Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

The boys went to see Nana and Big Daddy over the weekend. This gave me a great opportunity to go wild with nesting (hence the previous post). I did want to record my costume hunting fiasco. I went to 14! different stores looking for Woody and Buzz costumes for the boys, since they had finally decided on something. It's apparent that I can't do as much as I sprees are no longer physically possible with this growing baby belly. Anyhow, I collapsed in exhaustion and frustration on the couch, and decided to put the laptop to work in this costume hunt. Within an hour and with a few phone calls, I had the exact costumes I needed on hold at a Disney store downtown. The moral of the story: shop online first! So I took a break from the nesting mayhem and Chuck and I enjoyed a stroll along the Riverwalk on a beautiful Sunday afternoon...and I got the costumes, on sale mind you, without all the pain. [I have pics to post, but they're waiting for Chuck to process.]

But the nice break didn't deter me...I did a nesting marathon around the house thru the night!

The next day I met Nana and Big Daddy to get the boys, and we all ventured through the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. I definitely recommend it for anyone with kids! And yes, I've got some pics to show for it ;)

[Chance really surprised me with how he wasn't afraid of anything, especially the aggressive Ostriches!]

"Wiiillll Burrrrr"
[The zebras were a big hit. This one loved to open his mouth and have Charlie throw food in. Charlie named him "My Zebra Friend."]

[My fave animal, Bevo!! Or at least a good look alike.]

Monday, October 29, 2007

You might be nesting if...

You might be nesting if...

~You lie awake at night thinking of how you could rearrange every room in your house.

~You find yourself enamored with the organization aisle at Target.

~You have recurring dreams that you find hidden rooms in your house, fully furnished and decorated, that could solve your need for space.

~You no longer care how much things cost, you just want the million projects you've thought of to get accomplished right now!

~You make To Do lists every few hours.

~Your family tries to hide from you because they know you'll put them to work.

~You find it hard to be away from home very long, not just because you miss your kids, but because you have things you should be getting done.

~You spend the bulk of your day thinking of various colors you could paint your bedroom.

~Your idea of fun would be cleaning and organizing junk drawers.

~Your favorite tv show is "Clean House."

~You find yourself overly irritated that your bath mats are different colors.

~You blog a list of nesting symptoms at 2 AM instead of getting some much needed sleep.

~You've been anxious to pull out the Christmas tree and decorations since September.

~You start wrapping Christmas presents the week before Thanksgiving.

[These are only a few of the symptoms I've been experiencing lately. :P I think I'll keep adding to this list as time goes by...]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kentucky Recap

We just finished a wonderful family vacation, and I'm so amazed at how much God has blessed us. The timing of this trip, which was planned long before we knew about Chuck's job change, was perfect. Getting a week to bond as a family and somewhat refocus on what was important helped tremendously. And we had 6 kids (7 if you count our one on the way) under one roof and it went sooo well. Charlie had his 2 older cousins to play with, Luke (5 yrs) and Ethan (4 yrs). Chance really enjoyed parallel playing with Ruby (2 yrs). Then I got to hold sweet Beau, our three month old nephew... So everyone was happy! :) In all we had newborn - 5 yrs all in a row.

Anyhow, enough blabbing, I know you really just wanna see the pictures, right?! ;)

First of all, the boys' first plane ride...

First plane ride
[5 minutes after take off, Charlie decided it was all just too exciting for him to take.]

First plane ride
[Chance, however, spent the first 3 hours doing laps up and down the aisle. Overall, with 4 hours on the plane there and 5 hours back, the boys did really well, and it definitely beat being in the car for 2 days to get there!]

Then the cast of characters...
Visiting Mitsi
[This is Luke, the big kindergartner, who was our inspiration to have kids of our own. Notice how his pumpkin says "Louisville Kentucky" - that cracks me up. The kids were really into their states. Charlie's pumpkin said "Texas" too.]

Visiting Mitsi
[This is Ethan, who's 4, half a year older than Charlie. Ethan looks like what I thought our boys would look like. There's no denying that he has some Thier in him.]

