Monday, August 29, 2011

What a great weekend!

Starting with Friday night...GiGi and Bop came in town to deliver an early birthday present for Lyla!! Bop spent like 8 hours or something crazy putting together all 500 pieces of this kitchen, so needless to say, they were anxious to get it to Lyla after all their hard work! They drove down from Texarkana for the special delivery, and Lyla got to wake up Saturday morning to this...
(with some new princess PJ's that she's obsessed with, and some new princess panties for the big girl)
 Let me just tell you that it has changed my life already. It's ALL she wants to play with...from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep. It keeps her so entertained and busy, and I LOVE watching her creative little imagination at work! The very first thing she did when she saw it was grab a cup, take it to the water dispenser on the fridge, fill it with pretend water, and then "accidentally" spill it all over herself as she took a sip! haha!! 

 oh hey! I'm just talking on the phone while I do a little cooking in my cute new PJ's and slippers!

After we played with the kitchen, we enjoyed a yummy breakfast at Susan's in Springdale, then we rushed around like crazy working on Lyla's big girl room...moving things to the new nursery, cleaning out, making room for her kitchen, etc.  I think "nesting" is already kicking in!

Saturday afternoon, our good friends Heather and Kelly and their 8 week old little Lucy came in town from Texarkana as well! Jana and Russell headed back to T-town while we took the Carrs to all our favorite Fayetteville shops and then ate a yummy dinner at Greenhouse Grill! 

Sunday morning, we went to church and Lyla looked pretty darn cute in her little flower clip that my mom MADE! :) (check out their blog for all the cute things she and my sister make!!)

After church, lunch, and a failed attempt at a nap for Lyla, we headed out to the river so the boys could do some kayaking and the girls could cheer them on and relax in the beauty...
 This is where we perched for a couple hours and just let our feet soak in the water while we watched the guys do rolls and all their fancy tricks. 
 I thought Lyla would want to swim and play, but she was perfectly content just sitting on mommy's lap or in this chair the entire time...eating snacks. :) In fact, she didn't even want her feet to touch the water. So unlike her. Maybe it was the lack of nap. Or the 2 snakes we saw swimming by our feet. Either way, glad she was able to just chill out with the rest of the ladies and babies...



 Lucy's first Kayak ride!!
(before you call CPS, Kelly was right next to her...he just moved away so I could snap a pic!)  :)
 Lyla ended the day throwing rocks with Daniel. She LOVES him! Flirted with him all day long.

 And she even pee peed in the potty while we were there...and threw rocks WHILE she peed. Multi-tasking.

And now for a little photo shoot with Lyla and Lucy before they leave...
 Lucy will be running around with Lyla in no time!

 Lyla really was so sweet to her...made me so excited to see her as a big sister!!
And one family photo before they hit the road! 
Thanks for coming Kelly, Heather, and Lucy!! 
We love y'all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cat's out of the bag...

Well, I've decided to make our EXCITING NEWS officially public...

On June 30th, the day before we left for Seaside, I woke up to this HAPPY SIGHT!!!
I called the Dr. right away, and they wanted me to come in for bloodwork, after the complications I had in January. So, I went that afternoon, and my progesterone and hormone levels came back really high, which they said was a GREAT sign! So, we headed to Seaside the next day and happily shared our news with John David's family.

I went to see the Dr. at 7 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and we got to see a strong, healthy heartbeat! Praise the Lord!!!

Overall, I have felt great! I've had the typical exhaustion and lack of energy, the occasional queasy tummy (usually at night), and I've mostly been STARVING non-stop. I literally have to snack every hour! But, I'll gladly eat all day long over throwing up! I'm super thankful for an easy and non-eventful first trimester! 

I tried to take weekly belly pics with Lyla and then accidentally erased them ALL off my camera! Grrr! So, the only pics I have with her in my belly are at the end of my pregnancy.  Therefore, I'm really going to try to document the progress with this one since I regret not having those to look back on. I can't wait to watch this belly grow!! :)

(these first 2 pics are blurry because I used my iphone...but you get the idea.)
10 weeks

11 weeks
(don't you love Lyla fussing for me to hold her? Uh oh...already getting jealous.) :)

12 weeks

I went to the Dr. again today for my 12 week check up and we got to HEAR the heartbeat! This is the appointment I've really been eager to get over with because it was about this far along that I found out I lost the other baby.  So, let me tell you, it was a HUGE relief to hear that sweet heartbeat at 12 weeks! (although I felt like it took about 10 minutes for him to find it! Talk about nervous!) But, we are praising God for this gift and for His PERFECT TIMING!!! I know without a doubt that there's a reason we lost the other baby, and that God has great plans for this sweet little life in my belly now! I'm due around March 2nd, so Lyla will be almost 2 1/2, which I really think will be a great age difference. I don't think she has a clue that there's a baby in my belly, even though I tell her all the time! I do think it helps that she's seen Stella and Annie become big sisters recently, so she'll tell me she wants to be a big sister like them. :) 

Please join us in praying for this sweet little nugget! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 Day Potty Training

