Monday, April 29, 2013

A for Effort

Pictures. They're imPOSSible with my children. But at least we get an A for effort! The end results usually end up being hilarious and I only take them for pictures when there's a deal going on, so I don't end up spending too much money. I'm going to show you the finished product.

Keep in mind, Tessa is usually the smiliest, happiest baby girl.

Those pictures remind me a lot of this face........
Why, Tessa Grace? Why do you smile except when a professional photographer is trying to make you smile?!? Stubborn girl.

And then there's Tommy.....

He's been ALLLLL about saying, "CHEESE!!!" for the camera. Until the day we took pictures. I almost got an 8x10 of the middle one because it was THAT funny. The other two aren't horrible, but we were bribing him with licorice so he's chewing in almost every picture. Ahhh, the things we do for a captured moment in time.

But we managed to get ONE of the two of them together where they're both at least looking in the general direction of the camera!!

These two don't make anything easy. Getting them to hold still long enough for a picture is like nailing jello to a tree. But sometimes you can catch that oooooone moment....

They may not be the best pictures to some, but to me, the pictures are just so them. Tommy is my light haired, blue eyed boy who's a picky eater, snuggly and hesitant to try new things. And Tess. Oh, that little girl! She's my dark haired, gray eyed princess that's putting anything and everything she can into her mouth, completely fearless and never holding still long enough for a hug.

They're perfect.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


The chick(en)s you've all been DYING to meet..........
Henley Elizabeth (our hen) and Dudley James (our rooster)

They are the CUTEST two chickens a person ever saw!!

Nick and I have been talking about getting chickens for awhile. We had planned on starting out with baby chicks, but just hadn't moved forward with the idea yet. I was hanging out with Hannah (my bestie) and my kiddos on Sunday when Nick came into the house and told me he had a surprise for me. I started running through the house screaming that I love surprises got really excited and followed him outside. He had been helping his friend move and apparently, God wanted to give us a kick start to our chicken raising because his friend happened to have 2 chickens randomly running around his new property! So Nick scooped those chickens up and brouth them home.

I have to say, it was probably one of my favorite surprises every! There's something so rewarding about the whole process of taking care of an animal and gathering their produce and getting to eat it. It's so much fun teaching Tommy that God made Henley to lay eggs for us. He is LOVEing it!

It is his job to hold the egg after I get it out of the coop and that little boy took his job VERY seriously. He wasn't letting go of that first egg for anything! It took a few days for him to understand that Henley's eggs are the same as the ones we get at the store (only bigger and fresher!). For the first few days, he would say, "Me no eat Henley egg!!" But then the other night, he kept saying, "Me put that in me mouwf!" And he gobbled that egg up!

In all seriousness, these chickens are SO fun. I'm not a huge animal person, but they're very low maintenance and entertaining and they give us fresh food! It's the best of both worlds! And they really are very pretty. Dudley's feathers are so shiny and some of them are the most awesome color of dark turquoise that's very hard to capture on camera.

Feeding the chickens has become Tommy's first chore. He knows to go get the cup and fill it up so we can take it to the "chickdens." He has no fear of them either. We were feeding them one day and Dudley got in a tizzy about something and starting flapping around like crazy roosters do sometimes. Tommy just watched and said, "What he doodin?" I love that my kids can grow up with "farm animals" even though we aren't a true farm. These chickens are a good thing and I'm excited to add more to our that what a lot of chickens is called? I obviously still have a lot to learn!

Friday, April 26, 2013

9 months

Tessa Grace, you are NINE months old! That means in 3 months...13 weeks......91 days....2,184 hours.....131,040 minutes, you will be ONE YEAR OLD (go ahead and check my math---I know you're dying to :) How is that possible, little girl?

At 9 months, you are:

*around 20 lbs.

*26 1/2 inches

*in size 3 diapers

*in mostly size 12 month clothes. You can baaaaaarely squeeze into a few 6-9 month stuff, but if it's not made to fit loosely, it ain't happenin :)

*in size 3 shoes. Not that you keep them on your feet EVER.

*SO close to walking. We got out your little toy that you can push and walk behind and I think it's given you a whole new lease on life :) You can get places much faster than crawling and it makes you VERY happy. You look pleased as pie with yourself when you're walking that toy around!

