Saturday, January 23, 2010

Date Night

One of our biggest words of wisdom to new parents is to DATE, DATE, DATE!

So what do you get when you add cheap, greasy pizza....
with some old school video game playing?

A college date night =) Neil and I are very protective of our time together in the evenings and he had the best idea! Get out the old nintendo to play Super Mario Brothers and order in pizza. What a fun date night we had! I couldn't believe how many things we remembered - our extra men, mushrooms, flower power, warp zones, etc. And who beat it? My one and only! I got to level 8 on my first man but never quite got all the way =(

I know that a lot of us parents have a hard time getting out but you can have a date right at home! I challenge you all to have a date in or date out this week to spend time together. Rent a movie, eat some popcorn, play a video game or board game, pay someone an hour of babysitting to get some coffee or dessert somewhere or do a babysitting swap with friends so you can have a real night out (this is our favorite thanks to Stef and Joe David). All the planning will be worth it and you'll look forward to it all week long!

Happy Dating!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Convos with Claire

A few light bulbs have gone off in Claire's head the past couple of weeks. I have two to share!

A couple weeks ago Claire was riding around with Billy and I and she saw someone smoking in the car next to us. This was the conversation:

Claire: "Mom, that lady's smoking. That's dangerous"
Me: "Yes, it is. It could make you sick."
Claire: "We should tell her mom!"
Me: "Oh honey... she already knows that she could get sick."
Claire: audible gasp - "What? She still does it? Why?"
Billy: "Sometimes people do things that they know are bad for them."

Claire was so confused by this. What a sweetie being so concerned for people. Just this week after just meeting a man, she randomly told him "I have to tell you something" which of course made me nervous because I didn't know what she was going to say! He asked "What?" and she said, "Smoking is bad for you." After finding out that he smokes himself, I was embarrassed but he quickly said "You know what? I think you were supposed to tell me that today because I've been trying to quite." Hopefully an almost 4 year old gave him something to think about! =)

The next convo was just this morning. We were on our way to drop her off at school and a song came on K-LOVE talking about someone coping with losing a loved one.

Claire: "Is this guy sad?"
Me: "Yes. He's singing about someone he loved that passed away."
Claire: "But they're in heaven?"
Me: "Yes. He's saying they are in heaven and he'll see them again soon."
Claire: "But Jesus is there! We shouldn't be sad."
Wow - she made me smile
Me: "That's right! We can be happy because they are with Jesus but it is still hard to say goodbye to someone you love."

Of course tonight before bed she was such a big girl and asked "Can we talk?" She asked to talk more about Jesus. Long story short she wanted to take her purse and turtle to heaven with her because she would miss them! I tried to explain that they were just things and we can't take anything to heaven with us. She wasn't too sure about this and was convinced that she would need them there because there aren't any toys in heaven =)

Tough things to realize and think of as a little girl but I'm so glad she is learning and asking questions. She's always wanted to know more and more and I pray she never stops asking questions and learning about everything around her.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we went to the MLK March and taught our girls about a great man who stood for equality, love, justice, peacemaking, having tender hearts. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man that I often heard about at school and couldn't wait to have a holiday but as an adult, this holiday has become so much more. I love this quote:

"Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated." MLK

Isn't that so true? We fear what we don't know and what we often times imagine or create for ourselves. I pray that our girls can learn to love everyone no matter who they are, what they believe, what they look like, what they do. I know we've come a long way but we still witness hatred, prejudice, injustice all over the world and the sad thing about it? We just let it pass us by because it's not personally affecting us.

So yes, today we celebrate this man of history but EVERY DAY we celebrate the greatest man who came to this earth to teach us about loving our enemies, unity, equality, forgiveness. Jesus taught us those things thousands of years ago and we are still struggling with it today. It breaks my heart to see us still struggling with prejudice in so many different ways when we should all be looking out and reaching out to each other. Showing God's love to everyone around us. Get past our fears and our bias. Jesus was a radical. He spoke against what was being done and the legalism that had been created. Thank God He is our ultimate example of how we should live our lives. I think we need to be a little more radical with our love sometimes =)

So here are the pics from today. There were SO many people. SA has always had one of the largest, if not THE largest MLK marches in the U.S. They were expecting 100,000 people!

