Saturday, November 28, 2009

Feeding the Birds

Here is a video of Parker and Eden feeding the birds at the zoo today.

You can see that Parker was teasing the birds. As soon as they got close, he would move the stick away.

Eden didn't know what to think at first, but if you listen closely, you will hear her laughing at the birds as they eat the seeds on our stick.

A Rare Treat

Ever since Cory graduated from optometry school eight years ago, he has had to work Saturdays. When he worked at Wal-Mart, he worked 8-5 and only took a few Saturdays off a year. When he started working at his current job, his hours were changed to 9-1. Even though I wish he didn't have to work at all on the weekends, it is great that he is now home in enough time to spend the afternoon with me and the kids.

Today Parker, Eden and I got a rare treat...Cory took the day off!!! We decided to take the kids to the zoo. Parker has been once before, but this was Eden's first trip to see the animals. We had a great time- the weather was perfect and we were surprised at how small the crowds were for a holiday weekend.

Because the weather was so nice, all of the animals were out and about. We saw rhinos, elephants, kangaroos and flamingos, just to name a few.

Just like the last time we went to the zoo, our favorite part was feeding the birds. For one dollar, you can buy a stick covered with seeds. The birds will land on the sticks and eat the seeds. Eden wasn't sure what to think at first, but after a few minutes she thought it was quite funny. She didn't try to touch the birds but would laugh when they would land on my stick.
Parker would hold his stick out to the birds, but as soon as they would get close he would pull it away. He was a lot of fun to watch.

We had a great time hanging out with our daddy all day today and although they don't happen very often, we are already looking forward to the next Saturday he gets to have off.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for this year- a wonderful husband, 2 healthy kids, a loving family, a beautiful home, a job that I enjoy going to every day...the list could go on and on.

I hope that at no time during the next year I will start to take any of these things for granted. I am one lucky girl!

We spent a very laid back afternoon at my parent's house with my parents and younger sister. We ate way too much food and I don't regret one single bite, not even the last few that sent me way over the top and made me wish that I was still wearing my maternity jeans!

We hope that you and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Eden's Birth Story

With Eden's birthday weekend wrapping up, I wanted to take the time to write down the story of her birth. I was not blogging when she was born, and therefore never documented the wonderful day that she entered the world. I'm afraid that if I wait for another year to pass, I will have forgotten some of the details of that day and I want to one day be able to share with her everything I remember about November 20, 2008.

Eden's original due date was November 29th, two days after Thanksgiving. I really didn't want to be in the hospital over the holiday, so my OB and I had discussed inducing the Monday before Thanksgiving. When I went in for my weekly OB appointment on November 19th, my doctor told me that she was not able to get me on the schedule for that Monday, but went ahead and put me on the schedule for my due date. I was so disappointed when I heard this because almost everyone in my family was going to be out of town that day: my parents, Cory's parents and my sister. I was almost in tears because there would be no one there to welcome Eden into the world. I think my OB could tell how upset I was and, being the awesome doctor that she is, she offered to strip my membranes. She told me that 50% of woman go into labor within 12 hours of having their membranes stripped. At that point, I was ready to try anything and agreed that we should give it a try. An added bonus was that my OB was on call the next day, so if it worked, she would be the one to deliver me.

I went home and began waiting for the contractions to start. Cory was at an optometry continuing education dinner, so I went over to my parent's house for dinner. We ate contractions. I made a salad to take to the eye clinic's fall luncheon the next contractions. I took Parker home and put him in contractions. I got in bed and started watching contractions. I had finally convinced myself that I was going to be in the 50% of women who don't go into labor, when low and behold, at 10 o'clock that night, I had my first real contraction. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks, and I knew that this one was different. Even though I knew this was a real contraction, I didn't want to get my hopes up. We had already driven to the hospital the week before just to be sent home with false labor.

Cory got home from his dinner around 11 o'clock and we went to bed to try to get a little sleep. I was still having contractions anywhere from 10-15 minutes apart. By 3 o'clock in the morning, my contractions had become 5-6 minutes apart and they were all in my back, which was exactly how my contractions had been when I went into labor with Parker. Because of the hour drive to the hospital, we decided to leave around 3 am, but not before I showered and did my hair and makeup!

