Friday, January 22, 2016

Christmas Shopping

I did a lot of Christmas shopping online this year, but to me it's not quite the same as getting out to the stores and personally looking for special gifts. It's also fun to get the kids involved. Harper is a very thoughtful gift giver and her ideas crack me up. Here are just a few of the things she thought her daddy would love:


Daddy's always happy so he would love yellow shoes!

This would be easy for him to put in the yard since he doesn't like putting up lights!

Every holiday she always wants to get her daddy a t-shirt. Rick is notorious for wearing ratty t-shirts with holes in them so she always thinks he needs new ones. Here are the 2 she picked out for him this year...he owes me since I talked her out of jumping on these awesome treasures she found. ;)

He might like a kitty cat shirt to remind him of Kooter!

They always watch Scooby Doo together so I thought this was sweet. However, this one is so not appropriate! Ha!
creepy mystery machine

We all went to the mall to check out the new outdoor section they just added. Against our better judgment, we decided to give lunch a try at Maggiano's with all 3 kids in tow. It actually went surprisingly well! We told the kids that it was a lot fancier than the restaurants they usually go to (Chick-fil-a) and that they had to use their very best table manners and have excellent behavior. When we praised them for being so good, Harrison said, now can we go back to being ourselves again? Ha! Even he knows that they are crazy. :)






After lunch we let them get out their wiggles by running around the pavilion. It was surprisingly not crowded at all, which was lovely.




Here they are gazing in the window of the new candy store.


I needed to feed Hadley so I found a bench and the kids kept us entertained. They were singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs.


And then Harrison started feeling sick with a tummy ache. He's sensitive to dairy and we let him have a little too much fried cheese at the restaurant. Of course the second he mentioned he wasn't feeling well, Harper chimed in that she was sick, too. Can't let her brother get all the attention!


I took the kids to Academy to get their dad the turkey fryer he has been talking about wanting for forever. It was the week of Christmas and I had to circle around the parking lot a few times and wait for someone to leave because there were no parking spots open. Imagine my excitement that I had all 3 kids with me. lol. But everything worked out well. They had 1 fryer left so we snagged it. It was a little challenging picking up a giant box while carrying a baby, but I am woman, hear me roar. Then we got in a line of 15 people and things started going south pretty quickly. A fussy baby, a whiny 4-year old, and a complaining 6-year old (Heaven forbid that my phone was dead and he couldn't play a game while we waited). Then a sweet lady told me to come ahead of her in line and instead of judging our circus, she offered me a smile and some encouragement and said it made her miss when her 3 kids were young. In the moment, I was pretty certain I would not these kinds of moments. Ha!
 
Harrison asked to take a picture of "the girls in his life" before we went in :)

And these last two pictures I have to include just because they are cute.

breakfast with my boy before doing some shopping

Harper's eclectic outfit she picked out

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Story Behind Nugget

Yesterday, Timehop told me that it was a year ago that the idea of Nugget was born. So I figured it is a fitting time to share the story here.

Rick and I went on a date to P.F. Chang's after small group. We were sitting there making casual conversation when he dropped a giant bombshell on me.

A little back story -- we hadn't entertained the idea of more biological children in a really long time. In fact, we had already agreed that we were officially done. We had discussed and decided that we would make that decision final with a vasectomy. I don't know if it was the thought of being done for good that made Rick have second thoughts, or if it just came down to having cold feet about the procedure and his little swimmers were begging for a pardon. Ha! But either way, he threw me a curve ball.

Rick: I've been doing some thinking. I think we should have another baby.

Ummm....say WHAT?? I honestly thought he was joking. I was always open to having more kids but he was never too keen on the idea. Given my pregnancy history and the fact that we felt called to foster care, I was okay with being done. After several minutes of bantering back and forth over crispy green beans and lettuce wraps, I started to realize that maybe he was serious. My palms got all sweaty and my heart was racing and I'm pretty sure my eyes were the size of saucers. I was reeeeally not expecting to be having this conversation!!

