Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Four Years Ago Today...

we sent our sweet baby girl, Katelyn, to be with Jesus. It's hard to believe that four years have already passed, yet some days it feels like it was just yesterday.

I always dread the anniversary of her birthday as it always brings back so many memories and emotions. I sometimes think that the weeks leading up to it are worse than the actual day itself.

Every year, the same feelings come back. Sadness. Anger. Emptiness. Every year, the same questions arise again. Why did we have to lose her? How would our family be different if she was here with us today?

This year, I think due to the fact that we now have 2 wonderful kids that are as different as night and day, I have found myself wondering a lot more.

I wonder if Katelyn would have been spirited like Parker or easy going like Eden.

I wonder if she would be a towhead like Parker and her daddy or a brunette like Eden and her mommy.

I wonder if she would like ice cream like her daddy or salty snacks like her mommy.

I wonder what her smile would look like, what her laugh would sound like, what her hugs would feel like.

It is during times like these that I have to just cling to the promise that I will one day see her again. And while I would give anything to have her back, I know that she will forever be in a much better place.

Happy 4th Birthday, Katelyn! We love and miss you so much and can't wait until we get to hold you in heaven.

"Her life was so short that the only mark she made on this world was in our hearts. We will never see her smile or know the color of her hair. She didn't grow up to accomplish great things, and she died before she even had a name. But she is not forgotten. She is our daughter."- An Empty Cradle, A Full Heart by Christine O'Keeffe Lafser

Monday, September 28, 2009

What Were We Thinking?

Cory spent Saturday at the Aggie game (Gig 'Em Aggies...WHOOP!!) and Jon was on shift at the fire station, so my mom, the kids and I decided to drive over to Mansfield to spend the day with Emily and the girls.

The annual Mansfield Pecan Festival was being held that day, so we decided that after the kids got up from their naps, we would head over and check it out.

We tried to get my younger sister to drive over and go with us, but she was busy, so the 3 of us loaded up all 4 kids (in one car) and were on our way.

That's right- 3 adults and 4 kids under the age of 2 1/2. You do the math...that's 1 1/3 kids to be in charge of per adult. In the heat. At a crowded festival. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?!?!?!?

We should have known when we got there and realized that there was no way we could easily get 3 strollers and 4 kids on the shuttle bus that things were going to get crazy! We ended up having to walk quite a way just to even get to the festival. We put Aubrey in her sling and the other 3 in the strollers and somehow managed to get there without a fuss. We were all sweating bullets in the heat, but were still determined to have fun.

The first thing we did was go and see the fire truck. There were clowns making balloon animals for the kids...Addison got a dog and Parker got a sword. Neither one of them made it home without popping their balloons, but they were fun while they lasted!

It was soon after this that the real fun started!! Parker decided that he no longer wanted to ride in the stroller and started throwing a huge fit. We distracted him by heading over to the bounce houses and paid way too much money for him and Addison to both jump for less than 5 minutes each. It was so hot and neither of them wanted to stay in the bounce house. Neither of them wanted to put their shoes back on either, especially Parker.

We told them that if they put their shoes on, we would go see the animals in the petting zoo. Amazingly, it worked. But the petting zoo was horribly crowded and cost way too much money, so we settled for a picture in front of the zebra instead. Doesn't Addison look like she is having so much fun?!?

By this time, we were all hot, hungry, and thirsty, so we walked over to the food stands. We got kettle corn and lemonade that was way overpriced, and decided that we had had enough fun for one day.

Emily was able to talk to one of the police officers and found a closer place where she could drive up and pick us up so we didn't have to walk the mile back to the car with 4 hungry and tired kids.

My mom and I waited on a grassy knoll with the kids while Emily went and got the car. We ate the kettle corn and danced to the music that was playing.

The two little girls were surprisingly perfect the entire outing. Neither one of them made a peep and just strolled along enjoying the craziness of the festival.


Looking back, we did make some funny memories on Saturday, but I did learn one thing...we are definitely NOT ready for the state fair. We were going to take the kids this year, but are now going to rethink that idea and wait at least one more year before we tackle that event!

