The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Update on my goals for 2012

In keeping with tradition, I thought I would update on the goals I made at this time last year before posting my goals for 2013.  Here is how I did on my goals from last year.

Goal numero uno was don't get pregnant!  Whoo hoo!!!  I accomplished my first goal! 

In all seriousness, I really didn't want to get pregnant this year and while that really isn't a goal, I am glad that I am not currently preggers.  Don't know that I will be making the same goal for 2013, but I do know that right now I feel like I have my hands pretty full!

Goal number two was to lose weight.  Fail.  Like major fail.  I mostly thought I would lose weight the same way I did after Molly and Isabelle, by breastfeeding.  Not so much.  The weight didn't come off, and I didn't really work much on my diet or exercise this year.  I am pretty bummed to have not succeeded in this area and will for sure have this at the top of my list for 2013.  I think I will also need to set more realistic and more specific goals in order to see progress.

Daily quiet time was next on the list and while I did not master this either, I am much better than I was a year ago.  So, while I didn't totally master this goal, I do feel like I have made progress.

Number four was to be more purposeful with the girls and I think I have done a pretty good job overall in this area.  I don't know how much one on one time happened, but I do know that we spent a lot of time doing "school" and a lot of time doing arts and crafts type activities.  I also tried to make sure the girls spent a significant amount of time playing outdoors whether in the backyard or at our neighborhood park.

My blog schedule goal went really well for awhile, then not so much.  I am going to have to work more on that in the future.  Like as soon as my sleeping schedule is worked

I did stay pretty true to my goal to cook new and different recipes.  If I counted correctly, I posted nine of my Adventures in Cooking blogs and that is just what I got around to talking about.  This year I started making more meatless dishes and tried out lots of PW recipes from the new cookbook.  I also utilized pinterest for tons of great and some not so great recipes.  I think that this goal that I started so long ago has been one of the greatest things I have ever done.  Cooking more and trying new things really has changed my life for the better.  It may sound stupid, but Pioneer Woman changed my life through her blog and her recipes.  I am more confident in the kitchen (maybe overly confident even) and feel happy that I can now cook my husband more than just spaghetti and tacos.  In a million years I never would have thought I would enjoy cooking and baking as much as I do now.  Sometimes I think about doing it as a career somehow or going to culinary school or just taking some classes here and there.  Obviously far in the future, but who knows where my new love of cooking might take me!

My seventh goal of getting a clear plan for Mary Kay...well that almost makes me laugh out loud.  I pretty much did nothing in my MK business this year.  I have kept up with my current customers, gained a few new customers and made a little income for my family.  And while there are many who would say I needed to do more, or should have done more or could have done more, I am actually pretty content with what I did.  Would I love to have more money?  Yes, obviously.  Would I love to have more customers?  Again, yes.  But, did I want to sacrifice time at home with my husband in order to get those two things?  No.  A big, fat, NO.  Jason put in a lot of time at work this year and completed several big projects.  When he wasn't working at the office, he was often working on additional side projects at home.  So, when he wasn't working, I wanted to be spending time as a family, not at an appointment.  That was a choice I made and I don't regret it.  The thing I love so much about Mary Kay is that it can be exactly what you need it to be at any given time.  If I really needed to be making more and more and more money I could work more.  It is like anything else, the more you work you put in, the more you will get out.

There it is, my results from this past year.  Not too shabby considering how I did on my goals from 2011!  I can't wait to get my goals for 2013 written down and figured out.  I have so many things I hope to accomplish and I am ready to get started!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eleven Months

Not a lot has changed in regards to Lawson this month.  I don't want to sound overly complain-y, but we are still dealing with an ear infection.  Because of his ear pain, Lawson isn't really feeling like eating.  After a week long nursing strike, he did start nursing again, but only a little and really only at night.  Some days he will nurse during the day, but it is rare.  We have tried bottles, cups, formula, juice, pedialyte, and nursing while he is sleeping.  Not much is working.  Ugh.

enjoying his avocado lunch!

Here is some more info on Lawson at eleven months old.

Height and Weight:  Weight is back down to 17lbs and 13oz.  We had made it above 18lbs but not for long!  Not sure how long he is, but we will find out at next months one year well check.  I hate that he has lost weight as he was already a little on the small side. 

Eating:  We have started feeding him an avocado a day along with the rest of his food to try and get some extra calories and fat in him!  He still doesn't have any teeth, so his food choices are still kind of limited.  He eats oatmeal with banana for breakfast, lunch is avocado and a banana or pear, dinner is some type of veggie/meat combo and then he is nursing sporadically during the day.

Sleeping:  Lawson. Is. Not. Sleeping.  Up at least once every hour at night.  Naps are better.  He will usually sleep for two hours during the day.

