Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Random Ramblings

I realize that I haven't updated on this guy at all... 

Tex has been doing really well since his surgery! The day we brought him home was crazy- trying to get all of us used to the "new" Tex for a while was going to be crazy. We borrowed a large dog crate from my parents to keep him subdued in our room- and it was too small. I'm telling you, this is one of the biggest golden retrievers ever (yes he's fat, but he's also HUGE). So we borrowed a doggy gate from a friend and let him have a larger area in our laundry room. That proved to be perfect. 

The first couple of days was fine- Anthony was home and the kids were obsessed with loving all over him. We had to give him three pills three times a day for pain, ice each leg for 15 minutes three times a day, walk him out to potty, and then an anti-inflammatory once a day. All of this plus starting a new diet for him was a lot- but why not tackle it all at once?! 

Once Anthony went back to work on Monday things proved to be a little more difficult, though not impossible. We made it through, and now just one day short of two weeks post-op he is doing great! No limping, no more pills, no more icing. He is ready to be up and about though, so we are having to work on keeping him calm and resting until his appointment on Tuesday. Sigh... 

On another note, Charley's talking has totally taken off these past two weeks. I swear, she turned two and it was like, BOOM! Talking in full (totally understandable) sentences. And the past three days I am pretty confident she hasn't stopped talking! She is now narrating everything that she possibly can ("I going to walk up the stairs now, ok mom?" "Texey needs to stop wicking his paws now." "Come on Jay and wet's go pway over there with the mawkers.") Girl has been keeping me in stitches all day! 

My favorite thing she has said lately was at dinner the other night. We were all sitting and about halfway through the meal. I had just finished my water and needed one more sip of something. I asked her if I could have a sip of her juice. She answered, "Sure mom! It's pretty tasty!" I mean, what?! I died laughing. It was so sincere and so sweet. Oh that girl... 

The Houston Zoo had two new babies born about two weeks ago- a baby elephant and a baby giraffe! We HAD to go see them, and last Thursday proved to be the perfect day for a zoo trip! We are officially obsessed with the babies and my little animal lover watched them forever. A trip back is in our very near future!

Last week I got together with two of my pledge sisters that I hadn't seen in forever! One lives in Canada and is in town visiting her family in The Woodlands. The other lives near Kingwood. I'm sure most of you aren't familiar with Houston, but these are not close to where I live (an hour plus). So we all met at a jump place in the middle. The kids had a blast together and it was SO fun to catch up! I wish I would have gotten a picture with the moms, but the kid pics will have to do for now! :)

This picture is so great because you can absolutely see the family resemblances in each set of two!

A few years ago right when we moved into our new house, there was a huge drought in Houston. It took a lot of the trees at our neighborhood park/playground. People were asked to donate money for new trees. I had totally forgotten about it until our visit last week. All the new trees were up and so were the little plaques to mark them! I was so excited to see "our tree!" I know my kids will love watching our tree grow. It's going to be crazy one day when they are grown to come back and see that sweet tree. I know it will bring back so many memories of our days and picnics at the park. We spend a LOT of time up there and have already had one birthday party there. Such a special little memory...

And one last note before I end my crazy ramblings... Anthony and my dad took Jay to a Rice baseball game this weekend. Jay loved it and is now loving "talking baseball." It helped that some of his best buds and their dads also went. (No pictures, BTW. Daddy isn't good about remembering to take pics!!) Then on Sunday we went to my nephew's lacrosse game. On Monday Jay woke up and said, "What kind of ball game are we going to today, mom?" Ahhh... love love love! Such a boy! Did I mention how thankful I am for a husband who loves to spend time with his son?! I love my girl time with Charley! Not to mention the fact that Anthony is also SO good about taking Charley Kate on "dates"- even if it's just to the grocery store. They spend time together and then I get some QT with my big boy. He's a good daddy, that one... I definitely lucked out! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hello Third Trimester!

It's nuts that I'm already in my third trimester of my third pregnancy! I was looking at our Baby Center app the other day and it said we had less than 90 days before our due date. This just got real!

As usual, the second trimester has been good to me. Energy, appetite, overall feeling have all been great. I also think chasing after two toddlers on a daily basis has kept my mind off of the daily aches and pains. 

I can't believe this pregnancy will soon be over. I've been having an absolute blast with our kids. I feel like I say it all the time, but they are just at such FUN stages! I love the 3.5 "grown up" phase that Jay is in. He's learning so much and is just a little adult sometimes. We have the most fun conversations and he really makes great company. Charley Kate has been a doll. I also LOVE the 2 year old stage and all the new talking and ideas that come along with it. I love how she's learning intonation with her voice and gaining a sense of humor. 

