Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Noah Red!

Well, it happened.
Noah turned one.
We were expecting a very special visitor,
but Grandma Sharon wasn't feeling well and couldn't make her flight.
We were sad.
Hope thought we should go to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch.
Sounded good to Noah!
He got a front row seat.

Hey, where's my pizza (he ate 2 pieces of pizza!)

Noah joined the band with his new guitar from Mimi and Papa Paul.

He's a pretty good driver!

Watch out Mimi!

I got a little carried away with Photo Shop. I am aware that this looks horrible, thanks.
Did I mention that 2 crazy girls joined us for lunch?

Noah, do you want to take a group picture?
(apparently temper tantrums begin the day you turn one. He also threw a back arching, screaming hissy fit at Barnes and Noble when I took him away from the train table.)

Sister won Noah a bat and ball for his birthday. I tried to tell him it wasn't a cigar.

Hope was also sad that Noah wasn't going to have any cake on his actual birthday, so we bought a small ice cream cake for him. That's right, ice cream cake.

He didn't like the coldness! But he wanted it so bad. He eventually got over it!

See? I think he liked it.

Not sure what I was thinking by doing this with no other adults around to help me clean him up. I ended up taking him straight from the highchair to the tub. No really, I didn't even stop to take his shirt (or diaper) off!

Happy Birthday Precious Boy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Year Ago

One Year Ago
my bags were packed.
The camera was charged.
I sat in the rocking chair of Noah's nursery,
I cried.
I prayed to God
And dreamed of the boy I would meet tomorrow.
The diaper bag is packed for tomorrow.
My camera is charged.
I sat in the rocking chair with Noah in my lap.
I cried.
I prayed to God
And kissed the sweetest boy ever.

I have no idea why tonight was so emotional for me. Maybe it's because tonight was a little rough. Maybe it is because Noah will be one tomorrow. Probably a combination. I just sat in his room and remembered Hope, John and me sitting in Noah's room the night before I was going to be induced. It was a good memory.
Tonight, I was just overwhelmed by God's amazing grace as I held my sweet boy. This baby that I prayed so hard for. Noah is proof that God answers prayers, and he is even proof that sometimes the answer is no. Through all the months of fertility treatments, drugs, procedures, failed pregnancy tests month after month, I prayed and prayed harder than I have in my life. Even when doctors didn't give much hope, I already had Hope, Hope Louise, another answer to prayer, and I knew that it was possible for me to get pregnant. I can tell you that, for me, infertility was much harder the second time around. Partly because I got pregnant with Hope much faster than we ever dreamed, us or our doctor. I remember Dr. Wyatt after the first ultrasound, stopping his nurse in the hallway and excitingly telling her the good news. He knew she was a miracle baby too. With Noah, it was a much more emotionally difficult time. Lots of reasons, probably. Obviously it took much longer, I ended up with a lot more drugs and in the end, relied on a procedure. We were in Texas without family support as well. And honestly, being on that many fertility drugs for that long changed me. I was just a different person. I prayed for a baby all the time. It was really a "pray without ceasing" type of prayer that I just said over and over again. The day I found out I was pregnant with Noah was probably the biggest "spiritual high" I have ever had. God had finally answered yes!
Ok, now I know this will sound awful, but it's just the truth. I, of course, prayed for the health of my baby, but I also prayed for another girl. Isn't that silly? I just have never thought I wanted boys. But, oh my, I am so thankful that God answered No to that request! He knew that what I needed was this very special boy.
So, even though I am a little sad that my baby will be one year old tomorrow, I will end this post with what I say to Noah every night as I lay him down to sleep...
Thank You God for Noah Red.

Catching Up on Bear and Baby Pics

I realized I haven't posted Noah's 11 month Bear and Baby pictures (and, um, hadn't taken them yet either...hey, he is still 11 months old until midnight!) Then, I looked and I never posted (but did take!) his 10 month old pics either! Here they are!
10 Months

11 Months

Baby O update

Remember when I asked you to pray for Baby O? Well, have I mentioned lately that she is absolutely perfect? An absolute miracle! She is just so stinkin cute! Hope and O'Mari sported matching outfits today! We had to have a little photoshoot, of course! Ora, I have a ton of pictures, but for now, I am just posting 2. I will get the others to you soon. You know, "Jill soon", which might not be real soon! :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I finally got a decent picture of the two babies together. Perfect, no, but they are at least smiling! Yay! It only took 362 days!

Can you even stand how cute he is? I just love him to pieces!

