Monday, April 27, 2009

Have you ever?

Have you ever been grocery shopping and left a shopping cart full of groceries because you just couldn't mentally or physically finish? I was so there today. I needed to go to Wal-mart to get way too much. I hate going to Wal-mart. It is huge and spread out and takes forever! I try to only go every two weeks and longer if we can make it. Needless to say we were out of everything. My little shopper has been so worn out today from our picnic yesterday. I didn't plan our day well and headed to Wal-mart about 45 min from her usual nap time. Bad decision. I seriously couldn't remember to get what I needed even with my list in my hand. I definitely think that pregnancy affects the brain. I went from the front of the store to the back three times. Ella decided about half-way that she was done. I tried all of my usual tricks and they weren't any fun today. She wanted me to carry her and cried and cried for mommy's hair. When she gets tired she likes to run her fingers through my hair. I used to think this was so cute when she first started doing it. Now it sometimes drives me a little crazy! In fact, in the car she cries for my hair (not me) and of thankfully it is too short to reach to the back seat! So with a few more isles I gave in and got her out. I was trying to push the cart that was full and carry her and check my list while she was playing with my hair and I think I was almost in tears. I kept telling myself that I was almost done....and I would have in fact left but that would have meant I'd had to go back later! So I persevered...and when I got to the check out my arms were shaking and I was sweating and saw that the lines were like 10 people long. The Lord must have known I was on my last leg and a lady opened up a new line and a sweet,older man ahead of me saw my despair and said you go need to get done and get that baby home. We made it home...I put ella in her bed to nap and I unloaded! Whew! I think I may never go back to least for a long time!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun Family Field Day!

Today our church celebrated it's 25th anniversary of being a church. In case you do not know me my dad is a pastor and is the pastor of the church we attend. When my family came to this church almost 20 years ago it was a young (only 5 years old) church. I was 9 so yes that makes me almost 30 now. I have grown up in this church. It has been a blessing to be part of a church family that is active, faithful, and loves me and my family. There are so so many people at our church that I love so dearly. I think of all the sweet elderly men and women that love the Lord and have been faithful members of our church. I love how they are faithful to gather every Wed. night week in and week out to pray. I love how so many have prayed and prayed for Kevin and I. I love sharing with them that the Lord is blessing us with another child. I can see in their faces that they have prayed and that the Lord has answered their prayers. I love how our church has grown. I love how it went from one building with no carpet to several buildings that are constantly in use and a new one on the way. I love how our church accepts everyone. I love that I don't have to worry about what I wear or look like at our church. I love that the Gospel is shared week after week and year after year. I could continue you can see I am thankful that God has blessed Kev and I with a wonderful church family. If you do not have a church family that you are connected are missing out (esp. when life gets hard!)

That being said...we celebrated after church today at a local park. We had BBQ and the trimmings and lots and lots of desserts. The theme was a family field day and I think everyone had a great time. Oh course ella kept me on my toes. She did a little better today but still loves to dash off as fast as she can! It was HOT...I think summer is officially here! I just thought it was a great day to see so many people from all 3 of our services have the chance to interact, talk and fellowship! I tried to snap a few pics in between my ella chases! My hubby was one of the planners and I know how much work was put into this event. I must say I am glad it is over for his sake but it was a wonderful day!
This is great!
I can Jump! Mommy why do you always say this is
for the big kids? I gave was a temporary confinement.
She is fearless by the way!
Hello out there!
Daddy showing off his old soccer skills!
Mimi and Teresa... shouldn't we be running?

These pics really don't show but there was over 400
people out there. It was packed and great to see such a
good turn out!

Even pops got in on the games!
Tara, you and Tim deserve a gold crown in Heaven
for running the jump castle. In my opinion this is the hardest
job ever.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parenting at 18 months!

