Monday, October 27, 2014

Reid Turns 4!!!!

Disclaimer: If you don't want to read a bunch of gooshy stuff about our first born that I feel I need to document as a mom then skip the first two paragraphs and head down to hear how we spent Reid's actual birthday.  

I cannot believe our sweet and precious 1st born is four.  I don't feel as if that much time has passed in between his birth to now, but man oh man how this dude has grown.  He is one of my greatest joys and I am so proud and thankful to God for the man he is becoming even now.  He is sweet, tender-hearted, strong-willed, a leader, a great friend, and a lover of family (especially his brother and his soon-to-be baby sister).  He has taught me so much these last four year. Sometimes I worry I am too hard on him, that I expect to much out of someone so small, that I am not doing right.  But God in His grace gives us minuscule hands at the end of the day that will place themselves on either side of my face to give me a kiss and say he loves me.  So undeserved and so blessed.  

A few things about Reid I don't want to forget.  His imagination has really taken off here in the last few months.  He is always "flying" around with some imaginary friend (Caden usually) and telling us all about what happened.  He likes to dress up in costumes as well, the dinosaur one being his favorite at the moment.  A ball can still entertain him longer than most things.  He is definitely all boy and as full of energy as they come.  By God's grace he is still napping (and I am praying he will until he moves out lol), and we have started "school"which he really has enjoyed.  He follows his daddy around from the time he gets home and loves to do whatever Mark is doing.  He is a pretty awesome eater, eating most anything we put in front of him.  He loves all things chocolate and sweet.  Helping me cook is always a treat for him, especially if we are baking something.  He enjoys crafts for a little bit or two, but needs to really be off running around instead.  He is great at helping me clean up and at doing his "jobs" every weekday (eat breakfast, get dressed, put away jammies, make bed, brush teeth, clean the table).  In case you can't tell we are pretty smitten.  

On Reid's actual birthday we woke him up an hour early so Daddy could see him before he left for work and give him his "present".  I am so glad we did this.  He had the best time getting to be with just us, even for a few minutes.  We had his door decorated and his present on the dining table, but I have no pictures, because we were taking video.  If I am able I will put the video up at the bottom of this post so you can see it.  In his bag was a dinosaur costume and scarecrow costume that I found at a consignment shop for DIRT CHEAP.  Mark and I were planning to take him out that night to allow him to choose a toy (something he NEVER gets to do) but I thought he needed something to open that morning.  It was a good choice, because we played in that thing all day long.  

Daddy helping him become a dinosaur

Stomping off to look at himself in the mirror

How he ate breakfast that morning.  

That evening while Owen stayed with Ballou and Papaw, we took him out by himself to chick-fil-a.  He honestly didn't  know what to do without "brother" there.  He told his daddy as they were dropping him off that Owen need to come too and that he would miss him.  He was so excited though that he never did go play, and talked non-stop to us.  After we left chick we went to target and allowed him to choose a toy for his birthday.  He literally went all around picking stuff up, saying that was what he wanted before finding something else.  With a little help we settled on a Chugginton train set and two chugginton trains to play with.  He was exhausted by the time we got home, but overall I think he had an awesome 4th birthday.

He's 4!

A birthday milkshake for the big 4 year old.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall is My Favorite

If you ask anyone in my family what my favorite time of year is, they would tell you fall!  I just love it! I feel like after being cooped up inside because of the horrendous heat for 3 months or so I can finally get outside and breathe (and not get bitten by something).  I also love the cold and crisp and fall clothes, jeans, boots, the whole 9 yards!  Here is just a tid bit of what all has been going on lately in iPhone pictures.

So while not really "fall" per say, this happened before church one night.  Reid got a hair cut from daddy and Owen needed one too so he had his first "daddy cut."  It was sweet and he LOVED it, thought he was as big as big brother, but he looks so old now!  I just need my baby back!

Daddy given hair cuts.

Big big boy now!
 Mark has been wanting to put a pallet wall in what will eventually be both boys' room for a while.  So a few nights this past week he has taken it upon himself to get wood up.  Now all that's left to do is stain it all.  I love how handy he is!

