Friday, December 31, 2010

Escape Artist

Well, life as I know it is over. Drew has met a major toddler-hood milestone. One that will result in huge changes around here.

You think that I am being dramatic? Well, I'm not.

Homeboy decided to catapult himself out of his crib at 6:15am on Wednesday, December 29th.

It is a moment that I will never forget...

I woke up out of a dead sleep at 6:15 to blood curdling screams from my youngest man-child. I guess that he had a nightmare or something, because he just woke up screaming. I was scared to death, so I went tearing upstairs. When I got halfway up the stairs, the screaming stopped. How odd... So, I went back to my bedroom and looked at the monitor. There was no baby in his bed. Hmmm....

Then I saw that little monkey crawl back into his crib, get his nanny (security blanket), throw it out, and then crawl back out of the crib. He was so fast! He went back in for his nanny, then he was out of there again!

I ran back upstairs and he met me at his door with all of his stuffed animals and his nanny. Of course, Wade was out of town, and I was half asleep. So, I had no idea how to solve this dilemma. I just brought him down to my bed and let him sleep with me for an hour or so. (Don't judge me, people. I was at my wit's end. That is a rare privilege that is reserved for extreme circumstances. We don't make a habit of letting our kids sleep in our beds.)

That afternoon, he climbed out of his bed 3 more times. I punished him every time and then put him back in his bed. He is so sensitive and he cried so much. I felt awful about getting onto him. :( But, after that third chastisement, he went to sleep for a solid 2+ hour nap. On Thursday evening, he went to sleep without getting out of bed, and has done pretty well since.

For some strange reason, my kids seem to reach this less than desirable milestone months before their peers. What in the world??? I blame it on the fact that Wade and I breed children that lack the concept of fear and have a tendency to partake in risk taking behaviors. (Help me, Jesus, if they are still acting this way as teenagers! Dive bombing out of the crib is one thing, but once cars are involved... Oh, my!) Or, it may be because I am comparing them to my friends kids that are mostly all girls. Could be a gender thing, I guess...

Either way, Clayton climbed out of his crib a couple of weeks after his birthday and Drew escaped the containment of his crib at 26 months. I know girls that were/are in their cribs well after their 3rd birthday. That is not the case at our house!

With Clayton, we moved him to a toddler bed immediately when he figured out how to get out of his crib. One of the nurses that I worked with at Children's told me that you had to move kids to a toddler bed as soon as they escape out of their crib, or they would never sleep well again. That terrified me, so that is exactly what we did with Clayton. We set up the toddler bed the very day that he crawled out of his crib. He made the transition very well and I was a believer in that method.

But, with Drew, I'm just not as uptight about that kind of thing. I figure that whether he remains in his crib or if we move him to a toddler bed, he will know that he can get out. Either way, he needs to learn to stay in his bed, right? I guess we will just see how he does for the next few days in his crib and then go from there. I am going to go ahead and predict that we will have a rocky few months of sleep with Drew. I'm sure that we will have all of the kinks ironed out just in time to welcome our newborn. In other words, I will not get a full nights sleep for a good, solid year. I hope that I am wrong, but only time will tell. ;)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baby Boy #3 Updates

I feel like I have not adequately blogged enough about Baby #3. :( I don't want for him to look back at blog books in 20 years and to feel like the neglected 3rd child. I just can't have that! So, I thought that I would do a little run down of my pregnancy up until now, in an effort to properly document this baby's history. :)

* We found out that we were pregnant on Saturday, September 4th. I was just as excited (if not more so!) at that moment as I was with our previous positive tests. It is crazy how just that one second of time changes your whole life! One minute I was the mother of two, and in an instant I realized that I was the mother of three. I was screaming and giddy with excitement! I couldn't wait to come up with some cutesy way to tell Wade. I just woke him up out of a dead sleep to show him the test and announce that we were expecting. Once he got over the initial shock of being woken up, he was thrilled too! :)

