Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm an Okie?!

We have had such a busy year! Keeping up with the Kardashians? Heck no. It's hard enough to keep up with us! In June we welcomed the most amazingly, sweet little girl, Nicole. She has been such a joy to our lives and such a wonderful addition to our family. She is a healthy, chubby little 7 month old and Sammy will be 21 months tomorrow. It's hard to believe the last time I bogged I was pregnant with Nicole! Newly pregnant at that.

As if 2 kids wasn't enough of a juggle, we found we were...pregnant again? Haha, no. Not that I know of, anyways! My husband was offered a position for his company in Oklahoma and he accepted the job and we were off to Oklahoma. We contemplated such a decision since our whole lives and family were in Texas, but we decided as a family what was best for us. He really loves working for his company, so how can you beat that? We moved in November and I quickly am in love with the cold weather we have. As any Texan knows you have cold weather what, 3 and 1/2 days a year? So, it's been so nice! I have yet to see snow so this Texan will just have to wait. I'm sure I'll be begging for the toasty sun when that time comes, but until we have to deal with frozen windshields and slushy mud, I am optimistically dreaming of those white, snowy, beautiful days.

We have settled in great here in our new house and we are absolutely loving having a one story house. This is our first time as a married couple having a garage and a yard, so how can you not be ecstatic? The kids enjoy having more space and I am loving the beautiful Oklahoma sunshine coming in those big windows. And did I mention Neil has a man cave? I don't know if he's wiped the smile off his face for the past two months! Did I mention Neil has transformed part of the garage into another man cave? Haha. I'm starting to wonder where my woman cave is?

Life as a stay at home mom to 2 kids has been great, though not void of headaches and pull-my-hair-out moments. But, I always know I am one lucky lady to have an amazing husband who supports us emotionally and financially so I can be home with our two rug rats...I mean, angels! Thanks, dear.

I can't believe I am saying it, since I struggled so much with Sammy for two months producing milk to only pump half as much as he needed, but I am still breast feeding Nicole at 7 and 1/2 months. What a great accomplishment! I never thought it to be possible. I had an amazing lactation consultant when we had Nicole back in Texas and I know I couldn't have done it without her. Nicole has been a healthy, beautiful girl since the day she was born! God blessed us with amazing and healthy kids. She is so, so, so sweet. And happy. And lovable. Having a little girl has been so neat! Sammy really enjoys having her around and seeing them light up with each other is very sweet.

I have yet to drop the baby weight and start to see pictures of myself from just a few years ago and think, "Who is that person?!" I'm sure one day I'll get back where I need to be. I lose major motivation when I get so tired from the kids and still getting up at night to feed Nicole and all. I just try to tell myself it's not the end of the world if I have on this weight for a little while. It's not like I have a lackadaisical life! And, when I'm at this point in my life of having babies and taking care of them, I know that won't last forever so I try not to beat myself up about it. TRY. I'm so lucky to have a husband who loves me and thinks I'm beautiful regardless of stretch marks and extra poundage. I started up Zumba again for the first time since before we were married and I am just loving it! An hour of dancing with no kids needing me? Count me in! And, this is the first time in two years that I am doing something for myself and by myself. I have to say, it is so nice. Now, if only those cookies would stop calling my name.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


What happened at church today reminded me to stop and to have compassion for people, no matter how small the gesture is. A lady at church reminded me of this today. But, it wasn't what she did for me. Rather, what she didn't do.

Neil had to work late, so I went church this evening for Ash Wednesday with Sammy since Neil went downtown on his lunch break. I showed up to church and there was a billion people trying to park. It was the most people I've ever seen at church. Finding a parking spot was impossible. I finally had to park at the furthest spot we've had to park at to date. Which, in turn, that means it was the longest walk to date to church. I started my trek toward the church among the mass of people with a diaper bag on my left hip, Sammy on the right, and my 6 month pregnant belly in between. He gets so heavy after a while, and I was so hoping I would have a seat to sit down to relieve the heaviness.

