Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I have an annoucement to make

(Yes, I'm pregnant). Haha, I'm a funny one. :)

The child within my womb, formerly known as poor-nameless-boy, has officially acquired a name. We decided for sure a few weeks ago, but decided to tell our family at Christmas. We specifically decided to wait and tell my grandfather, whom he will be named in honor of.

So, since tens of you are in the edges of your seats, I will commence.

His name will be Jack Henry. Precious, isn't it? (and if you disagree, you may keep your opinions to yourself. Ahem.).

Jack means "God's precious gift", which, clearly, he is (Also, it is a derivitive of John, a family name many times over on Chris' side of the family. In addition to that, Janelle and Jack--derivitives of John and Jane--mean the same thing, so it's triple-y special). :)

Henry means "strong ruler of the home" and our prayer is that he will grow into a strong leader--a man of God who loves his future wife and children and leads them with the wisdom of the Lord. Henry is my dear Papa's middle name who Chris and I both adore. We are so pleased to honor him in this way, and hope that our little Jack will be like him one day.

So, there you have it. Aren't you glad you waited so long for that? :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Anna-Kate: part psychic, part doctor

So, I promise to post about Christmas, but this was just too funny...

Ryan got a doctor kit from my grandparents for Christmas and both kids have really enjoyed it.

AK: "Mommy, can I doctor you?"
Me: "sure."
AK: "are you sick?"
Me: "well, I don't think so..."
AK: (listening to my heart-beep) "oh, you are so sick!" (takes me temperature) "and you have a bad cough!"
Me: "and you can tell that by taking me temperature? Amazing."
AK: "oh yes. I think you have a bad fever too" (gives me a "shot") "your cough is all better now."
Me: "oh good."
AK: "let me check your eyes" (then looks at my eyes with the little thing) "oh dear, this tells me you are going to get very, very sick."
Me: "oh no, when will I get sick?"
AK: "um, next week. now I'm going to doctor you and the baby" (and puts the thing on my arm for blood pressure). "He's good, now I'll doctor daddy."

(Chris lays down as if dead on the floor)

AK: (listens to his heart-beep) "Oh daddy, what a large tummy you have!"

I may or may not have laughed so hard that I started coughing, which may or may not have made me wet my pants a little bit. I'm blaming the pregnancy for this one.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I appreciate that!

I'm gonna not be writing about Christmas or traditions today (though, I am very excited for my extended families get-together tonight!).

Let me preface this by saying, my children are not perfect. I am not a perfect parent. We are all sinners born with a sin nature, I get it.

With that said, I am so sick of parents excusing bad behavior. If your kid is ugly, pushes, what have you, do something about it. Your "perfect" little child will not magically become sweet one day without a little intervention. If you are at a playground, playdate, whatever, pay attention to your child, maybe they could act a bit kinder.

Anyway, today we went to Chick-fil-a with my mom. She had a meeting she had to go to, so the kids and I stayed to play for a bit. While on the playground, as inevitably happens, a child stepped on another child's hand. In this case, the stepee was Ryan, who began to cry. I saw it happen, it was in no way intentional or ugly (and I don't think the other little boy even knew he stepped on Ryan's little hand). Anyway, thinking nothing of it, I went to get Ryan and console his little fingers. The other boys mom (of which there were about 8 kids playing, so she did not know it was him) came up to me and asked what had happened. I said that a little boy had accidently stepped on fingers, quite unintentionally and that's just what happens at playgrounds, no big deal. She immediately called her son (maybe age 4 or 5) and reminded him to be careful for little fingers and slow down, be mindful of younger kids playing etc. What a fantastic job! It required so little on her part, was a great chance for her to talk to her son about kindness to others in a non-emotional setting (ie, he wasn't in trouble) and it warmed my soul to know there was another mom out there who had high expectations and actually watched her older kid at the playground.

That's all. Happy Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

On Sunday our church had its annual Birthday party for Jesus for the kids. I volunteered to help with set-up and clean-up. Somehow I got in charge of leading singing and keeping the thing running. (but I didn't have to do the puppet show or anything, thankfully!).

There were so many kids (We planned for 80, but not sure if that counts parents or not!) and they really seemed to enjoy it. (This would be where AK told everyone we were going to the 'cracker afterwards. :) ).

