2 weeks!?

2 days old...
1 week old...

and can it really be that Corbin has been in the big old world for 2 whole weeks!?

who told him he could change so much already?
it was probably his Daddy, he's always giving them permission to get big!
despite our new barfing-once-daily trick, he's a DREAM of a baby! He sleeps well at night and is alert during the day and he's OH-SO-CUTE!
He looks JUST like his big sisters did at his age.

which is, of course, ADORABLE! I'm not sure how we keep having these little clones, but I don't mind. We have some cute babies, for sure! I'm still not tired of all this blue and brown. Little man clothes are just too sweet. We've been reading Wild at Heart and Bringing up Boys. We love both of the books and if you have a boy, (or a husband in the case of Wild at Heart), you should read them.
Things here are business as usual now. Rhiya went home on Saturday and we all cried. Allan is back to work today and I haven't cried YET today, but it's a matter of time, I'm sure. Probably about the time I have all 3 kids at the hospital to get Corbin his 2-week PKU test. Violet will run down the hallway as I'm lugging a gigantic carseat and I'll start bleeding again while I'm sweating like a dog because my hormones are raging and GraceAnne will try to be helpful and get her, but about the time she runs down the hall after Vi, Vi will giggle and run away and it will become a game to GraceAnne, too, because WHO can resist a giggly Vi? Nice run-on sentence, but if you say it real fast and frantically, you might understand how I'll feel about that moment. HAHA!
It's naptime. If I'm smart I'll lay down with the little ones, but if I'm dumb, (and I probably am), I'll try to get some dishes and laundry done, (I mentioned the barfing trick, right? I have no pillows or jammies now). Maybe I'll do a little of both. Hope ya'll are having a great week after Christmas and that the holiday was all it was meant to be :) We love and miss you!


Who was dreaming of a white Christmas?

Was it these pretty little girls? Possibly...
Was it this lady who moved so far away from the "Great White North?" Yeah...maybe secretly I prayed for a little snow...
Was it this beautiful hubby who wishes so much he could be back in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin or maybe even sometimes *gasp!* Alaska?? Most definitely!!

Regardless of who asked for it...it came! Where I come from this is called a light dusting, but down here it's a real big deal.

It started yesterday afternoon while we were shopping in Waxahachie. It was raining and we were waiting to go through a really congested light and Allan asked, "is it SNOWING?!" Sure enough, it had started. Let's call it a "wintery mix."
The whole car was abuzz and we all prayed that it would get colder so A) the rain would stop and B) the snow would stick. Sure enough, it got REAL cold. Way too cold for the thin jackets everyone was wearing because it was about 40 when we left the house! But the snow got heavier and clumpier and it looked like someone shook up our little snow globe!

It continued off and on most of the night and we woke up to the pictures you see here. It's about 10am now and where the sun touches the snow has melted, but darnit, we woke up to snow! God has so Blessed us this year with the weather. There have been days it's felt more like spring, but mostly it's been pretty cold and now we got to see snow right here in our little corner of the earth. God is so great!
I'm headed off here, but I wanted to quick say I hope you all have a VERY merry Christmas and that all God's goodness and mercy are obvious this year. I pray the spirit of Christmas follows you all year and causes you to feel renewed passion for Christ's birth and death and all the gifts we truly are Blessed with, even when life is uncomfortable. Merry Christmas to all, we love and miss you!!


Push Present

Ever heard of one of those? The ridiculousness started when I was pregnant with Violet and read on one of those silly little BabyCenter birth boards that people get "push presents" from their husbands. As if the baby isn't enough of a present??? Anyway, it's been a running joke now that I should get push presents. Now...I have one.

YAY!! The 2nd day we had Corbin home I had a nervous breakdown in the car because Violet was wanting to touch him and I can't keep her from doing it when I'm driving. Allan said, "let's sell all our vehicles and get a van." I can deal with that. It's not new, it's an '01 Dodge Caravan, but it only has 93k miles on it. It doesn't have all the fancy accessories, but it's BIG and that's what I needed. I still have to figure out precisely how to situate the kids in there, but so far we all like it. Rhiya likes it most, because she was sitting with us in the front, in the middle of me and Allan.

So...maybe the trick is to harrass your husband for a couple years about a push present and then you'll get one ;)


Photo Dump

I'll write a few words about each of these pictures, but I'm still pretty tired, so it'll be brief. Just wanted to share some things I hadn't posted yet. Above is all the girls playing a game on the computer. I love how well they love each other!

Here is us at church this morning. Everyone thinks I'm nuts for getting out so soon, but they don't realize they're the only family we've got down here. If we lived in WI we'd be at my mom's. If we lived in FL we'd be with his family. We live in TX, so we visit our church family. I didn't let many people touch Corbin, though...I don't need to bring any illness into the house right now!
We gave him his first bath last night. He did NOT like it one bit and I must say it stressed me out, too. I've never had a winter baby.