I walked into the church and couldn't believe the sea of people standing in the back, not as if I was too surprised. I made my way through the crowd and noticed an usher at the front of the church holding up one finger, signifying there was a spot for one person. I looked around, certain that of the crowd of people in the back, someone would snatch up that spot. Nobody moved. So, as he held up his finger again, I briskly walked through the wall of people and made my way to the front of the church. I couldn't help but feeling like the boat captain on the movie Titanic. You know, the one that left behind all the passengers as he took his place on the rescue boat? I just couldn't pass up an opportunity for a seat, seeing as how Sammy's 21 pounds gets quite heavy after a little while, much left mass lasting an hour and 20 minutes. If no one took the spot when offered, I don't know why I was feeling so guilty. Anyways, I digress.

As I made my way to the front of a packed church, I arrived to the pew to see the usher standing at the end and pointing to the seat. There were two ladies staunchly sitting at the end of the pew with the empty spot being beside them. Let's review; I have a huge diaper bag on my left hip, Sammy on my right hip, and a 6 month belly in between. One, if not two people, would get bumped in the head one way or another with me trying to get in. I figured maybe when they see how full my hands were, they  would give up their end seat and simply move over. Wrong. They stared at me blankly, as if to say, "Well...?"

I took a step with my left foot and realized I was going to hit the person in the pew in front with my bag. If I tried with my right, I'd fall simply trying to get over these two women holding Sammy. And still, they stared blankly at me. I finally, in somewhat of a blatant huff, asked the obvious, "Could I just sit on the end?" The lady paused, completely and slowly rolled her eyes, and then they scooted down. I couldn't believe it. I figured surely anyone seeing someone with such full hands would offer to help. I appreciate the usher, probably uncomfortably watching the ladies parked in their seat, for offering me a hand with the bag. As I sat there, in my 5 inches of room on the pew, it took me a while to get over what the ladies just did. It made me realize too how it's so important to give others compassion and to offer our help. I spent the beginning of the mass thinking about this and the rest wrestling with Sammy. He was both fired up and in cramped quarters and tried to get everything; the African woman's headpiece in front of us, the rolling-eyed lady's Coach purse, along with trying to get down to wander around when he wasn't slapping my necklace or unknowingly trying to pull down my shirt.

What was both comic relief, as well as embarrassing moments, was when Sammy started to play with my necklace, which is my Saint Gerard medal. He begins to play with it and then starts to slap it. So, I grab his hands to stop and it makes him laugh. I let go, since he's laughing in church, and he starts slapping it again. Of course, I grab his hands to stop slapping which makes him laugh. I laugh. Then, he laughs again. Here we go. We have the giggles now. It was quite a day in church. Between the laughs, slapping my necklace, pulling down my shirt, and clapping and smiling as people walked near us, I was quite exhausted when I came home. Then, to top off the evening, leaving the parking lot was an adventure. Not only were we not budging because of traffic, Sammy screamed (I repeat, screamed) the entire way home. Which, is not like him. It later turns out he was just really hungry. I got home and was so relieved to see Neil making his way out of the house to the car before I even had it in park. He took Sammy and as we walked in the house, I see a nice glass of ice water waiting for me on the coffee table. You are the best, my love.

From this evening, I actually learned a little more about compassion. I realized how important it is to do things for people, even if it means doing small things like giving up your end spot at the pew or letting people into your lane (which in a big city, for some reason, is a really difficult thing to do!). I appreciate my husband's moment of compassion by walking out to the car and making me a glass of water. We must all take a second of our days to do something for others, especially if the occasion arises. After all, isn't compassion what our Lord offers us every minute of every day? I learned something from my very eventful evening. Opportunities to offer help and compassion are everywhere.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas

December has come and I've found myself busy and blog-less. For the first time, we did the cute family picture Christmas card that I've always wanted to do once we started a family. It turned out great. Thank you to Janice for taking the pictures for us! Sammy looked too cute in his Santa's hat. My sister, Jessica, came out to stay with us this weekend and we made the traditional pigs in the blanket for the first time. It's a tradition we used to always make with Mom back home. So, now that we are establishing our own traditions, we wanted to see if we could hack it in the kitchen. Turned was a success! We had a great weekend with Jessica and made pigs in the blanket that just about rivaled Mom's. There are some things we need to tweak just a bit for next year and Neil's wheels were turning as to what other combinations we could do for next year. Or, next week! I think he had a good time channeling Bobby Flay in the kitchen.