When we got to the hospital, they hooked me up to the monitors and started tracking my contractions. At this point I was dilated to about 3 cm. After an hour of monitoring, my nurse came in and told me that they were not seeing a lot of contractions on the monitor and that they might send me home again. I was shocked because I had been having contractions the whole time I was there. (We decided later that the reason they weren't seeing them is because my contractions were all in my back and they probably weren't being picked up on the monitor that was hooked up to my belly.) My nurse checked me again and luckily I had made a little bit of progress, so they let me stay. I was so excited because I knew that we would soon meet our baby girl.

My OB came in around 8am and said she wanted to go ahead and break my water. I begged her to wait until after my epidural to do that. When I delivered Parker, they broke my water first and by the time they could get the anesthesiologist to my room, I had dilated to 9 1/2 cm. She agreed with me, and soon I was resting comfortably with an epidural.

My doctor broke my water around 10am when I was dilated to about 4-5cm. She then left me to rest for a while. Cory and I relaxed and watched The Price is Right. I was so excited that I was going to get to watch Jeopardy at 11am. (It is my favorite game show but with two kids, I rarely get to watch it.) My nurse came back in right as Jeopardy was about to start to check me again and much to my surprise, I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. So much for watching Jeopardy! :-)

They called for my OB and had me start pushing. I was really anxious about this because with Parker, I pushed almost 2 hours with lots and lots of back and hip pain and I wasn't sure I was ready to go through that again. I was shocked when at 11:36am, after only 4 contractions and about 5 minutes of pushing, Eden Catherine entered the world and took her first breath.

Cory and I were amazed at how much she looked like Parker. I think that was one of the first things that I said after I saw her. Cory got to cut her umbilical cord and they got her all cleaned up so I could hold her. She weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz, which was much smaller than I had thought she would be since I gained a whopping 35 pounds during my pregnancy!

If I had to pick one word to describe Eden's delivery, it would be the same word I use to describe Eden's personality: EASY! I told Cory after they gave me my epidural that if they had someone there giving me a manicure, I would have felt like I was at the spa! The delivery was so nice and relaxed- my nurses were incredible, my OB got to deliver me and everything went so quickly with minimal pain.

The only bump in the road that day happened shortly after Eden was born and my doctor didn't ever really understand why. I was holding Eden when I started to feel light headed. I told the nurse, who was luckily standing close by, that I needed her to take the baby and then I passed out. They laid me down and gave me some meds to help bring my blood pressure back up because it had dropped suddenly.

A couple of hours later when they were about to transfer me to my postpartum room, I passed out again. Cory had walked down to the new room to take my suitcase and the rest of our stuff and my nurse had gotten me out of bed to go to the bathroom. As soon as I got up, I told her that I felt lightheaded again. Sure enough, I passed out again but this time my nurse had to call in backup nurses to help her get me in a wheelchair. When Cory came back in the room, he said I was surrounded by about 6 nurses and they were giving me smelling salts to try and get me to wake up. After a few more hours of rest and monitoring, I was finally able to be transferred to my new room.

After that, everything was smooth sailing! I had the best nurses during my entire hospital stay and two days later, we left the hospital with our baby girl. Eden's delivery was a great birth experience and I truly believe that God made Parker's delivery so difficult so that I could appreciate how easy Eden's delivery was.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Celebrating our Birthday Girl

I always get excited when we get to hold one of our kid's birthday parties on their actual birthday. I don't know what it is about blowing out candles, eating cake, and opening presents on the actual day that seems to make it better for me, but it just does. It's one of my many quirks!

When I found out that Eden's birthday was on Friday this year, I assumed we would have her party on Saturday or Sunday. Not perfect in my mind, but it would be fine. Due to several family conflicts, both of those days ended up not working out, so I decided to have a Friday night party instead.

I wasn't sure how I was going to like having a Friday night party, but I have to tell you, it was one of my most favorite parties yet. I would do it again in a heartbeat and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about it.

