Welcome to My Mommy Thoughts. I originally created this blog to document our lives hosting foreign exchange students in our home but I quickly discovered a passion for writing and blogging. This blog has become a little bit of everything.

So sit back, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy!!


Me and My Hubby

Me and My Hubby

My Loves

My Loves

The Princess - Maggie

The Princess - Maggie

Me & my Meg

Me & my Meg

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Baby Story -- Part 3 -- Happy Birthday, Noah!!

The procedure that Dr. Snowden performed did trigger my labor - but I was totally ignorant to notice what it was! How dumb do I feel now?? I spent the weekend not feeling too good but decided that I had to keep going. I remember going to church on Sunday, the 22nd - GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY. We were in the worship service when I noticed something felt a little weird. Didn't really think 2 things about it. Went to the bathroom in between worship and Sunday School (because we went to worship first at 9:30 and then Sunday School at 10:45.) I wanted to go to the bathroom just to make sure everything was ok -- make sure I wasn't bleeding everywhere. It NEVER occurred to me that my water may have just broken. I did not experience a "gush" like I thought. You know, tv always makes it so dramatic and not to mention a friend of mine delivered a preemie 10 weeks early the September before and she had "the gush". We went on to Sunday School and I am not sure where we went from there honestly. I remember waking up that next day, kind of having the same "little issue" and it finally occurred to me -- what if it is water leaking. I mentioned it to Keith and he said that he didn't know - only I would know that. Hum - the typical boy answer. We got ready and headed on to Bubbles & Bells, taking Maggie with us. I decided to call the doctor and they asked me to come in around 2 pm - which was just a couple of hours later. We didn't want to tell the family and get everyone excited for nothing. We obviously had to tell my dad - since he works in the store with us and since we had Maggie. Kind of needed to get a game plan if I was admitted.

We headed off to the doctor to see not my doctor but another one who had just returned from her own maternity leave that day. She examined me - asked me why I thought my water had broken, told me no, there were no signs of amniotic fluid, sent me on my way and said to come back for my scheduled 8 am appt the next day. I went home SO disappointed - and let me tell you - I do not like that doctor!! We went back to Bubbles & Bells, grabbed Maggie and other items that we needed and told Dad that we did not feel like working anymore that day -- yes, that was the advantage to owning your own business that I miss dearly! We stopped by the grocery store, picked up food for soft tacos for dinner and headed home. It was such a leisurely night at home. I remember sitting on the couch with Maggie, curled up and we had girl time and watched The Bachelor. We finally did tell our family that we had been to the doctor but did not obviously receive the news we wanted to hear.

It was an early to bed night for me since I had to be back at the doctor at 8 am. Let me tell you - I was so glad that I went to bed early. I woke up around 2:30 am with a weird pain and rushed to the bathroom. Kind of felt like I was going to be sick but not throwing up. I kind of went, hum?? and went back to bed. A few minutes later, I had the same pain. I just laid there, again going hum?? I looked at the clock to see what time it was - 2:40 am. I just laid there. Again, a few minutes later - the same pain. The clock now said 2:49. I was having contractions and they were 9 minutes apart. I remember in baby class the nurse telling us that labor is a long process - a person would usually labor at home for several hours with contractions 20-30 minutes apart and they were starting at 9 minutes apart? The nurse also told us to come to the hospital when they got 10 minutes apart. I decided to wake up Keith - or better yet, attempt to wake up Keith. It was a harder task then I thought. I do remember Maggie waking up but she must have had the instinct going on because she got under the covers and hid. Some help she was. I finally got Keith awake by basically yelling - I'M HAVING CONTRACTIONS. He asked if I was sure -- um, ya think? Every 9 minutes I have a "party" in my tummy?? Yes, I'm sure. We watched for a few episodes and then called the hospital. They asked how far away we lived, told them 25 minutes and she said we needed to head on towards the hospital to be sure we missed rush hour -- keep in mind, it was 3:30ish by this point. Rush hour - are you kidding me? I begged to take a quick shower and wash my hair and you know - Keith wouldn't let me. That is my one regret the entire day! He was hilarious though - "the nurse said we needed to come on now. we have got to go." Blah! Ok - whatever!

So we got dressed, grabbed the bags, double checked the list that I had made to make sure we had everything and we headed out the door. Poor Maggie did not understand why we got out of the comfy king-sized bed in the middle of the night and she had to be put into her crate. It just was not fair. I gave her lots of kisses, told her she would have to be a big girl in her bedroom a lot today and told her that when she saw Mommy next, she would have a baby brother. Off we went.

We decided to call the parents on the way - just to give them a heads up. The entire pregnancy - Keith kept talking about wanting to call the family in the middle of the night - and that is just what he did! 4:15 am and he calls GiGi and GrandDanny and Papaw. Nina was at Grandma's house that night so Papaw waited about a hour to call her. Keith also wanted to turn the emergency flashers on as we headed down the freeway -- with no other cars and he even wanted to run some red lights -after making sure it was clear. He had the full "father driving the mother to the hospital" experience!!

