Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas, from O, E, and L!

After last year's miserable Christmas Flu, this Christmas was exceptionally great!  The kids were all healthy, happy, and excited.  "I used to think being a kid on Christmas was the best thing ever, but it turns out having children on Christmas is the best thing ever!" [quote stollen from facebook]. As my daughter told me last night going to bed, "This was the best Christmas ever!"  Yes. This was the best Christmas ever!

Santa came!

This was one excited boy!

 E's Santa Gift: Barbie Umbrella

O's Santa Gift: Elmo Book

Early Christmas Morning Visit from the kid's great aunt

E and her gift from her great aunt & great-grandfather (& grandparents)

 She loves her "E" and "O" dolls

L and his gift from his great aunt & great-grandfather

O (and cousin) with his gift from his great aunt & great-grandfather

 L's Surprise Gift!

After Christmas Fun with his cousin

One of the best parts of our Christmas, for me, was also hosting Christmas.  My aunt came by in the early morning and brought over some special gifts for the kids (before O was even awake).  Then came my husbands family: grandparents, parents, and three siblings (and families).  After they left, we ran over to my grandfather's house (just down the road) to visit with him for a little bit and see my cousin (and her family).  Then we headed back to my house, made some potato soup, and shared some time with my family: parents, and brothers.  We were able to spend Christmas day visiting with twenty-three (if my addition is correct) family members.

Next on the agenda: Flu shots!  I can not believe, after our experience last year, that we have waited this long.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Blessing (Day 18)

November 18th Blessing:  LEGOS!

Yes, my playroom may look like a lego bomb has exploded, but I absolutely love the creative play that my kids do with legos.  I love hearing the lego men "talk," and I love how the kids are both able to fall into their own lego world with little vehicles, and structures.  We have a lot of toys (obviously), but I think our legos are the toys they play with the most, and for the longest periods of time.

November Blessing (Day 17)

November 17th Blessing: Daughter's Christian Preschool

I am so thankful to have E in a good Christian preschool.  During their concert on Sunday night they sang about how Jesus loves them, how strong He is, and how they will trust Him.  It just warms my heart!

November Blessings (Day 16)

November 16th Blessing: Kids that fall asleep in the car

It's so nice after a late evening out at Pop's house to have three kids that will fall asleep in the car on the way home.  I may have mentioned it before, but my kids sleep so well in the car. We're able to stay out right until bedtime, let them fall asleep in the car, and then move them straight to their bed for the night.  It's such a blessing!

November Blessings (Day 15)

November 15th Blessing: Time with my Little O

My husband took the two older kids to a basketball game, so my little guy and I got to hang out. Within a few minutes, he really started opening up and was telling me all kinds of things.  He's still not very verbal, but he was chatty-chatty the whole night.  It really gave me hope that he'll be completing sentences and telling me stories soon.

November Blessings (Day 14)

November 14th  Blessing: More Resting with my E

I'm thankful today for the opportunity to curl up on the couch with my sweet E.

November Blessing (Day 13)

November Blessings: O's Toddler Bed Transition

The transition to a toddler bed was super easy for O.  We laid him down for the first time in his new bed and he didn't even try to get out and leave the room.  Yay!  The first night he fell out several times, so the second night we added a little bed rail to the bed.  He slept fine, but I think he still prefers the crib, so we may wait a little while before we transition him full time.

November Blessings (Day 12)

November 12th Blessings:  Same day office visits, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, a husband that works near the hospital, Netflix, and a healthy girl!

When I dropped off E at school on Tuesday, she was a little droopy.  Over the weekend, she had an off and on fever and cough, but I felt like she was getting better and well enough to go to school.  Well, about an hour after I dropped her off, I got a call from her school that she was, "just not acting like herself."  So I decided to go ahead and take her to her doctor.  I called and got an appointment within 20 minutes.  They checked her out and the doctor sent us straight to Vanderbilt for a chest x-ray, for "possible pneumonia."

Waiting for blood results.

My Sweet Girl

Thankfully, I had crayons in my purse

At Vanderbilt, we had to wait a pretty long time, but thankfully daddy was able to come and bring his laptop to watch some Daniel Tiger on Netflix.

