Friday, December 28, 2007

Site Open During Construction

Please pardon the dust, this site is under renovations! I am trying to find a layout - now that the Holidays are about over - that I like well enough to keep a while. I think I like one, do all the work to apply it and then ... well, it's just not RIGHT!!! So, let me know what you think. I am interested to know who visits this site and reads about us as well as being curious to see what ya think about the look. So, hit reply - you don't have to be a blogger, just do it as anonymous (but tell me who ya are please!!) and there ya go! I am SOOOO looking forward to the replies ... don't let me down!
Blog at ya soon!

PS - 3Weeks and counting of all night sleep for Sophie!!!! YAY! Hattie is so much fun now that she is really starting to communicate (God Bless the teachers and therapists!!). Hubby - what can I say, I am B-L-E-S-S-E-D!!!! I LOVE that man!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas & More ...

Oh boy, it has been a while and I have a lot to share, but I will try to keep it short ...

Here is the last 10 days in 10 short (hah! Have you met me?!?!) points:
1.I told ya about Steven's broken leg - it's still broken! I showed you a picture of him asleep with Hattie lying next to him, but I didn't show ya this ... yet

2.The snow I showed ya just kept on coming, Hattie had her first snow day and got to stay home from school. She was NOT excited (although she did love the snow!!) It was WICKED cold and we couldn't go out in it for a few days though.

3.Right after Steven left, my Mommy & Daddy came for a visit. My Mom flew, my Dad came by train then by bus (yes, usually they travel together but my dad was visiting my other sisters and had more time so he took the scenic route!!).

4.The local bus terminal is hard to find. The local Amtrak station (where for some reason the bus dropped him off) even harder and in a VERY interesting part of town!!!

5.The sun finally came out and Hattie got to don her snow suit and have some fun!!!

6.Hattie LOVES to make snow angels, in fact when our yard was full, she started on the neighbors yard!!!

7.My husband is amazing and we actually got to have a date on Saturday - we went Christmas shopping - may not sound that exciting but we were alone and had a lot of time to chat!!! This was after he put up the stable and lights for our yard Nativity.

8.My Daddy loves his grandbabies!!

9.When the sun came out it REALLY come out!! Our poor snowman who looked like this in the morning ...

(no laughing - it was the first snowman I had ever made!!!)
...looked like a shrunken head by evening and was gone by morning, but that's ok, it snowed again on Monday and I got my White Christmas!!!

10.Christmas was WONDERFUL!!! I was Blessed to have my family around - that includes Hubby's family! - and that is more than enough. Santa was very good to us - and that is only because God has been VERY good to us! We have all we could ever ask for and more! Sophie and Hattie looked like angels on Christmas Eve - and Sophie for one KNEW IT!!!

(Hattie wouldn't let me take her pic, you will just have to trust me that she looked GOOD!) And the Grandma's got their quality time in with the girl on Christmas morning

But of course the biggest Blessing of all is the Reason for the Season - the One who came to go the distance. The reason we HAVE, the One who GAVE it all.... Jesus.
The sweet baby in the manger - he left a throne for a stable, left the side of his Father for the arms of a teenage girl, left the clouds to walk on soil. It was a choice He made knowingly and willingly - and He made it with me in mind ... He made it with YOU in mind too. I hope that you know that and accept that and BELIEVE that!! So, now that the rush and excitement is over, sit back relax and take time to hear the Angles sing ... they ARE still singing ya know. That song - it's for you!!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sleep, Snow & Sore Knees

So this was the weekend that the B Boys get together and head to the North for a little deer hunting (I truly believe that it is for fellowship and poker more than sport 'cause they have yet to bring anything home!!). Steven came up for the fun - Mindy came too but she couldn't stay more than a couple of days :(
So, bright and early Thursday morning they headed out. This left the girls and I to fend for ourselves, but since Miss Sophie has been sleeping through the night for a WHOLE WEEK now, it wasn't too bad!!!! Yay Sophie!

