Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Pics...Finally!

This was the night we tried to go see Santa and look at Christmas lights. The Santa part went pretty well. We waited in line for quite a while, with Layton assuring us that he would sit in his lap, and then when it was time, he would only stand in front of him. It was so much like the movie A Christmas Story. Layton stared at him wide-eyed for a while until Santa finally said, "Would you like some trains or trucks for Christmas?" Layton, still wide-eyed, shook his head slowly yes and then realized that he actually wanted a guitar so quickly through threw that in before we left!

We let them each open one gift from us on Christmas Eve. Ava got her own set of dishes. Hers are Tinkerbell.

Ainslee got Candyland Castle, which is actually a pretty fun game for them!

Layton got a HotWheels pop-up shark attack set with some boats and beach trucks.Layton looking at his Woodland Express Lincoln Log Set

Ainslee in front of her new easel...What was Santa thinking!?!
Ava's new Little People doll house. They all love this one!
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Not me! Monday

Well we actually had a pretty slow week by way of kids getting sick, taking trips to the doctor, trying to figure out who will stay home. We actually DID make an entire 5 day work week. That being said, here are some thing I did NOT do!
**I definitely did not forget about the Christmas dress that I had bought for Ainslee two months ago until Saturday night and then scrounge around to find a pair of tights that would match. No I am an uberorganized mom, and I plan my children's holiday outfits well in advance and have things prepared.
**I then certainly did not call my mom in a panic because there was nothing for Ava to wear that even almost matched the forgotten Christmas dress (I keep wanting to type Easter so if it comes out that way, you know what I mean!) and beg her to let Ava wear the new Robeez that she had bought her as a Christmas present and promise that she can wrap them back up after church on Sunday.
**I would never "file" away some of the beautiful Christmas cards, pictures, and even some present that my students gave me. No I cherish every bottle of lotion, candle, and hand-drawn picture I get. (If any of my parents are reading this, I kept your child's gift; it was some of the other gifts that maybe didn't make it home.)--That sounds cold...I really do love my students; I am just not one of those people who hang on to things forever...I DO dislike clutter!
**I did NOT convince my kids at 7:15 that it was 8:00 and bedtime to get them to bed early! (And I did not just go on my myspace page and put that as my status! ...This is addictive I tell you!)
**I did not only get 1/2 of my Christmas cards mailed out! No, again, I'm organized! I get them all out on one day. Consequently, if you're my friend or family member that usually recieves a Christmas card, I have it sitting on my scrapbooking table. You're welcome to come by and get it because it looks like they're not making it out of the house by Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My favorite thing about Christmas

Giving presents is definitely my favorite thing about Christmas. I love buying presents; I love wrapping presents; I love seeing someone's face when they open the present I've given them. I love seeing my tree with presents under it. That is something that I am definitely not taking for granted this year. Because, you see, last year, there weren't many presents under our tree. Last year I had just had Ava, was not working and not getting paid because I didn't have disability insurance, but we had made ourselves a promise that we would not go into debt because of Christmas. So we had to humbly ask just about everybody if we could be excused from gift-giving, just for one year. We didn't get our kids anything, although Santa did bring them one gift each; we gave our parents pictures of our kids. Even now, as I'm typing this, I am crying, because I remember how heart-broken last Christmas made me, because I couldn't buy for the ones that I love.

It means so much to me that this year we're in a better place. There are things that we are choosing to keep from last year. Santa will still only bring each child one gift. We LOVED how they spent the whole day playing with their new treasure; they weren't overwhelmed by a living room full of things that they threw aside. They were so thankful and so excited for what they had in front of them. My kids are still young enough that they don't know the ugly greed that can come with the holidays, and I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible. I'm very sure that there will come a day when they'll want more and when we'll want to buy more, but for now, one gift is enough.

This year shopping for presents has been even more fun than in the past. Not going into debt, while still buying presents, is such a freeing feeling. I know exactly how much I can spend on each person. I plan ahead, look for sales, and strike while the gettin's good. I should have kept a tally of retail prices as compared to what I've paid. Several presents that I've bought I got at like 80% off! I wish I knew how much I've saved. Oh well..Maybe next year! In a strange way, it even feels good to have the ability to tell people no. People have asked if I wanted to go in on certain people's gifts, and I've had to say that I'm sorry, I just don't have any more to spend. I can say it confidently this year. There's no pressure, no guilt. I am in control.

This may be my favorite Christmas so far. I will enjoy watching people open the presents that I've paid cash for. Come January, Christmas will be a memory, and monthly statements will NOT remind me of what I overspent!
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Random thoughts...

*Ava started walking
*She's cutting about 4 teeth...She is the teethingest child we've ever had...She's never cut just one tooth at a time!

*Layton has pneumonia...He's had two antibiotic shots, two rounds of oral antibiotics and two rounds of oral steroids, put countless number of breathing treatments. He's feeling better though.

*Trey did not get the job he interviewed for. We feel disappointed but know that God has other things in store for us.

*Ainslee's turning into a little seems like we turned around and she's no longer that fiesty toddler that kicks and screams when she doesn't get her way and is notorious for her fits....No, she's mature and caring and even a little mother hen to Layton and Ava! Layton was scared in his bed the other night, and she went running in there saying, "I coming Bubba. I coming."