I have found that at each stage of growth and development brings its own unique challenges with parenting. I am sure all you moms agree and if you have teenagers you are saying...just wait! I remember the initial challenges in those early months with breastfeeding, living on little sleep, always worrying about ella catching germs, acid reflux, and my fears of SIDS. But as she grew those challenges faded and then came new ones. Around six months I remember facing trying to get her to nap in her crib in her room. I had become accustomed to letting her nap in her swing, car seat, and on the go and this had worked great...but about this time she was too interested in her surroundings to nap on the go and trying to get her to nap in her crib was a big struggle for a few weeks. But finally she figured out that mommy wasn't going to rescue her and I am so glad that I stuck it out even though it about killed me. I knew in the long run we had to cross this hurdle. As she grew there was her bout with pneumonia which about scared this mommy to death and dealing with a picky little eater. There was weaning and learning to use a cup. There was walking and major baby proofing. There was teaching her to pray before meals and not to throw her food. Around 15 months I saw that we were headed for some new challenges. Lately we have been dealing with lots of disciplining. Don't you wish that parenting didn't involve this! I know I do...but it is so important. About 2 weeks ago I was at my wist end...just feeling like I was surely doing something wrong. I picked up the book Toddlerwise from Barnes and Noble and read it in one afternoon. (Disclaimer: I read the Babywise books before having ella and I really liked them. I am a structured person naturally and I needed a guide as for dealing with a newborn. I know that most people either love these books or loathe them. I used them as a guide and feel like the ideas were beneficial to me as a new mom (esp. getting ella on a eating and sleeping schedule-although I of course didn't follow as strictly as the books suggested!) The next evening I was talking to my neighbor who has used these books in raising her children and she gave me some new ideas to try with ella. I left our conversation feeling encouraged and ready to try some new things. I think most these ideas are found in the Toddlerwise book.

These are some of the ideas:

1. We have started blanket time. I wish I'd have started this when ella was about 14 months, but we are a little late. I put a blanket on the floor with a few of her favorite toys saved just for this time. The first time I set the timer for just 3 min. I also sat off the blanket close by and praised her the entire time. I also kept telling her that this is blanket time and she has to stay on her blanket and what a good job she was doing staying on her blanket. This has been really good for her because she has been having some boundary issues. (Example- at our Sunday school picnic she was all over. I mean she would not stay in one area and play...she wanted to run the park the entire time. For the first week I sat beside her each day and increased the time by a minute or two. We are now working on ten minutes. I am in the room watching her but she is staying on her blanket looking at her books and playing. I do think I still need to be close by at this point to remind her to stay on the blanket and to praise. The goal is that in the future I can trust her to stay on the blanket while mommy gets ready, cleans or etc. I am pleased with this progress and I know that if I have this in place before the new baby arrives it will help!

2. Ella has been wanting to run off in the yard...mostly to see the trash can (have I mentioned her love for trash :)! While I like that she is curious and wants to explore...the front yard is not the spot. We deliver food to a my neighbor several times a week who has a child battling a brain tumor. Just getting the food next door can be a struggle when mommy has no hands and needs ella walk with me. I know this will be more important this summer as my tummy grows bigger and it gets harder to carry her. We have started doing a time-out the first time she deviates from mommy and daddy. We go into the house immediately and go straight to time-out. I have seen some major progress in this area in a few days of doing this. Ella knows she must stay in her spot in time-out until mommy comes to get her(this is usually only about 2 minutes or until she calms down.) I ask her if she is ready to be happy. I tell her what she did wrong and what I need her to do. I then give her a kiss and a hug each time and tell her I love her and want her to make a better choice next time. I actually planted flowers outside on the porch and she stayed with me and we have watered plants in the front yard two days in a row and she has followed without running off. Praise Jesus!

3. Ella's favorite word is no. Even if you ask her if she wants her juice...she will tell you NO (in a gruffy voice...I mean seriously where does she get this....probably me)! We have been working on giving her direct commands and requiring her to say yes to us. For example instead of saying, "Ella are you ready to eat dinner?" We are trying to remember to say, "Ella it is time to eat dinner." Then we say, "Do you understand?" To which the correct response would be Yes or eventually Yes mommy! After getting lots of noooooooooos! I am now hearing a sweet little yes! Music to my ears. I still get several No's and then I say don't you mean yes and she'll then say yes. Progress!

