Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Very Special Day for Joshie...

A very monumental thing happened on Saturday night…Joshie asked Jesus into his heart!

I’ve been talking to Joshie for about a year now, explaining Heaven and hell and what you need to do to go to Heaven, but then the conversation would just end…he would never ask any follow-up questions. This Sunday was communion service at church, and so we talked to him about it again on Sunday. First I talked to him, and it was so reassuring that he knew all the answers to my questions, but again, no follow-up. Then later, John took him upstairs and that’s when it happened.

He was so cute about it and so happy. We called Kylie in and he told Kylie “I’m going to Heaven” and Kylie had a puzzled look on her face and then said excitedly “he did it?” Then she told us that when he first said it, she thought he meant he was going to Heaven right now. She was so happy for him! She’s always been so worried about him and Ryan, no matter how many times I assure her that they are still babies, and if anything were to happen to them, they would still go to Heaven.

So Joshie took his first communion on Sunday and I was so proud of him!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Wonderful Zoo Lights Night!

John and I used to be pretty spontaneous about things…even when we had Kylie we would always pick up and do things when we felt like it. Waiting in lines or long drives never phased us. But now with three kids and one on the way, we have lost a lot of that spontaneity. I hate it, but I’m just as much to blame as John…at the end of the day we just want to be home (before Ryan we would be gone almost every night of the week doing something). And the weekends just beg us to stay home and play.

So I was totally caught off guard yesterday when John called me on the way home from work and said “I’m passing by the zoo and the lights look awesome and I think we should go to see the zoo lights tonight.” I had already started dinner (it was about 6:00 at this point), and the thought of walking around all night was horrible, but I was so excited that the “old” John had come out that I started getting the kids ready right away. We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, so they kept trying to guess during the 5 minute car ride down to the zoo. When we pulled in they were super excited!

The weather was GORGEOUS!!! The other times we have gone to see the lights it has been so cold, so the fact that it was 65 degrees outside made the night even more perfect!

We ended up getting a zoo pass because the cost for us to go one night was half the cost of a family pass for the year. So now the kids can go whenever they want next spring and summer, and we’ll get to see the beginning of the lights again next year!

The first place we went was the petting section. Ryan was hesitant at first, but then he had fun petting whatever that animal was :) After that we headed over to the Polar Bears, but those stinking things were nowhere to be found! We stopped along the way and grabbed snacks and then headed to the main section to watch the light show. We ended up leaving around 8:15.

The kids came home and finished up homework and took showers and went right to bed. They were all so good it made the night such a pleasure! Ryan even stayed in his stroller the whole time without whining to get out :) It was such a fabulous night!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shutterfly Promo for Bloggers...

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I love Shutterfly. I made my first photobook as a Mother’s Day present for both my mom and my mother-in-law back in 2007 and I have been hooked ever since. Since then I have ordered many photobooks, as well as had pictures printed, ordered Christmas cards and ordered birth announcements from them. Everything has turned out wonderfully. The one time I had some pictures come all bent up right before Christmas last year (clearly the mail carrier’s fault and not Shutterfly’s), they overnighted me new pictures so that I could finish the Christmas presents that I was making without so much as a question.

They never charge you to create projects or store pictures. I also have a share site so that I can upload pictures and an e-mail goes out to everyone I have on my distribution list letting them know that there are new pictures for them to see. This comes in super handy for the grandparents!

The Christmas cards that I ordered last year were adorable, and so easy! Previously I had always taken a picture of the kids, cut them all out, bought cards and signed all of our names to each card, addressed the envelopes and included a picture in each card. Last year I addressed some envelopes and mailed the cards…super easy! And this year, with three busy kids and feeling like a whale because my fourth will be here soon, I need the super easy convenience of that again :) So check out the link and see how Shutterfly cards can make your Christmas cards a less stressful process - http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery

I was so excited to see the “50 free cards for bloggers” promo that Shutterfly is running (http://bit.ly/sfly2010). Since they are a company I have such faith in, it was no problem for me to write a post about my experience with Shutterfly. So for those of you that have never used shutterfly.com, take a look and give them a try…I promise you will not regret it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

31 Weeks...

I had my 31 week appointment yesterday:

Weight: 159 lbs. (that would be a 41 lb gain so far - insane!)
BP: 108/62
HB: 140 BPM

It was a very quick appointment...not much going on :) I talked to her about delivery dates and she told me that if I was dialated enough and she could break my water before year-end she would. I'm not holding out much hope because I haven't been that dialated in the past at that point, but who knows with all of the holiday craziness!