*Layton can write his name! (He's only 3 and can write his name and upper and lower case A, B, C, and D.)

*I wish I could bottle up Ainslee's laugh for everyone to hear. She's so shy around other people, that most people don't get to see her true side. She's so happy and full of life. I wish everyone got to enjoy her the way we do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If you had come to our house back in August, you would have seen Ava slithering around on our floors, as shown in one of my August blogs. Today, however, if you came, this is what you would see!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I (heart) Target pharmacy...

Here’s why! This weekend Layton was having a really hard time breathing. Trey took him to Healthcare Express Friday night, and they gave him a shot, antibiotic, and steroid and told us to continue doing breathing treatments around the clock as needed. Since it was 10:00, the only pharmacy still open was Walgreen’s so he got the Rx filled there and came on home. When they got home we gave him his antibiotic, and he struggled to get his cherry-flavored steroid down. It was torture; you could tell by the look on his face! Well as soon as he swallowed the last drop, he said he felt sick and threw it right back up. We were frustrated, but it was late, and we thought he was probably tired. Saturday morning rolls around, and his breathing is still not great; we’re getting worried. We go ahead and give him another dose of his antibiotic and steroid (it was time for his steroid again, but we gave the antibiotic since he had thrown up the other dose), and again as soon as he swallowed the last drop, he said he felt sick and threw up again! We gave him several breathing treatments throughout the day, each one wondering if we should be taking him to the ER because it was so obvious that he was struggling to breathe. That night we, once again, tried the steroid, this time, hidden in a cup of milk, and he threw it up too. We were frustrated beyond belief; I was in tears because I did not want to go back to the hospital with him again. So I gave him some of Ava’s steroid (same brand, same dose, just from Target, not Walgreen’s so it was grape flavored). He kept it down! We were thrilled. Sunday morning, I only had enough to give Layton ½ dose, and I knew he would need another dose that night and Ava would need some that night too. I decided to go to Walgreens and plead my case to see if they could fill the Rx again, flavoring it with grape. The only thing they could do was to put grape flavor OVER the cherry. He wasn’t rude but was apathetic to my case. I left, again in tears, because I knew that without that steroid, Layton wouldn’t be well enough to hold out until Monday morning. I decided to go to Target, our usual pharmacy, and beg, plead, whatever it took for them to take the Rx off the bottle and fill it with their grape-flavored steroid. The pharmacist was very understanding, and although he couldn’t take the Rx off the bottle, he was personal friends with the doctor who wrote the Rx. So he called him and got him to write a new one and had it filled, and I was out the door in less than 30 minutes! That’s what I call going above and beyond; to call your friend on his day off to get him to write a new prescription! Anyway just wanted to send some kudos on. They are great there!

This was actually an email that I sent to some of my friends, but I thought it was worth blogging about!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to Trey

Happy birthday to Trey, Happy birthday to Trey, Happy birthday to Trey-ay, Happy birthday to Trey!!!! Today's Trey's birthday! He's the big 3-2!! I got him Seinfeld Scene-It? DVD game, and now we're off to play it! He has met his match! (I've payed closer attention than he thinks to all those seasons of Seifeld that run through our DVD player!)

Oh and on December 4 it was 10 years since our first date! TEN YEARS!!! Who would have thought!?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I love St Michael's and all but...

Being in the hospital is getting old! Very old! Oh...if you didn't know, because it was such a whirlwind trip, Ava just got out of the hospital. "What for?" you say. Respiratory problems, what else? OK get this..we tallied it up. Since Layton was 3 months old, that is 3 1/2 years ago, our children have collectively been hospitalized a grand total of 7 times! Seven times in 3 1/2 years, people! The nurses there know us, we're on first-name basis with our pediatrician's nurses, and the pharmacistS (I capatalized that on purpose to emphasize its plurality) at Target all know us! Oh and let me not forget BOTH chapalans know us by name! When we got there to check in this time, the nurse jokingly said, "We don't have your usual room ready for you." This is sad! Oh then there were the three trips to the hospital that I made to have the little astmatics! So that's 10 times in 3 years and 9 months! But the thing is, my kids are healthy! They're not frail little failure to thrive children (thank God! who always takes care of us and gets us home swiftly!)...they're healthy children who just have trouble breathing every now and again (except Ainslee who only takes credit for one of those hospitalizations for a UTI).

Okay so I think I have some wisdom to impart based on these many hospitalizations. Tips, if you will, for if you ever find yourself needing to hospitalize your children.
First, believe it or not, 4 days with a 3 year old is about 100 times easier than 1 night with a 1 year old! Count your blessings if your child is old enough to sit in bed, watch TV, or color!

Secondly, take cash! The vending machines will be your friends.

Third, bring your own diapers, wipes, tylenol, orajel, formula, etc...It's pricey at the hospital if they're having to serve as your toiletry supplier.

Next, you may also want to bring your own toilet paper, especially if you will be there more than a night or two. Hospitals typically buy Pom brand, which is about the equivalent of notebook paper.

