Sunday, November 30, 2008

A recap

This Thanksgiving break...

400 miles-our drive each way
3-number of potty stops going to Texas
2-number of potty stops coming home
15-hours in the car
4-hours I drove
6-DVD's viewed
3-different new dresses the girls wore
9.2-miles I ran (with my sister) on Saturday
10-hours I slept on Thursday night
4-loads of laundry done while on vacation
1000's-hugs and loving that Nora and Elyn got this holiday

It was a great vacay and I am EXHAUSTED!

By the way, I run the 1/2 marathon on Saturday! Ahhhhhhh!

I would love to say that due to all of my training, I am back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.

But I can't.

Not even close.

It's depressing.

But guess what? I can run 13 miles. I guess that counts for something, huh?

Do I care what my time will be at the finish line on Saturday? Nope. I just want to cross that line.

Maybe, when I run my next one, I will care about my time.

Yep, already planning another. I'm crazy.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Happy Post Thanksgiving!

We are in Fort Worth, enjoying our time with family.

Matthew and I got to spend an evening together last night. Without kids! After our "feast", we went to see "Four Christmases" (and laughed!) and got to spend the night in a hotel...

and woke up at NINE THIRTY!


We went shopping today. Not looking for any deals, but found some anyway.

It's been a good holiday so far. I'll post pictures when we get home.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

This might come back to bite me...but...

potty training is going pretty well.

Nora is doing a fantastic job! We have had a handful of accidents since last Tuesday and seem to be on the road to dry panties, full-time.

Elyn has been a big cheerleader in the whole process. Nora's potty "sings" when she tee-tees. When Elyn hears that music, she throws her arms over her head and yells, "YEA!". Because of her cheering, Nora decided she needs an M&M every time too. Pretty sweet sisters. The picture below makes me laugh. Nora wanted Elyn in the picture, so she grabbed her hand and said, "Take our picture Mommy".
Then, Elyn decided she had had enough and started trying to pull her hand away. Nora kept holding on, despite Elyn's protests. Eventually, Elyn got tired of the hand holding and started pushing back. Ahhh...sisterly love...sweet?

I'm very proud of my big girl! She runs to the potty when she needs to go, yelling as she sprints through the house, "I have to hurry, I have to hurry!". One thing we have discovered is that the girl likes her privacy! She CANNOT poop unless she is all alone. She will announce, "I have to go to the potty. You stay right here!". I don't blame her though. She is tee-teeing and pooping on the potty...we are so excited! Our conversations are pretty comical these days.
I went into the whole process absolutely dreading it! We tried once before and quit so I thought our second attempt was going to be awful too.
I think the main reason it has been so successful is because I finally waited until she was ready. She basically told me she was ready by taking her diaper off herself and going on the potty.
I also give MOST of the credit to the book that I read. It is "Toilet Training in Less Than A Day" and, although it is a bit severe, it works! Funny thing, when I told my mom that I was using this book as my guide, she said that she used the exact same book when potty training me!
We stayed home for two solid days, only focusing on her bladder and bowels. I was ready to shoot myself by the end of the second day. I was tired!!!!! And so was she. But our efforts have paid off.
I also have not used Pull-Ups (as suggested by the book). At all. I do put her in a diaper (because I have a whole case of size 4 diapers that I had just opened...of course!) for nap time and bedtime. So far, her diapers have been dry when she wakes up from her nap and this morning, her diaper was dry when she got up from being asleep all night. I'm not brave enough to let her go to sleep in just her panties though.

This is what has worked for far. I don't think we are accident free for good. I carry at least two changes of clothes with me when we go out in public. I carry our potty in the back of my van in case, while we're in the van, she says she has to go. Today, she wore the same pair of panties all day, but tomorrow could be different.
We are going to be in the car for over SIX hours on Wednesday. I wonder how many times we will have to stop. It might take closer to twelve hours. Sigh.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A whole bunch of reasons to be thankful

This is our small group...our ENTIRE small group.

This is our family in Northwest Arkansas. Matthew and I don't know what we would do without them!

Each year, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we have a feast and tonight the whole group made it...even the one-week-old baby girl and her mommy and daddy.

To say I was excited would be kind of downplaying it. I just can't believe how much we have grown!

We started out, 3 years ago, with 4 couples and one baby (and two babies on the way).

Now we have 6 families...12 adults and 8 kids!

20 reasons to be very, very thankful!

I love you all!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Girls

Here are some recent pictures (you're welcome, family).

I have done an AWFUL job taking photos recently. I hope to do better. I NEED to do better!

At Mommy and Me on Thursday, the kids made the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Here is my little chef. You can tell it was a very complex process. Pillsbury Dough and canned pie filling. Just call our group "Paula Dean Wannabes".
We chose blueberry filling.
She wasn't exactly neat and clean.

But, that didn't matter to her, she loved it! And it turned out pretty tasty too!
This kid LOVES glasses!
(Notice the big girl underwear...which she showed off to everyone at Matthew's school today when we went up there for lunch. Nice.)
Cowgirl Elyn
Both girls riding the horse. Like the choke hold that Nora has on Elyn? She is going nowhere!

