Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve - Sushi Style

Tonight was the last night of 2009...the last night of this decade! It's hard to believe. It doesn't seem like that long ago that we were talking about Y2K. 2009 was a great year for our family and with some big events on the horizon...we know that 2010 will be a memorable year for us too.

To celebrate the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010, we went out to dinner with Jason (who works with Mike) & Ines. They ganged up with Mike and decided (behind my back) that we would be going to dinner at a Sushi restaurant. I had never had sushi before...and in the past I told Mike that it was something that I had no desire to try. Mike likes to encourage me to try new things and I guess he figured I wouldn't complain about it as much if we were with another couple.

When we pulled up in the parking lot, Jason & Ines pulled out hats for all of us to wear. Yes, it was only 5:00 pm and no one else in the restaurant looked ready to party...but we still wore our hats with pride.

It was kinda funny to be the only ones in the restaurant wearing the New Years hats. Several people stopped by our table to wish us a "Happy New Year".

Since I'd never been to a sushi restaurant before, I let the others order for me. The appetizers were delicious (veggies and raw fish...whew!). For dinner they ordered me the Incredible Roll. I was so thankful when I found out that it comes cooked. When I thought of eating sushi, I had envisioned me holding a raw fish by the tail (the fish staring me in the eyes) and slurping it down my throat whole. (Made you shiver...didn't it!?) Can you imagine how excited I was when I learned that you don't have to eat raw fish? Of course, I don't know if the sushi guru's would count the cooked stuff as sushi...but since we were eating strange (to me) food at a sushi counts in my books!

Here's me getting ready for a bite. I'm still unsure. Did I mention that I'm not a big fan of trying strange, new foods?!

In addition to serving strange food, the sushi restaurant doesn't even give you American utensils! Not only was I being watched for my reaction to the first bite...but everyone staring at me made it a little harder to keep hold of the bite with the chopsticks.

I finally did it. It wasn't so bad after all. In fact, I kinda liked it! Now, I'm not saying that I'd choose sushi over On the Border or Johnny Carino's...but liking it is a good start.

Me and the love of my life.
After dinner we went to Starbucks for coffee and dessert. We talked until a little after 8 pm and then headed home to our kids.

Daddy Steve and Namaw were watching our boys at our house and already had them in bed when we got home (well...Barrett was asleep, but Brody was watching Daddy Steve who had fallen asleep in Brody's room while telling him a bedtime story. Brody wasn't too happy with me when I woke Daddy Steve up. He wanted him to sleep in his bed all night long!) Daddy Steve and Namaw stayed and watched a movie with us. The movie ended at 11:58 pm...just in time to switch to live TV and watch the year change from 2009 to 2010.

What a great end to a great year. Thank you, Lord, for all the blessing of 2009.

Any guesses where Brody wanted to go today?

Yep. Cabela's. This is one of Mike and Brody's favorite stores. Every time we leave Cabela's, Mike tells me that he didn't get to stay long enough and that he wishes he could come spend 8-10 hours just browsing the store.

Almost every time we've come to Cabela's, I've had Mike take my picture while I was carrying Barrett in a backpack. The exciting part about the picture this time? The backpack I was wearing belongs to us (thanks to Daddy Steve and Namaw)!!!! Super exciting!

We may not have spent 8-10 hours at Cabela's today, but we did spend 4 hours there (plenty of time for the little boys). Mike and Brody even took some time to play a hunting game.
We left in a rush when we looked down and saw the time. We're going out with Jason & Ines (Jason works with Mike) tonight and we didn't realize how many hours had passed while we were at the store! Gotta hurry to get ready now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For the Record

I haven't been quite as good about writing down everything in Barrett's baby book that I did for Brody. So instead of dragging out the baby book, I thought I'd just post this on here and then when I get around to it...I can look back on here for important events.

One REALLY exciting event that has been happening with Barrett is his interest in going potty! He has actually taking his morning poop in the potty two days in a row now!!! You have NO IDEA how excited I am about this!!! (well...unless you have kids of your own...then you understand the excitement.)

One of Barrett's molars (the top right) finally broke thru last week. One down...three to go.

Those are the main things for now. I bet you're glad you took the time to read this post ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in Temple

This morning we picked up Caleb and Audria and drove to Temple for a Christmas celebration with Daddy Steve's side of the family. Audria loved the heater that Grandmommy had in the sunroom, so that's where we sat visiting when we first arrived.

Grandmommy and Namaw were busy getting food ready. (I wanted to be in a picture too! lol)

Brody was ecstatic when Ginger and Jesse arrived...mainly because he wanted to see baby Jayma! As soon as anyone would listen to him (rather than just ooohh and ahhing over Jayma), he begged to hold her. He sat in this chair holding her for a long time. In fact, I thought a fight was gonna break out when Grandmommy told Brody that it was her turn to hold Jayma!