Likes:  Playing the Dora guitar, playing with sisters' princess castle, eating puffs, being held.

Dislikes:  Nighttime, eating, taking medicine.

Milestones:  Crawling!!!!  Whoo Hoo!!!  Lawson has been mostly doing his army crawl until this month when he finally started actually crawling.  He has also started pulling up on the furniture.  Just when I thought he wasn't going to be walking for a very, very, long time, he surprises me and masters crawling and pulling up in one month. 

I love Lawson so much.  I am so blessed to be his mom.  I know that one day this time in our lives will seem like it went by very quickly despite how long it feels right now.  He is such a sweet baby and I hope that next month I will be reporting on a healthy and fat little guy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Update

I haven't been super regular in my blogging lately.  Frankly, I am too tired to do much of anything at the end of the day.  But, I don't want to let too much time go by without updating on what is going on with our family.  This is, after all, a family blog!

So, just a few updates today on what is going on at our house.

Lawson:  Poor guy.   Currently, we are on our third round of antibiotics for an ear infection that just seems to never end.  To say he isn't sleeping or eating well would be the understatement of the century.  I am trying anything and everything to help him.  The suggestion of tubes is being thrown around by the pediatrician but is not something we can consider until he has had more ear infections or until this one sticks around for another couple of months.  If you are a praying person, say a prayer for us.  I will update more on Lawson tomorrow when he turns 11 months old!

Molly:  I could write a whole blog on my weird child, Molly.  Seriously.  Moll is currently/still in the no clothes phase of toddlerhood.  Pretty sure she would be naked 24/7 if I'd let her.  Molly also has begun to ask that we call her Will (she pronounces it wheel).  Another funny and weird fact about Molly is that she has started asking to watch Jem in the mornings.  If you aren't familiar with Jem, it is an 80's or possibly early 90's cartoon about a rock star named Jem.  It is on Netflix and is not really age appropriate, but the girl loves it. 

Isabelle:  Isabelle is pretty excited about Christmas.  This is really the first year that she has been excited about Santa or presents.  She is only asking for a book and for a candy cane.  I love that she is so easy to please.  She is also pretty excited about seeing her family and spending time with her dad.  Isabelle still asks to do school everyday which makes me happy and lets me know that at least I am not making it so horrible that she wants to stop.  She recently started rhyming up a storm and is showing more interest in learning to read.  She is a very smart girl.

Jason:  Jason is working.  Really, working.  Not all the time, but quite a bit.  We are lucky that he will have several days off for the holidays.  He has been able to work on some really cool projects though and it is neat to see his work all over the city (and in Stillwater!).

I have so many things I want to write about in my brain.  I have a cooking post, a post about my weird kids, one about Christmas, and lots of photos as well.  We will see how soon I am able to get to them.  If it comes down to blogging or sleeping I will choose sleep every time!  In the meantime, I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Embracing CC Miller's Camera

We recently had family photos taken.  Just like every other time we have had pics taken, the kids were uncooperative, running around like crazy, and crying.  Oh, and Lawson was sick with diarrhea from antibiotics!!!  I pretty much wanted to go home and cry after we were done.  Okay, I did cry after we were done.  I don't know why I can't just remember that our photographer, CC Miller, is a miracle worker and always manages to make it look like everything went (mostly) according to plan.

I will say that I am not happy with how I look in the photos.  I like the photos, just not how I look in them.  Does that make sense?  I am currently WAY over my normal weight.  For some reason it did not come off with breastfeeding like it did with Moll and Isabelle.  And my hair wasn't exactly cooperating. 

However, there are some wonderful photos.  And there are a couple of me with the kids that I am happy with.  So, today I am embracing the camera, CC Miller style.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Thirty Days of Gratitude Part 2

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

The last 15.

16.  The health of my children.  Yes, we have ear infections and roseola and viruses galore right now, but you know what, my kids aren't fighting cancer, or heart disease, or any other terrible type of illness.  They are (mostly) healthy.  And on that note, when they don't feel good, I at least have access to medicine that will make them feel better.

17.  Health Insurance.  I am happy that my husband works for a company that provides health insurance to it's employees, grateful that we can afford coverage and still pay the required copays and deductibles, and thankful for good doctors in our area.

18.  My friends.  There used to be a time when I could count the number of my friends on one hand.  I just wasn't a very good friend, therefore didn't have many good friends.  I have worked hard to try and be a better friend, and to invest more into my friendships and I think it is paying off.  I have so many awesome women I am blessed to call my friends.  Some live far away, some in the same neighborhood.  Some are friends from when I was in college, some I met only within the last six months.  I have friends of all ages, all walks of life, in different stages of life, and I can't tell you how lucky/blessed/thankful I feel to know them all.