After 6 hours in the kitchen, we were exhausted and ate the fruits of our labor while watching Ratatouille. I absolutely love that movie! Of course, we were so exhausted we couldn't finish the movie. But, we sure went to bed with piggies in our tummy. And, they sure were good! The Christmas holidays bring so much fun, food, and family. We are excited for all of the Christmas' we will be having, especially experiencing Sammy's first Christmas! This will probably be my last blog until the holidays have come and gone. So, I would love to wish you all a very, very, very Merry Christmas! And, a very happy New Year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gravy, anyone?

The other night I attempted to make gravy for the first time. Key word: attempted. I was excited to find a couple of recipes for a pan fried, breaded pork chop and some milk gravy. I knew that making gravy is the ultimate test of a good cook. So, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I followed a recipe that didn't have exact measurements of the ingredients being used. That was my first mistake. My next mistake? Ever stepping foot in the kitchen. I was in the kitchen for over an hour, had Sammy in his standing toy fussing for about 75% of the time, my pork chops wouldn't cook thoroughly, I burned the outside of most of them, had to put them in the oven for them to cook through, and of all the failures, my gravy was the ultimate. To sum it up, I could throw a ball of it into the air and catch it like a tennis ball!

When the hubby came home from a long day of work, he couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of me with no makeup, red cheeks from the hot kitchen, burned pork chops, Sammy fussing and my gravy as thick as mashed potatoes. We had a good laugh! After, of course, I got over the disappointment of all that transpired with my disaster of a meal. Turns out, the actual mashed potatoes I made were good, the pork chops actually were very tasty, the green beans were good and the gravy was an absolute spectacle. We laughed the rest of the evening about that darn gravy as it sat on the stove. I had to figure out what to even do with it because half of the "gravy" was stuck inside the whisk.

We made jokes all night about it. And, it's like Neil said, I'm learning. Even with that disaster of a gravy, I learned and am learning every day about cooking. The best cooks started somewhere. So, this is all part of the process! We took a picture of my gravy so that Sammy can see 20 years from now that his momma was not always a good cook. Well, that's not the only reason why we took the picture. It's a hilarious picture! It was a constant joke throughout the night. "Do you want some gravy with your pork chops?", "Don't forget to put up the gravy.", "Your mashed potatoes look like they need some gravy." I could have been upset about it all, which I was for a millisecond. But, it was just so funny to see this chunky blob of "gravy". Come to find out, I used maybe over a cup of flour which I later learned you only need a few tablespoons. Whoops!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

The cold weather is here and it finally feels like the holidays! Thanksgiving was amazing and Mom's homemade dressing didn't disappoint. I look forward to it every year. And, after many helpings, it always leaves me completely satisfied and a pound heavier. I mean, a pound happier! 

The cool weather kind of snuck up on us when we celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom's side on Saturday. We left the house with Sammy in shorts and showed up to a little bite in the air. So, after just a couple hellos (which there are TONS on Mom's side since our family is so huge) I changed Sammy into some warmer clothes. Well, since I was changing his clothes I just decided to change his diaper, too. Makes sense, huh? Well, I go to change him on the couch and just like that, he peed on Momma! My jeans were wet with pee. Again, we made an arrival! Oh well, it's all part of being a mom. I changed him into some warm clothes and we enjoyed an amazing day at my aunt's lakehouse. It was the first time we celebrated Thanksgiving out there and it is just the neatest place. It's right on the water, has a huge deck, and of course, tons of family and food.

Thanksgiving day we spent at Neil's grandma on his dad's side and it was the first year we were able to stay there all day. Last year, we had three Thanksgivings in one day in two different towns. It's exhausting. It just so happened to work out this year that we had them on different days, though Mom had a little something at her house on Thanksgiving day. We missed it since we would be there the next day and there to celebrate with them and her side of the family on Saturday.

