November 25, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday

Since Thanksgiving is 2 days away, I think I'll be festive with my top 10, today. How about top 10 things I am thankful for:

1. A God who answers prayers; prayers for strength through rough mornings, prayers for safety and health for my children, prayers for forgiveness and grace.
2. My wonderful, loving, funny, sweet, strong, handsome husband. (I know, gag)
3. My beautiful, smart, silly, talkative, curious Steven
4. My sweet, funny, tender-hearted Gabby
5. My unborn miracle so full of possibilities and wonder
6. A safe, cozy house where we can crank the heat up high as the temperatures outside dip down into the (gasp!) 50s!
7. Chocolate Milk
8. That my Dad, Mom, and sister, Cara will be here in the morning to spend a wonderful week with us.
9. My bed, it may just be a mattress and box spring on the floor, but it is the most comfortable place I've ever known
10. Peanut butter

November 21, 2008

Abilene, Texas! Here we come!

...eventually. Sometime in mid to late 2009, we will move to Abilene for three years! Steve will be navigating a C-130.

Here we are on our way to the drop party (please ignore my fat stomach spilling over the top of my pants). Steve did not win the Ugliest Christmas Sweater contest but it was definitely horrible!

November 20, 2008

Update with Dots

  • Steve's DROP is TOMORROW! Oh, my goodness, we just can't wait! I am so excited to know that tomorrow evening, we will find out where we'll be heading next. We still won't have an exact time-line on when we'll move or anything, but at least we'll know where! I don't know if I've mentioned that the theme of the drop party is "Ugliest Christmas Sweaters." The person who is deemed to have the UGLIEST Christmas sweater "wins" the opportunity to have their aircraft and base announced first. We're hopeful that Steve's Christmas monstrosity takes the cake. We hit up a few Goodwills, which we found to be a resting place for all things hideous. At one point, we had narrowed it down to three sweaters and couldn't decide which was worse. I'll be sure to post pictures of him in his "outfit." (I complimented Steven on his outfit the other day, after he dressed himself very well, and he informed me that boys do not have "outfits," only girls do!)

  • I am pretty nauseated these days. It stinks. I never had nausea with Gabby. I had it pretty bad with Steven. I don't think it's quite as bad this time but it's no fun.

  • I am making my very fist Thanksgiving dinner next week. Actually, the first Thanksgiving that Steve and I were married, we lived in Phoenix and were alone for Thanksgiving, and I "cooked" but I wouldn't qualify it as a Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn't much of a cook that first year, or so. Anyway, this year my parents and my sister, Cara will be here spending the week with us and I am cooking a real, traditional dinner. I'm pretty excited about it. I got a bunch of yummy recipes from I'm going to brine my turkey, which is pretty much like marinating it in an ice-water marinade. I started grocery shopping yesterday, and have some more to do this afternoon. There are a few things I want to prep ahead of time, to make the day a little easier.

  • Today, I registered us for the San Antonio Turkey Trot 4-miler. Yep. At 9am on Thanksgiving Day, we will be running 4 miles. When, I say "running," I mean....not running. I'm sure Steve will run it and I know my mom plans to run it, but I'm pretty sure my dad, Cara and I will be walking (with maybe a little jogging if we're feeling motivated) with the jogging stroller. But I have been jogging a few times a week, lately. If you can call it that. It's pretty slow, but I have been going at least 3 or 4 times a week for the last few weeks. I recently read Dr. Clapp's 'Exercising Through Your Pregnancy' and it motivated me to become more active. He was the first, and still one of the only obstetricians to do in-depth research on the effects of exercise on pregnancy. The conclusion of the research, was pretty much: the more active you are, the healthier you and your baby will be, and the shorter and easier your labor will be. He recommends weight-bearing exercise like running or aerobics, as well as weight lifting. I have no plans on taking up weight-lifting any time soon but I did start jogging and on nights that I don't jog, I do some aerobics.

  • My mom,Cara and I are planning on Black Friday shopping. Ahhhhhh! Actually, I'm looking forward to it. We have some pretty good shopping close to us, here so I'm hoping to find some REALLY good deals. I've already been scoping out all the sales on THIS website, and planning my purchases.

  • And no good post can end without pictures of my kids, so here you go:

Steven was sporting Steve's sweat band (eww!) and Gabby was having a crazy-hair day

We went out looking for bunk-beds for the kids (hoping to get them in one before #3 comes). The kids LOVED climbing the ladders (as you can see) and make sure you spot BOTH kids in this one!