The plan was to stay until tonight, but they came home early... Now, nobody called to tell me they were coming home and NOBODY wanted to tell me WHY. Steven, it seems, had a slight mishap with the fourwheeler and spent the better part of Friday night in the ER. He has a broken leg and is in mucho pain! Poor boy, I feel so bad for him. He is being very brave though...
He offered to slide upstairs to the guest room last night, but instead we set up a mattress for him in the living room. Now he is a night owl and so sleeps quite late into the A.M. - this is NOT the case with our Hattie Girl. So I figured this morning we would have a movie day while we were trying to decide if we wanted to venture out into this for church...

So, we put in Hattie's favorite Tigger movie and I set her up on the couch ... didn't take long for her to find her way to her "Butter" though. She loves him and I think it is mutual as you can see here...

Awww, I love my family!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Random Observances From the (tired) Mind of a Mom

So, here are a few things that I have been observing lately ...
*I was recently grocery shopping and picked up some apples. They were of the Honey Crisp variety and grown right here, and they looked and felt the freshest of any other bags available. Let me tell you about these apples. Holy Canoli, they were GOOOOOOOOD!!! If these were the fruit on the tree in the Garden of Eden, let me just say that I can understand why Eve was so tempted! YUM-O!!
*I believe it is in Australia (forgive me if I am wrong) that store Santa's are being asked to change their "Ho Ho Ho's" to "Ha Ha Ha's" so as not to offend women. I am sorry, but if "ho ho ho" offends you, take a good long look at your lifestyle and ask yourself why!!
*In this big old bustling world that is trying so stinking hard to take God out of everything - schools, courts, even stores where clerks can only say "happy Holidays" even if I am buying an angel and a cross (c'mon now!) - how cool is it that I live in a town where the lawn of the city municipal building is adorned with a full on Manger scene!!! Praise the Lord for small favors - and when that clerk wishes you a happy holiday, wish that clerk a Merry Christmas right back and - if the mood so fits - throw in a God Bless You for good measure!!!
*I have always been big on taking the commercialism out of Christmas and putting CHRIST back in. This year has been such a HUGE reminder of that. I wanted Sophie's first Christmas and probably the first one that Hattie will really remember, to be the best ever. Every light twinkling, every nook and cranny filled with decorations. Instead, I have a tree up - three weeks now - and still all that is on it is the lights it came with and the angel on top. There are stockings hanging on the mantle, but not enough hooks for all of them, so Steve's and mine are sharing a hook (these stockings are handmade by my mom and are awesome, each deserving of their own hook!!). The nativity is on the lawn and looks great - in the daytime - but the lights have not been set out yet, so it is unseen at night and we look like the scrooges of the street in the dark! So, I have been forced to look a little deeper for Christmas this year... Hattie's favorite book is her children's Bible, just this week she has taken new interest in the page about the first Christmas - she recognizes Baby Jesus and has been known to kiss the picture on the page. So this year when we participate in my favorite family tradition, I have a feeling that Christmas will be even better than I imagined!! On Christmas Eve we have a birthday party. The children help to bake and decorate a cake and after church we turn out the lights and sing Happy Birthday Baby Jesus. Hattie is old enough this year to help with the cake and she LOVES to sing Happy Birthday, so I am really looking forward to sharing that with her. Christmas at the B Manor won't be fancy, we won't win any decorating contests and our energy bill is probably safe - no Clark Griswold light displays to send our meter spinning - but Christmas, the REAL and TRUE Christmas WILL be celebrated!!!
PRAISE GOD for all we have and all we know through HIM! And as my Great Grandma used to say, Take Time To Hear the ANGELS sing!!!! Sing along with them if you know the words!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No, really ... She's Sleeping!!!

OK, the following pictures are not for the faint of heart. They are quite graphic and, before you call the authorities on us to report any sort of abuse let me assure you that this is what the doctors instructed us to do ....

It seems as if our sweet Miss Sophie has very tiny nasal cavities. She has such a sweet button nose, so small and cute.... fun to look at but, as it seems, not so fun to breathe through!!! This is why she has been stuffy since birth!!! Now, to be fair, she has had a couple of colds but for the most part she is just plain stuffy. The weather changes and the rest of us may get a tiny bit nasal-ey, but for the S girl a tiny bit is all it takes!
So, the doctor told us to have her sleep in a car seat ... better than a swing because the seat is in the bed and it is only one step away from eventually sleeping in the bed. It will just take a few months they said ... they were probably not expecting our tiny 6lb, 11 oz darling to be a whopping 15lbs by 3 months!!!! So, we had been noticing that she was getting a bit big for the seat and were thinking that by Christmas we would have to come up with something new ... Christmas may be coming early!!!! This is what we found this morning ...