Next, moms: you will start a stress-induced period so come prepared for that too!

Oh and an absolute MUST!...Bring flip-flops or Crocs so that you can slip them off while you sit but easily slip them back on to help your toddler to the potty or stand up and bounce your baby.

Don't plan on getting any sleep. The night nurses come in more often and are typically louder than the day nurses. When they come on board at 7:00 their peppiness is refreshing, but by about midnight when you're still trying to rock your baby to sleep, and they come in talking to her, getting her more awake, it begins to get on your nerves!

When you get the all-clear that you're being discharged, plan to stay at least another hour to two hours to get your discharge papers all together and signed. I don't think that's anybody's fault. I think it just takes a while to process. We didn't know that when we went to have Layton so we sat, ready to leave, with a hungry newborn, for about an hour and a half.

Don't use this as an excuse to eat out for every meal! We did that the first few trips, and it gets VERY expensive. The hospital will provide (charge you for) a guest meal to accompany the patient meal so take advantage. They also have alternative choices besides what's offered on the menu so inquire about those. They'll send you just about whatever request your write down!

Always be nice to the cleaning lady, respiratory therapists, and of course the nurses. They're the ones taking care of you all day and night! The doctor only makes rounds at about 9:00 in the morning. And if you're ready to ahem go home a day early, it will be the nurse begging on your behalf. If your child (or worse someone else's child) throws up or wets the bed, it will be the cleaning staff helping make sure all the germs are wiped away. And if your child can't breathe, it will be the respiratory therapist who will bring in those wonderful Rx drugs! I should also add to be kind to the transport tech, X-ray tech, and account manager for various addition to the fact that it's just Christian-like to treat everyone with respect and kindness!

OK that wraps it up for now...I'm tired and going to bed...If I think of more useful information I'll type an addendum. Hopefully you'll never need this information, but just in case...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This post has been sloshing around in my head for a while, probably since this summer. The problem is that I don't know how to type it without sounding negative about my kids or ungrateful or at worst, like I don't love/like my children. I assume that only readers of my blog are my friends so you all know me well enough to know how totally upside-down, crazy in love with my kids I am. Therefore I will take the aforementioned risk and type this blog and show a small epiphany at the end.

On normal days, we have a morning routine that gets clothes on, hair fixed, teeth brushed, tummies full, and all of us out the door by 7:00 AM. Then Trey and I go to work and do our work thing. Then we have an evening routine (complete with graphics!) where we come home, fix and eat supper, have baths, playtime, stories, prayer, and off to bed at 8:00. So what's the problem? The problem is that I'm a teacher and that allows for 2 months off in the summer, 2 weeks off at Christmas, and random days off throughout the year. Still don't see the problem? The problem is that the days leading up to those days off, when I'll be home alone with 3 toddlers, yes I know they're my own, sends me into a complete panic. We don't have a daytime routine. We don't have a schedule telling us what to do, when to do it. Sounds great to an adult. A whole day to do whatever you want. Not so great to toddlers who thrive on structure. It totally throws them into a tailspin, and they don't know what to do. So what do they do? They follow me around wanting to be picked up and held most of the day. It's very difficult to hold three kids all at once. You almost have to be sitting on the couch, with one on each side and one on your lap. But that's no way to spend the day. Who wants to spend a whole day like that? Then comes when one of them has to use the bathroom, or I need to fix lunch, and they're still hanging on to my clothes wanting to be picked up. By the end of the day, I'm totally stressed, ready to scream, watching the clock so we can start our evening routine, where they know what's expected of them!

Now I'm not one to lay around and wallow in self-pity or throw my hands up in defeat. No...I did some research on stay-at-home moms since essentially on those days throughout the year, that's exactly what I am. Know what I discovered? Those stay-at-homes who love staying home, who have no idea how work-outside-of-the-home moms leave their babies, they have schedules! Just like we have in the morning and evening and just like I have for my students at school. So I made one. I wrote it out and put it on the refrigerator. (No graphics yet.) It has free-play time, where they can play either in their rooms or in the playroom; table-play time, where we get out puzzles, stickers, pencils, crayons, or play-doh; outside play time, because here in Texas it's still nice enough to play outside; and even a little cuddle in front of the TV and watch some Barney time. They love it! They even come ask me what time it is! They're napping better, eating better, getting along better, and they're more independent. I have no idea why it took me so long to try this or come up with it. Maybe they're just now old enough to even understand a schedule. I don't know. All I know is that I've enjoyed this time off with them, and thinking ahead to Christmas break doesn't make my heart race!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Update to Oh, no!

We are in the process of weaning Ava over to whole milk, and she's doing GREAT! Her skin looks better than ever! Since we are buying it, and technically the other two have tested allergic to soy (even though they drink it every single day), we decided to switch them too! They're drinking half whole/half soy right now, and their skin is showing improvements too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh, no!

This is our attempt at switching her off of formula! Major face break-outage! What are we to do??? She was on soy-based formula because milk-based formula broke her skin out too! She's done great on soy-based formula, but something about the soy milk (we think!) did this to her face! Should I try her on whole milk?

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Let them sleep...

for when they wake, they will move mountains.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A new way to look at it...