These are just a few of the parenting issues we have been dealing with. I realize everyone has different parenting views but these ideas have been working so I am going with it while praying for wisdom and help! We still have lots of progress to'll know what I mean if you run into us at Target or Wal-mart! My little shopper can be quite a handful. I think this may be our next issue to work on. Oh the joys of being a parent. Toddler boot camp...hut, two, hut, three!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Yummiest Bouquet Ever!

Last Thursday morning our doorbell rang and ella ran to check it out. Usually it is a sales person and I try to hide us so they think no one is home. This time...there was no need to hide. This is what I saw when I opened the door. A beautiful and yummy Edible Arrangement!

I was so surprised and have been racking my brain as to who this sweet gift was from and I have several ideas of sweet and very generous people that I know. The card just said congratulations and that they were all praying for us as our family grows. So since I cannot send a formal thank you card...I wanted to post my thanks here in case you read my blog. So thank you so much for the sweet and yummy gift. We devoured it! The chocolate covered pineapples were my favorite and the chocolate dipping sauce was so good on the strawberries. Thank you for being so thoughtful and for praying for our family! :)
In other news I am trying to be more productive this week..and cut back on eating so much sugar! These are both hard for me to do. I feel so lazy most days...and I feel like I don't get much accomplished that I want to. I have 4 sundresses for ella cut out and ready to be sewn together (they have been this way since probably September)! She will have outgrown them if I don't make them soon. I have fallen way far behind on my scrap booking. I still have Christmas to do and it is almost summer. I have lots of house cleaning calling my name (especially my bathrooms and laundry that didn't ever get finished last week!) I have a Bible study on Esther that I would like to finish and I have fallen way behind on reading my One Year Bible Passage daily. I have like a months worth of catch up and this was my goal for 2009! I would use the excuse of ella but she is a great napper and I do have a little free time each day. I could also try the I'm pregnant excuse but I am into the second trimester which is supposed to be the best as far as energy goes. Sometimes I think I was more productive when I was working full-time because I knew my free time was so limited and I had to get things done. Now it is easier to let things slide because there is always tomorrow! In other words I need to get myself motivated and quit putting things off for another day! With that...I guess I should get myself off the computer and get going!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Still Floating

I think I am still floating...for real. I just can't tell you how relieved I am to be pregnant, have had a good ultrasound and know it is a girl. Don't get me wrong I'd have been excited to have another boy and actually get to do the boy thing...but I have so many cute girl clothes, bibs, bows, socks, shoes, dresses, burp cloths, and etc., etc....that really need to be used again. I got out ella's box of newborn clothes today just to take a peek. So tiny, so precious, so exciting!

I always feel guarded in my pregnancies. I get somewhat anxious when my in-laws tell me how excited they are that I am expecting (what if my body lets me down again... i really don't want to disappoint them), I worry about everything I eat (could this be harmful to the baby), I follow every do and don't for a pregnant lady (worried that something I did or didn't do caused the 1 in 10,000 problem that Samuel had). I freak out before and during every appointment (yes cold sweats, diarrhea and all...and I know you really don't care to know that) esp. on ultrasound days. My doctor saw me in the waiting room yesterday and said, "breath Julie, keep breathing, ..." But... because of my past experiences I can no longer coast through a pregnancy without a care in the world. I know too much! I've read too much! I've experienced too much! While I am not generally a very big worrier this is my thing I worry over! I know God doesn't want me to be anxious or worried about anything...even this!

I say all that to say that I can now breathe... a little! My guard is falling. I so far have a healthy baby growing inside who is already moving! I have to continue to trust this little bitty girl who they said only weighs 5 oz. so far... to my God. The same way I entrusted Samuel to Him and the same way I daily have to entrust Ella to Him. They are not mine but His...just mine on loan. What a special, wonderful gift...that I treasure and love so much it hurts! Awww...the joys of being a mother!