Here is Gabby and me in our favorite weekend past-time. This is how we spend our Saturday afternoons :-)

November 16, 2008


So, tomorrow I will be 7 weeks pregnant. My belly is already fat. For real. I've been trying to work out at least twice a day since I found out, to try and prevent the inevitable "fat and miserable" months that are to come. But even though the numbers on the scale haven't changed at all, my stomach is definitely getting fat. I keep reading about how our muscles and skin all have "memory" cells that remember pregnancy (especially when you don't give them much time to forget!) and go ahead and stretch out in preparation for pregnancies after the first. But I am just not READY to be showing. I know what's going to happen. I'll be out somewhere, some sweet women with a flat stomach and a little baby will see my fat tummy and say, "oh, how far along are you?" Expecting to hear "4 months" at least. When I say "8 weeks," she gags on her diet soda and asks if I'm having twins. I say, "Nope. I'm just fat but thanks for asking." It happened with Gabby, too. As of today, I can still button my size 6s, as of last Monday, I could still button my 4s. I'm afraid to try now. I got all my "transitional clothes" out of the basement the other day. My size 8s, and 10s, ready to wear before the elastic waist-bands are a necessity. At this rate, it won't be long. Steve's drop party is on Friday. I am SUPER excited to go with him (we even have a babysitter! Woo-hoo!), and be there when we find out what aircraft he's going to be on and where we'll be stationed next. But today, I just kept thinking, "What can I wear that will not make me look fat or pregnant?" I think I may have to go shopping for some self confidence on a hanger this week. I think Kohl's sells that.
I've been trying pretty hard to have a positive attitude about getting big and uncomfortable again. I'm having a hard time. Today, I felt pretty sick most of the day. And for some reason, I just don't feel connected to this baby yet. I know that sounds horrible. I pray for his (he's a he until we're told otherwise) healthy development every day and I am thankful for the blessing I know he will be, but I'm just having trouble picturing a baby in here. It could be because we weren't TRYING for this one, so when it happened, it wasn't this great accomplishment we had been trying for months to reach, like with Steven and Gabby. And maybe it's that with the first two, I read all the "this is what your baby is doing this week of pregnancy" kind of books and articles and that made me feel connected. This time around, I already know all of that stuff so I haven't read any books or articles and maybe I should, if for nothing else, to feel a connection to this life inside me. I was talking to my good friend, Julia who is pregnant with her fourth and she said she felt the same way, and so she went to get and ultrasound done just for that reason, knowing that if she saw the heartbeat, the morning sickness and tiredness would all mean something more real to her and she would connect to her baby. Maybe once I get to a doctor and see my baby, I'll feel it, too. I just feel...I don't I know in my head there is a life inside me, but my heart hasn't grasped it yet.
So, that is what's going on with me. I'm totally self-absorbed and I need to just get over myself. On to better things: We went up to Austin yesterday to visit our good friends, Dan and Julia Sheppard and their 3 sweet kids. Steven and Heidi have been friends since Steven was 8-months-old and they hadn't seen each other since February. They had fun together. I had a great time catching up with Julia (my aforementioned pregnant friend) and Dan and Steve hung out and did man-things all day. They shopped for guns (they're both under the impression that guns need to be purchased before Obama gets here), grilled some meat, threw a football and whatever else men do together.

We had a really great time with them and miss hanging out with them so much! So, now you're all caught up!

November 8, 2008

Spare the Rod...

Life is pretty simple and quiet around here, lately. Except for Gabby, she is far from quiet today. She is in her crib now, as punishment for continuously screaming. She has definitely reached the beginning of the temper-tantrum stage. With Steven, it lasted until he was about 2 1/2 years old. So here we go... And Steve and I are not the "just ignore them and they'll stop" kind of parents. Mainly because that doesn't work. And because I don't really care to sit and listen to my kids throwing fits. Fit throwing is a punishable offence in our house. For a 13-month-old, it means getting sent to her crib. For a two-year-old, it was time out, unless we were in public or the car or somewhere time out was not possible, then it was a spanking. Steven is three now and if he even thinks about starting to throw a fit, all we have to do is ask him "do you really want to throw a fit right now?" which of course gets an immediate NO and he quits.