Now, I promise you that she was indeed sleeping... I took these pics - flash and all - and moved her to a better position and she didn't wake up. Ahhh, it must be nice!!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saying Goodbye & Other Updates

So, this past weekend I went to Denver for my grandma's funeral. I have been writing and rewriting this update in my head all week. What do I say about a saying goodbye to a woman who was so very many things to me. The only word I can come up with is bitter sweet...
This woman was an inspiration to me and so many others as witnessed by the crowd at her funeral. She lived life to the fullest, loved with all of her heart, gave in every sense of the word, cared for people in need and brought a smile to everyone in her presence. She was one of my best friends. I loved chatting with her, laughing with her, sharing my life with her and being able to share in hers. She listened to my problems and advised me with wisdom and love. She was wise and loving and good and kind and I will miss her for the rest of my life. My only solace in her loss is in knowing that if there was anyone that she loved more than her family it was her God. Because of that love and her faith that she shared with me and taught me to know, I WILL see her again... That will get me through.
As close as I was with my grandma, I hardly know the rest of that family. My biological father - her son - was not a part of my life until I was an adult and even then, not a big - or good - part. So, there were no summer get aways to visit the aunts, uncles and cousins. I had met a few of them once or twice and that was years ago, this weekend I got to know them a little bit better and I have to say it was great!! I hope that this can be a new beginning, we are all adults now and seemed to get along pretty well so I hope that this can be the start of a few beautiful friendships.
Everything else is good - Hubby stayed at home with the girls and did great with them - as I fully expected. I cannot begin to tell you what a HUGE blessing it is to know that I am married to a man who is not only fully capable of being there for me in any way, but is also willing to support me in anything and everything that I need. I love him with all of my heart and KNOW that I am the luckiest - most blessed - woman in the world!!!
Sophie is getting bigger all of the time - up to about 15lbs now (gasp!!) and is such a sweet happy baby!! Hattie is so beautiful, sweet and smart.. I am amazed, humbled and blessed on a daily basis that I get to be their mommy. They enrich my life in a million different ways and I LOVE them completely!
Can you believe that it is almost Christmas? Where does the time go - no, really where?!?!?! I have wiplash from trying to watch it fly by! I have to say that I have ALWAYS loved Christmas, but as a mom it is sooooooo different. I am not under the tree shaking my presents, I am shaking theirs - when Hubby allows them to be placed there at any time before Christmas Eve (he knows me way to well!!). I am so excited to see their faces Christmas morning. But even more, I am so excited to see them come to know the REASON for Christmas. I want them to know Jesus, His healing love and His redeeming power. I want them to be saved and to go to Heaven. I want to spend eternity with them and I want them to spend eternity with God... I pray that I can be the parent that they need me to be and that includes being a witness to their Father in Heaven!
So, that brings this post full circle - Grandma (and my mom and so many others) shared her faith with me and brought me to where I am today and, so, I hope and pray that I can do the same for my daughters and stepsons. It is the most important job I have in this life

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Says it all ...

The real meaning of Christmas

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One More ... sideways!

OK, here is the best one ... I just can't figure out how to turn it right side up... anyone? Anyone? Beuller?!? (OK, all you 80's kids are smiling ... admit it!!)

******* UPDATE***********I AM SMART - sorta - ********* UPDATE ********

OOOH - Check it out ... I figured it out! Props to me! YAY!

Family Fun ... sorta!

What a sweet family!
Isn't this a sweet picture, I love my family. It was a perfect day and we just got the sweetest pics.... NOT!!! It took a lot of work to get here...

First, we had a very tired baby - who is also sick with a cold...

Then there was the ever present "nobody really paying attention" pose with just a touch of a lovely crotch shot thrown in for good measure!

Then we wanted some of just the girls.... an adventure in and of itself!

Rule number 1 ... FOCUS!!!
Rule number 2 ... keep all children happy at the same time (poor Sophie)
OK, now we are getting close ... one more oughta do it!
About 10 poses later.... FINALLY!!!

