Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Here are our five Christmases all wrapped up in pictures: (Bennett had a wonderful time with family and with celebrating Jesus' birthday). We all had a great time, Bennett especially enjoyed playing with all of the kiddos his age. I confess we're relieved to be back home sleeping in our own beds and getting ready for the New Year.

Christmas Eve at Nandy's House

Christmas Morning at Our House

Christmas at Mimi and Poppy's House

(We didn't get very many pictures of Christmas at Granny's House, but that's where we spend all of Christmas Day after my parents' house. We all head over to eat lunch, play board games, open presents and take naps. It's fabulous. This year we had to leave early to head to our fifth Christmas in Alabama with Michael's family).

Christmas with Michael's Family

Whew! That's all! This year wasn't exactly restful, but it was great being with so much family. Next year I think we'll be making a few adjustments, especially with the two kiddos :) Happy Holidays, everybody!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Yes, Friday Favorites are back - don't know for how long - I refuse to commit because that dooms it all from the start. But here's a post for this week, anyway, with no particular theme or rhyme or reason, just some favorites of mine:

1) ROTISSERIE CHICKEN AT WAL-MART -- these are whole, cooked, delicious chickens, for $5, my friends. I plan my menu of the week around these suckers pretty often. I pick two dishes that each require the meat from about half a chicken, and then I'm set for two different meals. An example of this is my menu this week, which included chicken salad on croissants with BBQ chips one night, and tonight I'm making chicken enchilada casserole, all from the same stinkin' chicken, and I don't have to cook the meat cause it's already done! It doesn't get much better than that.

2) TWILIGHT BOOK SERIES -- If you haven't read it, read it. 'Nuff said.

3) RUBBERMAID WRAPPING PAPER STORAGE BIN THINGY -- I bought one of these on Black Friday for $5 and it is AWESOME. I keep all of my Christmas wrapping paper, bags, tissue paper, bows, labels, tape and scissors in ONE container. It has saved time and energy because it's all in the same place where I need it. After Christmas I'm planning on storing it in the attic and then bringing it down once a year with all of our Christmas decorations. Genius.

4) DIET DR. THUNDER -- Call me a heretic (Kristen), but I think this stuff tastes pretty close to Diet Dr. Pepper and it costs a ton less. I'm a fan.

5) CHRISTMAS TREE CAKES -- you know, those white individually wrapped ones made out of gallons of sugar and wax (or something of the same consistency). I LOVE these things and I excuse myself to eat them during the holidays. Plus, they're like a dollar a box. Hmm...sounds like someone's not really following a health conscious diet these days...but I don't hear Bowen complaining :)

6) PAINT COUNTER AT LOWE'S -- many of you know from some of my EARLY posts that I detest Home Depot and refuse to shop there due to a horrific experience with painting our bedroom. I've gone to Lowe's many times now, and especially recently to match paint for Bennett's dresser and Bowen's accessories, and they have done a FANTASTIC job and have been SO helpful. Bless Bennett's heart, he knows how to get there and recognizes the landmarks. When we get closer, he starts chanting "Lowe's, Lowe's, LOWE'S!" hee :)

I could go on, but the laundry and dishes are calling my name and goodness knows they won't do themselves. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


*i am enjoying the quiet night.
*i want my family to not be sick anymore!
*i have a LOT on my plate over the next two weeks.
*i miss the warmer weather.
*i fear not being as a good a mommy to two boys as I am to one.
*I hear the dryer and Bennett's soft snoring.he dryer so loud!
*i search for meaning and purpose in day to day life.
*i wonder why life has to be so difficult and complicated at times.
*i regret how much I ate at On the Border tonight. hee
*i love my boys. All three of them :)
*i forgive my body and myself for not exulting in the state of pregnant-ness as some women do.
*i ache when I turn or get up too quickly.
*i always take some "me time" during Bennett's nap.
*i try to do the very best I can at everything I do.
*i seem to avoid the phone...this tends to annoy others.
*I know that I am dearly loved.

*i feel
happy and content, but SO very tired of being sick.
*I dance several times a day with my sweet boy.
.**i dream of being settled somewhere with four kiddos.
*i give a lot of myself. Sometimes too much.
*i listen to music all day long.
*i sing all the time and make up songs about all kinds of things.
*i laugh a lot, and I like it that way.
*i can't get excited about contact papering my shelves.
*i cry less now than I ever have in my adult life.
*i sleep a lot these days, but it never seems to be enough.
*i am excited about Christmas with family.
*i see ...the computer??
*i need rest.
*i should run a bunch of errands tomorrow...