19.  My washing machine and dryer.  Seriously, how would I ever make it without them?  I can't imagine having to go to the laundromat with all my kids and all the laundry ever week.  For that matter I am also thankful for my dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator and all other appliances big and large!

20.  A great marriage.  I know I put Jason on yesterday's list.  And I am thankful for Jason, but I am also thankful for the marriage that we have worked so hard for.  Things haven't always been easy or fun, but we have always stayed committed to each other and our family.  I am blessed to have a marriage like I do that keeps getting better and better each year!
21.  Food.  Sometimes I come home from the grocery store and get upset that my cabinets are so crowded full of food.  Then I remember that there are people all over the world without any food at all.  Here I am upset I can't cram anything else in and there are people starving.  I have been taking many things for granted lately and hope that I am more thankful everyday for the things I have that so many people do not.

22.  Mary Kay.  This year I did not work as much as I have in previous years.  In fact, I worked very little.  But, you know what?  I still made money from my Mary Kay business.  The fact that I spent time in years past with customers means that even when I am not working with new clients, I am still making some money.  And even though it isn't millions, every little bit helps.

23.  I am thankful for the abundance of people Jason and I have that help with the kids.  Whether it is my mom coming over so I can run to the grocery store or take one of the kids to the Dr, or Jason's mom coming for a day so I can run errands and take a nap, or my sister coming over so we can have a date night, Jason and I are blessed with an abundance of people to help watch the kids.  Not too mention that we have a great babysitter, Grace, who is awesome with the kids. 

24.  My IPhone.  I. Love. My. IPhone.  I love being able to use GPS in my car, love my apps, love being able to talk my text messages while driving, I love it all.  My wonderful husband gave me my phone for my birthday earlier this year and I love it.

25.  Cooler Temperatures.  That's right, I am thankful it isn't a million degrees out any more.  I hate hot.  Pretty sure I have mentioned that before.  I love cooler temperatures.  My favorite weather would be cool, cloudy and maybe even rain.  Gray days are my favorite days. 

26.  Our Military.  I am so thankful for the men and women in our armed forces.  They don't get the appreciation they deserve.  I tend to think more about them at the holidays also because I can't imagine being away from my loved ones during Christmas, but they are and they don't complain.  I am so grateful for their sacrifice. 

27.  The right to vote.  It doesn't always go my way, but at least I have the right to vote.

28.  I am thankful that my mom is a CPA.  And thankful she does our taxes.   It is so nice not to have to worry about doing our tax returns!  I have a great mom! 

29.  Coffee.  And more Coffee.  Oh, and creamer.

And, saving the best for last.....

30.  Jesus.  I am thankful that He died on the cross for my sins.  Thankful for the gift of eternal life.  Thankful that He has blessed my family and me beyond my wildest expectations.  Really, there are innumerable reasons I am thankful for Jesus and my relationship with Him.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thirty Days of Gratitude-Part 1

Many people I know did the thirty days of gratitude thing on facebook and usually I write a thankfulness post on the actual day of Thanksgiving, but this year was different.  This year I have been in the midst of taking care of a sick baby (now going on five weeks) and blogging hasn't been at the top of my priority list.

So, I decided to combine the two, a thirty days of gratitude blog series with 15 reasons today and 15 before the end of the month.  Honestly, I have way more than 30 things to be thankful for.  Don't we all?  So here, in no particular order, are my first 15 reasons. 

1.  My husband.  Talk about one major blessing.  The reasons that he is so amazing are lit-ra-lee endless.  Besides being a wonderful best friend and an outstanding father, he is also beyond talented at his job, an incredibly hard worker both at work and at home and he is funny and handsome on top of all that!  I am one lucky lady.

2.  My kiddos.  I am so blessed to be their mommy.  Being a mom has made me a better person, has brought me closer to the Lord and has taught me more than I ever thought it would.  They are each so special and unique and I am so thankful for each of them.

3.  My health.  No, I am not the skinniest or the fittest, but I am healthy.  I can't imagine being a sick mommy.  I am so thankful that I don't have to worry about not being able to be there for my kids 100% each and every day.

4.  My family (like my extended fam).  I am so lucky to have a wonderful family.  Yes, we have our issues, but I think everyone does.  Mostly we love each other and enjoy spending time together which I think says a lot.

5.  Jason's job.  It is true that I wish that the postman would just bring money to our mailbox each and every week without J having to work for it so that he could stay home and spend his time with us, but since we know that isn't going to happen, I am thankful that he has his job to go to everyday.  I am thankful that his boss is a kind and honest man who treats his employees fairly.  I am thankful that Jason enjoys his work and the people he works with and that he comes home in a good mood instead of a terrible one from hating his job!  And I am thankful that because of his job I can stay home with my kiddos.

6.  My house.  I complain sometimes about not having a bigger or nicer house, but the fact remains I have home in a nice area with electricity and indoor plumbing.  I am better off than most in the world. 