I can't believe how close we're getting...my due date is 2 months from today! We still don't have a name picked out, but I do have the baby book, one new outfit and some pacis :)

I told John that I have conceded that this baby is a boy. I'm not going to lie and say that doesn't make me sad...I really wanted Kylie to have a sister. But I just feel like this is a boy and that's what I'm going to plan on and I will be pleasantly surprised if it is in fact a girl. When people ask what I want I say that I want a girl...I want Kylie to have a sister, I want to dress a girl again and we need a serious hormone balance in our house (it is so full of testosterone even now!). But I also say that I love my boys and they are such easy-going kids, whereas Kylie is very high-maintenance, so if I do have another boy, I can already feel how much I would love him, just like my other little monkeys :)

So I will be getting out Ryan's newborn clothes and getting them washed. That way, if it is a boy I will have one less thing to do when I get home. John thinks we have a name picked out, but I haven't decided if I'm 100% in love with it. He loves "Colton Joseph," which was my suggestion to begin with. I'm just used to very traditional boy names (i.e. Josh and Ryan), and I'm not sure if I'm ready to branch out...plus I'm afraid kids will call him a horse (colt???) Am I crazy? When I say the name and when I see it written out I love it, so I guess that should be enough, right?

As for girl names, we don't have a clue. Even though I think it's a boy, I will still have a girl name picked out - I was certain that Ryan was a girl and look how that turned out :) John and I had better get to work on coming up with something :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weekend Recap - The End of Football...

Last weekend was a fun one, and a little bit sad because it was Joshie’s last football game :(

Friday night started out great with house church. We had a great planning meeting trying to figure out what we wanted to talk about all year and what activities we wanted to do. I always have so much fun getting together with everyone!

Saturday the weather was absolutely gorgeous! So we spent the day outside with our neighbors…it was nice being in a t-shirt again! Kylie’s friend came over in the afternoon, and then we headed to the mall and out to grab some dinner.

Sunday we went to church and then skipped out early because Josh had to be at his game at 11:45. Even though it was so much colder, thankfully the sun came out and the wind slowed down a little and it wasn’t too bad. The best part about the game was the Ryan decided he wanted to play and not sit on my lap the whole game! So I was able to get pictures and video and enjoy the game. Kylie was so tired from her sleepover that I looked back and found her asleep in the wagon! I couldn’t believe she put herself in there and just fell asleep! After the game the coaches called up each of the kids and they got their trophy. Josh loves his trophies so it's so cute to watch how excited he gets when he gets it :)

After the game we headed home and I had to pack because I was leaving for a conference in NYC. I really hated leaving everyone…I felt like the weekend had gone by way too fast :( Kylie was crying the whole time I was packing and making stories and pictures for me. Josh on the other hand, as I was leaving, just said to me “are you going to bring us presents?” What a difference between boys and girls :)

My plane ride was uneventful and I got to my hotel around 8:30 and hit the streets! I was so hungry as I really hadn’t eaten all day, so I went to this really good restaurant and got carryout. I also went to the HUGE Toys R Us in Times Square and did some Christmas shopping. I hated being in there without the kids…I know they would have loved it, but it was also so nice walking around at my own pace and looking at everything :)

The rest of the trip was good…the conference was not as good as it was last year, but I was able to get a bunch more Christmas shopping done and the weather was really nice for this time of year. The plane ride back was really bumpy and I have to admit I was really scared (flying is getting more and more difficult for me the older I get). But thankfully everything was fine and I made it to Kylie’s gymnastics in time to see her do her mill spin again :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

School Conferences...

As I’m sure anyone can imagine, just about every day is jam-packed busy and stressful for me. I have three kids that need my attention and help with a ton of stuff. Especially with two kids in school now, I feel like there’s never enough time in the day. I feel like there’s never enough time to get all of their school work in and I feel like I’m failing them. I know that this is semi-irrational because they don’t have a lot of homework, and Kylie does almost everything by herself before we get home, but I always feel like there’s a scramble before bedtime of trying to get everything finished.

