Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Brubbs Got New Eyes!

I wrote about Isaiah's eye problems in this post. While he's done really well after his first surgery at 6 months we've noticed in the last few months that his eyes have been drifting quite a bit. This isn't uncommon really, as a person born with congenital esotropia generally has some struggles with alignment throughout their life.
We may have to try different things especially right now as he's growing and learning how to keep better control over his eyes. For now, the doctor wants to try glasses. They watch him pretty close and we see the doctor at least every 6 months right now to keep a close watch over his progress. We've done patches in the past, and never had much luck with those. Even though Isaiah sees 20/20 right now the glasses are a little like holding a magnifying glass in front of him to help him focus. It'll be pretty tough to relearn looking at things, but so far today he's done great.
We went with a really cheap pair at first because I wanted to be sure he was going to even keep them on. The doctor told us not to be surprised if he wouldn't keep them on because of the difference in vision. If he does well with these we'll probably get him another pair that will likely last longer than these. We did get a pair with a 1 year warranty as I'm sure he'll break them sooner or later.
Here are a few pics of my sweet boy with his "new eyes." He told me we were going to be twins since we both will wear glasses!
I think he looks a lot like me in this picture. The flash messed up, so it's not really clear, but still so stinking cute!

Such a little mess!

Love this one. Such a cutie pie!

Being silly.

I'm including this picture so that you can get a little bit of the idea of what the problem is right now. You'll notice that the eye on the left(looking at the picture) is focused higher than the one on the right. We want him to use his eyes together and have them be lined up. After this picture I told him, "Use both eyes, Buddy!" and he was able to realign.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Home Brewed Smittle: Week 22. 18 to go.

Whoa. 18 weeks to go. For some reason that seems like a long time, but then I think that 18 weeks is actually just a little over 4 months from now and that makes things seem a little nearer. That is, of course, if this big boy decides he's ready to come on the 1st of March. I was so excited to make it to my due date last time, so my goal this time is to make it the full 40 weeks and get into the month of March.
Have I mentioned if this baby is born in March we will have babies born every other month of the entire year?
January= Bubby
AND, My birthday is the same month as Mia's, which is half way, and Manly's is the same as KK's, the end. Yes, I know it's strange to mention all of that, but I think it's cool, and I'd REALLY like to have Eli in March to complete our little baby making cycle! Ha
He's just kicking around and growing by the day. I've found he has sleeping patterns, which is normal, but the bad part is that EVERY night when I lay down(around 9:30-10) he decides it's time to get up. That should be fun in his first few weeks!
I've decided on a diaperbag for sure. Exciting news, I know!
It was between this one:

and this one:

After looking at both VERY closely in the store and having Scotty look at them both and decide which one he liked the most we decided on the Jujube one. I know it's a HUGE expense, but I'm hoping to either find one on ebay or Rhea Lana's, or maybe buy it after Christmas with Christmas money.
We've also decided on a car seat. This is the Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air Infant Car Seat. It's for babies weighing up to 35 pounds. The base adjusts for larger rear facing kids(since it's recommended to be rear facing until 2 now!). I love it's deep seat and really great safety standards. It also seems really comfy and is made from light soft material unlike some of the ones I looked at in a little higher price category. It is pricey, but I feel confident that it's worth the money, and I've found several sites that I can use a coupon code for it and get it down to $100 with free shipping.

And, I want these! These three things and diapers are the ONLY things we really want/need for Elias before he gets here. I've seen so many happy cozy babies wrapped in these. SO so sweet, airy, and pretty! These are made by aden+anais. This set is called Liam the Brave. Love the simple patterns ans soft colors. I can't wait to wrap sweet Elias up in these!!
Babycenter says he is about the size of a spaghetti squash this week. I once tried to buy/make/eat spaghetti squash, but alas it was an UTTER FAILURE! Anyway, he's likely weighing in around 1 pound and is about 11 inches long.
In my little world I've still been feeling great. I've had pretty bad leg craps the last several days, but still overall I'm feeling so good. I'm trying to get Manly to take me on a simple babymoon in the upcoming weeks to Dallas. We've never been together, so I think it'd be fun to go down there and shop. I'm REALLY wanting to go to IKEA and the malls there. I'm sure he'd just LOVE that! Ha!
So you get a picture of the size of my little spaghetti squash baby!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Family Fun

Halloween can be a great time for family fun! Themed costumes are a great way to bring the family together and get the creative juices flowing. We've done several different themes that have all been fun. This year is a surprise until the big reveal, but here are a few of our other themed years.