7.  My country.  I am thankful that I live in the USA.  I was watching the news the other day while Israel was being bombed and they showed a little girl run to her bomb shelter that was in her house and I was so thankful to live in a country where my kids know nothing about bombs or bomb shelters or any of that. 

8.  My church.  I love Church on the Move!  I love the kid's ministry, the preaching/teaching, the worship, all of it!  I am also pretty thankful that they are opening a satellite campus right by our house.

9.  MOPS.  I am so thankful that I decided to join and am beyond thankful for the friendships I have made!  I can't say enough good things about MOPS!

10.  Social media (facebook, pinterest, instagram and my blog).  I know, social media seems like a dumb thing to be thankful for, but because of f/b I am able to stay in touch with friends who live far away, because of pinterest I have found lots of fun recipes and crafts and through ig and my blog I have made new friendships!  Not everyone is a fan of social media, but I am and I am thankful to have a place to connect to people during this season of my life.

11.  The legacy of my grandparents.  For some reason I have been missing my grandparents a lot lately.  Perhaps just the time of year.  My grandma loved Christmas.  Whatever the reason, I am so thankful for the role they played in my life and for the example they set for their kids and grand kids.  I am so sad that my kids will never get to know them and sad they will never get to have the great memories of them like I do, but I am so thankful that I will have a million stories to share about what they did right that made such a lasting impact on me.

12.  My sister.  Yes, I know I already said family, but I am super thankful for her.  She is my bff and my life would not be as fun or as full without her.  She is a great encourager when I am feeling down and because she is such a great mom herself, I can always count on her to give me straight advice about parenting.  I only wish we had more time for sister stuff because we have such a great time together!

13.  My minivan.  I never, never, NEVER thought I would drive a minivan.  Then I had three kids.  I was so worried when I was pregnant with Lawson that we would never find a van that was nice, in our price range and wasn't going to have a lot of work that needed to be done.  God answered our prayers with that van and while it isn't the nicest, doesn't have the lowest miles or a DVD player, it is clean, safe and reliable.  I love my van and I am thankful to have it!

14. Pioneer Woman.  I know, I know.  This seems really crazy.  What kind of weirdo is thankful for Pioneer Woman?  Me.  I am that weirdo.  Sometimes when I am in the kitchen, cooking something new, I realize that it wasn't that long ago that I could only make tacos and spaghetti.  Now, I have the confidence to try things I have never tried before and have actually learned how to make many, many, many dinners that my family will eat.  The reason I have this confidence....Pioneer Woman.  Her cookbook and blog changed my life.  I told her that when I met her, that she had changed my life, and I meant it.

15.  The freedom to homeschool.  I haven't decided 100% that this is the route we will take with the kids.  But, it is nice to have the option.  I can't imagine not having this freedom. 

There you go, my first 15 in my list of 30 things to be thankful for.  What are you thankful for this month?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The sleeping through the night myth

Let me start by saying that I hope I get tons of comments from moms disagreeing with me and telling me how wrong I am.  I hope many of you tell me this post is just plain nonsense and that the problem is me and my parenting strategies.  Because, well, if I am wrong, that means there is hope.  (The pictures of sleeping babies are to remind me that they do sleep some of the time.)
Daddy let Lawson wear himself out in the floor.  This NEVER happened with the girls.

When I had Isabelle I had already read Babywise cover to cover two times.  I was SOLD.  After all, who wouldn't want an eight week old baby who sleeps through the night for ten hours solid??  Seems like a no-brainer.  And since their formula said that is what I would have, I followed it to the letter.  And when my eight week old wasn't sleeping through the night I figured I just wasn't being tough enough, wasn't letting her cry enough.  And cry she did.  Just ask any one of my family members who may have visited at a nap time or a bed time.  That girl cried. it. out.  And for the record, she is fine today.  And eventually, many months and many long nights later, she slept through the night.  Well, kind of. 

Isabelle started getting in the swing and falling asleep when we brought Moll home from the hospital.
Molly was a totally different story.  That girl came home from the hospital sleeping through the night.  It was a chore to get her to wake up for feedings at night.  I had to beg the doctor to let me let her sleep through the night and stop waking her up for feedings.  Eventually she gained enough weight and we were good to go.  Babywise didn't enter the equation because she just slept.  She was a sleeping queen.  Well, kind of.
Moll in the early sleeping days.
Now comes Lawson and I am a much different parent and well, babywise seems so labor intensive.  So scheduled.  And well, I have two other kids and sometimes I don't quite remember to keep Lawson on schedule.  And I like nursing him to sleep and rocking him to sleep and I realize that before I know it he will be four and I will be wishing to rock and nurse him to sleep again.  And whether or not it is because he is a different baby or because I don't keep him on a strict schedule like I did with Isabelle or because I don't let him cry it out, or who knows what other reason, he isn't yet sleeping through the night.  My pediatrician says nursing babies often continue to wake up once a night to eat until they are weaned and that is what I keep telling myself, "he will sleep
when he is weaned."  Right?
Isabelle sleeping with her LaLa Loopsy doll.