We got there to find out that I was having contractions but was not dilated enough for them to formally admit me. The nurse suggested that we walk the halls for 30 minutes or so then come back and be checked again. If still not to 3 cm, then walk some more. They didn't want me to leave the hospital since we lived 25 minutes away and rush hour really would be here soon. We started wondering - where will we go if they make me leave?? We started walking and I soon saw my dad pulling into the hospital. He came up and walked the halls with us -- said he was home alone and was wide awake and decided he would just come on over with us. I remember walking and walking and walking - leaning up against the wall during the contractions - breathing. Finally my 30 minutes were up and we headed back to the room. It was somewhere between 6 and 6:30 now and I was at 3 cm - Praise The Lord - I was having the baby today and they could admit me.

We made more phone calls - I called Dorinda first - and she panicked! Why? Because Meghan had colorgurard tryouts THAT DAY - Seriously!! She was excited though - Meghan cried because she couldn't be there. I called Jonica - she was ready to come but had to get Shawn situated. I text messaged Jen, Jennifer and Carlie! We were on our way - ready to have a baby!!

My nurses were great! I was privileged to have 2 LDR nurses - one was Dani and I honestly do not remember the name of the other one - I know I have it written down at home, but she was wonderful. She was new to St. Vincents Hospital so she sat right there with me the whole day watching my progress! Dr. Lassiter came in and said that she would be my delivering doctor and she proceeded to break my water. I started telling her my water situation and guess what - when she broke it, there was NO water!! Hum, was I right or was I right?? I know I didn't go to med school, but I knew that was my water yesterday when Dr. Heaton treated me ugly!

I had my epidural soon after and I was well on my way to feeling GOOD!! The epidural did not do so hot with my blood pressure - so they made me lie all the way down on my side for an hour. We talked Keith into going to get some food and mom stayed there with me while I tried to rest. Dr. Lassiter didn't like my readings either - she was monitoring me from her office upstairs - so she came to check me out. Apparently Noah was too high up in me... because of lack of water to bring him down!! Noah wasn't handling everything too well either, so she wanted to head on to c-section. Dani was in there at the time and begged Dr. Lassiter to give us 30 more minutes -- she wanted to try to flush me with bagged fluid and see if she could get Noah to slide on down a little bit. Thank goodness it worked -- within 30 minutes he was low enough and I had so much pressure that I was ready to push.

They were prepping me when Jonica rolled in on 2 wheels - literally. She had decided to stop by her office to finish something that had to be done that day - and everything kind of progressed so quickly that she was almost late. She made it just in time to give me loves and then they kicked everyone out of my room. Let me tell you -- if you know me well enough, you know that I do not like to miss anything. St. Vincents was genius when they first created the birthing suites that also serves as your room post delivery. It was wonderful being able to have my entire family in there while I labored! You know I would not have handled it well having everyone in the waiting room and me not knowing what was going on!!

I started pushing about 1:30-1:40. Dani was such a trooper working with me while I pushed -- she definitely knows the tricks of the trade!! She had me ready when Dr. Lassiter came in that basically she just had to catch! Noah was born at 2:31 pm weighing in a 8 lbs and 21 1/4 inches long and RED HAIR!!

The nurses began all of their work on him while Dr. Lassiter completed what she needed to with me. What I did not realize was Noah was not doing so hot on his breathing. The lack of water was really getting to him. Keith said he did look a funny color, thank goodness I was clueless! The nurses wanted to take him straight to NICU but Dani came thru once again. She wanted to try the mother/baby skin to skin thing and see if he would calm down. She unwrapped him and placed him on my bare chest and told me to talk to him. Sure enough, within a few minutes, he was calm and his breathing regulated. Dani was SO amazing and spared us so much! I will forever be grateful to her!

I wanted to feed Noah before everyone came in. In the process of trying to nurse for the first time - someone knocked on the door. The nurse opened it and it was my Nanny. I will never forget it. She told them who she was, she was a retired nurse and her Granddaughter had just given birth. The nurse asked if it was ok to let her in - and of course she came in. Nanny helped coach me thru the first feed. We told her that she got to see Noah before anyone else and then she asked where they were. We laughed when she found out that they were in the waiting room and she had walked right passed them. No one even knew Nanny was there. Keith walked her out to where they were -- and they were not so thrilled that Nanny had seen Noah before they did. Oh my goodness, we laugh about it now! Only my Nanny could get away with that!

Keith brought our mothers in first, since I was still attempting to feed then our sisters and then everyone else. It was such a joyous night!

Our first family picture
(can you tell how tired we are... we had been up almost all night!)

We came home from the hospital 2 days later - on Shawn's 1st birthday. I do remember Momma Gena and GrandDanny and Aunt Dorinda being at home when we got home. Maggie was there waiting on us - even though she ignored me!! She was not too thrilled with what Mommy and Daddy came home with, but she soon warmed up - after I gave her the new blue bear toy and the bag of treats!!

She soon warmed up to her new brother!!
This is the first night home from the hospital... wish Noah could sleep like that now!

Maggie is getting her first formal introduction to Noah

She seemed quite interested in what Daddy had!!