*a little piglet. You LOVE eating. We're pretty much done with baby food. We give you a jar every now and then, but you've been eating table food for the most part. You really love green beans, peaches, tangerines, peas, bread, potatos...okay, everything but carrots!

*such a sweet girl. You give the best snuggles and kisses. I love it! You almost ALWAYS wake up with a smile on your face!

*a drama queen. Like, a pro at being a drama queen. Sometimes you'll just start screaming because nobody is looking at you and when we all look your way, you stop and just smile. When you and Tommy play, if he takes something from you, you instantly throw your head back and let out the loudest "cry" complete with crocodile tears. And you magically stop when you get your toy back.

*are getting your 4th, 5th AND 6th tooth at the same time. You were SUUUUPER grumpy last weekend and I couldn't figure out why until Monday morning. You had three little teeth popping up--one on each side of the two you already have in the middle on the bottom and another one on the top. Poor baby :(

*trying out a sippy cup. Not going so great yet, but we're working on it :) You weren't very sure about it!

*gonna be an out doors girl. You get so excited to go outside. And I'm pretty sure you got a tan while we were outside for 10 minutes feeding the chickens....lucky! You got your daddy's skin.

*sleeping AWESOME. I could not have asked for a better sleeper. You go to bed around 9:30pm and usually sleep until around 7am. You sometimes wake up in the middle of the night (maybe 1-2 times a week) but I find your paci and you go right back to sleep!

*little miss independent! You think you need to do everything by yourself and you're often found helping yourself to whatever it is you think you HAVE to have!
*waving bye-bye consistantly. It's so cute to see your little hands flapping when I leave every morning for work!

*I'm aaalllmost convinced you know what Mama means. Not 100% sure, but you' ve been saying Mama whenever you are following me around or sometimes when you're reaching for me. I LOVE it!!

Tessa, you are a joy to have as a daughter! I thank God every day that you were born (even though you were the biggest surprise EVER!). You're always so happy and sweet (except when you're teething;). We love you so much and can't wait to see even more of your personality come through!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's Tessa's turn

True to form, Tessa has once again followed in her brother's footsteps. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember a post I wrote about Tommy's first near death experience Tommy's first attempt at banana puffs. Not a fun day. I've been super paranoid about Tessa choking on something ever since she was born.

Last night, we fed her canned carrots and green beans. She'd had carrot baby food, but never whole cooked carrots. Later in the night, she started acting really weird. She kept squirming a lot and messing with her mouth. When it came time for her bed time bottle, she would take a few drinks, then stop and fuss, then take a few more, then fuss some more. I thought maybe the carrots were getting to her tummy or something. I gave her some gas medicine. But then she started gagging. She would be perfectly fine and then gag like she was getting ready to vomit. She did that a LOT. I was kind of nervous about it and I was wondering if maybe she had swallowed something that we didn't see. We just kept an eye on it. She eventually fell asleep and was fine, so I wrote it off as a weird fluke.

We woke up this morning and she did okay at first, but then started gagging again before she'd even had anything to eat. I got SUPER worried. I was seriously considering taking her in for an x-ray to see if she had eaten something she shouldn't have. I called Nick but he didn't answer, so I was thinking about what to do. She wouldn't drink the bottle I had made. She started crying hard. I could tell she was hungry but wasn't eating, which is SO not normal for my little oinker :) Luckily, she held her head juuuust the right way and I saw something white in her mouth. I stuck my finger in and dug around her tongue and gums. Nothing. But I KNEW I had seen something, so I pried her mouth open (with MUCH protesting from Tessa Grace) and found it.

She had a silky tag STUCK to the roof of her mouth! You know the rectangular shaped ones that are usually on stuffed animals or something like that? I had to try to scrape it off. No wonder the poor girl was irritated and not eating and gagging. I felt so bad. She had that in her mouth overnight. I can only imagine how frustrating it was for her to feel that and to gag on it but not to have the means to get it out herself. Poor baby girl.

But as SOON as I dug it out, she grabbed that bottle and sucked it dry! There's no keeping that little girl down! Have I mentioned I love her juuuust a little bit?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In the name of the Father, the Son and the...what's he doing?!?

