Thursday, November 27, 2008

A House Divided

This is the one day of the year where we are definitely a house divided. The A&M vs. UT game always causes a brief hiccup in our marital bliss. Now that we have children, the rivalry has taken on a whole new meaning. Poor Clayton gets pulled in both directions. As of now, I am losing him to the dark side. I have faith that one day he will come back to his Mama's team. :)

This year there was actual bloodshed during the game. I am not referring to any of the players, but to my 3 year-old. Just moments after these pictures were taken, Clayton started spinning and fell backwards into our dresser. I scooped him up to assess the damage. I quickly realized that there was blood all over my hands and Clayton's UT jersey. After cleaning up the wound, we discovered that it was just a tiny little cut on the back of his head. I knew that he was going to be okay when he said sadly, "I guess I'll have to change into my Gig 'Em jersey." What am I going to do with this crazy boy???

In the end, we're still one happy family.

Drew got to remain neutral this year. We wait until they are verbal before making them pick sides. :)
The burnt orange boys
Doesn't everyone look better in maroon?

Many a tear was shed over the Aggie loss...
There's always next year, right? :(

Happy Thanksgiving...

From our turkeys to yours!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for...

Many of our family members have been blogging daily in November about things that they are thankful for. I thought that was a great idea and will probably follow suit next year. However, this month I devoted most of my blogging to capturing every moment of Drew's existence. (Why am I so obsessed with documenting my kids' childhoods? They are boys and will probably care nothing about the hours and hours that I have spent uploading pictures and typing about their lives. Oh well...)

I did want to take a second to reflect on the abundant bounty of blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon me. I am so in awe of the things that He has done for me and given me. I could never cover it all in one post, but I will attempt to list some of the things that I am thankful for.

1. First and foremost, I am thankful for Jesus. I am grateful for the ultimate sacrifice that He made to allow me to spend an eternity in heaven with Him. I am thankful that He chose me to be His child and allows me to have a daily walk with Him. Without Him, nothing else would have any meaning or worth. He alone is my strength and joy.

2. I am thankful for my church. I am grateful that I have a pastor that I am confident is seeking God fervently and truly desires to lead his flock to a closer relationship with Christ. I am thankful for each of the members of our church that have gone above and beyond to make our family feel welcomed. From the first Sunday that we visited, we felt at home. Especially with the birth of Drew, our church family has been SO supportive. There have been so many phone calls, meals, visits, emails, prayers, and gifts from our sweet church friends. You guys are amazing and I am so thankful for you!!!

3. I am thankful for the amazing man that I am privileged to call my husband. I am grateful that he loves me unconditionally and is able to see past my many faults. I am thankful that he can tell when life is overwhelming me and that those are the times when he gives me extra encouragement (or a nap!). He is so much more than I deserve in a husband. But, somehow God picked me to be his wife. I just love that man with all my being!

4. I am thankful for the two precious souls that the Lord has entrusted me with mothering. I take the role of being their mother very seriously. It isn't a job or just another "hat" that I wear. It is an honor and a privilege.

Clayton is a great kid! He is absolutely hysterical, creative, loving, energetic (that is the understatement of the century - the kid NEVER stops moving), and quick to see the beauty in every situation. He is also strong willed and tests me every single day. He has taught me to be consistent in everything that I do, because he will always hold me accountable.

Drew is a precious gift as well. He has only been here for a month, but I already can't imagine what life was like without him. I love everything about that little guy - from his beautiful blue eyes with their super blond eyelashes, to his crazy hair that sticks up in the back no matter what I do, to his teeny tiny fingers and toes. I am so glad that he is a snuggler. I love that he fits just perfect in my arms and I treasure every moment of getting to hold him. Before too long he will be "on the move" and will probably not want his Mama to hold him nonstop. I am enjoying it while I can.

5. I am thankful for our parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces, and extended family. I am grateful that we have so many family members that love us and would be there in a moment's notice if we needed them. I am thankful that we all share a common faith and values. We may disagree about the little stuff, but we are all on the same page when it comes to the things that really matter. I am so grateful that my children have all four grandparents and three great grandparents. My grandfathers both died before I was born, and my grandmothers passed away when I was 4 and 13. I feel like I missed out on so much by not having grandparents for much of my childhood. I know that my children will learn so much from the 7 grandparents/great-grandparents that they have. There is just so much wisdom and love that Clayton and Drew will get from them. I always wanted my kids to understand the value of family. I am certain that, with our tight network of family, they always will.

