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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The heights he'll go for love . . .

Because I love color. And he loves me.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Today marks 8 months for our baby Pax. And what a delightful age it is for this little boy. I think back to those first few months with him, and he has changed so much. He was so uncomfortable with his reflux. And though I didn't want to dwell on it then, he was more of a challenge to me than Holden was as an infant. It was tiring and frustrating that I couldn't make him a happier baby. But often now, Jeremy and I comment on what a happy boy that he has become. Such a delight to our home! Full of giggles and smiles. He is especially smiley after he has downed his 6oz of yummy soy formula. Smells awful (and his burps are even worse) but he loves his bottle! And he might decide to hold it himself very soon. Today as I craddled him, he held his bottle without any help from me. In the past he has assited us by placing those chubby hands around the bottle, but today he was doing it solo.
He still contently goes to strangers, family and friends and has never cried at nursery drop off. Yesterday at church a lady wanted to hold him and he went to her. Then he turned towards me when he heard me speaking and reached his arms for me. MELTED. MY. HEART. into a puddle on the floor. Goodness, I have so enjoyed having a momma's boy. As Jeremy was holding him at a church fellowship later on, he was squealing louder and louder and grabbing my shirt to get my attention. Once I held him, he quietened down again. It's official. He loves me more! Only kidding, but it does make me a tad happy to see how he has bonded to me. Don't get me wrong. He loves his daddy and is content in his arms. He gives him big smiles each day as he returns from work.

Paxton is now slowly making his way around on his belly. Still not actually crawling but somehow pushing forward to get where he needs to go. He still only has 2 bottom teeth. But with his runny nose and constant drooling, I'm pretty sure more are coming. We have tried baby puffs, to which he gags and cries. So as of now, he is not yet doing finger foods. But he does love most of his baby food. Not a lover of blueberries. But he opens wide for: green beans, peas, lentils, sweet potato, cauliflower, pumpkin, apples, mango, peaches, pears, bananas and many others that I'm sure I'm forgetting. He is a good eater and is finally enjoying food from the spoon. It seems everything has an adjustment period with Pax. Just like the puffs. He doesn't quite embrace the changes I set before him.

I thought Holden loved his paci. But Paxton has taken that love to a new level.

He is on a great schedule now. He sleeps from 7:30pm-7:30am. He takes a 2-hour nap in the morning and the afternoon. Then he takes a short (normally 45minute) nap in the late afternoon/early evening. I carry him into his dark room and turn on the white noise, he immediately lays his head on my chest. No more fighting sleep. He has become a LOVER of sleep. So I lay him in his crib on his back and hand him his teddy bear and tiny blankie. He immediately rolls over and pops his head up to watch me walk out of the room. And then he's out like a light. He normally wakes up with happy babbling. Music to my ears! He often has his short evening nap in his swing in my room. Yesterday, this is how he took that particular nap. Silly boy. Likes to sleep on his belly these days.

Paxton loves his big brother and spends much time just watching him run circles around him. Holden is now into "holding" Pax. This past week they took their first bath side by side. It's fun to see their little relationship blossom, even at this young age. They are going to be such a blessing to one another in future years.

Mister Paxton has brought a brightness to our days. He has brought thankfulness to these hearts. He has brought an extra voice of giggles and squeals into our home. He is a constant reminder to me that God is the creator of families. And more importantly to my family, that he is the author of adoption. For that I am grateful. We love our baby Pax!

And a few pictures from today to celebrate 8 months of life!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

another successful photo shoot.

Amidst the chaos of pictures on Saturday, we left with some beauties. See for yourself . . .

All was well and good.