Visiting Mitsi
[This is Ruby, the "reigning (only) granddaughter" in a family with 7 grandsons! She's our only niece and I could just eat her up, she's so sweet!! It was fun to watch the contrast with the boys and her...It did make me wish we'd had a girl. But then I just try to think about a girl in adolescence, dating boys, and someday Chuck having to give her away at her wedding...and I get over it real quick! ;)]

Visiting Mitsi
[And then there's Beau...isn't he a doll?!! He's SO laid back, he's a perfect 4th child for sure! This kid hardly ever cries. I can't wait for baby3 to be born and get old enough to play with him.]

Visiting Mitsi
[Oh, hey! Look who came to visit, all the way up in Kentucky! This is Elijah, the one you saw in our last post. His parents came up to visit while we were there. He's just so cute...]

Visiting Mitsi
[Here's Chuck sister, Mitsi, or as I prefer to call her, "Super Woman/Mom." She's amazing and it was so fun to hang out with her for a week. We miss her and her family so much.]

Visiting Mitsi
[This is Tammy, Chuck's youngest sister and my Dr Pepper Buddy. She lives about 3 hours from Mitsi in Nashville (aka "Austin perfected," but that's another story...). We were so excited to get to visit with her some while we were there.]

On to the action shots, because you know with 5 kids running around, there was lots of excitement...

Visiting Mitsi
There was a lot of Jeep driving going on while we were there. Chance had a mask on, but he preferred to use it as a helmet.

Visiting Mitsi
See what I mean?!

Visiting Mitsi
There was also a lot of playing in the sandbox...

Visiting Mitsi
and slide racing...

Visiting Mitsi
and dancing...

Visiting Mitsi
and pumpkin painting...

Visiting Mitsi
and sidewalk chalking...

Visiting Mitsi
and eating food, while discussing which foods were healthy...LOL!

Visiting Mitsi
which usually led to bed time.

One funny story: Mitsi was having an Arbonne party, so the dads took the kids to the mall to play on an indoor playground. As they left, it was a beautiful, cloudless fall day. In the 20 minutes it took them to get there, it became rainy, and they heard a siren (being from Texas, Chuck was thinking, "air raid?!"). They got into the mall and were then ushered into a hallway and told to sit against the wall because there may be a tornado nearby!! It's not easy to get 5 kids to sit still, but thankfully they had M&Ms on hand to calm their nerves. So we (the moms) felt so guilty for sending our families out in the bad weather. And just so you know, the storm blew over that area and no tornado touched down...

And one pic that I just think is so fun (although not very portrait-like)...

Visiting Mitsi
I actually took this one because Ethan looked so cute with the shorts and Tammy's cowboy boots on, but Charlie really wanted in the picture, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Out of Pocket for Awhile

We're leaving for Kentucky today and won't be back for 9 days! But in case you get bored, here are some cute pictures to Ooh and Aah over...

Baby Playdate
[William, my newest nephew, 2 weeks old]

Baby Playdate
[More of William, because, ya know, I can't get enough of his cuteness. Or of taking pictures!]

Baby Playdate
[Ohh, if only they stayed this little!]

Baby Playdate
[See what I mean, they get so big so fast! Chance was a newborn like, what? 30 seconds ago?! Now he's throwing tantrums and acting like a 2 year old!]

Baby Playdate
[Speaking of fast growing, check out Elijah! He can sit up now!]

[Here's a review of his first 5 months of life...He was so wittle, and now...he's our big Buddha baby!]

Boston Family
[And another recap, because I love making collages!]

Baby Playdate
[Considering William is BIGGER than Elijah was at his age, look at how big he is! Oh, don't you just wanna squeeze those cheeks?!]

Baby Playdate
[So here are three of our four newest family members. Elijah, 5 months, William, 2 weeks, and Kaleb, 4 months. No wonder I'm pregnant again!! They're just so cute!]

Baby Playdate
[See what I mean? Cute, cute, CUTE!! It's like he's saying "Somebody hug me!!!" I told you you'd Ooh and Aahh over these.]