Don't ya just love family photo day?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Memories ...

OK, this post is more for my own personal therapy than for you, the reader ... but, if you want to read some stories about a completely amazing woman, feel free to read on:

When we were little my brother Jim and I were spending some time with my grandparents and we were at a cemetery ... my grandpa helped with ground maintenance. When it came time to leave, it became apparent that nobody had the car keys. Jim had shut the trunk with Grandma's purse - containing the keys - inside! So, as a small child I spent the better part of an afternoon in a graveyard with my grandma, while grandpa walked into town, and completely enjoyed myself. The best part was that nobody got angry or raised their voice, grandma & grandpa made the whole ordeal an adventure!

I remember that my grandma was an impeccable dresser - she never left her bedroom without her "face" or anything less than a complete ensemble on. If she found a pair of shoes that she liked she bought em in every color - because black, brown & white were not enough, the shoes had to match the outfit! I think I got my shoe fetish from her!!!

Grandma took me on a trip to Hawaii. We went on an inter island cruise. The ship we were on was old and grandma - a seasoned traveler - was less than impressed with our accommodations. I, however, was in Heaven. We had a cabin with a sea facing window - we actually watched whales outside our window!!!! Every night we dressed for dinner and made our way to the dining room where grandma would eat every bite on her plate and then order dessert. The funny thing was that she never liked the sweet taste to be the last thing in her mouth, so the first night she asked the waiter for one green olive - to "cut the sweet". The waiter obliged and after she told WHY she needed it, everyone at our table took great pleasure in staying at the table every night til grandma had had her olive. There was one evening when the waiter could not find an olive, so he brought her a pickle instead. I will never forget the look on her face, but she ate it, smiled and complimented him on his choice. The next two nights of the voyage he brought her both and let her choose. She ate both of them!!! The ship , it turned out, was the same ship that Lucy & Ricky traveled on in their European trip with the Mertzes!! Pretty cool huh?!
I was allowed to go snorkeling, horseback riding, para sailing, riding and whale watching. Grandma threw a fit when they would not let her go horseback riding because of her knees she was close to 90 at the time!!!!

I spent a week with grandma a few years ago and participated in her daily routine - she went shopping, picked tomatoes, got her nails done - where I convinced her for the first time EVER to put an actual color on her nails... she chose fire engine red! - and went to aerobics!!! I will never forget how angry she got when the doctor told her that she had to stop aerobics ... seems they can only replace your knees so many times and then not at all after a certain age. She had hit both limits!

One time on a visit Grandma took us to dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant she had heard great things about. The atmosphere was lacking, but the food was great!! They also served Coca-Cola products ... in retro red plastic cups that were the biggest I had ever seen. I told grandma that I liked the cup - I collect Coke stuff - and that she should put one in her very large purse. everyone laughed. Then when we were finished and went to the car she reached into her bag and pulled out one of those cups and said "here ya go sweetie" with a completely straight face! We were all shocked that she would steal a cup, but she said that they robbed us with those prices, so she was just returning the favor!

The last time I saw her was a couple of years ago and we were in Denver - Hubby, Hattie, Jim and I - to see her. Her computer had just died and she was severely distressed that she had no access to her email, her memoirs and her Internet! So she asked Steve to look at it for her. Turned out that she had a fried hard drive, so needed a new computer. We were off to Best Buy!! The salesman helped us pick a new one out and proceeded to ring us up. Then he tried to talk grandma into a lifetime warranty on the computer. She declined. He explained that if anything ever happened to it while she owned it Best Buy would happily replace it. She declined. He started to tell her how much money it would cost to completely replace her computer if anything like this happened again when she put her hand on his arm and in the sweetest voice you could imagine she said "sweetie, I'm 93 years old... I don't need a lifetime warranty, cause my lifetime won't be that long." He didn't ask again!