You see, as parents we are sleep deprived.  And moms, well we are super sleep deprived.  And the idea of a baby sleeping through the night brings us a light at the end of a very sleepy tunnel.  But, it is a myth.  Kids, babies, toddlers don't sleep through the night consistently.  Really, it's true.  Just ask any parent. 

With Isabelle she finally started sleeping through the night and then we moved her to a big girl bed.  It was a transition and she started waking up at night.  Fixed that problem and then along came enlarged adenoids and sleep apnea and LOTS of night wakings.  Isabelle was waking up more as a three year old than she ever did as a newborn.  Fixed that problem and had a few months of peace and then we moved her and Molly into the same room.  Now, Molly wakes her up.  Back to her waking up at night.  Not always, but still, she does not sleep through the night without waking up consistently.  I would say at least once per week she comes into our room and we have to go put her back in bed.  She is four and she still doesn't always sleep through the night.
Kids love the car.

Molly, she did great until about 8 months, and then started waking once per night.  Fixed that problem with the Ferber method sometime around a year and then she did good again.  Until we moved her to a big girl bed and into the room with Belle.  Now, Molly also wakes up at night and comes in our room.  Both girls have figured out that crawling into Dad's side of the bed is their best bet because Dad doesn't always wake up.  Luckily mom usually does, so back to bed they go.  Molly is two and a half and still doesn't always sleep through the night.
Sleeping on the boat.  Just about the only place she slept at the Lake.
I already explained my Lawson dilemma.  I want to also point out that each time he gets close to a long stretch at night he gets sick, or day light savings occurs or there is a change in routine and there goes our progress.  So, at 10 months, Lawson does not sleep through the night.

Sleeping at the zoo.
See, it is a myth.  You can make progress and you can get closer but I am here to tell you that babies and toddlers do not consistently sleep through the night.  They don't.  So please, please, new parents, don't set yourself up for a big disappointment.  Sleep deprivation is part of the job and it doesn't go away at the eight week mark!  I am not saying you won't ever get a full 8 hours ever again, but I am saying that you will not enjoy a full nights sleep every night once your baby hits the two month milestone. 
 Now, if your kid is different please leave me a comment telling me what I am doing wrong!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ten Months Old

This past month has been the slowest and fastest ever.  I guess that is what happens when your child is sick for pretty much an entire month.  Poor Lawson couldn't catch a break this month.  First was a cold, then an ear infection, now Roseola.  He has dealt with snot, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, ear pain, and now a rash all over his body.

He is miserable, I am tired and the girls are pretty sick of not having access to their mom like usual.

Here is some info about Lawson at 10 months old.

Height and Weight:  He weighed in at 18lbs today.  This is good since he had diarrhea for four of the last seven days.  He was fully clothed which may have contributed to a weight gain, but we'll take it! 

Eating:  Lawson has had a marked decrease in his appetite this month.  Again, probably because he has felt like crap most of the month.  I don't feel like I can say how his eating habits have been because nothing has been consistent.  He isn't eating much, isn't nursing much and won't really touch his snacks.  My doctor said the nasty word "self-weaning" today at our appointment suggesting that is why he isn't nursing but I will not accept that.  I think I will cry if that is what is happening.

Sleeping:  Ugh.  Again, being sick sure gets everything out of whack.  This month has been terrible for sleep.  Hard to get to sleep, doesn't stay asleep and naps are all over the place.  Looking forward to a healthy baby so we can get back on track.  Though, I have decided (and may do a blog post on) that sleeping through the night is a big, fat myth.  Seriously, not even my four year old consistently sleeps through the night. 

Likes:  Being held, being rocked, watching Gabba, and playing with toys that play music.

Dislikes:  Taking medicine

Milestones:  I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but he has been waving for a month, and while he hasn't started signing, I am starting to sign to him.  He isn't crawling, but still doing his army crawl, however he is starting to try and pull up on the furniture.

I say it every month, but it seems fitting to say how thankful I am for Lawson during November!  This month hasn't been the easiest month, but I realize how fast this time goes by.  I am more than thankful that I have the ability to stay home and take care of my kiddos when they are sick without worrying about losing my job or not having an income.

Looking forward to a much more healthy report next month!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Isabelle is Four

I feel like every birthday one of my kids has catches me a little off guard.  Like, how in the world can my baby be four??  I mean, I know four isn't that old, but still, I feel like she is fixing to head off to college.  And what in the world will I do when she actually is heading off to college?  Pretty sure I will be a wreck. 