One of my all-time favorite years! This was actually the first year we did an official theme. The girls loved the Wizard of Oz, so this was a perfect fit. My costume was part of a real tin man and part of it was spray painted because I was too tall to wear the whole one piece set. I was also pregnant with Addi. 

This was a year that Olivia was obsessed with Charlotte's Web. We decided it would be pretty easy to pull it off for Halloween. Addi and I are Charlotte's web, Scotty is Homer Z, KK is Wilber, and Livi is Fern. It turned out really cute! I wish we had a better picture.
This was a crazy year for us. My grandfather was in the hospital and we were in the middle of buying a house, and I was HUGE pregnant. SO, we kept it simple and let the kids do characters from the hundred acre wood. So cute! Look at Addi! So little and CUTE!
This year we decided to mix it up a little and go as Disney Pixar characters. Scotty, KK, and I were from Monster's, Inc, and Livi, Addi, and Bubby were from Toy Story.
Last year we let the kids go as Random Disney pairs such as Hook and Wendy, but I got NO good pictures of it!
Here's one of them apart from each other.
Manly and I as red riding hood and grandmother. Hysterical!
The biggest thing to remember when you are doing themed costumes(or any kind of costumes for that matter) is to go with what you already have around the house. There's no need to buy expensive costumes. Get creative and look around at what you have just lying around. My cape in the picture above was a red sheet we weren't using anymore. I just added a few stitches and red ribbon and it was a cape! Keep it simple and think ahead! Ask the kids for help and always ask them for ideas on a theme. Also, buy costumes at consignment events. I always stock up on things there, and then just use what we can when we can. Everything else goes in the costume box for playing dress-up. Enjoy the fall season as a family!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making a House a Home/ Creating a Place of Refuge

Today I spoke to my MOPS group. I had several mom's that asked for me to post my notes to my blog so that they would be able to look at them or see what they missed as they were coming in and out. Below is my outline from my time with them. If you have any questions just post a comment here or email me.
You may know the scene all too well, you get home from play group in time to feed the kids leftovers from McDonalds (that you picked up last night because you were late for t-ball practice), once they were fed you tried to get them to lay down for a nap, but they wouldn’t stop running circles around you and hitting those pots you haven’t used in several months with wooden spoons you used to “discipline” them with the last time they wouldn’t stay in bed. Your husband comes home to a messy house, and you have absolutely no idea what you are going to make for dinner because the last time you were at the grocery store you didn’t have a menu or a grocery list and you ended up getting 6 cans of Spaghettios, 3 packages of ramen noodles, and a case of Kool-Aid coolers.  Your home is cluttered with homemade art projects,  unlaundered clothes that don’t fit anymore, and exercise equipment that isn’t used and collects whatever bags you throw on it after the kids 4 nights of practice and AWANA and small group. After you finally get the kids bathed and in bed (in spite of the several disagreements you’ve had with your husband) you throw yourself onto your couch and think will it ever end? Why are things so chaotic? Will there ever be any order and peace in my life?

Without order in the home parents are unable to implement even the simplest decisions on training their children. Usually the parents end up making decisions completely independent of one another which results in confusion, chaos, and frequent arguments with both children and spouses. Any time decisions collide problems arise and tempers flare.

·        God desires for His people to conduct their lives in an orderly fashion. In fact, 1 Corinthians14:40 says, “Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” God is absolute order. He designed and created the world and all mankind with perfect order. He was not an irresponsible creator. He didn’t just create the world and then leave us here to flounder around attempting to find our own way or “do our own thing” (A phrase we here a lot these days.). God put into place several institutions (church, government, family) and gave each of them authorities or leaders that would govern over them. For the family, it’s the Husband who is to lead, and the wife who is to willingly submit.

·        Learn to be submissive and respectful to your husband. Ephesians 5:22

o      Don’t be confused by submission. It’s not the same as obedience, which is a concept that is used for children who are to OBEY their parents, slaves and servants who are to obey their masters, and believers who are to obey the gospel. With obedience, we see a promise of a blessing with compliance or a negative consequence for rebellion.

o      Submission is being under someone else, but is a calling to CHOOSE to obey. Women may find trusting their husband (and God) very difficult. With Christ as our example we can submit to God because we trust Him. With that trust and the knowledge in God’s plan for marriage, a wife can also willingly submit to her husband’s leadership. It seems that the very core of most marriage problems stem from women’s hesitation to trust God and in turn, her husband.

