Saturday, June 25, 2011

Anniversary Getaway

Cory and I were so excited when my mom offered to keep the kids for a couple of days so we could have an anniversary getaway. After lots of researching, we decided we did not have enough time to fly anywhere and picked a really nice resort, La Cantera, in San Antonio to visit. I was not interested in doing any sight seeing while we were there. I just wanted to relax, sleep late, and eat some good Mexican food.

We stopped on our way down at the outlet malls in San Marcus and Cory let me have some retail therapy. It was wonderful to shop without feeling rushed. I felt like I was in heaven with both an Ann Taylor AND an Ann Taylor LOFT. I was convinced that it could not get any better and then I went into the COACH outlet to browse and found a really good deal on a great purse. What a great start to our trip!

We were both starving after so much shopping so we headed to La Fogata, a Mexican restaurant that we remembered eating at with my sister and brother-in-law when they lived in San Antonio. It was even better than we remembered and we left completely stuffed!

When we arrived at the resort, they informed us that they did not have any more of the rooms that we reserved but that they would upgrade us to a room with a pool view for a small fee. We were tired so we agreed, but when we got to our room and realized that our view was not of the pool but of a huge tree, we decided to complain. The manager was very nice and found us a better room with a courtyard view and without the upgrade fee, which made us very happy. We became even more happy when we realized that our new room was on the club level floor that included a free continental breakfast and happy hour that included free snacks and wine every evening. This kind of luck NEVER happens to us and we just kept waiting for someone to knock on our door and tell us that they had made a terrible mistake!!

The next day was absolutely perfect- an hour long massage at the spa, reading and relaxing by the pool for several hours and another great Mexican dinner. The best part was that there were no feeding schedules to keep, no tantrums, no diaper changes, no food to be cut into small bite-sized pieces. It was just me and Cory, free to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, without anyone interrupting our conversation.
We are back home now. Back to reality. Back to being mommy and daddy. It is amazing how just a few days away will refresh your mind and spirit enough to make the days with three little ones more enjoyable. (Don't get me wrong- I LOVE being a mommy but it is definitely the hardest and most exhausting job I have ever had.) Thanks again to my parents for being willing to watch our kids for a few days so that we could recharge and rejuvenate. We are so grateful for the time to get away together to celebrate our anniversary and reconnect as husband and wife. And hopefully next time we get away I will remember to get at least one picture of Cory and I together!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eight Months Old


You are 8 months old today! How on earth did that happen?!?! Here are a few of this month's highlights:

-You are getting bigger every day! You are still in size 4 diapers and 12 month clothes.

-You only have two teeth but I suspect that more are on their way by how much you are constantly drooling and chewing on things. Your favorite thing to chew on right now is my iPhone. You are mesmerized by it and grab for it all of the time. I'm sure it won't be long before you are playing games on it just like Parker and Eden.

-You LOVE the water! It does not matter if it is the bathtub or pool, you love to play and splash in the water.
-You are doing much better with your eating. We have introduced most of the fruits and you like them all. I usually give you a fruit for breakfast and a vegetable for dinner. I have also started giving you some "big people" food like bananas, green beans and even a few tastes of biscuit! I never even tried real food this early with Parker and Eden, but you are VERY interested in it and have done very well with really small bites. I don't think we will be eating baby food for too much longer, especially if you get a few more teeth soon.

-Your pincher grasp has gotten much better this month and you can now pick up Puffs and get them to your mouth pretty easily. You also love Baby MumMums for a snack.
-You are not crawling yet but are becoming more tolerant of being on your tummy. You can push yourself way up on your arms but have not figured out how to get up on your knees. You can also lean really far when you are sitting up. I think mobility is just around the corner, but it may still be another month before you put it all together and figure out how to crawl, which is just fine with me!!!

-You still sleep great at night (8 pm -7am) and horrible during the day. Last week, there were two days in a row that you only took a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. Some days you bless me with an hour long nap, but that is definitely not the norm. Apparently, I napped the same way when I was a baby and am getting paid back for the lack of naps I took for Granna!!!