At this point, we were still waiting on a placement for 2 siblings. I asked him if he had changed his mind about wanting to foster again, and he told me he wanted to do both...that they aren't mutually exclusive so why not give it a whirl?? Um, suuuuurre! Easy peasy! Let's just go from 2 to 5 kids because that sounds like a walk in the park! I began arguing my points on how this was an insane idea, that there were way too many variables, that I don't think our car will hold 5 car seats, that our house is too small, that I suck at being pregnant, and that he was supposed to be getting a vasectomy in a few weeks! And he told me that God has a plan for our family and everything will work out just fine, so not to sweat the details. (He also told me that there was no guarantee it would be a difficult pregnancy. hahahahahaha)

And then our fortune cookies came.

Here was mine:




And here was his:




We laughed so hard. I'm not really a superstitious person but I do believe God gives us little signs here and there. And we have an inside joke with fortune cookies because the night before Rick proposed to me, we grabbed Chinese for dinner and my fortune was an exciting message is on its way to you.

After we stopped laughing and he convinced me that this was, in fact, our sign, I told him I would give it 1 month. If it was truly meant to be, it would happen, and if not, then it would be time to schedule the vasectomy. He agreed and we shook on it. In my mind, I thought there was no way it would happen. Without completely oversharing, I'll just say that I haven't been on birth control since before Harrison was born and we weren't very careful in that department. ;)

In that next month, Rick proved himself right about God having a plan and working out all the details. Elby came to us and at the last minute, the placement went from 2 kids to just 1 when they placed his brother with their other siblings. And in the same month, this happened:


I knew I was pregnant before I even took a test. I didn't have that feeling with the big kids, but this time I just knew. I took a test the day I was supposed to get my period and I was right! I'll never forget it -- I had stayed overnight in the hospital with Elby when he was admitted for RSV. I took the test first thing in the morning and then had to keep the news bottled up inside until that afternoon when we were discharged and when Rick got home from work. I didn't really have a fun plan on how to announce it, so I decided to text him while he was sitting on the couch next to me and then take a picture of him reading it.


a) Rick was sick with a cold. b) And stupid auto correct.

Wait....what??!

This was allllll your idea, bud!

So I guess Hadley was our spontaneously-planned-yet-still-very-unexpected-surprise. I look at her beautiful face and it brings tears to my eyes to think that we thought we were done before we had her. I can't even put into words how thankful I am that our original plan got overwritten. It has reinforced the lesson to let go of that false sense of control and stay flexible and receptive to what God has for us. I have no idea what's in store in our future. We would love to foster again and possibly even adopt down the line. But we would also be content with what He's blessed us with already. But I will say...the vasectomy is now scheduled ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2 Months

Hadley turned 2 months old on the 3rd. She is growing, growing, growing!


 

At her 2 month checkup, she weighed 12 lbs., 3 oz. and was 23 1/4 inches long.  (65th percentile for both)

She is wearing 0-3 month and some 3-6 month clothes and size 2 diapers. 


So, Hadley, what have you been up to this month?

You are still a sleepyhead and continue to be really flexible and go-with-the-flow. You nap great in your car seat when we are out and about, but when we're home you prefer to nap in my arms. Which isn't always the most convenient, but I just remind myself that this time with you snuggled up in my arms is so short and I don't want to take it for granted. We've also been using the Ergo a lot and you are a huge fan. You love your snuggles with momma and so do I.



You are still such a great night time sleeper! I put you in your rock 'n play around 10pm and you sleep for 7-8 hours before a nursing session, and then you usually go right back to sleep until it's time to leave to take Harrison to school. You are a pretty huge momma's girl and you crack us up because in order to fall asleep quickly, you want to stare at me. You don't care if you're being held or rocked, you just want me in your line of vision. So I sit on the edge of my bed for a few minutes while you admire your mommy and drift off to sleep. :)



You had your first illness. It was the week of Christmas and you caught the cold junk that the rest of us had. Your doctor said to watch you closely and that a fever of 100.4 or higher was an automatic hospital admission since you were under 2 months old. He said that RSV is really bad this year and I was a nervous wreck. Thankfully your temperature only got to 99.9 and your cough stayed mild. You sure were a snotty baby though and I'm pretty sure I suctioned a gallon of it out of you! You are such an easygoing baby that you didn't even fuss each time I had to do it.