6. I am thankful for all of my friends. I laugh whenever I think about how different all of my different groups of friends are. I have "old" friends that I have known since preschool and friends that I adore just as much, but have only known for a few months. One of my favorite things about this stage of our life with our new baby, is that I have gotten to actually see and visit with almost all of my friends in the last month. It has been great! Let's face it, we're all busy and sometimes we can go months without actually seeing our friends one-on-one. Luckily, we live in a technologically advanced time when we can communicate by email, texting, blogging, etc. But, nothing beats a good, old fashioned chat session with a girlfriend. I have loved getting to do just that with most of my sweet pals. I appreciate each and every one of you that I get to call "my friend."

7. I am thankful for Wade's job. In a time where the economy is in the toilet and finances are uncertain, I am grateful that Wade has a job (let alone one that he LOVES!). Wade has always been a hard worker, but I have noticed that he is striving to do even more these days. It is so obvious that he loves what he is doing and really respects his boss. Wade calls his boss, Tony, his "mentor." Tony has really taken the time to teach Wade everything he knows. He has been so good to Wade. Wade works extra hard so that he won't let Tony down. It's just a neat relationship that those two have.

8. I am thankful for my "job." I am grateful every single day that I get to stay home with my
boys. I know that things could change at any time and I could have to go back to work. So, I just try to enjoy it while I can. Please don't ever think that my children are perfect or that every day is a party at our house. There are some days when I would gladly throw on my scrubs and head to the hospital just to escape the craziness. I am exhausted and pushed to my limit by the end of the day. But, it never fails - when it has been a really tough day and I am ready to throw in the towel, Clayton says something hysterical and I remember why it is that I love being at home with him. It is the best job in the world and I am so grateful to have this time with them!

9. I am thankful for our home. I am thankful for the structure itself, of course, but more thankful for the home that we have made it. It was so evident that the Lord had a hand in our home search. He led us to a great area and a house that works perfectly with our family. Throughout the whole process, we were dependent on Him and prayed that he would lead us in the decisions that we were supposed to make. We ended up getting a great house (that needed a little love/paint/flooring/odds & ends) at a steal of a price. With a lot of work, we made it our own. Now it is truly a "home" that I love. I love that you can hear the pounding of little superhero feet and the coos of a newborn baby. You can see where Clayton whacked the wall in the dining room when he was a little to zealous in showing us his golf swing. I love that Wade has an office that allows him to work from home. I love that there is a spot for all of my scrapbooking/craft supplies. I love that I can see us living here for many years to come. It is a great house!

I have so much to be grateful for! Next year I promise to spread out my thankfulness so that it isn't crammed into one super long post. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drew's One Month Birthday

"Before you were conceived, I wanted you
Before you were born, I loved you
Before you were here an hour, I would give my life for you
This is the miracle of life."
-Maureen Hawkins

Well, I cannot live in denial any longer - my baby boy is officially one month old! I have such a mix of emotions about this day. I am relieved that he is happy and healthy. I am a little sad that his first month of life is over. And I am excited about what the future holds for my sweet Drew. I love watching him grow and learn new things everyday. What a precious time this is for our family!

Here's a little info on our one month old:
* Weight: 11 1/2 pounds - WOW!
* Length: 22 1/2 inches
* Diapers: Size 1
* Clothes: Size 0-3 and some 3 month Carters outfits
* Favorite pastimes: Eating (surprise, surprise), Sleeping, Swinging, Being Held, and "Talking" to his Big Brother
* We're still not really on a consistent schedule. Drew eats every 3-4 hours during the day and is stretching to 5-6 hours at night. Last night, I fed him at 10:30 and put him to bed at 11:30. He slept until 6:00 - pure heaven! It was probably just a tease, but it was AWESOME!
* Fun firsts from this month: First smile (October 24th, in the hospital - probably gas, but cute all the same), First Car Ride (October 26th - home from the hospital), First Doctor's Appointment (October 27th), First Holiday (October 31st - Halloween), First Road Trip (November 7th - to take Grammie back to Holly Lake), First trip to the park (November 19th - it was chilly, so we didn't stay for long), First time at a restaurant (November 21st - On the Border), First Playdate (November 22nd - see post below), and so many more...