o      I know there may be several of you who are thinking your husband isn’t worthy of being submissive to. Remember that we are not in any place to judge AND that God has us under our particular authority for a reason (be it to teach us something or to teach our husband something), and because we can trust God, we can trust that his plan is perfect and living under the authority of our husbands will allow us to also live under the authority of God and in any case be protected. We live in a world where rebellion against authority is normal, and in some cases condoned and promoted and the concept of submission is considered old fashioned.  Because of the orderly way God fashioned marriage, this rebellion will ALWAYS take us out from under God’s protection. This will result in a home filled with strife and discord. Disorder and chaos always rain upon us as a consequence of stepping out from under the umbrella that God designed for our protection. It’s almost like women are walking around soaking wet and have no idea why. With your husband under God’s authority, and you under his authority, you will be unstoppable.

·        The best way to get started is to have “the talk” with your husband. Find out what his expectations for you and your children are and the goals he’d like to have for your family. He may do one of two things. He may have a hard time coming up with ideas at first because his thoughts, ideas, and opinions have been oppressed. Let him know that you genuinely want to hear what he has to say. Keep asking until he’s ready to answer. It might take a while, but he DOES have ideas he can share. He may also be ready and willing with tons of ideas, so get your paper ready! You can ask the following questions:

o      What is important to you?

o      What would you like me to do that I am not currently doing or what would you like me to stop doing that I am currently doing?

o      What are the goals and dreams you have for our family and how can I help you reach them?

o      How can I best serve you and help you?

o      What do you want our family rules and consequences to be?

·        Read the Bible daily. God provided the Bible, His Holy Word, to tell us (among other things) what is right and wrong, and to tell us how we should live their life. Basically our own little Law and Order book for everything in life. There are answers for just about anything. If you are having problems knowing where to start try using the topical index in the back. It’s so helpful. There are also several great online tools you can use such as Biblegateway.com. If you don’t have a Bible that is easy to understand please let me or one of the leaders know and we will get you one that is easy to read and understand.

·        Learn to let go of things and not be so controlling.

o      You may fear that something bad will happen to you or your children if you don’t maintain control over a situation. We may feel it is our place to protect our children and husband from suffering consequences of their wrong actions. We take over and control a situation in order to try to keep all the bad things from happening. When, in most cases, God has a way of turning these bad things into good things. For instance, if you are worried to let your husband have control of the checkbook because you are afraid he’ll bounce a check or miss a bill you might steal from him the lesson of learning to deal with the finances and become a more mature man. The same goes for older children. It may be better for a lazy child who won’t complete their studies to fail a test in order to learn that studying is important and she should be responsible for them instead of you having to nag her about them for hours on end. Letting go of your need to control things and allowing God to lead you and trusting in Him to help you make decisions will take such a huge burden off your shoulders and allow you to better do your duties as helper and companion to your leader and protector husband.

·        Stop trying to be perfect in the eyes of the mother world! Isaiah 64

o      Since I’ve been a stay at home mom, I have struggled in the area of perfectionism. I’d look at my to-do list at the end of the day and think, “WHAT in the world did I do all day that all I did was ADD to my list!?” I’d think that my day needed to be perfect, with perfectly behaved little children who had a perfectly loving mother. I wanted a perfectly clean house, with a perfectly manicured yard. A perfect weed-free garden which produced perfect fruits and veggies which I used for my perfectly balanced meals at the end of a perfectly planned day which all had to due to me being…perfect! The only problem with that is that it all was dependant on ME instead of God. I still set my goals pretty high, but I’ve decided to stop trying to bring myself glory in all I do and do things to the glory of God.

·        Be consistent along with your spouse in the way that you parent.

o      This means consistent discipline, consistent rules, and consistent expectations. A simple list of rules and consequences posted in your home will give your children such peace in knowing what they can and can not do and what will happen IF they break any of those rules.

o      Be sure to follow through with what you say you’ll do. If you don’t follow through your children will learn that they can’t trust you to do what you say, which is a terrible place to be.

·        Remember that each child is different and will need a different approach.

o      What works well with one child might be a terrible way to come to the other. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

·        Use a schedule and family calendar. This can be lose or strict. Mine is color coded and hanging in my kitchen which is centrally located in my home, but synced i-phones work well too! Use this for all family, church, and school activities.

·        Try giving kids a “special day.” This is a time when they can be in charge of helping set the table and do other special tasks such as getting the mail and helping mom in the kitchen.

·        Teach your children to do simple daily chores. Teach them what you expect them to look like, and hold them accountable for their area. Make them simple and easy to complete at first, then work your way up to the harder tasks. Even your littlest kids can help do something.