Baby Playdate
[Hey! How'd you get back in here, Chance?! Well, I guess you're still my baby...until March ;) Well, ok, you'll always be my baby...]

Have a great week!! If you feel down this week, just think "at least I'm not stuck on airplane for 3 hours with 2 little kids..." ;)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Boy Reflections

Another boy...I'm in awe of your reactions, thanks so much for all the sweet comments!

As I've probably stated before, I was really 50/50 on the whole thing. I had my hopes up for a girl just because this pregnancy has been different. But, like I said before, girls scare me! They don't love their mommas when they hit adolescence (I know because I didn't). And I was always a bit of a tomboy, so how would I rear a "girly girl"? And of course, as you all have reminded me, that's one less wedding to pay for. ;) And clothes, and accessories. Our family will be much happier because Chuck won't have to get a second job, or a second mortgage, to pay for all the girl stuff we'd need! (Just kidding).

Of course, we had a girl name picked out, but not a boy name...And we're still not sure what to name this little one. Chiquita is my favorite! (JK!) It does bug me that he's nameless, even in utero, but I'm sure that's just my nesting hormones kicking in. I don't think he'll be traumatized too much if we don't think of a name for awhile. And thank you for all your suggestions, too!! We've got some good ones, now if I can just talk Chuck into one of them. Speaking of Chuck, while I know that man had his heart set on on a daughter, he hasn't shed a tear over it being a boy. Maybe that's because he had to console Charlie in the doctor's office. And I know I mentioned that in the last post, but really that couldn't have gone any worse! haha! I debated about bringing Charlie to the sonogram, but I thought he'd like to see "his baby," although he's not calling it that anymore. I really don't know why he wanted a sister so bad. Just last week he saw a Barbie commercial, and he said "Mommy, when my baby comes out of your tummy, she can play with that, and I'll play with the boy one (Ken) with her!" He really had big plans for a sister. But once this one gets to walking, I think Charlie will have just as much fun with him as he's had with Chance.

And one of the main responses I've heard from folks is, "You'll just have to try again." I just want to say, you people are cruel! haha! I have one friend who's raised 5 boys, and she told me soon after Chance was born that she dreamt I had another boy. I told her to cut that out! Well, this weekend when I told her the news, I glared at her and said, "You know, this is your fault!" LOL Her husband said, "You'll just have to try again." And then she said wisely, "Yep, and then she'll have 4 boys!" So for all you people who told me I couldn't possibly stop at 2 -- please let me stop at 3. No more jinxing me, or you might just get a baby on your doorstep! (Just kidding of course!! But really, I don't want to be the Old Woman in the Shoe someday...).

All that to say, I think it's really my fault - hehe. Long ago (like 5 or more years ago) I wrote Chuck a little note and on it I quoted Psalm 127:3-5:

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

The only problem is I used the NIV version, which says "Sons." No other version says "sons," the others all say "Children...are a heritage." What was I thinking?! I should've been more specific! ;)

But as much as I joke about another boy, I'm really excited about it. I know God will give me (and us) the strength we need to raise three boys, although the task is a bit daunting at the moment. And will we stop at 3? Only God knows (I've learned that much from all this! haha!). But if you're praying for another one..."Cut that out!!" hehehe.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's a BOY!!

That's all I have to say about that ;)

I'll post more reflections later when I have time. But one thing I want to remember: Charlie came with us this time to the sonogram so he could see "his baby" but when we told him it was a boy, he started crying! He had been convinced it was a girl since 2 months before we were even pregnant. Poor guy!

We're building our soccer team for sure. We don't even have a clue as to a name... I thought of Chandler, Chaning, or Channon (I know it's wierd, but it has a cool Hebrew meaning), but Chuck says "No" to those. So please let me know if you have any suggestions that sound good with "Chuck, Charlie, Chance and...."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bye Bye Aunt Meme

Today we saw my sister off to her home after a 2.5 week visit. It was a tearful Good-Bye for the boys (ok, and me too!). But before she left we took the boys to Brackenridge Park. Here's the fruit of my labor there...