Later Brody convinced Mike, Caleb, and others to play outside with the rest of us got a turn holding Jayma.

We had a delicious lunch and then everyone lounged around in the sun (both inside and outside). I found Dave and Mike sitting out on the porch exchanging hunting stories.

Then a little later I found Mike sitting in the sunroom napping with Jayma in his arms (they were both asleep)!

Later in the day (after Brody had finished holding Jayma for an extended period of time), Brady commented to me that he had never held his niece! He said that he was afraid that he'd hurt her because she's so little. I immediately put her in his arms and the smile that came over his face showed me that his fear was gone. I snapped a picture of him holding her and it's a good thing I did. This is the only picture I got of Grandmommy's 4 great-grandchildren! They may not all be looking at the camera...but they're all in this picture.

The rest of the evening the girls sat around talking (and taking turns holding the baby) while the guys put together a new entertainment center for Grandmommy and hooked up her new tv and dvd player (Christmas presents). I love his picture of Audria, me, and Ginger. I can't believe that it's only been 5 days since she gave birth to Jayma! It was so fun to get to see her twice in one week!

We headed for home around 8 pm and within 30 minutes the boys had fallen asleep. When we got home we carried in our precious, sleeping cargo and then we fell into bed. It's be a fun, but long few days! I think we're both ready for some R & R this next week.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"Today in the town of David...

a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Today we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a glorious day it is! As we celebrate together with our family, the house is full of joy and love for one another and for the precious gift of a perfect, little baby so many years ago.

For the past month Brody has been memorizing Luke 2:11-12. I would recite Luke 2:1-20 and Brody would say verses 11 & 12. While we were on our way to have lunch with GG and family, we were practicing saying our verses from Luke about the birth of Christ. Brody told me that he wanted to say my verse too (not just his). So I left out a few words and was utterly surprised at what he was able to fill in! This is a video that Daddy Steve took on December 19th. I really need to video him again because today he can say 80% of of Luke 2:1-20 without any prompting! I'm so proud of my little three-year-old!!!

Mike and I were surprised to wake up this morning on our own (meaning Brody wasn't breaking down our door at 6 am). We woke up after 7 am (yes...there's still snow outside!!!) and before long we heard noise over Brody's monitor. We heard singing and turned up the monitor to hear Brody singing Jingle Bells.

When Brody came into the living room, Mike handed me a box and told me that I needed to open it before we did anything else today. I was excited to open the box and find a new video camera (our old one died months ago)! I was even more excited when I realized that he'd already charged up the batteries and it was ready to start recording our special day!
Brody cracked us up when he began talking about how beautiful the wrapping paper was that held his gift from Santa. You'll notice in the picture below that Santa fulfilled Brody's request and left him a picture of our family.

The picture was forgotten about once Brody unwrapped the box and found a race car track! He was soooooo excited!

Since Barrett was still sleeping, I made breakfast while Mike and Brody put together the race car track. I was finally able to pull them away from their race to get them to eat some pancakes and bacon. Not long after we finished breakfast, Barrett woke up. He loved the stuffed puppy that Santa brought (he's already been named Remy) and didn't want to leave him to eat his we just let him eat a pancake while he played with the puppy.

Around 9 am Caleb, Audria, Daddy Steve, and Namaw all arrived at our house. Audria got a new camera for Christmas (Cannon Rebel). This meant we had 3 people taking pictures (we took 290 today). I won't show you all 290 pictures, but there were several good ones...and since this blog gets made into a book which is basically our family picture may feel a little bit of picture overload (if you make it to the end of this post)!

Not only did the boys have their stocking filled at our house...they were also filled at Daddy Steve and Namaw's house! Both boys were pretty excited when they saw how many candy canes were in their stockings. We had to put them out of reach very quickly so that the entire living room didn't become a sticky mess.

Within minutes of arriving, Brody challenged Caleb in a race on his new track. Caleb was up for the challenge.
Here are a few pictures from our time of opening gifts from one another...

(sooooooo excited about this one!!!)

As soon as we finished opening gifts, Brody was begging for someone to go outside and play in the snow with him. Daddy Steve, Audria, and Barrett followed him out to play (Caleb and I followed with cameras). Mike stayed inside talking with Namaw (who doesn't like the cold and had no desire to go play in the snow). It quickly went from peacefully watching Brody and Barrett admire the snow...

to an all out snowball fight!!!