Friday, September 25, 2009

This and That

Parker finally got a much needed haircut yesterday. We went to a new place to get his hair cut and I told the man I wanted it cut short. He did a great job sitting in the chair by himself and not one tear was shed the entire haircut! I was very pleased with the results- he looks like such a big boy now!

Please excuse this not-so-great picture. I took a great picture of Parker's new haircut yesterday but it was on the camera that I lost. I took this picture today with my other camera and it is not as good. Parker was saying "cheese" but it really just looks like he is pretending to be a deer caught in headlights!!!! --------------------------------------------------

Eden has cut her first top tooth, which gives her 3 teeth now.

Here she is trying to decide what book to read next. There are just so many great choices!!!

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Yesterday, I was made aware (again) of just how much little ears are always listening to what I say. We were playing in the playroom after lunch when Parker picked up a toy and, as he handed it to Eden, said, "Here you go, Miss Priss".

Miss Priss is something that I call Eden on occasion, and I don't even realize that I am saying it. I never thought that Parker was paying attention to the nicknames that I have created for her. What a great reminder to me that I have to be so careful and watch everything that comes out of my mouth, especially when Parker is around.

I Wish...

I wish I could show you the awesome picture I took of Parker at the park yesterday. It showed his cute new haircut that makes him look so grown up.

I wish I could show you the pictures we took of Parker pushing Eden in the swing.

I wish I could show you the video we took of Eden climbing up the slide. She actually made it all the way up without any help from us. She is such a little monkey!

I wish I could show you all these things, but unfortunately I can't. I lost my camera on the way home last night. I have been extremely upset all day today.

We went back and searched the area where we think we lost it, but had no luck. I called the lost and found, but nothing has been turned in yet.

I wish I could have shared these fun memories with you, but for now, unless some Good Samaritan turns it in, Cory and I will be the only ones who get to know what a fun time we had at the park last night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Face Only a Daddy Could Love

Eden has started making the funniest face lately. Any time she gets tickled, she scrunches up her face, her eyes become squinty, and her two bottom teeth stick out like a little rabbit!! Her daddy thinks it is just about the cutest thing ever! She has so got him wrapped around her little finger!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Show Me Your Pearly Whites

Today I attempted to take Parker to the dentist for his first cleaning. We went last summer when he was about 15 months old just to let Dr. Chris (our dentist who I went to high school with) look at his teeth. Parker was great and sat perfectly still while Chris looked in his mouth and even scraped a little bit of tartar off of his teeth. Chris and I were both shocked and he even commented that he had never had a toddler do so well.

So when Dr. Chris's office called a few weeks ago to schedule another appointment, I thought we would give it a try. I even asked the receptionist if we should bypass their office and go straight to the pediatric dentist in town. She assured me that they would give it a try and if there were any problems, they would then refer me to the pediatric dentist.

Parker and I spent the entire car ride talking about going to see Dr. Chris and about how he was going to look at his teeth. So far, so good!

When we got to the office, Parker walked in all by himself very confident and not showing any apprehension. I even let him bring his baby duck in with him thinking that maybe that would be a good distraction during the exam.

He walked back to the exam room by himself and even climbed up in the big chair all by himself. What a big boy!

Then the hygienist asked him to open his mouth really wide like an alligator. That's where the fun ended. Parker was going to have none of that!

We showed him her cool toothbrush that went around in circles and she even tried to tickle his teeth with it- no luck.

We tried to brush his baby duck's teeth and show him how fun it would be to brush his teeth too. He thought it was funny to brush his duck's teeth, but still wouldn't open his mouth for her.

After less than 5 minutes of trying to work with him, the hygienist finally said, "I think we are going to go ahead and send you to the pediatric dentist. Their office is much more equipped to handle toddlers."

Duh. I could have told you that when you called and scheduled Parker's appointment 3 weeks ago.

Oh, well. No harm done. It was a good try. We left before any major crying started and will soon be calling the pediatric dentist to make another appointment for Parker's first cleaning. Hopefully next time we will be a little more successful!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

10 Months Old

Eden turns 10 months old today. I can not believe that we will be having a birthday party in just 2 short months. It just seems like yesterday that I was waddling around with back pain and heartburn waiting to meet our sweet baby girl. Here are a few highlights from this month:

Eden continues to cruise all around the house and gets faster every day. She can now walk behind the push toys without any trouble at all. She loves to climb on everything and can now get in and out of the toy car by herself and on and off the tricycle by herself.