Since I want to be sure to capture lots of fun things about Isabelle I thought I would interview her again like I did here.  Here are her answers and of course some pictures.

Favorite food?
Pizza (she loves going to Top That Pizza, she calls it The Restaurant since it is the only one we really ever take the kids to)
Least favorite food?
Soup (pretty sure this is fresh in her mind since we had broccoli cheese soup last night)
Favorite colors? 
Red and pink
Favorite TV show?
Barney (I thought for sure she would say Calliou)
Favorite movie? 
Toy Story
Best friend? 
Hannah (an eight year old girl that lives down the street)
Favorite toy? 
Bouncy balls
Favorite book? 
Favorite snack? 
Fruit snacks

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
What does mom do all day? 
Work, or more specifically, homework
What does dad do all day?
Fix coffee
If you could change your name, what would you change it to? 
Who is the coolest person you know?
Favorite song? 
Twinkle Twinkle

We go to the doctor tomorrow for her well check, so I will update with her height and weight. 
Here are a few things about Isabelle from my perspective!
Loves:  crunchy chicken for dinner, playing outside, riding her bike and her scooter, spending time with her family, being a big sister, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on TV, doing "school", headbands, eating snacks, reading books, helping mom around the house, wearing shoes and socks, going to MOPS and church and Bible study
Doesn't love:  sauces (like spag sauce, stroganoff, alfredo sauce, etc), taking naps or going to bed, when Molly pesters her, dad going to work, having to stay inside on cold or rainy days, sharing her food (don't you dare ask her for a bite of something...haha), toilets that have a loud flush, pony tails that aren't tight (like so tight I worry we will pull her hair out of her head), rule breakers (she especially hates people on motorcycles without helmets, people speeding and kids breaking the rules)
Isabelle is such a sweet and special girl.  We are so blessed to have been trusted to be her parents.  She is so smart, funny and beautiful. 
Happy Birthday, Isabelle Grace.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Friday Five

The girls have been coming up with some pretty funny stuff the last couple of days.  I need to be more intentional about recording all of the crazy things they say, hence today's five things. 

1.  Yesterday, while playing in their room, I overheard Belle yelling at Molly, "Are you insane?"  The sad/funny thing about that is that I know exactly where she learned that fun phrase.  As my mom pointed out, at least Belle didn't call Molly a jack a**.  (I may or may not have used that word before while driving.)

2.  My kiddos have been a little sick and Molly still has some residual snot issues.  I caught her picking her nose yesterday and asked her if she needed a kleenex.  Her response, "No, I'm just getting the crumbs."

3.  Today after Lawson was done eating breakfast he was getting a little fussy.  I say, "You must be getting tired, bud."  Belle says, "I think he wants to eat from your boobs."

4.  We have been watching the movie Despicable Me a lot this week.  Like a LOT.  At the end of the movie when Vector is dancing on the moon Isabelle says, "That guy is crazy.  You can't dance in space."

5.  Tomorrow is Belle's birthday party.  She has requested a princess cake and princess cupcakes.  Today she was drawing a picture of an elephant that she wants me to put on the cake.  I told her, "You asked for a princess cake, I am making a princess cake."  To which she replied, "but I really want the princess to have a pet."

You may not find these things as funny as I do, but my guess is there are things your kids say that make you laugh out loud.  Get out your pen, or your phone or whatever and write these things down.  I have a feeling you won't regret it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan's Purse

I mentioned at the beginning of October that on the first of every month I would be promoting a non-profit that I found amazing and that was doing work I think everyone should support.  Last month it was the Camellia Network, and this month it is Operation Christmas Child or Samaritan's Purse.

Here is a video about Operation Christmas Child I suggest watching.  It gives some great info about the program!

If you don't watch a video here are some things to know:

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This year the goal of OCC is to surpass 100 million shoe box gifts packed and distributed since 1993!

I was lucky enough to help pack two shoe boxes already through my Mothers of Preschoolers group, but I will be doing at least one more with money from my monthly Mary Kay paycheck and maybe more depending on sales!  Each month I send out an email to my customers and this month they will know that a portion of my sales will go to support this great organization.

Something important to know is that the collection dates are November 12-19th, so if this is something you and your family would like to participate in, you have only a couple of weeks to get it done!  Totally do-able.  I know people who don't shop for their own family's Christmas gifts until Christmas Eve, so two weeks is plenty of time to pack a shoe box!

If you don't make the deadline, but would still like to give to Samaritan's Purse, they have a wonderful gift catalog, where you can select what type of gift you would like to donate.  Through the catalog you can give things like milk for a baby for $4, or clean drinking water for a family for $15.  You could give the gift of a blanket for $6, a fishing boat for $50,  a small livestock animal for $20 or something even bigger like flying a child to receive heart surgery for $2200, or building a school for $20,000.  The point is, there is something for everyone at every giving level.  Everyone who is reading this blog can spare $4!  You can also use that link to donate $7 for a shoe box gift if you'd like to do that rather than making one of your own.

