2 months

The coolest, cutest big sisters ever (minus 1) say "Happy 2 month birthday to Corbin!"
We love this little man SOOO much!

And he's getting so very big!
14lbs 7.5oz and 24.5" long! That's 5lbs 8.5oz more than when he was born and 5" longer!
He sure does think he's big!
His first baseball cap...And he cries when I take it off of him!
He makes us all so happy!
And we can't believe that he wasn't here 2 months ago. Life was surely not full, was it?
GraceAnne gave him a present. One of her old Foo-foos. He really likes it!
He's so strong and handsome!

This month has had some other awesome things going on. We visited some friends in Big Lake, TX. It's about 6 hours west of here and we were so grateful to get to go. We became friends with them while they lived with Mary's parents, (also our friends) last year. They got a job in Big Lake and we haven't gotten to see them much since then. It was a fabulous visit. Mary and I stayed up WAY too late talking, laughing, crying, and just generally enjoying each other. It's not often in life we get friends like I have in her, so when they up and move away, you follow. Honestly, I pushed away for a while because the sadness of her moving away was too much for me to deal with. I was a little bitter with God..."how come everytime I get a friend like this she has to be far away?" But we can be bitter or we can pack our kids up in the van and go! So we did.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at all while we were there, but it was a great visit! Allan had a good time visiting with Daniel, GraceAnne ALWAYS loves Chaz and Violet and Hannah...well, they're both 2. HAHA!
Also, my mom got me the most awesome Christmas/birthday present EVER! I'm not sure how she always manages to out-do herself, (because in general, she is the best at picking out presents), but she does EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. She knows me so well. :)
It's a ginormous popcorn machine for my movie room! I LOVE it!! We've been making popcorn in it for after school snack. The girls think it's amazing, too. Violet squeals and claps her hands while it's popping.

I'm still playing around with toppings, but by far this is THE BEST popcorn. There are lots of organic options out there, too, so I'm having fun playing around without being environmentally unfriendly. Even our coconut oil is organic!
I'm so Blessed with these amazing women in my life! Sometimes I'm truly taken aback by how wonderful the people in my life are. Love you all!!


February Flurries

This is probably the most blog-worthy event this year!

It looks good snowy, doesn't it?

Allan wins the artsy fartsy picture of the day award...

I normally really dislike this tree but it looked PERFECT with all the snow!


She just HAD to taste it...how do kids instinctively know snow is tasty?

I waited all day for GraceAnne to get home because I knew she'd just LOVE the snow. We called the neighbor over to sit with Corbin so I could go make a snowman with the girls. I only got about 10 minutes, (he was screaming the whole time and I felt bad), but it was a wonderful 10 minutes. That's about all the time I feel inclined to play in the snow anyway, so it worked out.

Here's our snowman's head.

Tasting it AGAIN. Haha!

She's overjoyed that the snow works like blocks. Tasty AND functional...doesn't get much better than that!

Of course we had to have a hot bath and hot cocoa when we came back in.
I had to get a picture with Corbin out in the snow...looking at this picture I guess he wasn't too keen on it, but he wasn't crying while we were out there.
I had to put this shot up here...I played with the color to emphasize the green in her eyes. AMAZING! By the way...she got those eyes from MY SIDE of the family! WOOT!
Allan took them out to play some more this evening. He lasted a lot longer than I did!

She loved being in the sled. We bought that for GraceAnne when she was a baby and we lived in WA. We took it up to Mt Rainier to play. How exciting that Violet gets to use it, too!

Hope you enjoyed walking through our winter wonderland!


3 days of no sleep...