Trey is always applying for new with better hours and, of course, jobs with more money. We always pray that he will get the job so that our money worries will be over. We have a whole list of wants that we would buy if only...We've stopped that. Now we pray that if we are ready to handle the responsibilites of having more money, that he get the job. Here's our thinking. We are told and shown in scripture that if we are good stewards with a little, we will be blessed with a lot. Well friends, we have not been good stewards of a little, but we're on the road to trying. So now our prayer is that when we reach the point where we are handling what we have in a Christ-like way, that then and only then will God give us more. So jobs have come and gone, and we know that as we grow and become better stewards of God's blessings, he will give us more, and until then, we will use what we have and will be thankful for what we have. We will not wish for something that we're not ready for.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me! Monday

I did not call in the tech guy at work TWICE to fix my blurry monitor, only to have him look at me like I'm crazy and then politely ask when was the last time I had my eyes checked. Then I did not slightly argue with him, showing him exactly where it was blurry. I did, however, schedule an eye appointment just in case, and to my excitement, learned that I still have near-perfect vision...just incredibly dry eyes!
I did not let my 2 year old wear her 1 year old sister's diapers to bed for a week instead of making her wear her big girl night time pull-ups! Nope, a good mom would insist that big girls wear big girl pull-ups or panties and would never give in to such whining. I am a good mom so I would never do that!
And one on my husband...My husband definitely did not tell our 3 year old, when he asked what Goliath says, that he was saying "Fe Fi Fo Fum."
Nope..we would never do those things...not in a million years!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We spent our emergency fund...

Well since becoming Dave Ramsey-ites, we have worked to build our emergency fund, which I must admit was not yet fully stocked when we learned on Tuesday that we had to buy a new water heater. However you all know how the Lord watches over us and gives us exactly what we need exactly when we need it, and low and behold, the total of the water heater came to almost the exact amount that we had put back. Now I, as much as anybody else, hate to spend every penny we have, but I couldn't help but see the Lord's hand at work in this situation. We had cut up our credit cards about a year ago, before ever even deciding to buy into this Dave Ramsey business, so putting it on a credit card would not have been an option. What would we have done withough our humble emergency fund??? I must thank the Lord for introducing us to this new found peace at the exact moment that He did so that now two months later, we had enough money put back to buy a water heater!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not Me Monday...On Wednesday

My first attempt!
*I did not, in a very stern voice, say to my three year old little boy, "STOP PLAYING WITH YOUR TEE-TEE," after he did NOT come running into the living room proudly telling his dad and me that he had been "in the bathroom for hours just playing with his tee-tee." Nope, not me, and not my son either!!
*I certainly did not then go google if toddlers playing with their tee-tees is normal, and I did not burst out laughing at one answer that said that boys start when they're toddlers and stop when they're 80. I would never find that funny!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to Make a Tutu

A few of my readers have written and asked me how to make a tutu. I got directions from a website, and I was just going to put a link, but when I went to the page, it had been deleted. So I will do my best to explain!

6 inch rolled tulle (probably 2 rolls)
7/8 inch no-roll elastic

Measure your little darling's waist and cut that exact measurement in the 7/8 in. elastic. (If for some reason you got 1 in. no-roll elastic, add an inch to the measurement.) Overlap about an inch and sew it closed to form the waist band. The 7/8 in. will stretch to accomodte the overlap.

Decide how long you want your tutu. Ainslee's and Ava's skirt tutus were both 9-10 inches long, and Ava's tutu dress was 15 inches long. Cut strips of tulle 2 inches longer than double your desired length. For example for the 9 inch skirt, I cut 20 inch strips.

Then simply double-knot the tulle onto the elastic. Do not pull the knot completely tights against the elastic; I keep a finger between the tulle and elastic to keep the elastic from stretching out too much.

If you want an extra poofy tutu, use two strips of tulle, instead of one, each time you tie a knot.

If you want a satin ribbon around the waist, you'll need at least 3 yards of 1 1/2 inch satin ribbon. Leave enough for a tail and wrap the ribbon around each knot. Be sure to heat seal the ends to keep them from fraying.

Feel free to ask any questions. Give it a try! It's so easy, and they turn out so cute!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Ava!!!

My last baby turned one! Sad is not the word to describe how I feel, nostalgic maybe. I am so glad that the Lord knew we needed Ava. She is such a sweet bundle, and our family wouldn't be complete without her. She brings so much joy to her house and gives us so many laughs. My heart overflows with joy when I watch the three of them play together. I can only imagine what it's going to be like as they grow older. I am so blessed.
This is the outfit April and I made for her to wear to her party. April made the onesie, and I made the tutu.
Ava's cake (I only gave her a small piece of it!)
Cupcakes made into the shape of a 1. (I got very brave this year and did the cakes myself.)
Cupcakes for the no icing lovers.

Ava on the horsey Meme and Bop gave her. (And she's wearing the Halloween shirt that April made her...Ainslee has a matching shirt.)

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kids' Halloween Costumes...the finished products

Ava the punkin...had to put black under...chilly outside tonight!
Ainslee the punk rocker saying, "Rock on..." (in her sweet, little, innocent voice, of course!) I don't think this picture does justice of how cute it really turned out! Those are pink capri length tights (size 12 mo!)