Daddy is proud of his son! He's such a great dad :)

Violet loves to climb into that cabinet. It's the only cabinet we haven't child proofed and we put little toys in there for her to play with. She likes to hide stuff in there...like her string cheese and sippy cups. Ew.

Saturday the girls made pancakes from the recipe on the back of one of GraceAnne's Curious George books. GraceAnne has made them several times with Allan now, but she loved doing it with Rhiya. They even made shapes...smiley faces, hearts and snowmen!
Here they all are after they got back from the airport. Rhiya's flight was delayed 1.5 hours. Allan had a lot of fun waiting in the car with two over-tired and hyper little girls. I stayed home and rested with Corbin. It was nice for me, at least!

It's just cute, there's no explanation.

This boy has already found his thumb a few times. It's not a habit yet, but I wonder if we'll have 2 thumb suckers. He is an awful lot like Violet was as a baby.

Bethlehem Revisited: this would be the Holy family.

A centurian. The whole place is decked out like Bethlehem and everyone is dressed in the clothing of the time. They even speak like they used to. "Have you heard? A king is born in the city of David...let us worship Him!"
Here is a market. They wanted me to purchase that goat for 12 shekels.

Okay, excuse me looking like crap...it was EARLY in the morning. He's wearing one of my favorite sleepers...it has the recycle logo and trees that say "Hug Me" and windmills all over it. My friend Andrea got it for him and it's PERFECT! I had to have him wear it that day because it was a size newborn and he's already outgrown it. This kid is gonna be big!

This is from last Friday. GraceAnne decorated a gingerbread house with her class. We helped. Well, *I* helped. Violet snatched candy as her sister walked away to get more stuff to add to her house.
She's so hard at work!

Check out my little man in his Sunday best! He looked so darned handsome at church today. I wish I could afford to dress him like that every day!

There you have it...our week in 20 seconds or less. Tonight we're having turkey and roasted baby bakers and inviting Jesus to eat with us. How does that work? I'm not sure, I think we'll just pretend He's at the table and talk to Him and act as if He's really here. Maybe it should be a nightly ritual? Seems like we could all use a little more Jesus in our lives, especially during this season of giving. Love and hugs to you all!


8lbs 15oz

Please excuse that these are all out of order. I'm too tired to fix it...Above is us, back at home, GraceAnne getting to hold her brother for the first time.
Violet has been running around the house yelling, "A BABY!" all day. She says he's "soft." I'd have to agree. :)

We already had to take the newborn pad out of that seat...he's too big!

Last picture of me pregnant with Corbin.
We are so pleased to announce that today we welcomed our son into the world! His name is Corbin Grant and he is 8lbs 15oz and 19" long. The biggest, (and shortest), of them all!

In the above picture is our doula, who was also our HypnoBirth instructor. She was an angel and really helped the experience go smoothly.

Birth story in a nutshell...last night I started having real contractions so I figured it'd be a long night. We went to Target and Bethlehem Revisited, (pictures to come when I'm not so tired!) and came home. I called the doula to put her on alert, (she lives an hour away) and took a bath. Ended up listening to my Hypnobirthing cd and got a little rest. I woke up around 1am and was fairly sure I wasn't going back to sleep. I breathed through as much as I could on my own and woke Allan about 2:30. I called the doula around 3:30. She got there around 5am. Our sitter, (THANK YOU, ANDREA!!! You're a lifesaver!!) came around 4:30. We stuck it out at the house until 6am and I said we NEEDED to go to the hospital. Primarily I just wanted to be sure his heart rate was good and all was well.

On a funny note, I was definitely at the end of dilating when we transported me downstairs and
so there was a lot of stopping to moan through a contraction, where I was bearing down. Violet had woken up by this point and Andrea said that after I left Violet was walking down the stairs moaning like I did. That gave us all a good laugh!
We got to the hospital and when I walked in I yelled for someone. I was shouting orders at everyone, (as nicely as I could), and there were jokes made about me forever being in control. They asked how far apart the contractions were and I said, "I'm telling you, this baby is coming NOW!" The guy must not have believed me, because he looked at the doula and she said, "yeah...the baby is coming now." So we got in our room and it turned out our 2 nurses were the ones who have been working with me on my birth plan and getting everything in order for me, so they were PERFECT! They knew exactly what I wanted and never once tried to stray or even second-guess me. We were "complete with a bulging bag of waters." After a couple more contractions my water broke spontaneously and after 4 pushes he was here!

All is perfect with him, he's been asleep most of the day and is nursing well. He's not quite the pig his sisters were yet, but we'll get there. I was released after 5 hours and got to come home to my babies. I cannot WAIT until Friday when Rhiya is here. Then we'll be complete again!
The girls got presents from their brother. Violet got a boy baby doll which she's been carrying around all day and trying to get me to trade for the real baby. GraceAnne got a newborn pony set.

Here's Vi checking her brother out.

