Sunday, August 31, 2008

Seton Home

Our Young Married Class that meets Sunday mornings has started something really neat! We had a desire to get more involved in the community so we are trying to plan a service project every month to reach out to others as well as get to know each other better. Yesterday we organized and participated in a service project at the Seton Home in San Antonio. The Seton Home's mission statement is:

"Seton Home exists to provide a nurturing environment that fosters childbirth and proper parenting skills for homeless teens that are pregnant and/or parenting and have chosen to keep their babies. "

It's a pretty amazing facility and I'm hoping to let more people in San Antonio know about it. They are always accepting donations - clothes, baby stuff, etc. but also $ to help pay for the campus and girls who live there. Please check out their website for more info:

http://www.setonhomesa.org/

We had close to 24 adults and 5 kiddos so it was a great turn out! We helped paint, move some girls into different rooms, move donations and organize their library. It was a great project and I believe we were very helpful. I'm hoping to go back within the year to serve again. Just call the number on the website if you're interested in volunteering!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WAS ABLE TO BE THERE!!!
Carrie Williams, Lezlee Zorn, Shelly Davenport, Ann Anderson, Erin Schmidt,
Cassidy Davenport, Julie Rutland and Me!
Here's a group picture minus a few who had to leave a little early!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Girl Bed Update and Celebration

A week ago today I was desperate to find a solution for Claire's big girl bed transition. It had been probably one of the hardest weeks around here so I searched online for some suggestions. I wanted to set up a reward system for her since she took so well to treats for potty training. That afternoon we went out and I had Claire choose her own calendar, stickers and draw a picture of a bowl of ice cream. We posted everything on the back of her bedroom door and I explained to her that every time she went to bed and stayed in her bed, she would get a sticker for her calendar. Once she earned 5 stickers we would make a special trip to get ice cream - her very own cup!! She has never had her own before so I figured it'd be something HUGE for her. Well, she did it - she earned her fifth one today and it took a week... it's been a tough transition but it's gone from 10 times of putting her back to bed to maybe 2-3. There is MUCH improvement and a little more sleep in our household!! So Claire's big celebration was tonight at Culver's and she LOVED it! She took the tiniest bites so it took forever but I think she was trying to savor the moment! Of course I captured the moments!



Here's the setup!

I plan to post a picture of her eating ice cream sometime soon for more motivation!

She asked us to take this one
"Look mom! I got my own cup!"
Taking tiny bites
Claire took such a long time eating her ice cream that a lot melted.

She got to drink the last part and got this lovely moustache!
"Aren't I cute mom?"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Firsts

Well, today was a many of firsts for our household! Neil had his first day back with students in his new chair position, I had my first day back to work to recruit students and get my schedule going and Claire had her first day of MDO! We had a great day and when we asked Claire where she wanted to go for dinner she requested her favorite food "taco". So it was off to Taco Cabana to celebrate!

Claire will be going to MDO on Mondays while I'm at work. I can't believe how great she this morning! When I dropped her off she ran straight to the toys the teacher was playing with on the ground and didn't look back. She did manage to give me a quick kiss before I slipped out the door but it didn't seem to phase her whatsoever. I'm so glad because it made it that much easier to leave her knowing she was comfortable and excited to be there! This is a new MDO program for her that is super close to home and she only has 5 kids in her class. Neil will be dropping her off and picking her up so it's convenient for him as well.

Here is Claire on her first day last year - Oct. 2007
And here is Claire this morning!! They change so fast!
This is my favorite - look at that foot posing!
After school, she couldn't wait to tell us about how Ms. Irma rubbed her back for nap time (she spoiled her!), how she went potty herself and she made friends with a Sarah and we think it was Yvonne? She said there were only girls in there but I know there was at least one little boy. When I asked if Trevor was a boy she said "no - a girl" - kinda funny! Here she is posing with her at home "friends" before dinner. She requested to take this picture!

