27 March 2009

baby birthin'

I just walked through the living room and found both girls reclined on the couch with balloons stuffed up their shirts. Let me preface their conversation by revealing that I've been totally honest with some details regarding labor and delivery. For instance, it hurts and how the baby gets out of the mommy.

Addi: No, you have to lay down. And, pretend there are doctors all around you trying to help.
Libby: Okay.
Addi: (while groaning and moaning pulls balloon out of her shirt) Oh, wait. I forgot, I think the baby comes out of my leg. Let me just poke a hole in my leg. There. (pulls "baby" out of her leg) Now you do it.
Libby: Okay. (copies her sister and then jumps off the couch) Want to see my baby. It's a girl!

I know it's been over a year since I last experienced this, but their version doesn't seem even vaguely familiar. :)


25 March 2009


I thought it looked crazy the way the light from the flash reflected off our stroller. Good to know if I ever want to take Levi for a midnight stroll. :)


22 March 2009

a preview

We took our first family pictures 6 years ago when Addison was 4 months old. Bryan and I loaded Addi, Zoe and all their baby and dog stuff into Bryan's truck one morning and headed to College Station. That evening we had family pictures taken in the bluebonnets.

When I scheduled the appointment a few months prior, we weren't sure Bryan would be in the pictures. Bryan's unit had deployment orders, but we didn't know when the pictures would be and we weren't sure when Bryan would deploy. You see, bluebonnets aren't out long and, like all flowers, you can't predict when they'll bloom, so the photographer put us on a list to call when the first blooms appeared.

Not only did Bryan get to be in the pictures, by that time I'd allowed myself to entertain the idea that he might not actually leave. As I said before, we'd known for months he was supposed to deploy. We'd even had a farewell ceremony for his battalion over a month earlier. The day after we took those pictures, Bryan received a call telling him to return to Ft. Sill because he would deploy the next week.

It felt like someone had kicked me in the gut! We drove the 6+ hours home listening to reports of the first attacks in Iraq.

Fast forward 6 years and we were back in our picture clothes. This time the pictures were taken at the Dallas Arboretum with the addition of 2 people and without the stress of an upcoming deployment. Within the first few minutes, I wondered why I thought family pictures would be a good idea. Getting 5 people, most of those kids, to all smile at the same time is nearly impossible. Last night I was just hoping there was 1 good, usable picture.

This afternoon, Dana at Tin Star Photography emailed to let me know she'd posted a preview of our session on her blog. I am telling you, she is a photographic genius! There are 7 pictures posted and I love them all. If you live in the Dallas area and are considering pictures, email Dana. You won't be disappointed.


19 March 2009

Haircuts for All

Levi before...pretty shaggy

Levi during...no fussin'

Levi playing with the distraction toy...still no tears

Reagan before...it was a little crazy because it had been pulled up

Addison before...I couldn't believe she wanted to cut it since she's been saying all year she wants to grow it out so she could donate it again!

My handsome little man

The end result...Levi's hair looks so much better, but he looks so much older. :( The girls look adorable, if I do say so myself. Addi's hair could've been a little shorter, but she likes it. Libby started begging (during Levi's haircut) to get her hair cut. Her hair is gorgeous (it must take after Bryan's because it certainly isn't like mine) and it pained me to think of cutting off her silky locks. But, I've known the ease of short hair on little girls before, so I gave in. Then Bryan asked Addi if she wanted a cut also and she was all in. Right after Libby's haircut got started she asked for a lollipop, so, I suspect, that was her motivation. She does like it though, grinning each time she passes a mirror. She's asked Bryan countless times tonight if her hair is still short. We have family pictures on Saturday and I'm tempted to not even stick a bow in the girls' hair. (GASP!) Actually, I'll have to in Libby's since we're steal dealing with the growing out of her self-cut bangs. And if I'm gonna do one girls hair, I might as well do them both. Now I'm the only one left in the family in need of a haircut.

(In case you hadn't noticed, Addi's trying to show off her tattoo. We have some cute "baby" tattoos that we all got into yesterday and she really loves hers. She keeps asking for more. Should I be worried??!)