Disney On Ice

We have been waiting months for Disney on Ice to finally get here! It was worth the wait! We had great seats and everyone had a great time. I had not planned on taking Noah, but John was out of town, and I didn't have a sitter. He was a perfect baby. He was so mesmerized by the show. Then he just laid on my sister's shoulder and fell asleep. He is such an angel baby.

So, it was all fabulous and wonderful for Hope, until, the giant Ursela came in, fireworks and all. She started screaming that she wanted to go home. Then, just as I am getting her settled down, here comes all the aliens in Lilo and Stitch. She flipped out. I had to take her out of the show until Lilo was ending. She loved all of Peter Pan, except for the fireworks at the end. She has watched the movie twice since we have been to Disney on Ice. She even loved the alligator. And of course, her hero Tinkerbell! She probably loves tink so much because they are so much alike!


Hope is playing T-Ball! Ok, well maybe it's more like Hope is playing in the dirt while others are playing T-Ball around her! The first game was not great. I will refrain from saying what I really want to say just to save myself from enduring another lecture from my big sister :-) No, really, I know, she is only four, and everyone else on her team is 5 and 6. A few tears are ok, there was also a lot of digging in the dirt, refusal to put on her glove, leaving the field 5 times, some more digging in the dirt, and the slowest run to 1st base ever seen. But, she also hit the ball well both times she got to bat (although she got out both times at first base), she had a good time and wanted to play again, she did run in the right direction, and she said her favorite part was lining up and high fiving the other team. Thank goodness her Uncle Wes is such a patient coach! Much more so than her mama!
It's tough not to make comparisons when you look and see Hope doing this...
While Clara is doing this! Look how awesome she is! That girl is ready!

Brother is definitely loving baseball season!

So, on a positive note, she had another game on Friday, and she did so much better. She scored a run and got on base both times she went to bat. She was so proud! When she got up to bat the first time, Wes said, "Ok Hope, what do you do after you hit the ball?" While I am sure he was looking for an answer like "Run to first base!" What he got was "Get ice cream!" It's possible that I bribed my child to do better in the second game!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Style By Hope

Hope is very into clothes. She has a style all her own. The more mismatched, the better. When she really likes an outfit, she says "That is soooooo fashion." I seriously have no idea where she got it from. I am a tshirt and jeans girl. She is a solid longsleeve shirt, under a striped short sleeve dress over a pair of polka dot leggings with shoes with stars on them kind of girl. Oh, and if you will kindly put her hair in 3 ponytails for her, she is set. Or, I should say, she is "fashion."
All this changes on Sunday Mornings.
Here's a little background. I thought I had my mismatch funky girl figured out as we headed into fall and winter. I bought her entire wardrobe, including some way cute dresses for church. So, first cold Sunday,one polka dot dress and tights coming right up! Nope. She flipped her lid. The dress was not twirly. What?! I didn't know that was a requirement. Turns out, none of the dresses I bought for her were twirly, and therefore not worthy of being worn to church. Every Sunday, and I do mean, EVERY SUNDAY, she cried and sulked all morning over the dresses I made her wear. She would say "This is a boring dress." (You are probably thinking, why not just go buy her some twirly winter dresses right? No way. They were cute dresses and she was going to wear them!)
Fast forward to February. We are in a store and Hope spots what she thinks is the most beautiful dress she has ever seen. And, it has a matching dress for her Bitty Baby Doll. She was just so sweet about it talking about how beautiful the dress was and could she PLEASE take it home with her and wear it to church. She wasn't fussing over it, just genuinely excited about finding this dress. I agreed. But I had to make sure she understood that she could not wear the dress until the Sunday AFTER Easter. She remembered. On Saturday night, what do you think she reminded me about? Yep, her "beautiful dress."

Her Sunday School Teacher, Ms. Bari, stopped and took Hope's picture during the pancake breakfast on Sunday. She was so proud.
And, in case you were wondering, I did not make the same mistake when buying her summer wardrobe as I did in the fall. Every dress for Sundays is very "twirly." I know our friends at church will enjoy seeing her sweet smile again instead of her looking at the floor and saying her dress is boring.

