Monkey Man

Yesterday at the playground Riley mastered the ladder-type thing (I really have no clue what to call it). I didn't have my camera with me so I couldn't get a video of it. Today, I was armed and ready! This is for you, Mom!


Thank you, Winter

I love winter. Always have. I love wearing sweaters and hoodies. I love hot chocolate and fireplaces (not that we have one) and snow and cuddling under a blanket. Winter was never an issue until I had children. And then I realized the yucky side...being stuck inside all day, runny noses, heavy jackets that aren't meant to fit in the carseat with the child, layering and layering and layering to be sure they're warm enough. I began to rethink my love for winter. And then, last spring I realized I was going to deliver a baby right before winter arrived. Hmm. I wondered what it was going to be like to have a 2.5 year old and a newborn stuck inside the house all day every day for the first 3 or 4 months. I sensed some difficult days ahead.

I think we can all agree that this winter has been very mild and different from past years. I am definitely not one to try and spiritualize everything, but I can't help but see this as God showing mercy on me! LOL He knew that I would not be able to handle being stuck inside day after day with an active toddler and a new puppy that loves to run and play in our yard. So, He gave me days like this...

This was February 1st, and Riley is in short-sleeves!

And He gave us days like this past Saturday when we spent almost the entire day outdoors. 

And then there was yesterday and today when I loaded both kiddos in the double stroller we're borrowing from a friend and headed out for a walk around the neighborhood (talk about a workout!). After our walk today, we stopped at one of the local parks so Riley could get in some playground time. He had a blast!

I realized we hadn't been to this park since before Ella was born...it was good to be back!

This was Riley's great accomplishment of the day. He asked to climb up this ladder-type thing, so I said sure I'd help him. I helped him maybe 3 times and before I knew it, Mr. Monkey was climbing up it over and over without any assistance. He was SO proud of himself! And I was, too!

Don't worry, winter, I'm not completely walking away from my love for you. But, I sure am thankful for some gorgeous, warmer days that allowed me to keep my sanity!


1/4 of a year

Yesterday I turned 3 months old! Mama says since I'm trying so hard to talk and be a big girl, I can just write my own blog post. I really do wish everyone could understand me! I try so hard to tell them what is going on in my brain, but so far no one knows what I'm saying. Oh well. One day!

I definitely have a mind of my own! Apparently Mama didn't have much trouble getting my big brother on a schedule when he was around my age. I say poo on schedules! Sometimes I can go 3 hours between meals, other times 4 hours, and then there are the times I really throw her off by only being able to go 2 hours! Oh, and if I'm not hungry, I will not eat. I'm not rude about it, though. I smile and make a cute little cooing sound if I don't want my bottle. About 2 weeks ago I started sleeping through the night. Mama and Daddy were so excited! The last few nights, though, I've woken up in the middle of the night starving! I can't help it - I just have to eat right then!

Speaking of eating, I love gnawing on my hands! Mama thinks I might be teething. I'm not sure what that means, but I know my fingers sure do taste good! I used to suck on a pacifier, but I'm not interested in it anymore. My hands do the trick!

I don't want to brag, but Mama says I am a really good baby. I only cry when I'm hungry, sleepy or need a clean diaper. Otherwise, I'm content sitting in my papasan chair or laying on my play mat. Speaking of my play mat, I love when my brother gets down on it with me. He's such a fun and sweet big brother! He's always trying to take care of me, and I like that. Today I was sitting in his room with Mama and I gave him the biggest smile. When I looked at Mama, I'm pretty sure I saw a few tears in her eyes.

Yesterday I went to the church nursery for the first time. I've really enjoyed being in the services with Mama, but I think I started talking too much. I just get so excited when I hear my daddy up there talking to all those people! I want to join in on the fun! I guess I'll just have to start having fun with some of the other kids in the nursery.

Well, it's past my bedtime and my fingers are starting to hurt a little, so I guess I better wrap this up. I sure am thankful for the past 13 weeks that I've gotten to spend on this earth. I can't wait to see what the next month will hold! Maybe by then at least one person will understand what I'm trying to tell them!


Sweet Moments

I. Love. My. Kids. They bring so many smiles to my face every day.

Riley is currently in the questioning phase. Mom, I'm pretty sure I'm being paid back for the many years of endless questions I threw your way on a daily basis. :) Some of the most recent questions from the 2.5 year-old are: "Mama, why does the rain fall on the flowers?" and "How does the water come from there?" (referring to the kitchen faucet). But then tonight, the questions went to a whole new level. If you'll remember, in this post I talked about a song Daniel was practicing to sing in church. Riley has learned most of the song, and tonight after hearing it in the car, he came in and asked me, "What does it mean to be bound?" (part of the chorus says In him is freedom from oppression, every chain that binds) I said, "It's kind of like being stuck. Like if someone tied my hands together and I couldn't do anything. I would be stuck that way." He then said, "And what did Jesus do?" Wow! So I explained that Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn't be stuck anymore. He loves us so much he doesn't want us to be bound. He wants to free us. As I was thinking what an awesome teaching moment this was, my sweet boy then reminded me he is just 2.5 by saying, "But Mama, I want to be stuck!" :) And then he walked over and began playing with the dog.

