Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Matchy Matchy

Don't you love how Randi and I dress our baby girls in matching outfits?

I'm not sure which is cuter - the fact that they match or McKinley's teal converses. I want them. For Lil. And maybe me too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

When Daddy Leaves.

Brendon is on a business trip until Wednesday. He's been gone less than 48 hours. But I think Lilleigh detects his disappearance and doesn't like it. Here's the play by play of our weekend thus far.

Both today and yesterday she decided to take naps half the length of her normal naps. Personally, I'm was fine with it. But that means she's more likely to be cranky. Not okay.

Despite her short naps, Lilleigh was okay yesterday. So I decided to brave it and take her with me to our Young Couples cook out for the first hour (6-7 PM - nothing crazy). She was happy in the car. Great. But the moment we walked in the door, she started crying. And each time someone greeted her, she burst into tears... starting with the "oooooh" and {enter the loud cry}. Lovely. I stayed long enough to eat. I had come all that way, might as well. Fun times.

Then bath time went terribly awry this evening. I've heard mommas talk about their babies making little "floaties" in the water. I remember my sister, specifically, doing this, mainly because we shared a bathtub and I was always disgusted to use it after such an occurrence! So this was like that. Only not. It was breastmilk poop. Which means it's not solid. It makes the water look like a yellow grenade went off. I spared you all from photos.

Oh, joy! Daddy, please come home soon!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weight Loss Update!

I've been stuck at 8 lbs for awhile now. And lately I've been discouraged. It seems I'll have a spurt of weight loss and then a lull. I'm tired of the lull.

But good news, my friends! I just bought shorts at Target yesterday - and they are two sizes smaller than a pair I bought right after having Lil! So I braved the scale...
I'm down to 5 pounds!!!  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Neighborhood Love

I have probably mentioned before that our neighborhood is baby central. Not kidding there were at least 11 babies born within this past school year. Most of those were firstborns. It's seriously nuts! It's been so fun to live in a neighborhood with lots of young families.

We have neighborhood play dates and play groups, which is a huge ministry opportunity. I'll blog more about that later. But I just love knowing the other families in the neighborhood and recognizing a friendly face when I push the stroller down the street. There are so many sweet neighbors! Lots of stay-at-home (and equally as many working) mommas. And lots of sweet babies and kiddos.

One of my neighbors is actually an old sorority sister of mine too. (I sound like an old lady... hmm... "young sorority sister" sound better?) Anyways she and I have been swapping babies! Melissa had her son Braden just 6 weeks after I had Lilleigh. While that makes a big different developmentally for the moment, they are practically the same age, which is lots of fun - and convenient! Neither of us have family in town to help us, so for the past couple of months, we've been each taking a day to watch both babies while the other goes out to run errands, go to doctors appointments, or whatever personal stuff they need to get done. It's been fabulous! You wouldn't believe how much I can get done without a little one to get in and out of the car seat, set up in the grocery cart or stroller, change poop diapers, listen to cry because I'm not going fast enough... the list goes on. I love my Lilleigh. But it truly is amazing how fast I can go without her! Not to mention the fact that I can actually flip through my coupons without thoughts of her having a melt down in the store racing through my mind. All that to say, these swaps are a blessing!

Lilleigh and Braden

I also have one other sweet neighbor Tristyn who comes over to watch Lil often. She just loooves babies. And since she and her hubby (Sean, who I led Young Life with - small world!) don't have kids yet, I encourage her to borrow mine. :) Really though, Tristyn is one of those few people that doesn't get phased by a baby crying, blow outs, spit up, {insert other distasteful baby outburts} and her willingness to love on my child - and to give me time every so often to run to the store alone - blesses me.

I just love our neighborhood!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grammy came for a visit!

This past weekend, Brendon's mom, Grammy, came for a visit! She actually stayed at the Four Seasons Las Colinas (totally worth checking out if you haven't!) for a couple nights. This was such a treat because we were able to go hang out there and swim!