Addison Road sings, "Clearly it's time to make a change, or I could keep sitting and waste all day. I know it's time for me to move, I've been given this minute to use..." That's the theme of my year and I want to make sure you read this entire post or don't read any. I don't want any miscommunications :)

So there are several reasons I'm having a crummy week, (the whole family, really...), and I'm in a bad mood:
First and foremost is probably my lonely bed. Because I don't want Allan driving to Dallas on no sleep, he's been on the couch for 3 nights now. That's 3 nights I've gotten next to no sleep, (think a minimum of 2 hours at a time). That's 3 nights I've gotten next to no adult interaction. I push my limits and stay up until 10pm so I can chat with him and then I get up at 5am so I can have coffee with him. That 7 hours is broken up into 3 chunks of maybe 2 hours of sleep. Not cool. When I'm tired, I'm GRUMPY!
These are the kinds of things my middle child does while I'm nursing the baby or otherwise pre-occupied. We call it "reorganizing."

Because in a 21-month-old's world, it makes perfect sense that the potatoes would be stored in the bottom drawer of the oven! They've given me their illness, so if I couldn't keep up with her before, I really can't now, especially since she's feeling better.
She still needs me, because she's still very much a baby, so when I'm not dealing with Corbin and could actually be getting housework done, she must be on me. Therefore, my house is trashed. It's disgusting, really.

For this particular treatment I really needed to feed Vi's face and he was sleeping peacefully, so I rested it on him, but usually I have to hold him upright and listen to him scream for 10 minutes while he breathes in the fumes. I hate when babies cry. Especially when I make them cry and can't NOT make them cry.
Top that with Monday the Talon broke down and I had to go pick Allan up and tow his car home, my friends are all having a hard time, the only coffee in the house tastes like crap, I still have to make sure GraceAnne gets attention/homework done, I still have to at least make sure bugs won't carry our house away, so some maintenance must be done, one of 2 days I get a few hours to myself the teachers called me to pick Vi back up...this goes on and on and on...

...and it's weeks like these I'm POSITIVE that God exists. I don't even start each day fresh, but every moment He refreshes me. He had a conversation with me this morning when I gave up on Him and let my (well-deserved) bad attitude get the better of me. I was being grumpy with my kids and grumpy with my husband and grumpy with God, too. I recall yelling to the sky before getting into the car, "A few more things could go wrong this week, that'd be really cool! HELP ME BEFORE I GO CRAZY!" Here's the dialogue that occurred after that:

God: You know...it's a choice. Your crabiness is a choice.
Me: But everything is just crap right now and I KNOW it could be worse, but it STILL SUCKS!
God: That doesn't make it not a choice.
Me: But (insert long list of crud that's gone on this week) MADE me feel this way.
God: Yes, and you CHOOSE to display that on the outside.
Me: But I deserve to feel upset.
God: You do, but why do you want to?
Me: ...Because I earned the right to be angry...
God: You did, but why do you want to?

How elementary, right? It then occurred to me how gracefully GraceAnne was dealing with my attitude, (she told me, "I'm sorry you don't feel good today, Mommy" when I barked at her this morning) and taking such sweet care of her siblings since I was being a witch. It also occurred to me how on the days she's come home with bad marks at school her day had started with me being grumpy...oh, but I deserve to feel that way! Why do we hold onto our attitudes? I think it's because we're afraid that if we don't display our displeasure on the outside no one will know or care that we're having a hard day. Or maybe they won't notice that we need help. I don't know, but if my 5-year-old can restart every moment with grace, so can I. And I suppose that's why we're to have the faith of a little child.
So why do you think we hold onto our attitudes? It's easy for me sometimes to snap out of it, because I have smiley faces like these:
to soothe and comfort me, but other times I do a lot of damage just because I "earned the right" to be angry. I'd be interested to hear your opinions.

P.S. I took Vi and Corbin to Starbucks so I could get some good coffee for the next few sleepless days and we had a GREAT time! We saw 4 friends and got to have good conversations with all of them. And to think, I was grumbling because there's no drive-thru at our SB here in town. And despite my very obvious exhaustion, I feel GLORIOUS. His grace is sufficient for me!