I'm such a great mom

or not. Noah's first birthday is around the corner. How in the world did that happen? No, really, APRIL 29 is like, NEXT WEEK? I just don't understand how that is possible. Anyway.
For Hope's first birthday, we had a blow out blast of a party for her. We invited everyone we knew, rented an indoor playground, Sam made a video for her, a princess cake was made (oh and a separate one for the princess herself, of course. It really was a huge party. Will we do the same for Noah. Um, no. Why? Because I am a horrible mother who treats my second child differently than the first, no matter how many times I said that wouldn't happen. I really just don't want to have a big party. So the big plans for Noah...have the family over in the backyard for lunch. OOOOhhhh. Lucky Noah! No, really, he will love it. I am just feeling a tad bit guilty. So, Saturday, I decided, well, I am at least going to make some cute invitations for the party. (That way I can put one in his baby book, and he can pretend we really had a party for him, right?) So, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to do this in photoshop. I was so proud I figured it out! I ordered the invitations, and then, upon further review...I messed them up. I meant to write "We'll have burgers and hotdogs, so come hungry!" But, well, I left the s off of burger. I am SUCH a great mom. And what kind of mommy would actually send those messed up invitations out? Um, that would be me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our First Vacation

This week we had a chance to get away for our very first vacation as a family of four. John ended up taking the week off, so we scrambled to find hotel rooms and somewhere we could drive to relatively quickly. Branson seemed like the best choice. It turned out their "Season" was just starting, and it was not crowded at all. We stayed at the Hilton at Branson Landing, which is where I have been wanting to stay since it opened. Put this girl in a hotel room above a shopping center, and she is happy! :-)

Before we left, our poor Abby dog knew something was up. While we were loading up the car, she quickly escaped at took her seat.

Sadly, she got left behind with Mimi.

We drove straight into town, ate lunch and headed to Silver Dollar City. Hope remembered a lot from when we went with my sister and my mom last summer. She couldn't wait to show her daddy everything.

We learned pretty early on, that neither kid enjoyed riding in the stroller. Awesome. SDC is so hilly. Not fun carrying kids, drinks and pushing the empty stroller all over the park!

The most awesome attraction at SDC for our family...The ball place. Thousands of foam balls, guns to shoot them out of, tubes to vacuum them up...seriously, entertainment for HOURS for both kids. We spent the majority of both days we spent at SDC in this area. And, consequently, most of my pictures are off the ball area as well.

Hope was much braver this time. She loved Grandpa's Mansion, and rode a ton more rides than she would last summer. She rode the little roller coaster, the fast little pirate ships, and she was ready to brave the big pirate ship again. It was a complete disaster last time. It was not much better this time. She quickly recovered though, thankfully.

Daddy tried a new ride too. The Giant Barn Swing. John and I both love rides, and I will ride just about anything, but I am deathly afraid of this thing and will not ride it. John loved it. I love that he is the only adult in this picture. Look who's talking, the chicken.

I wonder how many candles my family has dipped at Carrie's Candle Shop. I have so many memories in that place. Some include Vince dipping one of my candles in black and saying it was an accident. Does anyone buy that? It still hurts me a little. He owes me a dollar for my therapy jar for that one.

Hope was so sweet (other than the few I'm WAY too tired to function meltdowns.) She would just stop and say "This is the best vacation ever." And "You're the best, Daddy." and "I love you, Mommy." She can melt a heart.

On day two, Hope and Daddy started the day with a trip down into the cave. I was was worried about her on the one hour tour, but she did great. She said she was going exploring. Daddy says she got scared a couple of times, but for just a few seconds and then she was back to checking it out. How many times has my family been down in this cave? Way too many. I am seriously okay if I never go down in it again. I could probably give the tour myself.

And here is the only proof I have that I was also on this lovely vacation. And, aren't I looking oh so lovely? Here we are trying to help Hope recover from the train whistle. Hope is very sensitive to loud noises, and the train passed us a whistled very loudly. Both kids were crying, but it took an especially long time to calm Hope down. (On a side note, I am seriously considering writing SDC a letter asking them to not toot the train whistle by the path to the Barn I over reacting? It was really loud and every kid in the area was crying after that happened. We didn't go back to that part of the park for the rest of our visit either.)

Back at the hotel, we just kicked back and relaxed. Ahh. Noah loved being the King of the remote control.

I have no pictures from our last full day there. It was full of outlet shopping, go carts and Putt Putt. We all had a great time, and it was good for all of us to get away like that. It also makes me more confident that we can travel more. With John's job, we had a lot of opportunities to travel when Hope was little, but we came to a screeching halt when Noah arrived. Noah has yet to board a plane, so maybe that is the next test.
John and I were talking about family vacations and basically he asked me what I thought of them. Family vacations are absolutely my best childhood memories. (My mom always referred to it as QFT...Quality Family Time. We hated that term, but turns out, it was important. Yes Mom, bask in your glory for a were right.) There is just something about being together without the stresses of home and everyone enjoying our time together. I know as the kids get older, vacations will be even more important.