When Audria and Daddy Steve finally surrendered (Brody would never have given up), everyone came back inside to warm up. Caleb and Audria left to spend the rest of the day with Audria's family while Daddy Steve and Namaw stayed to spend the day with us. We then opened the presents from Grammy, Great Grandma K, and the presents from our immediate family (meaning Mike, me, and the boys). Barrett was excited about his new camo boots and insisted on putting them on immediately! Brody got a camo sleeping bag from Grammy. He took a nap it in today and went to sleep tonight inside the sleeping bag on the floor of his room. I'm wondering if he'll ever sleep in his bed again!?!

After naptime (during which the adults played a lively game of Farkel), Daddy Steve took the boys on a walk around our neighborhood. Since we didn't make our own snowman, Brody wanted a picture taken with one of the neighbors snowmen. I think it took all the snow in their yard to make this little guy!

Just before Daddy Steve and Namaw left, I remembered to ask them to take a family picture for us. I'm sure you'll notice, so I'll just admit it. Yes, Barrett wore his jammies all day long today. What can I say? He looked so cute in his flannels and Santa hat! I did at least give him a bath and new jammies before bed.

I hope that y'all had as wonderful of a Christmas day as we did. I'm so thankful for the family that I have been blessed with and for the gift of Jesus Christ and the promise of an eternity with Him and with this family that I love so much!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cookies for Santa

Tonight I read the boys a few stories before bed while Mike got a fire going in our fireplace. We read about the birth of Christ and we also read about Santa. I have to admit, I'm still a little torn on the whole issue of Santa Claus. I know that we have done a good job of teaching Brody the true meaning of Christmas (by the things he's told other people), however, I can't help but feel that I'm lying to him when we talk about Santa. We still did the whole Santa charade...but I had a hard time when Brody asked me specific questions about Santa. I tell him make believe stories all the time, but I always make sure that he's knows that they're make believe. For some reason it really bothers me to know that to play the Santa game...we have to lie to our kids!

That being said, here's a picture of the boys with cookies and milk for Santa and a few carrots for Rudolf.

I tried to get a cute picture of them sitting by the cookies in front of the fire...but of course they were both being ornery and wouldn't sit still at the same time! Maybe tomorrow I'll get a cute picture of the two of them? Right now we better get to bed. We have no clue how early Brody will be up tomorrow!


The news is reporting that this is the first white Christmas in our area since 1926! I don't know who is more excited...Brody or Angela. I think it might be Angela! We watched tiny flakes fall most of the afternoon and tonight they are still falling. The roads are just wet, but the grass and rooftops are finally covered in the beautiful white snow!

This is a picture thru our front door of the snow beginning to accumulate this afternoon.

The winds were very strong (gusting over 40 mph) and the snow was blowing sideways! If the flakes had been larger, we could've had a Texas blizzard!

Brody did not want to go to bed tonight. He kept going outside and just watching the snow. It was a beautiful night. I looked out our front door to see the Christmas lights across the street and snow gently falling.

Here's a video that shows just a little of Brody's excitement for the snow. You'll also get a taste of what I call his "evil laugh" at the end of the video.

Hopefully, there will be more snow pictures tomorrow!!! (I say "hopefully" because part of me is afraid that I'll wake up and discover that this snow was only a dream!)

Christmas Eve

Today was a day full of relaxation. Last night Mark, Angela, and Jayden arrived just after bedtime. After tucking all the kids in bed, we cuddled up on the couches in front of a warm fire and watched the movie Elf.
This morning we had breakfast and then just hung out playing with the kids and watching the weather (they say snow's on the way!!!!) Angela and I made a cake in the shape of a star and decorated it for the most special birthday every...our Savior's birthday!
Brody was really excited to get to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. After the candles were blown out, Barrett started to dig into the cake. Guess he thought it was his 1st birthday all over again!
Then it was time for presents. Brody had been asking, "Is it time to open presents?" all day long. This brought back memories of the days where it seemed to take the adults forever to clear the table and put away the food so we could open presents!
This Christmas we were happy to give Jayden a present very similar to the one that Mark and Angela gave Brody when he was Jayden's age. We gave him a push mower. I'm not sure if it's as noisy as the one they got Brody...but it's pretty close! When Brody was given his noisy mower (one so loud you can't have a conversation in the same room), we promised to return the favor when they had a little one Brody's age.
There was much more excitement before Mark & Angela left...but I think a Texas White Christmas deserves it's own post.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A New Perspective

Every day for the past month I have woken up and checked my phone to make sure that I didn't miss a call from my cousin, Ginger, during the night. I've been waiting for the day that she calls and says, "It's time! I'm in labor!" The call came Sunday morning. She said, "They can induce me today. I'm about to head to the hospital!"