I just survived my 3rd and final day of Potty Training, and what a 3 days it's been! I'm an exhausted and proud Mama! And happy to say that Lyla has done an incredible job, and it's been a huge learning process for both of us!!!  We used the "3 day potty training method" and there are several reasons I decided to go ahead and do it.  Julia did it with great success with Annie when she was this age. And I've also seen 3 of my good friends/neighbors recently go through the process with their children the same age as Lyla and it worked great for them! So, I borrowed the book from Lee, read all about it, and became instantly inspired to try it myself! The author says that the ideal age is 22 months, so I figured since Lyla is 23 months, I might as well try it! Also, I wanted to do it in the summer (or at least really hot months) so that she can wear dresses and panties and I don't have to deal with pants and being bundled up when we go out. Also, I'm obviously ready to quit paying for diapers!! Plus, I was kinda up for the challenge of it, and ready to stop thinking about it and worrying about it and just DO IT. So, because I don't want to forget what this process was like, I'm going to give a pretty detailed recap of what the past 3 days have looked like for us...

Day 1:
By far, the HARDEST day of parenting to date! Truly, this day was a little slice of Hell on earth.  I mean, I expected it to be hard the first day but not that hard. Let's just sum it up by saying that we went through 31 pairs of panties (yes, that's 31 accidents to clean up, and 2 loads of laundry to do before she went to bed at night.) The whole method consists of watching them like a HAWK all day (I mean, I could not let her leave my side the entire day!) to teach myself to pick up on the signs that she needs to go, and to scoop her up and rush her to the potty every time she starts to have an accident. Accidents are GOOD during these three days because they are part of the learning process. (but that doesn't make them easy or pleasant...especially when they are happening every 20 minutes!!) And the hardest part was that she would scream and cry and say "hold you! hold you!" every time I'd put her on the potty, like the whole process was just scaring her to death! I felt extremely defeated, frustrated, worn out, and VERY tempted to just give up and try again when she's older. However, I talked to all 3 of my neighbors who just went through it and they promised me this was so normal for the first day and to stick with it because they promised it would get better! Boy am I glad I did! 

So, here we are the first morning at 8 am. We were both SO excited to put her big girl panties on her and I made it a really big deal.  She was obviously feeling VERY cute and grown up...
(little did I know what the next 12 hours would hold! starting just a short 10 minutes later!)  :)

The night before, I was feeling so prepared:
big girl panties, treats, and lots of juice. check.

potty chart made, stickers ready to put on, flushable wipes, and potty chair. check.

Day 2:
I couldn't even sleep the night after our horrendous day...I was so anxious thinking about doing it all over again the next day. Plus, another part of this method is that you throw away the diapers and pull-ups and it's strictly panties and that's it. SO, I was paranoid about her waking up all throughout the night with wet panties and having to change sheets all night. BUT, to my pleasant surprise, she slept all night and woke up with only damp panties and nothing on the sheets! (which is exactly what she did for her nap on day one! So that was exciting!!) I took her straight to the potty, and she just happily sat on it and giggled for about 10 minutes (with no success....but at least she was happy and not screaming!). We went to turn on Mickey Mouse and about 2 minutes later, she started going. GREAT. We had 2 more accidents within the next hour. 

BUT, by 9 am, she TURNED A CORNER!!!! She looked at me with legs crossed and a panicky look, and said, "Mommy! Potty!" (this was the first time she actually felt it coming on and was able to tell me!) so I rushed her to the potty and she WENT IN THE POTTY!!!! It so pleasantly shocked both of us!! We started giggling, high-fiving, and celebrating big time! She was so thrilled to put a sticker on her chart finally and get a donut! And this was the turning point we needed! It's like, she realized what it felt like to actually go in the potty and it made her so happy and proud. And there was no turning back! I absolutely couldn't believe it! Of course, the rest of the day, I still had to NOT take my eyes off her and most of the time I'd see that she was about to go, or she would barely start to go and I'd rush her to the potty, but she always finished on the potty!!! YAY!!! She got to add 10 stickers to her chart on Day 2! (she did have an accident at the end of her nap time, and she still pooped in her panties...but I know these 2 areas take longer to "get", so I wasn't feeling too discouraged about it.) Overall, I was busting proud of her all day and so thankful to see some lightbulbs go off for her! And I was thankful that I was really able to pick up on her signs that she was needing to go and able to catch her every time. Another thing that really helped her, that my mom told me worked with us, was to have her "listen for the pee pee" every time we get on the potty. She thinks this is SO fun!! Every time she gets on the potty she says, "shhh! listen!" and then we both get so excited when we hear it start coming. It truly is the best sound on earth for a potty-training-mama. 

A couple pics from Day 2:
Love those little buns! The fact that she looked so darn cute in her panties definitely made this process a little easier!
Enjoying her "pop" (lollipop) that she earned for going in the potty :)
For some reason, we've played with this a TON the last three days...and I keep noticing that she uses her left hand every time! (and eats with her left hand too) Just thought I'd document that as a random side-note. :)
Who doesn't get a wedgie when they're toting their heavy toys around the house?

