Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekend Snapshots

Last night my sister and her husband came over to eat dinner with us and hang out. After we were done eating, I suggested they run out for a quick dessert date while I watched Holden. Completely selfish on my part- I wanted time with my baby nephew!

They were gone for only about 25 minutes, and in that brief time I got a glimpse of what life with three kids would be like. Ellie was "playing" the ukulele and singing a made up song, while Jonah jumped around, almost landing on Holden multiple times. Holden spent a good chunk of the time lying on a blanket, his eyes open, almost as if he was trying to see what on earth his cousins were up to. Ellie brought over a book for me to read to Holden, and kept insisting I read it, as I tried to keep Jonah from sitting on Holden.

It was chaotic, but oh so sweet to see how Noelle was interacting with a baby, and how Jonah was interested in Holden, but also wanted to make sure he had my attention. I pray that our life is like that one day!

Rewinding to Friday, I asked my mom to watch the kids OVERNIGHT so that Luke and I could join our friends celebrating our friend Megan's birthday. Her husband surprised her by planning for a group of us to meet up for dinner and then go out dancing in Baltimore. Megan and Joe both love dancing, and while Luke is not the biggest fan, I convinced him to go and hang out with our friends. And told him he didn't have to dance, and that we wouldn't stay out late.

We didn't meet everyone until 8:30 (about 30 minutes before my normal bedtime) but we devoured delicious pizza at &Pizza, and then headed to the bar, Nobles. It was loud and crazy, but we talked (shouted!) and "danced" with our group of friends from church. Luke and I made it to 11:00 and then decided to head home. A late night for us, and something totally not typical for us to do, but it was fun to be with friends! (Also, I hit a minor parenting milestone- I slept in OUR house without children for the first time since I had Noelle. Exciting, I know!)

And then Saturday we slept in (till about 7:00 for me) and then met my parents to head to a MOPS pool party. Lots of fun and sun!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Happy Birthday, Luke!!

We love you so much, and appreciate ALL that you do for our little family! Thank you for your unending support, constant patience, and for making me laugh when I'm in tears. So thankful to be doing life with you!

skipping rocks with daddy
And for your birthday, I interviewed our children and asked them some questions about you. Boom- best present ever!

What is something daddy always says to you?
Noelle (age 4): "Go poop on the potty!"
Jonah (age 2): "No"

What makes daddy happy?
N: "when I poop on the potty." "he likes us, that makes him happy"
J: "I don't know."

What does daddy do to make you laugh?
N: "Jump me on the bed"
J: "Jump me on the bed"

What is daddy's favorite thing to do?
N: "Play his guitar"
J: "I don't know"

What does daddy do after you go to bed?
N: "Play games"
J: "I don't know" also "I play games with daddy"

What is daddy really good at?
N: "I don't know"
J: "I don't know"

How do you know daddy loves you?
N: "God"
J: "God loves me"

What does daddy do for a job?
N: "typing on a computer"
J: "God"

What does daddy like most about mommy?
N: "I think daddy likes your driving" (after I prompted her with a few ideas)
J: "I don't know"

What is daddy's favorite place to go?
N: "Is it Chick Fil A?"
J: "To Chick Fila A!"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Four Things From Our Week


On Tuesday this past week we were invited for a morning of swimming in one of our friend's pools. With summer being a busy time in general, and vacations and such, we hadn't seen these friends in awhile so it was good to catch up. Tuesday was a hot day, and Noelle and Jonah were excited at the prospect of playing in the pool. We "swam" around for awhile, and then ate our picnic lunch of PB&J and watermelon.

While I sat at the table catching up with my friend, Noelle and Jonah played on the steps of the pool right in front of me. At one point Jonah brought over a water gun and I showed him how to work it, but told him it needed more water. I opened it for him and told him to dunk it under the water. He ran off to do it, and as I scanned the pool I noticed I didn't see him anymore and then saw a little body UNDER the water. I jumped up, got to him as quickly as I could and pulled him out.