Except for a minor setback with 2s at the beginning of the year (which was totally our fault), we have really helped keep Kylie on track with each of the things she needs to do. She’s now on “minus 6s,” which is one of the top in her class (I guess there’s only one kid ahead of her and is on “minus 7s”), and she is such a fabulous reader that I never have to worry about that. And she talks to us all the time! I always know what’s going on in school and what they are learning and what they forgot to do that day and things like that…I feel like I know where she stands.

Joshie, on the other hand, has been my worry. The worry started back when he was 15 months and refused to play with the magnetic letters on the fridge. Or how he pretty much refused to sit and listen to me read books…ever. I have heard the stereotypes about boys and girls being different, especially when it comes to school, and with John’s very strong dislike of reading, I have been preparing myself for a more difficult journey. I always admitted that we have been so spoiled with Kylie when it came to school, and I was ready (at least mentally) to have to work harder with Josh. The only area we were not concerned with him was numbers. With all of the sports he watches/plays, he knows his numbers very well. If you ask him what 6+6 is, he may not know, but if you ask him what a touchdown plus a touchdown is, he’ll tell you “12.”

We had our parent/teacher conferences last night. We had Josh’s first. We sit down with the teacher (who was also Kylie’s Kindergarten teacher), and she starts out by saying “I love having Josh in my class.” “He’s such a sweet kid and such a joy.” She went through her assessment of him and I’m amazed. I wasn’t surprised because I had received his report card and have been working with him, but to hear it and see it was still amazing. He is one of the top kids in the class. His reading level is a 3 – most kids come in at a 0 or 1, and they need to be at a 4 for first grade. He knows all of his numbers and does very well at math. She also said that his writing is fantastic! She said his attention span is great, and kids often ask him for help when reading things. Like I said, I knew this going in, but to hear it from his teacher was so different. My little boy, whom I’ve been so worried about, is doing just as well as Kylie did. Our 20 minute conference was done in 10 minutes because there was nothing really to discuss. She gave us ways to help him advance even further and we were on our way.

Next it was time for Kylie’s conference. As soon as we all sit down, the first words out of her mouth were “I love having Kylie in my class.” She said that she is her biggest helper and is always reminding her of things that they didn’t get to do that day (especially math timed-tests). She said that every night she puts a stack of papers at Kylie’s seat because Kylie is one of the first ones in there and she’s afraid she’ll get bored so she has Kylie hand out all the papers for the day or put things away, etc. She said that Kylie loves to write, and comes in every morning asking her if she can write. She showed us a couple of Kylie’s different notebooks and it was so fun going through her work. She showed us a sheet that she had each child fill out – they listed what they think their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and what their goals for second grade are. The teacher said that Kylie’s strengths were definitely right on, and she laughed at the weaknesses because she thinks Kylie was being way too hard on herself and that they aren’t weaknesses for her at all (one thing she listed was not knowing the water cycle, but her teacher says she knows it very well). She said that Kylie is a fabulous reader, which doesn’t surprise me at all because Kylie LOVES to read and is always down in the playroom reading. And since Kylie has had perfect spelling tests all year, she said that she will be adding additional words for her to learn each week. Again, our 20 minute conference lasted only 10 minutes.

After the conferences we headed down to the school library for the book fair. Both Kylie and Josh had their lists and showed us which books they wanted. John and I had no problem getting them their books after those fabulous conferences and hearing about what great readers they are :) And after that, we headed to Pizza Hut with our neighbors so that the kids could redeem their Book-It certificates. We had a great dinner and I think it was such a great reward for the kids.

I went to bed last night feeling so very blessed. We are so lucky to have such great kids. I know I say it all the time, but when you have people (that aren’t related) tell you how great your kids are, it’s such a nice reinforcement that I’m not screwing up. So when I have those nights where I feel like such a failure as a mom because I feel like I can’t get all the homework done and play and feed them, I will my best to remember last night and repeat over and over to myself that I’m not failing, and my kids are turning out fabulous.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mornings with Ky-bear...

For the past two years Kylie has had an irrational fear about being late to things. School and gymnastics cause her the most grief – she is always worried that she’s going to be late to these two things. I say it’s irrational because she’s never late to either of these. OK, there may have been a time or two that she’s gotten to gymnastics as the girls are going out to warm up, but that very rarely happens.

Because of this fear, she gets up every morning WAY before she needs to. She doesn’t need to start walking to school until 8:50, but she never gets up later than 7:00. Lately, she’s gotten up right after I’ve gotten up at 6:15.

