January 30, 2008

Thinking Ahead and Looking Back

I've been thinking a lot about the newborn phase lately. It's partly because I'm caring for a fairly new baby and partly because I'm going to have a new baby of my own in about 6 months, give or take a few weeks.

When I think back to when Hattie was tiny, my heart swells with fresh, pure new mommy love, but a sharp tinge of fear pokes at me, too. Hattie was a colicky newborn. It was so hard for the first 4 months, and then it slowly became easier. And I was hormonal for a LONG time. The baby honeymoon phase lasted about 6 days for us, and then we were thrown into parenting a child who we loved as perfectly as we could but who, without a doubt, did not have an easy temperment. She cried a lot. I cried a lot. I think Sean prayed a lot. It was a good thing I didn't have a blog back in those early months. Who knows what I would have written!

So I'm just wondering with hope what the experience will be like the second time around. I've heard some say that it was the hardest going from 0-1 child. While others swear it almost killed them to go from 1-2 children. I hope I'll be able to say the first :0).

I found this picture while walking down memory lane the other day. I had completely forgotten I took it.

The reason I took this picture when Hattie was about 2 months old was so that I would have it as documentation to go with my story that I will tell her because she IS gonna know what she put her mama through, especially when she calls me crying with her colicky newborn! So basically it was really hard to get my sweet baby to stop crying; therefore, sleep was near impossible, and even if I got her to sleep, it was beyond my new mommy abilities to transfer her from my arms to her bed. One day I came up with the above solution. I was able to put Hattie to sleep on my chest, and then I would ever so carefully roll her on the bed with my arm sill nudged up against her as if to say "Mommy's still here." I would quietly place pillows around her then replace my arm with Sean's bible, so she thought my arm was still there. Talk about resting on the Word! Talk about elaborate and insane! But it worked like half the time which was greater odds than I was getting up until that point. It reminds me of this book that my sister-in-law, Missy, gave me to read around this time. GREAT BOOK for a new mommy. Laugh out loud histerical circumstances that paralleled my own. What's the name of that book, Mis?

Luckily, Hattie no longer needs such an elaborate sleep ritual. She usually goes to sleep without any problems. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! That fact alone is probably gonna make the experience easier this go 'round because I just didn't know that before. The point is there is NO WAY I'm gonna have tons of time to devote to Button's sleep like I did with Hattie. So here's hopin' Button likes to sleep and rarely cries. Basically, Button, I need you to come out like your cousin, Wyatt (Shelley, you lucky dog!).

Afterall, isn't there some kind of coupon that parents get after having a colicky baby that guarantees the next one will be easier?!? If so, I would like to redeem mine in about six months or so, okay, God. But if Button turns out to be a lot like his/her older sister, we're gonna skip all the other "schtuff" and go straight to resting on the WORD because that seems to make all the difference anyways.

January 25, 2008

What a Week!

We made it through our first week with Gracen! She is such a doll - a really smiley baby and a good eater. Hattie is use to her now. The first two days she was here, Hattie walked around the house saying, "Mommy loves you," as if she needed to reassure herself. That just broke my heart. And she wants to sit in my lap when I am trying to feed the baby, but she is getting better with that. I just make sure to give her all of my attention when Gracen is sleeping - lots of hugs and kisses and cuddling - that's what she really needs right now.

On Tuesday I took Hattie and Gracen with me to Hattie's doctor's appointment. Gosh, it was so hard toting around 2 since I don't have a double stroller yet. But both girls did pretty well considering that it was rainy and cold, and Hattie had to get 2 shots :0(.

I also took them both to the grocery store with me this week as well. I don't usually go to Randalls, but the one near us has the little plastic cars for toddlers to "drive" at the front of the cart, and I thought that was my best bet to still have room for all of my groceries and both kiddos. The girls both did great. Luckily Gracen likes her carseat, and Hattie loves sitting in the little car and honking the horn.