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I have to say, I've been a blogging FOOL the last week or so. Enjoy the pregnant high while it lasts, family and friends. I figure I've got another month, two months tops before that ends and I start hiding out in our house with all the mirrors covered because a) I'm exhausted and b) I'm huge and sporting my triple-chin look. Hee.

But for now, I'm feeling good at 25 weeks. And can I just say I LOVE my doctor. The last two times I've gone in, sweet Bowen has measured two weeks ahead (which is slightly bigger than Bennett was, and he was BIG), and my doctor was like, "We are so NOT putting your body or your baby through what you went through last time." So regardless of my decision on how to birth this baby, he'll be born a couple of weeks BEFORE his due date, rather than after. YES!! I'm PUMPED about this, I must confess. So that puts time of arrival more like around March 12th, as opposed to the 26th, which means I have just 13 weeks left, just FYI for everyone :) I'm still walking when the weather behaves (which hasn't been just real often with the crazy cold wind these days) and I'm weighing in 5-6 lbs. under what I was with Bennett each doctor visit, which is also exciting since I gained too much with him. I'm hoping to be 10-15 lbs. less than I was with Bennett, with being careful now and delivering earlier, making my weight loss after a MUCH easier ordeal (ideally, of course :) ). Here's my pregnancy picture update, and also how my To Do List is shaping up these days:


1. I've cleaned out Bowen's closet, aside from the Christmas presents that are being stored there right now. Still need to ask Michael to fix a shelf in there, but other than that, we're good to go!

2. Goodwill must be LOVING me right now. We've cleaned out and purged so much stuff from our house and attic. We're not really pack-rats and don't hold onto a lot of extra stuff anyway, but now I feel even better about it. We're making another run this week to drop of a few more random items, and I'm hoping that will be the end of it.

3. PAINT PARTY DAY is coming up. Me and my mom are tackling Bennett's chest of drawers, and a piece of shelved furniture, curtain rod and picture frames for Bowen's room in about a week. I cannot WAIT for this project to be done. It'll essentially finish up the baby room and complete Bennett's bigger boy room as well. I've got all the paint and supplies we need, waiting patiently for the day, and Michael's agreed to take Bennett to paint the town while mom and me paint the furniture :)

4. papering is SO not happening. The update is, I've ripped out the old nasty contact paper from ONE shelf and have yet to re-cover it. Yikes. Not so sure this one will get done for a WHILE...if at all.

5. Michael installed the new smoke detectors - THANKS, honey!

6. Sold the jogging stroller and used the money to buy fall clothes for Bennett. I'm such a beast.

7. I have four pages left in Bennett's scrapbook to do, and two of those pages are being done tonight. Being done by Christmas is totally realistic. Sweet.

8. We have not switched Bennett to his toddler bed and have no plans to do so in the immediate future...possibly after the holidays. We'll see. He's perfectly content to be in his crib and I'm content to sleep in every morning :)

9. The whole crib thing for Bowen got to be seriously ridiculous for a while, but was eventually smoothed out. The crib we WERE going to use for him got recalled (lovely), but because of that, we got a full rebate for a brand new crib at Babies R Us. Awesome. But of course, the crib I knew would be absolutely PERFECT was discontinued and no more were being made. So when I got my rebate in, I made some phone calls and tracked one down in Arlington. Michael went to pick it up and put it together the next day without a hitch. Fabulous.

And here are some additions to the list *sigh* :

10. Sew/alter some of Bennett's clothes to match Bowen's needs (this is projected for January)

11. Make a couple of throw pillows for Bowen's room, projected for January as well.

12. Wash burp rags, blankets, car seat, baby clothes, etc.

13. Take baby toys and supplies down from the attic and clean.

Here's a quick update on my new cleaning system (see several posts back): I'm still loving it. My blinds are clean, my microwave is clean, Bennett's toys have been sanitized, our back porch has been organized and straightened up, etc. Things that just didn't get done before are now getting attention because I take it all one room at a time. LOVE it.

And that's about all the blogiliciousness I can handle right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The night before I called the exterminator, we actually caught a little booger in the trap under our bed, but just barely by the tail. These things have been cleaning out all of our traps and not getting caught at all, until this one. Michael goes around with a flashlight checking, and low and behold, there it is, perfectly healthy and alive, only caught by his tail. Disgusting. It took us a while to figure out what to do with it. Michael finally bagged it up and took it out to a nearby park (so other people could enjoy the rodent) and dropped it off. We're too humane for our own good. Score: 1-2, mice still in the lead.