Until Holden had enough.
Oh, my little Drama King. To know him is to love him. At this moment, we called it a wrap. Give him a break! It had been a long few hours of paparazzi in his face begging him to smile for candy. NOT how mister H likes to spend his Saturday play time. But I have a camera full of great, sweet pictures and I will be sharing more soon!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Life is about to get busier for this momma . . .

because last night (4/22/10) Paxton officially became mobile! He's not crawling. And I might not even call it arm crawling because he's not using his arms much. But instead he rocks himself to one side and with his hips and knees he pushes himself forward. He does stretch those arms as far forward as they can go to reach whatever is interesting him at the time. It's not much of a challenge right now because he is super slow at making progress across the floor. But next week, I might be singing a different tune. Here is our little inch worm doing his thing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

These boys are not shoppers.

You see, it's probably taken me too long to realize that boys, typically, are not shoppers. And that's why you have girlfriends and sisters. But I was kind of tricked. My dad was a good shopper. Good enough to go to the mall with us as a family. Even though he normally headed to the bookstore or more commonly to the TVs in Dillard's to watch a football game. But many-a-Saturdays with his wife and 3 daughters he headed to the mall. I thought that's just what families did on Saturdays. :) It was what my family did when my mom was stuck in a small town all week long. She needed a mall when the weekend rolled around.

And then I started dating my super-cool husband. And as luck would have it, he was a shopper! He loved going out and blowing his Texas Roadhouse waiter tips on expensive clothes. Actually, too expensive for my taste. Somewhere in the last couple of years, his love for shopping has left him. Bummer for me because I never want to DRAG anyone shopping with me. I think he decided he was breaking some man codes. So around the same time Jeremy decided: he didn't enjoy shopping, but he did enjoy dark beer and he was going to be a UFC fan. Very manly things, huh?! And so, I can roll with these simple changes.

But today I decided we were getting out of the house to do some shopping. Just Holden, Pax and I. I was the only one over the age of 2. That was my first problem. I was outnumbered. To explain why I would go shopping with these boys, I should say that at our house the wall paper is now gone. So we can finally start to decorate. The oh-so-fun part for me! And it's time to start on the kitchen. Since pottery and ceramics are half off this week at Hobby Lobby, that is where I decided to go. I didn't bother bringing a stroller because I knew I would need a cart for my items. But do you know how tiny their carts are? Not so tiny I guess, unless they are filled with children. And mine was filled with children. Paxton in the actual seat, and Holden sitting cross-legged in the cart. And so I would pick out 1 item at a time and hold it with a worker at the check-out, because nothing breakable could go in the cart with Holden. I tried it once. Then I watched as he dangled a huge ceramic candlestick out of the cart and over the tile. So to the check-out it went. Holden was eating his "nack", which was a baggie of cereal. At one point, he accidentally spilled and Apple O's went everywhere! Since I come to this store often, I picked up the Apple O's and was forced to mix the clean and dirty cereal. I had nowhere else to put the ones that hit the floor except back into the original baggie. So I put the baggie in my purse, thinking out of sight, out of mind. Maybe when your 6 months, not when you're 2! (Or mere days from it!) So we had some crying going on because the "nack" was gone. So I tell Holden that I will hold him. That seems to dry up the tears. I am carrying him on my hip and he is hunched over being a "yelper" and helping me push the cart. What a big "yelper" he is! And then suddenly, Pax is really sad that Holden is in my arms while he is a full 10 inches away from my face in that cart. And so at this point, the wailing and tears start to come from Paxton. What to do-what to do-what to do? Thinking in the aisles. I sat Holden down and made him hold onto the cart. I picked up Paxton and set him on the floor of the store. I know you think that's gross, but hold on because it gets worse if you're a germaphobe. I tried to put Holden in the seat as he flailed and kicked about. Success. He's in. Screaming, but in. So then they are both screaming. I actually stood still for a second and laughed outloud at myself. Because it was kind of funny. Hobby Lobby is typically a quiet place. Kind of like a library but with wordless Christian music playing softly in the background. As I'm getting in a good laugh, I pick up Pax and carry him on my hip. He is immediately satisfied and yet Holden has the red eyes and crocodile tears coming down his cheeks. He is crying loudly and saying "hold you, hold you" over and over again. Oh, if I could only hold them both and push the cart. Well, then I would be Super-Mom. At that point, I decided that our time with Hobby Lobby had expired. And so we bought our items and left as quietly as possible. And I did give Holden the bag of dirty and clean Apple O's as I was waiting to pay. I needed something to calm him and all I had was a half dirty "nack". Whatever happened to God made dirt, dirt don't hurt? I still believe in those words. :) And that, my friends, is why it sometimes takes lots of gusto to get me out of the house these days.