* I saw my OB for my first prenatal appointment on September 27th. The baby's heart was beating at 152 bpm and that tiny little flashing heartbeat was just as reassuring as I remembered it to be.
* We told Clayton about the baby on October 1st. He had been begging for a wallet (wanting to be as much like his Daddy as possible). We gave him a wallet and inside we put 2 pictures. One of the pictures was of him with Drew and the other was our sonogram picture. His reaction was priceless! We have it all on video, and I will treasure that forever. He loved his wallet and the picture of him with Drew. When we asked him about the sonogram picture, he was really confused. He said, "That's a picture of Drew when he was in your tummy, right?" I was shocked that he remembered my sonograms with Drew! When we told him the picture was actually of our new baby, he was super excited! He started laughing with this nervous laughter that he couldn't control. It was super cute. :)

* I saw my OB again on October 25th. That appointment was probably my favorite memory of this pregnancy thus far. My OB does a sonogram at every appointment for all of his patients, and that is such a blessing! I was overwhelmed with emotion during my sono at that appointment. At my 7 week appointment, there was just a small white ovalish figure with a flashing light of a heart. But, by this appointment (11 weeks) I could see a formed baby! There was a definite head and chest and 4 limbs. I remember telling Dr. N., "You would think that since this is my 3rd baby, that I would remember how much they change in such a short amount of time, but I can't get over it!" His reply was so sweet and tender (I love my OB!). He said, "Sarah, I do sonograms everyday, and I am still amazed by the whole process. Every baby truly is a miracle!" It was at that moment that I felt like this baby was a real person. :) His heart rate was 168 and he was moving all over the place! It was so fun to watch!

* At my appointment on November 22nd, we found out that we are expecting Boy #3. I blogged all about that HERE. His heart rate was 167.

* I had my 19 week appointment on December 20th. The baby's heart rate was 163. We could see the brain, bladder, stomach, spine, and most of his other bones. Everything looked "perfect" according to Dr. N. That was music to my ears... :) He wanted to wait until my next sono in January to further examine the heart. He said that he waits until the heart is bigger, so that he can get a true picture of what is going on. There are definitely 4 chambers, but we will have to wait until my next appointment to get more details. Once his heart all checks out okay, I will feel a sense of relief. The nurse in me just can't rest until I know that all of the anatomy is functioning just as it should be. :)

* I have been blessed with very easy (if there is such a thing, I guess!) pregnancies, and this time is no exception. In fact, I would say that this has been the easiest so far. I felt nauseous literally twice during my first trimester and never actually got sick. (I got sick a handful of times with both of the other boys.) I am just starting to experience that pesky heartburn (my most annoying symptom both of the other times), but it is totally manageable. Zantac is my new best friend!

* I just started wearing my first maternity clothes this week (week #20), which is later than either of the other boys (19 weeks with Clayton and 17 weeks with Drew). Hopefully, that means that this baby will be smaller than Drew was???

* I felt this baby moving while we were in France and I was 16 weeks pregnant. I thought that I felt flutters at 15 weeks, but told myself that it was too early for that. But, at 16 weeks, I was laying on my stomach trying to fall asleep and I felt a for sure kick. I didn't feel Clayton's first kicks until 19 weeks and Drew's at 17 weeks. So, it has gotten earlier each time. I guess maybe I have just gotten better at knowing what it feels like. :)

* So far, this baby moves a ton, just like Drew did. (Clayton wasn't as active as either of his brothers in utero.) This baby has been super active during all of my sonograms (making getting measurements difficult) and I feel him moving all of the time! I'm hoping that maybe he will follow in Drew's footsteps and get all of his craziness out in the womb and enter the world as a laid back baby. That sure would be nice!

* The biggest dilemma that we are facing right now is what we are going to name this baby. We cannot seem to agree on a name! Wade shoots down every name that I come up with and I am not crazy about his choices either. The main problem that we have run into this time is that our friends and family all have really good taste in boy names. :) Most of the names that we agree on are already taken. We both love Jackson, William/Will, Luke, Caleb, Grayson, Eli, Collin, Grant, and several others that our friends and family have used.