·        Make a menu and grocery list before going to the store. This can be a simple as a one week menu up to a whole month. Start small and work your way up.

·        Have a set time to clean your home and stick to it!

·        Schedule special projects that need to get done in the family calendar so they are sure to not be forgotten.

·        Prep for dinner right after breakfast. It makes dinner time so much easier to handle.

·        REST at least one day a week. It’s good for the body! And soul!

·        Make all kids (even older ones) to have a rest/quiet time every day. When they rest. YOU rest.  This time should be unplugged for kids. No tv or gaming.

·        Teach kids right habits of thinking and behaving. We can find in the Bible, Ephesians 6:1“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for it is the right thing to do.” Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Deuteronomy 6 talks about having scripture in your home. Take this to heart and fill your home with scripture memory. Have it posted in your home.

·        SIMPLIFY your life! There may be things you need to eliminate from your life such as activities, playgroups, or girl’s nights. Some of these things are great, but not the best for your current season of life. Talk to your husband about things that should be eliminated from your family life.

Easy Ways to Make a House a Home
·        Hang pictures of your family and friends on the walls of your home. There’s something about having your own face in your home that just brings about a sense of security and ownership.

·        Have friends and Family over for meals as much as possible. Jesus ate together with his friends, and there’s just something about having a meal together that brings people together and gets you feeling comfortable.

·        Have Music filling the home. Even better when it’s coming from the kids! A good source for this is Pandora. Be sure that you are filling your home with fun wholesome music, and nothing you wouldn’t want your children to repeat outside the home. Sometimes momma needs a little 80s rock, but be sure you are filling their tiny ears with GOOD music.

·        Read aloud to your children. Make sure these are good, wholesome, living books. These will give kids creative ideas and creative play, and will nourish their minds with loving, right, noble ideas.

·        Buy Comfy Furniture and be sure your family has a place where they can all come together and be together for fun.

·        Make sure your house smells and looks comfy. A house that is untidy is hard to really rest in. A good air freshener kept close to the door and sprayed before your husband gets home is a great idea and even if your house is messy brings a comfy feeling.

·        Open blinds and curtains early in the morning to let the sunshine in. This is a big deal in our home because it really helps with those of us who are NOT morning people who have to get up EXTRA early.

·        Turn on lamps to create a cozy atmosphere.

·        Make Beds. It makes them more inviting and really helps the room feel more comfortable too.

·        Turn off the TV and all other electronic devices! Our kids are growing up in a techy world. It’s important for them to learn to interact OUTSIDE of electronics. Spend time “unplugged.”

·        Eat at least one meal a day with the entire family.

·        Include scripture reading and praying as a family each day. It doesn’t have to take long. Proverbs a day and a short prayer goes a long way.

If you want a truly peaceful life you must first accept Jesus as your savior and allow Him to alter your life as He sees fit. Jesus Christ is the only foundation that will stand against the winds of time. Only after that can we live our lives to the glory of God and begin building out life upon him. We can do this even if our husbands never do what they are supposed to with their lives. (This includes wives with unbelieving husbands, or husbands who display macho, passive or domineering attitudes.) Living in submission to your husband and to God keeps you under proper protection and helps things run orderly and peacefully.

I am not a pro at any of this. I’m learning every day. I still yell at my children and my husband. I still over throw his decisions and give him the silent treatment to try to get my way. Becoming a “Biblical” woman isn’t something that will happen over night. In fact, it will take a lifetime to get it right, but in the meantime, you can make steps in the right direction, and follow the leadership of your husband and make your house a home.

Home Brewed Smittle: Week 21. 19 to go.

Well, we're over half way. I'm hoping I'm not halfway finished growing, because I'll be the size of my king size bed by 40 weeks. Ha!
Bubby felt his brother kick for the first time yesterday. He kept telling me he was feeling him, but yesterday he actually did. His eyes got HUGE and he said, "WHOA! I felt him go bump bump bump! That's MY brother!" Then he leaned down to my tummy and said, "HI, ELI! It's ME! You KICKED ME!"
Everything went well with both my appointments this last week. I'm measuring a tiny bit big, but then I did say earlier that this has to be the single most ginormous baby ever. Ha!

I also won a birth photo contest with this picture.