I hope that I can often stop to laugh in these moments. I'm surprised that I wasn't embarrassed. Maybe because I didn't know anyone that was watching our charade. Or maybe I'm not as insecure as I sometimes think and these moments won't necessarily be embarrasing to me. I hope that's it. I mean, I feel like we are doing the parenting thing well. Not perfect. I daily catch my mistakes and tear up with regret of how I should have handled something. But I feel like God is working there. Providing me more patience each day. Providing me with gentleness. On Sunday the pastor spoke on wisdom. He asked us to list 3 areas of our life where we feel we need wisdom. These thoughts went through my head: 1) parenting . . . hmmmmmm? 2) parenting and 3) parenting. It consumes me. Probably because there is no break from it. I'm not complaining. It's the job I choose, hands down. But it's my life right now and I know that I only have one chance at this. There's no do-over when our kids are 16 and things don't look as we had hoped. So this week God has constantly been reminding me; to wait, to think, to speak softly. I'm praying for wisdom and graciously, he is providing! I am so thankful. I'm still making mistakes, apologizing for them and moving on. And with all of that being said, there is no denying that parenting is so much fun. And I truly love this season for our family. I know I am going to miss these days when they're gone. But it's also rough and tough, hard and exhausting at times. And at one point I was scouring books, trying to find all my answers. The secret solution for angel-like children. But then I came to my senses. It's not out there. And we're going to have these moments. The hard ones. But we're going to survive and hopefully laugh a little as we walk through them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sweet friends!

Jeremy and I spent the weekend with some very dear friends. I didn't even realize how much we needed the time with them until they arrived and our fun began. We are blessed to have them in our lives. Blessed to have their openess, honesty, sense of humor, love for our boys and the way they understand our hearts. And now we are blessed to be alot closer to them since our move back to Texas. Since November we have been able to see them more frequently. But we all wanted a solid weekend together for golf, shopping, games and chatting around the table. So Josh and Amanda made the trip to our house on Friday night. On Saturday, the boys played golf (in the rain, because that doesn't stop them). Later that day, Amanda and I shopped without children (in the rain, because that doesn't stop us). And both nights from 7:30 on we played the ever-so-addictive marbles game. Saturday night I was kind of wishing they could stay the entire week. :) But what a fun and comfortable weekend we had! Friends, we needed this! Thanks for making the time and spending it with us!

Josh with his hands full!

Me and my sweet friend! Soooooooooooo thankful!

Miss Camryn and Pax all ready for church!

Photo Session - Take 16

Yesterday I made a trip to The Children's Place and just happen to notice a sign on the front window that said "50% off all sale prices". That quickly caught my attention even though I was only stopping in to make a quick exchange. So I ended up walking out with matching shirts for the boys. I was trying not to be completely matchy-matchy and I was going to get different colors of the same shirt. BUT, the sizes of my 2 boys were only available in put-on-your-sunglasses-orange. And so I went with it because they were so darn cheap! And I like cheap! So today they sported their new shirts and similar camo shorts as we strolled through the aisles of Target. They looked cute. And later, I decided to get a picture of these two boys. Wow! By the end of it, my heart was racing and I was a little warm. It felt like I had just done an aerobic workout. Who knew it could be so hard to get them to both look at the camera and somewhat smile at the same time.

