Monday, June 27, 2011

Is my baby really THREE?!?

I can't believe how fast time goes by!  Everyone said that we'd turn around and our kids would be grown...they're right!  Three years old may not be grown...but when I feel like he should still be a little baby...I know time is going by too fast!  I try to remind myself every day to soak in the joy of being the mother of the 2 precious boys that God has blessed us with.  I try to memorize their precious little voices when they tell me "I love you!" 10 times before bed and try to close my eyes and take in the sweet hugs and kisses that I receive dozens of times a day.  I also try to record (on here) fun moments that I know will be forgotten if they're not written down. 

Birthdays are always emotional for me.  It's like a little reminder that my boys won't be little boys forever.  Brody must have some of my emotions too.  Today I told Barrett, "I can't believe how fast you're growing up!  Before I know it you'll be calling me to tell me that you're getting married...and then later calling me to tell me to come to the hospital to meet your little baby!"  Brody started to tear up and said, "But the hospital will be really close to your house...and I'll live just down the street from you!"  Barrett chimed in, "Me too!!!"  (he copies everything Brody does these days). 

Holding Laney, Luke, and Axton makes me realize how fast time passes.  It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was getting up every 3 hours to feed Barrett.  I remember sitting there staring into his eyes and wondering what his personality would be like.  I had no idea how amazing he would be!  He is so sweet, funny, and smart!  He is such a joy to be around and I'm so thankful that I'm his mommy!  If the past 3 years have been this fun...I can't even imagine what the next decade + will be like.  I have a feeling that there will be many pages of blog books filled with stories of joy, laughter, and triumph as I journey through life as Barrett's mama.  I love you sweet boy!

Brody really wanted to get his picture taken with the birthday boy.  I love how you can see the true, brotherly love for each other on their faces!

This morning I stopped at the donut shop on my way home from the gym.  Brody, Barrett, and I sang "Happy Birthday" to Barrett (yes...Barrett joined in singing to himself, lol) before the boys had their breakfast.
After breakfast we headed to work for a few hours.  Namaw made some chocolate cake for dessert after lunch and so we got to sing "Happy Birthday" again....and again...and again! Barrett kept asking for the candles to be re lit and then he'd ask us to sing again!  It was too cute to refuse!
The boys are napping now because we have big plans for the night.  After dinner we're taking them to see Cars 2.  They have Barrett's new Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater (gifts from Daddy Steve and Namaw) ready to go see the movie with them.  This will be our first time for the 4 of us to go to a movie together (Barrett just went to the movie for the first time last week with his cousins).  It's gonna be an exciting birthday evening! 
Oh...and tonight I get to say "goodnight" to my favorite three year old in the entire world!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The boys and GG meet Luke

The wait is finally over!  Brody and Barrett have been dying to hold Luke for several weeks now!  The day that Ann was induced Barrett begged to go up to the hospital early in the morning.  I told him Luke wasn't even born yet...that he was still in Ann's tummy.  Barrett responded, "It's ok!  I'll just hold Ann's tummy!"  Yes...these boys were ready to see and hold their new cousin! 

GG had also been waiting patiently to hold one of her new great-grandsons.  Can you believe that she now has 8 great-grandchildren and 1 on the way (Cindy's pregnant and due in January)!

Daddy Steve was able to hold Luke while he was in the NICU, but he hadn't held him without all the tubes.  He really enjoyed loving on his youngest son's son! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Can you believe these guys are ALL fathers?!?!?  I think Caleb is pretty stoked about it!
Today we celebrated Father's Day at the hospital.  I had Tyler take a picture of me with the mommies.  Don't Audria and Ann look great?!

NICU powers unite!  (Caleb, Tyler, Audria, & Ann)

I was super excited when it was time to go back to the NICU and meet baby Axton!  He is so cute and it was so much fun to sit there and hold him and watch all his different facial expressions.  The boys were disappointed that he didn't get moved back to Caleb & Audria's room while we were there.  I thought Barrett was going to have a melt down.  He kept saying, "I want to go SEE Axton!"  Pictures just weren't doing it for him!  I tried to show him the picture of me holding Axton...but that just made it worse.  I promised him that he'd get to see Axton this week and he finally was able to move on with the day.
Tyler showed Axton a picture of Luke while he was visiting the NICU.  I have a feeling this is the first of many pictures of these two together!