But mostly I love watching these two play together. They are just the best of friends. Sure they bicker and fight, but nobody has their sibling's back more than these two. I love watching them play alone and joke and laugh and have a ball. And THAT makes me most excited for this third trimester- knowing that in a few short months we will be adding another one to the mix. Another friend, another buddy, another lifelong companion. 

Oh sweet girl, you don't even have a clue what's coming your way! You are joining a tight duo that can't wait to welcome you with open arms! 

(Sitting next to each other in Bible Class!)

Friday, February 21, 2014

2 Year Stats

I keep forgetting to post Char's 2 Year checkup stats.

We had it the day after birthday, and everything went well of course. We saw our new pediatrician for the first time (our beloved moved to Dallas back in December and I can assure you I was depressed for the following month). The new doc was great. He was quieter than our previous one, but CK didn't let that stop her. She pulled him right out of his shell with her flirty eyes and infectious smile. Girl's got a gift I tell ya! 

Anyway, she's just a teeny little thing-
35.5 inches tall (88%)... I'm pretty sure they gave her a half inch on accident- I don't think she's this tall!
23lbs 8 oz (27%)
18.5 in FOC (45%)
13.1 BMI (4%!!!!!!)

And because I love comparisons, here are her big brother's stats at two years old-
37.5 inches (99%)
29 lbs 10 oz (81%)
19.5 in FOC (82%)
14.8 BMI

Jay at two!

That's a BIG difference for a two year old! Dude is and has always been a thick, solid little boy... Girlfriend has hollow bird bones, I think! :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CK's Birthday Party!

For those of you who have met Charley Kate, you know that she is an active, athletic little girl. And for those of you who just see pictures of her on the blog or Facebook, you can probably tell that about her as well.

It only seemed fitting to have her party at one of her favorite places in the entire world- Little Gym (or "Nastics!" as she calls it).

This was one of the greatest decisions of our lives. They do EVERYTHING for you. Set up, clean up, and run the party. I would have spent the same amount of money anywhere else and the fact that they do it all made it all the more enticing.

We invited about 25 of Charley's closest friends! Ha... Yes, really 25! Though I would say the majority were family friends and older siblings. I counted the kids that were actually CK's age and there were 8. We are in that weird stage of still inviting older siblings (they all invite CK to their parties). We won't be in this stage forever, so it was no biggie. Charley had the BEST time seeing everyone she loved in one room! She just ran from person to person to person. It was precious!

For the number of kids who came (23!!!!), it went incredibly smooth. I was so panicked the days leading up to the party wondering how we could accommodate all those kids and parents. And I worried for nothing. It was wonderful and the staff at LG did an amazing job (and totally earned their paycheck and big tip!).

CK's invite!

I forgot to take pictures of the whole set up, but there are a few I captured...

(I forgot pictures of the party favors, outside decorations, the donation bucket for our soldier... argh)

And onto the party pics (college anyone?)!

Fearless little birthday girl!


Someone LOOOVED being the center of attention! :)

The wild boy area! Seriously, they just tackled and ran like crazy! It was so cute!

Birthday girl chose her own spot- next to Jack in the corner :)
Pink cheeks from lots of running!

Jay sandwiched between his Wyatts!

Maggie is our precious neighbor that came along to help. My kids LOOOOVE her! 

Cousin Nick and Jonah

Everyone loves bubbles!

Get ready.... 


Cousins and daughters born a week apart!

Future inlaws with the betrothed coupled...
When you ask CK who she is going to marry she always replies, "Pawks!"

The kids played around, the parents chatted, snacks and drinks were consumed by all. Charley did a GREAT job blowing out her (trick- oops! Did NOT get those on purpose!!) candles.

One if the best parts was the cake. I ordered from a delicious bakery nearby. They have legit yummy cakes. They asked me flavor of the cake, flavor of the icing, then filling flavor. I ordered and the cake turned out delicious. Well, I totally didn't even think about the fact that 2-5 year olds would be freaked out by the raspberry filling! I think every kid but two panicked and asked their parents to scrape it off! Ha! Whoops... I'll definitely remember that for next time! 

Anyway, it was a fun party filled with wonderful people all there to celebrate our precious girl. So thankful!! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Funny Valentines

When I was little I LOVED Valentine's Day! Between the parties and the exchange of cards (and maybe a sucker!) it was so fun!

By middle school my friends got smart and we all gave each other a flower. That was brilliant because in those awkward tween years we all felt "loved" and had flowers to walk around with at school! 

High school was where you played it cool and didn't care- even though you really did. You'd send those Valentine-grams to each other in class or your boyfriend would bring a big bouquet of flowers to school for you. Then you'd celebrate with a dinner out somewhere (probably Chili's or something). 