I cannot write this without thinking of several of you and maybe even more that I do not know of that have sent your congratulations to me, all the while longing for a child of your own. Thank you for being so selfless! I remember how it feels to long for a child, pray for a child, and feel like God is silent. I am praying for you and can't wait to see how God blesses you richly. One thing I have learned is that I do not understand God's ways or His timing always, but they are always best in retrospect! Keep serving, keep asking, keep knocking on doors(even if they feel like only doctors offices :), keep loving, keep going, keep keeping on and before you know it time will have passed and you'll be where God's timing is! (Sorry I don't mean to sound preachy but I just remember how hard it is to hear that... so and so is pregnant, and so and so , and now so and so....and still be waiting! I hope this may bring someone encouragement! ) :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby #3 is on the Way!

You read that right! We are PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!! Not just a little pregnant but 16 weeks 1 day and yes that one day counts to me. We have been waiting for the time to come when we felt ready to share our big news. As most of you know we have faced our share of disappointments in this area and we wanted to wait until we could share with confidence and have our friends and family be excited for us and not scared for us!

Many of you know we experienced a miscarriage at 10 weeks and had a D&C on Dec. 19. To our great surprise and God's infinite plan we conceived again just two weeks later. I don't think this is normally the best thing to get pregnant again so soon after a loss...and the Lord know we have been on the waiting and waiting side of trying to conceive as well...but this time God say GO! This pregnancy got off to a very rocky start with a sub chronic hemorrhage at 5 weeks in which we were sure we were losing this baby as well. God had other plans and at each ultrasound and blood draw things continued to progress. So here we are at 16 weeks with what appears to be a healthy(with two kidneys, bladder and tons of fluid), active little GIRL!

We are over the moon and I am so so excited about another girl! I know ella will be a great big sis and I am so excited about her having a little sister to grow up with! Have I already said that I just cannot stop smiling! The Lord GIVES and the Lord takes AWAY and blessed be the name of the Lord!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Re-Cap and more

Easter morning!

I think she is wondering why I put her on the bench we never let her sit on!
Jesus is ALIVE!

We had a great Easter yesterday. Just for the record...I didn't miss it this year (see last post)! In fact we got to church 30 min. early and even had time to snap a few pictures before and drop a desert off at my mom and dad's house. Preparation really does if I can just do it this week and get us to church on time.

We've had such a fun and full Easter celebration. I think I've almost captured it all in this long post we hunted eggs twice, enjoyed a great Good Friday Service as well as Easter Sunday. (I still have Kevin and Ella's egg scavenger hunt to do. It is ready but yesterday was just too full and she got way too much! I think we'll do it tonight! I decided to start this as our little tradition last year when she was only 5 months and of course it was all her daddy doing it and for me to get the pictures...but I think she'll really enjoy it this year. I've hid the eggs in her favorite spots with easy clues that I think she'll understand.!) The eggs and fun activities will never be the focus of our Easter is Jesus...but we do feel they are fun activities and traditions to take part of in our family!
I also took ella for her first haircut on Saturday. I had never even had it trimmed and it was in a million layers and was a bit of a mullet. Now she has a cute little bob that can grow more at one length. I was a little sad to leave her baby hair on the floor...they did give me a little bag with the first lock to take home. She looks like a toddler for sure now and let me tell you....she is acting like one too. Toddler boot camp here we come!

Such a cool kiddie salon!

Check out her stick on earrings...she thought she was big stuff!

These are some of my favorite pictures from this Easter!

Inside egg hunt at church!
I've got a prize egg!
Daddy and e scoping out an egg!
So cute!
Toot's egg hunt...the biggest and best egg hunt around!
Lots of eggs and prizes!
Oh course ella found the "trashy!" Have I meantioned that she is quite fond of trash cans!
I know just what to do!
Do I want this egg or that one?

Making resurrection rolls with my cousins!

Egg dyeing!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Don't miss this Easter!