I don't even have to tell you how excited Namaw was when it was her turn to visit Axton in the NICU. 
It was so neat for us to not only celebrate the amazing father that we all share, but also to celebrate Caleb & Tyler being new daddies!
It comes as no surprise that Brody and Barrett are most thankful for their daddy.  I am so blessed to be married to not only the best husband...but also the best father in the world!  Mike adores our boys and loves spending time with them.  All you have to do is ask Brody about his Daddy and you'll see how highly he thinks of him.  In Brody's eyes, no one is more qualified in ANYTHING in life than Mike is.  The line of questioning usually goes like this:
Me:  "Who's the fastest runner?"
Brody:  "My daddy."
Me:  "Who's the best cook?"
Brody:  "Daddy!"
Me:  "Who's the best sky diver?"
Brody:  "You and Daddy...oh Daddy."
Me:  "Who's the best picture taker?"  (I just knew I'd win this one since I'm always the one with a camera)
Brody:  "My daddy!"
As you can see...Daddy is Brody's hero!  Even Barrett (who's always been a mama's boy) is now turning into a daddy's boy.  If Daddy's outside mowing, cleaning the pool, or playing ball....Barrett wants to be right there beside him.  I'm so thankful that Mike is the type of dad that freely gives of himself and truly wants to spend time just being a family!
So to all the daddies in our family...Happy Father's Day!  But a very special Happy Father's day to the father of my children, Mike!  I love you more than words can say!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Axton Arrives!!!

Axton Walter
June 18, 2011
7 lbs 8 oz, 21" long

Audria had the pleasure of being in labor for well over 24 hours.  Her contractions began on Thursday night and continued through the night (making it impossible for her to sleep).  Yesterday, Caleb emailed and asked if I'd stop by and check on Audria (he was at work).  She was doing great...having contractions...but they weren't regular yet.  I took the boys home to swim and then dropped them off with Daddy Steve at nap time and Namaw and I went to clean and help Audria with last minute preparations for Axton's arrival!

After we left her house, Dr. Carl came over and tried to help ease her back labor using his chiropractic knowledge.  She toughed it out at home until 9 pm when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and pretty intense!  They decided to head to the hospital and she was disappointed to learn she was only dilated to a 2.  However, her contractions were intense and regular, so they admitted her to the hospital.  Her water broke around 11 pm and then around 1:30 am this morning she got an epidural.  She was handling the contractions well...but the intense back labor that never let up was gonna do her in! 

I slept off and on last night listening for texts and phone calls.  Finally at 4 am we got a text that she was dilated to a 7.  Dad and Mom wanted to go ahead and head to the hospital, so I got up and got dressed.  Brody came in with leg cramps and wanted to go with me to the off we went.  Thank goodness the Starbucks was open!  I splurged and got a venti ;)

We arrived to the hospital to find David & Daina sleeping on a couch in the waiting room that was attached to the L&D room (super cool to have a private waiting room!) and Trisha was asleep on one of the counter tops in the room!   After a little while, Poppy (Audria's grandpa) showed up and we all hung out in the room with Audria and Caleb until around 10 am.  At that point we decided to go out to the main waiting room because it was getting close to "push time"!  Carl arrived and became the source of entertainment for Brody.  I was amazed at how well Brody did with spending a day at the hospital!  I think having a playmate in Carl eased his boredom.  Here's a few pictures from our wait... (click on the collage to make it bigger)

I know what you're thinking...."That's not a venti?!"  You're right.  This was round #2!  This is what helped me make it though the day.  Starbucks and my iPhone....oh...and the prospect of holding a newborn nephew!!!

After 1 hr 15 minutes of pushing, baby Axton was born!  We got a text at 12:26....the minute he was born!  (Way to keep us in the loop, Trisha!)  When his head was delivered, a rush of fluids followed and he inhaled some of the fluid.  This caused a commotion in the delivery room and they nurses rushed into action.  He ended up being wheeled off to the NICU (much to everyone's disappointment!)  The doctor informed Caleb and Audria that there wasn't anything seriously wrong...but they needed to get the fluid out of his lungs.  They're hoping that he'll be able to join them back in their room by tomorrow.  We got to see pictures of Axton that Caleb took and I think you'll agree...he's adorable!
Brody was pretty disappointed that he didn't get to meet Axton (as were all of us), but I wonder if he thinks that's just what happens when babies are born?  He's still waiting to meet Luke too!  Hopefully in a few more days he'll finally get to hold one of his new cousins. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cousin Week

It has been a CRAZY few weeks around here starting with Luke's birth. 

This week has been very busy for us.  My cousin, Julie, and her daughter, Lauren, are in Africa with Ron and Jan (my uncle and aunt) on a mission trip.  Daddy Steve and Namaw graciously offered to keep Julie's other two kids (Katelyn and Collin) for a few days so Matt could work.  They picked them up on Sunday night (no complaints about driving an hour to pick them up since they'd get to see baby Luke who's just down the road from Matt & Julie! lol).  Sunday night was the finals of the NBA championship (MAVS WON!!!), but the boys didn't want to go with us to the party with our small group...they wanted to see Kate and Collin!  So, Daddy Steve and Namaw offered to let them ALL spend the night at their house.  They ended up walking to Taco Bueno for dinner (Namaw picked them up and drove them home) and then the 3 big kids all slept in one bed (Kate and Collin were fighting over who got to sleep with they both did!) while Barrett slept in Daddy Steve and Namaw's room.