I just don't understand parents that don't consistently discipline their children, and then they don't understand why their children act the way they do. I get compliments on how well behaved my kids are quite often. It's not because they are just good kids - they are the same as any other child - they are just well-disciplined. If they willfully disobey, they are punished for it. Every single time. Not the 5th time they do it, not the time that finally drives me nuts, but Every Single Time they disobey. And that starts young. Gabby is already willfully disobeying, so she is already being disciplined. Of course her punishments are much different than Steven's. Steven has a time out chair in the corner of the playroom. Gabby has yet to understand the concept of staying in time out, so she gets sent to her room, or if she's touching something she's not supposed to (her most popular offence) she gets the offensive hand smacked. And I know that even at Steve's age, Gabby will be a different child with different needs and different drives and disciplining her will never be the same as her brother. Every child is so different, and needs to be molded in different ways.

When I'm in a public place and I see parents just ignoring screaming, angry children, or hear parent's complaining about how their kids is so much worse than mine, it irritates me. My kids are not perfect, I don't mean to say my kids never act up in public, but when they do, it is punished. It takes A LOT more work to have disciplined kids than not to. There are so many times I want to just ignore my kids' bad behavior and just lay on the couch instead but if I do that, I am teaching them that is okay to fight over a toy, or touch the TV (a big no-no in our house) or spit, or scream or throw things or whatever. And I know that being consistent with discipline is the most important part. Children are smart. If they know that they only have a 50% chance of being punished for what they are doing, sometimes it's worth the risk, where if they know that they will be in trouble 100% of the time, they are more likely to decide against it; although sometimes it's still worth the risk...just ask Steven :-)

It is sometimes hard to do. Sometimes I don't want to discipline them just because I love them and I don't want to upset them. But I know that discipline is out of love, and because I love them, I have to do it.

Proverbs 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

I know the Bible uses the term "Rod" and to me, that always sounded very harsh, but I think, now that Solomon was referring to discipline in general, not just spanking.

So, for no apparent reason, I just informed you all of my beliefs as a Christian parent on the power and importance of discipline. I don't really know where that came from but there it is.

November 3, 2008

Not Me Monday

Here are all the things I most certainly did not do this week:

I did not spend $215 at the grocery store today. My kitchen did not look like this after bringing it all in. That's way too much food for a family of 4. My husband is not going to freak out when he sees how much I spent :-/

I did not put only the cold things away, leave the rest there, sit down with a Luna bar and start blogging. That would be lazy.

I did not let Gabby fall asleep in her playpen looking very uncomfortable.

I am not 5 weeks pregnant....after going off my pill 5 weeks ago. That would be crazy and really fast. That would not completely surprise me...and that is probably not why I'm craving pancakes and bacon (as a recent post revealed).

I did not stock up on pancake mix, blueberries, syrup and bacon at the grocery store today.

I did not go off the pill for the sole reason that it was making me break out. That is not very responsible.

I am not going to have 3 children under the age of four in July. That would be crazy.

That does not scare me a little. Okay, it should. It is scary!!

My sweet husband is not completely excited about a 3rd baby (and neither am I). I did not find him on a baby-name website already. I don't think that is the sweetest thing ever.

I did not spend my grocery shopping trip thinking, "How on earth will I do this next year with 3 kids? I'm stressed out shopping with 2!"

I did not open a box of Gerber Veggie Crackers and let Gabby eat half of it as we shopped.

I did not let Gabby drink my Coke to get her to stop screaming while we were in line for 20 minutes. That would make me a really bad mom. I wouldn't let a 13-month-old drink Coke. And I definitely didn't get judgmental looks from all the older ladies around me in line. No, that never happens.

My kids are not waking up at 6:30 am since the time-change.

I did not get up and go for a bike ride at 8am, then take the kids to a MOPS play date, which I did not forget to take my camera to, then spend 2 hours grocery shopping. I am not ready to pass out at 3pm.

My son did not point out every item in the grocery store and inform me that they all cost "two dorrars" (two dollars). That isn't the cutest thing ever.

I was not completely embarrassed by Steven talking repeatedly (and very loudly) about how he has two dads in the commissary. I did not tell him that he is no longer "allowed" to pretend to have two dads. I did not feel like people were looking at me, thinking I was some kind of hussy. That would be silly and why should I care what people think? I don't.