We have come up with a few good options, but nothing for sure yet. Both Clayton and Drew have family names as their middle names. We would love to continue that trend for this baby. So far, the family names that are in the running are William, Thomas, Paul, and James. All are great options, so that is nice! We are just going to have to pick a first name and then decide which middle name sounds best. :)

I am hoping that we can come up with a name soon! I am anxious to start monogramming everything in sight. ;)

* I have already noticed one fun perk of having 3 children that are all the same gender. We already have everything that we "need," so I can buy things that are "wants." We already have lots of clothes, equipment, and toys. We aren't going to redo the nursery, so that is already done. Since all of those bases are covered, I don't feel guilty spending a little more money on the fun stuff. :) I have already bought Baby #3 several outfits that I wouldn't have splurged on the first 2 times around. (By "splurge", I mean that I have paid $30 for a couple of nice outfits that aren't from Target or Old Navy. I'm not going crazy paying boutique prices or anything. :) ) I also feel less guilty about using a really great photographer and getting the pictures that I will cherish forever. I find myself justifying the things that we didn't buy for Clayton & Drew because Baby Boy 3# is so cost efficient. Ha! I guess that there are perks to being the 3rd boy!

Alright, now I feel like everything is caught up as far as documenting this sweet babe. Hopefully, we will have a name announcement to make soon!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2010 - The Mega Post

Christmas 2010 can be summed up with 3 major themes - Science, Stunts, and Sickies. Clayton asked for mostly science related gifts, Drew proved to be just as fearless with doing his own stunt-work as his older brother is, and Drew & I were both sick. Drew got sick on the 23rd, and managed to pass his cold onto his mother via his adorable, slobbery kisses (which I am powerless to resist).

On Christmas Eve night the boys opened their Christmas PJs and brother gifts (the gifts that they purchased for each other). Then Daddy read the Christmas story out of Luke 2 and also read the Night Before Christmas. The boys put on their Christmas PJs and set out milk and cookies for Santa. Then everyone went to bed. :)

Christmas morning took place in two parts this year. Clayton (our early bird) was up promptly at 7:15. He was kinda grouchy when he came downstairs. Something about it being too bright - apparently flash bulbs first thing in the morning are not his cup of tea. Ha!

He cheered right up, however, when he saw his Santa loot. He got a skateboard and a Moon in my Room.
He was pretty happy about his stocking gifts, too.

He started practicing his skateboarding immediately...

Drew didn't get up until 8:30, and he was much more cheerful! He came bouncing down the stairs laughing and pointing. A nasty cold couldn't steal his Christmas joy! He saw his Lego table first and was so excited! He started saying "Blocks! Blocks!"

Seriously - such a happy kid!

Then it was time for gifts from Mommy & Daddy...

Clayton decided to open his gifts from biggest to smallest - no surprise there! He opened his microscope first. This picture was right after he said, "Oh my gosh!!! I got a microscope!"

He was so excited! Oh, how I pray that his love for science continues! ;)

He had played with this same circuit kit while we were at the Children's Museum, and he was thrilled to get his own set.

The boys are going to share a room when Baby #3 gets here, and they requested a space themed room. So, they got their bedding and some accessories. Clayton got a rocket shaped clock that projects the time onto the ceiling. He thinks it is pretty cool!

Drew was content with his "Mickey Mouse 'Puter." He is so easy to please!

"I get to grow my own crystals!" Ha!

Drew got a ride on motorcycle. It seemed like a good idea at the time of purchase...

Then he turned into Evel Kneivel!

The 2 year old stunt work continued on Brother's skateboard...

as he plowed into my great grandmother's antique church pew.

Lord, have mercy! And, to think, I always thought that I would end up with all girls... God really does have a sense of humor! ;)

Clayton and I made our annual gingerbread nativity. We made the star out of Laffy Taffy again. Mary and Joseph had Little Debbie petit fours as bodies and Tootsie Pop heads with Fruit Rollup clothing. Baby Jesus was a Circus Peanut with a graham cracker manger. There was Shredded Wheat hay, of course, too. We had so much fun coming up with edible ideas. :) HERE is the link to last year's gingerbread nativity.