-You still LOVE Parker and Eden! One of the best parts of my day is when we are driving and they make you laugh in the backseat. It is music to my ears!
I know I say this every month, but you are just the sweetest baby and I feel so blessed that you joined our family eight months ago. I can hardly remember what life was like without you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

13th Anniversary

Cory and I celebrate our 13th anniversary today! We started our morning with a very romantic breakfast at McDonald's, eating pancakes with the kids and then watching them play together on the playscape. We are going to get away for a few days this week to enjoy each other without the kids- to be husband/wife and not parents. We are both looking forward to some time to relax and enjoy each other's company without three little ones demanding our time and attention. It should be very nice and rejuvenating!
As I look back at our wedding picture, two words come to mind: young and naive. We were so young when we got married- I was barely 21 and Cory was almost 23. We were both still in college and had no idea what the real world was really like. We were just so happy to finally be married after dating for more than six years. We didn't have any money and our little one bedroom apartment was everything we could have ever wanted. When I think back, it really was some of our best times. We stayed in this naive, nothing-will-ever-happen-to-us mindset for several years. And then, one day, our wedding vows were finally put to the test when, within a two year span, we were faced with Cory being diagnosed with MS and losing our first baby girl.

In sickness and in health. In good times and bad.

How often do couples think about what these words really mean as they are standing in front of their family and friends on their wedding day? We sure didn't.

I wish I could take the hardships of MS away from Cory and I would give anything to have Katelyn back, but I know that our relationship would not be where it is today without these trials that we have faced together. We are definitely a stronger couple because of them.

The past 13 years have had a lot of ups and downs and I know there are many more still to come, but I can't imagine going through this life without Cory. He is still my best friend. He still makes me laugh. He still makes me feel beautiful. He always loves me even when I don't deserve it. I am a very lucky girl and am so thankful that he chose me to be his bride 13 years ago. Happy Anniversary, Cory! I love you!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

Parker, Eden and Lily are so lucky to have such a wonderful daddy! Whether it be watching a Rangers game, reading a book or swimming after dinner, the kids all love spending time with Cory! We are so thankful for everything he does for our family and hope he knows how much we love him!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A HUGE Milestone

Parker reached a huge milestone this week: he stopped sucking his thumb!!! My sweet boy started sucking his thumb when he was about 12 weeks old. Of course, we all thought it was so cute back then. But then he turned into a toddler and started rubbing his belly button while he sucked his thumb. Not as cute, but there was nothing we could do about it. Then he turned 3 and we started talking to him about how big boys don't suck their thumb. For at least 6 months before his 4th birthday, he would constantly tell us, "When I turn 4, I'm going to stop sucking my thumb." His fourth birthday came and went but the thumb sucking habit still remained.

I finally decided that this summer we were really going to work on getting rid of this habit. There are so many reasons why I wanted him to stop, but the biggest is for social reasons. Kids these days are so mean and I don't want him to ever be made fun of for something that I can help him overcome. I have had a couple of first graders in the past who sucked their thumb and it definitely made them stand out from the other kids. So I decided to create a plan and stick with it as long as it took to succeed!

A few weeks ago during a quick trip to Wal-Mart, Parker saw a green gun in the toy department that he REALLY wanted. We rarely buy the kids toys during shopping trips so I let him look at it but then he had to put it back. He talked about it the rest of the day and even told Cory about it when he got home from work. I decided that night that the green gun would be our incentive toy for when Parker was finally successful.

We created a sticker chart and told Parker that if he could go all day without sucking his thumb, he could earn a sticker for his chart. When he got 5 stickers in a row, he would get the green gun. The hard part was that if he got a few stickers and then one day decided to suck his thumb, he had to completely start over.

We started the Monday after I finished school. Parker woke up at 8:00 and by 8:15 he had his thumb in his mouth. Not a good start but I stuck to my guns and did not give him any more chances that day. The next 6 days were very much the same as the first. There were times that I would give him a gentle reminder and he would look at me and deliberately put his thumb in his mouth. I was so discouraged and assumed that we might be sending him to college sucking his thumb, but I did not give up!

Finally, the next Monday- one week after we had started our journey- Parker woke up and decided on his own that he was not going to suck his thumb. He was so self motivated and tried really hard all day. One of the hardest times for him was whenever we were in the car so I made sure to have a sucker for him during our car ride that day to help him and keep him distracted. That night at bedtime, he was SO proud of himself as he put his first sticker on his chart. He even made sure we prayed "for Jesus to help him not suck his thumb so he could get that green gun"! So sweet!