So each morning she comes into the bathroom and sits on the stool and watches the news and talks to me. If I’m out of the shower already, she’ll come in and give me a hug and then go over to her stool. She had been keeping coloring stuff in our closet so that she could color while we got ready, but she just took that down to the playroom.

I have really gotten to love these mornings with her. Because she gets up so early, I have to put her to bed fairly early, so the time with her in the morning is a nice trade-off for the time missed with her at night. We have some great talks, and she always gets so excited if Ryan gets up while I’m still there and loves playing with him in my room while I finish getting ready. And this morning she just came up to me while I was drying my hair and rubbed my back the whole time! I was in heaven!

Thankfully on the weekends she sleeps in a little longer, and when she does wake up (and she knows it’s a Saturday), she’ll just go downstairs and watch TV until we wake up. She’s just such a sweet girl and I have just really grown to love this time with her :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I often make photobooks (through Shutterfly.com – I absolutely LOVE them!). I’m so far behind in scrapbooking, and they let me get some pictures together in a very nice book so I at least have something recent around for people to look at.

Ryan has taken a big interest in these books. I keep them on a little table we have in our family room, so he can go and get them whenever he wants and he’ll look through all of the pictures and point out everyone he knows. The other day he pulled out the first one that I made. Since I hadn’t started blogging yet (or was at the very beginning of it), I had written a bunch of memories on one of the pages. Kylie started reading that page and I started to tear up. I talked about Kylie being potty trained and learning how to ride her bike, and I talked about phrases that little Joshie was saying that were so cute. I had forgotten some of them, and I loved reading them and remembering.

I realized I haven’t kept up really well on here with things that Ryan is saying and doing. So I’m going to try harder to make sure I’m updating more often, because between those photobooks and the blog book that I made for my first two years of blogging, I love that these memories are being recorded.

So what’s going on with Ryan lately? He’s freaking adorable, that’s what! He is copying everything that Joshie does. He especially likes to play football (he loves to put Joshie’s flags on and run around the house holding the football) and he loves to play hockey with Josh. Last night we were all down in the playroom and Ky and Josh started really wrestling each other (side note – I can’t wait until I’m done being pregnant so that I can participate 100% with them – I hate that I spend so much time trying to protect my stomach when I wish I could be rolling around with them!). Ryan kept trying to join in, and for the most part, it was fine (I had to keep reminding the big kids to be careful with him). He so often forgets that he’s only 2 :)

He’s sitting in a booster chair when he eats, and most of the time he’s drinking out of a “big boy cup” (only uses sippy cups about 15% of the time). I think he’s ready to be potty trained – we just need to find a weekend that we are home the whole time and can do it. He sleeps pretty well (although not near as good as he did when he had his pacis). He amazed the doctor with his vocabulary and his many-word sentences when he went in for his check-up last month and he is constantly talking, and asking so many questions!

He loves to be read to (like Kylie, unlike Joshie at this age), and will play with the Leap Frog letter thing on the refrigerator (again, like Kylie but unlike Joshie). He is obsessed with trains and cars, and is really getting into Toy Story and Buzz and Woody. He always wants to follow us around. If I tell him that I have to run upstairs to get something really quickly and to stay there, he will already be climbing up the stairs saying “I come with Mommy.”

He knows how to operating the ipad 100% on his own. John can just hand it to him, and he will take it over to the couch, unlock it, and find which game he wants to play. He also knows how to get on youtube to watch trains or cars.

He is my baby, and I love spending time with him. He always puts a smile on my face. The big kids go to bed around 8:30, and that’s usually when John will sit on the couch and watch some type of sports (depending on what season it is), and I’ll head up to our room to watch my shows. Our house is set up so that when I’m lying in bed I can easily see John sitting on the couch. So Ryan will usually start down there with him, and then see me and say “I go see Mommy.” Then he’ll climb up the stairs and sit in bed with me and watch “Mommy’s show” (although he does always try to get me to put Thomas on). And then after a little bit he’ll go back down with John. He usually does this until John or I get annoyed and make him stay in one spot. When he’s with me, he’ll look at me and say “snuggle wif me,” and that means he wants me to face him (both of us on our sides) and put my arm around him. I seriously can’t get enough of this kid :)

Some of his current phrases are:
“wanna pay wif me?”

“what Daddy/Joshie/Kylie/Woody/Buzz doing?”