Monday and Tuesday we spent the mornings playing at Daddy Steve and Namaw's house (while I attempted to work), the afternoons swimming at our house, and the evenings playing at Daddy Steve's.  check out Daddy Steve's blog for more stories and pictures

Wednesday we let the kids play until after lunch and then we headed to the Ft. Worth Children's Museum.  The kids had fun playing doctor....

Going grocery shopping....

Learning about the excavation of natural gas and how power is supplied to the city...

This exhibit was sponsored by XTO Energy (Mike's employer)!  The boys were excited to wear the XTO hard hats.


Barrett wanted to be like Daddy and drink some coffee.  When there weren't mugs available, he pretended to just drink straight out of the carafe!
Next, we went outside to dig for dinosaur bones.  It was sooooo hot out there (100+ degree day), so they tried to just dig in the shaded areas. 
They were worn out when we left the museum and everyone went home for naps.  After dinner it was back to our house to swim and then another big sleepover at Daddy Steve and Namaw's (since it was the last night).

This morning the kids got up early and wanted to swim one more time before Daddy Steve and Namaw took them home.  It's so fun having cousins!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Growing Up

Barrett likes shoes.  He's discovered where I store shoes that are too small for Brody and yet too big for him (in a tub in his closet).  The other day he came out wearing a pair of shoes that were way to big for him.  I told him he couldn't wear he started to pout.  Brody tried to comfort him by saying, "It's ok'll be able to wear them some just have to grow bigger first."

Barrett responded with a voice of despair, "But it takes too long to grow!"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Meeting Luke!

After work, I headed to Flower Mound to pick up Brody from Collin's house.  I stopped by Tyler and Ann's house to pick up some stuff they needed and then went by the hospital to meet my precious nephew, Luke!  They had just gotten him all situated and asleep in the incubator, so I didn't ask to get him out and hold him...I just looked at him through the glass.  He is so precious!  I can't wait until they get to bring him home and I can love on him!

Tyler is so proud of his son.  Ann had been telling me that his dimples don't disappear the entire time he's around Luke...and she's right!  He grinned ear to ear the whole time we were in the NICU!
Ann wasn't feeling so great today.  Her blood pressure is still giving her trouble, so they have on her some medicine that they nickname "menopause in a pill".  Doesn't sound like fun!  Add on top of that the soreness from pushing for an hour...and the incision from her c-section and you can see why she feels like run over dog poo!  I'm praying that some snuggle time with Luke will help lift her spirits and take her mind of her pain.
When I went to pick up Brody...he did not want to leave!  He and Collin had so much fun together.  They played on the slip-n-slide, rode the ATV, explored the barn, played soccer, and so much more!  I was happy to see that they were having so much fun together!  I didn't tell Brody, but they'll get to spend several days together next week when Kate & Collin spend a few days at Daddy Steve and Namaw's house!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Baby 2 is HERE!

Luke Tyler
June 8, 2011
7 lb 4 oz
Because of Ann's preeclampsia, they induced her 3 weeks early for the safety of her and baby Luke.  They started the induction process last night (softening the cervix...which started contractions).  This morning around 9 or 10 am they started the pitocin (she was dilated to a 2).  Around 1:30 I decided to load up our stuff and take the boys to Tyler and Ann's house (which is 5 minutes rather than an hour from the hospital) to hang out until it was closer to time.  I told the boys we'd go swimming in their neighborhood pool and have fun until it was time for baby Luke to be born.  Tyler texted me at 2 pm and said, "She is at an 8 now!"  WHAT!?!?!  I had to call and verify over the phone that he hadn't just hit the wrong number while texting!  I was shocked (and very excited) at how fast her labor was going.  I didn't expect it to be so fast since she was 3 weeks early!  I hurried to get the boys in the car, pick up GG, and then we raced to the hospital.  We made it there just as Ann was starting to push!  She pushed for over an hour (and was really close to pushing him out) when all of the sudden her blood pressure went up and Luke's heart rate started to drop.  They didn't know why and the doctor wanted to make sure everyone was she opted for an emergency c-section. 

Luke Tyler was born at 4:44 pm and Tyler and Ann got to hear his sweet little cry before they rushed him off to the NICU to be evaluated.  His right lung was partially collapsed, but this was easily resolved.  He was put on a little oxygen to aid in his breathing (totally normal for a baby his age) and the doctor said he looked really good!  I couldn't believe how big he was considering he is 3 weeks early!  Imagine how big he'd have been if he was born at 40 weeks!!! 