Did y'all know that Nick is Catholic? He's not a practicing Catholic, but he grew up that way. His parents and one of his sisters go to mass every Sunday and my oldest niece (who seems SO grown up now!) had her first communion last Sunday. I don't think Tommy has ever been in a Catholic church or sat during Mass. I was pretty nervous because they tend to be pain-stakingly long for a toddler to sit through right around 2 hours. He's used to our 1 hour good ole' fashioned Methodist service and he barely manages to get through that.

We managed to get all 4 of us dressed in decent clothing and to the church on time. That, in and of itself, is a miracle. We found the family and grabbed an aisle seat because I had a feeling there would be a few grab-and-runs in the middle of the service. The church was GORGEOUS. Huge ceilings and beautiful and gigantic chandaliers (that I had an irrational fear were going to fall off the celing and crush our entire pew). Tommy couldn't stop looking around. I was glad that, for the moment, he had something to keep him distracted. I personally like going to an ocassional Catholic mass. I think it's interesting to see everything that goes on and it had been long enough since I'd been to one that I had forgotten everything they do...the incense, the rosary before the service, the kneeling and standing and kneeling and standing and kneeling (you get the idea). But there WAS something completely new to me--the preist went down the aisle flinging holy water on us. I wasn't sure what was happening until water got all over my glasses and I was all like, "What the?!?" But Nick assured me it was a blessing and Tommy thought it was hilarious!

We made it through the first hour pretty well. Then our sweet little angle baby girl that NEVER gives us attitude started giving us attitude. I thought maybe she was hot, so I tried to take her jean jacket off. Epic fail. For some reason, even with the help of her Papa, I could NOT get that stupid thing off. It was just making her madder and madder, but after about 5 minutes, I finally got it off. I truly could not figure out the problem. It fits her fine--it's not like it's too tight. Anywho.....

Nick took Tessa to the lobby and Tommy was getting restless, so I pulled down the little padded bench that they kneel on  and let him use that baby like a balance beam. It worked for a while. He fell off of it no less than 17 times and whimpered every time. His shins are bruised like nobody's business, but he was having fun and being quiet so I let him keep doing it. Then it was time for communion. Oh my. We watched sweet Isabelle take her first communion with her mom and dad (I MAY have teared up during that moment). Then the confusion began. At our church, you can take communion whether you're a member or not, but at their church, you have to be Catholic, so I told Tommy we had to stay sitting. He was NOT understanding why he couldn't have crackers and juice too. He kept "whispering", "Ne have cackgers and duice!!.....MOM! Cackgers!! Duice!!!!" Sigh.

Nick came back in with Tess and then they started saying a prayer. I don't remember which one it was, but if you've been to a Catholic mass, you know that it starts to sound almost musical when they're praying because everyone's saying the same words in the same tone at the same time. Apparently, Tommy agreed because he ran out into the aisle, grabbed his crotch and started dancing. I was doing the embarrassed mom laugh and trying to get Nick to get Tommy. He was too busy trying not to laugh out loud. I saw the piano player watching Tommy and laughing and I was slightly mortified and may have been just a smidge proud at the dance moves my son was busting out (he didn't get it from me because Mam can't dance!). Nick finally caught his arm and pulled him back into the pew. Luckily, the mass was coming to a close. He managed to sneak in two or three more dance parties before we finally got out of there. I'll have to go back sometime without the kids so I can actually relax and enjoy it!

But I've learned not to get too stressed out over things like that. Between Tessa's jean jacket fiasco, Tommy's balance beam and his aisle performance, I was really close to being done. And I did get momentarily frustrated. But overall, it was pretty funny! In the grand scheme of life, embarrassing moments aren't the worst thing that can happen...............

Now, getting hail damage on Black Betty was pretty close to one of the worst things!! Okay, not really. But we went to a lunch party at my sister and brother in laws house to celebrate Isabelle. It had been cloudy and a little windy but I wasn't expecting anything too bad. And then it hailed. In a half mile radius. And of COURSE, we were smack dab in the middle of that half mile radius. We had just decided to start loading the car. Nick walked out the door with Tommy and then turned around and walked right back in because it was hailing. We had no choice but to wait it out. And poor Black Betty........she's no longer unmarred and perfect. So sad. There's a post to come on that.