This picture is from Mia's birth. Right after she was born we were both so tired that we got in bed for a sweet nap. Manly took this picture. So sweet. ANYWAY, because we won we get 50% off of a service from Birth By Design. We decided to do birth classes. We'd never done them before, and thought it'd be a fun time together and we might learn some stuff to help with Eli's delivery. I'm looking forward to seeing how Scotty can be a part of my support team this time. Because we've never taken classes I always feel like he needs a job! I'd like for him to know things he can do to assist me when I'm in labor.
Babycenter says that Elias is about 10.5 inches long now, which is about the size of a carrot, and weighs about 3/4 of a pound. The baby also has eyelids and brows now.
I also read an article about varicose veins. Since I was pregnant with Olivia I've had issues with this while pregnant. They come very early in the pregnancy, and are always gone right after the baby is born. Each time they get worse, so this time my legs look pretty bad. If you see me you'll likely notice I'm wearing boots, tights, or pants. I guess it's a good thing it's cooler weather! If you are interested in facts about veins you can read the information here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Home Brewed Smittle:Week 20. 20 to go!

Half way! Whoot whoot! So glad to be half way. I'm feeling it! I posted on facebook this week that this may be the worlds largest 20 week old baby! He feels really big inside. When he moves around it's like a hippo moving around in there. My whole belly will change shape. I think he's gonna be a hoss!
My appetite has been NUTS the last week or so. We went to a Sunday School party last night and I made myself two plates(really it was a plate for my food and a smaller plate for fruit, but STILL)! I even went back had Manly go back for more! Ha! Oh well. This is the last time I'll have it as an excuse! I'm gonna live it up.
A friend of mine totally blessed me last night by bringing me a large tub and a bag of maternity clothes. I've been all different sizes and have been pregnant all different times of the year, so I don't have just a whole lot of maternity clothes. Especially for the winter. I was so excited to get several things I really needed and so other cute things too. Thanks, Shanda, for the unexpected blessing!
I've been trying to get Isaiah to be still long enough to feel his brother kicking. He'll say, "Mom! I wanna feel my brother!" and come running over, but he'll just put his hand on my belly and say, "YUP! He's in there! He's gonna COME OUT!!" and go running off laughing. I can't wait for the moment he's sitting in my lap and Elias kicks him in the back! Ha!
I don't think Mia has a CLUE what is going on! She'll have to adjust big time once the baby is here, because she is treated like such a baby right now(especially by her sisters and me). I guess she'll never be demoted as baby SISTER though! Good thing for her! She'll have that in common with my mom, who, to this day STILL talks about how SHE was the baby of her family until my UNCLE was born and now she's still the BABY GIRL. I can see Mia being like that too!
This week I'll go see my midwife, AND have a risk assessment this weekend. I'm excited to see Kim(the MW). I feel like it's been forever. I'm getting close to the time for my glucose test too. I'll go to the lab at our local hospital to have that done. For those of you who are wondering, the risk assessment is simply an exam to be sure that I am at low risk for a homebirth. I have my RAs(you must have two done while pregnant) done by a Certified Nurse-Midwife  in Little Rock. She's such a sweet lady and does a good job to take care of any issues that may arise in my pregnancy.
I spent some time looking up the meanings of the kids names this week. We always look it up before we chose a name, but I like to go back and remember what they are when we name a new child. ANYWAY, Elias means "my God is the Lord." I love that! When I first looked up Olivia's name this week it said "elf army." I laughed out loud thinking there was NO way we named our child "elf army," so I tried several other sites to see what they said and they were all united that Olivia meant, "peace." That's more like it! When I told her about it she just looked at me with a nervous face and said, "NO WAY! I'm NOT an elf!" HA! She is a little short for her age now that I think about it! I'm KIDDING!
Speaking of being short for their age, this is the last week Elias will be measured from "crown to rump." Next week he'll start being measured from head to toe. They do this in the beginning because the little tiny babies stay so curled up it's easier to measure them that way. BUT, this week he's about the length of a banana.
How I do love bananas. Especially with Nutella. If you haven't tried it get off the computer(or phone) and got get you some goodness of heaven.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Random Thursday Update

Mia is getting teeth. A LOT of teeth. It took her a while to get any, and now she's making up for lost time. I'm ready for her not to be teething. She's not a very happy camper these days. She's working on 6 teeth right now. That's a lot for a tiny little.

She also has NO hair. She had a baby mullet, but I cut it off because it was just getting longer and thinner and the poor girl was starting to look like Billy Ray Smittle. Once I cut the mullet off it looks a lot thicker but it's just not growing. It seems to be curly, and I've heard sometimes it takes longer for curly hair to grow in. Maybe that's it. Ha! She sure loves hair bows and such, so I hope for her sake that it grows quickly and she's able to wear some hair pretties soon.