Layton the pirate, saying, "Errgghh." He kept saying pretend you're scared, and then when I would, he would say, "It's just me, Mama."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goint tutu crazy!

This blog is a little out of order because I still want to write a post about our weekend in the hospital, but this one if faster and more fun! If you know me and my sister, you know that she got ALL of the creative genes in our family. But I have a sudden urge to make stuff; I have even asked for a sewing machine for Christmas! Here's my first effort. I made a tutu for Ainslee's Halloween costume. She's going to be a punk rocker. The tutu is black with thin pink ribbon throughout and black/pink striped satin ribbon around the waist. I have three more tutus in mind to make probably in the next week. (See...really going crazy for tutus!) One is going to be an orange tutu halter dress with green satin ribbon around the top so as to look like a pumpkin. That's for Ava's costume. The other will be a pink tutu skirt with lime green satin ribbon that she'll wear for her birthday, that by the way is only 2 weeks away! I can't believe she's almost 1! The third that I have in mind will be a black tutu halter dress with black satin ribbon for a friend of ours that just had a baby. I thought it would make a good holiday dress if it turns out like I have pictured in my head!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Trey and I have recently had two opportunites to grow stronger, both as a couple and individually. First we have decided to take part in Financial Peace University offered at the Baptist church here in town. Second we are taking the marriage enrichment class at our church that is based on the movie Fireproof, which if you haven't seen it yet, GO SEE IT!

FPU: We go on Monday nights from 6-8. We watch a 30-45 minute video of Dave Ramsey at a live class and then break into small groups for discussion. This is big for us. We are both HORRIBLE at money. We overspend, underplan, and don't budget! For the first time in our married life, we both feel like we're getting a plan. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can envision a house being built, no car payments, no sick feeling at the end of the month when I go online to see if there's enough money to last until the next payday. When Dave's talking in his videos, he says a lot, "When we were broke..." Trey and I decided that we can't wait to use that phrase! We can't wait to have broke in the past tense! The first step is getting $1,000 in an emergency fund. That's the step we're working on now. I was feeling very discouraged about it because it's harder than it sounds! But then last night in class, we anonymously wrote how much we had put back in the last 3 weeks toward that fund, and we were right smack dab in the middle! Then we anonymously wrote how much debt we all have, and we were a little north of the middle but definitely not at the top. That's very encouraging to me because a lot of times we have felt like we were the only ones struggling, that everybody else had it all together. I know this is not going to be an easy journey, but I really think we can do it!

Fireproof/Love Dare: For the marriage enrichment classes, we had to watch the movie Fireproof. It was so good. The acting wasn't that great, but the message was. The motto was "Never Leave Your Partner Behind." After seeing the movie, we pledged to go to six weeks of classes at our church and take part in the 40 day love dare. We are on day 2. On day one, you don't say anything negative to your partner. Done. Day 2 is all about "Love is kind," so you do some kind, unexpected gesture for your partner. The last few nights have been really rough for us because kids aren't sleeping so that means we're not sleeping...well I guess I should say Trey's not sleeping. I have been taking Benadryl for allergies so I'm sleeping like a baby. Once last night I woke up and he was asleep with Ainslee on the floor beside our bed. Such a good dad! So I made him a pot of coffee this morning to help wake him up. Not a big deal but not something that I normally do. Trey hasn't done anything 'unexpected' yet, but he does so much, I don't know how he'll fit anything else in. He gave all the kids their baths, did the dishes, and is now straightening the living room. But y'all, he does those things most nights! He is such a good husband! I'm not sure what Day 3 will bring. I'm off to read the next entry in the Love Dare!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Random pictuers...

Ava in her Halloween shirt and Halloween bow.
Layton playing 'Daddy'
All three kids playing so well beside each other, but playing totally by themselves!
Trey showing Layton and Ainslee how to make a cake
Ainslee asleep under our bed

The Paci Fairy

Well the Paci fairy finally made a visit to our house. I had heard of such a thing everywhere from some of my friends who had used her, to our pediatrician, to Rosie O'Donnell so I figured if so many people had success, maybe just maybe it would work for us too.

Our run-in with the fairy came a little sooner than planned, though, when Ainslee lost her last paci! She was forced to go to sleep without it that night. Well after she went to bed, we found the lost paci, but decided instead of telling her, we'd just let the paci fairy take it away and leave a big girl present in its place. Ainslee had a trunk of dress-up clothes waiting on her bed for her when she got home that next afternoon.

She loved wearing the earrings, necklace, bangles, tiara, high heels, and fairy wings. The set also came with a few dresses, but she wasn't as interested in those.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ainslee' first hair cut...

Ainslee got her first hair cut today. She did really good. She didn't cry or fuss or anything. She climbed up in the chair like a big girl. I was VERY sad to see the curls go, but I think it will make bathtime a lot easier. She hated getting her hair washed because it would take us so long to get all of the shampoo out. Her hair isn't quite as short as I had pictured, but Dana said that as her hair gets heavier, we'll be able to get it shorter. It still turned out cute though! I think I might try to flat iron it in the morning for church and will take another picture.