Then we made our Happy Birthday, Jesus (& Joe)! cake. Wade's uncle has a Christmas birthday, so we always give him a shout out on our cake. ;)

We spent the evening at Kelli & Doug's house. They are so sweet to invite us to eat Christmas dinner with them! The kids had a ball playing with Doug/driving him crazy. Bless his heart, Doug is always such a good sport! I was so busy stuffing myself with all of the delicious food, that I didn't take any pictures. :( Man, I am slacking this holiday season! We had a great time, and we didn't even have to go to the ER this year! Yay! I'd consider that a success. ;)

Christmas Round 3 & 4

Christmases #3 & 4 were spent with the great grandparents. It thrills me to no end that my children have 3 great grandparents that are all in excellent health!!! I know that Clayton especially will remember the special times that he gets to spend with them for the rest of his life. What a blessing!

Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero photographic documentation of our Christmas on the 23rd with Grandmother & Granddaddy. :( Shame on me! Drew was starting to get sick and I was just so nervous about his coughing and runny nose. I was so busy worrying about him, that I didn't even take one picture. I could just kick myself for that! Despite Drew's impending illness, we had a ball. Wade's Grandmother & Granddad always go way over board with gifts for all of us. They promise every year that they are going to "cut back," and then they bless us all with way too much. The boys got some darling clothes, which I was extremely grateful for, and lots of fun toys and stocking stuffers. There are 5 great grandchildren on that side and they played well together while all of the adults talked and ate. It was a great evening! Drew danced and played and acted like his usual sweet self, but his nose was running like a faucet and he was coughing up a storm. So... we came home for a breathing treatment and some Benedryl. :)

On Christmas Eve, Drew woke up and still seemed to be pretty sick. Wade & Clayton drove to East Texas to celebrate with Mamaw, while Drew and I stayed home and rested. Luckily, Wade was much more diligent about photographing their day. :)

Our Family Representatives
Clayton adores his 2 "big boy" second cousins. Colby & Collin are so sweet to play with him! They are both such great kids - I hope that our 3 boys grow up to be just as well mannered and respectful as Colby & Collin!
*Yes, Clayton is still wearing his "ascot"! He is such a silly goose!

Christmas 2010 with the great grandparents was, well, great! Thanks Grandmother, Granddaddy, and Mamaw for being such wonderful examples to us all! We are so grateful for the legacy that you have given us - not just at Christmas, but all year long!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

P.S. Today marks the halfway point in our pregnancy with Baby Boy #3! I am exactly 20 weeks pregnant today. How fun that it fell on Christmas day! Our family will look very different at this time next year! We'll have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and 7 month old that is on the verge of crawling. Craziness - I love it! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Picture is Worth...

a thousand words, right??? I feel like I have taken a ton of random pictures lately that don't really deserve a full blog post. But... they are everyday life around here and moments that I just want to remember. So, here are a few snippets with a little commentary. :)

Drew LOVES any kind of art project. Clayton never cared much for painting or coloring, but Drew could spend hours creating pictures. They just so different!

The other day while I was unloading groceries, the boys disappeared and I could hear them playing in the living room. When I finished putting everything away, I came in to see what they were doing. They had fashioned the Walmart sacks into "capes" and they were spinning around being "superheroes." I died laughing! What great imaginations they have!

While Wade and I were in Carcassonne staying in the castle, we bought Clayton a knight's costume. He loved his souvenir! He put on all of his garb and put all of his other armor on Drew. They looked so cute! I especially love Clayton's serious look, Drew's helmet, and Drew's stick horse. Ha!

The boys were watching TV in the living room, and I found them in this position. I thought that it was so sweet! I hope that they are always best buddies! I can't wait to see how 3 man-children interact. ;)

Drew was hugging Wade and somehow managed to shimmy up into Wade's pullover. He was quite pleased with himself when his little blond head poked out of the neck hole. :)

Drew loves our Little People nativity this year! He knows all of the participants and talks to them all day long. He pulls his little chair up and just chatters away. It is adorable!