Hope you enjoyed them.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

8 o'clock

I've decided that my favorite time of day is 8 o'clock.

Both 'am' and 'pm'.

At 8:00am, I am usually sitting at the table with my girls, enjoying breakfast. None of us are huge "let's talk about how well we slept and how excited we are to start our day" people. We're mostly, "What do you want for breakfast?";"Mama, I need a napkin";"silence".

It's a quiet affair and takes a good 20-30 minutes to get really warmed up. And that's how I love it.

I love that time because both girls still have that sweet baby sleepiness all over their faces. I have already snuggled with both, straight out of the bed. Both are content to just sit in their chairs while wearing their pajamas, drink their milk, and chomp on their cereal.

It would only be made more perfect if their daddy could join us.

After breakfast, we are on the go ALL DAY LONG. It doesn't matter if we are actually going somewhere or we are just staying at home, we are ON THE GO.

There is lots of disciplining, lots of whining, lots of playing, lots of hugs, lots of not sharing, lots of movement, lots of fun.

Even during nap time, the movement doesn't end because I am usually still in motion.

By the time 8:00pm finally rolls around, both girls are back in their pajamas and tucked snuggly in their beds.

This is also my favorite time because of the silence. Ahhh, the silence.

And the company.

This is the time of day that Matthew and I finally have alone together. Oh sure, we don't spend the next three hours sitting side by side on the couch, staring into each other's eyes telling every moment of our day. Lately he has been in the kitchen doing homework and I have been on the couch, watching tv or sewing. But, to have that time of day when I know it will just be us, that is enough.

8 o'clock. It's a great time of day.

Right now, anyway.

I know in a few years this will change. My children will get older and our priorities will shift. I wonder what my favorite time of day will be then.

I hope it is the same, in a sense.

When I am with those I love, at the most precious moments, that will be my most favorite time of day.

What's your favorite?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Potty training...take two

*****Update*****We had one more accident today, this time just wet (thank goodness!). She went, unprompted, to the potty several times this evening. I think it was to show-off for her daddy. Whatever works. We start again tomorrow. I'm tired thinking of it. And my house, oh gracious, "disaster area" is putting it mildly. I don't care though. As long as this pays off! One question though, how do I get her to poop on the potty? She seems scared to do that. Any advice?
We started potty training AGAIN today.

Ughhhh! That is the best word that sums it up for me today.

I don't have to teach classes for Harding this week or next week and Nora doesn't have "school" next Monday. I figured if we were ever going to start trying again, this was the perfect time.
It's 1:34 and I just laid both girls down for naps. I was SO happy to put Nora in a diaper for her nap. I am confident I am way more exhausted than she is!

We started out the morning with a tee-tee and poop accident. Way to start off with a bang.

Since then, these are some of the comments that I have heard from her:
"I'm not a big girl...I'm a baby! I need diapers!"
"I don't want to tee-tee"
"sob, sob, sob, sob"

You can tell it's been a completely positive experience.

You might ask me why I am torturing myself and carrying on...because she is READY!

Twice she has taken off her diaper and sat on the potty, all by herself.

When we went out to eat after church on Sunday, she told me that she had to go potty. I took her to the Ladies Room and she tee-teed.

She is showing all the signs that she is ready to be potty trained.

I am NOT quitting today or tomorrow and I'm hoping that by Thursday my stubbornness pays off.

I have been giving Nora M&M's when she goes on the potty (1 for tee-tee and 2 for poop). She only wants orange ones. Geez!

Actually, that's okay because all the colors taste good to me and THAT is what is getting me through today.

To be continued.........hopefully with positive news.

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Monday, November 17, 2008


Elyn is starting to say more words. Admittedly, Matthew and I are probably the only two who understand them.

Here is her expanding vocabulary:

  • mama
  • da
  • more
  • please (peeeeeeez) and knows the sign. This is the ONLY sign she knows!
  • cheese (when she sees a camera)
  • hello? (when "talking" on a play (or real) phone)
  • bye bye, accompanied by a wave
  • thanks to her sisters love of Mickey Mouse, when Elyn sees him she says "Mo!"
  • baby (buh buh)
  • makes the sounds for duck, pig, and horse
  • no
  • uh oh...her favorite word!

It might not seem like a very extensive list to you, but her knowledge of words is growing daily. She is getting so big!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Say "cheese"

I go to Ladies Bible Class at our church every Tuesday morning. While I am enjoying that, the girls spend an hour at the Mother's Day Out program that our church has. It's free for the hour and Nora really looks forward to it.

A few Tuesdays ago, the MDO had picture day. Since we're not "regulars", I was not aware of this.

When I went to pick the girls up, the teachers in Elyn's room told me that she didn't enjoy picture time, so they put Nora next to her in hopes of getting her to smile.

What do you think? Christmas card pic for this year? Or maybe really big above our mantle.
One kid crying and the other picking her nose. Awesome.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

A bubblin' over

Earlier this week, I was unloading the dishwasher.

Which is a never-ending job, can I get an Amen?