It finally got down to 60 or a little below after raining for 3 days straight and after sitting outside for a little bit I begged for a fire, the first of the year, the first in our new house!  I am a fire girl!  When we started looking for a house this was a must have.  I have never had a mantel before or a place to hang stockings or anything since we have gotten married.  After growing up with a fire place, I just love them and wanted the same for my kids!  Luckily Mark gave it and quite enjoyed the fire that night too.  We even got the  boys a special treat!

Roasting Marshmallows
Blowing out whatever Reid had gotten on fire

Owen approved snack!

Brother approved too

 On  one of the cold and rainy days we played in the rain and came in to take warm baths.  There was still a little bit of time to fill before lunch so we sat down and made pumpkin spice play dough.  Very easy and very fun!
Playing the drums on their play dough

I love little boys in jeans, boots, and hats.  Seriously had a vision of them when they are 8 and 10 after taking this picture.

Feels great for a picnic in the tree house.  
And then sometimes I need just a little me time.  I told Mark I couldn't remember the last time I went to a book store and just read (he thought it was crazy that I wanted to, this is something he has never willingly done lol) and that I just needed that for a little bit.  So he sent me off with a $5 to get a pumpkin spice latte and for and hour and a half I just enjoyed myself.  It was lovely!  

Back tracking. . . Bed Bugs (pictures, so read at your own risk)

Here is a post detailing what else went on during the rest of the summer. . . Some things that were less than ideal.  It had been the perfect summer and then one day while watching Owen and Mark at swim lessons I found what I thought to be the perfect set of couches to fit in our new house.  We were on the look out for some added seating and I saw what appeared to be the perfect set up.  They were on a Facebook buy, sale, or trade site and looked to be what appeared in good condition.  The owner said they were just too big for the apartment they were in.  So after deliberating with Mark, we decided to buy the couch, loveseat, and recliner for what seemed like a steal of a deal.

Now before I go any further you must know that almost everything we owned was either a wedding gift or is a used item.  We rarely by anything just brand new, and are always on the lookout for a good deal.  We kinda go by the same motto as the Duggars, "buy used and save the difference!"  In fact that is what I kept repeating to Mark as we drove to go and pick up our "new" furniture.  I was so proud of us for finding a good deal and saving money!  Upon arriving we inspected the furniture, looked at it, smelled it, everything (or so we thought), paid and headed on our way.  Everything fit perfectly and we began to thoroughly enjoy what seemed like the best buy we had found lately.

Aren't they just the perfect size and all?  Seriously they were great!
Then I started getting what I at first thought was poison ivy.  It was raised and bubbled and in clusters like poison ivy, but didn't quite look like it.  Plus I hadn't gone outside really anywhere where it could be due to the fact I am allergic to bug bites and mosquitos were everywhere!  When it didn't look like poison ivy but stuck around and appeared to get worse I assumed Mark had gotten chiggers when he was clearing brush in our back yard and had brought them in the house somewhere.  We searched our bed and found nothing. . . By now whatever "it" was has spread all over me.  My ankles, the bottom of my back, shoulder, hands, fingers, and up my legs.  I was miserable.  This pregnancy has messed with my histamine reaction so not only was I  incredibly itchy, I was also swelling in the places the where "it" was most concentrated.

How it started out. . .
Finally, exhausted by what was going on I told Mark that I decided to sleep on the coach, because even though we didn't see anything, he had to have brought chiggers into our bed somehow.  I said "if I wake up and there is nothing new then we know what it is and where."  In the middle of a movie I went and got my pillows and threw them on the coach and then settled back in on the loveseat to finish whatever we were watching.  When it was over we flipped the light on and I moved my pillow to where I was going to sleep and saw "it".  "It" happened to be a bug of some sort sitting on my pillow!  When I moved the other pillow there was another bug!  I about LOST IT!!!!!! I starting screaming to Mark "This is it!  This is the culprit!!!!  It's the couches!!!!!  What is it!??!!?!?!"  After some initial investigation (i.e. google) we determined they were BED BUGS!!!!!!!!!  And not tiny ones, but huge (by bed bug standards) ones.  Remember earlier when I said I was allergic to bug bites, well apparently I am HIGHLY allergic to bed bugs!  We quickly turned the couches upside down and pulled up the upholstery to only discover more in each piece of furniture!  I wanted to throw up.  "Out!" I said, "I want them out of my house!!!"  Mark and I proceeded to move said couch and love seat out onto the front porch, and then began to clean up in and around the living room where they had been sitting.  After that we RAN to our room, undid and flipped our mattresses and luckily saw nothing.