While shopping at Randalls, a woman commented outloud to Hattie saying, "My goodness, you didn't get to be the baby for very long." Grrr. How rude! I mean really. I don't understand what gives her the right to comment about something like that. The nerve! I told her that I was just watching Gracen for some friends during the day, but what are people going to think as my belly expands, and I begin to look obviously pregnant!?!? I bet I get a TON of looks and comments then. None of which will be warranted, but that's the way our society is.......and that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Other than that we have stayed cooped up in the house, avoiding the wet and rainy weather. It's been a bit boring at times for Hattie, but man, my days fly by. If I'm not feeding one, then it's the other, and I'm constantly changing someone's diaper. But I love the way that Hattie is so sweet to Gracen, and I love the way that Gracen has her eyes on Hattie, tracking her around the room, the entire time. I hope these girls will get to grow up together, and it really makes me excited for when Button arrives.

The pictures I've posted are ones that I took of Hattie this week. Her new thing that I let her do to keep her busy is let her stand on a chair and play at the sink. She calls it "wash hands." She'll stand there for 30 minutes with a rag, a spoon, and my dish brush. It's great. When that novelty wears off, we'll have to find something else!

I also took some really cute pictures of the girls together, but I need clearance to post a pic of someone else's child on my blog, especially since they don't have a blog of their own, and I keep forgetting to ask the padres about that.

It's Friday!!!! Have a great weekend!

January 24, 2008

Sean's Thought of the Week...

When did we Americans stop greeting a new family when they moved into the neighborhood? I remember a time when the appearance of a moving van would trigger a chain reaction which would eventually culminate with bunt-cakes and casseroles being delivered by eager neighbors. I suppose the idea was for everybody to actually meet the new neighbors. We've lived in our new home for over three months and nobody has stopped by with a casserole. This isn't a unique experience. We lived in Dallas for one year and only met one neighbor and that was only because she got mad because we had parked the moving truck in front of her house.

Why are we so obsessed with reality TV.? We love TV shows that peer into the lives of other families yet we won't go across the street and attempt to form a friendship with our own neighbors?

When did kids stop playing outside? I know that kids live in our neighborhood; I see evidence of them from time to time. However, I never hear them playing in the twilight hours or see them running through my yard. We have all seen cartoons which depict an angry old lady shooing away kids that are playing on her grass...I, for one, would love it if kids played in my yard from time to time!

Last December we went to a Christmas party. Santa was in attendance and was merrily taking gift requests from the all the kiddos. 9 out of 10 kids requested a "Nintendo DS." This is a hand-held Nintendo gaming system that allows kids to play their video games when they are away from their homes. It seems that many kids had a happy Christmas morning because lately I've seen a slew of children with little Nintendo screens glued to their hands when they are doing things that once entailed some sort of interaction with other human beings...I've seen these little gaming systems at restaurants. I've seen kids barely look up from the screen to order their corn-dog and french fries. Dare I admit...gasp...that I've even seen one or two of these at church during the homily.

Why is the size of the American family getting smaller and smaller but the size of our homes getting bigger and bigger? When did the pursuit of "stuff" trump the pursuit of progeny?

Whatever happened to the family road trip? I remember sitting in an uncomfortable bench seat for hours on end staring outside the car window while passing the time with actual conversation with my family. Now days the old family truckster has been replaced with virtual living rooms complete with televisions, satellite TV and, you guessed it, video games.

I think Americans are scared. At some point in the last several decades we became collectively scared and we've responded by becoming shut-ins. We are scared of perverts kidnapping our children...therefore little Johnny and Sue naturally can’t play outside. We've become scared of lawsuits...so naturally we can't offer a homemade casserole to our neighbors because what if they get sick? We've become scared of legal liabilities so naturally we can't invite our neighbors over for a barbeque...what if they slip and fall on our foyer? We've replaced handshakes and friendly waves with insurance policies and security systems. We've replaced genuine relationships with our neighbors (even the weird ones) with virtual relationships that are played out in the glowing light of our television sets.

January 18, 2008

Goody.......it's Friday!

1.) First of all, I promised I'd post a picture of the ultra-sound yesterday. I feel kinda silly posting it because it's a bad angle and the picture doesn't show much, like arm and leg buds like I got to see yesterday. But this is our little blob.....isn't it a beautiful blob! I still can't believe we have 2 babies - though only 1 in utero!