Day 3:
We've made it to today! Our 3rd and final day! WAHOO!! I woke up on my own at 7 am, and although Lyla's monitor was still silent, I glanced at it and noticed that her eyes were open and she was just lying  there. So, I went in before she could start stirring and have an accident, and her panties were DRY!!! YAY! So, I scooped her up, took her straight to the potty and she tinkled right away! And we did not have a single accident all day. (well, other than poop...still can't get her to go on the potty! I'll take any advice if you have some!) Another great thing about today is that she waited about 2-2.5 hours between every time she went, which shows me that she's gaining bladder control and able to hold it longer. She's still not great about actually telling me when she needs to go....I just have to keep watching her to pick up on the signs.  Although, as I was typing this, she came up to me and clearly said "Mommy! Potty!" and I took her to go! I praised her up and down for telling me, SO hopefully she will start doing that more often! 

Overall, although it's been an intense few days, I'm officially a believer in the process. I'm shocked at how much progress I saw in Lyla in just 3 days! And, honestly, I've REALLY enjoyed the time we've spent together.  Even though we were on lockdown at the house, I felt like our days were purposeful which didn't make me feel stir crazy. And because I couldn't let her leave my sight, I felt excused from keeping up the house perfectly and it allowed me to just really focus on quality time with her. It was such a bonding experience for us! We cried together on the first day, but we celebrated and giggled together a LOT the past 2 days! I'm just so proud of her and it's truly been the sweetest time with her being right by my side for 3 days straight! (And did I mention that John David's been out of town Monday through tonight?? I know, I'm crazy. BUT, again, it allowed me to really focus on Lyla and being ok having frozen pizza for dinner and a dirty house. Boy, is John David going to be shocked when he comes home to such a BIG GIRL!!)

So, here's our chart at the end of 3 days:
YAY for all those stickers! Way to go Lyla!! SO proud of you!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More cousin time in Dallas

When we weren't at the hospital visiting Max, we were hanging out with the rest of our cousins!
 Eating Dinner at Amores, one of our favorite Italian places. Suckers to the rescue for these 2 busy bees!

 Craft time with Olivia (or as Lyla likes to call her, "Fee Fee"!! I'm having an identity crisis.)
 sweet faces watching Fresh Beat Band
 I'm so thankful I got to go to Meet The Teacher with Olivia while I was there!! My heart NEEDED to see where she'll be every day, and to meet her teacher and see her school.  I approve!! The school seems awesome with tons of sweet kids and families. She had her first day of Kindergarten yesterday, and she did GREAT! I was even emotional about it, and I'm just the aunt! Just SO proud of sweet Olivia and the GREAT job her parents have done to prepare her to "go out into the world." She's going to be a bright light for Jesus for sure!! Love you so much Livi!!!
 sweet little girls watching a video. I love these faces.
 And I discovered my new favorite burger place!! Mooyah. You can get iceberg lettuce as your buns! And the french fries are to.die.for. I definitely made up for the carbs I missed out on in my bun with those babies!
The whole crew enjoying our burgers and fries!
(minus Hoopy and Max of course...they were still at the hospital! And Papo was taking the picture.)

And, our last night there, John David and I got to enjoy a YUMMY meal with just my mom! John David grilled these steaks and they were delicious!! Move over Ruth's Chris! Seriously! Such a fun night.

Love you guys SO much!!! Thanks for such a great weekend!!

Baby Max is here!!

John and Julia had their sweet baby boy this past Thursday! It was SUCH a special day, and I'm so thankful I got to be there to be a part of it! What JOY it was to see John and Julia welcome their first son and to see Annie become a big sister! We are praising the Lord for this good gift!!
 Here's big cousin and big sister waiting in the waiting room for the arrival of Max!
 silly girls eating their paleo muffins :)
 And he's here!! Everyone gathered around to see his cute little self through the window. It was love at first sight!!
 Proud, sweet Daddy with Max's little footprints on his scrubs.
 The nurse held him up for Big Sister to see. She kept saying, "I want to hold him!"
 PRECIOUS Mommy getting to hold him for the first time...such a sweet, teary moment!!!
 Could NOT get over how gorgeous and calm Julia was after her C-Section!! Definitely not how I looked or felt after mine!! She's such a sweet little Mommy!!
 Annie getting to hold her little brother for the first time.  As they handed him to her, she sweetly looked at John and said, "I'm not going to hit him and I'm not going to growl." HAHA! Good plan, Annie!


 2 proud Aunts!!
 Please notice the Dora stickers Lyla stuck on his swaddle blanket, and she was trying to put one on his face. Watch out, Max, for this crazy big cousin of yours!! 


 Check out that awesome hair!!



 Family of Four!
 Lyla played LOTS of her "Monkey Game" while we hung out the hospital! She's getting really good at it! Puzzles, matching games, letters, counting...it's educational, right??
 Oldest Cousin holding the Youngest Cousin :)


 Uncle John David got in late Friday night and finally got to meet the little guy on Saturday!
 They bonded quickly.




We miss you already Max!