And today is my baby boy's 2nd birthday - and I can not believe it is here already. I have no idea where the time has gone. I am so thankful that God chose Keith and I to be his parents, and better yet, I am SO thankful God chose him to be my son. He is so full of life and I love every minute with him. I can not wait to see what adventures we will go on and can not wait to see what God has in store for him. He is such a treasure.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NOAH!! Mommy and Daddy love you SO much!! Thank you for blessing our lives!! <3


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Baby Story -- Part 2 -- It's a ?????

September finally rolled around and it was time to find out what kind of baby would be joining our family around George Washington's birthday. Would it be a boy? A Girl? Either way we were excited. I admit that I had convinced myself that I was having a girl. I just knew Maddie (Madison LaRue) would be coming! Pink was about to throw up everywhere!! If we were having a girl, this would be one of the few girls on Keith's side of the family. Jennifer is the only granddaughter out of 6 grandchildren. If the baby was a boy, then he would be the first boy born on my side of the family in 50-something years. We knew we were excited either way!!

We thought long and hard about fun ways to tell the family what we were having. We decided that the family would go to dinner together and they would ALL find out at the same time! It seemed only fair! We went to Logan's and I had ordered a cookie cake from Great American Cookie Company.

The day finally came -- and I couldn't stand it. I think my appointment was at 2 and so I thought it would never come! There we are - in the ultrasound room, the tech doing all the necessary measurements and looking at what she needed to look at before getting on to the fun part. She seemed quiet during the ultrasound but I thought she was just really focused!

The time finally came and she starts showing us the spine, the fingers, the profile, the foot, the toes, and I'm thinking "ok, go to the important part - show me, is it there or is it not??" She finally works her way up the leg and there it was. I saw it - clear as day. I would be having a Daniel Noah. Oh, what a beautiful site he was. She went back and showed us other things and got the most beautiful profile picture of him.

There he was ... a little person with a little identity. It was just breathtaking for me.

We patiently waited to see the doctor where she congratulated us on a boy! The talked with us about the ultrasound and told us some news that could have devastated me. The tech had found a cyst on little Noah's brain. What I did not understand at the time was this was very common in babies. Most all babies have this cyst at some point in the womb but it was the matter of if there is an ultrasound done at the right time to see it. The good news was this cyst "should" dissolve itself and we would get the opportunity for another ultrasound. We spent the next 8 weeks praying and praying and praying. What if this cyst was one of the few that did not correct itself. The "what ifs" kept pouring in.

Now it was on to tell the family about Noah and enjoy a wonderful family dinner. Keith and I decided to play a game and let them figure out what we were having. We stopped at Paper Works Outlet in Birmingham to buy our "accessories". I bought numerous size boxes, tons of reversible wrapping paper, and some adorable blue plates for our cookie. Oh, and I also called GAC to tell them to decorate the cookie with blue icing!

We headed home -- ignoring tons of phone calls from friends and family. We did text our parents and said - appt was good. We will see you at dinner! If I remember correctly, Keith even took my phone away from me! HAHA! Our game plan was to wrap a ultrasound photo of his "it's a boy" picture and then wrap that box, and wrap that box, and wrap that box, and, well you get the idea. While in the process, Keith decided that was not daring enough! SO - we came up with questions to write on the box that the family members had to answer before unwrapping the box and passing on to the next person.

Google became our best friend. We wrote things like "I will be the first of my "kind" in my family in a long time." Both answers, Noah or Madison could be the answer. "There is a town or county with my name" There are both cities - Madison city and Daniel city -- don't remember where they are though. We also wrote Noah in Japanese and Chinese just to see if they could figure it out. The reversible paper that I had was pink on one side and blue on the other. Of course, I wrapped every other box in opposites. One was pink, the next was blue, then pink, then blue. We had the family in circles - literally. Finally, the box made it's way around the table and it ended at Momma Gena and GrandDanny. I don't remember what her question was but when she opened the box, she found the photo. We did not tell her what it was but she had to look and see for herself. It took a second and THEN she saw it. She was happy to announce that we were having a BOY!

We got to see our precious baby boy again in November where we learned that the cyst had corrected itself. Praise the Lord - my prayers had been answered. Thanksgiving and Christmas both came and went, construction of the nursery was well underway and then the baby tea. I had so much fun at my tea. I don't remember how many people we invited, 200-250 I think and I guess over 100 came that day. I was so overwhelmed at the love people showed to us that day.

Monthly doctor appointments turned into bi-weekly appointments and those turned into weekly appointments. I rotated and saw several different doctors. Dr. Hudson knew that I really wanted Noah born on Sunday, February 15th since that would have been my GrandDaddy's birthday. He didn't offer to help by inducing me but instead gave me several home remedies for getting a baby out. Let's just say, none of them worked. The next week, I saw Dr. Lassiter. She ordered another ultrasound (YAY!!) to see just how big the baby was. Of course, I don't remember the numbers but I think he was 7 1/2 lbs then. The following week, I saw Dr. Snowden (my doctor) -- Thursday, the 19th - and she said that if Baby Boy had not graced us with his presence by the 24th (Tuesday) then we would induce the following day, the 25th. I had progressed enough for her to strip my membranes. Let me tell you, that was the most painful thing I have had done, at this point. Oh my goodness. I swear her elbow was inside me! She warned me this would cause bleeding, which it did and we hoped that it would trigger my labor, and guess what... it did!!