2.) I've been in a baking mood lately. This morning I made this amazing carrot cake recipe for dessert for our guests (and us) tonight. My house smelled of sweet goodness when it was baking. Then it came out of the oven, and Hattie and I sampled it.....you know, just to make sure it was suitable to serve to others :0). Oh, it is so yummy, and I haven't even put the frosting on it yet. So here's the recipe:

Carrot Cake

3 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cup oil
Mix the above 3 ingredients. Then add:
2 cups flour
1/3 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
Add and mix well:
1 small can crushed pineapple (juice and all)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
3 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated carrots

2.) Cook at 350 degrees for @ 45 min to an hour (sheet cake)

3.) Cream Cheese Frosting:
Mix: 8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box powdered sugar

Hattie's been my big helper this week. Here she is "helping" me with another goody I baked up earlier in the week.

Have a SWEET weekend!!!!

January 17, 2008

Happy Thursday!

I can't believe tomorrow is already Friday. And Sean has Monday off so we'll have a good long weekend together. Lots planned, but hopefully we'll also have some down-time to make up for our busy weekend last weekend.

I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. I'm excited to get another ultra-sound, and see Button again. I'll have to post the ultra-sound picture this time as I never got around to doing it last time. I'm starting to feel a little better....still tired but mostly just in the evenings and not quite as sick as I have been feeling. I think I've figured out the eating thing. If I eat more earlier in the day and then barely graze in the afternoon and evening, I don't seem to get quite as sick in the afternoons, which is when it usually hits pretty hard. Just based on my morning sickness, I definitely think I am having another girl as my sickness was the same with Hattie. Not as intense, but I think that's just because I don't get to rest as much this time around. Maybe I'll get to hear Button's heartbeat today, and that will give me further indication of whether it'll be pink or blue!

Hattie has really started using a spoon more and more. She still makes a really big mess, but I feel like she needs the practice. She does get food in her mouth sometimes. Yogurt is definitely a winner since it sticks to the spoon mostly. I take her next Wednesday for her shots. We already did her 18 month check-up almost 2 weeks ago but had to delay the shots as she was still under the weather. I'll post her stats after her shots because I'm too lazy to go and get the paper right now, but she was exactly in the 50th percentile for both weight and height. Very solid. A good eater these days, so I feel blessed about that! I hear about all of these babies who won't eat much at all. That would really stress me out, I think. Each baby comes with his or her own set of challenges, though, I guess. Perhaps Button will be the best napper ever but a picky eater?!?! Hey, maybe that wouldn't be so bad :0).

Next week I am going to start keeping an almost 3 month old little girl. The mom is going back to work (teaching), so I'll be keeping the darling until the end of May. I am excited about it because I think it will be so good for Hattie to practice sharing me before she really has to share me permanently. I also think it'll be good for me to learn to balance things. I'm nervous about it only because I think it's going to freak me out and show me how hard it's gonna actually be when Button is born. I am most worried about outings at the moment. Luckily my energy is back up during the day for the most part. Right in time - that's a saving grace!

Well, Happy Thursday to all of you. The weekend is almost here!!!!!

January 14, 2008

When You Know That You Don't Deserve Your Wife....

After 4 years of marriage it is easy to fall into the habit of taking my beautiful wife for granted. I'd like to blame this on outside influences such as stress and other various distractions but really it is just my sinful self that sometimes refuses to acknowledge God's many blessings. Among the ways that God has blessed me I can think of no greater blessing than the day that Stephanie said, "Yes."

My life wouldn't be complete without her. She is my beautiful companion and constant help. She is a great mother and a great homemaker. I deserve much less in a wife but God in his infinite mercy decided to bless me abundantly with Stephanie Lynn.

It is with this in mind that I loudly proclaim my praise for God because he created sweet Stephanie Lyyn on January 14th 1981. Happy Birthday Stephanie!

January 13, 2008

Some Pictures

We are back home from the wedding. It was beautiful and so fun to see friends that we don't get to see that much. Hattie did a fantastic job considering the long drive and staying up later than usual. She's napping now, hopefully catching up on some sleep, so I thought I'd post a few of my favorite pictures from the wedding.