Not only is Eden cruising on the furniture, but just this week she started letting go and standing by herself without holding on to anything. She can usually stay balanced as long as she isn't thinking about it. As soon as she realizes that she is standing, she sits down.

Eden has been able to open drawers for a while, and this month has learned to open cabinet doors as well. She has discovered where I keep the tupperware and loves to sit and take everything out of the cabinet. She also loves to take things out of boxes, such as all of the snack baggies or trash bags.
I would love to tell you that the eating issues have been completely resolved, but Eden continues to be a fussy eater. She does not eat pureed baby food well at all. Thank goodness she is getting bigger and we have introduced a lot of finger foods this month. She enjoys small pieces of avocado, peaches, bananas, carrots, cheese, pears, green beans, and macaroni. She likes to be in control of what she is putting in her mouth at all times and I have a feeling that we will not be offering her baby food for much longer. It still baffles me that she won't take one bite of pureed peaches but she will inhale an entire snack cup of bite size peaches in just minutes!


Eden has started giving us "kisses" this month. She opens her mouth and leans in toward our face when we ask her for a kiss. So sweet...I wouldn't trade it for anything!


I am already looking forward to watching Eden change and grow over the next month. I have a feeling that a few first steps are in our near future! What an exciting time in our sweet baby girl's life! What a joy she continues to be to our family!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Plenty

A few days ago, Parker was eating lunch with Addison at my mom's house. Addison needed some more milk, so while my mom had the milk carton out, she asked Parker if he needed some more too.

His reply: "No, I have plenty."

Plenty? Where does he come up with this stuff!!! I don't even use that word! How fun it is to watch his vocabulary grow every day!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

Parker learned last night how to climb into his crib and we figure it won't be long before he learns how to climb out of it too. We will be headed to Babies R Us this weekend to buy a bedrail so that we can convert his crib into a toddler bed. I was hoping that we would not have to do this for a few more months, but I suppose it's time. Parker has already proven that he can sleep just fine in a big boy bed at Granna's house, so we might as well make that transition at our house too. I will keep you posted on how it is going.

video

Happy 2nd Birthday Addison!

Today my sweet niece, Addison, turns 2 years old! I can't believe how fast the last two years have flown by! It seems like just yesterday that we waited ALL day long in the hospital waiting room for Addison to finally make her first appearance.

Addison has become such a beautiful little lady! Her personality is so fun and I always look forward to spending time with her. I am so thankful that she and Parker are so close in age...it has been wonderful watching them meet their milestones together.

Happy Birthday, Addison! We love you very much and hope you have a wonderful day!

Addison and her Aunt Amy


Because Addison had already had her birthday party, we got her a very small cake to help us celebrate last night at dinner! Doesn't she look like such a big girl!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Jackson!

Today my good friend Emily's little boy, Jackson, turns 2 years old. Parker and I attended his fun Backyardigans birthday party this past Sunday, while Eden stayed home and enjoyed some father/daughter playtime.

Jackson is an amazing little boy! He was born at just 24 weeks and spent over 3 months in the NICU before getting to come home. He has had a lot of obstacles to overcome during the past 2 years but always seems to reach all of his milestones with flying colors.

The Birthday Boy
Parker had a lot of fun at Jackson's party. When we arrived, Parker immediately found the balls- what a shock!! He enjoyed playing with them until it was time for a snack, which included chips and dip- one of Parker's new favorite foods!

Playing in the balls

Eating a snack and enjoying some juice in his new Backyardigans cup- what a great party favor!

When I woke Parker up from his nap and told him it was time to go to Jackson's party, the first thing he said was "Cake?". Although I assured him that we would get to eat cake at the party, he still kept asking me, "Cake? Cake?". After Jackson opened his presents, it was finally time to eat cake. Both of the boys devoured their cake and had blue icing all over their faces!

We had fun celebrating with Jackson and his family this weekend and wish him a very happy 2nd birthday today!