As I finished unloading, I thought the dishwasher looked a little dingy inside. You know, not "sparkling clean, straight from the showroom" feel. Although with the quality dishwasher we have, I doubt it ever had the "sparkly" effect. It's one of those "okay, we're throwing up these houses in a neighborhood and they all pretty much look the same, so let's get the cheapest appliances that are available and put them in the cookie cutter houses" kind of dishwashers. But, hey, it works and our dishes are at least sparkling.

So, because I'm a genius, I pulled the Clorox out of the laundry room and poured some into the bottom of the dishwasher. Because, you know, Clorox cleans things. And makes them sparkly.
This is what a saw when I came back to the kitchen about 20 minutes later...

I imagined my house full of bubbles, with me swimming towards the door, yelling, "I just wanted a clean dishwasher!"
I stood guard while the cycle finished to make sure my small children didn't see the "fun" bubbles and start playing in them like they were in the bathtub.
Good news is that the bubbles never got much worse.
Bad news, most of my kitchen towels now have bleach stains on them.
Oh, and my dishwasher looks EXACTLY the same.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

November 14

We love you Aunt Beth! And we hope you have a great birthday. You are such a fun aunt! You always play with us and never seem to tire of it. We are excited about seeing you at Christmas!

We love you, Nora and Elyn

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some things I like...

A cloudy afternoon
A good nap
The first sip of a Diet Coke
Comments on my blog
A pair of pants that look awesome the first time I try them on
A great pair of shoes
Clean sheets
Folding laundry
Getting the mail
Books on tape/CD
Nichole Nordman
A good laugh
A good cry
When Nora snuggles with me
When Elyn says "Hi!"
My husband
A clean house
Strawberry cake
A good hair day
Open blinds
The smell of a newborn
Not currently being pregnant :)
Nursing my babies

And the list could go on and on. But these are a few things I like. See anything that might give you an idea for Christmas?

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

That boy!

I have a lot to blog about. I mean, I think all the time, "Oh that would be HILARIOUS to blog about...I'll do that later."

Well, later gets here and I have more pressing issues.

Right now I should be getting ready for my class tomorrow night (which I have prepared ZERO for), but I wanted to write these things down for my memories.

I have mentioned before that Nora has an imaginary friend. She calls him "the boy". I don't know how creative she is actually going to be because she also calls ALL of her dolls "baby". She never names anything, just calls it like it is.

Anyway, "the boy" has been going with us places. And Nora likes to include him in EVERYTHING.

The other day at the store, I was walking down the aisle, tossing food into my basket. Every few seconds I would look down at Nora and remind her that she had to stay right beside me if she was going to walk (as opposed to sitting in the cart having food thrown at her). We were almost all the way down the aisle when she looked back and YELLED, "Come on boy! You need to come on!!!!" Her hands were on her hips the whole time. She looked at me and said, "Mama, tell the boy to come on." So, I had to say, "Come on boy" while a couple of adults looked at me with questioning eyes. I guess that did the trick because then Nora looked at me and said, "Okay, let's go."
I was getting the girls out of the van at the gym the other day, again, reminding Nora to stay right beside me because we were in a parking lot. She turned around and said, "Oh, "boy"...look mama, he is jumping in the puddles and getting all wet. Silly boy!"
At breakfast and lunch, when we say our prayer, Nora holds "the boy's" hand too. She doesn't do it at dinner though. I think it's because she is holding Matthew's hand instead. Oh, and a few times, I have had to set a plate (empty) at the seat where "the boy" "sits".
The boy is here ALL DAY long. I never encourage her playing with "the boy" but I NEVER discourage her from playing with him either. I know having imaginary friends is totally normal and some even consider it healthy. I just wish Nora was more creative with her name! I wonder how long "the boy" will be a part of our family?

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Love this picture!

Because Elyn looks like such a big girl...sniff, sniff...they are both growing up too fast!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

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Monday, November 03, 2008

6th pic

I was tagged a while back to show the 6th picture in my 6th folder. Here it is:
I remember this day so well! It was July 13, 2006. Nora was almost 6 months old and just starting to be really fun. Matthew and I took an impromptu photo shoot this day. Good memories! I can't believe how much she looks like Elyn here. Such a sweet baby girl!

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Prayer request

My cousin, Julie, is married to Jay. This morning, Jay ran a 1/2 marathon. On his way back to his car, after finishing the race, he was hit by a car.

Two other men were also hit.

All three, and the driver, were taken to the hospital. Of the three, Jay was injured the "least".

His injuries include two broken legs, severe road rash, a gash on his stomach and wrist, several cuts and lacerations on his face.

He had surgery late this afternoon on one of his legs where a rod was put in.

He will be in casts on both legs for, minimum, 6 weeks. And they say that a full recovery might take as long as 10 months.

Julie is 24 weeks pregnant and has a very active 2 1/2 year old little boy. She is going to have a lot of work in the next few weeks. Please pray for strength and courage for her. And for lots of help!

Please pray for Jay and the other two men that were hit by the car. Pray for the families of these men. Pray for the girl that hit them (the accident is being investigated and they are not exactly clear on what happened).

To read more about the accident, please read here.

Thank you for your prayers!

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