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Free Christmas cards!

Saturday, November 20, 2010
    Shutterfly is running a great promotion right now! If you blog about this promotion, you get 50 free Holiday Cards! I'll be honest, I was considering not doing Christmas cards this year, money is just a little too tight. But, who can resist FREE!

    And, I think Shutterfly is great. A few years ago we took a trip to Disneyland and since Adeline was not even 3 yet, I wanted to make sure she remembered the highlights of the trip. So, I made a photobook and just last night, Lylah went and got it and we all looked at it for at least 10 minutes. Lylah was only 6 months old at the time, but she loves seeing herself at Disney! I have also made photo calendars for the grandparents for gifts and just last week I printed a few pictures through the Shutterfly site, but then picked them up at my local Target. Seriously, Shutterfly is the best!

    Go blog about them - 50 free cards is in it for you! And, if you would like a card from us, let me know!

    So Very Thankful

    Thursday, November 26, 2009
      The girls at Halloween - pretty princesses.

      It's been 6 months since I posted last!!! So, so sorry about that! I hope to get back into posting soon, but I've said that before, haven't I??

      Well, I did want to post today, Thanksgiving, because we all need to remind ourselves of what we are and should be thankful for. A lot has happened in our lives since May, and the most important thing I am thankful for is God's provision in our lives. Even in really hard times, He is always right here with us promising to never leave or forsake us. Seriously, I can't imagine not being able to lean upon that!

      So, since May we have celebrated birthdays, gone on vacation, survived a few illnesses (nothing serious), had family visit us in Arizona, changed churches, started a new school year (for Jeff), spent many days at the park and enjoyed some great family time. We also have learned a ton about ourselves and our Lord through the loss of two babies. I could go on and on about the things I have learned, and am still learning every day through these experiences. I know that people tend to hold onto their "We're Expecting!" announcements til after the first trimester, just to make sure everything is "okay". With Adeline and Lylah, we did just that. Only a small handful of people knew we were pregnant before 10 or 12 weeks. But, this fall I have completely changed my perspective. As conservative, followers of Christ, we say that we believe that a baby is a baby from the moment of conception. But, then we treat miscarriage as something that is so common, it isn't really a big deal. Well, I know that if one of my babies (Adeline or Lylah) were sick or in some sort of danger, I would want everyone I know (and don't know for that matter) praying for them. So, why wouldn't I ask the same for that sweet baby that may only be 4 or 5 or 6 weeks old in my belly? I should ask! And, I am...

      We are expecting, again! It has been quite a rollercoaster and we know that it may not be over, but we would really appreciate your prayers for our precious little baby, that the Lord would see fit to allow him/her to make it to full-term. May He get all the glory for this baby's life, inside and outside of the womb. (By the way, I am due July 15th.)

      And lastly, a list of a few other things I am thankful for today:

      *My wonderful, patient, caring husband of almost 9 years!
      *Our sweet girls.
      *Our families who are very, very far away.
      *Our church family.
      *Pumpkin pie (it is my favorite food)!
      *Morning/All day sickness (I will never complain again about it - Praise God that I am feeling bad)!
      *The dishwasher.

      There are so many more, but this is probably long enough. Thank you for reading and praying.


      Saturday, May 30, 2009
        Fun Easter egg hunt!

        The girls and I were pretty sick the week before Easter, so we stayed at home and colored eggs in our pajamas.

        The best part of Easter this year was seeing Adeline begin to really understand why we celebrate it. We read her little Bible every day (sometimes we read two or three stories each day) and she definitely retains every single thing we read. So, when Easter Sunday came around, Adeline seemed to really get why we go to church at all, and what Jesus did for us. Since then Adeline has asked on more than one Sunday if we are celebrating Easter again. She can't wait until Easter 2010!

        Our ballerina?

          I mentioned Adeline's ballet class in an earlier post, but never put pix up. Her class is now over and I think she enjoyed it. It didn't seem to hold her attention like I thought it would though. We may try dance class again later, but she told me that this summer she would like to take an art class. So, beginning this week she will be taking two classes at the rec center, one where she gets to just run around and play with other kids and the other is called "Messy Art" - should be interesting.