Yesterday, was our birthday party for Jesus (let's just say, cake consumption is at an all time high right now in our house). I co-hosted with 2 of my good friends at another friends' house (who is so patient and much more laid back than me and didn't even sweat the ground in cake in her rug. A Christmas miracle?) This year, for the most part, the children we chose to invite are not believers. Since I was co-hosting, we had to be careful for numbers, so I opted to mostly invite those who I pray will hear and receive the Gospel one day. Unfortunatley, a lot of families are already out of town, so many couldn't be there.

Heather read a story to the kids who all got to hold a stuffed (animal like) part of the Nativity story and add it when their "part" came around.

Anna-Kate and Emma with their cow and donkey, respectively (and Lydia trying to be one of the girls and listen, but about to join the little ones and play).

The littles:

At the end of the story, Heather did something really special. She gave a crown to Lauren, Adam and Anna-Kate, those children who have asked Jesus to live in their hearts this year and talked about how they are children, princes and princesses, of the King because of what Jesus has done in their hearts.

Our newest royalty:

Next came our craft, a huge sticker thing of the nativity and the kids got to put it on the paper wherever they wanted (unless they were Ryan and were seeking help from their type-A mom in which case I gently directed him where to put them "correctly").

Next came lunch, grilled cheese, fruit and pretzels (soon to be followed by cake, which upon arrival was promptly taste tested for quality assurance. Evidently, it passed muster):

After the meal we had our second craft...decorating cookies for our favor/to take home to daddy. Well, that was the specification. I asked each of the kids who they were going to make their cookies for and all kindly offered up various family members names. Of all of the children who were there, only 3 actually took some home (and of those, only 1 didn't eat a cookie). Sugar high anyone? (and, you're welcome other moms!)

A sweet Christmas tradition.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Nutcracker

We had a wonderful time at the Nutcracker yesterday. Anna-Kate had been asking for days leading up to it when we would be going, and all Sunday at church she told anyone who was listening we were going to a tea party and then the "'cracker". (We went to a tea room for lunch).

At the tea room (a friends' friends' granddaughter, (Isabel), Lauren, Hannah and Anna-Kate). Such grown up girls!

Waiting for the show to begin (kept asking, "why are the lights still on??")Sidenote, I was PUMPED when I put on last year's Christmas dress and it still fit (more surprising bonus, Ryan's 12 mos matching outfit from last year fit as well--SCORE!) She was so proud to get to pick jewelry from her jewelry box to wear. She chose a silver bracelet that she received as a baby. As it was silver, and she has no silver necklaces, I let her borrow one of mine to wear--you'd think I had just given her a million bucks by the look on her face. She showed everyone and was so proud and very careful. She's certainly growing up!

With the stage behind us, you just can't really see it. :)

She L-O-V-E-D watching the ballerinas!

Of course, as there were no words spoken or sung, I had to do a decent amount of explaining what was going on, but we've read the story many times, so that helped. Also, I was extremely impressed with her whisper voice and behaviour in general. It was a very special mommy/daughter day--a tradition I hope to continue for many years. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Does this happen to you too?

Have you ever heard yourself talk and realized you were over-reacting and wondered why the words coming out of your mouth were coming out of your mouth?

Ya, me too. (I'm just sayin', it happens to the best of us sometimes, right?)

So at 6:41 this morning I woke up as Chris pulled the sheet off of me. I was holding the sheet over my tummy, about halfway covering me and I said, in a half awake fog, "stop it, I don't have any sheet!". Chris said, "you have it all" then did the clutch and roll. (you know, the famous, I'm rollingintothesheetsothereisnopossibilityofyouevergettinganysheet move. I was furious. (I like my sleep). I got out of bed, went to his side and tried to logically reason with him that in fact, he had all of the cover. (And by logical, I mean I grabbed the handfuls of sheet and waved it at him saying with intensity, "SEE? You have it all!". I got back on my side, my point clearly made only to find that I had awakened my baby who had previously been sleeping in my gestating womb. I never fell back asleep.

I resigned myself to it and got up, took a shower, cleaned the kitchen and started making muffins for breakfast. (All the while fuming. I know, mature.) When Chris came down about 8:25 he said, "your hair is wet, I didn't think you were gonna take a shower until after you went out" (to be fair, I had an appointment with some friends to get a manicure and pedicure at a new spa in the area. If you haven't heard of groupon, get on it--major money saving fun things to do). I said, "well, I wasn't planning to wake up early, but as I couldn't fall asleep after my 6:41 abrupt awakening I decided to go ahead."