I love this organization and I love what they do to help people around the globe.  I encourage you to check them out and to put together a shoebox with your family today. 

If you are in the Tulsa area and are looking for a drop off location, I know several!  Just leave me a comment and I will be sure to send you the info.  Otherwise, their link has a place to look up drop off locations in your area. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning List

1.  My kiddos are sick....AGAIN.  It seems like we can't catch a break around here.  I think I am over the limit for the amount of snot a person should have to deal with, but whatevs.  I would rather deal with a million times more snot than be vomited on again, so bring on the mucus.  Hopefully, after this round we will get a break for longer than two weeks.  Momma needs some sleep.

2.  Yesterday I made PW's Simple Sesame Noodles.  So good.  Even better today for lunch.  We ate them cold both times and they were awesome.  In the cookbook she also shows them with cold steak, which I am sure would have been delicious, but we didn't have any steak so it was plain noodles for us.

3.  Since I spent some time griping about the hot weather this year, I should mention that right now I am in love with the weather.  It was in the 50's yesterday, 60's today and at night gets colder.  The next few days are going to be glorious.  I am not looking forward to it being back in the 80's again at the end of the week.  After all, it will be November and 80's in November is a tad bit ridiculous.

4.  I made a double batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today.  Why have I not done this before?  Seems like a no brainer to always make a double batch and freeze the unbaked cookies and then cook them as needed, right? 

5.  I feel bad for people in the path of Sandy, but I really hope that one of the meteorologists that is standing out in the storm gets swept away.  It would serve them right for standing outside in a hurricane.  And, how can you possibly convince people it is unsafe to stay in their homes when there are newscasters standing outside in the middle of the storm?  You know where you never see a meteorologist?  In a tornado.  Those things are serious.

6.  Isabelle has started doing the most hysterical thing ever.  She refers to herself in the third person.  As an example at dinner she will say, "Isabelle wants some water," or "Isabelle loves chicken."  It is infuriating and incredibly funny all at the same time. 

7.  Jason and I are addicted to The Walking Dead.  If you haven't ever watched it you are probably saying to yourself, "they are so stupid," or "who likes shows about zombies?"  That is what I said about people who watched it before I ever saw an episode.  Now, I love it.  Season three has been a bit more gory than previous seasons, but it is still a great show.  And for the record, I may or may not have googled, "How do you become a zombie?" during the first episode.

8.  I really don't have anything else to add right now....just didn't want to end on number seven.  For my brother's sake.  I do find it funny that the title says morning....haha.  I have been holding sick kids all day long and just finished at 8:00 PM! 

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin fun and Lawson Update

Before I get too carried away with our pumpkin patch/pumpkin decorating fun, I wanted to update you on Lawson's stats after his doctors appointment!

Height: 27 inches.  Eleventh percentile.

Weight: 17 lbs and 9 oz.  Eighth percentile.

We have some work to do to get him to gain some weight, but the doc isn't super concerned so I'm not either.  Plus, this helps the me not wanting him to get big thing.  Because, well, he isn't.  And don't worry, I feed the kid ALL. THE. TIME.  Lest you go thinking he is neglected or something.


Last Saturday Jason's mom came down and we headed to the pumpkin patch!

The girls had a great time checking out the pumpkins or rather, picking up every pumpkin they saw and then dropping/throwing them to the ground.

They also had a blast feeding the sheep, alpacas, and goats.  Meanwhile, I spent my time dreaming of hand sanitizer and antibac soap. 

Another highlight of the day was seeing the girls wipe goat snot on Jason's jeans.  I really, really, really wish I had a pic of that.

After pumpkin hunting and barn-yard animal feeding, we took some pony rides and even Lawson got in on that fun.  He seriously loved it.  I figured he wouldn't have a clue and maybe he didn't, but he sure was smiling a lot!

Molly rode Cowboy

Lawson on Patches

Isabelle rode Daisy
Finally, we picked out and paid for our pumpkins and called it a day. The girls wanted to decorate them the minute we got home, but we didn't have the paint yet.  SO, I went to Michael's the next day and they were able to paint them on Sunday. 

Just in case you are wondering, I made them take their clothes off so that nothing would get ruined with acrylic paints!  They didn't mind too much since most of their days are spent sans clothing anyway.