Only at our house...

I wonder if this pretend conversation has happened in other houses with babies with acid reflux...

Layton and Ainslee were playing with Ainslee's babies. They were pushing them around in buggies and talking like they were the mama and daddy. Then Layton said, "Uh oh...We have to go home...The baby is throwing up."

I guess it's just a normal part of our routine to have to go home due to throw up!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random update

Well I think it's time, once again, for an overall update on the Kordsmeiers! The girls had doctor appointments today, and they went very well. Ainslee weighed in at 26 pounds, and Ava was a near 2nd at 25 pounds. Ainslee was 35 inches long, and Ava as 30. They're both tall for their age, but Ainslee is average weight (50th percentile), and Ava is a little on the husky side ( >97th percentile). They're both doing great developmentally, crawling for Ava, running and jumping for Ainslee. They drew blood to test Ainslee for anemia, and we have to bring Ava back in about a month because her head circumference jumped so much (from the 80th to the 95th percentile). If it's still growing at that rate, they'll do a CT scan to check on the inside. The doctor said, though, that it's very likely that they just caught her at a growth spurt and all is well.

Layton is still doing okay trying to figure out about Konner. It's very hard for him to understand. I think my explanations of things have contributed to his lack of understanding though. For example, it's confusing him that I told him that heaven is high up above the clouds. When I said that, it was beautiful day with white fluffy clouds in the sky. Now that we're having thunder and lightening, Layton's a little more concerned for Konner's well-being. He has lots of questions about heaven: are there dogs there? are there toys for Konner to play with? does he want his mommy? I'm trying to do my best to explain it, but sometimes he stumps me. Sometimes I just have to tell him that I don't know. Layton is still VERY clingy to me, especially when it's time for me to leave him at Mrs. Joyce's house. It's hard for me to leave him while he's crying like that.

Friday my van got hit by a bus. Luckily, none of us were in it, and funnily enough, no one was in the bus either. I had parked behind the school because I had morning duty, the bus driver parked her bus and went in to clock in. Her breaks went out, and it rolled right in to my van! Some kids got off of another bus saying, "Mrs. Kordsmeier, that bus just hit a van back there! Cool!" It wasn't cool. I knew it was my van! DPS came out and did the report, they towed my van, and now I'm waiting on it to be fixed. I am driving a rental right now, which isn't half bad. It's a 2008 Explorer with leather seats and a sun roof that Layton has fallen in love with!

Trey and I are going to participate in the Fireproof project at church and the 40 day love dare. We're very excited...well I am anyway; I don't know that Trey is 'excited' but he's not against the idea. More on that to come...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

still concerned...

Layton's having a hard time going to Mrs. Joyce's house. He's been very clingy and hasn't wanted me to leave him. This morning Mrs. Joyce said she thinks he's having a harder time with Konner not being there than we thought. Konner was his only same-age playmate. There are two boys a year older than him that will start kindergarten next year, but they're the big boys now and don't really want to play with Layton. Then there is one boy that will start the year after Layton that he plays OK with, but that little boy is more like Ainslee's age. Mrs. Joyce usually takes into consideration the ages of her kids when she's deciding which new ones she's going to take and which ones she's not. Layton and Konner were paired as playmates long before they were actually friends. So he's having a hard time finding a new play mate. I think he's stuck in the middle right now. Y'all pray for him. He needs a friend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I feel better about how Layton is handling losing Konner. Yesterday I was worried because he didn't want to talk about it and didn't have any questions; usually he asks a million questions even if he already knows the answers! Tonight, though, when we were about to say our prayer, he stopped me and said, "Mama, we don't have to pray for Konner anymore; he's all better now."

Then tonight he asked how Konner got in the boat. Puzzled? Yeah I was too. I asked him what boat, and he said with Jesus and God. I told him that Jesus and God weren't in a boat, and he got very defensive and said yes they were too; then he showed me his bible that showed Noah's ark and told me they were on that boat. So we got into a huge discussion about Noah and the ark and then found a page of what I felt best represented heaven, and he settled on Konner being there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I feel sad tonight. Layton's friend, Konner, passed away this evening. If you don't already know, he is a three year old little boy that stays with the same babysitter as Layton. He suffered a TBI. My sister called me while we were eating dinner; we had already prayed for Konner like we always do. She actually called during the prayer so I had to call her back. I went ahead and told Layton. Yesterday Layton had asked me where Jesus is, and I told him that he was in heaven with God and explained in 3 year old terms that heaven is in the sky above the clouds and that we can't see Jesus or God but that they're always there. So tonight I just told Layton that Konner went to live with Jesus and God in heaven. He asked if when he woke up (he had been in a coma and we had been praying for Konner to wake up then switched to praying that he would get better), he could come play at Mrs. Joyce's house. I told him that he wasn't going to wake up, that he was just going to go to heaven with Jesus and God. Layton kind of stared at me for a minute and then said he didn't want to talk about that anymore. So we didn't.