Oh, you are growing up SO fast Claire Elise!! Almost 2 1/2 - where has the time gone?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Swim lessons

First of all, THANK YOU THANK YOU Erin and Eric for picking up Claire to give me a little break! I've had a really hard week with my moody, sleepy, independent girl and I'm so glad we planned this trip out to Sea World! I know she's going to have so much fun with yall

OK - now that I have some time... Claire finished up her last swim lesson this week at Love To Swim School and I just realized I hadn't written about it all summer! Last year Claire was TERRIFIED of water. She wouldn't even put her toes in without tears so I really wanted to do lessons to get her more used to and comfortable in the water. Well, she loved it! It was a mommy and me class with the most of 6 pairs but some days it was 4 or even 2 so it was more one on one. Claire loved Coach Don even though he made us submerge them the very first day (beginning of June). She got to where she would protest when she'd hear the song but after I brought her out of the water she was fine. She'd shake her finger at me with a real serious look saying "no more". Over all she did great and was getting used to going under! Her favorite was scaling the wall by herself while we sang itsy-bitsy spider. She also loved the bubble blowing song and got to be a bubble blowing pro! We will probably do the next level of mommy and me class next spring and then she can take lessons on her own after she turns 3 - that's a little scary for me! Anyway, I'd recommend the school to anyone who is looking for a good place to go. Here are some pics :


Claire last year with "Aunt Heather" hating the water!


Look at her now!! All smiles while scaling the wall by herself!

Blowing bubbles with mommy



Proud Claire-Bear showing off her end of the session ribbon


I'm so proud of you Claire!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

4th dr. appointment

We had out 4th appt. today and it went well! My blood pressure is better than ever, I hadn't gained as much as I felt I had (always a nice surprise!), I'm still measuring right on my due date and the baby's heart beat was in the 150's - nice and strong! We took Claire with us since we knew it would be a quick appt. and she was SOOO excited to hear baby sister's heartbeat. She was telling everyone in the waiting room as well as her stuff SS character "Cookie". After she heard it she got this huge grin and kept saying "Again?" She'll just have to wait till next time!

I'm feeling good - 21 weeks and 2 days. My worst pregnancy symptom is still my heartburn which is worse than with Claire. I've also been having a hard time getting a full night's rest. Thanks to my brother Mike who gave me a Snoogle (pregnancy pillow) when I was pregnant with Claire, it's been a little better this week. I haven't been taking many pictures because I think I look huge but I still want to document things for baby girl 2. I've already started my pregnancy scrapbook and need belly pics for it. Here is one from yesterday:





Here is Claire doing her favorite thing right now - rubbing lotion on my tummy! She has to do it at least once a day while she talks to the baby and gives her kisses and hugs. It's the sweetest thing ever! She's going to be a great big sister!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Let the kicking begin

Last night Neil finally got to feel the baby! I've been so excited for this moment. I felt her at 16 w 3 d and Neil felt her right at 21 weeks. Just one more step closer for daddy being more connected with her... it's such a blessing. We love you so much baby girl!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Tribute to SuperNanny!

Just when you think you have things figured out, your world gets a little readjusted and humbled!! We've had many instances where this has happened in our household and thanks to Jo Frost aka. SuperNanny we've kept order and sanity in our household!

We used to watch it a lot before Claire was born and I'm so glad because a lot of her techniques have been useful in our house. We modeled our time out process from her, learned that kids like order and predictability, get on the kids physical height when talking to them about something important and the latest one is bedtime procedure.... this is what's been going on in our house since Friday night....

For those who don't know, Claire has always been pretty easy to put down for bed and nap. She has always slept in her own bed (it's across the hall) and has always put herself to sleep. I can't remember when the last time was that she fell asleep with me holding her. So I thought she'd be just fine adjusting to her big girl bed (especially after doing great on a mattress on the floor for a week and a half). Well - I was wrong!!

Friday night Claire had a tough time going to bed. She has been using delay tactics like "I need to go potty" when she already was given the last chance warning. Well, we decided we just needed to let her know that we were serious about that last chance and stick to our guns!! She eventually fell asleep with screaming and crying we've never heard before bedtime. I knew it was going to be a rough night. It tends to be if she has any trouble falling asleep on her own.

So....we were up from 12:45 p.m. - 3:45 a.m. because Claire just didn't want to stay in her bed. We knew we had to be consistent so we weren't making any bad habits even though we wanted to take the easy road. The funny thing was she was never crying or leaving her room but would just come open her door and say "mommy" or "daddy". So we would go pick her up and put her in her bed over and over again without saying anything to her or even looking at her (this is a Jo Frost technique when breaking kids of this habit). Well, it's worked and most importantly there wasn't any crying or yelling so even though we were exhausted, we weren't raising the stress level or making it a power struggle more than it was. Since then she has done better but for every nap or night time, we've had to use this technique at least once but it hasn't been as bad as the first night and seemed to lessen each night.