Then he said it. "Well babe, why'd you wake up so early?" I think I breathed fire when I said, "yooooooou. YOU woke me up" and I recounted our earlier exchange. He started laughing and had zero recollection of said exchange. (which just made me madder, because clearly he was doing it on purpose. Like I said, I knew I was being irrational, but I was peeved. Like, when you wake up from a dream and it's so real that you really think it happened enough to be mad or really happy with someone...does this happen to other people than me??).

I guess I was snippy enough that Chris encouraged me to leave...and stay gone. Uh-oh.

Thankfully, after a wonderful time (almost 2 hours in fact) with some friends getting pampered, I wasn't as tired and felt better. I met Chris and the kids at chick-fil-a for lunch, then played until nap time. I got some sewing done too (though, side note, I am OVER the project I'm currently on. I am beyond stressed with it and just want it to be done so I can mail it off and never think about it again. And, my serger became unthreaded today. BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. It took me 45 minutes to get that blasted thing rethreaded.).

Tonight we are heading to Chris' office party and then gonna hit our next door neighbor's bash--tis the season. Chris said his party has door prizes. I thought, "yippee" until he told me they included a 42" we're crossing our fingers for that. :)

On a completely unrelated note, Anna-Kate and I will be attending the Nutcracker tomorrow and she is beyond excited (I mean, I am too, but she has that child-like excitement that is absolutely contagious!). Pictures to come, so stay glued to the edge of your chair for those. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

School at Christmastime!

Today was Anna-Kate and Ryan's school parties. Hers was at 11, his was at 12. (Just wait until you hear about the rest of my day/weekend. Ya, that's just how I live my life evidently).

So I arrived at Anna-Kate's party with sugar cookies, icing, sprinkles and knives in tow (and, bonus, I was even a few minutes early!). The kids came in a few minutes later and Anna-Kate immediately went from skipping down the hall life-of-the-party to whiny, needy and clingy. Say what? (sidenote, is this normal?) See, this is me making her play Christmas bingo (am I mean or what? According to this picture, it's a form of torture).

She changed her tune when she realized that a candy cane was the reward for finishing. She's showing us her prize.

Obligatory picture (with me tickling her to get her to smile. Sigh.).

After pizza, a few games and exchanging book presents with her classmates, it was cookie decorating time! Here she is with Emma:

Poor Ryan. I looked at the clock and saw that it was 12:15! (usually, Anna-Kate's parties are struggling to make it 20 minutes, so I never dreamed I'd be late...). I ran down the hall and in his classroom, he looked up from his meal of chick-fil-a, fruit, juice box and cookies (that I for some reason volunteered to make 2 batches of last night. Well, scratch that, AK and I made one batch yesterday and I decided this morning at 7 I didn't have enough for both classes, so I made another batch this morning. Ya, I did.) and this was his sweet face:

Sadly, I have no pictures of him with his little friends or teachers because as soon as I got him out of his highchair he immediately started saying and waving "bye-bye" to his teachers and threw a fit that I was there to stay and socialize, not leave.

So, we finally got home and everyone down for naps when I realized that in my (only)1 1/2 hours of no kids that morning (where I had cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, put away laundry, eaten breakfast and finished addressing the new batch of Christmas cards that just came.) I had forgotten to go to Publix to get more sweet potatoes for the casserole I was making for our church home group potluck Christmas party tonight. Sigh. I just made the 5 I had and called it good. We got to that party right at 5:30 (and were the first to arrive, a first for us for sure). Everyone was finally ready to pray and eat at 6:25. Chris and I shoveled food (I'd fed the kids during appetizers) as we had to leave at 6:35 for Anna-Kate's school Christmas program. Of course.). We had so much fun and hated to leave!

We arrived at school, thankfully, the Crabbs had saved us seats near the front. Anna-Kate and I had been in talks for the past 2 weeks about not repeating the performance from Thanksgiving (as if a loyal reader of mine would need a reminder. Ha!) She said she thought she'd just sit by me and watch. I said that she would actually be singing this time. She said she was scared, so we prayed for Jesus to make her brave. I said, "well, since Jesus answers our prayers, if you do not stand up there and obey your teacher this will be a problem in your heart with disobedience, and we don't want that, do we?". Thankfully that, and a candy cane afterwards, did the trick. She did amazing! I am so proud of my girl!!