I have to say, all of this traveling is exhausting. And now, traveling with a little one, it makes things so hard. We spend the holidays in a car, jam packed with stuff and driving from town to town from here to there. It makes it a little less fun. I can't wait until the kids are older to where we are able to spend the holidays more at home and are able to wake up on Christmas morning at home instead of stuffed in a vehicle. We just can't make all of these different meals and gatherings on the same day. It makes the holidays miserable for us and makes us feel like we don't have a holiday. We don't want to dread the holidays, we want to enjoy them! It'd be great if we could split ourselves in four people. But, that's just not the case. Oh well, we'll figure it out one day.

The cold weather is fantastic! The other night was the first night we put the heater on. It was just too cold in the house and not only was I a popsicle, but I was afraid Sammy would be too cold during the night. We decided to put the heater on. I woke up at 2 in the morning and was absolutely freezing. I woke up Neil to find out that the heater was not working. Sammy was waking up during the night. We later were thinking it was either because it was too cold or because he's teething. I couldn't believe on one of the coldest nights of the year we were without heat! We put a blanket on Sammy and toughed out the night. When we got up in the morning, it was 59 degrees in the house! Luckily we were able to get it fixed by yesterday evening so that we did not have to go without heat again. I don't think we could have gone another night as ice cubes! Maybe we could have toughed it out, but we didn't want poor Sammy to be a Sammysicle when he woke up.

Sammy woke up on Thanksgiving morning as Tarzan! Throughout the night and him playing in the crib in the morning, his arm must have snuck out. It was cute!

Sammy was fascinated by my candy cane striped socks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sweet Little Peanut

The days lately have been escaping me and my poor blog has been lonely! I've been so busy with Christmas decorations for the last few days. Yes, before Thanksgiving. Definitely a first for me. The house is looking so festive! Too bad this Texas weather can't cooperate. But, hopefully soon the cold weather will be here.

Today I went to the doctor for my 11 week checkup. I'm trying hard this pregnancy to try not to gain nearly as much weight as the first time, especially since I wasn't able to lose my baby weight before I got pregnant again. So, needless to say I'm trying to be conscious of what I eat. So far, I've only gained a couple of pounds and I'm almost out of the first trimester. So, I'm doing okay!

I had another ultra sound today and got to see the sweet little peanut, as I call him/her. What a sweet little baby! It started to get me excited and it made it all a little more real. Everything is looking great! I had to get blood work done so needless to say, that wasn't the highlight of my day. I have a serious complex with needles. So, I turned my head and closed my eyes the entire time. It made it better! Sammy was such a good boy at the doctor's office today. We ended up being there for an hour and a half and he was just an angel. He had all of the nurses goo goo gah gahing over him. He's already winning the ladies hearts. Too bad he's marrying his Momma. Ha!  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Came Mega Early

Yesterday we celebrated our first Thanksgiving of the season, with two more still to come. We celebrated really early since half of the hubby's family will be in Colorado on Thanksgiving. So, they wanted to celebrate early so that we would all be able to get together for the holiday. We had a great time! The food was fantastic and I always enjoy the family and a good game of Taboo! I absolutely love that game. It's a quick thinking game that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Well, it does for me anyway. I love it!

Neil's cousin had their first baby in September so we had two babies celebrating the holiday with us. He's 7 weeks old and so tiny! Hard to believe Sammy was once a little squirt. The little one slept practically the whole day, which was a far cry from our little one who made his grand entrance into the house as a screaming ball of love. He was fussy from people passing him around to hold him after church and was super hungry. He sucked down about 8 ounces of formula in a matter of seconds, it seemed! Needless to say, we made an entrance. Sammy is scooting and dragging himself around all over the place. I wouldn't say he is "crawling" yet because I reserve that term for hands and knees, full blown crawling around. So, I'll say Sammy is "traveling". He can get to any toy he wants by scooting and army crawling that way. He'll get on all fours and rock and all. It looks so cute but now I definitely have to keep an eye on him!

Overall, we had a great time for our first Thanksgiving of the year. It was nice to have such yummy food, though I was a little nauseous being 9 weeks pregnant. But, I managed to get down some desserts. (Ha!) Neil's grandma is a great cook so you know the food is going to be wonderful. I'm looking forward to our next couple of Thanksgivings, and especially looking forward to mom's homemade dressing. It's out of this world!

The sleeping boys and their daddy's snuggling beside them. Cute picture!

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