Isaiah is such a smart kid. He reminds me so much of Olivia when she was a toddler because he's really inquisitive about things and asks a lot of good questions about how things work and why they work that way. He says the most intelligent hysterical stuff. He's able to properly use words and phrases that most kids his age wouldn't say. Cracks me up.

KK was really having a hard time with school when we started, so I was also having a hard time, but in the last week or so it's been like a light bulb went off in her little brain! She's so close to reading whatever she wants. I've got to get her to slow down a little on handwriting, but I know that will come later. I've just been encouraged that she's finally seeing some improvement. It really helps her to feel better about school and her own abilities. She also earned 88 points at AWANA'S last night and got the Super Duper Sparky award. She was GIDDY with delight over the award. She gets so "sparkly" when she gets any sort of recognition. Such a sweet girl!

Palin is doing good. She's still really shy and nervous, and it's taking some time to get her used to things around here, but we are seeing improvement and she at least wags her tail when she sees us now instead of just putting her head down. We're just trying to be patient with her and let her get to know us. Olivia is so good to take care of her needs and is our pooper scooper champ. She's gotten Palin much more comfortable with the leash too. We're really proud of her.

Manly is doing great with all his jobs. I don't know if I've mentioned, but he works part-time as a college professor with both daytime and night classes. That plus the new practice has been a lot for our family, but he's been so great to keep working on getting everything done and still having time for us. He doesn't work at all from Saturday morning until Sunday evening, so weekends are our favorite time of the week. We are glad to have him home for breakfast every day too. If you think about him, pray that the Lord will bless his efforts and the new practice will continue to grow. We've been so blessed in the last few months, and God is providing our needs.

I'm going to a new study at church that I'm in love with. It's changing my heart in so many ways. If you ever get a chance to read the book "The Other Side of the Garden" I'd highly recommend it. It's been such a great study and I'm learning so much about my role as a "biblical woman." I have plans to start a bookclub up for it in a few months(probably after the baby is here), so be looking for those plans if you are interested. There is also a companion book that I'm LOVING called "Victorious Woman." They are pretty cheap online. A total must read if you are of a female of any adultish age.

I love fall cooking. Chili, crockpots, and pork loins OH MY! Love me some fall soul food. Nothing better, except fall desserts. YUM. Fall really is the most wonderful time of the year!

I just realized I didn't mention my poor little middle child, Addi. She's such a bright girl and so artistic and great with art and writing. She has issues with wanting to be perfect, but I'm slowly getting her to realize that things are never going to be perfect. HER hair is growing like a bunch a weeds in my front yard! It's almost to her waist now and she loves to have it fixed.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welcome to the Family, Palin

Olivia was finally able to find a dog this past weekend. We've been looking for a while, but just didn't find exactly what we were looking for. We wanted a dog that was comfortable being mostly outside, wouldn't attack our kids, and had a very sweet disposition. Olivia also wanted it to be a girl dog and it HAD to come from a shelter. She has such a heart for animal rescue, and it was so amazing to see her in her element at the shelters just loving on the animals.

Meet Palin(yes, like Sarah) Olivia liked her shelter name, so she decided not to change it. I told her it was a pretty cool name, so Palin it is.
She's a flat coat retriever mix who was found with 5 brothers and sisters alone in the woods after their mother was killed by a car. We adopted her from the Maumelle animal shelter. Her ADORABLE brother Porter is still available and ALMOST came home with us too(until I knocked some sense convinced Manly that we really couldn't handle 6 kids and 2 dogs.). You can get more information on adopting him here though, if you're interested! He was such a doll!
Olivia has been training with the leash(after reading about it in her "Everything You Need to Know About a Puppy" book. She's been sitting with her most of the day, and bonding and loving on her. Palin has already warmed up to her a lot and will follow her on the leash, which is great.

She's so soft and has such an adorable face!


She hasn't jumped up on anyone, hasn't barked, and hasn't had an accident since we brought her home. She will let all the kids pet her, and has such a gentle personality. We're looking forward to watching her come out of her shell, and get used to the rest of our family, but for now, she's just right with Lulu.
Yes, I'm sure this is a match made in heaven! Looking forward to lots of years of happiness with her. Welcome home, Palin. Welcome home!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

When Pregnancy Dreams Meet Reality

I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but my BFF recently got engaged to be married in February.
Here she is with her man, Chris.