I surrendered a couple of days ago when I AGAIN heard a stinkin' mouse under my dresser around 6am. Ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. So I called an exterminator (THANKS, Emily!) and he came out the next day and I feel GREAT about everything he did to mouse-proof our home. He said the weather's been a factor this year and they're getting lots more calls than usual. That made me feel a little bit better. It just kinda makes you feel like you've got a nasty home if mice are attracted to it. Anyhow, I'll keep you posted (cause I know you're on the edge of your seat for Part Four - hee).

Coming up: Picture of 25 weeks and my progress on my To Do List. I'm feeling pretty good about it all :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


So we have this book called "Words in my World" that Bennett LOVES to read. Each page flips up or out to expand on new pictures and vocabulary. Last night, we flipped up the clothing page and are going around the page talking about the name and color of each item. There were a few pictures on the page he'd never shown interest in before, but this time he wanted to know about each and every picture...including a nondescript pair of underwear.

So we go around talking about the boots, socks, hats, skirts, etc. and when we get to the underwear, I say, "That's underwear." And Bennett TOTALLY freaks OUT! Remember how I wrote about his tense up-shiver-drama thing that he does when he's afraid of something or really doesn't like it? That's exactly what he did. It was HILARIOUS. Michael and I were clutching our sides we were laughing so hard. We tried turning the page and talking about other things in the book, but he kept turning back to the page and pointing. Each time I'd say "underwear," he'd do his shiver thing, but it was like a train wreck he couldn't look away from.

THEN this morning we get up, eat breakfast, and are playing with his toys, when he turns to his books and starts saying "unerwet, unerwet" over and over. Then he says "Apple Book" (that's what he calls it) and I immediately realize he's asking for the torture of the underwear AGAIN - HA!

I take out the book and he immediately turns to the page with the you-know-what, then says, "Scary underwear! Scary underwear!" I try to patiently explain that underwear is not scary, and that in fact, he will get to wear it someday when he's a big boy. He either didn't hear or didn't care about what I was saying. For the rest of the day he was obsessed with the book and I must've heard the phrase "Scary underwear!" a hundred times.

Oh, my never-a-dull-moment child! Can we say "Won't be potty-training for a LOOONG time?" hee :)


I've re-enabled the ability to comment on my blog again since you're all e-mailing me and facebooking me about what I write anyway :)

Please remain within the old adage: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. (just like our mommies taught us)

This isn't a debate blog or one where I want "constructive criticism." I'm just here to share with friends and family who love us. I think being positive and encouraging is highly under-rated these days, so let's practice that a bit more than the other, eh? (at least here)

Regardless, I'll be monitoring comments before they're posted, so if you post something with teeth in it, don't expect to see it make the public wall.

Okay, enough soap-box/venting. Thanks ahead of time for your nice comments :)

Monday, December 8, 2008


So a couple of days ago I'm mopping our kitchen floors, when all of a sudden I see a gray streak run sprint from under the refrigerator and disappear under our oven. I shrieked, took in a few deep breaths, stared at the oven for a minute or so and got back to mopping, pretty sure my new little friend wouldn't be making another appearance any time soon. However, to say I was annoyed is a bit of an understatement.

Then, last night Michael and I are drifting off to sleep when I hear a faint scuttling (yes, scuttling) under our bed. GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. It's my little friend again, I know it. Michael is snoring so I know he didn't hear it. He's also sick so I really didn't want to wake him up. I decide for the moment to try to go to sleep anyway, but then I remember how the vermin nibbled on my finger last week and my bravery wavers. And it completely dissolves when I hear the thing moving around along the wall under my head. I wake Michael up and turn on the lights. I'm not sure he totally believes me until we start rummaging around under the bed and see it run from the bed to under the dresser. We stuff a towel under our door, trying to trap him in our room so we can catch it, which works initially, since he definitely tries to run that way, scampers up the towel, then back under the dresser again. I am shrieking again, Michael is posed to strike, but this sucker is FAST. For about 30 minutes we provoke, poke, bang on things, etc. to try to find and trap it, but as Michael is looking around the curtains and blinds, I see a gray flash run toward our door again. This mouse somehow found a spot to wiggle under our door and he disappeared AGAIN! We looked around at our torn apart room, shrugged our shoulders, stuffed the towel tightly under the door (so it couldn't come back in) and went to bed.