Last year I almost missed Easter! I am not kidding! Let me explain. The day before Easter...last somewhat type A personality went into a little overdrive. I decided that it would be so special if I made ella's first Easter dress (I know you are all thinking I am crazy...and don't worry I soon figured this out!) I had a smocked dress that I had been slowly working on for months. (Let me add here that I am no smocker. I have made 4 dresses all of which were somewhat train I wouldn't even let ella wear because of how tacky the buttons on the back look!) So I decided I would get the dress done and she could wear it for her very first Easter. I worked and worked amidst...nursing, changing diapers and caring for a 5 month old. When she went to bed for the night...I worked and worked and anything that could go wrong did. I got the smocking done and still had to put the dress together. Well, I can sew a little with my machine when it does what it is supposed to do...but of course it wasn't...major issues. The bobbin was messing up, the needle broke...and on and on! Finally at 3 am I went to bed with the dress almost complete, realizing that I am no Martha Stewart! I was physically unable to finish it. I felt so defeated. (It's funny how I let this get to's not like ella didn't have several beautiful dresses to wear for Easter...but I did!

I way overslept...probably because I was delirious from staying up too late. I was panicked trying to get us ready for church...not wanting to miss the Easter service....(In my heart I really wanted to be celebrate Jesus! ) Kevin was ironing as he often does at our house (he likes to iron and does a much better job than I do!) Well, he forgot to turn the iron down when ironing my brand-new silk Easter shirt from Ann Taylor (that I had just paid way too much for!) Yes, it was scorched and had many holes throughout! Poor guy he felt terrible! That was it...I demanded that I was just going to church today and I would just stay home! Nothing to wear on Easter! I superficial...and it's not like it even matters! I guess this goes back to my childhood and always having the perfect new Easter dress each year! Anyways, after being furious and pouting for a bit I couldn't stand the thought of not going to church...we are not ones to just stay home....and it was Easter for crying out loud. So we managed to get ourselves together and get to church. We did miss all the music and drama but we did catch most of the sermon. I felt like I'd missed out!

The day continued to unravel...I left my camera at the restaurantwe ate at and thankfully an honest person turned it in and we eventually tracked it down. I also did not get any of the cute Easter pics of ella like I'd planned on getting. You know the ones where we are outside standing in front of a blooming azalea bush! I think at about 7pm I put her dress back on her and tried but this was the best I could get!

So, what is the meaning of all this! This year I am focused! No making dresses, no staying up too late (better get this done soon), no worrying about my clothes (I will be wearing my Easter dress from 4 years ago tom.), no sleeping in...the alarm clocks are set for 6:30, no last minute preparations for church (my diaper bag is packed andthe sippy cup made and in fridge)! Tomorrow I want to focus on Jesus and not Julie. I want to praise Him for dying such a terrible death for me. I want to honor Him as the King of Glory who left his throne and came to this world to die for me. I want to not let satan get a foothold in my day and distract me with the cares of this world. I have my armor ready....don't you miss this Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fashion Tips from my little Fashionesta!

First of all...accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! A girl can never have too many!

Secondly, a wrapped belt is a great way to turn a smocked dress into something more...modern!

Thirdly,Who said the croc was out??They are comfy and chewy! (ewww)
Don't forget...A longer shoe will always make you look taller, just be careful ladies!
Go for the sporty look! It pairs great with jeans!

Try this new way to wear a belt! It will accentuate the positive and looks great with a pair of PJs!!
Once again the sporty look is back! Get you a baseball cap for all those (just taken your piggy tails out) crazy hair days!
Finally, ladies...if you can't find the right bracelet just go with several ponytail holders...their colorful, cheap and no one will know!

(In conclusion, my little 18 month old loves to dress up...constantly! Can you tell why I cannot seem to keep my bedroom clean anymore! So much fun!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bless You!

Ella's favorite new saying is "wess you!" It is so sweet and she immediately says it upon sneezing and is getting lots of practice with all the allergies and colds we've had lately! Unfortunately she is also saying it when she "toots!" Sorry for a lack of a better term! We are now working on excuse me!