Parker and Jackson eating their yummy cake

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Addison's Ladybug Birthday Party

Today was my niece Addison's 2nd birthday party. My sister found a great place to have her party this year. One of the local churches in Mansfield built a new children's area that has an indoor playground. There is also an area with tables and a kitchenette where you can serve cake, juice, etc. You can rent out the area for birthday parties, even if you are not a member of the church. It ended up being perfect since the weather outside today was rainy, rainy, rainy!

The Birthday Girl

The kids started off playing on the playscape. There were 2 slides and lot of things to climb on. After an hour of playing, they all enjoyed a snack while Addison opened her presents. Then we all enjoyed a very cute ladybug cake that my sister made herself. The kids all had a great time and we hope Addison has a very happy birthday later this week!

Parker coming down the slide

Even Eden got to go down the slide with Aunt MerMer!

Aubrey and Eden in their cute ladybug outfitsAddison's ladybug cake
Blowing out the candles

Celebration of Grammy's Life

I never had the opportunity to know any of my great grandparents, and it saddens me to think that my kids will not know any of theirs either. Grammy was my last living grandparent and it is weird to realize that the oldest generation in my family is now gone.

Yesterday was Grammy's funeral and it was nice to remember what a wonderful woman she was. I was trying to think about the things that I want to tell Parker and Eden about Grammy when they get older and ask about their great grandmother.

Grammy had 8 kids, 20 grandkids, and 23 great grandkids. One thing that I will always remember is that even with that big of a family, Grammy never forgot my birthday. I always knew that when I went to the mailbox on my birthday, I would find a card from her.

Another thing that I will remember about Grammy is how she loved puzzles. She was always working crossword puzzles and doing word searches. I believe this is one of the reasons she stayed so sharp for so long. Like Grammy, I too love to work all kinds of puzzles. I can't wait to see if Eden or Parker have a knack for working puzzles like me and Grammy.

Grammy always had a positive attitude, even after she had to move into the nursing home. All of the nurses loved her and she even earned the title "Resident of the Month" just a few months after she had been there! Every time we would go visit her, she would tell us stories about the other ladies in the nursing home who would wander around not knowing where they were. Grammy would always end her stories with, "I will never make fun of them because that could be me one of these days."

These are just a few of the things that I will tell Parker and Eden about when they get older. Grammy was a wonderful grandmother and she will be greatly missed. I just hope that one day, I will be able to explain to them what a wonderful great grandmother they had.

Grammy at her 90th birthday party last yearParker and Grammy- Thanksgiving 2007
Grammy and Eden- Thanksgiving 2008 (Eden was just 9 days old!)

4 generations

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grammy

Heaven rejoiced tonight as my wonderful Grammy entered into her forever home! She is now at peace and although we are hurting and sad, we would not want it to be any other way.

My Grammy was such an amazing woman! She had 8 kids in 9 years (with no multiples!) and lived to tell about it. What an inspiration to me as a mom of two little ones to know that if she can survive all of those tantrums, runny noses, and dirty diapers, I can survive them too!

My dad is the oldest of the 8 siblings. There were 2 girls and 6 boys. Bless my Grammy's heart-she must have had the patience of a thousand saints not to go crazy with that many boys in the house!! (That or a good pair of earplugs!!)

My dad has always been such a wonderful son to my Grammy, but especially so over the past few years when her health started failing. He was faithful to call her EVERY night at 9 o'clock to check on her. He drove to see her every other weekend and would often just sit in the nursing home visiting with her all afternoon. I can only hope that one day Parker will take as good care of me as my dad has taken of my Grammy.

Below is one of my favorite pictures of me with Grammy. It was taken at one of my baby showers when I was pregnant with Parker. It was the last time that Grammy was able to travel to Cleburne. I remember feeling so happy that day that she was able to come and share in my shower with me.

I feel so lucky to have been blessed with such a wonderful grandmother. She will be truly missed!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lazy Labor Day Weekend

I have always said that God created Labor Day for teachers! He knew that after 2 long weeks back at school, we would need a day off to relax and recoup!

I was really looking forward to this three day weekend, mostly because we had nothing planned. We stayed around the house most of the weekend, just playing and having fun family time.