He was a little bit shaken up, but wasn't coughing up water or sputtering. My friend said he was probably holding his breath while he was under. I feel like a horrible mom (and know that I am one!) for letting that happen. And that night when I was trying to sleep, every time I closed my eyes, I saw him flailing around under the water. My friend's daughter was sitting on a raft right next to him, and if the raft had been further up by like 6 inches, I probably wouldn't have been able to see him. Just typing that makes my heart beat harder and my eyes tear up! Thank you, Jesus, for keeping him safe!

I almost never check on him once I put him to bed for the night because the slightest thing will wake him up, but after our day I most definitely checked that he was still breathing.


Wednesday morning was a busy morning of running to the doctor's for the usual blood work and ultrasound, then off to church to do a training for our MOPPETS workers. I was so nervous about it because I do not at all enjoy speaking in front of people. But our workers our amazing, and they were engaged in the training, asked great questions, and seemed excited about the year ahead! Now I'm just praying that our first meeting in September goes smoothly since about half of our regular workers will be out and we'll have subs.

After that we headed to the mall Chick Fil A to meet our friend Jess. She and her husband are moving away this weekend, and we'd missed their going away party. I wanted to see her before she left, and it was good to have some time to catch up and give her a hug good-bye. The good news is she and her husband are moving to Nashville, and Luke and I just scheduled a trip down there in September to visit his brother, and Jess and I were already making plans to see them as well!


Thursday we had a play date at our friend's house to make butter (and eat, of course!) My friend filled little mason jars with cream, and set the timer to shake them for 20 minutes. The kids were into it for the first three minutes or so, and then the five of us moms stood around shaking them. It was a fun activity though- and maybe the kids will remember this learning experience! And my friend made her delicious bread, which we slathered with our freshly made butter- so yum!


After another blood work and ultrasound visit this morning, I headed out to the Howard County Conservancy to meet a friend for a play date there. It's only about 10 minutes from our house, and even though I've driven past it so many times, we'd never been. And even though we spent close to two hours there, we didn't cover much ground at all! I definitely want to take the kids back to explore more of the trails, see the chickens, visit the owl, and say hi to the turtle again. We ate our picnic lunch there, and then headed over to the famous Snowball Stand for an afternoon treat.

All this week, Luke has been working from home because the portion of the metro line he takes in to work has been getting worked on and was out of commission. Rather than making him dodge around that and deal with commuting a different way, his boss was amazing and let him work from home most of last week and this week. We've been spoiled being able to sleep in a little later, and having him done work and home by 4:30-5:00. Sadly, on Monday he'll be back to commuting four days a week, but it was nice while it lasted!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pony Camp 2016

Last week Noelle had her pony play camp, and I don't know who was more excited- me or her! I loved horses growing up and took some lessons in middle school, and then leased a horse my junior and senior year of high school. Shawnee was a little buckskin quarter horse, and I loved riding him around the farm and going on trail rides with my friend Mindy. Granted, I was a horrible rider- I fell off so many times, but thankfully was never seriously injured!

Noelle went on her first pony ride at a local strawberry festival when she was two, and ever since then, if there's been a pony ride somewhere, she's wanted to do it. In the spring I briefly looked into a pony camp to find out what the age requirements were, and it started at age 4. When I was talking to the grandmother of the twins in her pre-school class, she told me that the girls were signed up for pony camp in August- at the same farm that I had been looking at. And since it was August, Noelle would be 4 and old enough to do it. Perfect!

We talked about pony camp all summer long, and then it was finally here. Of course I ended up having a doctor's appointment in Columbia that morning before the first day, so I rushed to that, picked the littles up from my mom's, and then rushed out to Mount Airy to get to the farm. Driving through three different counties all before 9:00 a.m, but I made it in time for everything (more or less.)

Walking into the barn brought back lots of horsey memories for me, and we wandered around a bit until we found the woman in charge. Noelle was so excited to see her pre-school buddies, and jumped right into playing with them. Jonah and I said good-bye and then walked around the barn saying hi to all the horses. Then Jonah and I headed out to Starbucks (I'd had a slightly frustrating doctor's appointment and decided to drown my disappointment in caffeine and sugar), and then to a new to us play ground for some fun.