I had a million conversations with her about a million things and learned something new from every on of them - even if it was just that my grandma was one of the best women who ever lived. And live, she did! She was always running off somewhere and traveling - her last trip was in July to a wedding in California! She had a million friends and was loved by everyone who knew her.... me especially! She will be missed by all - me especially!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

One Of The Good Ones Is Gone

So, this has been a bit of a rough week... Thanksgiving always gives me reason to stop and count my blessings. I have SO VERY MANY blessings to be thankful for:
** I am married to the most amazing man in the world. He treats me like a princess and has made every fairy tale that I ever read come true in so many ways!!! I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a very "lucky" woman - the world may call it luck, I call it Grace! He is a TRUE blessing from God!
** I am a mommy to the two most wonderful little girls EVER!!! They are beautiful, strong, healthy and perfect!! Again, I am sooooo blessed - the world may have another word for it, but again ... grace!
** I have two strong, handsome stepsons that are blessings as well. I am so very proud of the men that they are - and I cannot claim any responsibility whatsoever... They were men when I got here!!! But, again ... grace placed us here together!
** I have an amazing fRamily who are there for me and whom I can be there for too. The list of loved ones is ever growing and yet, the love does not end.... GRACE!!
**I have THE awesome God - ever loving, ever knowing, ever lasting!! EVERYTHING!!! He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is the creator of this earth and the creator of everything and every ONE that I love and I am so very thankful for His provisions, His supply and His unending GRACE!!!!
So why, you may ask, has the week been rough? Well, I said that the list of loved ones is ever growing, but occasionally one of those loved ones must got away...

On Tuesday one of the most amazing, beautiful, wise, loving, fun, feisty and WONDERFUL women that I have ever been blessed to know went home to Jesus. My Grandma, Norma Dumm, passed away at the sweet age of 95. She lived an incredible life and was everything that a woman could and should be. She was everything that a grandmother should be as well. She was a knee to hear stories on, a hand to hold on a walk to the park, an encourager when I felt lost, helpless or alone, a friend when I needed one and an authority when I needed that, a Hawaiian cruise companion, an ear to listen, wisdom to advise and a heart to love me no matter what. She saw me through every part of my life and loved me without fail every day of my life. She made me laugh, made me cry and most importantly, made me think. She was one of the people who taught me how to love and made me into all that I am. She is PART of who I am. I have her eyes and I pray that I have her strength, courage and character. I love her immensely and my life will never be the same without her. I can still hear her sweet voice encouraging, admonishing and loving me with the words she would always say - "sweetie, now this is your grandmother talking..." I cannot wait to see her again in Heaven and hear those words again.... Makes me just that much more Homesick for Heaven ... One more treasure awaits me there!
I love you Grandma, see you soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

All about .... NOTHING!!!