And then there's precious Ella. She is trying SO HARD to talk! It is hilarious and adorable at the same time. She watches my mouth as I talk to her and then tries to mimic what I've done. I've tried several times to get it on video, but every time I pull the camera out she freezes up and just stares at the camera. Tonight I had one of the sweetest moments yet with her. I was putting her to bed, and after swaddling her (which she loves! A huge smile comes on her face every time I start to wrap her up), I sat down in the rocking chair to feed her and rock her some before she fell asleep. After finishing her bottle, she looked up at me and just started 'talking.' She continued this until she fell asleep. It brought tears to my eyes as I sat there looking at this miracle from above.

I'm realizing more and more since Ella's been born just how quickly these sweet moments are going to pass by. I am really working hard to seize not just the days I have with my kiddos, but the minutes throughout those days. Don't get me wrong. There are still times when my patience wears thin and I just want to run to a deserted island. But, it's usually after those times that the Lord gently reminds me how precious and priceless these days are. I am thankful not only for my children, but for a God who loves me enough to bless me in such an amazing way.


She laughs

Indoor fun

We have had a lot (and I mean a lot!) of rainy, chilly days lately. I'm not complaining about the rain because after the drought we had last year, I will never complain about rain! However, it does present some issues when one is at home all day with a 2.5 year old. One day last week Riley asked to play with his play dough. I pulled it out and it was very dry and impossible to form into anything. So, I turned on the computer and pulled up the trusty Pinterest site. I typed in "homemade playdough," and found this recipe. It was so easy to make and Riley loves playing with it!

The first batch - green
Helping pour in the ingredients
My resident stir-er (he loves to stir anything!)

Playing with the green while waiting for the red to cool (we also made blue but I didn't take any pictures of it for some reason)

Inspecting the red
I made him a car (as best as my minimal artistic ability would allow) and he was so excited about it! Now every time I pull out the play dough he says, "Make me a car, Mama!" Such a sweet boy!
Yes, he's a boy...he did this one all on his own
I'm definitely looking forward to the day when the sun decides to shine again, but I'm thankful for times like this when I can have indoor fun with my special little man.

Valentine's Day

Sure do love my sweet Valentine's! (Riley's less than thrilled to be taking a pic, can you tell??)

We started the day with yummy heart-shaped pancakes (well, Riley and I did...Ella had her typical bottle)

Then Riley and I made homemade Valentine cards for Daddy

And then there was lunch on a heart-shaped plate

"Why can't I join in all the fun? I just get to sit here looking cute and making silly faces."

We finished up the day with take-out barbeque and a fun night at home as a family. So thankful for the blessings named Daniel, Riley and Ella!


Read Her Mind

Let's play a little game called, "Read Her Mind." Leave a comment and let me know what you think little miss was thinking when she made this face earlier today...

I'll let you know that my mother-in-law already claimed, "What do you mean you're out of diapers?!" :)

Since we're on the subject of the newest Valentine in our family, I'm excited to share with you that her umbilical cord FINALLY came off last week (she was 10.5 weeks old)! I'm pretty sure it would still be on if it weren't for her doctor putting silver nitrate on it at her last appointment. That did the trick! Also, she has been sleeping through the night since last Thursday (5 nights)!!! Yippee!

Happy Valentine's Day!


"Sing with us guys!"

We're working on a song in choir called Luke 4:18 by Dennis Jernigan. Daniel is singing the solo, so we've been listening to the song quite a bit the last few weeks at our house. I knew Riley was learning one part of the song that's repetitive, but I didn't realize he'd memorized other parts of it. Yesterday when I was making lunch I was singing some of it and he corrected me when I sang the wrong word! Last night at dinner he busted out with the first part of the chorus, and Daniel and I were shocked!

In case you're wondering, what he said in the middle of the song was "Sing with us, guys!" Ha! We sure are amazed by this little guy's memory! Praying that these words will take root in his heart and one day he really will live out the words of Luke 4:18.


2-month check-up

Weight: 11 lbs 2 oz (48th percentile)
Length: 23 in (75th percentile)
Head: 15.75 in (77th percentile)

You may notice the umbilical cord is STILL on...she'll be 10 weeks Saturday. Apparently she's super attached to me and she's really wanting a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

P.S. Riley looked at me after dinner and said, "Mama, you're the best friend I've ever known in your life!" So the grammar may not be correct, but it sure did make my heart smile!