The next four days were a breeze for Parker. Not once did he ever seem tempted to suck his thumb. I was shocked by how easy it was once he made up his own mind to do it! Last night, after five long days, Parker got his green gun. He was so happy and we were so proud of him! He has played with it all day today. We decided to keep the sticker chart going in order to avoid a regression. He is now working toward a trip to Jumpin' Apes and I don't think he will have any trouble getting it! I am so glad to have this behind us and am ready to move on to our next milestone- potty training Eden!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Future's So Bright...

I Gotta Wear Shades!!!


Here is proof that Parker and Eden really do love each other and have fun playing together! I've said it before, but their personalities balance each other out perfectly. There are many times that they argue and irritate each other but, for the most part, they are best buddies. I pray it will stay this way throughout their childhood and I am anxious to see how Lily fits into the mix. Only time will tell.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me! (and Aunt Emily!)

Yesterday I celebrated my 34th birthday! We started the day by driving to Aledo for Lizzie and Emma's 3rd birthday party. They had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party complete with a water slide. Parker could not wait to get on it but would not do it without Eden. Unfortunately, Eden wanted nothing to do with it so, being the mean mommy that I am, I pushed her down the small part of the slide kicking and screaming (sorry Eden!) so that Parker would finally get in. It worked and he had a blast going up and down the slide over and over again.
Eden was not happy with me, but who could blame her?!?! She decided to spend her time swinging, playing on the swing set and hanging out with Nonni- Lizzie and Emma's grandma. She became attached to her and didn't leave her side the entire party.
One of Parker's favorite parts of the party was the Minnie Mouse pinata. He waited so patiently for his turn to hit and then he let her have it! Eden didn't want to hit but was first in line to grab the candy!
We are so glad that we were able to go and help Lizzie and Emma celebrate on their special day!
After we got home, Emily, Jon and the girls came over to celebrate our birthday. The rest of our family was on vacation so we had to celebrate by ourselves this year. We were both kind of bummed about everyone being gone but Cory and Jon did a great job of making us feel special with our very own Justin Beiber themed party, complete with Justin Beiber plates, napkins, and banners! After pizza and swimming, we also enjoyed a very yummy cake. I am so thankful for Cory, Parker, Eden and Lily for making me feel so special on my birthday and I am looking forward to another year of making memories with them.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our Newest Little "Fish"

The water was finally warm enough today for Lily to have her first dip in the pool and she absolutely loved it! She has always enjoyed her baths so I guess to her this was just like a really big bathtub with cold water! She looked so cute in her little swimsuit and I must say that little would be an understatement! I bought her a size 12 month swimsuit several months ago thinking that she would only be 7-8 months old during swim season. Bless her heart! Her thighs were practically oozing out of the swimsuit and I'm pretty sure all circulation was cut off by the end of her swimming experience! Not to mention the fact that I could barely get the straps to go over her arms. It's a good thing fat rolls are cute on babies! Needless to say, I am now in the market for a new, roomier swimsuit for Lily's next time in the pool!

We bought Lily a fun, shaded floating device and I'm pretty sure she felt like a princess in it! She kicked back and relaxed like she had not a care in the world.

Eden's jealousy was in full force once again today. She just could not understand why I would not let her sit in Lily's floatie. She spent most of our swim crying and begging me to let her "sit in there".

Lily eventually got tired of sitting in her floatie but loved kicking, splashing, and jumping in the water with Granna and Granstan. After watching Lily's reaction to the water this afternoon, I definitely think we have another "fish" on our hands!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer's Here!

Today was the last day of school!! I am so excited about this summer and spending lots of time with the kids! It will be so nice for them to get to sleep in, even if that means only sleeping until 7:30 or 8. I'm looking forward to summer playdates, fun library programs, and most of all, watching the kids swim.

We got in Granstan and Granna's pool for the first time this past Memorial Day weekend and, although the water is still way too cold for me, all four of the kids loved it! Their lips were blue and their teeth were chattering by the end, but they refused to get out!

Last year when the swimming season started, Parker was very timid and it took him a while to warm up to the water. This year, he jumped in and didn't look back. Even Eden got right in without any hesitations! I am anxious for their swimming lessons to start next week and can't wait to see what kind of progress they will make with Miss Jenny.

Welcome summer! We are glad you are finally here!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cubbies Awards

Tonight was Parker's Cubbies Awards and he got a participation trophy for playing this season. He had a great season and learned a lot about baseball, including how to hit the ball and basic rules of the game. His coach told us that he is ready for t-ball but because of his age he may have to play another season of Cubbies. We will see when the fall season starts what they decide. Regardless, he had fun and that is really all that matters at this age!