Lil liked Grammy's hot pink hat.

Drinking water like a big girl. She actually tries to grab our cups, straws, food, etc ALL the time! So if I'm drinking water or milk, I'll give her a sip. Funny because she normally looks at me like I'm crazy afterwards! But she really just loved the water this time!

Two little cuties! Haha. Lil was loving sucking the juice out of the cuties. She actually sucked too hard and sucked the whole slice from my fingers into her mouth! Ay!! Luckily Mommy grabbed it quickly before she should choke. The lesson? Hold on tight!

Daddy and Lilleigh playing!

Do you see her teeth?? Yes, that's right - plural. Tooth #2 broke through this weekend!

Then on Saturday afternoon, Val came to hang out at our house. And Brendon hung up Lilleigh's swing! That was one of those "Honey Do" projects. I think Brendon is thankful to have that crossed off his list! Mommy and Lilleigh are happy about that too!

Lilleigh loves her swing!

Saturday night, Grammy stayed at our house and watched Lilleigh so that Brendon and I could go out for a much needed date night! This was such a blessing!! It was wonderful to reconnect. Since we don't live near family, we jump at the chance to get out just the two of us for a date night! Thanks, Grammy, for coming up!

Friday, August 19, 2011

McKinley Turns One!

Confused on who McKinley is? The short answer - She's Lil's BFF. Okay really - she's Randi's baby. And Randi is one of my best friends, so therefore, McKinley and Lilleigh must be best friends. Got it? Good. And yes, we know - we are so blessed to get to raise our daughters together!! God knew!

Just to jog your memory - One year ago I blogged about her birth. Crazy how time flies by! Now she's ONE! We celebrated with a swimming party! Matt and Randi could only get their neighborhood pool from 6-8 PM Friday night, which is definitely when Lil wants to be going to bed, but she was a trooper! No fussy babies here.

Mommy and Baby BFFs! I think Lilleigh was jealous of McKinley's birthday hat.

So Aunt Randi gave Lilleigh a birthday hat also.

Daddy gave Lilleigh a piece of watermelon to try. She LOOOVED it! I think they went through several slices of watermelon actually!

Singing happy birthday! McKinley seemed kinda frightened by the whole singing thing if you ask me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tummy sleeper

Lil has turned into a tummy sleeper! She loves rolling from her back to her tummy! And she sleeps well on her tummy. This is wonderful, but the thing is I can't get her to roll from tummy to back for the life of me! Really. I prop her arms under her, and occasionally she'll roll to her back - with that extra help.

She's been rolling from back to tummy since about four months. Until recently though, she'd rarely let herself get all the way onto her tummy. She's roll until she was aaaalmost there and then roll on to her back. Smart baby! The first few nights that she made it onto her tummy, I'd look on our video monitor and see her sleeping soundly. (Surely it was an accident that she ended up that way, right?) Then about an hour or so later, she'd wake up crying because she couldn't roll back. Thankfully though her tummy panicking has stopped. Though she can't roll back over, being on her tummy no longer scares her, and she's comfortable.

That said, hopefully one day soon she'll learn to roll back! For the most part though, she is just content to stay on her tummy. Can't complain I guess. She's happy and not mobile. Both good things!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lilleigh's Swimming Lessons Paying Off!

...Well, not really "paying" off, since we didn't pay for them. My friend Alina invited us to do lessons with her and some friends in her backyard. Alina's mom used to work as a swim instructor, and now that Alina has a baby, her mom offered to teach a class for Alina and her friends! Pretty sweet set up, right? We are thankful to Alina and her mom Kristina for inviting us to be a part of it!

Here are several videos we took today. If you don't have time - or patience - to watch them all, just watch the first and last videos. (Since this is a family blog, grandparents, etc read this and will want to see all four I'm sure! Friends, no pressure!) The first is just a cool angle because it's under water. The last one is the one where Lilleigh turns on her own in the water! Pretty neat!