She sang her little heart out, did the motions and smiled the whole time. Way to go Anna-Kate!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Party, part 1

Last week began our Christmas party extravaganza. On Thursday we had two parties, the Moms Club party for the family, and the annual Christmas bunco for the neighborhood ladies--always a good time.

I tried to get some pictures of Ryan with his little friends, there were cookies promised. Clearly, that means a lot to Ryan and Lauren. Patrick, not so much, and Jack looked like he could take or leave the offer. :)

Ryan still hanging on to hope for a second cookie...

It was a poor showing of older kids, but Anna-Kate rallied, despite the lack of friends (her buddies Andrew and Adam were there, so that was good!).

I then came home, grabbed my sparkling raspberry juice from World Market (which, incidently is SUPER, especially if other, um, options aren't available to you) and headed straight out to Christmas bunco (don't tell, I skipped choir rehearsal! But shoot if I was going to miss 2 parties in one night! That just isn't how I roll. Ahem.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Survey says...

I'm officially not the "fun" parent.

Bummer. But, we all knew it. :)

Last night was our annual decorate the gingerbread house night. Anna-Kate had been looking forward to it for weeks. I put the house part together and was stressed out by 4 little hands interfering. I then realized it wasn't about me. I also know myself, and I can't sit there. So, I picked up the camera and took pictures as Chris decorated the house with the kids. They LOVED it. Anna-Kate has said 3 times since its completion, "Mommy, I just had so much fun decorating my candy house!".

Ya, she never said that last year.

I'm not gonna lie, it looks horrible. Almost all of the candy is on the roof, with very little on the front, back and sides. You know what? They think it looks great (although, Anna-Kate noticed that there isn't any on the back and said so earlier today. I told her I would have put some candy there, but she got to do it however she and Ryan wanted). (I'm such a good person. Bless my little heart).

Enjoying the process:

Showing me her "candy house" and the tree for outside she decorated.

The finished product (*shudder* it doesn't look like the picture! Side note, good mommy, letting go...)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'll just warn you...there is no rhyme or reason to this post. Just a few random thoughts/stuff going on.

I've got a cold, and I'm miserable. The worst part is that baby has gotten so active that his kicks are actually making me sick. Like, I have to lie down and concentate on not throwing up. Seriously? This is no bueno and (Please God!) cannot last 15 more weeks!

I'm heading to the OB tomorrow. That's all. I'm sure everything is fine. Though, this is my first trip since the Northside visit a few weeks ago. I'm sure there will be questions a'plenty.

I had my first "seriously, I have to start thinking about this?" moment today with Anna-Kate. We were in the car and there was no fussing/whining/complaining happening. (which is why what follows is so random, she clearly doesn't get the context). I got out of the car and she said, "you are such a stupid". "What did you say?" I said (I truly said it not accusatatingly as I was sure I had not heard what I thought I heard.) "Umm, you are such a mommy" she said.
Me: "Anna-Kate, are you telling the truth? What did you really say just then?"
AK: "umm, I forgot."
Me: "Anna-Kate, are you telling Mommy a lie? Who is the father of lies? (the devil, in case you don't know)."
AK: "I just can't remember right now Mommy."
Me: "well, you sit on the stair until you remember what you said."
5ish minutes later...
Me: "did you remember?"
AK: "No, I just forget..."
Me: "You realize that by telling lies your consequences get worse, right?"
AK: "Umm, I said stupid" (this was so faint I could hardly make it out).
Me: "What did you say?"
AK: "stupid, I said stupid Mommy."
Me: "Do you know that that word is unkind and only ever used to be ugly and unkind to others? ("uhh, no", voice shaky) Do you think Jesus would use that word? ("no ma'am", crying a little)Do you think He would be proud of you for using that word? ("no ma'am" with hysteric tears)Where did you hear that word?"
AK: "in that bee movie" (that would be a movie we saw one time last June.)

In case you were wondering why we shelter our kids. X-ray memory. That's why.

("Oh be careful little ears what you hear...")

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Chris finally felt the baby move. :) I've been feeling him since 14 weeks pregnant (I'm 24 weeks now). I was watching my belly move (Oh my! I'm scared of how active he's gonna be...this is way earlier and waaaaay more active than my others. Dun, dun, duuuuuun!). Anyway, he ran up to feel and got a good solid kick. :)

Living vicariously, or not....

So, if you know us in real life, you know that Anna-Kate is about a carbon copy of me. We look a decent amount a like, but share a very similiar personality (and from what I keep hearing, she is just like I was at her age to boot). Guess that apple doesn't fall too far, huh?