So, that's my Not Me Monday for the week!

November 1, 2008

WARNING: This post contains an INSANE number of pictures of my children. They are EXTREMELY cute. You've been warned :-)

I just wanted to share this. I think it is so cute. Gabby LOVES dogs and cats. When we're at the park and someone has a dog there, she can no longer play, but must waddle after the dog until she gets the courage to go pet it (with Mommy at her side, of course). This is video of her chasing the neighbor's cat. We know the cat, Auto is a VERY sweet cat, that doesn't care that she wants to lay on him, pet him kind of roughly and grab his fur. She LOVES this cat. But I love how she chases him with her hands out in the 'grabbing' motion, and squealing at him. It really sounds like she says, "Kitty" and "Come Here." It really does. Also, notice how in the beginning of the video, she has 2 pigtails, then at the end, only one....the story of my life.

Here's where I found the hair tie, after reviewing the video. Still rolled up, stuck to the tree.

Friday afternoon, the kids and I carved our pumpkin, whom Steven named Frank... actually Fank, but I knew what he meant. Gabby couldn't have cared less about the pumpkin. She just liked the aprons. She was wearing Steven's like a cape at one point. Then she played in the dirt. It's what she does. We had lunch outside after carving Frank.

Steven pulled out about 3 seeds, then decided it was too messy...

...while his sister rolled around in the dirt.

After lunch, I stripped her to take her inside, then she decided she was still hungry

Here is the sequence of pictures I took TRYING to get one of the kids smiling with Frank:

Steven, look at the camera!!

Gabby, put your hand down and look happy!

Gabby, put that down! Steven! Look at Mommy!

Oh, forget it. I give up.

Friday evening we took the kid's trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Steven loved it. He said, "Trick-or-Treat" at every door....actually, "Tick-or-Teet" but whatever. Gabby got tuckered out pretty quickly. When we got home, we sat on the porch and ate candy (it was awesome!), then we put most of the kids' candy into our big candy bowl and handed it back out at our door. It was a fun night.

Time to eat candy on the porch

And this is what happened when we turned our backs on Gabby. She laid down on Steven's tool belt and chewed her way through a lollipop wrapper.

Today, we went to Home Depot to do the Kid's Project they do every month. Steven made a leaf press. Then, we went out to Lackland AFB to watch the Air Show. It was really cool to watch. The Blue Angles preformed. They were amazing. They make me more nervous than anything else, though. I was praying for the pilots for the whole first half. They fly so close together and so fast. We saw an F-22 Raptor demonstration which was absolutely insane. That plane defies the laws of ....everything. It was a LONG day, though. It was so hot on the flight line. There was no shade from the sun and the temperature wasn't that high so Gabby and I were in jeans, but the sun was just beating down on us all day and we were roasted! At one point, the kids and I went and sat under a plane just to be in the shade for a while. Both kids did fall asleep during the Blue Angels' performance, which is amazing because they are so loud. It was an exhausting day but it was really fun. We got home around 5pm, the kids and I all showered/bathed and got in our PJs right away. Steve drove downtown to pick up our nephew, Matt who was in town on a school ROTC trip and had some free time this evening. So, he spent a few hours here with us. It was so nice to see him. He's 14 and I swear he's taller every time we see him.

Making our Leaf Press at the Depot

AETC planes. This is the division that Steve is in right now. The big white plane in the center of the formation (T-43) is the plane he does his training on. Steven calls all big, white planes "Daddy's Plane" because of this one. The two on either side of the T-43 are T-38s, the ones that take off and land about 150 yards from our house all day...every day...very loudly...ugh

Okay, this pictures needs to be explained. The F-22 was about to do it's demonstration. Steve was beyond excited. He was giddy. Then this beige-shirt kid slowly inched his way to standing RIGHT IN FRONT of Steve. So Steve just stood there, breathing down his neck. He was so irritated. It was kind of I took a picture.

Me and the kids in the shade. I tried to get Gabby to go to sleep. She was so tired and grumpy.

Finally, I laid the back of the stroller down and she fell asleep in it.

And Steven slept in the front.

So, here I sit at 9:30pm, feeling like I could pass out at any minute. I am SO tired. What a day. I should go to bed soon. Steve's out driving Matt back to his hotel, so I want to at least wait till he's safely home before I hit the pillow. I'm just babbling now....I'll stop. But now you're all caught up!