Stay tuned for A Baby Story -- Part 3 -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NOAH!!!

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

Only when you are the BIRTHDAY BOY do you get to eat cupcakes with green icing for breakfast IN Mommy and Daddy's bed - all while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!!! This boy was in heaven!! 

And to add a picture of the pretty pretty princess ... here is Maggie all curled up with her head on Noah's valentine puppy that we named Pete. Obviously Maggie is not on her throne (ie: blanket) but Pete makes a nice replacement!

Now it's time to link up with Daphne for today's {Semi} Wordless Wednesday!!

**For some strange reason I can not get Daphne's button to load. Not sure what is up with the computer today!! Anyway - click on her name above to be directed to her blog so that you can link up and look at other {Semi} Wordless Wednesday Linkers!!** Sorry, Daph!!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Baby Story -- Part 1 -- George Washington's Birthday

In case you did not know it... today is George Washington's birthday!! :-) This date or special birthday means the world to me. 2 years and 10 months ago it did not mean much but today means everything. This week is the week of my sweet baby's 2nd birthday. I am in complete denial that he is 2 already...well, almost! Today also marks the 2 year anniversary that my labor process with Noah started - and sadly, I had no idea. I look back now and feel so stupid not to have realized it - especially given that it is George Washington's birthday. I know that I have you completely confused, so here is my BABY STORY!!

In April 2008, Keith's sister, Jennifer was 7 months pregnant. We were anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sweet nephew in June. Keith and I had talked about having a baby but had not had a "serious" conversation about it. There was a time that April that I really did think I was pregnant. It happened to be the day that I was supposed to go to the gross doctor (as many females refer to as) so I let them know of my concerns. They did a test and unfortunately it was negative. I was so heartbroken. Keith felt my sadness as we shared in sorrow. It was that day that we truly realized that we were ready for a baby. I immediately came off of the pill and bought the necessary things to keep track! 2 cycles later we were pregnant. We were very fortunate for things to happen as quickly as they did. I found out I was pregnant a week to the day before Jennifer had a scheduled c-section to have Jake. I also found out the day that I had a very important wedding rehearsal - but I had to keep going. Keith and I decided that it was best to keep this news to ourselves. We had not had it confirmed by a doctor and we did not want to take anything away from Jennifer.

Jake was born on Friday, June 27th and we were SO excited to have him join our family. He was such a beautiful baby boy --- and he still is!! The next Wednesday, July 2nd, Keith and I had an appointment to see my doctor. Since we both shared an office WITH MY DAD it was a difficult task to figure out how to get us both to the doctors appointment. We conspired with a wedding friend and said "if anyone asks, Keith came to see you today." I casually "had a bridal appointment" that Keith was going to drive me to and then he was going to meet with Vince.

The doctor made me pee in the cup, took a million things of blood and finally confirmed what I already knew. I was SO excited... but again, had to keep it to myself!! Keith and I had previously decided that we wanted to tell the family in a FUN way! I had already ordered Maggie a shirt for the special occasion and we began to make a big deal about Maggie's 4th of July outfit!!

The 4th was on a Friday and we knew that was the perfect day. I spent the night with Grandma the night before and made a big deal about my family coming to Grandma's house for breakfast the next morning. The 4th is Jamie's birthday so it was all too perfect! Keith and Maggie headed to Grandma's house extra early so that we could get ready. Momma came first followed by dad and then Dorinda and Jamie a little later. We were so excited and couldn't stand it so we went ahead and dressed Mags before Rinda and Jamie got there. I remember Grandma in her chair, Dad at the table and Momma washing dishes. Maggie runs in with her shirt on that says "My Mommy is Pregnant and all I got was this shirt!". It was too funny. Momma read the shirt and went "Oh" and turned to continue washing dishes. Dad read it, smiled and said, "Really?". Grandma was happy when we told her what it said. It finally clicked with Momma and she was SO excited! We had no idea at the time that I was growing her future best friend! :-) Grandma kept asking when the baby was due (because she had dementia and not a good short term memory) and we told her February 24th -- keep in mind that we kept telling her I was pregnant but she says "You know, there is a famous birthday 2 days before that." I said "Really??" with a really puzzled look on my face. She said "Yes, George Washington's birthday is the 22nd." How in the WORLD could this woman with zero short term memory and couldn't tell you what day of the week it was knew when George Washington's birthday was. 10 minutes later, we told her again that I was pregnant. She asked, when are you due. We tell her. She says "maybe he'll have a famous birthday." She did this the entire pregnancy!!  I think she had some kind of grandmother intuition -- she said "he'll" and that ironically was the day I technically went into labor! Dorinda and Jamie came in and she was ecstatic - and so was I!!!