I don't really know what he thinks about it. I wondered if it was too much for his little mind to grasp so he just didn't want to think about it or if he wanted to think about and talk about it later. I'm not going to push him. He's never been shy about asking questions so I know if he has any, he'll ask. I think that kids have a better way of dealing with some things; sometimes they can see the big picture better than we can.

Layton's prayed this entire time. I don't know how to say this without it sounding like I'm thinking that God didn't answer our prayers; I know He hears our prayers and answers them according to His plan and that we don't always get the answer that we wanted, but I just never imagined that Layton's prayer, a prayer offered by an innocent three year old, wouldn't be answered just the way we expected. He's prayed that Konner would get better so he could come play with him at Mrs. Joyce's house; that's what he's said every single time. Well he won't be coming to Mrs. Joyce's house, but he is better.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fear of Dogs

Almost everyone that's been around Layton for more than say...2 minutes knows that he is very afraid of dogs. I don't know what to do about this, but it's getting pretty ridiculous! Everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, we go Layton asks about a million times if there's going to be a dog there. Church, Wal-Mart, friends' houses, outside, anywhere! Today we went to a birthday party, and I couldn't tell him for sure if there was a dog or not, and he came as close to a panic attack as I have ever seen him. As we were getting closer to the house, he told me I was driving too fast, that he needed to use the bathroom, that he wanted to go home, that the little boy was mean to him; he was trying whatever he could think of to get me to turn around. When we got there the little boy's mom was standing outside, and I asked her if they had a dog, and she said no. You would think that would be the end of it, but no. He still stuck right by my side for the beginning of the pary until he was fairly certain there was definitely not a dog in the house. We also think that's why he won't sleep in his bed. He says that there's a dog. I guess he could have heard a dog bark outside sometime; I'm not sure. I really think his fear is getting worse. I know there's no reasoning with him. He can even self-talk and convince himself that he likes dogs; he's done that with my sister's dog. He'll tell himself that Luke's nice and a good dog and won't hurt him, but then when we pull in my sister's driveway, he goes crazy and we have to carry him in the house. He can't play outside over there even though they have an awesome swingset and a good driveway for bike-riding. He won't play outside over here because he thinks a dog might come up. We have to force him to go outside and play, and then we usually just end up getting on to him the whole time because he's glued to our legs. I have no idea what to do. I don't want this fear to get in the way of him enjoying his childhood. There are going to be dogs around. They will be at the park, at ballgames, at my sister's house, at our friends' houses. He's going to have to learn to cope. But on the other hand, I know this fear! I had it too when I was little. I actually saw my friend get attacked by a dog. I'm still not comfortable around dogs, or any animal for that matter, but I don't crawl up whoever is standing next to me to get away from them. My parents got a dog for me to help me with my fear. That didn't really help. I wasn't afraid of my dog, but I was still afraid of all other dogs. I'm at a loss.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ava "crawling"

Ava can finally get where she's wanting to go! Here's a video of how!

Ferber continued

Well I told you I wouldn't post everyday, and I stuck to my word! I didn't put anything yesterday, but let me just say that the last two nights have been blissful for Ava! She has slept beautifully! And my friend Sara told me that they started the Ferber method with her son Tad, and he is also sleeping well! Yay Tad!

Now if we could just get the older two sleeping, we'd be all set! Ainslee's paci is about to get thrown out of the window! The last few nights she's woken up a couple of times crying because it's fallen out of her mouth, and she can't find it! She used to be such a good sleeper! What's happened!?! Maybe she's teething. I use that excuse for everything!

Layton still comes in our room around 2:30 or so, and he sleeps on a pallet. I guess that could be worse! Well I know it could be because he used to sleep in our bed! Our next mission is to get them to sleep in their beds all night. I have no idea how to accomplish that! Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Night 3

I promise I won't post every day about how Ava slept the night before; maybe just a few more nights until she's good and acclamated to going to sleep by herself.

Last night started out much like night 2. She went to sleep fine; woke up about 8:15; played for a little while; went back to bed fine. Then she started crying at about 10:15. We didn't really know what to do because we didn't know how long to let her cry before going in to console her. We only waited five minutes because I thought she might need a diaper change. She didn't, so we went in again after 10 minutes. When nearly 15 more minutes had passed, I started to cave. I actually sent Trey in to get her to rock her. Luckily, she fell asleep before he got to her door! I know it's good for her to be able to get herself to sleep, but it's just so hard to listen to her cry!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Night 2

I am so proud of Ava. She is such a fast-learner! At about 6:30 she started showing signs of being tired so we gave her a bath, fed her, etc and put her down at about 6:50. She went right to sleep! No crying whatsoever! She woke up, though, at about 8:15. We didn't really know what to do, but we thought since she went to bed so early, it would probably be okay to let her play for a little bit. She played until about 8:45 and started acting tired again. At that point we decided to redo the entire bedtime routine minus the bath. I offered her another bottle (which she refused), read her another book, sang another song, and said another prayer. I laid her down again, and wal-lah no crying! She's sound asleep right now! I can't believe it! I'm keeping my fingers crossd that she sleeps all night again!