Michael bought new traps today that I'm foolishly optimistic about. We'll see. The trap we'd set under the bed had been licked clean (disgusting) and never sprung. And as of now, there are two mice we're aware of (a brown and a gray), and the score is 0-2 in favor of the mice. Not liking the odds. Seriously, this has got to stop. If these next traps don't work, we're springing for the poison, then for the exterminator.

Wish us luck, friends.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I sit here typing in disbelief. I know all moms feel this way, that I'm no different, but I simply can't swallow the fact that my son is two years old. How is it possible that we've had him with us this long? I am so thankful for this sweet little boy God has given us. There are so many things that the Lord perfectly orchestrated about him and about us that made us a family who can grow together in Him.

So without further ado, here are a BUNCH of things I LOVE about my sweet Bennett, in no particular order:

1. He loves to learn and is constantly observing, repeating, etc. to learn and explore more. This makes life VERY interesting :)

2. He has a great sense of humor (and he's only two!). He tells his own little jokes and will laugh and laugh when someone else is laughing. Anyone who is laughing is automatically labeled "silly." I know a Silly Haley, a Silly Laura Beth, a Silly Daddy, and a bunch of others currently :)

3. He is a great helper - he helps clean up his toys, he helps put the laundry in the dryer, he "helps" unload and load the dishes and he brushes his teeth and "combs" his hair. Occasionally he even helps feed his Lamby and Froggy (which always makes for a great washing up experience later on).

4. He truly wants to please and wants to obey. Bennett is a great respecter of rules and guidelines. He likes structure and he likes to know what the boundaries are so he can stay in them, not flirt with them (obviously this happens sometimes - he's two! - but for the most part, he is SO sweet natured and obedient). This makes it easy on mommy and daddy because this is how we both were growing up for the most part.

5. He LOVES to give kisses and hugs and is a very affectionate, social child. He says "hi" to just about everyone, and gives affection without a thought - everybody could use a hug!

6. He's extremely verbal and I LOVE it that we can carry on little conversations now and that he can talk about things he's seeing and experiencing. He's always been this way, but now he's saying sentences and paragraphs that I understand and can repeat and respond to, which he LOVES.

7. When we pray together as a family, he puts one little hand in mine, and one little hand in Daddy's, and it never fails to melt my heart. He knows what prayer time means, and after we say amen, he says, "YAY!"

8. He prefers veggies and fruits to sweets, carbs or meats, which makes it super easy on mom to make sure he's eating healthy most of the time. Seriously, at his party this morning, he tackled his cupcake for a minute or so, then pointed to the veggie tray and said, "Broccoli? Carrot?" Beautiful. (he certainly didn't get it from me!)

9. He's slightly neurotic, like his mama, and this is kind of nice because I was pretty sure until now that I was the only one like me. His clothes have to fit a certain way, his socks can't be bunched up in his shoes, and he doesn't like extra messes spread around on his high chair (unless he's put them there on purpose while playing with his food). He asks to brush his teeth, and he has a set routine for bed that he has mostly implemented himself: after our bible and book reading, he always puts his head on my shoulder while daddy prays, then kisses me, then kisses daddy, then hugs me, then hugs daddy, then turns on his crib lights, grabs Lamby and Froggy, and lays down. Hee :) He comes by it honestly.

10. He's a drama king. He "shivers" and tenses up when he doesn't like something or is "afraid" of it. When he laughs, he laughs loud and full. When he's upset or his feelings are hurt and he cries, he has to be held and he cries it out for a while (then he's up and at 'em right away again). Again, this is somewhat of a mommy trait, I think.

And here are some developmental updates on my fella (with some bragging rights mixed in for the grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.):

*He identifies the letter and sound of 21 of the 26 letters of the alphabet (he loves looking at and playing with letters - I'm not a psycho, he's just one of those kids who cares about it).

*He knows the colors pink, blue, purple, yellow, white and black, and sometimes orange and green.

*He can count to ten by himself.

*He knows the shapes circle, square, star, heart and sometimes triangle.

*He can say his ABCs in order by himself up to G.

*He is EXCELLENT with directions. After a few minutes in the car, he can usually tell me where we're going (Mimi and Poppy's house, Daddy's school, church to see the flags and lights, library for story time, the park to play and walk, the store, etc.)

*He is speaking in understandable phrases and sentences, and most often speaks in 3-5 word phrases now, where he uses descriptive words about things he's talking about.