18 March 2009

as Wordless as I can make it this Wednesday

When Addi turned 2, Bryan and I bought her an ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. It had 3 Disney Princesses as toppers, Sleeping Beauty being one of them. She began to ask Bryan the name of each Princess. He knew the first two, but was stumped by Sleeping Beauty, so he told Addi her name was "Mommy". For several years she called Sleeping Beauty "Mommy". Now she refers to her as Aurora. I suppose that's Sleeping Beauty's more sophisticated name. :)

Aurora may be called Sleeping Beauty, but I don't think she holds a candle to my own sleeping beauty. I could watch Addi sleep for hours. She's the most entertaining sleeper of our 3, talking and smiling, sitting up and sometimes even laughing, all while she slumbers. What I like best, though, is how I can still see Baby Addi in Big-Girl Addi's face while she sleeps.


11 March 2009

Houston, we have a problem...

  • Bryan travels for work about every other week. He always goes to Houston, usually for a few days, but went just for the day this past trip. It was some sort of casual meeting which did not require him to wear his usual business dress, so he pulled on his "Casual Friday" jeans and a shirt and headed for the airport early Monday morning. About lunchtime, he called me from a Target's parking lot with a story about this man sitting next to him on the plane. Bryan claimed his seat-mate smelled horrible. He couldn't put his finger on the exact smell and it wasn't constant, but it was pretty bad. Needless to say, he was relieved when the plane landed and it was time to head to the rental car place. Now for those of you unaware of Texas geography, Dallas is in North (East-ish) Texas and Houston is in Southeast Texas very close to the Gulf of Mexico. My point is Houston is humid! That fact becomes relevant later in the story. Bryan continued telling me he'd spent his morning walking around a new property with the new tenants and some of the construction crew. Well, that man's smell, the man on the airplane, he started smelling it again. And, the longer he was in the humidity the stronger and more frequent the smell became. Uh-oh! So, while he was on a call (around the corner, all alone) he started smelling his clothes and found the offender. Those jeans, the ones he'd worn a few days before and not washed in between wearings. They hadn't smelled on Friday and he hadn't spilled anything on them. This is the point in the story where I wanted to die! I searched my mind for a recent time I'd forgotten the wash for a few days resulting in that horrible mildew smell. Nothing came to mind though. Bryan was understandably upset. He'd just sprayed himself down with Febreeze in the Target parking lot. I felt so bad for him. I also could not stop laughing. (Sorry, Honey. Everytime I said I wasn't laughing, I really was.) I'm laughing now just thinking about it. I really do feel bad about the whole thing. I mean, ultimately it was all my fault. I'm responsible for the laundry. He makes the money and I do the laundry. That's just our division of labor. I'm pretty sure I know what happened. Early last week, I washed a dark load mid-morning. After lunch I used some rags to deep clean the kitchen. I mean clean-it-like-I-never-have-since-we've-lived-in-this-house, so the rags were disgusting. Well, I'd forgotten about the clean clothes waiting to be thrown in the dryer and tossed the rags in the washer. About 10 minutes later I realized what I'd done and re-washed the entire load. Those rags probably needed to soak in something first and certainly didn't need to be washed with fabrics we actually wear. Lesson learned! It's just unfortunate my husband had to be a part of that lesson.
  • If your daughter was thrown-up on at school and then kept forgetting to bring home the clothes she'd been wearing in the vomit episode, would you bother taking them out of the plastic bag to wash them? Or would you throw it all in the trash? Besides the smell, (Don't worry, if I end up washing those nasty things, I won't add in any of Bryan's shirts!) I have a major phobia of all the germs I'll release when I open the bag. Of course, this assumes I get my hands on said bag of clothes today and they don't marinate for another 9 days over Spring Break.