We left after breakfast - and I admit, I did not do a good job cooking breakfast like I had promised - and headed to Jennifer's house. Again, we had made a big deal about Maggie's 4th of July outfit. Jennifer was excited to see it and said that Jake had a newborn 4th shirt and we would have to get a picture of them together! HAHA - Keith and I just laughed to ourselves. Their 4th shirts would not match - Maggie's was hot pink and black, no were did it resemble anything patriotic. We got there to find out that not just our family but the entire Walker family was there. It totally messed up our plans. We did not want to announce our news in front of everyone, so my family now knew and we would have to wait to tell Keith's family. Oh, I was sweating. It was killing me. Dorinda called to see how they took the news and I had to say "they don't know yet." Jennifer did ask about Maggie's outfit, obviously since I had made such a big deal about it, but we kept putting it off. Finally everyone left and we brought the outfit out. We took Maggie into the bedroom and put on her magic shirt. She ran into the living room where everyone waited and bless her heart - you could tell she begged for someone to take her shirt off.

GrandDanny read it out loud and said "My mommy is pergennated and all I got was this shirt". Everyone had a puzzled look on their face but quickly realized what it actually said. We all cried - well, the girls did and shared our hugs. We were so excited to tell them that we knew if the baby was a girl, her name would be Madison LaRue. Madison coming from the Dison side of my family - Madison and the LaRue being Momma Gena's mother's name. And more tears flowed! We were pretty certain on the boy name of Daniel Noah but we wanted to make sure there was not a more perfect name.

The entire pregnancy - we joked when someone asked me when I was due. "Well, I'm due February 24th but we think he will be here on the 22nd. That is George Washington's Birthday!"

Stay tuned for A Baby Story -- Part 2 -- It's a ???????

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sometimes parenting just plain SUCKS!

I knew that having a teenager would be a difficult task - trust me, EVERYONE told me so. It was not all that long ago that I was a teenager, no smart age jokes at this point, so I still remember some of the tricks that are played. Well, a certain teenager, who we will remain nameless, got busted for breaking a rule. With rule breaking comes punishment.

I've have definitely been in on the receiving end of punishment, I have been in on some punishment with Meghan, I've been in the middle of punishment for Meghan, but to be on the giving side of punishment -- that is tough! Here you are, looking at this person that you love so much, but yet you are so angry at them. You question to yourself WHY? What made this person do this against me? Why would they deliberately break my rule. When you ask the person WHY? you rarely get the answer that you are looking for -- I did learn that.

This particular situation was tough. It involved my house, it involved my exchange student who is considered my child and it involved another friend as well. I knew that I was forced to do what any other mother would be forced to do and I had to call the other mother. Yes, it pained me to get the other person into trouble, it really did. But my child broke the rules and was paying for the crime, should the other person not have to "pay" as well? I don't know about you, but that is how it was in my house when I was growing up.

I remember one particular situation... there was a guy. Doesn't it usually always involve a guy? Guy liked girl and girl definitely liked guy! The girl's parents did not like the guy so much and would not approve of her dating him, AND girl also had another guy. Guy and girl decided that it would be ok for them to "date" and not let parents know about it. Guy and girl never made it "out in public" together because too many people knew who they were. Guy and girl would casually meet in different places so that they could talk without parents knowing. Let's just say that it was not good for girl when someone saw them and recognized them and knew what girls parents thought about guy. Not good at all!! The "little birdie" had let the cat out of the bag and the girl was in major trouble! Girl lost her phone (this was long before cell phone days -- girl lost house phone!), girl lost her car, a junior in high school and she had to be taken to school by mommy -- not cool!! And girl could not go out, she was grounded for 1 month, lost car for 2 weeks but could drive to school only after 2 weeks, unless otherwise told to go somewhere by her parents. Tough punishment for someone who had just turned 16!!

You have guess right - girl was me. I learned a valuable lesson -- in the end, I learned that my parents were correct. Yes, I did admit at a very early age that my parents knew what they were talking about. I only hope and pray that my certain teenager knows this as well.

So, I decided last night that sometimes, parenting just plain sucks. It is tough to throw a fault in some one's face. After the "big" discussion came love and tears. I never knew that I could love this person SO much. I definitely explained my love and told them that these rules are there for a reason. They are there out of love - to protect them and their friends.

Now I will go to bed with this person's phone beside my bed for the next week and he will just about go everywhere I go for a week. I just pray a valuable lesson has been learned and we will not have another conversation like that.


Noah, buddy, you better watch out!! Mommy will remember the tricks when you become a teenage boy!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday -- OCD - ya think??

Welcome, friends!!! I hope this Wednesday finds itself to be a b-e-a-utiful day for you. It is absolutely gorgeous here in Birmingham. I had to leave at lunch and take Ahmed his soccer stuff to school and let me tell ya - it felt great to ride down the road with the sunroof open! I hope Spring is finally here!!

I am linking up today with Daphne at Flip Flops & Pearls (and today is definitely a flip flop day!!!)

Today's {Semi} Wordless Wednesday is definitely about Noah. The picture below is how I found his trucks when I got home from Weight Watchers on Saturday......

What do you think this means??

I have noticed him doing this for a couple of months now but I have not noticed them lined up like this. Normally they are lined end to end like a train. But this?? By size and almost by color. Oh, and have I mentioned that he will be 2 a week from tomorrow? I'm in trouble aren't I?