This was actually my first picture. Even though Holden looks like he sees a ghost, I should have just stopped there.
This is the silly Holden that not everyone gets to see. Only the privaledged get to see this side.
Paxton looks so much like his birth mother in this picture. They are smiling because I did my fake sneeze. For some reason, my fake sneeze always makes them laugh.
Okay, beware. Paxton starting to get overwhelmed.
And now he's done. The reason he just melted was actually my fault. I completely freaked him out when I was yelling "boogily, boogily". Just trying to make them laugh and instead made my little guy just as frightened as can be! But look at those bottom teeth!
My passionate-about-everything-boy! But who doesn't love passion! Just look at that face. I fear that he might be a heart-breaker!

Ah! Sweetness!

It's funny. Really, really funny! But the not so funny part is that on Saturday Jeremy is going to take pictures of the boys. Real pictures, like the kind we want to frame around our house and share with our family. We TRY to do this instead of paying an arm and a leg for the photographers that we would like to use. And I even bought new outfits for the boys. We have the camera and the editing tools and Jeremy did such a good job with Holden's 1 year pictures last year. But Holden wasn't quite walking at that point. And now he is running (sometimes away from us). And I'm not sure that we should even attempt the sweet brother shots, but I really want those. It might be mass chaos. And I'm pretty positive there is no chance of a family shot, since Jeremy is the photographer and he IS a pretty big part of the family. Oh well, wish us luck. We truly are going to need it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I'm coming to you again for some suggestions. Holden and I get a good 2 hours of one-on-one time most mornings during Paxton's nap. Holden needs this time with me. He thrives when I take advantage of opportunities to pour into him. I assume most children do. So I have been trying to be intentional with this small window of time each morning. This past week we have been doing some new and fun things for him. One morning we played with sidewalk chalk. He enjoyed coloring on the concrete and even coloring some on his legs.

Another day we "painted with water". I think my sister suggested this last summer. He loved it then and did so well with dipping his paint brush and wiping/sprinkling it on the concrete. This time it began as art and ended up becoming more like an outdoor shower for us. No harm in that. I'll probably really be appreciating moments like these in July and August when it feels like we're melting.

It began all nice and neat like this . . .

And quickly became this splash-fest. . . This face in the picture above truly captures Holden's personality! All excitement, all of the time. When I actually take 2 whole minutes to plan something simple, we don't have as many issues like this . . .
Oops. He got into mommy's lipstick during that 2.7 seconds that I turned my back. Not a bad color for him and at least he went for the correct area of the face? Not sure his daddy would see this as a positive though.

So what are some fun activities that entertain your kids that my almost 2 year-old (wow!) Holden might enjoy?

a picture of cuteness.

with a trail of dried spitup all the way down his right side. But still a bundle of cuteness!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Diaper talk.

So I need some advice. Paxton is a bed wetter. Yes, I know he's only 7 months. You see, he wets so much at night (remember he's there for about 12 hours) that it leaks onto the sheets EVERY time. So each morning we have to strip the sheets. And those of you with pillow-type bumpers must know the huge pain that is every day. Well, that was the case UNTIL I had the bright idea to change his diaper before we went to bed. It works okay. We put him down in a dry diaper at 7:30pm and between 10-11pm, whenever we go to bed, we do 1 last diaper change. More often that not he completely sleeps through it. And by morning, he hasn't leaked. But I was annoyed that we had to do this last step. So I went and bought a package of nighttime diapers. I had 2 choices, Pampers and Huggies. For whatever reason, I went with Pampers. 19.99 for 64 diapers. Not a price I love. Guess what, they still leaked. And before you judge my cheap diapers, I will say that he leaked through regular Huggies as well. Believe me when I say it doesn't matter that I use Luvs or something pricey, it just won't hold it all in for 12 hours. Any suggestions for me? Meaning nighttime diapers that will actually work for us? We never had this issue with Holden.