It was very laid back and because we were going up against bedtimes, it didn't linger on and on or last too long. Plus, now it is over and I have the whole weekend to do whatever I want. (And so do all of our guests!)
Eden looked so cute in her birthday outfit! She even kept her bow on for the majority of the evening, which shocked everyone.After eating pizza for dinner, we opened Eden's presents. Cory and I gave her her very first doll- Baby Stella. She also got a highchair and a feeding set for her new doll. After presents, we let Eden eat her cake. I spent the entire morning making her cake. I don't know if you can tell, but I tried to copy the design from the napkin when decorating the cake. It didn't turn out as cute as I had hoped, but it tasted good and in the end, that's really all that matters!
Eden didn't really know what to think when we gave her her own cake. It took her a minute to figure it out, but as you can see she did a pretty good job destroying it.

I am still having a hard time believing that Eden is now a year old. This past year has flown by faster than I could have ever imagined. Thanks again to all of our family who came to celebrate her birthday with her and made her feel special tonight. Eden is very lucky to have so many people in her life that love her so much!
Eden with Grandma and Papa Eden and Granna
Eden and Grandaddy

Happy 1st Birthday, Eden!

To our beautiful Eden:

From the moment we saw you, it was love at first sight! Daddy and I were amazed at how much you looked like your brother.
Your easy going personality was evident right from the start. You rarely cried and even slept through the night at 7 weeks old.

We think back to before you were born and can't remember our lives without you.

Throughout the past year, you've taught us about all things girly (bows, matching outfits, leggings) and made us realize just how fun (and pricey) it is to go shopping for little girls!

Your funny personality has earned you the nickname Miss Priss and you often live up to that name.You amazed us by how quickly you reached all of your milestones this past year...sitting up by 4 1/2 months, crawling by 7 1/2 months and walking the day you turned 11 months. Although you are easy going like your daddy, you definitely have a stubborn streak just like your mommy, especially when it comes to eating. You insist on being in control of anything and everything that goes into your mouth.
Your smile is infectious and warms our hearts even on our worst days!
Some of our favorite things are the way you shower us with your "kisses" and when you put your head on our shoulder for a quick snuggle.

You are very independent and play well on your own. You can keep yourself entertained for quite some time.

Unfortunately, your independence does not include cleaning up after yourself! You can make messes faster than mommy can clean them up!
You have also earned the nickname The Ninja. You are very quiet and quick and can get into trouble before we even know you are out of the room. I have often thought about buying bells to put on your shoes just so I can keep track of where you are in the house!
You have been such a blessing to us this past year and we can not imagine our family without you!
As we celebrate you turning one today, we are thankful for the memories you have given us and look forward to what lies ahead. We are proud to be your parents and love you so much it hurts.
Happy Birthday, sweet Eden!

We love you and hope that you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mayorling Sofia Gomez

Cory and I have recently decided to sponsor a little girl from Nicaragua through Compassion International. It is something that I have wanted to do for a while now, but never followed through on.

Last week, a blogger "friend" made a trip to El Salvador to meet the little girl that her family sponsors. Because of her posts, I became inspired and finally followed through on a sponsorship.

There are so many children in underdeveloped countries waiting to be sponsored, so it was very hard to decide how to choose just one. After looking at several children, I decided to search for a child that was born on September 30th, which is the day our sweet Katelyn was born. I was hoping to find a younger child, but really didn't care how old they were, as long as the shared a birthday with her. Little did I know that the only match that came up after searching was a beautiful little girl whose birthday was September 30, 2005. Her name is Mayorling and she is the exact age that Katelyn would have been. She has been on the sponsor waiting list for over 6 months. What a blessing it is that we are going to be able to help this little girl and her family!

By sponsoring Mayorling, we will be able to help with her daily needs such as food and clothing, medical needs, and educational needs.

We will get to correspond with Mayorling through letters, and she will even write us 3 times a year. I can't wait until Parker and Eden get older and will be able to write their own letters to her, too!