I couldn't believe it, and I was so mad.  I didn't sleep a wink that night, kept feeling like things were biting me, even if they weren't.  Finally I got up around 4:30 and went to get in the shower.  At 8 AM sharp I called the exterminator who said he could come that afternoon.  However it was not over yet.  You see not only where those couches great for sitting, it was also where I folded laundry during nap time!!!!  So I had folded and PUT AWAY everything just the previous day!  I am talking the boys laundry, Mark's and my laundry, towels and sheets, EVERYTHING.  Feeling completely overwhelmed and panicky I went around and got everything out!  Everything out of the linen closet, everything out of the boys' drawers, everything out of mine and Mark's drawers, all the dirty clothes, bedding, everything.  I loaded up what I could fit in the back of our car and with the help of my grandmother (after a huge cry fest on the way to her house.  Pregnancy, no sleep, and the overwhelming pile of every article of fabric in your car needing to be washed will do that to you.) and headed to town to a Laundry Mat where we spent 3 hours washing, drying, and folding everything.  With both boys might I add.

Once we left town and went back to Ballou's house both boys went down for a nap and I headed back out to meet the exterminator.  After looking at the couches he said we had an infestation in there.   I made him come and inspect every room in the house and all beds.  I asked him "Were they in the house first or the couches, because we just bought this house!"  He said no they were in the couches to begin with and weren't anywhere else in the house.  I asked him to spray everywhere just in case, and we left it at that.  This was all on a Wednesday.  Did I mention Mark's brother Blake was coming in on Thursday night to stay the weekend with us.  And that on Saturday his whole family would be there to eat together/see the house?  No?  Well they were, so anything that needed to be done on Wednesday to prepare for that was unable to be done.  It was a mess.  The next day after taking care of kiddos and doing the usual Mark and I cleaned the entire house (again) and finished at 11 right before Blake and Whitney arrived that night.  Seriously I don't know if I have ever been more exhausted.  Mark who never says a week is bad said "This has been the worst week I've had in a long time, maybe ever."

About 3 weeks later, they were starting to heal.
Just so you know, it burns constantly and feels like fire if you scratch it.  
I wish that was the end of the story but 3 weeks later I got bit again.  Even though the couches were out of the house (we burned those suckers) apparently we hadn't gotten every bed bug.  Did you know they are NOTORIOUSLY hard to get rid of, almost impossible really?  No?  Well they are, that is why they are such a big deal  After spending countless nights on the internet looking up what to do and paying more money to get supplies, we took more action.  We took apart our california king size bed, put mattress covers on it and the box springs, moved the mattresses out, and steamed the carpets.  We proceeded to do that to EVERY ROOM with carpets in the ENTIRE HOUSE!!!!!!  We also bought and spread dichotomous earth, a substance that isn't harmful to pets or humans, but will kill bugs, all over the carpet in each room.    We tried to contact the lady and she wouldn't respond via message and when we called she hung up on us and then blocked our  number.  All in all we learned a very important lesson.  Do not buy used furniture unless you know the person personally!  Also by the time we paid for the couches, exterminator, mattress and pillow bags, a steamer, and the dichotomous earth we could have easily bought new couches. . . Oh well you live and you learn

Picture Mark sent me of the couches going up in flames. . . He was so happy to get rid of them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Before I Backtrack

Before I backtrack and tell you about the end of our summer I wanted to make sure I went ahead and wrote about what we did this past weekend.  Mark was gone from 6 Thursday morning until 2 Sunday afternoon on a hunting outing with my grandfather and some other family.  This is something he looks forward to every year, and while I am happy he gets to go and I am SSSOOOO grateful he has the opportunity to do something so fun and make memories with family, it is hard for me to have him gone that long.  I will be the first to admit I love our weekends and guard them fiercely because having him home is so much more fun for everyone and he is there to help!