One more thing about diapers. So I tried a couple of diapers from Aldi from a friend. I tried them on Holden and they worked like a charm. So on Monday Paxton and I went to Aldi and he was wearing his very last Luvs diaper. Not a huge concern since Holden is just 1 size above him. I knew if we had an emergency, Paxton could wear his big brother's diapers. So I bought a package of size 3. His normal size. They are supposed to go up to 28 pounds and he is only 20. (I use the term only very loosely.) The brand was called Nanny's stretch something or other. I got them home and opened them and they looked different. Oh no, I thought! And then I realized that they were a little more stiff than I prefer. Not what I remembered about the others. Ugh. And now I can barely wrap those size 3s around my chubby fella. So since I gave a little recommendation for the Aldi diapers - I am now retracting. Maybe it's a different brand in OKC. Very possible. Back to Luvs for my boys. They were only $6 per package (I think 40 diapers). Give them a try if you want. They just didn't work for Paxton.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Sunday!

Sunday was a wonderful day. We went to our favorite church (since we are still church hunting). Worship began and I couldn't get a particular couple out of my mind. I think I might have been vicariously worshiping through them as the service began. They have been drug through alot recently. Sin crept in and could have destroyed something great. But God restores and I have been blessed to just begin watching what He is going to do. (Watching from afar . . . very afar since I don't actually know them.) And so I knew they were worshipping that morning and celebrating forgiveness like never before. It brought me much joy to think about them and remember how God washes it all away. White as snow, once again. That thought kept popping into my head. I couldn't help but smile. And then after the first song was finished, God gently reminded me of my sin. That I'm just as messy. Just as dirty. And just as much in need of his death, ressurection and forgiveness. He was sacrificed for me. And watching someone else's story as Easter came closer this year, was a good reminder of why Jesus came in the first place. I think I needed that reminder. So basic, I know. But I was still in need of the lesson.
After church we headed home for a quick lunch and then naps (for all of us, actually). Then we headed to my sister's house for egg hunting and dinner. It was fun for Holden to share in this with his cousins. A few pictures from our day . . .

Easter morning in our first ever matching anything! I've never matched the boys. But here they are in matching PJ's. One of my favorite pictures ever. Matching is cute. I like it! Holden sat still because we bribed him with candy. Also, in the rest of the picutres with Holden - same story. Holden earned lots of candy on Easter Sunday. Aren't they really cute boys? I can hardly take my eyes off of them!

Pax shows off his goodies!

Holden is pretty excited about his candy.

A dose of sugar right before we send him to the church nursery. We're considerate people in that way. :)

Pax playing his sporty ducks.

Holden on the egg hunt. He would pick up an egg, throw it on the concrete to crack it open and then move on to the next victim. Not sure if he thought they were balls or if he was just being a toot. Eventually he got the hang of the game. I never even considered practicing for this event. Maybe I should have thought of that.

Holden and daddy playing with lots of toys.

Cam and Holden being silly boys.

30th Birthday Bash!

I probably shouldn't call it a bash. I'm just not the birthday bash type. Small, low-key, a few close friends and family. That's all I really wanted. Jeremy asked me what I would like to do and who I would like to be there. I threw out an option and listed a few of the closest people in my life. He ran with it. Planned, organized, emailed and phoned. He made all arrangements. It was kind of late notice (4 days) because that's just how my husband works. He's quite the procrastinator. But MUCH to my surprise, EVERYONE on the list was able to make it. People very dear to my heart! 16 total. They were all sitting around 1 table. It was refreshing and almost felt like a reunion in some ways. And to be with people that know me and know me down deep. It was a blessing to spend Friday night with these friends and family. We met for dinner at a Mexican restuarant that I love. For some reason, I just knew it wouldn't feel like my birthday without guacamole and maybe a margarita. So Mexican food it was. It was delicious, but the company was even better.