Your reflux? Still going strong. You are like a fountain. We actually burp you over the sink because burp cloths are no match for you.

action shot

"Exactly how much longer are you going to keep me in this disgusting bib? I've had it on for 30 seconds already."

We don't do very much tummy time around here...
"What are you lookin' at??"

You got your first shots this month. You were MAD! They made you feel pretty crummy and you were fussy for the day, but you didn't run a fever.

our little nugget is cute even when she's mad

You are smiling more and more and you are full of the funniest expressions. You love sticking out your tongue. You also found your hands this month and enjoy munching on them.





Claire-Bear, you are such a pleasure to be around. We love you to a million itty bitty pieces and are extremely grateful that you are in our lives!






Monday, January 18, 2016

'Tis the Season

December was a busy month like it is for everybody. But I will say we skipped a lot of our normal traditions and had a much more low-key holiday season this year. I love all of the activities we usually do, but I didn't want to feel overwhelmed with a new baby. Plus, I really enjoyed just sitting around holding that new baby.

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Harrison was the Star Student in his class. It fell on the week of his birthday, which was extra special for him. He was so excited to bring home Berry, the classroom mascot. Of course the first thought that went through my mind is that this bear has traveled from kid to kid to kid and, ew. Then Harrison eagerly pulled Berry's journal out of his backpack and my second thought was yay! I can't wait to keep a diary and print out pictures of a stuffed animal's adventures all week!!! lol. Definitely not the best use of time, but Harrison thought it was fun. Berry went a lot of places with us that week and I'm just thankful he didn't get lost while in our care.

His poster we made - I thought it was sweet that he wanted to include the twins and Elby with our family

they sat at their own table because they're obviously too cool for us...

Harrison's class sang Christmas songs at Barnes and Noble. Berry was excited to watch.



Then we enjoyed some delicious hot cocoa before we headed out to get our advent tree. Normally we go to a tree farm and cut our own tree down, but this year we opted to pick one up at the nursery instead.

*Harper was not pictured below because she was too busy having an it's-past-my-bedtime meltdown and wanted no part in smiling for a picture.


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We went to the Dickinson Festival of Lights with Ashley and her boys. We try to go every year. Although this year might have been our last because it was insanely crowded. I don't do well with large crowds and couldn't wait to just get out of there. The kids were cranky, too. Next time we will go earlier and definitely on a weeknight.





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Harrison brought home a present for me that he made in school. Homemade gifts are my favorite!




And of course he made his gingerbread man into Darth Vader. He even cut out and glued on a light saber. :)

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One tradition we didn't skip was our Frosty night. We watched the movie and then headed to Wendy's. We tried to just go through the drive thru but the kids were NOT having it. They insisted we go inside and sit at "our" table like we do every year. I love that we are making fun little memories!


next year she'll get to participate in the Frosty-devouring

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Another tradition for the ladies in my family is to go to the Houston Nutcracker Ballet. My grandma, mom, & I have been going for the last several years. I didn't go this year since I am nursing, but Harper went in my place. It was her first time going and she loved it! I was so sad to miss her reaction but she has been telling me all about it ever since.





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We started our advent candles, but only made it through 3 weeks. But at least we started? I'm sure next year will be less chaotic.
 

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I thought this was the cutest thing ever. I was just about to get onto Harrison for messing with the tree, and then I saw what he was doing. Harper got some mistletoe-on-a-stick as a joke for Christmas since she is always teasing Harrison by chasing after him trying to kiss him. Well I caught him sticking in in the tree over Hadley and leaning down to give her kisses. So sweet! He is a great big brother.


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And speaking of my sweet wild child, here is a message he left for me. The kids and I were stuffing goody bags to give to their classmates. Harper had a very organized assembly line going on while Harrison's pile was jumbled up like a tornado blew through. He wasn't very interested and asked if I could take over for him. I was more than happy to because his "method" was really stressing me out. Haha. I looked over at his station and saw that he had arranged some of his supplies to read I love you, Mom. He told me the gingerbread erasers were the two of us holding hands. Such a sweet boy.






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