  • Addi has been encountering her first experiences with mean girls. She told me a few nights ago that her favorite friend in her class, the one she sits with at lunch almost every day, the one she chose to sit with us when we joined her for her birthday lunch, the one she loves playing with after school, refused to allow Addi to sit by her at lunch that day. I tried to make light of it and find a reasonable explanation. Surely, B had alreaddy promised to sit by 2 other people. I'm sure she'll let you sit by her tomorrow. Addi said it had happened every day for forever and now when Addi asked, she was just told, "You know the answer." I can't even begin to describe the fury I felt boiling inside me! Instead of telling Addi she was better off without such a brat of a friend, I told her a couple of stories about times when I felt left out by friends. I wanted her to start to understand that everyone is picked on sometimes. We decided she would ask B the next day if they could talk and then she would ask B if there was something she'd done to upset her. I prayed and prayed for Addison. She practically ran out of the school building that day with a smile plastered on her face. Apparently another friend told B they could not remain friends if B continued her friendship with Addi. B and this other friend knew each other before school started and do lots of extracurricular things together. Addi was thrilled because she was allowed to sit by B that day. I felt like things weren't really settled. I mean, someone needs to tell B she hurt my baby girl's feelings and she can't just do what this other girl tells her, she needs to stand up for herself. Someone needs to tell this other girl that B can have more than one friend! That someone is not me, though. Addi was satisfied and hasn't had any more problems. Addi is my job. That's a tough lesson in mothering.
  • Libby has been displaying, what I assume is, some major middle child behaviors. Attention, in any form, is demanded. She claims to be scared of everything. She claims to need help with everything. I'm trying to be patient, but there are times I get so irritated feeling like she's playing me. I don't want her to think she has to make up a fear to snuggle with me. So, I'm trying to be more available for her. If she asks for my time, I stop whatever I'm doing (if possible) to give her my time. I know she thrives on reactions, so I'm trying to not show any negative reactions. That's tough.
  • I am feeling overwhelmed with life. Like all other moms, I have a never-ending to-do list, but I feel like I can't even get basic tasks completed each day. I am tired all the time. I think it's just from the mental worry. This next week is Spring Break. I'm hoping we can enjoy each other and feel refreshed by the end of the week. I am thrilled to get to spend time with all 3 of my kids. Addi and I are discussing turning the tv off for the week. I may take it a step further and turn off the computer as well. We'll see. Our 27 Day Challenge is ending today. We are going out to eat tonight! There was a little cheating and one exception made. Apparently Bryan can't find his way to a grocery store while in Houston and one day I couldn't wait until after I picked Addi up for lunch. Libby was at preschool and Levi and I spent the entire time out on errands. I'd planned on waiting to eat lunch until I picked Addi up (which is really just about an hour or so after I usually eat since I feed Levi with Libby and then fix my lunch during naptime), but I started getting the hunger shakes. I still had errands I had to finish, so I grabbed Sonic. The exception came on Saturday. I cooked so much for Levi's birthday party that I refused to cook (or reheat even) that night. Bryan and I had already talked about this, so that's why I'm calling it an exception instead of cheating! We'll probably do it again, but maybe we'll just do it for 2 weeks this time. Doing it for almost a month has made me want to eat out every meal for the next week. Which would kind of defeat the purpose, you know!?!
  • Levi's doing well except he's having a hard time giving up anymore nursing times. We're down to twice a day and I've tried putting him to bed every night this week without nursing. He goes to sleep and then wakes up some time in the night inconsolable. Well, only consolable by nursing. I thought we'd give up the morning feeding first, but he is frantic in the morning to nurse. First thing! I am not going to push him right now, but he must be done by mid-April. I'll start worrying when we get closer our Savannah trip.


09 March 2009

a 1st birthday party

Levi had a great party on Saturday with lots of family and friends there to celebrate. He was more into the playing part of the presents than the opening part, of course. He started off slow with the cake, but you can see how much he loved it! We are thrilled with all the new cars, balls, tools, and blue clothes around our house...move over Barbie!


05 March 2009

My 1 year old

Levi had his 12 month well-check this morning and is sleeping off his 4 shots as I write.

He's 18 1/2 pounds which actually moved him up to the 3rd percentile. :) Strangely, all of my kids were 13 and some ounces at 6 months and 18 and some ounces at 12 months. I told the pediatrician he'll be very chubby this time next year if he continues in, what the doctor coined, "The Parker Growth Curve".