College was a blast. If you were dating someone it was always a big ordeal (special restaurant, gifts, flowers) which was super fun. But if you were single, it was probably even more fun because you had your best friends there with you. We always went out and had a total blast together! 

My first Valentine's Day with Anthony was awesome. He took me to Shreveport to go see George Strait. It was our first road trip together and we had a ball. I remember I gave him his first Bible that year. It had his name on it. I distinctly remember when we'd do Bible Studies together before that, he had a small, New Testament-only Bible that someone had given him as a freebie on campus. I knew he thought it was a special gift (and he still uses it today). 

I also remember the subsequent Valentine's Days after that- they were always sweet. Sometimes we'd go out to a fancy dinner, sometimes we'd stay in and cook. We dropped gift-giving the first year we were married (we gave each other nightstands for our bedroom that year!)- realizing we'd rather spend time together than anything else. 

Two years ago we spent Valentines Day at home with a newborn and a 17.5 month old. Anthony's mom was there and cooked dinner for us and held Charley so we could actually eat together. That was a memorable one for sure!

This year I got to wake up to cards from my sweet husband and kids and a foot-massage gift certificate! I had a special breakfast with my babies and a day filled with sunshine and laughs. We took lunch and flowers to my grandmother. We all took naps which was glorious! Anthony came home with flowers for both his girls. We are spoiled for sure!

That night out wonderful babysitter came and Anthony made reservations for us at a fabulous new restaurant in town. It was wonderful just having a nice, dress-up date together, where we ate and laughed and talked. I love that we still do fun things together 10 Valentine's Days later. I love that we can still go to dinner and laugh and talk and never feel a lull or awkward moment. I love that for a few hours we are young and carefree again.  I just love him so much and am truly thankful for his companionship. 

I must say, it was a perfect Valentine's Day this year. 

And a throwback to last year... 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our Tex

We just dropped this guy off for surgery. 

He is having double ACL repair on his hind legs. Did you know dogs even had ACLs? I didn't (though I don't know much about the inner-workings of dogs). And I had no clue they could tear them. 

At the end of November he was wrestling with our neighbor's dog and let out a huge yelp then immediately pulled his rear left leg up. After several days he started to put light weight on it. After a few weeks he could walk on it- though not well. After a vet exam they determined it was a partially torn ACL. We tried to rest and rehab it. When it hadn't gotten significantly better we took him in to be reevaluated. The vet's comment was, "Well I am totally shocked. I feel confident saying it's now totally torn- and I'm amazed at how well he is doing despite of it." 

We went into the vet specialist (surgeon) to chat about options. They confirmed his left hind ACL was totally shredded and that his right hind ACL is partially torn (and will continue on the same path as the other). 

After lots of discussion with the doctor, we decided to go ahead and repair both at the same time. Several factors contributed to this decision and we all felt as a team this was best for ol' Tex! 

So we dropped him this morning after a night of extra hugs and snuggles from all of us! He is such an important part of our family. Tex is the BEST dog to our kids. He loves them like his own and takes so much from them. We can't imagine our world without him. 

We are anxious to see our sweet boy in a few days. Hoping for great results and a renewed spring in Tex's step! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

24 Weeks with #3!

So I wrote this at 24 weeks but forgot to take a picture and haven't posted until now- 25.5 weeks. Oops!

Guys, I'm 24 weeks along! This is viability week in the life of an unborn baby! This is so exciting for so many reasons, but 24 weeks pregnant is LEGIT- like everyone can tell I'm pregnant and I'm closer to the end than the beginning! In just 16 short weeks we will be meeting this precious baby girl! Eek!

I am still feeling really really great! I've been having some pretty sweet pressure going on, and I distinctly remember having this with Charley towards the end. I know they say you feel everything sooner with each pregnancy, so I can't even imagine if we have a 4th kid- ha! Anyway, lots of pressure and I've already felt three contractions! It was so funny when I got the first one. I was unloading the car and making lunches and getting the kids set up at the table. All of a sudden I just had the weirdest feeling come over me, and I kind of hunched over instinctively. I felt my stomach and it was SO tight- and the feeling was creeping up my tummy. I kind of sat there puzzled for a sec then thought, "Oh yeah, that's a contraction! Ha!" Anyway, it let up and I just went about my day, though I did decide to lay down and snooze a little just to make sure I wasn't doing too much (code for a great excuse for a nap!).

I've also had some pretty severe tailbone pain (I know I had it with Jay, too) and some sciatic pain. The tailbone pain has been the worst (in addition to the pressure), but I know this just means my body is shifting and moving and prepping for this sweet girl to make her debut! Totally worth it!