Commentary on video 4: Even though it appears that the instructor turned Lil, actually Lilleigh turned on her own, as Kristina was reaching for her. Pretty cool!

"How did you teach Lilleigh to swim?" you ask. Here's what we've been doing...
  • Comfortable in the water. We sing lots of songs in the water. Songs that do not involve babies getting dunked. We sing The Wheels on the Bus, The Hokey Pokey, and several others. Really any kids song works I think.
  • Holding their breath. We taught Lilleigh to hold her breath by counting "1... 2... 3" On the count of 3, I would blow in her face and put her under water. The blowing usually makes babies take a breath in because they're startled. (This wasn't really the case with Lil though.) Over time, the babies learn that "1... 2... 3" is their signal to hold their breath, and you no longer have to blow in their face when putting them under. For us, this looked like me sitting Lilleigh on the edge of the pool, singing a little song (usually Humpty Dumpty - fitting right?) and then at the "fall" part, counting and blowing in her face, as I bring her into the water. When under water, I bring her towards me, so it's like she's swimming in the water. I am holding onto her the whole time.
  • Kicking. We practiced this by putting Lilleigh tummy down in the water, with her head up out of the water, on my shoulder. I'd walk backwards, so that she would be "swimming" forwards. As we moved, I'd say "kick, kick, kick" and move her legs with my hands. To move her legs, I'd have my hands on her knees, or just above on her thighs, and move them in the kicking motion. You can see her kicking in these videos. It's not that she can "swim," like most of us can, but she appears to be swimming because I gave her a push, and she's kicking also.
  • Turning in the water. I described how we start out at on the edge of the pool, bring Lil into the water, and have her "swim" towards me as I hold her. This is the same thing, except after a few seconds of her being face down, I gracefully turn her so that she is floating on the water, still supported by me. Overtime, she has learned to do this on her own, as you saw in the video. The idea behind this is that if Lilleigh were ever to fall in the water, she'd know how to turn onto her back to get air - and also to float, which we'll talk about next.
  • Floating. We are still working on the floating. But basically we just practice with the babies on their backs and the moms supporting their shoulders a lot. Depending on your child and their age, you may have to give them more support. Overtime though Lilleigh has become more comfortable in the water. Today I was only supporting her head as she floated! And of course, for this, like everything else, we sing songs as we do this.

Please do NOT take this blog post as a professional how-to on swimming lessons. I am NOT a professional swim instructor. This is merely what we have been doing with Lilleigh, and it has been working for us. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lil's Half Birthday!

Happy half birthday to you! Happy half birthday to you! Happy half birthday, sweet Lilleigh! Happy half birthday to you!

Sweet Lil,

You are now six months old! My time has flown! You have gotten so big. You are no longer my little newborn, but a baby!

I took these cute photos of you on your half birthday.

Oooh a sticker I crunch with my fingers.