          Saturday night dinner

            9 months old

            Saturday, April 04, 2009
              Poor second child, Lylah. I haven't posted new pictures of her in months! She is already 9 months old which is so hard to believe. Time definitely goes by much faster with baby number 2. A few things she is up to these days:
              • She isn't crawling on all fours yet but definitely has the army crawl down and is amazingly fast at rolling across the room. I guess when you can roll, why crawl?
              • She is eating lots of different foods and gets so stinkin' excited when she sees me coming with her bowl and spoon. She loves eating finger foods like banana, cheese and Gerber puffs (those things are amazing)!
              • She got her 2 bottom front teeth about a month ago. She was really fussy for about a week before, and just not acting herself. As soon as those teeth broke through, she was back to being happy Lylah again.
              • Adeline hung the moon in Lylah's eyes. Seriously, Adeline can just look at her and smile and Lylah cracks up laughing. It's so sweet to watch (for now)!
              • We seem to get little colds every 6 weeks or so in our house and the girls pass it around (Jeff always seems to avoid getting it!). Back in January, Lylah was stuffy as usual, but she also had some drainage from her ear. I took her in to the doc and she had an ear infection. Well, it didn't go away with Amoxicillin and when I took her back, she had a double ear infection. So, the doc prescribed a stronger antibiotic and some drops and cultured her ear. Well, apparently, she had a VERY rare bacteria in both ears and the ENT we took her to wanted to put tubes in immediately. He told us that he had only seen a case like hers one other time and he even came in at 6am on his day off to do the surgery because he felt like it was pretty urgent. I didn't look up the bacteria online at the time because I tend to read too much and get freaked out about all of the crazy possibilities out there, but I decided to the other day because I heard them use the term on HOUSE, M.D. of all things! That freaked me out, for sure! Anyway, I wish I hadn't looked it up now, but I will just say that she seems fine and hopefully the tubes will prevent anything weird like that happening again. The ENT is following her pretty closely, so we are very thankful for great doctors that didn't pass it off as just another run of the mill ear infection.
              • I took her for her 9 month check up this week and she is now in the 30% percentile for weight and about the 50% for height and head circumference. The doctor didn't seem too concerned about her weight, but since she hasn't gained anything in a few months, I am trying to feed her more and we'll go back in a month to make sure she's put on a pound or two.
              • She is s-t-r-o-n-g! I'm sure that most moms say this, and maybe she isn't stronger than other babies, but man, sometimes I can't believe what a grip she has. If she gets a hold of the skin on your arm or your nose - watch out! It hurts!!! I'm pretty sure she could already take Adeline down if she wanted to :) I've already had to pry her little hands from Adeline's hair on more than a few occasions.
              • Lylah is a HAPPY BABY! She is just so sweet and will give [almost] anyone a great big smile with her little nose crinkled up. I really sometime cannot believe how the Lord has blessed us with 2 amazing little girls. Grace, grace, grace!
              I love having pictures of the girls in the same situation (and, in this case, even the same sleeper). When I walked into Lylah's room this day, I could see so much of Adeline in her face and I immediately remembered taking a picture of Adeline getting busted playing with the crib bumper as well. Little did I know that both pictures were taken at exactly 7 1/2 months old. They have their differences, but Lylah is beginning to take after her big sister more and more every day.

              Look at those baby blues.

              Lylah isn't pulling up yet, but she loves it when we stand her up in her crib.

              So, I know this video is a little revealing (and turned the wrong way), but I wanted to share Lylah cracking herself up. I get soaked almost every night at bath time, but I can't bring myself to make her stop splashing, she's having too much fun. Also, at the end of the video, you can see the lovely, huge, fluorescent orange ear plugs we have to put in her ears since getting the tubes in. It's a pain, but she is very patient with me putting them in, thank goodness.

              Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks...

                One thing that is so much fun about living in Phoenix, is MLB spring training season. We live within 30 minutes of quite a few fields and you can buy relatively cheap "lawn" tickets for games. Absolutely perfect for families with little ones who could care less about the game, but love picnics! So, we went to two games in March, both on beautiful, 75 degree and sunny days. I'm sure I won't appreciate that same sun in about a month, but for right now, it's lovely to live in Phoenix!

                I love baby feet pictures, don't you?

                Adeline is into making silly faces for the camera these days. We are sitting at about right-center field cheering on the Cubs!

                I can't decide if this picture is cool or a little scary.