I really have to thank some people here, so bear with me. Thanks goes to God, first! I prayed for this child for 6 years and here he is! We got 2 perfect girls in the meantime, too, and I'm continually amazed at how well He provides for us and gives us even better than we'd have for ourselves!

Allan is next, because he is and always has been the PERFECT birth partner. He's gentle and calm and loving and he makes the best daddy. I couldn't have done any of it last night without him.

Then there's Andrea, who came in the middle of the night and gave up her Sunday with her family to take care of my girls. I am so Blessed to have such wonderful friends!

And of course, our doula! Hypnobirthing really helped me get through this without fear. I told Allan when we started if I could manage to make it through without fear, (I knew the pain would still be there, mostly, though that was much easier to deal with, as well!), I would be happy and my prayers would be answered. God sent us an angel in Cheryl. We all bonded so well during that class and I am so thrilled she attended our birth.

And then all my family and friends who have been so excited to share our news today. Thank you ALL! I love you and miss you all tremendously and I hope you all get to see our son in person, soon. I miss you, Mommy!

We'll be posting more in the coming days. Love to you from all us Doyles! lol


Christmas Angels!

I'm not an angel, but look at those pretty girls! Please excuse the mess. We're always a work in progress, it would seem!
Here are the angels! GraceAnne's hair is finally getting long and Violet actually looks like a little lady!

I thought this one captured their essences pretty well...Violet sucking her thumb and just going with the flow and GraceAnne with her pent up energy (look at her feet) and ever trying to please us with a grin. They're too sweet!
And here they both are looking as perfect as they come. I love Christmas babies in Christmas dresses! If cards are late this year it's because we're trying to wait until Corbin is born and Rhiya is here so we can get a photo of all 4 of them together to include. Or else I just plain got tired and didn't mail them. I'm praying for the 1st. I'll try my hardest!



We're cramming holiday festivities into this weekend. Why? Look at that belly up there! We're talking any day now, peeps. Where is Baby Corbin? He might hang out until Rhiya gets here, (super cool with me, if I can manage to feel good like I did today!), or he might come see us this week. Who knows? At any rate, can you see that pretty garland on that pretty railing?? We decorated the house today for Christmas. We're way behind since we've been busy/tired/don't have a tree yet, but it feels SO GOOD to have some stuff up. I love having a house to decorate for Christmas! This is the first year we've actually been able to do things we want to do because A) we have a house and B) we live in the whole thing!

Then we went to Grapevine at the Gaylord Texan, (a really huge, extravagant hotel with lots of interesting stuff to see), to see ICE! They ship people in from China to carve statues out of ice. We're only slightly bundled in this picture because we weren't in the tent, but it got better.

We all had to wear parkas becuase it was NINE degrees in the tent!! NINE! We all had red noses, to be sure! It was a great time, but I was also reminded as to why I don't live in the north anymore.

This year everything was decorated like the Grinch who Stole Christmas. There were different types of ice--dyed ice, clear ice, etc. These people have some serious talent! They shipped in 2 billion pounds of ice over several weeks and every last detail was absolutely amazing!

This was at the end of the tour, and MAN were we cold by then! It took about 20 minutes to walk through and the exhibit included a 2-story ice slide and a giant nativity scene. We all had a blast and got Starbucks on the way home to warm up. The camera didn't want to work too well in there, so we mostly took videos. If Allan can teach me how to turn them into still photos, I'll post more pictures later.

Hope you're all having a great holiday season, too!


A New Floor

Okay, so this picture has nothing at all to do with a new floor, but she is so cute eating a cheeseburger like a big person! She cracks me up. She must be the only child on earth that doesn't like chicken nuggets, but goes crazy for McDonald's cheeseburgers, (no pickles, please!)

Back to business. Below you can see the old linoleum in our laundry room. We got a late start taking pictures, you can see below the washer and dryer Allan had already replaced the piece of subfloor. This addition was built in 1955 and the water heater was moved all over that room, so there were holes everywhere. The laundry room was never really worked on by the contractors, (except they helped us hang the door we bought for it), so it was something we've been waiting to have the time/money to do. That was this month! YAY!!
That linoleum goes all the way through my kitchen, too, but we have enough to replace all that, too. Another weekend, though. This took too long as it was.

Allan scraping up THREE layers of old linoleum and a piece of subfloor.

WOOHOO!! Doesn't it look great!? I'm so Blessed to have a husband who is so handy and enjoys projects like this! Today he brought in the shelves so I can organize the kitchen a little better and all that's left is to put up trim and paint the beadboard. That flooring is actually linoleum that we found for a great price, but it looks like tile. I can't wait till the whole kitchen is done in it! If we stay here long enough to do what we really want to do to the house, we'll put down real tile, but for now this is a 115% improvement on what it was.
We all feel so Blessed. Allan said, "wow...it seems like the projects I do now actually make a big difference." It's because the core stuff is done for us now. It used to be we'd do a "project" and it was really just demolition, so we'd leave the place looking worse than when it started. Now he gets to make it look pretty! It's very exciting :)