You love the toy I got you at a garage sale last weekend.
Here are things that define you at six months:
  • You can sit up on your own! I put the boppy behind you still most of the time because you do fall after awhile. But each day you are getting stronger! Really. About a week and a half ago you decided to sit on your own, no hands on part of Mommy. 
  • You love to laugh! You laugh when Mommy gives you lots of kisses and throws you up in the air. The saying around here is "Everything's funnier when Momma does it." For whatever reason, you laugh and laugh when I give you kisses or blow raspberries on your tummy, but when Daddy does it, he is lucky to get a smile. Strange how that works.
  • Mommy is reading Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events book 1 to you. Some may think this is an odd choice of a book to read to you. But I love the language of the book. Plus chapter books help you follow story lines and keep Momma entertained!
  • You don't really take a bottle... well, not by choice. Grammy gave it to you recently, and you did drink from it. You treated it like a sippy cup, playing with it in your mouth and chewing on it. (You love the sippy cup! That'll be our next attempt.) You drank an ounce that way. No sucking though. Oh and in order to get you to drink that ounce, Grammy had to sing to you and walk around with you to distract you. You certainly make your preferences known!
  • You are in 6 month clothing and have been for a month and a half. Some 9 month. This is also the point where I would say what diaper size you are, but you're in cloth. So what I know is that in disposables, you should probably be a 3, but since we have 2's left, I've been packing those for you to wear in the church nursery! 90% of the time though you are in cloth diapers, and you recently moved up to the middle snap in those. 
  • You got your first tooth! Botton left. And I think the second one is on it's way in. Oh and in a previous post, I asked for prayer that you wouldn't bite me. Well guess what. You bit me. Tonight. It hurt a bit, but really it just surprised me. I took you off and said NO really firmly. You cried. I hate to make you cry, but hopefully you got the point. Biting and nursing don't go together. I think things will be better from here on out.
  • You have started to kick in swimming lessons. And you are getting more comfortable floating on your back.
  • You LOVE other babies! You could watch other babies all day long and be entertained.
  • At naptimes and bedtime, Mommy sings the song "Morning Town" (aka "Train whistle blowing...") to you, and calm down. When I can tell that you're really tired, you actually smile when I start singing. I think you're relieved to get to go to bed.
  • You get distracted very quickly while eating. I can't really talk to other people while you eat. I definitely can't watch TV. (Bye, bye, Netflix!) Sometimes you won't even let me read. Not kidding - you'll kick or hit at my book. I correct you, but you get really stirred up.
  • Mommy started you on solids, sorta. We aren't super regular about it. But you've tried avocado, sweet potato, and tomato. And egg and potato, unofficially. I pureed the sweet potatoes, but I'm tempted to just go the whole food method from here on out. That's what I did with the tomatoes. It's easier and just makes more sense to me.
  • You do have separation anxiety, but it's not terrible. Well with a couple unlucky friends you've cried the whole time I've been gone, but with others, you've been great, minus the initial sadness. Hopefully things will get better!
I love you, Lil! You are so precious to me! Daddy and I are so blessed to have you in our lives. Happy six month birthday!

Love, Mommy

Pappy Comes to Visit!

Pappy (aka my dad) came to visit this weekend! The occasion was Lil's half birthday! (Six month photos to come.) We had a great time with him, going to Costco, BJ's Brewery, garage sales, and Tin Star! And of course, we all enjoyed sitting out and watching the chickens. ...I'm telling you, there's so entertaining!

Here are some great photos of Lil with her Pappy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Help me decide. Because I'm indecisive.

I need your help. I bought one of those awesome Canvas on Demand Groupons... actually this is my second one to buy. The first canvas turned out awesome by the way! Anyway, with this second one, I need to choose a photo to have printed on it. Here are the contestants...





Which one do you think we should turn into a 16x20 photo canvas?

A Brief Update

Here's just a brief update for ya! It's almost Lil's half birthday, so I'll save our more detailed update for then!
  • Lil cut her first tooth! But she doesn't really like showing me - or anyone for that matter - so no photos. Sorry. There's not a whole lot to see yet anyway! But my prayer is that Lil doesn't bite me! I plan to keep nursing until she's at least a year. Prayers welcome.
  • We are having some separation anxiety issues here! It's really hit or miss. Sometimes when I leave Lil she cries briefly and then is fine. Other times she cries non-stop until either a) she cries herself to sleep or b) I return.
  • As for the chickens, no eggs yet. Three aren't mature enough. We don't know anything about the fourth. But when it's above 100 degrees every day, we aren't really counting on eggs for awhile.
  • If you haven't already seen, I'm giving away a Jeep Liberty Sport X stroller over at Thankfully Thrifty! If you wanna win, do so here!
Lil chewing on her dress. Best photo we could come up with!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Missed Opportunity

As I was cleaning up the kitchen this morning, I was reminded of an incident that happened over three years ago, when we were still living in our apartment. I'm not sure what even reminded me of this event, but I feel inclined to share it with you, which basically means I feel that the Lord wants me to share this story with you. Hopefully it'll will strike a cord with at least one of you out there.