                This picture cracks Jeff up. Adeline was trying so hard to get Baba to read the sign to her, and he just wanted to take a picture of her breaking the rules.

                Again, silly face!


                Saturday, March 21, 2009
                  Yes, I know I haven't posted pictures in a LONG time. For the three of you who check in periodically, so sorry about that. I will give you two of my main excuses - 1. Our computer broke. Well, it is still usable but I have to hold the screen upright with one hand and type with the other if I want to use it - not easy to do. 2. Our lovely 3 year old decided to "drop" our camera on the hard tile floor. We finally broke down and bought another one, but we were without a camera for a while.

                  Anyway, we had a little picnic at a local park tonight and I really wanted to share a picture of the girls! Hopefully, I'll start blogging again soon, but I've said that before... Maybe if I get a bunch of comments (and a new computer), it will motivate me to update more! (I know, shameless!)

                  Not Me! Monday

                  Monday, February 23, 2009

                    Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

                    Yes, I realize that I am months behind in pictures for the blog, but this is more fun for me... So, here it goes...

                    Jeff and I did not go to the dentist last week for the first time in... umm.... 5 years! And, we certainly have not been back multiple times over the past week because, well... we haven't been in 5 years!

                    On that note, I would never, ever put Adeline to bed without brushing her teeth because I knew if I took 2 more minutes to put her down, I would miss the first few minutes of Grey's Anatomy. (Don't worry, I really did brush them the next morning!)

                    And, because I am not addicted to any TV shows other than Grey's, I did not spend 28 minutes of precious nap time watching Reality Steve this week talk about what may or may not happen on the Bachelor. (I'm not even going to link him, I don't want to be a bad influence and encourage you in any way to waste your 28 minutes as well.)

                    As we were pulling out of our driveway yesterday to go to church, Jeff and I most certainly did not hear Adeline say "But you forgot to buckle me in!" We are such responsible parents, we would never, ever forget something like that. (And, no, I'm not going to tell you which parent forgot!)

                    I did not spend $6 at Costco this week buying the book Twilight just because I have heard so many people talk about the series. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like it, but I was just too curious to put it back down.

                    I did not spend almost 3 hours talking to my great friend, Amie, this week and I absolutely do not miss her a whole bunch!!!

                    And, finally, I did not take my little girl to the dance shop this week and buy her her first ballet shoes and leotard for ballet class I enrolled her in. (First class this Wednesday - I promise to post pictures! It should be interesting.)

                    The dreaded doctor's office

                    Saturday, February 07, 2009
                      The day was upon me... Monday I had to take both girls to the doctor - Adeline for her 3 year well visit and Lylah for a follow-up visit for an ear infection and a flu shot. I knew that Adeline would probably have to get at least one shot as well, so I was not looking forward to this appointment in the least! Which takes me back to the last time this scenario occurred...

                      About 4 months ago, I took Lylah in for her 3 month well visit, which of course included a number of immunizations. Now, I hate to see my babies upset, but I don't freak out when they cry after getting a shot. I know it hurts them, but I know it is for their own good. So, I comfort them as best I can and before we can even get all their clothes back on, they are fine - like it didn't even happen. However, I should not have expected my 3 year old to react the same way.

                      To put it in perspective, Adeline HATES it when Lylah cries! Sometimes she yells at her to stop, sometimes she tries to cover her mouth, and then there are the sweet moments when she will sing a song for her or give her a toy to attempt to calm her down.

                      Back to the doctor... Adeline was sitting quietly in a chair, eating an extremely healthy and nutritious snack pretzels and being the sweet, obedient, little girl that she is! I thought to myself, "okay, Adeline is fine so I can comfort Lylah when this onslaught of shots begins." As the sweet, unsuspecting nurse gave Lylah her first of four shots, Lylah cried out in pain (who wouldn't?). I stroked her arm and kept telling her that it was okay and it would be over soon. BUT, before I knew it, I hear Adeline yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" as she proceeds to jump down from her chair and head for the exam table. At that point I realize that Adeline needs to be soothed and calmed down much more than Lylah needs me stroking her arm. So, I walk around the nurse to get to Adeline and not a moment too soon because my lovely, obedient, patient and calm 3 year old is attempting to claw her way onto the table so she can swipe the remaining needles away from the nurse (who was a little surprised at the whole ordeal). The gesture was sweet, but it was a little crazy for a few moments as I tried to console Adeline and watched from across the room as Lylah screamed with each additional prick to her little, chubby legs. The entire episode only lasted a few moments, but I do not wish to relive those moments ever again.