Genius Husband

Allan has been doing some home improvement projects for me lately. I showed the new duck "pen" before and now I'll so the new lights. For the last year, in several of our rooms we've had generic ceramic fixtures with a bare bulb hanging. We went to Home Depot with the determination that we would fix this place up more. Seems we're always in a state of half-fixed, but we're on our way!
In the library we picked this Tiffany style semi-flush.
Which matches the Tiffany style chandelier we picked for the dining room. Super bonus, we've had our eyes on these for more than a year now, and they were both clearanced about 50% off. YIPEE!

He seriously never ceases to amaze me...he got both of those installed in a matter of about 45 minutes. It's amazing how much it improves the look of the rooms to have actual light fixtures!
We have several other things to install as we get time, so I'll keep posting pictures as we go. I told Allan last week, it was totally by accident we picked a 4-square home, but I swear it's the only style house/decorating we'd have ever agreed upon. Perfect for us!

In other news, Violet contracted RSV at school. Last week I took her to the Dr with a 103.3 degree fever and having a hard time breathing. They gave her some tylenol and a double dose of albuterol, (in a nebulizer) and her heart-rate sky-rocketed to nearly 200. I was terrified, to say the least! We monitered her until it went down a hair and the Dr decided to prescribe her Xopenex instead. (it doesn't have the side-effect of making your heart rate go nuts) Since then we've been giving her breathing treatments and listening to her cough her little lungs out. I tried to take her to school yesterday as she's doing lots better, but they sent her home again. Poor girl.
Then she gave it to her brother. *sigh*
I watched him closely for the first few days and just made sure to constantly keep him upright and to suction his nose frequently. He stopped nursing as much as usual 2 days ago and started having serious difficulty breathing yesterday. We took him to the Dr and they gave him a dose of albuterol, (he did fine on it) and monitored him. We nearly admitted him because of his "belly breathing." In the end she sent him home with strict instructions to do breathing treatments every 3 hours for 24 and to come back this afternoon. He seems better to me, but we'll see what his O2 saturation and heart-rate are when we get there. She said he'd probably get worse.

So last night I had the express pleasure of getting up every 3 hours and squirting, suctioning and doping the baby up. We were up for about 20 minutes every time and then, randomly, his big sister decided she'd like to be awake and just chat/scream in her crib for an hour in the middle of the night. I got up to see what she needed--at first it was "fresh" water and then it was another blanket. Then I decided I didn't care what she wanted, I was going to sleep. After ignoring her for a few minutes she chatted with herself some more and went back to bed. I think it was probably the steroid/coke combination that was making her wakeful. After I gave her the evening dose of Xopenex, I was giving Corbin his and she ran to the table and stole my Coke. The grin on her face when she saw I caught her was priceless, but I'm sure her little heart was running laps around her chest at record speed after that!

So today has been difficult on very little sleep; getting everyone ready to take GraceAnne to school this morning, running to the store with 2 sick babies, (I do not make this a practice, but I was in desperate need of a nipple shield because I cannot kick this stupid thrush...), baking 90 cookies for the kids tonight, finishing up soup for the kids tonight and trying to at least do damage control on a mess that's been a week in the making...sick kids does not make for a house-keeping momma! I should be napping right about now, but instead I decided to get a little social interaction on the internet for a few minutes.
All that to say that I am grateful to God for:
1. A husband who does so much around here, is such a great father and is willing to stay home from work to help me with the sick babies, (I sent him, even though I really wanted to keep him!)
2. That we are able to slowly improve our home
3. That we live in a country where I can take my babies to the Dr and get prescriptions that help them breathe so I don't have to worry about them stopping in the middle of the night.
4. That I have been given a ministry that means so much to me and that I'm good at.
5. That I have my friends so I don't feel absolutely insane on the days I'm alone at home with a bunch of sick kids and no sleep!
There's so much more, but I might make the most of this last hour of naptime. Love and miss you all! Hope you're counting Blessings through the annoyances ;)