Saturday morning, the kids and I went to a baby shower for a good friend of mine who just had her second baby girl. Her first daughter is a few months older than Parker, and it has been fun to watch them grow together. Our play dates will be much more fun now that we have added another little girl into the group. (Poor Parker...he is usually the only boy in most of our play groups!)

We went over to my parents house for a cook out and swimming Saturday night. Emily and the girls had come down for the baby shower so it was fun to see them.

We spent almost all day Sunday cleaning house. It is amazing how long it takes to clean when you have a toddler and an infant who are under your feet wanting to play. We took lots of breaks to play and eat, and finally got done mid afternoon. I also got all of the laundry and ironing done on Sunday so that all I would have to do today is relax.

Parker and Daddy playing with Play-Doh


Eden got her first taste of pancakes on Sunday. She thought they were very yummy!

Playing in Parker's crib...such a happy girl!!

Parker playing with his train set. He has been lining up the street signs and trees on the track and then using the train to knock them down. Very fun (and time consuming!).

This morning, we picked up Papa (Cory's dad) and headed to Fort Worth for lunch and shopping. Cory was so sweet to watch the kids while I went shopping at Ann Taylor Loft (my favorite store). They were having some good sales and it was so nice to shop without having to worry about the kids crawling out of the dressing room! We also ate lunch at Pei Wei... so good!

We ended the weekend with a fun trip to Jumpin Apes. Parker had a blast in the jump houses and it was fun to watch Cory going down the slides with him. There is nothing like going down a huge slide to make you feel like a kid again!

It has been such a nice, uneventful weekend and I am so thankful to have had an extra day to spend with Cory and the kids. I hope you and your families had a wonderful Labor Day weekend too!

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Day of Preschool

It was way too quiet in our house this afternoon. Parker started Thursday school today.

I have been so anxious about his first day of preschool after our disasterous Meet the Teacher last Sunday. I had no idea how the morning might go- it would either be really good or really bad! We have been talking to Parker the past few days about going to school and doing fun things with Ms. Marcy and his new friends.

Cory got him up this morning, fed him breakfast, and got him dressed. He looked so grown up today. Our little baby is not a baby any more. Here he is in his first day of school shirt- doesn't he look handsome!

His new backpack has been a big hit. When I asked him if he wanted to carry it this morning he said, "Too heavy!".

Here he is with Mommy and Daddy before we left for school.


The entire way to school we talked to him and told him where we were going. When we drove up he pointed and said "School!" We got out of the car and he confidently walked into the building by himself, all the way to his new classroom. Miss Marcy was waiting for him and had put some puzzles out on the table for the kids to play with. When we walked in the room, one of the other little boys was crying hysterically and Parker asked me to hold him. I was worried that the tears were about to start, so we quickly went over to the table and started working one of the puzzles together. Cory quickly told him goodbye and left the room. After working the puzzles a few more times, I looked at Parker and told him that I had to go back to work. He looked up at me, gave me a big kiss, and kept working on his puzzle. NO TEARS! I couldn't believe it!


Cory and I lingered in the hall for a few more minutes, waiting to see if this was too good to be true. Could it really be possible that our child, who still occasionally cries when I leave him at Sunday School, was able to start his first day of preschool without any tears?

After we left, Cory told me he was proud of me for not crying. I told one of the teachers that I worked with that it was easy not to cry because he was not crying. Had Parker been upset, I'm sure that I would have lost it! As a parent, we feel the same things that our kids feel. When they are happy, we are happy. When they are sad, so are we.

I hope that the rest of his day was as good as the first few moments. I am already counting down the minutes until we get to go pick him up, because it is just way too quiet without him in the house!!

UPDATE: Parker had a GREAT day!! They said he didn't cry at all and had a lot of fun playing with the balls. He was so hungry when we picked him up...he finished the rest of his lunch in the car on the way home. He did not take a nap, but Ms. Marcy said he did lay down on his nap mat for a little while. He was so sweet when we picked him up and even gave Ms. Marcy a kiss goodbye when we left! I am already crossing my fingers that next Thursday is as successful as today!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Yes...she got in the drawer all by herself!!!