                      Which brings me back to this week. Not only am I taking both girls back to the doctor, but this time, I'm pretty sure Adeline will have to get a shot as well. What a difference a year makes! 2 year olds may have an idea of what is coming, but you can kind of talk around the whole shot thing until that precise moment is upon you. And then, it's over before they know it and a sucker or a sticker makes it all better. A 3 year old, however, is not so easily distracted. As soon as we walk into the office, she knows what is about to happen and I notice her increased breathing and little hands shaking a little bit with nervousness. Poor girl! However, things went remarkably smooth! Adeline got her shot first, cried for less than a minute and was fine. Lylah got hers, cried for just a few minutes and was fine. The nurse came in with bracelets and suckers for Adeline and a little plastic octopus for Lylah and all was right with the world. Crisis averted! But, next year, I am scheduling the appointment so Jeff can at least come along. He shouldn't have to miss out on all of these wonderful memories!

                      On a different doctor's office note - what would you do in this situation?

                      For some reason, our doctor was extremely busy this week and so we had to wait an unusually long time in the waiting room. This waiting room is small, but it is still split in 2 different sections, one for healthy kids and one for the sick. We are sitting in the healthy section, enjoying a little Sleeping Beauty on the TV screens hung on the wall and 2 little boys come in with... well, I think she might have been the grandmother. They were about 4 and 6 years old and were instantly taken with Lylah. As the grandmother signed them in at the front desk, they immediately plopped down in front of Lylah's car seat and proceeded to touch her toys, pull her pacifier out of her mouth and hold her hands. I was so uncomfortable with this and was trying nicely to ask the boys not to touch her toys or her hands or her face. I'm thinking "does this lady not see what her boys are doing?" She finally turned around and told the boys to give the baby some space. What does that mean? In their little minds, it just meant to back up about 2 inches. Anyway, this continued even as the grandmother came and sat down (practically in my lap, I might add. Apparently, their definition of personal space is much different than our family's). The kicker was as soon as the grandmother sat down, she pulled out a tissue from her pocket, held it up to the older boy's nose and said "blow"! WHAT?!?!?!? Are you kidding me? I think I even laughed out loud a little bit because I could not believe what was happening. I just wanted to scream "get your sick kids away from my baby!!!!" But, I didn't. Should I have said more? What would you do?

                      By the way, I have never been so happy to see someone who came in after me get called back to see the doctor first.

                      Not Me! Monday

                      Sunday, February 01, 2009

                        Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

                        I did not spend way too much time this week working on TAXES! And it's not even April yet. Ughhhh!

                        I absolutely love cutting my girls' fingernails, so I most certainly did not avoid cutting Lylah's nails, even though I knew they were getting long. And, I did not wake up the next morning to see a big scratch across her cheek due to the fingernails that I did not put off trimming. I would never do that, I'm super mom!

                        I did not absolutely freak out because Adeline accidentally let one of her birthday balloons loose in the backyard and I was not ultra-paranoid that some poor animal or child would find said balloon and choke itself. I am not a paranoid person at all and I never conjure up crazy, irrational scenarios in my head.

                        Even though I haven't bought diapers for Adeline for at least six months, I did not completely forget which child I was buying diapers for and buy size 4s for Lylah. This did not happen four days ago and Lylah is definitely not still wearing size 4 diapers even though they are way too big.

                        Speaking of Lylah, I did not bring out the high chair this week and she did not get to try lots of new solid foods. Not my baby, she cannot be 7 months old already!

                        I know that I am probably the only person who would ever do this, but I most certainly did not eat an entire bag of peanut butter m&ms this week! And, of course, I offered the m&ms to everyone in my family, I would never think about hoarding an entire bag! Not me!

                        On a fun note, I did not go shopping this weekend and would have never even considered buying a cute, new coat and boots for myself. And, it does not make me sad at all that we live in the stinkin' desert where I can't even enjoy my cute, new coat because it cannot already be in the 80's outside!