However, knowing this was our situation, I made other arrangements so I wouldn't be by myself with both boys for 4 days!  We all benefited from this decision let me tell you.  I ended up going to Tyler for the weekend to spend sometime with Mark's parents.  We all had a blast, the boys love getting doted on by their Nina and Pops!  We arrived Friday afternoon and hung out together.  The next morning Edith and I headed out to Canton while Gaylon kept both boys all on his own!  He is super man I tell ya!  He actually said they had a GREAT TIME together.  He kept them busy and outside (it was a beautiful crisp Saturday) at a park, petting dogs, throwing rocks in a pond, eating ice cream, you name it! He said by the time he brought them in at 1 o'clock they barely made it through lunch before crashing for a nap.  That is success my friend. I am so grateful my boys have such a wonderful Godly man to look up to in their lives.  Edith and I got back late that afternoon and were quite impressed.

Sunday was our last morning there and we all went to the zoo.  On this particular day if you brought a phone book you received a ticket in for free!  Um, yes please!!!  So we loaded up some old phone books and hit the road.  The boys LOVED LOVED LOVED the zoo.  It was another beautiful day and they had the best time looking at each animal.  They would roar at the tigers and lions and such, waddle like penguins, chirp like birds!  Reid even went into the bird exhibit, where there are hundreds of birds flying around.  He had been scared of it, but when I took Owen in, he decided he needed to come test it out for himself.  All in all, they had some serious fun.  After we ate our lunch outside the park, it was time to head home.  Of course no one wanted to leave after such an amazing weekend. 

Ice Cream at 10 AM on Pops' Day!

I love everything about this picture.

Spaghetti face

All clean.  I love not having to do bath time when I am there!

Or breakfast in the morning!  Seriously it is wonderful!

Feeding the ducks and massive goldfish. 

Bird Exhibit.  Reid still doesn't look so sure!

28 Weeks of Pregnancy and Welcome Fall, A Little School

Hello all.  Apparently I am no longer a good updater in blogging world.  I am becoming increasingly ok with it I guess, but still it hurts my writer's heart just a little.  This summer has just flown by since our last update and while things didn't stay so cheery (bed bugs in our couches, more on that story later, and having to take a van we bought back to the dealership and find a new one) I am still thankful for the time we had to spend with friends.  There have been a few things happening around our house lately so here's a snapshot of what has been going on.

I am currently in my 28th week of pregnancy and feeling pretty good.  There are the occassional nights filled with heartburn and the times she gets herself stuck up under my ribs, but as of right now a 2lb 4 oz baby fits semi-comfortably.  According to all sonograms and doctors visits she is growing well and is even a little bit ahead of the growth curve (by about a week).  I am thankful for new technology that allows us to know so much about our little ones before they are even here.  I pray for her every night and will continue to do so.  While I am nervous about having 3 children, I can't wait for her to be here!

28 weeks and all its glory.  

It is thinking about becoming fall here in Texas.  We will have spells where cold fronts come through, but I keep saying "surely this week will be the last hot week we have for a while."  While one can wish, the weather just hasn't seemed to have received the memo.  There have been a few days where we have been able to don our jeans and boots but mostly we are all still in shorts.  All I have to say is come on fall.  Sadly when we moved Mark placed my fall decor in an undisclosed location so I haven't even decorated yet besides making a fall wreath to hang on our door (which I must say I am super proud of).

We also started "school" with Reid September 1st and it has actually gone quite well.  He is an anxious learner and mostly tries hard for me.  I am working on reading to him every day and we end up doing sit down school (about 45mins at a time) three days a week, maybe 4.  Right now it is a very relaxed version, where if we can't get to it for some reason that day then we don't worry.  He has another 2 years until he would technically be eligible for public school kindergarten so I am not too worried.  We are using a free curriculum found online, which is pretty good.  The price is great so I am certainly not complaining.  I think next year we will order a pre-k curriculum to actually use to begin our homeschooling journey.  This year is just kind of a "kick starter" into it all, and we are still mostly just having fun.

The "school" corner

OK, every time we sing months of the year, Owen MUST hug Reid!  Makes everyone giggle!
First Day Smiles!

Calendar Time

If he does a good job he gets to color with markers at the end.

Where brother ends up sometimes while we work.  Usually he is sitting right beside us trying to be a part.

Tracing sand paper letters.  It really did help!

School and handmade super hero capes go good together.