Congratulations on your first communion Isabelle!! I'm so glad my crazy kids didn't ruin it and that we got to see you!! We love you!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Randoms about me:

*I almost always go to bed with socks on and almost always have them off when I wake up and no recollection of taking them off during the night.

*I hate, HATE the sound of styrofoam, napkins rubbing together, cotton being pulled apart and dry q-tips in my ears

*I also hate the FEEL of all of those things. Gives me the willies just thinking about it!

*I think milk smells like a wet dog and won't drink it if I can smell it.

*I have to fall asleep with a blanket across my stomach, but off my feet and head.

*I love marker boards.

*I don't love the ocean that much. Is it beautiful? Yes. Is it fun to swim in salt drenched water? No.

*If one of my hands gets wet, I have to get the other one wet too. OCD? Maybe.

*I didn't notice until my husband pointed it out, but I never take the foil seal all the way off. You know the ones on yogurt or butter or peanut butter that are under the hard lid? I peel them back, but never take them all the way off.

*I love the sound of typing, high heels on hard floors, bubble gum popping, and old lady voices.

*I have to have perfume on all the time. I feel naked without it. I have 4 bottles of it in my purse right now :)

*It drives me CRAZY when people go in the exit and out the entrance. They're labeled that way for a reason!

*I prefer the off-brand of everything.

*I am HORRIBLE at golf. Like, I hit the ball once out of every 4 swings IF I'm lucky.

*I love tons of ice in my drinks. I can't stand when there's only a few ice cubes floating around in there.

*Birds creep me out.

*I HATE using pencil to write. I will not touch them unless it's my only option.

*I brush my teeth 3 times a day at the minimum.

*It really bothers me when the dresser drawers aren't closed all the way....even if it's just a crack

*In fact, I like all doors to be shut (and I've noticed Tommy does too)

*Even though a guy I worked with proved it to me, I'm still not convinced that snakes poop. I mean, have you ever SEEN snake poop?? Anybody?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

Original title, I know. But really, what else can it be called?

This Easter was PERfect. Literally could not have been better!

The day BEFORE Easter.........not so awesome. Tessa started getting sick in the middle of last week. She was super congested and coughing up phlegm and had a runny, snotty, GREEN nose (yuck). Nick took her to the doctor and they started her on a steroid. Of course, a few days later, Tommy started having the same junk. So we "borrowed" some of Tessa's steroids and gave some to him too ;) Yeah, I'm that mom.

Friday night was horrible. They both coughed all night and I think we all slept maybe four or five hours total in very small, random spurts. Needless to say, on Saturday, they were not any better. I hated to miss our extended family's big Easter egg hunt, but I knew having the kids outside all day would not make them any better. So we stayed home and ventured out for a little grocery shopping, but that's about it.

I prayed so hard all night on Saturday that they would wake up healed on Sunday morning because they were just miserable. I was really hoping to have a good Easter with both of the and didn't think it was going to happen.

But it DID! They both slept great on Saturday night. They woke up in excellent moods with minimal coughing. They had snotty noses, but I can handle that! And they ACTED like they felt better, which was more important to me. I hate when they act like they'd rather be sleeping than playing. It makes me so sad.

We got up and got around and headed to church. They looked so cute, but it was next to impossible to get a good picture of both of them.

We finally got a kind of good one.........
Then somebody started getting grumpy.....
And somebody else started looking like a young man instead of a toddler....
We didn't get a family shot the whole day. This is the closest we got....

We went to an EXCELLENT church service! It was SO good and all about redemption and hope. After church, we went back to our house and hosted a little Easter egg hunt and lunch for my family and Nick's family. It was so much fun! Tommy had a blast with his whole family!
Tommy actually got on his four wheeler and rode it (after Nana tricked him and made him think she was on the back!) 
Tessa Grace was in Heaven because she had plenty of people to pay attention to her!
The weather was beautiful and perfect. We spent all afternoon eating and playing and egg hunting and having an egg toss and was like a little slice of Heaven right here on Earth. Tommy fell asleep at 7:30pm. I tried my hardest to get him to listen to the Easter story but he was completely out of it :) So I read to Tess! I can't thank Him enough for dying on the cross for our sins but even more so for rising again!