Day after night 1 of Ferber method

After many, many nights of fighting Ava to sleep (rocking her, putting her down, her waking up, rerocking her, putting her down, her waking up...), we have decided that it's time to enlist the Ferber method. We used this method on both of our other kids (although with Layton we used our own version because we were not educated in the ways of Ferber), and it worked for them. It's very difficult, and I look at it as a last resort. Using it does mean that you'll have to listen to your child cry, for often lengthy periods of time at first.

We decided that our night time routine, which is KEY with Ferber, would be modeled after the routines that we used for the other two kids. At the first sign of sleepiness, we jump into full bedtime routine mode. She gets a bath, a nice rub down with lotion, a bottle, a book, a song, a prayer, and then we lay her down. The whole account takes about 30 minutes.

Then she cries. And cries. And cries. She cried for about an hour and 15 minutes last night. We laid her down at 7:00. After 5 minutes, I went in to comfort her, careful not to touch or pick her up, even though I so badly wanted to. Then after 10 minutes, Trey went in. Then 15 minutes, and I went in. And so on. Finally at about 8:05, we only heard a small wimper, and by 8:15 she was asleep. She slept until about 6:45 this morning.

That hour and 15 minutes was brutal. However it was nice to have the next two hours. Usually we're rocking her until about 10:30 or 11:00, which means that the rest of the house has to be absolutely quiet: no dishes can be done, no laundry, etc. for fear that she'll wake up.

Tonight will be night number two. The first cry period will last 10 minutes, and the second 15. Wish us luck!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Our nighttime woes...

My sister and I have similar woes; our boys won't sleep in their own beds. She came up with the idea that if Tyler slept in his own bed all night, she would buy him a new transformer. He made it and got his transformer. When Layton found out, he asked if I would buy him a transformer if he slept in his bed all night. Of course, I said YES!!! So that was our mission last night. We were pumped that he would make it all night, and today we would go buy his brand new transformer. However, at about 1:30 AM, I opened my eyes to see Layton standing right there, and he whispered, "Mama, I don't want a transformer." So he slept on his pallet on our floor.

Looking forward to my birthday

I never really ask for anything for my birthday, not from Trey anyway. This year, though, I have a very specific request. I want a corner. I want a corner of the living room to be set up for me to scrapbook whenever I want without having to drag all of my stuff out! I asked for a table and chair, and he added that I might need a lamp! He has a whole month to get all this together! I am really hoping to get up-to-date!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our favorite eateries...

Driving home tonight, we went our normal way and passed the normal fast food restaurants. Layton was pointing them out to Ainslee. He pointed to McDonald's and told her, "There's McDonald's." Then we passed Dairy Queen, and he said, "There's Ice Cream McDonald's."

Our Sweet Ainslee

This post is dedicated to our sweet little, almost 2 year old! I feel like she doesn't get as much blog-tention as her big brother or baby sister so this one's for you, sweet girl!

**Ainslee is obsessed with cute! Some examples: When we buy a new package of Pull-Ups (White Cloud those!) she is so excited because there are two patterns: one with one fairy and one with two fairies. Ainslee will go through and pick out the one with two fairies until they're all gone because they're the "cute ones." She picks out her bows in the morning (No bow, no go, right Carrie?) she'll point to the one that she wants, and says, "Cute one!" Then when I fix her hair, she'll look in the mirror, and again say, "Cute!" If I ever want her to do something, I just put the word cute in front of it; like want to go sleep in your cute bed? Want to wear this cute shirt? Want to take a bath and use your cute towel? Works like a charm!

**Ainslee loves to help me with the laundry. Here is a picture of her helping me; she's wearing Daddy's sock and Ava's onesie. She's really good at putting laundry away too! She's going to be a big helper!

**She loves pretending to give haircuts. If you're sitting, she'll come and say, "Want care-cut?" and she'll get her dishes (why dishes, I don't know) and she'll pretend to wash your hair (which actually feels pretty good), and then she'll cut it with a spoon.

**The first thing she does every morning is go into the living room and say, "Build sassle?" And then she'll stack up all the books, and it's her castle.

**If you're talking about her when she's in the room or if you suddenly say, "Where's Ainslee?" she'll come up to you, pointing to herself, and say, "I dite dere."

It's hard to believe that she'll be two in just a little over a week. Where has the time gone? And lastly, I'll leave you with a video of her singing the Barney song.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something I want to remember...

I know I'm going to forget this when Layton grows up, and I don't keep a baby book so I'm putting this conversation in print here....

Layton (to me): Do you love me?
Me: Of course
Layton: I love when you tell me of course.

Pick Up Toys

We have a problem in our house getting Layton and Ainslee to pick up their toys. Usually I have to repeat myself 100 times, and they would rather play or watch TV than pick up. I'm trying something new. Today when I told them to pick up, I let them pick up as much as they could (or would, I guess) and then let them go about their business. Then I went through with what we're calling "Mom's Toy Box" and picked up what was left. Now those toys are off-limits and can't be played with until...well, that part I haven't figured out. I don't know what's appropriate. This is only applying to the toys left out in shared areas like the living room, kitchen, and even the play rooom because of its location; the toys left out in their rooms I'm not going to get, yet. Here's my stash for today; it includes most of their favorite toys so hopefully when playtime rolls around again, they'll get the full effect.