*He can dribble a soccer ball, spiral a football, and throw pretty far.

*His favorite TV characters are the Wiggles right now (sigh) so that's usually what we rent from the library since we don't have cable. Truthfully, it's my fault since I introduced him to them. He also knows who Barney is (I WILL not surrender), and I suspect this comes from church or school, because it DEFINITELY doesn't come from me - gotta draw the line somewhere :)

*He LOVES to dance, to "play the guitar" and to "play the drums."

*His favorite things right now are balls (as always), flags (seriously), lights, the Wiggles, walking with his Walk n Ride lion around our neighborhood, cars, and story time at the library.

*His least favorite things are going to sleep (we know it's time for bed when he starts saying "No night night! No night night! This almost always happens before we've said anything about it), falling (he's taken a couple of nasty spills over the past few months), getting a haircut, and being still.

*Favorite phrases: "That way!" "Mommy, help please." "No throw." "See the lights and flags?" "Walk with lion?" "No night night!" "Aw, nice baby!" "Lamby and Froggy?" "Lamby needs wash." "Whoa, dude!" "Big trash truck!" and a few others that I can't remember now.

*He's not growing in gigantic leaps and bounds in the gross motor skills, more a slow and steady pace, and I think this is mostly to do with his cautious nature. When I tell him something is hot, he doesn't think "How hot is it?" He thinks, "Mommy says it's hot and I don't want to get hurt, so I won't touch it." He doesn't think to question or provoke things, so his learning curve physically is more affected by being around other older kiddos, and since he's the oldest in our house, it's a little more slow-going and he's a bit more timid than other kids I know. (which is fine with me - it keeps him from getting too big too fast and has saved us a trip or two to the emergency room...unlike his daddy at his age :) ).

For his party this year, we decided to keep it simple and just have family over. I didn't feel like hauling out the big bucks for more than that and my motto this year is "simplify." We did a sports theme (since he loves balls so much) and had a great time. His great grandparents on both sides got to come, too, which was a nice treat. Thanks so much, family, for coming! We love you and you made Bennett's 2nd birthday SO special! Here are some pictures with the amazing new early Christmas present we got from Michael's parents:

He LOVES Cousin Rylie.

This is his "shiver" and tensed up look. He did NOT like riding in the back.

Part of the crew.

Getting a snack.

Poppy taught him to say "AHHH!" after drinking. He does it a LOT :)

Daddy asked for his cupcake...Bennett decided he couldn't bear to part with more than a grape.

Reading his birthday cards.

Opening the gifts.

World's coolest dad putting together world's coolest tricycle.

Playing with one of his presents.

Bennett, the roadster.

This is seriously the most awesome tricycle we've ever seen. It has a bell and is made of chrome and metal and has wide tires so it won't tip. THANKS Great Grandpa and Granny!!

Bennett also got some other super cool gifts not pictured here, like an embroidered backpack he can take to school, lots of play-doh stuff, some cool movies, a bowling set, lots of new cars, etc. (Mommy is excited that she has plenty of new things to rotate and keep things interesting around the house!) Thanks so much to all who love our little buddy and came today, and to those of you who couldn't make it but love him and were thinking of him! We appreciate you!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Outrageous is seeing a mouse scurry along late last night on your living room floor from under the couch up the fireplace, and then disappearing somewhere in your son's toys that you spent two hours sanitizing last week.

Outrageous is realizing that the hole in your fireplace you plugged up because what you thought was said mouse's entry point, is actually not, and the stupid mouse has probably been paying you a visit every night since then without your knowledge. Gross.

AND...(Disclaimer: I promise I am not making one bit of this next part up, hard as it is to believe) OUTRAGEOUS is waking up in the morning from a deep middle-of-a-pleasant-dream-sleep when you feel something NIBBLING the tip of your FINGER!!!!!!!!!!! When you wake up and scream, you promptly hear a scurrying down behind your night stand (where the finger nibbling occurred) and along the wall under your bed.

I mean, REALLY?!! This mouse had the audacity to CHEW on my HAND!! And either there is one brave mouse that visits us nightly and roams freely throughout our house, or there's more than one (shudder).

So needless to say, we'll be spending money outside of the Christmas budget this season for an exterminator. Oh. My. Gross.

Can anybody top this story? Cause I'd sure love to hear it. I'll keep you posted as the Mouse Wars continue, because this little pest DEFINITELY declared war when he bit me.