Oh, but my hands! They TOTALLY fall asleep every time I sleep. I don't know if I'm cutting off the circulation somehow, but it's so weird!

In my 24 week post with Jay I was having horrible leg cramps every night. I'm happy to report this go 'round I haven't had ANY! Woohoo! And with Charley I just wasn't sleeping well due to her late night partying kicks. I don't know if this little one doesn't party at much at night, or if I'm just too exhausted to even notice. Ha.

I think I mentioned that a few weekends ago on our marriage retreat, Anthony got to feel sweet girl kick. Well, last week Jay got to feel her for the first time and I'm pretty sure it just made his life. He was SO happy and hasn't stopped talking to her and rubbing my belly. It's just beyond sweet.

I think a teeny bit of the nesting bug finally kicked in this past weekend. I haven't really had a huge desire to even walk into the nursery because there was just stuff to be done and I didn't want to do it. Plus, I think when you have two kids already that you are "nesting" for, it makes it tough to add on a third to-do list. But last weekend I cleaned out the nursery closet and organized a few things. It wasn't much by any standard, but I feel confident that if I get absolutely nothing else done before she comes, I will feel pretty good about what she has to come home to. Did that sentence even make sense? Because it totally did in my mind.

And now the belly. Just keeps growing (and the rest of my body has decided to do the same finally- bootie, legs, fingers, feet, boobs... Yikes!). I'm in maternity jeans/pants pretty much all the time now, though a few pairs of my regular jeans still fit (and you better believe I will rock those for as long as possible just for sheer principle!). Most shirts are maternity mainly for the purpose of being long enough to cover this belly! :)

25 Wks with #3!
(I know, it's terrible, my hair is dirty, blah blah blah. It's real life people!)

24 Wks with CK!

24 Wks with Jay!

What these pictures prove is that you look worse with each subsequent pregnancy... I think it's the fact that I have two kids now and have no time to look cute 99% of the time. Oh well... :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our Big Girl is 2!

Oh. My. Word.

How is my precious baby girl (soon to be big girl!!!) TWO years old already?! I swear, I blinked and my newborn is now a little girl. How does that happen?!

This girl is a precious light in our family. She has so much spunk, so much personality, and so much joy. She has been the greatest (unexpected!) blessing we could have ever imagined.

Charley Kate is a talker like her big brother was. She speaks in sentences and pretty clearly most of the time. She loves love loves being a part of the conversation. While her brother preferred to play when adults were together, this girl loves to join in and contribute to whatever we are talking about. She will sit on a lap and just listen to what everyone is saying and chime in. Hilarious!

She is a girly-girl through and through. She loves her baby dolls and rocking them, shushing them, singing to them, and changing their diapers. She loves accessories (and thinks you can never have too many!) and her high heels and to dress up. Makeup and jewelry are some of her favorite toys.

While she's a total little girl, she can rough and tumble with the best of them. She is super athletic and her balance and coordination and pretty impressive. She's still pretty teeny, so I'm convinced she's going to be a gymnast or cheerleader (she likes to fly!). She also LOVES to ride her bike (tricycle) and scooter and swing "really high!" on any swing in sight!

Sweet girl has TOTALLY regressed in sleeping this last month-two months. She wakes often and needs us there with her. Her naps aren't as long as I'd like (1.5-2 hrs)- especially for the amount of energy she exerts and the lack of sleep at night. Oh well, we'll get there at some point!

It amazes me how socially aware she is. She can read people really well and tell what they need. She loves to flirt with her daddy ("Daddy kisses!" she shouts as soon as he walks in the door from work- all the while batting those big blue eyes at him!). She can tell when people are mad and upset and tries to comfort them. She loves being around other kids and chatting with them and "helping."

She loves her pets and her family, but if there is one thing she loves more than anything in the world, it's her brother Jay. He is her hero. She would snuggle him and follow him everywhere if he would let her. He is so good to her, and I'm so thankful for that.

Girlfriend is still feisty, and still occasionally earns her nickname "Hurricane Charley," though the tantrums and drama are becoming less (or I'm dealing with them better!). She is fiercely independent and wants to do everything "by myself!" I am so thankful for this because I don't worry that she will be in trouble at school with peers. I also know that this is going to make her a strong, independent woman one day and I can't ask for more than that.

She is my little shadow and doesn't get too far from me throughout the day. She helps me cook, "fold" laundry, clean, and all sorts of things around the house.

I love looking back at this post and remembering the day she was born. I also love that at the time I so perfectly said what I feel everyday about my kids- that my heart doubled in size the day I met Charley Kate. She is the light of our family and the spark we couldn't live without. God knows what we need before we do. And He knew that our family needed this precious "surprise" baby, Charley Kate.

Little girl, we love you to pieces.