After dinner a handful of us (whoever was up for a late night) went to 4 Day Weekend. You might remember that I absolutely love this place. We have gone several times now and it always leaves me laughing til my cheeks hurt. This time Jeremy tweaked it so that the comedians ended up singing a song about me turning 30 and becoming an "old hag." Nice surprise. But once again, they put on a show that amazed me. It's improv and they use the audience for input. So you just wonder how they are so funny, so quick. No script. They write songs as the music starts to play. It's an amazingly funny place that I recommend to EVERYONE. Okay, I think I just said funny 10 times. You get my point. I hoping to get free tickets with my advertisement. :)

We landed home around 12:30am. Jeremy had hidden an icecream cake from Marble Slab in our freezer. It was cake batter icecream, which is my favorite. So with my parents, we enjoyed some cake right before bed.

The next day, I spent alot of time running some errands alone. I would be driving down the road and break into a smile or start to giggle. I couldn't stop thinking about the show from the night before. My 30th celebration was by far my best birthday ever. I know that sounds extreme, but it's the truth.

Oh, dear friends, thanks for coming and celebrating with me (even at late notice, finding a sitter, some of you driving an hour or more for dinner). I must have at least 1,000 memories with each of you. And it made for a very special night that you shared one more.

the dinner crowd

the girls before 4 Day

and everyone should have a cake!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Welcome to Texas, ALDI!

That's right ALDI Food Market has made it's way to Texas. Well, to the DFW area at least and that is what's important for us. The best part is our new ALDI is just 2 miles from my house. I used to drive about 20 minutes for this place. Now it takes me about 1 minute! Not that the 20 minute drive wasn't worth the savings, but it's just so convenient now. And this season of my life needs every convenience that life can offer. So the Grand Opening was about 2 weeks ago and I made my first shopping trip soon after.

Let me tell you a bit about these stores. I've always called it the dollar store of grocery stores. Okay some of you just stopped reading, but for those hanging on, let me tell you more. It's a small store and so you probably won't find everything you need. Instead of 20 types of pasta, they may carry 4. The produce is limited because they purchase as close to home as possible and buy only seasonal produce. This is actually a more natural and healthy way to eat, so I am all for that. Next best thing to a farmer's market, right? Maybe not even close, but definitely a similar idea. So you arrive at the store with your quarter. You put your quarter in the cart to get in unlatched. When you return you cart to leave, your quarter pops back out. So they don't hire cart collectors and it saves them some money. They don't bag any of your groceries. They remove them from your cart, scan them and place in a new cart (that, of course, has a quarter hanging out of it). You can buy reusable ALDI bags for 10 cents. They aren't fabric bags, but more like department store bags. I have 5. They are large, so that is enough to handle my groceries. I leave my bags in my trunk and bag my groceries as I pack them into the car. They don't pay for baggers, which saves them money. So with their money savings, you save a ton! For instance you can buy a carton of blueberries, strawberries or raspberries (when in season) for 99cents. That's unheard of, people! I was in Target today and saw strawberries for $4.50. I bought a fresh pineapple for 99cents (back to ALDI, not Target). A box of cereal was $1.50. I think the kettle cooked chips are around $1. Just trying to give you some ideas. I'm not a big price-watcher/comparer. But this place is crazy cheap so you definitely notice. ALDI won't have your Pampers (you diaper snobs) or your Jolly Green Giant (you green bean snobs). They have their own brands and I have been really pleased. And to really put me over the edge, just last weekend a friend gave me a few ALDI diapers to try on Holden. (Thank you Daysha!) And now I am sold. I was using Luvs. I tried other generic types but sometimes they are like wrapping cardboard around your baby. The ALDI diapers are soft like Luvs, Pampers, Huggies and leakproof. At least for us. So my next diaper purchase will be from ALDI. Pretty exciting, huh! I mean, people, your baby is just going to poop and pee (mom is going to be so mad that I just said pee) in them and then you trash it. No need for golden diapers.

And there is my plug for ALDI. I'm pretty pasionate about this place. I would guess that it can easily cut your grocery bill in half. You might have to make a stop at your normal store for a few things from your list, but for the most, it has what you need. Click here for the website to see if there is one in your area.