Sunday, January 29, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things

I love finding new things that I just adore. One trip to Target last week to pick up Olivia's eye drops turned into an hour of perusing leisurely and spending way too much money! And as always, I found a few things to add to my favorite list.

1. My newest addiction: Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee. Target had it all marked on clearance after Christmas and I bought a few bags. Okay, nine bags over the course of three trips. I ended up getting half of the bags for $4 and it was originally $8 so score for me!
2. I also racked up on the best smelling soap I have ever come across. Unfortunately, it's dish soap and not body soap...although I've been tempted to lather myself up with it :) By looking at the scent of it, I thought it would smell funny because it's olive oil and corriander but it's the most clean scent every. I got 3 bottles for 44 cents.
3. My fleur de lis candleholder mom got me for Christmas. You put it in the top of an empty wine bottle and it's instantly a candleabra. How clever is this!!
4. Last weekend I made my grandmother's infamous banana bread. It is the best banana bread you will ever put in your mouth and I'm so thankful that after many years, she finally shared her recipe with me :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eleven month olds!

Isaiah turned eleven months old yesterday! One more month until his first birthday. I truly can't believe it. We're having him a little birthday party this weekend because Theo is going out of town for a while and we want daddy here for Isaiah's first birthday.

Isaiah, at eleven months old, you:

-are at such a fun age. You are almost ALWAYS happy! People often comment on how content and laid back you are. You are the light of my life.

-weigh between 19 and 20 pounds and are growing every single day it seems!

-are mostly sleeping through the night. You still wake up some  nights but don't usually have to be fed.

-are getting about 28-32 ounces of formula and about two to three jars of baby food. You are now eating quite a bit of table food (rice, bread, you LOVE bread, turkey meatballs, pasta, fruit, some veggies. You've had a couple of desserts but don't tell anyone!)

-will hopefully switch to regular milk soon but we'll see. You're still on soy formula and that seems to make you much happier.

-are still into everything. You are now opening the cabinets and pull out drawers. You like to get stuck under the kitchen chairs. But then you get frustrated and I have to pull you out :)

-are pulling up but not quite standing up yet but it won't be long.

-are moving so fast. The pictures I usually take of you look like this:

-have four teeth with two more front side teeth breaking through.

-love all of the toys you got for Christmas. You love any thing that rolls and that you can chase. As long as Olivia and Carter don't steal your toys first!

-have almost outgrown your 9-12 month clothes and are in a size 4 diaper. I still put you in cloth diapers half the time but you leak through almost every single one of them.

-are THE sweetest baby. I can't believe you are almost a year old. You never cease to amaze you. We love you more than the world!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Park Pictures: Isaiah

First of all, thank you so much for reading my last post. I really feel a lot better after getting all of that out :) So, now back to my regularly scheduled, and happy, posts!

These are more park pictures from last week....featuring none other than an almost one year old Isaiah!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I just need to pour my heart out right now. You're in for a long read. It's okay if you want to just stop right here and wait for my next cheery post :) It's Saturday morning, Theo is about to embark on a 10 week journey in Virginia and I am feeling overwhelmed. At this exact moment, things are peaceful. But it's the calm after the storm. It has been an awful week. I mean, truly awful. In the grand scheme of things, of course it could always be MUCH worse. But in our little world, it's been pretty bad around here.

It all started Sunday when the stomach virus of 2012 kicked off. We all passed it around and fortunately, our kids are much more resillient than us adults are. When I'm sick, I mostly just want my momma. Then, when the fact that she's 1000 miles away hit me, I became so overwhelmingly lonely.

I love Colorado. I love the opportunity we've had here. But I am lonely. I am isolated. I am the lead actress in the movie, Groundhog Day, where my life is a series of the same repeated events every Monday through Friday. I know it can't be helped right now. Between Carter only going to school half of a day and Isaiah and Olivia very much needing their afternoon naps, I'm bound by a pretty rigid schedule. Which is mostly good, but it leaves little room for spontaneous fun or flexibility.  I can't join a MOPS group because I'd have to leave early every time to get Carter. I can't go to my Bible study any more because then the kids would miss lunch. I can't even hardly have playdates because Carter is either at school or the littlest ones are napping. All of this to say, it's basically me and my kids every minute of every day with very little adult company other than my husband. And try as he might, my sweet husband can't meet all of my needs.