Brackenridge Park with Aunt Meme

Brackenridge Park with Aunt Meme

Brackenridge Park with Aunt Meme

Brackenridge Park with Aunt Meme

We miss you, Aunt Meme! Thanks for coming to visit!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Can I Blame it on Hormones?

I'm not sure if it's pregnant hormones, or what, but I haven't been feeling well. Physically I'm fine, but emotionally...I'm biting everyone's head off. I'm feeling overwhelmed, like there's no way to catch up on all I need to do. Like I need to be submitted to a Psych Ward. Kinda feels a lot like nesting to me...

Stacia, you mentioned that some people only put the good things in their blog...I hope I'm not one of those. :)

Last week my headaches dissipated...along with my positive attitude. There are so many GOOD stresses at the moment: getting the house ready for Chuck to work from home and for a new baby, getting ready for a week long vacation next week, enjoying my sister's company. And the one bad stress I've had is that along with the headaches came Chance's terrible 2s. He's now quite the fighter, which is not only emotionally draining, but breaking my heart because, as Chuck says, "He was such a good boy!" And my patience has been wearing down with the fits over the last week or so. I think it culminated yesterday when we drove out to Medina to go to Love Creek Orchards. Chance really made it difficult, and I get just as frustrated with myself for attempting something that I should've known he wouldn't have behaved for. We left after only 2 hours, feeling guilty that Charlie didn't get to do half the things he wanted because his pregnant mom was too exhausted from slinging Chance over her shoulder a million times. I'm hoping that we can go back later this month with Chuck so one of us can chase Chance all around the place while the other one allows Charlie to do all the fun activities.

But Mari was there with me, and we both had our cameras, so together, at least we have pictures to show for it.

Love Creek Orchards
Chance says "hi" to the horse. They both have harnesses on! The "leash" on Chance was the only way I could keep up with him.

Love Creek Orchards
Charlie especially enjoyed playing in the pumpkins.

Love Creek Orchards
Chance got to drive a hay tractor.

Love Creek Orchards
Charlie and his friends (that also came with us) found a neat tree to hide in.

Love Creek Orchards
Charlie got to hold a baby chick.

This is what happens
By the end of the day, Chance would finally hold a hand and walk...But he wasn't happy about it. Hehe.

Anyhow, stay tuned...I may have some good news on Friday :) Until then, I'll be pulling my hair out and causing my family to avoid me at all costs. ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Exciting Times

Today is a big day! Chuck accepted a job offer with a new company! While he's sad to leave Rackspace, where he's been for 3 years, this new job is quite exciting! He will be working from home full time. He'll have to travel to the home base every couple of months for a couple of days. But the idea of him being at home, with a completely flexible schedule...I think I'm still in shock. This is truly a dream come true for us. We had started a business a few years back with this dream in mind. This way will be much easier! Of course there will be an adjustment to having Chuck work from I'll have to get good at keeping the kids away from Daddy while he works. But I think we're up to the task.

Another exciting thing about this is the new health insurance company. As you may recall from a post a couple of months ago, I've had terrible experiences with Humana for the last 8 years. The interesting thing is the timing. Chuck came home yesterday telling me he thought he'd accept the offer. I then checked the mail and got a letter from Humana saying they were rejecting my appeal for how they handled Charlie's recent dental work. So, hearing that we'd be with a new health insurance company definitely softened the blow and gave me hope for the future!

Some more good news: since my last post about my headaches, I haven't had any more. So thank you so much if you prayed for me!! And to celebrate feeling better, yesterday my sister and I took the boys to a local kids' museum called The Witte. It was an absolute blast! And of course, I have pictures...

Witte Museum
[Playing with the air machine.]

Witte Museum
[This frog had Chance cracking up!]

Witte Museum

Witte Museum

Witte Museum

Witte Museum
[If you click on this one and view the large version, you can see how much Chance resemblances Maribelle. They even have the same nose!]

Ok, so that's all the big news much is going on! I have so much to be thankful for...and it's not even Nov. 22nd yet.