Hi my fRamily!!! So, I have a whole lot to say about really nothing much... just some updates! Sophie is getting to be GINORMOUS!!!! HUGEMONGOUS!!! BIG! She started out at 6lbs, 11oz. and at her two month check up she was 12lbs, 3oz!!!! First of all - TWO MONTHS?!?!?!?! How can that be? Holy canoli, I am in utter shock! Secondly - can you say HEAVY!? I hope that she can sit up soon, cause she and her carrier car seat weigh even more!!! I am just kidding - I don't want to wish even one moment away. She is also really starting to come into her own little self. She has such a sweet spirit and her personality is showing itself in such amazing ways! She has some funny quirks - she will NOT take her bottle if her diaper is even the slightest bit wet. She has to wiggle and shift and get comfy in order to go to sleep - at first I thought she was fighting sleep, but I realized last night and this morning that she is just gettin' settled! She really needs to see what is going on around her - for instance, she LOVES her car seat but hates when you put a blankie over it to shade her from the sun or protect her from the wind/'rain etc... She will cry until you take the cover off and then she is fine! She LOVES to hug her big sis and always gets the biggest smile when Hattie comes near! And - this is my favorite - she thinks the word "tushie" is funny! How do I know? She smiles and squeals every time you say it (well, almost every time!!). I LOVE this kid!!!!
Then there is our Miss Hattie! She is really starting to blossom at school. We have recently been asking for prayers because she is being observed and tested for Autism. And wouldn't you know it - LITERALLY the moment we began asking for those prayers she started to "wake up" at school. She is starting to participate, speak, answer questions, follow directions and play with other kids!!! Coincidence??? I think NOT!!!!! Thank you all for your prayers. Some examples of her increased social awareness and verbal activity ... The other day I was getting Sophie a bottle and she was NOT being patient! When I came into the living room with the bottle Hattie was sitting near her, rubbing the top of her head and telling her softly "Calm down Soapy, it's ok... Mommy comin' ... get you bottle."!!! Then it took me another five minutes to get the bottle to her cause I was crying!!! Yesterday, we were getting ready for school and I had her all dressed and told her to go get in her chair for breakfast. She was looking at a magazine and ignoring me, so I said it again ... nothing ... "HATTIE!!" Without even looking up she said "I HEAR you Mommy". Hubby and i looked at each other and I thought, had I not been praying for you to develop language to express your thoughts you might be flying across the room right about now, but PRAISE THE SWEET LORD - she talks!!! Finally, today I had gone down the hall for a sec and when I came back she was climbing up the stairs ... the OUTSIDE of the stairs!! Freaked me out and I yelled at her to get down, she did and then started crying. I came over to hug her and said "tell me what's wrong". I could see her thinking and processing and then she looked at me and said "you scared me". Then we both cried!!! God is sooooooo (are there really enough o's?) good!
So then, my phone rings this afternoon ... I look at the caller id and it is Steven - my stepson - who NEVER calls me except for Father's Day and birthdays for gift ideas. I answer and it is his girlfriend Mindy - whom I LOVE DEARLY!!! She says that she has news for me - "Steven proposed to me today!" My first reaction "It's about stinkin' time!!!!" to which Steven says "you're on speaker". Seriously though, they have been dating FOREVER and I have been asking him and asking him when he was gonna marry her already and he always says "why do women always ask that?" The last time I asked him if MINDY ever asks that and he said yes, I said "there ya go!" So, I like to think that I had a little something to do with it (I am sure i didn't, but still!)
So, that's about all for now.... Blog at ya soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cure For Cradle Cap!!

OK, can you hear the angels rejoicing? Well, we can at our house, which makes me absolutely positive that all of Heaven rejoices over even the smallest of things that make the children of the Lord happy.
So, you may be asking yourself, what has caused such happiness here at B Manor ... well. I will tell ya. We have found a solution for cradle cap!!! YeeeeeeHaaaaaw!!! (Sorry for the hick-ness, but sometimes "yay" just aint enough!!)
Now, this is quite a bit unorthodox, and possibly a tad insane. Plus, I will have to tell you the story of how this solution presented itself to, hopefully, make it seem just slightly less absurd....
OK, in an earlier post I told you about the cradle cap solution product. Well, I was trying it again. This time I was bathing Sophie in the kitchen and had her in the sink with a head full of the stuff before I realized that I did not have a comb. The product instructions are to apply the stuff to the head and use a baby comb to pull the flakes out... So I am in the kitchen, it is on her head and I have no comb. OH what to do?!?!?! The night before had been pizza night in B land and I had used one of my lovely Pampered Chef stones for the baking. I had cleaned the stone with one of the handy dandy little brown rubber scrapers that they provide for your convenience. And guess what? That little scraper was on the edge of my sink.... Wheel turning in the head, thoughts flying by - should I? Could I? WOULD I????? Well the answer to all three is yes. For those of you unversed in Pampered Chef (let me just say that you must run - not walk - to your computer and find yourself a consultant .... ok, you are already at your computer so....... OH, I get sidetracked so easily!!!) I must assure you that this is in no way a sharp, chemically treated or otherwise dangerous product. Simply a little brown rubber square that is AMAZING at getting pizza off of a stone. AND, now we know that it is also quite functional at removing Cradle Cap...... The flakes just slid off and her head looks sooooooo much better!!! And, just to reassure those of you who may be doubting the sanity and safety, let me assure you that sweet Sophie smiled the whole time!!!
Oh yeah, God is good!!! And sometimes He really does work in mysterious ways!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fall Is Here

OK, so I looooooooovvvvvveeee fall!!! And here is the biggest reason why:

Hattie gets completely giddy sliding down the slide into leaves. So much so that even in the summer, she will search the yard for any leaves that may have fallen onto the ground and - even if there are only two - she will pile them at the end of the slide and go. Then she will laugh and laugh until she literally cries with laughter!!! It is the cutest thing EVER .... until I saw this .....