If you are in the Tulsa area I highly recommend Carmichaels.  They have a great selection of pumpkins and gourds and they also have tons of fun activities for kids.  No cost to get in, but you will pay for pony rides, camel rides, corn to feed the animals and the corn maze. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lawson at Nine Months

Ugh.  I feel like I just got done talking about Lawson at eight months.  I DO NOT LIKE THIS.  I really, really, really, want him to stay small.  I love everything (okay, mostly everything) about this age.  I love that he is mobile, but not too mobile.  I love that he has a personality, but no sass (boys probably don't get sass, but whatever).  I love that he is eating, but doesn't refuse to eat what I have cooked.  I love that he still wants to be held, and still loves my kisses but is okay to play on his own.  I just love him.

pretty sure it is time for some boy toys

Here is some info about Lawson at nine months!

Height and Weight:  Find out on Monday.  I suspect he is still small for his age. 

Eating:  Lawson is an eater.  He eats "real" food three times a day with a snack or two in between plus he nurses every four hours.  You can always tell when Lawson is hungry because he is mega fussy.  So far there haven't been many foods that he won't eat and just like the girls, he loves puffs.

Sleeping:  He is doing pretty good.  Goes to bed around 7 pm, sleeps until about 4 am, then wakes up to eat and goes back to bed until about 6 am.  As for naps, he is still taking two naps a day and while he has been sick it has actually been three naps a day again.  We no longer use the swing to get him to sleep, but I do nurse him to sleep pretty regularly.  If he happens to be my last baby I want to be sure to soak it all!

Likes:  Eating carpet.  For reals.  This kid is destroying my carpet.  He has found a small place where the carpet was pulling back and he has gone to town pulling more out and stuffing it in his mouth.  It drives me bonkers.  Reminds me of that show, My Strange Addiction.  Also in the likes category are crawling/scooting around the house, trying to get in the dishwasher, pulling hair and playing with the girls' toys.

Dislikes:  Carpet being pulled out of his mouth, snot being sucked out of his nose, being hot/cold/wet/hungry, and having things taken away from him.

Milestones:  Made it through the first real "sick" episode. but other than that nothing really big has happened in the last month.

I know I say it a lot, but Lawson has been such a blessing to our family.  The girls are such great big sisters and do a wonderful job of playing with and loving on their brother.  There is something different about a baby boy and I am so thankful for my precious Lawson.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's goin' on

I realize I haven't been super consistent lately with updates and pictures and general happenings of our family.  Truthfully, I have been prioritizing other things.  Like cleaning and cooking, and taking care of sick kids, and doing homeschool with the girls.  The blog just hasn't been high on the priority list.  Sorry.

But, since I had a brief minute, I thought you might like to know what has been going on at our house.  So here goes, a very short synopsis of life at the Dickinson's.

The kids have been sick.  Like snotty, cough-y, sneeze-y sick.  Jason and I were super happy to get it also. Lawson was the worst because, well, he can't blow his nose.  He was unable to sleep or eat or really do anything other than fuss and be miserable.  Things are much better today unless you count the fact that Lawson's snotty cough is now making him vomit!  Fun times I tell you, fun times.  At least he is sleeping and eating again.  The girls and Jason and I are also much better!

The girls and I started our new Five in a Row homeschool curriculum.  They love it and so do I.  This week we read a book called Ping, and I have had such a blast doing "school" with them.  I have been trying very hard to just incorporate learning into our everyday life by playing games and singing songs and really it has been so much fun.  Part of our school this week was to go feed some ducks.  Yesterday was a great day weather wise so we went to a pond in my mom's neighborhood and fed some ducks.  Luckily there were no geese.  I was a little afraid of geese attacking the girls and what I would do if they decided to chase after us.  Apparently that happens.

I thought about doing a cooking post after making these cookies.  If you are looking for a delicious, pumpkin cookie, these Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin cookies are for you.  Fair warning, they are incredibly addictive.

Our fall pictures were supposed to happen this past Monday, but due to sickness have been postponed.  I am so anxious to have some new pictures.  I am especially looking forward to a new family picture with Lawson in it since he is 9 months old and all!

Really, not much has been going on.  I have been taking care of my family and myself.  And honestly, if something has to go on the back burner, it will probably be the blog.  I am trying to slow down, enjoy my kiddos and take advantage of the time we have together.  Of course, I will be back tomorrow with Lawson's nine month post, hahaha. 

See you then!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Isabelle has been obsessed with talking about school.  She is in love with her backpack and can often be found standing by the front door waiting on her school bus.  I almost feel bad for her....almost.  She is such a funny girl with such a great imagination.  Here are some pics of her while she was waiting on the bus a few days ago.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Five: Instagram

Thought I would share five photos I shared on Instagram in the last week-ish.  If you don't follow already I am @tracyd53.

Have a great weekend!

not sure why she was riding the tricycle, but her face is presh

playin' at the park

she loves riding on this duck!

waiting on the bus to pick her up for school...which of course, never happened

my lil bubby