Here are some pictures from this morning.

The One Month Weigh In - 11 1/2 pounds!
Hanging out with his monkey
Playing on his Baby Einstein Discovery Mat - He likes the red bird the most
One month photo shoots are exhausting!
Such a cutie!
My Precious Baby Boy,
What an amazing 31 days we have had with you! I can hardly believe that you are already a month old. You have blessed my life in ways that you will never know. I want you to know that you are the answer to a million prayers that Daddy and I lifted up to God. We wanted you SO badly and are thrilled to have you as our child. You are everything that we had hoped and dreamed that you would be.
One month ago today, they were wheeling your little bassinet to the NICU. I was absolutely devastated and filled with fear. I was so worried about your tiny body and prayed that your breathing would regulate. My heart ached to hold you and love on you. It was an absolutely miserable 35 hours without you. I am so glad that is behind us!
We have spent the last month figuring each other out. I have analyzed and over analyzed your eating, sleeping, burping, playing, and holding preferences. I still don't quite have you figured out. I guess that's what the next 18+ years are for, right?
I wouldn't trade a single moment of the last month with you (even the inconsolable crying bouts when you were suffering through reflux issues). I have loved every minute and look forward to a million more precious moments with you.
I love you, Baby Boy!

Drew's First Playdate

Our friends, The Brewers, came over last night for dinner. It was so good to see them! You may remember that their baby, Luke, was born just 5 days after Drew. We thought that it was about time to get our two babies together to "play." Their playdate pretty much consisted of swinging, eating, and sleeping. :) It was fun to compare our two sweet boys. Luke is absolutely precious. He is a laid back little guy - he didn't make a peep until diaper changing time. He weighs 7 pounds and is about the size that Clayton was at 1 month. Drew, on the other hand, weighs 11 1/2 pounds and is a WAY bigger than Clayton was at 1 month. We laughed and laughed about how different they look. You would never guess that they are only 5 days apart!

Both boys love their swings

Miss Abbey and all 3 boys
Proud Daddies and their Baby Boys
Gimme some knucks, man!

It's pretty fun to have a buddy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Everywhere a Neigh Neigh

I found this super cute onesie and shoes at a craft show while I was pregnant with Drew. I fell in love with them and couldn't pass them up. I thought that he would be able to wear them by early spring - WRONG! He totally fills the onesie out now and will probably not be able to wear it much longer. :( I had to snap a few pictures of him in it (you know, to justify the small fortune that I spent on something that he will only wear a few times).

Please note the multiple chins. Gotta love our Chunky Monkey!

Everywhere a Neigh Neigh...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Drew is 4 Weeks Old, Feast Day, and Reflux Sono

What a week! First of all, thanks to everyone that called, emailed, and prayed for us this week. The pediatrician changed Drew's medicine on Monday and he is doing much better! He is still a little fussy and spits up a little bit, but it is NOTHING like last week. I really appreciate everyone being so concerned about our little boy. What a blessing you all are to our family!

There's a lot of ground to cover since our last post...

* My computer was in the shop all week. When Wade brought it home tonight, he said, "are you twitching from computer withdrawals yet?" I must admit that I missed my old friend, "Dell." It was such a busy week, though, that I somehow managed to survive without email/blogging/mapquest/etc. :)

* Wade had to go out of town this week for work. I was petrified of "flying solo" with our two little monkeys. Grammie was gracious enough to come back to help me out. It is VERY hard for me to admit that I need help, but God is bringing me to my knees and keeping me humble these days. I definitely needed another set of hands this week. Thanks, Grammie, for bailing us out yet again!

* Clayton had Feast Day at preschool on Tuesday. It was so cute! His class made turkey hats, paper mache' pumpkins, and placemats. We feasted on chicken tenders, salad, grapes, carrot sticks, and yummy deserts. Have I mentioned how much I love Clayton's little school? Just checking...

* Drew is 4 weeks old today! Don't even try to tell me that he is a month old - I'll fight you over that one! He won't officially be a month old until Sunday, and you can't convince me otherwise. I am going to drag out this precious first month as long as possible! I have 3 more days with my less-than-one-month-old baby. :)

* Drew celebrated being 4 weeks old today by having a reflux sonogram done. YUCK! The poor thing had to go 4 hours without eating and then have his little tummy mashed on for 30 minutes. He actually did much better than I thought that he would. The sonogram tech had trouble getting a good picture because of all the gas in his stomach/intestines. She put the probe on his belly and said, "He's one gassy dude!" Yep, he sure is! Our little "toot" will not burp for anything. We pat on him and pat on him after every feeding and still nothing. It's the weirdest thing.