I had spent the night at Daddy Steve & Namaw's house (after the infamous Cowboys game) and Mike was at his hunting lease this past weekend, so I left the boys in the loving arms of Daddy Steve and Namaw and headed for Temple.

When I arrived around 11 am, Ginger was at a 3 and was having some contractions...but they weren't painful yet.

She had arrived at the hospital at 8 am hoping for an induction that would lead to a fast L&D. This was not to be. Family came to visit....and family went home to sleep for the night.

Around 11:30 she finally asked for an epidural and then just before midnight the doctor broke her water. She was finally at 4/5 cm! Yes...after an entire day of labor she had progressed from 3 to 4.5 cm. The good thing was that she was almost totally effaced whereas she had been far from it when she arrived that morning. After breaking her water, the doctor told us all (me, Jesse, and Ginger) to try to get some rest. Jesse made a pallet on the floor using the cushions off the back of the couch, I laid down on the couch, and (of course) Ginger was in her hospital bed.

I slept off and on from 12:30 to 2:30 (more off than on because of the numerous times that the nurses came to check on her...and because her blood pressure cuff seemed to go off every 15 minutes). Around 2:30 I got up to check the monitor to see how her contractions were coming along. Ginger was getting very discouraged and saying, "I'm never gonna have this baby! I'll be pregnant forever!" I was trying to encourage her by telling her that she couldn't feel anything because of the epidural, so for all we knew she could be at an 8 or 9 already. Her contractions were coming ever 2 minutes, so that was a good sign.

Just after I took a picture of me and the clock (to prove she was still in labor at 3 am), the doctor came in to check her.

The doctor had to step over Jesse (sleeping at the foot of the bed) to check her. When she announced that Ginger was at a 7-8, Jesse put his head back down (as if to go back to sleep). Ginger had a contraction while the dr was checking her and dilated to a 9 with that contraction. When Jesse heard this, he got up and began to try to wake himself up for the big push. With her next contraction she dilated to a 10 and the dr announced that it was time to get ready to push!!!

I stood at Ginger's right leg and held her leg/foot while she pushed thru 3 contractions. She had a total of 8 or 9 pushes (and a time she laughed and it actually pushed Jayma's head closer down) and then Jamya Diane was born! As the dr was holding her head during the final push she commented, "Ouch! Your baby just bit me!" lol Guess she's gonna be a little feisty!

As soon as she was born Jesse grabbed the video camera and I grabbed the still camera. We asked the dr if it was ok to take pictures now (you can't take any pictures during the actual delivery). She chastised Jesse for thinking about pictures and told him to get over there to cut the cord. I took the video camera from him and held it high in my left hand while snapping stills with my right hand!

After things calmed down (nurses and doctors left the room and Ginger and Jesse had been holding Jayma for awhile), Ginger asked me to get her some food. She hadn't eaten all day and was starving. She was craving off I went. I'm sure there's some rule about not eating greasy food right after delivery...but we just pretended like we hadn't heard that rule before.

Everyone was shocked at how much hair Jayma had. It is so thick and long! The nurse was actually able to lather it up when she gave Jayma a bath (at Scott & White they give the baby her bath in the same room as the parents. The only time Jayma left the room was for her hearing test.) Ginger asked Cindy to bring a bow up to the hospital when she came on Monday morning. She never thought that her little girl would have so much hair that she could put a bow in it at the hospital!

I loved holding the precious, newborn Jayma.

On Monday morning family and friends began arriving to see the new addition to the family. Cindy was going to pick up Grandmommy...but Grandmommy didn't want to wait on her and just came up on her own. She was so happy to hold her new great-grandbaby!

When Cindy and McKenna arrived, the room was filled with excitement. McKenna was soooooo excited to see her "sissy". She had a grin from ear to ear. She kept asking to hold the baby and wanted to be within arms reach at all times. Here's a picture of the new family of four...Jesse, Ginger, McKenna, and Jayma.

It was such an amazing experience to be there for the birth of this precious little girl. I was (obviously) there for the birth of my boys, but I had never seen a birth (besides on tv) from the other side of the bed. I think I missed my calling. I should've been a midwife. I loved everything about it. I loved encouraging Ginger during her 18+ hour labor, rubbing her sore back, suggesting various position to try to make her as comfortable as possible, holding her leg as she pushed, and watching the miracle of life as a tiny ( 8 lbs 12 oz maybe not so tiny) head emerged from Ginger's body. I was dog tired and very sleep deprived...but I was on such a high that when I left there a little after 11 am on Monday morning, I made it the two hours home without having to stop for sleep or even a coke. I'm kinda sad to think that this will probably be the only time in my life that I'll get to experience a birth from this perspective...however, I feel so blessed to have been a part of such a special day in Ginger & Jesse's life.