It was probably 8 o'clock one evening. And it was winter, so it was dark. Hubby and I were driving home from somewhere. There was a community of houses and town homes next to several apartment complexes, our complex being one of them. We often drove through a neighborhood to get to our apartment. This particular night as we were driving, we noticed an elderly woman (at least in her late 80's) sitting on the curb. It looked as if she had fallen.

So we pulled over. My heart was pounding. Of course, it's the right thing to pull over to help this woman, but we are also very much taught not trust strangers... Don't pull over for a stranger. Don't trust them. But really this is a 80-year-old woman. What was she going to do? So we pulled over and got out of the car to see if she needed help.

I can't remember our conversation very clearly, mainly because her words were jumbled. Her sentences, when complete, just did not make sense. I do remember understanding that she was walking home from her son's house, which was in the nearby neighborhood, and that he was a doctor. When I heard this, I had to refrain myself from passing judgment on this son of hers who a) let her walk home and b) apparently has a house that she could live in... you'll see why later in the story. Point being - I had to refrain myself from judging. After all, I don't know anything about this son of hers.

Brendon helped her up. We asked her where she lived and if she needed a ride. She nodded, so we helped her into the car and depended on her to guide us to her apartment.

Now if you ever visited our apartment, you know that it turned sketchy the last six months we lived there, as the apartment complex next to us turned into government housing. Enough said. Well, the apartment complex she directed us to was far sketchier. It really resembled for a motel with long stretches of balconies and doors to the outside, with a pool in the center courtyard. I'm not really describing it well because this description could be wonderful, but I'll just say that it wasn't wonderful. It was a place I would never want to live.

We drove up and parked. Should we just let her get out? She clearly had dementia, so that just didn't seem like the right thing to do. So we got out with her. We walked up two flights of stairs, to her apartment, and then into her apartment with her. This could have been totally freaky, but we were trusting the Lord on this.

Her apartment was bare. Sure she had a coffee table, TV, and chair, but other than that it was bare. I started to feel the loneliness this woman must endure daily. What an awful feeling. I wanted so badly to tell her about Jesus, to tell her it would be okay, and to tell her I'm sure her son loves her. I was in an evangelism class at the time (seminary credit). I should be able to tell the gospel to someone easily, right? So why was it so hard? I felt frozen by fear.

That's when this woman went to her fridge and grabbed two hot dogs. No buns. Just the dogs. Then she grabbed a bagel and broke it in half, giving us each a piece, along with the hot dogs. Like I said, this woman's apartment was bare. She gave us all she had to offer us. We tried to politely decline. After all, that was her only food! But she insisted and practically shoved it in our mouths. So we stood there politely and ate.

Then she walked over to her big Bible laying on her table and showed it to me with a picture of Jesus. I can't tell you how I felt at this moment. Ashamed that I couldn't even say His name, yet she could tell me about Him. And also relieved that she knew the Lord. We made conversation with her, asking her about her faith and where she was from. We understood bits and pieces of what she said.

Eventually we left. We told her we'd come back. We meant to. But sadly, it didn't happen. Truthfully, it's not as if she would have remembered anyway. But still.

The Lord taught me a lot that night. He taught me to trust Him. To take advantage of the opportunities He presents. And to give sacrificially.

I don't know why I share this with you. I just feel like God laid it on my heart. A missed opportunity. It makes me sad to think about how many opportunities like this - or more subtle - that I miss. Whether they are chances to share the gospel or to give generously. Don't miss the opportunities He gives.

And I'm double posting this. It'll be on Thankfully Thrifty as well!

The chicken has a name!

This little chicken has a name! Thanks to the unknowing collaboration of Elizabeth Daines and Brendon's boss's wife Jackie, chicky has a name! Please meet Clara Belle!

What I didn't mention is that there's a prize for the winners! ...Mainly because we just decided that there should be a prize! What is it you ask? Homemade soap, of course! Because hubby has been experimenting with making his own soap. Al naturale. We're so country.