The reflux sonogram showed that he wasn't having any more reflux issues, so the new medicine seems to be working. I could have told you that just based on his behavior. It was good to have concrete proof, though.

Now, for the pictures...

My Oldest Turkey

All the crafts that Clayton made

Can you see the exhaustion on my face? Lovely.

Drew laying in his crib for the first time. He didn't nap in there - we just wanted to show him his new digs. :) He has been sleeping in our room in his pack 'n play (or his swing or bouncy seat when we were really desperate). He'll probably sleep in our room for several more weeks. I'm just not willing to risk tripping down the stairs in the middle of the night.

Grammie giving Drew a bottle after his sonogram.
Radiologic tests are exhausting...
Clayton being the wonderful big brother that he is. He said, "Me and Drew are fighting over his pacifier. He keeps spitting it out and I keep putting it in!"

I looked over just in time to catch Clayton trying to teach Drew to make a "Hook 'Em." I'll have to balance things out by practicing a Gig 'Em after his 3 am feeding. HA!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still Burnin'...

It's been four days on medication, and our poor little guy is still pretty miserable. There has been a little bit of improvement, but he still cries quite a bit after feedings and still spits up A TON. I feel so bad for him! I had heartburn for the last 4 months of my pregnancy with both of my babies, and it was AWFUL. So, I can sympathize with my little Drew.

That being said, I can't stop thinking about how completely different my two kids are. I know that you aren't supposed to compare your kids, but these two are just like night and day! Clayton was such an easy baby. He was always on a schedule and followed it like clock work. Of course, there were fussy days, but they were few and far between. The whole time that I was pregnant, I just figured that I would do everything the same way and Drew would be an easy baby, too. Well, my friends, it just hasn't quite worked according to my plan. Apparently, Drew didn't read Baby Wise or fit into my set schedule. :)

I am going to call the pediatrician tomorrow. The Nurse Practitioner told me to give the medicine through the weekend to work. She said that if he wasn't better, there were more options. I just want him to feel better...

There are a few moments, here and there, when Drew isn't crying. I try to snap a picture during those few precious minutes. Here are a few new ones of the boys.

Doesn't Drew look like a rapper here? So funny...

After bath time

Watching the birds and bugs spin around on his swing. He loves his swing - just like his brother did! (There's one similarity, I guess.)

Sweet brothers just hangin' out

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Drew is 3 weeks Old!

Well, our precious baby boy is 3 weeks old today! I wish that I could say that the last week was as pleasant as the first 2, but it has been pretty miserable for us all. My sweet, happy baby has been replaced by a total grouch! He has been screaming and crying for about an hour after every feeding. It has been enough to bring me to tears on more than one occasion. I suspected reflux, but dreaded taking Drew to the doctor AGAIN (he had been 3 times in his first two weeks of life!). Yesterday, however, after a projectile vomiting episode that resulted in spit up going from one end of my couch to the other, I finally broke down and made him an appointment for this morning.

They started off by weighing our little (well, not so little) guy. He weighed 10 lbs. 10 oz.! Holey Moley - we've got a linebacker on our hands for sure!!! He weighed 9 lbs. 6.5 oz. last Monday when I took him. After that huge weight gain, I was certain that they would dismiss my reflux suspicions. However, the kind Nurse Practitioner had mercy on us. She agreed that Drew has all of the classic reflux symptoms. In fact, she said that most reflux babies tend to nurse well and put on weight fast at first. Apparently, the milk is soothing to their esophagus at first so the want to keep eating. The pain quickly follows, though, when the stomach acid starts coming back up. Anyway, she gave us a prescription for an acid blocker. I promptly dropped it off at the pharmacy and gave them my cell phone number to call when it is ready. Say a little prayer for us that it will make Baby Drew better. It just breaks my heart to see him hurting so bad. :( Hopefully, less spit up and more sleep are in our future...

Here are some pictures from the week.

Drew is a champ when it comes to tummy time. He pulls his little head right up - he's so strong! After seeing all of the praise that Wade and I were giving when Drew demonstrated his new found head control, Clayton said, "When Drew is finished with his push ups, I want to show you mine." :)

Getting some love from Daddy...