September 30th is such a hard day for our family every year. It is hard to think about what Katelyn would have looked like or what kind of personality she would have had. Although nothing will ever take away of the void that Katelyn left behind, it will be nice to know that we can celebrate with another little girl in another part of the world on what has become a very memorable day in our lives.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pooper Scooper

In addition to being the official dog feeder in our house, Parker is now the official pooper scooper, too. He has been obsessed the past few weeks with making sure our yard is free of any dog poop. Every day we have to go outside and check our yard for any new droppings that need to be removed. I wish that I could bottle up this enthusiasm for helping out and open it again in ten years when doing chores will not be quite as exciting!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Simple Things in Life

It's the simple things in life that make me smile.

It's the simple things that make me remember how much I love being a mommy.

It's the simple things that make me want to slow down and just savor every moment with my kids, because I know it is going to pass way too quickly.

Today after their snack, Parker and Eden discovered brown paper bags. They spent the next 15 minutes walking around the house shaking their bags. Eden followed Parker around the house and copied everything she saw him doing.

Oh, to find such joy in something as simple as a brown paper bag!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's a Small World

The last year that I taught first grade in Crowley, I had the best group of students ever. They were the kind of students that you wish you could teach every year and their parents were equally as wonderful. I still think about them all of the time.

Two of those students were McKenna and Eden. They were the best of friends and I fell in love with them instantly. They were the type of students that you think, "If I ever have a daughter, I hope that she will be just like them."

Last year when we found out that we were expecting a little girl, the quest for the perfect name began. My first suggestion was McKenna, but Cory and I couldn't agree on how to spell it. He wanted to spell it Mackenna, but I wanted to stick with McKenna, which was the way that my former student had spelled it.

After we couldn't agree on McKenna, I then suggested Eden, which we obviously agreed on. Our sweet daughter has so far lived up to her namesake.

Fast forward to today...

This morning I went on a field trip with my school to a pumpkin patch. As we were standing around waiting for the program to start, I saw a mother and her daughter from the other school that was there walk by. I looked at them and then I looked again. I turned to the teacher next to me and said, "I think that is one of my previous first grade students." Sure enough, they recognized me too and I was soon reintroduced to McKenna, who is now a beautiful 12 year old. It was so good to see her and visit with her mom. I also found out that they still keep in touch with Eden and her family.

It is such a small world.

Although I still think about McKenna and Eden all of the time, I never in a million years thought I would ever see them again. They will probably never know what an impact they made on my life and I hope that one day my own children will touch someone's life the way that McKenna, Eden and their families touched mine.

Better Late Than Never

Today I went on a field trip with my school to a pumpkin patch. It was their last day of field trips this season and they were going to throw away any pumpkin that did not get taken home with the students. Most of the students got to take home at least 2 pumpkins, and the teachers got to take some home as well. Not wanting any pumpkin to go through the fall season without fulfilling its pumpkin destiny, I picked two pumpkins and took them home to Parker and Eden.

During Halloween, time got away from us and we never got a chance to paint or carve a pumpkin. I decided today that tonight after dinner we would let Parker paint his pumpkin. He enjoyed it but only for about 5 minutes. Maybe next year, it will hold his attention a little but longer!

Tomorrow we may get brave and carve his pumpkin. Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite fall snacks and they are so much more healthy than all of the kids Halloween candy that I am still eating!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Am SO Not a Country Girl

Yesterday we were out in the backyard playing and Cory found this by our brick fence:

He thought at first it was just a garden snake but then it started being very aggressive and lunging toward his shoe. He looked closer and realized that it was a baby rattlesnake. Apparently baby rattlesnakes are not born with their rattles and that is why we could see his tail moving but could not hear it.

Before we realized that it was a rattlesnake we had called Parker over to look at it. Once we figured out what it was, we got him away pretty quickly. We talked to him about how he is never to pick up a snake and to always come and get us if he sees one.

Cory disposed of the snake and I am just praying that the mommy snake is not also living in our backyard. I seriously laid awake thinking about it last night. I grew up free of snakes and other critters in my backyard and the thought of them creeping and crawling around in our grass really grosses me out.

I am SO not a country girl.