Anyway, I was asked by the powers that be (at church) if Anna-Kate would open our huge Christmas program by doing the a solo (in a completely dark room with just a spotlight on her--can you imagine anything more precious?!?!?!?!) to "Happy Birthday Jesus". I was so proud (clearly, I understand this is not me they were asking to sing, but still. Whole "Mama Bear" thing I guess. I was proud.) I was told, "this can't be a 'probably' thing, she either has to say she's doing it and do it, or don't." I talked about solos in general all week. We watched the Rockettes on TV with friends and talked about dancing solos, we heard Christmas songs on the radio with singing get the picture. Anyway. Rubber meets the road. I said that if she wanted to she could have a special solo singing the happy birthday Jesus song and Mommy would sit right in front of her blah blah. She said, "I don't think that's a very great idea. I don't want to sing at morning church." I said, "well, it's for a nighttime singing." "Ooooh!" she said, "then I think I would like to do that. But only if you stand by me and hold my hand."

That clearly would not work. I am not a cute little three year old that would be the dramatic beginning to the show.

Can I tell you that it killed me to tell my music director no?

I know I did the right thing, not making her do something just because I wanted her to do it, but dangit, it would have been awesome...I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, so that I can try and complete a thought here, I vividely remember when I was younger (maybe 7?) and I desperately wanted a solo in my school (or church?) Christmas show. I got it, and then freaked. I remember being so scared and hating it. I desperately wanted to be in the spotlight and to get the attention, just couldn't handle the pressure, I guess. I think that's where she is.

So, maybe another year. Or, another kid. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009


I love it. I even drink de-caf now that I'm gestating and all. (Call it the placebo effect, I still love it, and it "works"). Chris gets peeved with me for using flavored coffee in the pot, evidently, the "abomination" flavor stays through to the next pot.

So, if you read this blog often, you know that this past week has been quite busy and stressful for me. I went to bed at 2am for four nights in a row. Let's just say that yesterday morning I was quite tired upon waking up. (Can you blame me? I mean, I am gestating and all). I stumbled out of bed at 8:30 to make a pot of coffee. I had slept late (so had Anna-Kate, thus my ability to sleep. God bless his little heart, Ryan had patiently waited in his big boy bed for me to get him-VICTORY!). We were of course running late for school so by the time I got the kids fed and lunches made, the pot was only half way through brewing. No biggie I thought, I'll just pour some into my beyond-giant-sized travel mug and it can finish after I get some and go. This is our new coffee pot. Evidently it doesn't have the feature where it stops brewing when the pot is not under the thing. Can you guess how I know this now? Ya, it spilled everywhere, but dangit, I was gonna finish pouring. Well, idiot that I am, put the pot back on to catch the drips and it splattered the coffee all over the counter. If you know me well you know that my biggest OCD tendency in life is my sink and counters. (Until about 6 months ago I bleached both daily. I still wipe them obsessively...I mean really, if you see yuckiness on the counters don't you just assume the kitchen is dirty and any food prepared there isn't clean?). Anyway, so I freaked and jumped for the paper towels, which in turn knocked over the entire contents of afore mentioned beyond giant travel mug. The old me would have flipped. I think I was too tired to exert that much energy. I walked to the laundry room, grabbed two clean dish towels (yes, that's how much coffee it was) and cleaned it up. At this point, school had already started, but, on a brighter note, my coffee had finished brewing. I poured the remaining contents into my mug and hit the road.

When I got back home I got a phone call as I was walking in and put my coffee mug down somewhere. When I got off the phone I couldn't for the life of me remember where it was. Do you know I never found it? Chris found it when he came home from work. Eight and a half hours later. It was on my desk.

Clearly, I need more sleep.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quick Post

I am beyond tired. I've been up to close to 2 the last 2 nights. I don't do that anymore, I'm far too old.

I've gotten the tree up and house as decorated as it's getting this year (no party for me means no garland on the stairs, that saved about an hour). I am almost done with pressing projects. My Christmas card is written, the pictures are ordered (which, spoiler alert, is the picture at the top of my blog), I hope to get them out tomorrow (or maybe Thursday, we'll see). The gifts are wrapped, only lacking ribbon.

Now, to the 16 (yes, really, that many. And yes, I have a very specific list. I'm a list person, so shoot me.) things on my To-Do list. Some day I will sleep again.