Sleep is for the Weak

Smiling through the pain

A bonus pic of my firstborn - just because he's so darn cute!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A HUGE Thank You & Traci Comes to Town

Man, I should have babies more often! We have felt such an outpouring of love from all of our family and friends over the last 2 1/2 weeks. Between the yummy meals, sweet gifts, and fun visitors, it has been like a 2 week long party! Thanks to EVERYONE who has gone above and beyond to make us feel loved!!!

Our latest visitor was my college roommate, Traci. She came into town last night for a visit. It was so fun to see her! I have actually gotten to see all four of my roommies from 2521 Ashford since Drew was born - SO FUN! The only one left to meet Drew is my unofficial roommate, Laura (she moved into my room after I left). We'll have to wait until December for Laura and her sweet family to come for a visit. (L - we're counting down the days!)

Traci loved on Drew last night while we stayed up late catching up on life. Then, she ate breakfast with Clayton before he left for school this morning. By the time that he left for school, Clayton was pretty smitten with Miss Traci. :) He even wore the A&M shirt that she brought him to school today. That is a BIG compliment coming from our little Hook 'Em fan! We loved having you, Traci! Come again anytime!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Me Monday...

I recently started reading this blog called "My Charming Kids" (click HERE to view it). It is so funny/enlightening/sweet! The woman who writes the blog was pregnant with her fourth baby while I was pregnant with Drew. We were due right around the same time, so I feel bonded with her. :) There were some major health concerns with her baby, but the Lord chose to heal his little body. What a testimony she is!

Anyway, she does this thing called "Not Me Monday." It is where she confesses embarrassing things under the pretense that it was "Not Me." I feel the need to do some confessing of my own today, so here goes my "Not Me" list...

* My three year old did not choose to disobey and stand in the shopping cart yesterday at Target. I did not push the cart (not realizing that he was standing) and cause him to fall backwards out of the cart. No sir, not me. I always make Clayton sit in the front with his buckle on. I would never be so reckless!

* I did not dance around like a crazy woman in my closet yesterday when I was able to put on my pre-pregnancy jeans. (After months of elastic waistbands and empire waist tops, pants with a button and a zipper are WAY exciting!) I did not jubilantly holler things like "Yay - Go me!" and "Oh yeah, oh yeah!" while dancing like a crazy teenager. I would never do such a thing. Not me - I am able to maintain my composure at all times, of course.

* I did not overlook the obvious spit up on Drew's onesie and swaddle him in it anyway. I would never be so lazy at 3 am that I would make my child sleep with spit up on his sleeper. What kind of a mother would do such a thing - not me, that's for sure!

* I did not fall asleep repeatedly on the couch in the playroom this morning while I was supposed to be playing with my 3 year old. I did not wake up to him saying, "Mommy, keep your eyes open!" I would never, no matter how sleep deprived I may be, neglect to give my sweet Clayton my full undivided attention. (I honestly feel horribly guilty about that one, but I'm trying to laugh it off.)

* I am not sitting on the couch blogging while my sweet hubby cooks dinner in the kitchen. I would never try to get out of cooking. I jump at the chance to prepare a meal for my family. (If you know me, you know how totally sarcastic that last statement was!)

* I did not choose to eat a chocolate Pop Tart for breakfast this morning. Come on, I am nursing a two week old baby! I would never choose something with such little nutritional value (even if it was super convenient and yummy!).

I must admit that was kind of freeing to tattle on myself to the entire blogosphere! Maybe this will be a new Monday tradition. :)

Finally.... for Gran, Grammie, G, and every other grandmother out there, here are some pictures.

This kid loves a good swaddle.

Mr. Bright Eyes

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Leaves are Falling...

We just got back from taking Grammie back to East Texas. What a huge help she has been to us! She cooked, cleaned, did laundry, drove us around (I wasn't allowed to drive until Thursday), rocked Drew, and played with Clayton. Thanks, Grammie, for helping us survive our first two weeks of being the parents to our two little boys!

While we were in East Texas, we decided to take advantage of the fall foliage and snap a few pictures of our family of four.

What a poser!

When we got home, my college roomie, Cindy, and her mom came over for a visit. Cindy is in town from New Mexico, and we were so excited that we got to introduce her to baby Drew.