This one's my favorite, so I'll post it first. My babe and my baby:

They had a chocolate fountain at the wedding with these big long pretzel sticks - a huge hit with Hattie as you can see by the chocolate on her face and the pretzel in her hand.

I learned something new about Hattie this weekend. She loves to dance, and she LOVES watching others dance. We let her roam around pretty freely at times since there were quite a few kids, and half the time she would go to the middle of the dance floor with all of the adults and watch them dance and dance along with them. At one point she even got on the floor like she was break-dancing. It was pretty funny. There were lots of great dancers at the wedding - so fun to watch!

The three of us. Not the best picture of me, but I have a good reason! I had to get ready in the hotel in the dark while Hattie napped. So all things considering, it turned out o.k., I guess. Sean sure did look handsome!

Well, better go unpack and relax some while I have the chance. It was so good to see everyone and all of the new beautiful babies that several of our friends have had in the last few months. There is a baby boom going on! We are all a blessed bunch!

And I'll have to post a picture of the bride and groom later. Hopefully my father-in-law took one. Shame on me for not getting one, but I was seriously busy chasing after an 18 month old most of the time.

January 11, 2008

The End of a Great Week!

I've had the best week with Hattie this week. It was our first full week of no sickness in the house. It was fabulous! She was back to her charming, funny self. It was a dream! The week that a stay-at-home mom dreams of! Now if I could just do something about the morning sickness and constant fatigue. No, I am happy to have that, too!!! :0)

One of Sean's closest friends, Josiah, is getting married tomorrow. I am so excited for him and his bride to be. Sean and Josiah have been friends for so long, and he really is such a godly, great guy, and Cindy seems so sweet and is just radiant. I love weddings anyways, but this one will be extra special!

It'll be Hattie's first wedding to attend and her first time staying with us in a hotel since she was 4 months old. I'm a little worried about that.....but it'll only be for one night, so how bad can it be, right? Maybe I shouldn't ask that!

I found the cutest dress for her at a resale shop a while back to wear to the wedding. I paid $7 for it, and the lady who owns the store assured me that I got a bargain. I think her exact words were, This is like a hundred dollar dress. It's really pretty, but I am shocked at how much money people spend on baby clothes! They just grow out of them so fast.

The dress I'll be wearing is borrowed from my bestest bud, Christie. Luckily I was able to find something in her closet that I can squeeze into. I tried the dress on last night, showed Sean, and asked him, Do I look pregnant in this or just fat? His reply, I don't know. NOT THE CORRECT ANSWER!!!! I am just in the very bloated, unattractive phase of pregnancy right now. I don't feel good. My skin is broken out, and it's a mystery if I had one too many donuts or if I'm pregnant. You know what I mean. That in between stage. You're probably wondering how I can be there already since I'm only 2 months pregnant. Well, this is #2 for me, and it is true that you start showing sooner the second time around. Atleast that's what I keep telling myself!

So I'm hoping to get some great pictures of Hattie in her designer dress, and Sean will be in a tux since he's in the wedding. I just love seeing him in a tux, especially when it's across the room. I don't know why, but he seems more handsome across the room.....okay that sounds bad, but you know what I mean...... :0).

So here's hoping that the end of our great week will be.......even greater!?!?!

January 4, 2008

{18 months}

At 18 months, the best adjective I can think of to describe Hattie is talkative. Energetic is a close second, but my little Hattie Ruth can talk and talk and talk. Sean and I are really often amazed by the words and phrases that come out of her mouth.

Some of her phrases that have developed in the past month or two are:
1.) Jesus loves me.
2.) Goodness gracious!
3.) Mommy, hold you. when she wants me to hold her
4.) Mommy coming soon. when she doesn't know where I am
5.) Go nigh-nigh, baby. She's gonna be such a bossy big sister! I can already tell.
6.) Don't like it. She shakes her head and says this to foods she refuses to eat which is becoming the norm these days.
7.) Watch Elmo! Yes, her newest obsession is Elmo.

I need to be better about listing things she's saying because I've been lazy about it; I'm trying to use this blog as an extended baby book for Hattie since hers ended at 12 months.