I'm so excited for her and can't WAIT for her big day. Speaking of BIG, I'll be the 38 week pregnant bridesmaid on stage. YIKES! ANYWAY, she posted to facebook that she'd had her first(of what is sure to be many)scary wedding dream. I laughed and thought how fun it would be to be planning a wedding again. I seriously loved wedding planning. ANYWAY, I went to sleep that evening and had a little nightmare of my own(pregnancy style). It went a little like this:
As the day of the wedding was drawing near Ashley realized she hadn't ordered any bridesmaid dresses yet. Because the wedding was only a few days away she was forced to go to a store that was much like WalMart(it had no name in my dream) and get dresses there for all seven of her attendants. Because she needed so many she had to get several styles and shade of dress. She decided to go with red, but they were all different materials(like silk, velvet, taffita) and styles(short, long, one strap, strapless). I should take a moment and state that Ashley has plans on a wintery themed wedding because of her February date. It's sure to be a sparkling beautiful event...ANYWAY, back to my dream. Once we were all dressed in our dresses(that looked TERRIBLE together) she broke the news to us that she had changed the theme of the wedding. She and Chris had decided to "lighten things up" and go with a CIRCUS theme! As she started to tell us about it all these people started to file in. They were the make-up artists ready to PAINT our FACES like CLOWNS! All us BMs were trying to act supportive, but we were totally freaking out at the thought of looking like clowns in our hideous dresses. Did I mention there were acrobats? That was the pre-wedding entertainment. There was also circus animals and circus music. Wow, Ash. I love you, but I don't think I can be a pregnant clown at your wedding! Ha! Actually, I think I'd do just about anything to be part of your day!
Today, I googled "clown wedding" and found this picture. It is almost identical to the image in my dream.
My lovely Ashley.
A kind of scary picture of us. See, humor has always been a part of our relationship.

Home Brewed Smittle: Week 19. 21 to go.

19 weeks! Wowzah! We're doing well. Feeling great. I've had some ligament stretching pains this week, but nothing too bad. Elias has been on a growing spree. My belly is getting bigger by the day. I was thinking yesterday that once October is in full swing(starting this week) the Holiday season is going to fly by. Once the holidays are over Elias will be here before we know it!

We finally decided on a middle name this past week. I'd been holding off thinking that Scotty would change his mind, but he's holding strong, so like most things that really matter I've decided to go his way and let him have the name chose. SO, the baby shall be named Elias York Smittle. He says it sounds better and is more original. I'm a little pouty about not using Paul, but it's totally fine.

I still haven't nailed down a car seat I love, but I did check several OFF my list, which helps in the end, I guess. I am planning to take a trip over to baby's r us soon to see all the other brands I can't check out in our local stores.

According to Babycenter.com he can possibly hear our voices now. We love to talk to and read to the babies in the womb. It's so good for bonding, but also so the baby can learn voices. When I was pregnant with Olivia, Manly read every night to her from the Bible. He'd say, "Hello, Baby! This is daddy!" every time before he started to read and when she was born he said that to her while I was holding her and she turned her head to try and find his voice! So sweet!

Babycenter.com also says that his arms and legs are now in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body. That should be nice for him! Ha! It says he's about the size of an heirloom tomato.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Feeling Nostalgic

From time to time I love to go back and look at older pictures. Here are a few that make me smile.
My sweet sweet beautiful KK. Seriously, one of the most beautiful babes of all time.

This is my three big girls. Look how precious! So sweet.

Addi's tiny toes.

The end of a month where KK got EIGHT teeth!

Addison feeling the ocean for the first time.

KK. See, I'm telling you this child was a perfectly beautiful baby!

Our first camping trip.

Our first matching Halloween. The lion is KK. Dorothy is Olivia. I was the tin man and Manly was the scare crow.
This is one of my most favorite pictures of Brubbs and Manly. LOVE!

My daddy with his first grandSON. He was already in love!

Manly with Brubbs right before we left the hospital after a rough few days in the NICU.

Mia right after being born taking a nap with me. Such a calm beautiful moment.
Mia was born just before the kids came down for breakfast, so they just came right straight into our room from bed to welcome their little baby sister. Such an amazing moment with my family.

Right after Mia was born. So looking forward to this moment again.
So, I could do this all day, but I have other things to do. Maybe I'll do it again next week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

I haven't posted a favorite things post in quite some time, so I thought I'd share a few of my current favorite things. A few I actually picked up this morning, but they've already made the list, so you know they must be FANTASTIC and worth looking into.