Eden loved Claire's heart necklace

Us sporting our alma matars!

Eden was a little confused by all the people but once we started moving and she got a snack, all was good with the world!
Claire loving her look out spot
There were a ton of groups with shirts and banners marching together. Here is HEB's group - they were one of the largest that we saw. We stopped about half way and just watched everyone pass by before we walked back to our car. So glad we stopped to see everything. It was even more of a parade that way!
(Northside peeps, I'd love to get a group together for next year!)
The girl's loved the horses. They had the Sam Houston HS band playing too which was Claire's favorite part. Eden's favorite was all the little dogs in sweaters! It was pretty funny =)
Didn't get a pic of the girls outside with their matching shirts because it was too cold to take of their layers. So here are the shots of the evening! I bought these shirts a few months ago and they were perfect for today. They say "Dream" on them!
Can't wait for next year!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Officially Weaned

My baby girl is officially weaned - almost 14 months. This morning was such a memorable time together. Neil took Claire out to take Billy to work so it was just me and the girl. A quiet house (rare). She held so tightly to my shirt and got sleepy eyes even though she slept late. I'm feeling mixed emotions because as most of you have know, nursing hasn't been the easiest job in the world. With Eden not taking a bottle, I was pretty much it and that was really demanding. So I was ready to be done but today is a true marker of our baby growing up. I'm so blessed to have been able to share this special time with Eden for as long as I did. Tomorrow will be an interesting morning... we'll see how she reacts to Neil going in with her cup of milk instead of mommy.

On the note of growing up, she pretty much walked everywhere the past two days, started blowing kisses, getting her 4th tooth, putting the phone to her ear, putting bows and headbands to her head, getting curls in her hair and started saying "uh-oh" right before I put her to bed. Where does the time go?

A messy nose but the sweetest smile and bluest eyes =) - Excuse the mess on the table! I'm going through the next size and season of cloths from Claire's old stuff.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting back in the swing of things

Wow - this week has been incredibly taxing. It just hurts my heart to see my girls not feel well. Through it all I did enjoy my time to console and cuddle by sweet ones. I don't get to do it very often now that they are so on the go and ready to do this and that. A little down time at home was good for us all.

On that note, I'm so ready to be out and about! The weather is beautiful today and can't wait to get outside after the girl's followup appointments this afternoon. After Eden running super high fevers over the weekend she is getting back to her old self except for the nasty nose. I had to stay home yesterday from work again but got some one on one time with Eden because Claire could go to school! Yeah! Claire also had her first swim lesson today which was great for us to go out and feel human again. Here she is so excited and loving her new swimsuit which by the way, was really hard to find in January! (Old Navy)

And here are some pics from the past week at home.

I don't catch her in this position very often so we had to capture it. She looks so sweet all curled up and quiet! She does "quiet time" now and often falls asleep on her own accord. This has worked out great for us.
Pajama Day!!
Claire asked me to take this yesterday when she was on her way out to school!
My baby girl doing her treatment last night. We are weaning them off so Claire will only have one tonight and Eden is getting two today (they both started with 4 a day). She did better than I thought and I think she enjoys the sitting on our lap, cuddle time.
So sweet - Eden was "petting" Claire last night when Claire just had to be on daddy's lap too.
Hope you all are staying warm and well! We are out and about but still want to be careful not to catch anything else this season! I'm done with all the sickness!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I am blessed

Have you heard the song "I am Blessed" by Martina McBride? It's awesome and it's been running through my head all day today. It was a huge song for Neil and I when we were dating and we even put it on our wedding CD that we gave to our wedding party. Well.... I am. I'm SO blessed. 8 years ago today Neil and I took a risk on love with each other's best friend not knowing where it would lead. Here we are today with two girls and such a blessed, full life. We love celebrating our dating anniversary every year and remembering what a crazy start we had! If you're interested, you can read my entry from one year ago today for a good story =)

I love you Neil with all my heart!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It'll melt your heart

(Sickness update: Claire has RSV and an ear infection and Eden now has RSV too! It was pretty much inevitable she'd get it. So each girl gets 4 nebulizer treatments a day. Lots of time and way too much TV but you do what you gotta do!)