“that’s silly guy” (about any character that he doesn’t have a name for that looks silly)

“butchacow” (when he’s pretending to be Lightning McQueen)
“me do it”

“Ry-Ry’s house”

“Play ipad?”

When he’s super excited, he starts so many sentences with “so so so…”

Everyone is always mesmerized by his beautiful, big blue eyes, and I’m no exception. All he has to do is look at me and smile and I’m whipped! I love the age he’s at and I always have so much fun with him, even if he can be exhausting!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

29 Weeks...

I had my 29 week doctor's appointment on Monday...here are the stats:

Weight: 155 lbs (yikes again!)
BP: 116/64
HB: 143

I also had to have my Rhogam shot since I'm Rh-.

I can't believe that I'm already 29 weeks, which is evidenced by the fact that we do not have any names picked out, nor have I bought a single thing for this baby. I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has gone by, and I know that the next 2 months are going to absolutely fly by with the holidays. The baby is moving around like crazy, and that is making me more and more excited about meeting it in around 9 weeks :)

Ryan has decided that he also has a baby in his belly. He tells me that the baby is crying, and that it's kicking. He will yell at his belly "stop kicking baby." We were also laying in bed the other day and he told me that his belly is "huge." He's such a cute little guy!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween Weekend 2010...

Halloween weekend was great, despite the cold weather!

Friday night we started up with House Church again. We had a fire going outside and cooked up some hot dogs and tried our best to stay warm. The kids all jumped on the trampoline, some of them in short sleeves! After we were done eating and the fire was dying, we all moved inside and the guys played cards while the girls chatted.

Saturday Josh had football practice, and then John took him and Kylie down to the OU game. So Ryan and I were left to spend the day together! We went grocery shopping with my dad, and then while Ryan was taking his nap, my mom and I went shopping. I desperately needed some new clothes…I’ve never had a winter baby before and I was sick of my pants hurting me every day at work and not really having any casual clothes to wear. So we spent 2 ½ hours in the store and a boatload of money. I hate spending that time and money on things that I will wear for 2 months and that I will then get rid of – at least with the other babies I’ve always felt better knowing that I would use the clothes again, but not this time! But so far I think it was worth it…I feel so much better now! After we were done shopping, we went home and picked Ryan up and went to dinner where he was amazing! He played with his toys and ate his dinner and it was such a pleasant experience!

Sunday we went to church and then headed to brunch before Joshie’s football game. The sun was out, and it looked pretty outside, but the temperature was only around 48 degrees, and I just HATE cold weather! But we bundled up and watched a great game. Joshie’s team seemed to be missing something and didn’t do that great. Joshie did really well though…he scored their only touchdown with a very long catch and super fast run. He also pulled 5 flags and ran a kid out of bounds, so I was super proud of him. I so desperately tried to get a picture of his catch, but unfortunately, Ryan fell asleep on my lap all bundled up under the blanket, and I was trying to take the picture with one hand and only got a tiny little shot of him :( My belly is so big that with Ryan sitting on it, I had to keep another hand on him to make sure he didn’t fall off!

After the game we went home and the kids got in their costumes and we got the food all ready for our annual trick-or-treat potluck. At 5:00 we started eating…we had moved everything to the garage with the heater, so it wasn’t too bad. The kids got some good food in them and the adults had a great time eating and talking too. At 6:00 we headed out and by the first court the guys took the big kids and ditched us. My neighbor and I took the two little ones and we had so much fun! Poor Ryan was so sick of getting in and out of the wagon, but he just couldn’t keep up with Zora! They were so cute together though :) By the time we made it around one side of the neighborhood and back by our house, I asked Ryan if he was done and he quickly said “yeah” shaking his head emphatically (we had been out an hour). Zora decided she was done too so we took them back to the warm garage and the fire pit. The two of them played and we waited for the big kids to come back.

The guys and the older kids came back around 8:00 and immediately went into the house to trade candy. I was amazed to learn that John had never done this as a kid. He didn’t understand what they were doing since they all had the same candy. I had to explain to him that they would trade out the candy they didn’t like with each other. When they all poured out all of their candy, I couldn’t believe how much they had gotten! The sad thing is my kids will never eat even close to all of their candy…they just aren’t huge candy-kids.

After they were done the kids got baths and everyone crashed into their beds. It had been a long weekend with a very happy ending!