And that was pretty much our routine for the week- drop Noelle off, say hi to all the horses, go play somewhere, and then come back to pick Noelle up and feed the horses carrots. She was there for three hours a day and was on a horse for about 45 minutes each of those days- and she loved it. Even though we had heat advisories for most of the week, she never complained about being in pants and boots. (Which normally, as soon as we step out in to the sun, all I hear about it how hot it is.) Most days I picked her up covered in dirt, and the next morning she couldn't wait to get back.

The last day, they had a little horse show. It was just the three girls for the younger age group, and each one had a teenager leading their horse as they walked or trotted (!) around. For the first 4 days, Noelle kept saying she just liked the walking, not the trotting. But after seeing her trot at the "show", her instructor told me that Noelle hadn't said anything about not wanting to trot that day. The girls rode over poles on the ground, and showed us how they leaned forward in more of a jumping position. They did around the world on the saddle with a teenager helping them turn their bodies all the way around. At the end, each of the girls was given a blue ribbon, and me and the other mom snapped a million pictures. All around, it was so. much. fun for all of us!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Happy One Week Baby B!

One week ago my sister welcomed her baby boy- Holden William! We are SO excited about baby Holden, and I love holding him and admiring his teeny tiny baby cuteness! The last month or so of my sister's pregnancy, Noelle started calling the baby "baby Chilly". I have no idea where she got it from, and Jonah soon started calling him that as well. When I told them we were going to go visit baby Holden, they were like, but isn't it baby Chilly?

My amazing sister started having contractions on Tuesday night, and they continued all day Wednesday without getting any closer together. She was already scheduled to go in for an induction that day, so they went to the hospital, and after another full night of labor, she ended up having him at 4:32 p.m. on Thursday, August 4th! He was 6 pounds, 15 ounces at 10 days overdue. So tiny, and since it was a low weight for gestational age, his blood sugar got checked before every feeding. But he was perfect and didn't have any problems!

I am so excited for Heather and Jason, and being able to experience parenthood with them. And I love that I get to be Aunt Megan to this sweet boy. I'll get my baby cuddles where I can, and I'm thankful they only live five minutes away so I can go get my baby fix!

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The County Fair

The Howard County Fair is in full swing this week, and we've now been twice to enjoy all the fun. After church on Sunday, we decided to risk no nap for Jonah and headed on down because the weather was too nice not to take advantage of it. Sunny and almost no humidity - very rare for August in Maryland!

We wandered around through the cow barns, visited the pigs and sheep, and Noelle and Jonah played in a little corn kernel box for awhile. We treated ourselves to a giant cup of lemonade, and then bought a few tickets so the kids could go on the rides. Pretty much since the beginning of the summer, Noelle has been saying that she wants to ride a ferris wheel- how she knows what a ferris wheel is, we're not entirely sure. But she kept saying that's what she wanted to do at the fair, so ride it we did. 

Ride tickets were $1 each (crazy!!), and the ferris wheel was 5 tickets per rider. We decided that she and I would ride the ferris wheel together, and then find one or two smaller rides for her and Jonah to both ride on. I wasn't sure if she would be scared once we were up high, but she loved it! She could see the cars and trucks going by on Route 70 and we could see horses down at the horse ring. She kept saying "this is so much fun!"

We found some smaller rides to do, and then headed home for dinner and some downtime. My friend had told me that on Tuesday, there would be a deal where you pay $12 for a wristband for unlimited rides. Since the kids loved the rides so much, Luke encouraged me to take them again. And since the rides didn't open until 2 p.m., it meant another no nap day for Jonah. But they were both so excited and it kept me hopeful that they would be having too much to get cranky!

I ended up getting a wristband for myself as well since Noelle said she wanted to do the ferris wheel again, and it ended up being better that way because Jonah was too short to ride a bunch of the smaller rides without an adult. We did the teacups SO many times (oh my word- the spinning!), the ferris wheel twice, the carousel, and some others. After Luke was done work, he joined us at the fair and brought dinner and water. That rejuvenated us enough to do a few more rides (it was getting more crowded), and then we headed home for bed. 

All in all, the kids and I were there for about five hours, and they both did really well for the most part. I loved hearing their laughter and seeing the big ol' smiles on their faces- definitely worth it!