Wow... my girls have shown me such amazing displays of love for each other the past couple of days. It's overwhelming! How have we been so blessed by these two? Here you go... I'm telling you, it'll melt your heart =)

-While Claire was in the dr. office getting her first nebulizer treatment, I was sitting next to her with Eden on my lap. Eden leaned over and started stroking Claire's hair as if to tell her "It's all right".... it was the SWEETEST... and then, she leaned over more and gave her a few kisses on her head. I was teary.

-That night, we were really trying to keep Eden healthy so telling Claire to be careful not to cough on her or really be near her. She of course had a hard time and would ask "Can I just kiss her in the back of the head?" She just couldn't help herself =)

-The next day I told Claire we were going to have to take Eden to the doctor because I thought she was sick. Claire got all teary and with a cracked voice she said "I got her sick?" I hugged her so tight and we both cried. I told her it was ok and that it wasn't her fault. That sad face will forever be in my memory...

-Later that night we asked Claire "Why are you so sweet?" and she said with a shrug "I just love people, Mama." Whew... are we lucky or what?

So today was a pajama day and considering all that we were dealing with, we had a great day together! Here are some videos you don't want to miss. Eden's walking more everyday but you especially want to watch the Peek-a-boo video! It's my favorite!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bringing in the New Year with RSV

With the New Year, we've unfortunately invited RSV into our home =( Claire was just diagnosed today after a trip to see Dr. Gulde. He heard crackling on her bottom right lung and then after a nebulizer treatment, he heard it in both lungs so it was off to the hospital for a chest X-ray and an RSV test. Thankfully it's not pneumonia. Our challenge is now to make sure Eden doesn't get it because it would be that much harder on her. Claire was amazing during the whole thing but it might have been the promise of a Sonic grilled cheese and tots!

She had a lingering cough for about three weeks but it got really bad starting Friday. Saturday night she coughed so hard and so much she threw up all over her bed - poor thing and yuck! She really didn't have a fever. 99.2 after she threw up but nothing other than that. Fortunately, the throwing up kept us from taking her to church Sunday morning and lifegroup Sunday night. She really hasn't been around anyone for a long time so hoping she didn't expose anyone else to it.

Hope your New Year is off to a better start!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Eve

Just realized I didn't write about our NYE and I wanted to remember it because we actually stayed up till midnight - WHOO HOO! We haven't done that for years!

Neil and I have a little tradition of saving all our change throughout the year, turn it into a change machine and use that money for our NYE dinner. Well, we had to dig into our change bowl a lot this year so we had a whopping $15 but along with a gift card we decided to go all out! The Melting Pot - my favorite! We love going out to a nice dinner just the two of us and talk about what the year was like, what we pray for the next year, what we see happening, etc. It's a great tradition but sometimes a little hard to get a babysitter so we do it on a night CLOSE to NYE =) We went out Wed. night

Thursday was a nice family day at home. Claire had her friend Abbey come over in the afternoon to play and we made a yummy dinner. Burgers with grilled onions and mushrooms, roasted herb potatoes, Texas Caviar with chips and mac and cheese for the kiddos. It was so fun to cook and be together in the kitchen while Claire was occupied with a friend! We kept Claire and Eden up, changed them into their PJ's and packed them into the car to go see the Sea World fireworks at 8 p.m. We stayed in the car because it was super cold and watched from a perfect spot. Claire loved them, Eden fell asleep =) It was wonderful to share the fireworks together and hear Claire exclaim from the back seat. I love this age! So it was back home for the kids to get to bed, we watched The Family Stone, drank a little wine, watched a NY music program on PBS and drank a little more wine. By the time it was 11:15 p.m. I was ready for bed and didn't think I could make it but with all the getting ready and closing up everything, it was 11:45 so we stayed awake for our New Year's kiss.

2009 proved to be one of the most challenging years of our family's life together but it was wonderful and we have been blessed beyond belief. I thank God for the strength He has given us and for the promise of His indescribable peace and grace we experience on a daily basis. I pray 2010 is our best yet with the growth He has planned for us... no matter what that means will be brought our way...