                        A friend of ours offered to take some family pictures for us this week! I was not excited at all about the potential of free pictures and I definitely did not go out and make sure we all had outfits that matched. Unfortunately, the photo shoot cannot be summarized perfectly by this...

                        And, finally... I did not celebrate my baby girl's 3rd birthday this week! There is no way she can be that old!!!!!

                        Adeline is 3 - Part 3

                        Saturday, January 31, 2009
                          Day one of Adeline's birthday weekend:

                          We went to the "bounce place"!! This is, by far, Adeline's favorite place to go so we invited her friends, Isaac and Dallas and spent Friday morning bouncing away. It was perfect, we were the only ones in the entire room so we had all the inflatables to ourselves! The kids loved it!

                          The first time we went to Bounce U, we had to help Adeline climb up everything and go with her down the big slides. This time - she was all on her own!

                          I shouldn't admit this, but I totally started crying watching Adeline climb up these stairs with her little mat in her hand. It was just hitting me hard that she is growing up so fast. I also cried singing happy birthday to her on the morning of her birthday. I'm such a girl!

                          They had a TV on in the snack room and the kids did not take their eyes off of it.

                          Lylah, as usual, just hanging out. You know we have babies that spit up A LOT, so where the baby is, there is always a cloth diaper in hand, or in the car as the case may be.

                          Cute kiddos!

                          I love sweet Isaac's face in this picture (on the left)!
                          "Can I cut in??"

                          Adeline is 3 - Part 2

                          Sunday, January 25, 2009
                            It's hard to believe that 3 years ago tonight was our last evening as a couple without kids. We were in Istanbul, in our apartment in Gayrettepe, celebrating our friend, Rebecca's birthday along with the Johnsons, Lindsey and Heather. We were cooking chinese food and the gas in our oven ran out and we weren't able to get more because it had been snowing for days and the neighborhood roads were not in the best condition. So, somehow, we finished cooking dinner and played games for the rest of the evening. I made plans to have lunch with Lindsey and Heather the next day and Billy helped Jeff move some of our furniture around in the bedrooms. The roads were horrible and I was so worried about everyone driving home down and up the huge hills in our neighborhood. I sent a happy birthday email to my dad (his birthday is on the 25th) and we finally got to bed about 2am.

                            The very last thing I said to Jeff before we went to sleep that night was "I don't see how this baby could get any lower!". Little did I know, she was about to make it known that she was ready to join us on the outside.

                            Three hours later, I woke up with contractions which I thought were Braxton Hicks, but when the third one came along and all 3 were in a 10 minute period, I knew this was the real thing. I woke Jeff and told him I thought it was time and we immediately went to the window to see if the snow had stopped. It was still coming down and the roads were covered. Thoughts of having the baby in our apartment flooded my mind and I was pretty much freaking out. I remember standing at the window, and praying with Jeff, asking the Lord to take care of us and somehow make it so that we would be able to get to the hospital to have this baby.

                            I waited until 7:30am to call my doctor hoping I would not wake her up. She answered the phone in a groggy voice (oops!) and asked me to meet her at her office. Well, our car was under about a foot of snow so we called our wonderful friends, the Byrds (who, remember, were at our house just 7 hours earlier) because they had snow chains for their car. Scott was so wonderful to pick us up and take us to the doctor's office and then again, he came and picked us up and drove us all the way to the hospital (which was about 30 minutes away).

                            If you have ever experienced a taxi ride in Istanbul, you will probably understand why we chose not to "taxi it" to the hospital. Contractions every 3 minutes, snow everywhere... not a time to hop in a taxi!

                            From then on out, everything that happened that day was smooth sailing. Arrived at the hospital, got checked in to a great room overlooking the Marmara Sea, endured contractions for a few more hours, received an epidural that worked wonders in about 5 minutes, was rolled into the delivery room at 5pm, and our beautiful daughter, Adeline Marie joined us at 5:25pm.

                            She was so tiny.

                            She was so beautiful.

                            I just wanted to hear her cry.

                            When I heard that sweet sound I was so relieved and happy and proud and in love!

                            Everything after that moment is a bit of a blur. Everything after that moment has changed my life in ways that I didn't even know were possible.

                            I was so terrified to have a child... to endure pregnancy, to go through childbirth, to change a newborn's diaper, to never sleep again! If only I knew then what I learned at 5:25pm that Thursday evening.