Febreze Air Effects-Current Scent= Apple Spice and Delight
This little dear will make your house smell like you've been slaving away in the kitchen on apple pies all day. If you come over to my house and think to yourself, "Wow. I hope she serves us some of that apple pie." Know that I didn't make any pie, so you won't get anything except maybe a graham cracker and a glass of water. Ha!
The Knot Genie Hairbrush
I've been wanting one of these for the girls since I first heard of them, and after one day I am a believer! I got mine at Laura's, but you can get them on the Knot Genie Website. It's perfect for my two girls with long hair, but KK will let me brush without screaming her short hair too. Really a miracle worker. The knots just disappear without breaking hair. It leaves their hair looking freshly washed and styled. We got it in silver. They also have it in a mini size for kids, but Lulu liked the way the larger one fit in her hand, so we went with the regular one.
The Writing CLAW
If you've ever watched me write with a pencil you'd know that I hold it all wonky. When I was in school and even before my mom and teachers used to work with me to hold it correctly, but to no avail. I stick my thumb up in the air while I write. My hand always gets tired, and my writing is hard to read. When I started homeschooling Olivia I was able to get her to hold her pencil correctly with little effort, but KK is left handed, and for some reason I'm having a harder time with her. I think it's the angle she goes at. I need to have my left handed SIL help me know what to do to teach her, but in the mean time I found these REALLY cool grippers. They make it impossible to hold your pencil incorrectly. They come in all colors. A friend of mine who works in a private school told me about them. They have all their students use them. They work much better than the other strange shaped ones(that I can work around and still hold my pencil wrong with). They come in three sizes.
I know that most (if not all) of you have heard of Pandora(no, not the jewelry), but just in case you've been living under a boulder and haven't been out in the last 5 years, Pandora is an amazing online radio station. The cool thing is that you can create your own channels. For instance, I love the music of Kari Jobe, so I have a station that plays Kari and other artists with music much like hers. My favorite stations are my selective Christmas Station(this comes on year around, but mostly Oct-Dec), Hillsong Station(I listen to when the kids are playing outside and I'm working in the kitchen), and Harry Connick, Jr(When Manly and I play board games we like this one. It's best when playing scrabble! Ha!) My kids made their own channel that they listen to during the day called the B-I-B-L-E station. It plays all kids Christian music. The great thing about Pandora is that you can tell it what artists to add or take off of your station. If it plays a song you like you give it a thumbs up, and if it plays a song you don't like you give it a thumbs down and it will quickly pick another song and skip that one. We have the App on our TV, but you can also just go to the Pandora site and start up an account. Best thing is IT'S FREE!!
Snickers Bars
 I could likely eat 8 of these a day if they were like eating a carrot. Sadly, they are not, so I limit myself to only getting one when I'm out on Wednesday's for errands. I know it's nothing new, but they are my one and only treat I REALLY like. I'm not much of a candy eater, so this is my weakness.
I started watching this show last year when Netflix kept telling me I'd like it. I watched all but the current season on Netflix, then caught up on the current season on hulu. Once I was caught up I'd fix my evenings so that I could be watching it on Tuesday evenings. It's on TONIGHT at 9 Central time. I love it because it shows a good functioning family. It's on prime time television, so there are flaws as far as being family-friendly(my kids obviously don't watch), but I love that it shows a family who loves each other and isn't all about how stupid the father is and how the mother runs the entire family. There is a child with aspergers on the show, and it's not just shown as a "handicap." It shows how his family deals with his tough times, but also loves his strengths. It has Dax Shepard on it, whom I've loved since his days on punk'd back when I was a punk. It also co-stars Lauren Graham(Gilmore Girls) and Monica Potter(who I LOVE in the movie Patch Adams). It always makes me cry, and always makes me glad to have my family around me. Watch it if you dare. P.S. It's also got Bernice Matice all grown up for any of you Hope Floats fans.
The Tony Little Gazelle
When I was in college I hurt my knee dancing doing rhythmic movements(if you know where I went to college you know dancing was NOT allowed back then. I'm sure it is now since the last time I went through the student center there was a girl watching MTV on the plasma TV), since then I haven't been able to do a whole lot of exercise without knee pain. I can, however, work out on this. It's really smooth, and doesn't require any strain on my knees(Manly will likely give me a hard time for sounding like an old lady, but I worked out on it this morning while he slept in and didn't go running!). I used to go a little over 3 miles in about 30 minutes, but these days I only have time for about 15-20 minutes before I need to get in the shower before the kids get up. It's what I'll use to cut the baby weight after Elias. It has a nifty little timer on it that shows how many calories burned, the time I've been working, and the speed and distance. I think it also told my fortune yesterday. I'm kidding...
So, these are a few of my favorite things as of Tuesday, October 2. Do you have anything you are just crazy about right now?