Anyway, just wanted to share what we are dealing with. I think she has realized she can physically get out of her bed and open the door and it just testing us. Well, we will trudge on and get her on a regular sleeping schedule once again! So thank you SuperNanny for having a show where parents can learn practical child rearing tips. Cheers to Jo and Bristish TV coming to the states!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

10 Year Reunion

We went to my 10 year reunion last Saturday and we surprisingly had a great time! We knew it would be fun but we enjoyed ourselves even more than expected! They did a great job planning and getting sponsers so we didn't have to pay too much a ticket. It was at Floores Country Store out in Helotes - an old stoppin' ground for many. We had a yummy nacho bar, fruit and cheesecake bites and the most attractive offer all night -open bar! Of course I was unable to partake but I think that's why we had about 250 come and so many were there right when it started at 8 p.m.

I got to see a lot of familiar faces and catch up with many as well as hang out with the normal crew. One thing that amazed me was how many people touched my tummy without hesitation! It certainly didn't bother me but I don't think I've touched anyone's prego tummy except my close friends and that was with them taking my hand or me asking! It just surprised me =) It was a huge relief not to have to worry about losing weight for my reunion since that is usually something people try to do to "look their best". Plus no one can look twice at the prego who goes to the nacho bar twice - well, I actually got Neil to do it for me!

Here are some pics from the event:


Johnny G, Crystal and Clinton Haby


Andy and Me - congrats on the baby announcement! Can't wait till April!


The Choir crew - there were 10 of us but 6 of us were there for the evening! Crystal, Danielle, Jenny, Christina, Me and Kate - just like old times




Neil and I


The hubbies - Danny, Manny and my dashing man



Ronnie, Aubrey and Jenny



Kate and James


Janet, Ashleigh and Kim



Kristi, Me and Kate


Me, Kate and Kristi at Project Graduation - May 1998!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

2 and 5 months going on 13

Claire has started something new this week - attitude... and I can just see those teen years now. I know she is responding to me when I use an irritated tone with her which is making me more aware of how I speak to her.

"Claire get over here NOW!" (after I've asked 5 times)
and Claire responds with the longest "Okaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy" that I've heard come from a 2 year old's mouth.

I can't believe it's started this early!

Big Girl Bed!

YEAH!! Claire's bed, trundle and dresser with mirror came today from Rooms To Go and I'm SO excited! She's actually taking her nap right now and I haven't heard a peep. The bed rail I got was a little tricky but I feel she'll be safe for now. I took a few pics but with moving the computer, it won't read my memory chip for pictures - darn! I'll post them with this entry as soon as Neil takes a look at it. I don't have everything set up yet as far as her walls and bedding but we'll be getting there soon! As soon as Claire saw the bed she gasped and yelled "big girl bed!" I wish I would've gotten it on video - it was priceless

Here are the pics. Not great quality but it'll have to do! Claire was being silly on the bed in the second one




Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chaos

I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post! Well, it's been utter chaos at our household and we've been without internet since Tuesday so I've been using our parents computers when I can. Not just internet but without table, bed, etc! About 4 months ago Neil's parents gave us their carpet (they were getting wood floors put in) and we FINALLY got it installed in the girls' bedrooms - that sounds so weird! Anyway, it looks so much better since I think that carpet was at least 20 years old and the cheapest you could probably buy back then.

We've started the transition of Claire to her new big girl room with her big girl bed and furniture so that we are only moving furniture once - the timing did work out for the best. Claire will move into the office, the office will move to our room and the baby will be in the already pink nursery. I'm SO excited to get things settled! We had carpets cleaned yesterday so we have to wait till Sunday to start moving things back. It was like moving without actually moving - I don't look forward to that day! Claire's bed comes Wednesday and she's super excited! The past few days she's been sleeping on a mattress on the floor as well as sleeping in my old bed at my parents' house for naps so she's been getting used to the idea. She hasn't had any problems with the newness of it all so hopefully that won't change when we get her in her bed Wed. night!

For those who have been asking, we don't have a name yet! We still like Juile and Julia but we've added Eden to our list too. We have a few names for middle names: Joy, Grace, Noel - We have plenty of time and we didn't decide on Claire till about 32 weeks along =) No rush on such an important decision... especially when we don't agree on too many names!

I have my 10 year reunion tonight. It's so weird to think I've actually been out of HS for 10 years but especially how much my life has changed since then. I'm such a different person and I'm excited to see others who have had a lot happen in their lives too!