So, that means we aren't supposed to turn his car seat around yet. Putting him in his car seat has become about as bad as changing his diaper. My word, the kid can wiggle! In fact, unless we're going to be in a store for an hour or more, I choose to lug all 18 1/2 pounds of him in that bulky infant seat rather than take him out and then struggle with strapping him back in it.

He's still crawling, but this morning he decided to let go of me and stand on his own for about 5 seconds. He did it again this evening, so I know walking isn't too far off. I'm not ready for that.

Levi loves to eat and still wants to nurse as much as he ever did. I'm not giving in to that! He's nursing about 2 times a day, except when we go to the doctor and he gets four shots. He gets a little more comforting on days like that. :)

His eyes are still blue. Could they remain blue? Addi would be envious! He hasn't gotten any more teeth and the doctor said there's nothing going on with his gums, so it'll probably be a while before he gets any more. His hair is getting so long. I never thought I could be a mother who let her son's locks get long and lux, but I don't know that I can bring myself to having it cut. Seriously, I might emotionally go over the edge when Bryan finally makes me have his hair cut. It's going to have to wait until I get over this "1st birthday funk" I'm in. :)

His birthday came and went yesterday without much fanfare. The girls and I discovered he loved having Happy Birthday sung to him. He just grinned and clapped.

We have a little routine of me telling him to take his pacifier out of his mouth when I pick him up after a nap. He pops it out and sets in on top of some drawers. Then I cheer for him and ask for a high-five, which he gives me repeatedly. All that stopped today. I don't know, he just refused to high-five. In fact, a couple times he psyched me. You know, I said, "Oh, good boy! High-five, Levi?!" He put his hand up, but just before he connected with my hand he pulled away and turned his head in the other direction. What is that?!

We decided to let him open his birthday presents from us tonight. He needs practice for his party on Saturday anyway. Levi's interest in opening presents was zero. His interest in playing with his new presents was zero. Lucky for him, his sisters were interested in opening his presents. They took care of playing with them for him as well.

There is something exhausting and oh so challenging about watching your last baby turn 1. By now, you know you can't stop it or even slow it down. You resign yourself to letting it happen, hoping not to forget his sweet baby ways, but knowing you will. And knowing this time there won't be another one in a couple years to remind you.

But, I have a 6 year old who is super fun. She can carry on a conversation that amazes me with thoughtful insight and wise conclusions. And, I have a 3 year old who just wants to talk (and talk and talk) and make me laugh. She is silly and emotional and loving. I am so blessed with my 3.

Over the next year, we will see much more of Levi's personality. I still think he's pretty easy-going, but I see some of both his sisters in him. I guess that makes sense since he and his sisters all come from the same parents. Duh!

I wish there was a way to rewind time to experience something again. Just to hold that tiny newborn one more time, to see those precious first smiles, to hear that quiet brand new baby cry, to smell those non-offensive purely-breastmilk poop diapers. Okay that last one wasn't so great at the time, but now that I'm experiencing the adult-like poop in his diapers, I'd go back to those anyday!

It's funny when I'm out with just Levi people assume he's my only child and proceed to give me advice. Many times I don't mention that I have 2 others and pretend they've assumed he's my first because I look much to young to have a child older than him. Today we had a new nurse at the pediatrician's office. She came in saying, "Levi's just had his first birthday. Mom, if you blink he'll be in kindergarten, blink again and he'll be in college." Oh, don't I know it? Don't I know it?

(I'm not really depressed. Didn't all my :) convince you?! No? I'll be back soon with happy pictures and a recap of his birthday party.)

01 March 2009

When I grow up

"I want to be a chee-leader, a ballerina, a girl doctor, and a mommy when I grow up. Oh, and a girl policeman!" -Reagan Elizabeth, 3 1/2 years

"I want to be a veterinarian and a human doctor." -Addison Grace, 6 years

"MaMaMaMa! Aaaahm! Mmmm! Aaahhh! Baba!" -Levi David, 11 months