When the doctor finally called us back, E's lungs were negative for pneumonia.  She did have a small something, but it was no major concern.  I took her home and let her rest, but she was already feeling much better by evening.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November Blessings (Day 11)

November 11th Blessing: A day at home with my "little kids"

I tend to be an extrovert that needs a lot of social interaction, but I sure do love a good Monday at home with my little kids.  Days when we can stay in our PJs all day and play are just the best!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November Blessings (Day 10)

November 10th Blessing: Resting with my Girl

E woke up with a fever (101.8) this morning and so we stayed home from church and enjoyed a day of rest.  I finished up some consignment sale tagging, while listening to a church service online, and my sweet girl laid around lethargically watching me.  When my husband and L left to go to the Titan's football game, E and I put O down for a nap and crawled into my bed.  "Watching" football, we both drifted off to sleep and enjoyed a nice hour long nap.  It was exactly what we both needed... But I sure hope she's better tomorrow.

November Blessings (Day 9)

November 9th Blessing:  Fall in Tennessee

I took the kids to a Birthday Party in small town about 30 minutes outside of Nashville and the fall foliage was just beautiful the entire way.  I'm sure I drove the kids crazy pointing out one beautiful area of trees after another.  I know I've already mentioned how beautiful the leaves are at this time of year, but it was so beautiful that it was worthy of another post.  I am so blessed to live in Tennessee right in the middle of all of this beauty.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November Blessings (Day 8)

November 8th Blessing: My kids are best friends.

Maybe it's their age gap (27-28 months), or just the way their personalities mesh, but I am very blessed to have kids that play so well together.  It's very obvious, to me, that they love and care for each other.  As soon as L walked in the door from school this afternoon both little kids ran to greet him.  O wrapped his arms around him to give him a hug, and E immediately started talking with him.  That's just one example, of many, during the day that I could give to illustrate the kind of loving relationship they all have.  Obviously, they have moments of arguing and fighting, but for the most part they get along so well. 

My Boys: L reading to O

My Big Kids: Making a Huge Lego Mess Together

My Little Kids: Cute and Huggy

 My Little Kids: Playing a Game
My Three: In a Box

A Sweet Note from L to E

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November Blessings (Day 7)

November 7th Blessing: The opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and go on L's Field Trip this morning.

Watching PBS kids online with the kids in the tent
Being able to stay-at-home with my kids is one of the biggest blessings in my life right now.  Oh yes, I've had years (literally) of overwhelming exhaustion, months of feeling isolated and lonely, and days when I just want to run out the front door and never come back again, but I've also shared so many wonderful memories with my kids.  Being in the trenches with them day in and day out for the past 6.5 years has been the hardest job I've ever had, but it's also been the most rewarding.  I'll admit, I've called staying at home with 3 kids my worst nightmare on more than one occasion, but somehow, it's also one of my dreams come true.  I honestly can not imagine my life any other way right now.

Today, I was blessed to go on L's school field trip to the farm.  My father-in-law (worthy of an entire November Blessing Post of his own) was able to take E to school and then take care of O for me.  I've slowly adjusted to having my big boy away at school every day, but I still miss him like crazy.  I am so grateful to have had this day with him.

My L

L and one of his best friends 

 My brown-eyed boy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November Blessings (Day 6)

November 6th Blessing: My blue-eyed O

This boy is two.  He screamed the entire way home from the park this morning.  Then he screamed and kicked as I tried to get him out of the car seat when we got home.  His tantrum escalated until he screamed so much, in the garage, that he made himself throw up.  I carried him upstairs under one arm praying out loud, "God of wonders... Give us peace."  But, he kept trying to kick me in the throat/face the entire time I was changing his diaper and clothes.  His poor little face was so red from all his screaming.  After his diaper change, I scooped him up in my arms, with his legs still kicking, and rocked him in his chair until he calmed down.  I put my hand over his heart and gently whispered to him until his heart slowed down, and he stopped crying.  Then he settled down enough to quietly listened to books.  I read his three favorite books, and then sang him a few songs as he drifted off to sleep in my arms.  As I carried him over to his bed I looked down at his little face.  It wasn't red anymore.  He was peacefully asleep. Thank you God!  I survived another tantrum.

And I love you little buddy.  I really do.  Two year old tantrums and all.

November Blessings (Day 5)

November 5th Blessing: My Husband

The best decision I've ever made was to ignore the naysayers, ten years ago, and marry the love of my life.  My husband is truly my perfect match and I can not imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November Blessings (Day 4)

November 4th Blessing: That THIS happened a day AFTER our family photos.

As I was coming down the stairs on Monday morning I heard E tell O, "Great job on your haircut!" I looked up to find O with a crooked haircut and E holding a pair of scissors.  I can not even express how grateful I was that our family photos were finished yesterday!