The next picture is his fridge toy that is on the door going into the garage. Again, he has them lined up but this time he even has the largest magnetic piece on top. 

Someone at my mom's work, who is some kind of psychologist says that he is "gifted" and that he will probably drive me crazy one day. She says that he will be the child that will have his closet organized. Oh great! Are you kidding me? My child is gonna be the one that organizes me?

I did not include a picture of his trucks lined end to end in the fireplace. Believe me - I tried to take one but I could not get enough light to make the picture work. I'll try again though because he just did it yesterday and they were still in the fireplace this morning.

What do you think??? Am I in trouble?? Does your child do this? Have they grown out of it?? I would love to know what you think!!!


Semi Wordless Wednesday Hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Home Tour Tuesday --- Noah's Safe Haven

Oh, I was SO excited when I first saw that this weeks Home Tour Tuesday was showing off our children's rooms. I am so proud of my baby's room!! There was a lot of blood and sweat put into this room!! The other thing that makes this weeks tour so much better is the fact that 2 years ago right now, this room was all ready for the arrival of my sweet Noah - linens on the bed, stuffed animals in the bed, everything put into the proper place, diapers stashed, clothes washed and hung, and even had the hospital bag sitting in the crib so it was easy to grab!! Let me tell you -- it is far from that now!! HAHA! Noah's clothes are washed SO often that (and I even hate to admit it) but they rarely make it hanging anymore before he is wearing them again. Ok, now that sounds like my child has no clothes and he has TONS of clothes, but, seriously!! Am I the only mother who does not have all of the time in the world to hang every piece of clothing my child has?? Well -- that could be another post for another day!!

So, back to it -- here is my sweet baby boy's room! I hope you enjoy it!!!
**Disclosure - please excuse the mess. I was 8 months pregnant during the construction of the room!!! And the "completed" pictures were taking with my phone - so please excuse the quality!!!**

This is the finished product
I wanted to make sure that my baby's room was nice and bright and happy and cheerful!
I am pretty sure that I accomplished that!

His room is inside the master bedroom. So before his room was complete, it looked like...

...extra attic storage. And believe me, it was filled with "junk".
Well, not really "junk" but it had tons of wedding stuff left in there, suitcases, old clothes!

This is the view from inside our bedroom.
*Notice that there is 1 single door!

Keith and GrandDanny (my FIL) even had to put plywood down to walk on the floor.

View inside back towards my bedroom.
Again... single door...

and now....

(well... no doors yet!)
GrandDanny had the bestest idea with the french doors!!
Some neighbors, who are good friends and have the same floor plan
were building a nursery in their attic storage the same time that we were.
We looked at their construction and liked a few of their ideas and did not like
a few of their ideas. They did not do the french doors but it makes all the difference
in the world. The room is such a small space to begin with and the french doors open it SO much!

Yay for blue walls!!!

The view back to my bedroom
*again - ignore the mess. think - 8 months pregnant AND construction in my bedroom!!!



I wanted to make sure Keith used every inch of valuable space!
Including the little "inlet" where the chair is!

Our Reading Corner
-or as Noah says "I wead"
(Notice all of the books on the floor!
I want to remove the chair and make a bench on the wall
so that we have a perfect reading spot!!)

His CHUCKLES Clown Light
I know -- judge me for putting a "scary" clown light in my
infants nursery. My GrandDaddy put this light in my
nursery when I was a baby -- it was very important
to me to have it in Noah's room. AND it will be in the
room for any upcoming children that we may have - which is no time soon!

His name (obviously) above his changing table.
Yes, the ribbon on the "H" did look a lot better
but that was before 2 year old hands played with it!

And this would be..........

But I am so proud of my little closet area.

I was SO determined to have a little place where I could hang up clothes.
I had a vision for the little cubby and it took forever for me to describe my vision to the boys.
Fortunately for me, my GrandDanny finally figured out what I was attempting to describe
and they were able to create it for me.

I will say ... when the room was completed and I was 9 months preggers trying to hang baby clothes in the closet - yeah.... that was a sight to see. My belly barely fit in there. It was funny though!!

It is very deep so I actually have lots of hidden storage in there.

When we either get ready to sell the house or finish with the nursery (sniff, sniff) we will make it into a reading area or home office. I'm not sure what we will do with my little "closet" but I am sure I can come up with something.

We LOVE our added area in our house. I knew there was NO way that I could have my bedroom upstairs and my infants downstairs. NO WAY! I could not imagine my little buddy sleeping anywhere else than right there. And his room turned out so much better than I ever imagined it would!

I am so thankful and grateful for a wonderful husband, father and father-in-law who put many hours of work (and blood and sweat) into creating the most perfect room for my baby boy!!

Now it's your turn!! Link up with Daphne and Shannon and show us your children's rooms!!! 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Samantha's Accessories - GIVEAWAY TIME

I just love blog giveaways -- not that I always win because I have only won once, but they are so much fun to help fellow bloggers get their word out.

I don't remember how I originally found Samantha's Accessories but I instantly fell in love with her accessories. She makes them herself!! She also sells some of her patterns and I completely plan to purchase some so that I can make items for my family members. AND - if I totally win this giveaway, I want one of her aprons. They are SO precious!!