Tyler was able to see Luke last night in the NICU and took this precious picture....
Mom stayed at the hospital until after the doctor evaluated Luke and she told me that the doctor said Luke is doing great.  It sounds like he may not even have to stay in the NICU the whole time Ann's in the hospital!  YAY! 

Matt brought Collin and Katelyn up to the hospital to see Ann and the boys somehow convinced Matt to let them have a sleepover at his house.  That means I'll have to go back to Flower Mound today to pick up Brody...and go see Tyler, Ann, and Luke ;)  I can't wait to actually see my new nephew in person!  I'm so happy for Tyler and Ann and know they are going to be amazing parents. 

Monday, June 06, 2011

Laney's Newborn Photo Shoot

I had so much fun taking pictures of sweet, little Laney!  She decided to forgo her typical afternoon nap...which meant it took us several hours to get a few pictures.  She wasn't very fond of laying still or falling asleep.  This meant we didn't get all the "diaper free" pictures that we wanted....but I think we still got some precious ones!  Take a look....

And here are a few extra pictures....just for fun :)

Laney on Jayden's toy chest with a quilt made by her great-great-great grandmother.
On a quilt made by her great-aunt Cherie...


Holding Laney!!!

On Saturday (after Collin's birthday party and Noah Roach's birthday party), we drove to Abilene to visit Laney (umm....I mean Mark, Angela, Jayden, Grammy, and Laney).  They boys were tired and slept the whole drive there, so they were in disbelief when they woke up to find that they were already in Abilene and were seconds away from meeting their new cousin!  Brody is probably the one who was the most excited to get to hold baby Laney.  I know...hard to believe that anyone would be more excited than me...but he's been waiting to hold a new baby for 9 months and that seemed much longer to him than it did to me!  He held her quite a bit this weekend.  Sometimes he'd come in from playing baseball outside just to hold his new little cousin.  It was super sweet to watch!
Barrett was also excited to hold Laney.  He required quite a bit more supervision while he held her.  It's hard to tell in these pictures, but she is TINY!!!!  She's just over 6 lbs and with her little features she is so much fun to just sit and watch.  She's gorgeous!
It wasn't all about babies this weekend.  There was LOTS of time to play ball in Mark and Angela's backyard.  They just moved into their first house and it was so much fun getting to see it and getting to stay with them for a change!  I know we'll get to spend quite a few weekends in Abilene in the years to come...and these boys love their cousin time!

One thing I remember about my days at ACU were the sunsets.  West Texas has some of the most beautiful sunsets!  This one was just beginning....
It was hot outside and the boys had fun playing in the sprinklers and then rolling in the grass....meaning baths were definitely in order!  Can you tell which boys have been swimming a lot already this summer?!?  Jayden looks just a little white next to Brody and Barrett! lol
There was also lots of time for reading.  Before naps on Sunday the boys cuddled up with Grammy on the couch to read a few books.

Don't worry...I got to hold Laney too ;)  I think pink looks good on me...don't you?!?

Stay tuned for pictures from the photo shoot I did of baby Laney!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Silly Boys

Today we celebrated Collin's 5th birthday (are they really about to be FIVE?!?!?)  I've said it before and I'll say it again...these cousins LOVE each other!  However, if you think for a second that they were willing to stop and give me a serious, smiling're wrong!  They hadn't even had cake it wasn't a sugar high.  I'll call it a cousin high...

Happy Birthday Collin!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Ann on Bedrest

Today Audria and I drove to Flower Mound to visit Ann.  Since she's on bedrest (in other words...she can't go to the park, the pool, or even the mailbox), I asked Anna to watch the boys for me so that we could have one last day of sister time before the babies arrive!  It was so much fun to spend the afternoon together talking....
lol!  No...we didn't really spend all afternoon on our phones, but I did find it humorous when I looked up to see both Ann and Audria texting on their phones!  So of course, I pulled out my phone and set up the camera for a photo op!

Tyler and Ann have Luke's room ready for him to come home to next week!  I can't believe that she's being induced on Wednesday!  We've been talking about this day for so long....and now it's finally here!  I can't wait to see baby Luke in the beautiful room that Tyler and Ann have decorated for him.

We had a wonderful day together.  I love my brothers dearly....but I'm so thankful that I have sisters!!! 
(Photography tip:  To make yourself look super skinny....pose with two women who are 9 months pregnant!  Just be careful.  No matter how skinny you think you are, the back of the couch is not very wide...and it is possible to fall off and land flat on your back!)