason wanted to be friends with us.  We were mentored there, challenged there, broken there.  We grew up a lot there.  Whatever roots you can manage to have in six years, ours are buried there.  Thank goodness, we have many reasons to go back and visit.

Moving Day Nap

Checking out the truck.

Last picture in front of our first house.

Sometimes the stress of moving day can make you give your mama the stink eye.
Saying "See you soon!" to sweet friends.

2.  Before moving, Reesie had her last day at preschool.  She got to be the special helper for the day.  Hopie and I tagged along for the morning.

3.  Two days after moving we celebrated my birthday.  I'm officially in the late twenties bracket.  Whoa.

4.  We've visited a couple of churches multiple times and loved both of them.  We have a few more we want to see.  I'm looking into some options for MOPS and women's Bible study and we're praying for a good fit somewhere.

5.  We got hit by the stomach bug.  :(  It took Reese and me down.  Unfortunately I got dehydrated (nursing and the stomach bug are a bad mix) and wound up in the ER for a little bit.

6.  We traveled to Kansas City for a Weekend to Remember marriage conference.  The girls stayed with the grandparents and Dan and I stayed at a hotel for two nights.  The conference was fantastic and we loved getting away for a bit.

7.  I traveled to Oxford, MS to speak at a Mother/Daughter retreat.  It was a fun overnight and I loved hanging out with the teenagers and their mamas.  It gave me a small peek at what's to come. :)  Auntie Sandra came to town to hang out with Dan and the girls while I was away.

8.  We traveled to Southaven so Reesie could perform in her preschool music program.  She's been anticipating the program for months, so even though we had moved, they let us come back for it.  Nana came with us.  We stayed in a hotel with a pool and Hopie went swimming for the first time.  She loved it and like anything else, was perfectly content as long as she had a good view of her big sister.

Reesie's Pledge of Allegiance looks a lot like the universal signal for choking.  :)

9.  We traveled to Kansas City for Easter and to celebrate Reesie's birthday with family.  While we were there we saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the new performing arts center.  It was a fun weekend!

10.  We got a library card and have been going to story time once a week.  We look forward to it each week and are so proud of ourselves because so far we haven't lost a single book!
We arrived a little early this day and much to the delight of her Teacher's Pet Mama, she picked a seat in the front row.
11.  We've been to a few local playgrounds and parks.  One Saturday we tried hiking up Pinnacle Mountain.  We didn't make it to the top but had a pretty good view anyway.

12.  We've unpacked a little at a time.  It's hard to make a ton of progress, especially since Hope is starting to move around.  But I also want to finish before she starts to crawl.

13.  After one final trip to Memphis this past weekend, the Hinton family is staying put for a while.  Hopefully we'll find time to finish up some projects at the house, enjoy this beautiful spring and blog a little more frequently!  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

six months old

Our baby girl is six months old!  Today we went to her check-up.  I am so thankful for health insurance  and uneventful doctor appointments.  The nurse weighed and measured her.  21 pounds and almost 27 inches long.  (Whoa Nelly!)  Then we waited for the doctor and Hope busied herself with shredding the rolled out paper on the table.

And now, the list of things I want to remember but won't have to since they're documented here:

* She wears size 4 diapers.  (It cracks me up how the baby on the package of her diapers is standing up, bent over at the waist preparing to do a forward roll.)
*She wears size 9-12 month clothes.  I hope she doesn't outgrow some of her summer clothes before the weather warms up.
*She's a pretty serious baby.  She loves to watch and take it all in.  No one can make her laugh like her big sister.  Sometimes I get onto Reese for getting too rough or intense but Hope under minds me by laughing.
*When she gets excited she pants and sticks her tongue out like a puppy dog.
*When she's hungry she swings her right leg around and around.  We call it her Elvis leg.
*She eats four times a day.  We'll introduce baby/solid food this month.
*She's in bed by 8:00 and wakes up at 7:00.  She takes two good naps a day and sometimes a few more cat naps.  Last week we set up the crib and now she sleeps in there.
*It's getting harder to carry her around.  Not only does she weigh a lot, but she's getting a lot stronger too.  The other day at a birthday party, I thought my arms were going to fall off. :)
* She has pretty much mastered sitting up.  She lunges and grabs at everything in sight.  Sometimes when she's sitting on the floor she'll fold all the way over with her head touching the ground, stay there for a few seconds and then lift herself back up.  Dan doesn't like it when she does that. :)
*Two days ago she rolled over, tummy to back for the very first time.  Danny and I both saw her do it and we cheered and cheered.
*When she grabs Dan's face her little arms are just long enough to reach both of his ears.

Congratulations Hope Margaret!  How can it be in just six months you've gone from this

to this???