So, hop on over to her blog and join in on the giveaway fun! AND - if you win and you are a "sewer", please make me an apron!! HAHA!!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Question Friday!! 02.11.11

Welcome, Friday. How I have longed for you all week! I thought that you would never get here!! I am so glad that it is Friday! Not that we have great plans this weekend, but just for the fact that it is Friday, I get to spend the day with my family tomorrow AND the hubs and I are supposed to go to dinner tomorrow night for V-day. Don't know if that is still in the plans, but... we shall see!!

I've decided to participate in Five Question Friday. It has been a while since I have participated in a "link up" but this one looks too tempting - and too much fun every Friday. Who doesn't need humor on Friday?

So, here we go:

1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?

2. Do you have any tattoos?

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?

1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?

Hum -- that honestly is a tougher question than it should be. My first thought was Home MakeOver - new furniture for my house, top the line appliances, a new bathroom - OMGosh the thought of an amazing bathtub... but then I seriously started thinking, new clothes, new shoes, new accessories for my new clothes. The thought of someone dressing me for my body style seems incredible. I admit, I am not the easiest to dress. My body size definitely does not go with my height - I am 5'10".

I seriously think, in all honesty, I would have to go with the home makeover!!

2. Do you have any tattoos?

That's a funny question!! No, I do not. But I REALLY want one - really I do! I don't know what I would get - it would definitely be something small and would NOT be initials for anyone I know - even though I love my child very much!!

Jonica and I were actually talking about this subject last Saturday. We both really want one but don't have the guts to go. I turn 30 in a little over 4 months so I am very tempted! My mother would KILL me (literally) if she knew this ... good thing she does not read my blog on a regular basis, if she does .... I'm about to find out!! HAHA!

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?No I do not - that was easy! BUT - my child is only 2 (almost) and so that does not work for him right now. I do tell Meghan what I have done but I definitely do not tell her everything!

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?What does every female driver do?? I speed up - for the most part. It does depend on how far away I am from the light, how fast I am going, if there is a car behind me and it depends on if I have my most precious cargo in the car with me!

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?
CHOCOLATE - hands down - without a doubt!! I am a sweet-a-holic and I need to go to SA meetings (sweets anonymous!) My ultimate weakness is chocolate chip cookies - oh my goodness. Give me some Great American Cookie Company Double Doozies - HEAVEN!!!! And... this is why I am starting Weight Watchers tomorrow. Fortunately I will still be able to have a cookie or two from time to time, but I will have to write it down.

Ahmed loves and I need to emphasize LOVES Publix chocolate chip cookies. It is really bad that you can buy 2 dozen for only $2.50 - we we continuously have a box on the kitchen counter. I told him the other night that he is a bad influence to have around! HAHA!

I know I am so late on joining in on the link up, but jump on over to My Little Life to join in the fun!

Have a great weekend! HUGS!!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Picture Perfect Marriage

Why is it so often we look at other's lives and wish and ponder "what if I had that life." I am VERY guilty of this. I read other mommy blogs and wonder what their husbands do to allow them to live where they live, to drive what they drive, to take the trips that they take, to stay home with their babies. Am I envious of them? Kind of. Kind of envious of what it appears that they have. I also read facebook and see so many husband and wives writing back and forth on each others "walls" "I love you" or "I have the greatest husband/wife in the world" or "I can't wait to see you tonight." But we never know what is actually going on. Everyone wants to paint the picture perfect life. We want everyone to think that our life is perfect - when so often, we are crumbling on the inside.

We have just recently learned of some friends who have separated from their marriage because of infidelity. We were so shocked and hurt at the same time. This would not be couple that we would expect this from. They truly painted THE picture perfect marriage. Showed affection all the time - breakfast in bed for each other, depending on who got up first, facebook comments, sweet pictures together - you could feel the love when they walked in the room. There was so much love the day they got married. It honestly made you "wish" that your significant other could be a "little more like them."

These last 2 days have truly opened my eyes. What appears on the outside may not be what is on the inside. We never know what is going on in the hearts and minds of those others. No, Keith and I do not live the perfect marriage. Though, we, like others, try to paint that picture, we are far from the perfect marriage. We may have or have had financial struggles and we may have our quarrels but I would not want to be anywhere else. I know the foundation that our marriage is built on and I can only pray that my friends marriages are built upon the same foundation.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just Life.....

I was looking back at my blog realizing that I have not done a "life update" recently. Actually, I don't think I have ever done one, so - here it goes!

My baby boy will be 2 in 2 weeks. I can not believe it! Just 2 years ago I waddled (literally) into my store, so miserable with every step I took. Every trip to the doctor I waited to hear good news that I had progressed, but nope, didn't hear that too often! I remember begging and pleading to try to have my baby on February 15th - that was my GrandDaddy's birthday and I wanted it so bad!! The male doctor gave me all kinds of home remedies to help trigger my labor - nope, nothing worked!! But my sweet boy came on his "birth"day and I am so grateful to him. (I'm gonna do a larger, more in depth post on his birthday!)