I asked him the other day what he would like to name his baby brother. He said, "Baby Jesus!" Ha ha! Precious child...

Drew loves his new big wheel that he got for his birthday, but his legs aren't quite long enough to peddle. They figured out that if they rode it together, Clayton could peddle and Drew could help steer. Way to pull off some teamwork, Boys!

Last week while Wade was out of town, Clayton hollered "Hey, Mom! Come in here!" from Daddy's office. When I walked in, he had his computer set up on Wade's desk. He had found an old mouse to use and also Wade's old blackberry. He was quick to point out that he had plugged his phone into his computer to charge. Ha! He will be quite the businessman, I'm sure.

I know that was a random hodge-podge of pictures, but I just want to remember to document the everyday things as well as the big things. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Round 1 & 2

We are blessed with LOTS of family members, which makes this time of year especially fun! We get to have multiple Christmas celebrations and spend time with family that we don't get to see as often as we wish that we could. That just makes the season even sweeter!

We had our first 2 celebrations this past weekend. The kids had a ball (Wade & I did too!). On Saturday night we went to Wade's cousin, Shelley's, house to celebrate "A Griswold Cousins Christmas." Shelley put so much work into the planning & everything was so much fun! She even decorated her house in Griswold fashion - mattresses leaned up against the garage, GOBS of newspapers in the yard, her husband's truck covered in a blue tarp with bricks holding the hood open, etc. It was awesome! Wade's Mamaw moved out to East Texas this past Spring, so we wouldn't all be able to gather at her house like we have in years past. This was a perfect opportunity for us to all see each other and for all 13 of the cousins to play together.

Mamaw's 13 great-grandchildren (minus the newest Miss Hannah who was sleeping)

The kids decorated gingerbread men...

and exchanged gifts.

It was such a fun night! Thank you, Shelley, for putting everything together! You did an awesome job!

On Sunday morning, we went to church. The boys wore red and I thought that they looked so handsome! (That is my completely unbiased opinion, of course!) They humored their Mama and let me snap a few pictures. :)

Man, those are some cute kiddos, if I do say so myself! ;)

After Drew's nap, we went to my sister-in-law's house to celebrate Christmas with Grammie, Papaw, Uncle Corey, Aunt Leigh Ann, Makinley, and Morgan. Grammie & Papaw had done so much work to make it all so nice for us (as usual!).

The kids got to do our annual Christmas Pie (they pull strings that are attached to small presents that they get to open - they all LOVE it!).

We all played some games that Grammie had prepared. This years games were all "Minute to Win It" types of games. We played "Junk in your Trunk" where they tied a Kleenex box around your waist and you had to shake the bells out of the box without touching it with your hands. I played the preggo card to exempt myself from the public humiliation, but it sure was fun to watch!

Even Drew got in on the action. :)

I should probably explain the bandana around Clayton's neck... He is really, really, really into Scooby Doo right now. He really likes the character Fred. He told his Grammie that he wanted an ascot (like Fred wears) for Christmas. Sure enough, there was a camo bandana in his stocking. He was pleased as punch and wore his "ascot" all night long. Ha!

For the next game, they put a gingerbread man on our foreheads, then we had to use our facial muscles and tilt our heads just so to work the gingerbread man down into our mouths. The kids got really into it!

Morgan was the most fun to watch! She was so serious!

Next, we had to "fish" for small candy canes using a big candy cane tied to a string. It was much harder than it looks!

Lastly, we had to use a straw to transfer small ornaments from one container to another.

After all of the games, it was present time. Grammie & Papaw spoiled us all rotten, as they tend to do every year. The boys got some great loot and have kept themselves entertained for hours and hours. It has been so nice!

Even Baby Boy #3 got gifts! He is still in the womb, and he is already being spoiled! What a lucky boy!

We still have several more Christmases to partake in. We are so, so blessed!