I long for the support system I once had in Louisiana. My parents, my aunts, grandmother, brother, sister-in-law, neices and nephew, and all of the friends I had made over the course of a decade. I hate feeling like I am doing all of this all on my own. I know all of the wives in the same boat as me are doing it on their own too....far from home, with little support. I know I CAN do it, I just don't like doing it. I have one friend in the same city as me. Sure, we have lots of acquaintences, people who we invite to our parties, but only one person I talk to and see a few times a month. Fortunately, my couple of other closest friends and I have maintained our relationships by talking on the phone and keeping up with each other. It feels as if they are close by which helps but it's not the same as having them in my living room while I vent about motherhood :)

Which I have needed to do a lot this week. Our firstborn has been out of control. I don't feel like going into all the details but I haven't even recognized him this week. I have yelled at him and spanked him more the past week than I have in the past six months probably. When did I become a yeller? I don't ever remember yelling at him when he was younger and when it was just him and Livie, but now I raise my voice without thinking twice about it. I used to (and still often) cringe when I hear other mothers yelling at their kids. But now I am that mother. And I hate it.

I have been praying for God to give me a quiet and gentle spirit. But my kids don't seem to respond well to a meek momma. Or maybe they would respond better if I didn't interject my meekness with yelling all the time.  I just don't know what to do. This is so hard. Rewarding but hard. There is no one size fits all parent manual. Believe me, I've perused the library shelves enough to know this. But then a small voice fills my spirit, telling me "Let me shine through you. The only way you will ever be the kind of mother I've created you to be is to let go of yourself and let me shine through you." And maybe this is the end of my search for answers. How do I become a better mom? How do I become more patient? How do I love the unlovable? How do I make it through this challenging time? Painfully simple, yet seemingly impossible at the same time: Jesus. I can only do this with Him. I can do this for Him. I can do this because of Him. That is the only way I can survive this journey of parenthood.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Park Pictures: Olivia

I must say, this daugther of ours is the most gorgeous thing I have ever laid my eyes on. But, I might be a tad bit biased! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Park Pictures: Carter

Last week, the temperature was so mild. And then Saturday, it started snowing. Hard to believe the weather can go from 60 degrees one day to 30 degrees the next. Ahhh, this was something I had never had to worry about in Louisiana!

Theo was off last week and we so enjoyed having him home. We went to the park a few times and one day I was able to get some great shots of the kids. . So today it's Carter's turn :) Carter was so busy so it was hard to capture him. But I did manage to get him swinging around and playing ball.

Next up: Olivia at the park!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cave of the Winds

New Years Eve Day, we got up early (or early for us) and had planned on going hiking at Garden of the gods. It was supposed to be warm and a nice day. Uh, not! When we walked outside, it was freezing and the wind was literally blowing 50-60 miles an hour. So what did we do instead? We went to cave of the winds.

I had been there before when I was a kid and it's been on my Colorado Springs "bucket list" for quite some time.  However, I almost botched the whole thing. Olivia had been screaming in the car for probably 15 minutes because the wind was so ferocious, it was loud and shaking the car and she was terrifed. The cave of the winds parking lot was gravel and dirt and when we stepped out into the lot, the dirt and tiny rocks were hitting us all in the face. I was screaming, the kids were screaming and my always cool, calm and collected husband was just trying to get us all to calm down! I was so furious with the situation that I screamed that we should all just go home. But then Carter said "But mom, you said we were going to do something fun" and that was all it took for me to get a grip, literally so as to not get blown over and then it was all good.

Once we were inside, all was well. Olivia finally calmed down. I calmed down and Carter was so thrilled to be going to a real cave.

The picture really don't do it justice. But what can I you know how hard it is to get a good photograph in a cave? :)
The kids did great. The only thing was I didn't have my baby Bjorn. You couldn't bring a baby backpack or a stroller so we literally carried Isaiah through a cave for almost an hour. He was pretty happy but we could tell all he wanted to do was get down and crawl around.
There were some pretty narrow passages as you can see by this picture of Carter.
Lots of other really neat things to see
The rest of the day was great despite the winds. I'm thankful we got to scratch one more thing off our list before we most likely move away next summer. Only one more thing on the list remains.....the Royal Gorge!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Focus on the family

Thursday, the kids and I made a spontaneous trip up to Focus on the Family. I had been promising Carter I would take him somewhere fun while he was on break from school and he chose Focus. We hadn't been since our trip back in April. I was also reminiscing about this visit when Olivia was just a wee baby.I knew it was going to be crazy with all the kids being out of school, but I must say, my kids were great and could not have behaved more perfectly! Thank you Jesus for days like that!!!

The first thing Carter wanted to do was to go to the bookstore (*aka* VeggieTales capital of America). He did very good only looking at things and didn't pitch a fit at all when we left without buying a single thing. So proud of Carter for that :)
My little technologicaly savvy child went straight for the computers after that
Olivia crawled through the tunnels
They put on a play and puppet show
But their favorite part, as always, is the toddler room. Isaiah is finally old enough to crawl around and enjoy it. He had so much fun, as did Carter and Livie. Initially, Isaiah only wanted to play with the wheels on someone else's stroller :)

But then he discovered it was more fun to play
And so did Olivia and Carter