So we are planning the big 2 birthday. He is having a barnyard birthday and I am so stinking excited!! Yes, I planned his birthday around his inflatables - what else would I do??? We are actually having 2 inflatables because we have such a mixed age of kids. The largest inflatable in the Barnyard 3/1 combo. It is a giant barn (with a slide coming out of it!!) The smaller unit is a farm toddler combo - just for the smaller kids. It has different obstacles in it, a little pit area that I plan to fill with balls and a slide. I've ordered all of the plates and napkins and decorations and favors and everything else that there is for a birthday. Aunt Rinda is helping me with the surprise goody-favors -- I'm almost more excited about those!!

My baby had a wonderful 1st birthday last year and there is not really much that I would change about it but I am definitely going all out for the 2nd birthday. Why? I'm not real sure. Maybe because I couldn't go further out last year. One thing is for sure - I am not buying birthday stuff the day of the party this year!! Noah, Keith and I all ended up with the stomach virus last year and it kept throwing off my bday shopping plans. It came down to buying what I needed the day of. I am also praying that sickness stays away from our house for this year. My mom missed Noah's first bday party because we had so graciously shared our stomach virus with her! So we are hoping and praying for a great day this year!!!

Life with Ahmed is good. He finally made a contact with his family last week and was able to skype with them last night. The German exchange student was able to make it home safely. For all of this, we are grateful!! I think he has settled in very well with us and we are so thankful to have him be a part of our lives! He learns from us every day and we learn from him!! I do chuckle at watching him learn English. Have you ever thought about explaining sinus drainage to someone?? Kind of interesting! He was sick and missed school yesterday because of some sinus issues which turned into a migraine. Keith gave him some "awesome" medicine as he said, but he still had a "headhack" when he shook his head! Boy, I just love him!! Lol! I'm still figuring out his favorite foods. Last night I cooked him yellow rice - which is very common in Egypt and I don't know if he has had it since being in America. He said "the yellow rice is awesome!" Life is about to get really crazy with soccer games -- but I am so excited about them!! He keeps calling me his "soccer mom"!!

Keith and I are still prayerfully considering another student next year - for the full school year! It's crazy to think that it is time for the applications to start rolling in for us to choose a student who will come in August. Such a wild thought to think that I am "choosing" a child almost. We must quickly decide whether we want male or female and from what country. Hum.....

We are also still praying for a position to come open for Keith. We both feel the call for him to the ministry but we are just waiting on the right door to open. I know it will in God's time. Some friends (and neighbors) of ours just relocated from Clay to New York for a church ministry position. We were so excited for them yet sad to see them leave. Stephanie put on fb one day that it is an amazing feeling to be living in God's will. What an awesome feeling!! I know that we are where we are supposed to be right now, but what a blessing to know the potential that is coming! And I tell you, Satin so often knocks at my door trying to pull me down. There have been several times that he has almost conquered me - but NO, I will not let him!! I will defeat him because I know WHO I have fighting with me!!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Finding Inner Strength (Egypt)

I am sure that you have watched the news lately to see the turmoil that is going on on the other side of our world. Egypt is really hurting right now. Because Egypt hurts, my home hurts. Ahmed has not been able to have contact with his family since January 20th. There is a lot of fear in our house. Fear of not knowing if is family is ok. Fear of not knowing if his friends are ok. Fear of loosing his house. Fear of his father loosing his business. Fear of his town being torn to shreds. The town is being torn to shreds. People are dying. People are getting hurt. It pains my heart to watch the world news. I hold my breath every time I see Cairo on tv.

What do I do? How do I console someone who is going through pain and not knowing? How do you sit and watch tv with someone watching their town be destroyed? Let me tell you, it is so scary to watch this on World News Tonight and have Ahmed recognize a restaurant that he eats at back at home. It is scary to have someone translate the chants that are being yelled. It is scary have someone tell you what the protest signs actually say. To me, they look like drawings. To him, they are words, words that hurt. Granted, we pray that their "president" does step down. We pray that a new government can come in and continue to move their country in the direction that it needs to.

I want to introduce you to someone:

This is Ahmed's family. From left to right, his dad, his brother, Ahmed in front, sister in back in glasses, his sister and his mother in the back. They are such a sweet spirited family and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to Skype with them a few weeks back. His mother thanked me for opening my house up to Ahmed and even inviting us to their home in Egypt. Oh how I hope and pray that I can see the pyramids and the Red Sea one day. Did I tell you that his family is also hosting a student from Germany - can you imagine what her family is thinking right now?

Please keep these families in your prayers. Please keep our family in your prayers. Pray that God gives Keith and I the wisdom in words to know what to say to Ahmed. Pray for him as he tackles school and soccer every day. Everyone keep checking on him and asking him how things are going or how he is doing - as any concerned person should do. He is so strong and always replies back "God has a plan". I am SO thankful that God is working in his life. I am excited to see him grow and I pray that he does find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and where that relationship goes. I didn't know how much I could love someone who is not my child but at the same time is my child.

Pastor Ron gave me this verse the other day and it is a great reminder:

"remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose."       ~Isaiah 4:9-10

Praying for Egypt and our new found family!

~Randi & Keith