Another big milestone this month is that she learned to suck from a straw or maybe it's just that she was finally exposed to her first juice box. It was pretty funny, too. She just put her little mouth around the straw and sucked away, like she's been drinking from a straw for forever. You go girl!

Hattie's also refined her ability to say no! to everything you ask her. I know this is a normal toddler thing, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it! It can be really cute and funny, but it's a little power struggle that can get outta hand pretty quickly, too.

Hattie is also at what I hope is her peak of being a mama's girl. She has become very clingy with me. The other night Sean said, It's like you're her security blanket. Bingo. That's exactly what I am. I do love that she loves me SO MUCH, but it comes with its own set of challenges when I am trying to leave the house solo or when Sean tries to do things for her. It's like she thinks Mommy's way is the only right way. I know this time won't last forever, though, and I'm sure I'll look back on it fondly when she's a teenager and only wants to be with her friends.

I can't believe my baby is officially a year and a half old today!

January 3, 2008


Well, now Hattie has croup. She got one whole day between being sick with a stomach virus and croup to be healthy. My poor baby. This year is not being kind to her so far. I don't know where she is picking up all of these germs!?!?! We haven't really taken her out since she got that stomach virus, and that's been since last Friday.

I had a moment of self pity today. I am tired of seeing my baby so sick. I am tired of sleepless nights filled with sporadic wakings from my over-tired sickling who can't get comfortable. I have no energy left. Then my thoughts went to those parents who have children with chronic illnesses and diseases, and I had my fill of humble pie for the day. God bless these parents and their babies!

Hattie's been sick for a week now, but she will get well again, and I am a blessed mama to have that as a comfort during this time.

January 2, 2008

It's 2008, Baby

And we have had a rough start. Our house has been plagued by a wretched virus. Hattie and I are finally feeling better after both being sick for about 4 days each, but now Sean is sick. It's been pretty miserable around these parts. New Years Eve festivities consisted of trying to hold down some Sprite and a handful of saltines and going to bed at 8:30. Man, what a party!

On a brighter note, I had my first ultra-sound today, and Button was bouncing all around. I got to see his/her strong heart-beat, which was the reassurance I needed. I just don't really feel pregnant yet besides the constant fatigue and looming morning sickness. I guess it's because I don't have the time to think about this little one like I did with Hattie. As soon as I can take a picture of the sonogram picture (we don't have a scanner), Button will have his/her debut on our blog. And my official due date is August 23rd, which is later than I thought, so we'll see if that changes. Good times ahead!

Finally, Missy carded me a while back. Sorry, sister, I am just now getting to this, but times have been a rough 'round here! My list will be a New Years List, like Laura's, since Christmas is over. So here goes nothin' or somethin' depending on if you like these kinds of things or not:


1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for Christmas (I'll say the New Year, since Christmas is almost over!)
2. People who are “CARDED” need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.
3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get “CARDED” and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they’re “CARDED”, and to read your Blog.

My Materialistic Gift/Wish List:
1.) a buffet or a hutch to store my china in
2.) for Sean to paint the bedrooms before the new baby comes
3.) new light fixtures around the house
4.) a new bed.....king-size please! The queen ain't workin' so great anymore.
5.) for Hattie to stop constantly sucking her thumb so she doesn't have a huge gap between her top 2 teeth.

My Spiritual Gift/Wish List:
1.) That I would better remember that God is in control; even though, I constantly feel that I need to be in the driver's seat. Or otherwise stated, that I may find peace in God's Will in my life more fully.
2.) That my desire to pray and read my bible would grow.
3.) That I would grow in humility and try to put others before myself.
4.) That I would honor my husband better.
5.) That Sean and I will find our niche in our church and find a way to serve in our parish family.

Okay, if you're reading this, have a blog, and haven't done this already, TAG, YOU'RE IT!!!!

Finally, for picture postin' purposes, here's a picture that Sean's mom sent me of Hattie and Wendy cookin' up a storm with Wendy's little kitchen. I wish I had been there to see the two playing together, but alas, I was home sick in bed. Gosh, these babies are such toddlers now!

Aunt Lallie, we are still praying that you 3 didn't catch our germs that were surely floating around everywhere. We pray your antibodies are stronger than ours!!!!

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2