So, now BOTH of my girls love fall. OK, maybe Sophie is only slightly tolerating it, but I got a cute picture, so, it works for me!!! I LOVE FALL!!!!

PS: When the neighbor lady came over to chat, Hubby got sidetracked from his leaf duty and was not moving fast enough for Hattie's liking. So, she took over....

Yep, I LOVE fall!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

They're so cute it's SPOOKY!!!

OK, so I have the cutest kids EVER!!! I know you are saying that yours are cuter, but I am sorry - MINE ARE!!!!!
Halloween was a chore - picking a costume Hattie would actually wear and one that Sophie could wear without spending a fortune ...
Last year I bought Hattie a Sully costume - from Monsters Inc. - and she would not go NEAR it!! I figured if I could get it on her she would get over it ... I was wrong. She screamed in TERROR and fought like heck to get it off. So, last year she was a cowgirl. Jeans and a plaid shirt, oh so creative ... NOT!!!! This year, I figured I would try Sully again and if I could get her to go for it, she could be Sully and Sophie could be Mike - green jumper with an eye in the middle, simple. Except Hattie STILL would not go near the costume. When my mom was here Hattie fell in love with a kangaroo costume, but they only had an infant size. My mom bought it for her anyway. Then one day we were watching Dora and she was a kitty for Halloween. PERFECT - if Dora can be a cat, so can Hattie. I got out some cat ears - actually they are skunk ears (and their are April's) but she went for it. So I bought her black sweats and a turtle neck, made her a tail and we were in business. I dressed Sophie in the kangaroo outfit, but just long enough for pics, cause Hattie got a little possessive - ok, a LOT possessive!! But they both looked ADORABLE as you can see!!
Also, Auntie April sent some Halloween clothes for Sophie - April is the holiday QUEEN (probably has Halloween undies!!) and I included those pics too!! Too stinking cute!!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sleep & Cradle Cap

OK, I know that is a weird combination ... but that is life in the B Manor!!! Sophie has slept through the night ... in her bed ... for two nights!!!! I am trying not to get too excited, but it aint working too well! She has slept multiple hours before, but in Steve's arms in the recliner and NEVER for more than two nights in a row ... so, tonight will be the big test!!! PRAY FOR US!!!!! She has had a cold so she is sleeping in a car seat (sits her up a bit more!) but the car seat is in her bed - does that count?!?! I say it does!!!
In other news, Sophie has a MEAN case of cradle cap. It is one of the worst I have ever seen and I have tried all of my old standbys - baby oil, big people shampoo, brushing it with the shampoo on it and I have even tried a product called "Cradle Cap Care" which has helped a little but we still got it. SO, I am taking suggestions - anything at all, bring it on!!!
And the BIG news of the week is that on Thursday, Kim (birth Mom) had her relinquishment hearing. Meaning she signed the court papers giving up her parental rights to Sophie. She now has 30 days to appeal - but only if there is a legal reason, she can not just "change her mind!" So, after court we got together for breakfast and Briauna (Sophie's sister) was there. They were really cute together - of course I forgot to take a picture!!! DUH!!! But It was nice to see Kim and for her to get to see Sophie and the girls to see each other. They look a bit alike, but not as much as I thought they would. B is so much bigger that I would not even peg them as twins if I were to see them on the street! And, may I just be so bold as to say - they are quite beautiful (of course Sophie is the most beautiful -wink wink!!).

And then there is our Miss Hattie! She is really starting to love here sis - calls her Super Baby or "Soapy"!! SO, SO, SOOOOOO cute!!! When Sophie cries or gets upset, Hattie worries - she has been known to put a bottle in her mouth and at times says "calm down Soapy!!" ... very sweet! She is still loving school - can't wait for the bus in the morning! She is going to be evaluated at school, soon as well as by a neurologist, because the teacher is concerned about some of her behaviours. She is not as social as most children her age and isn't talking as well and there are a few other things that lead them to believe that she may be slightly autistic. This is very concerning to us of course. We want to do all that she need though, so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be in prayer for her - and for us - over this development. That God would open her mind to what they are trying to teach her and that we would be the parents that she needs for us to be.
That is about all there is for now! I will blog at ya soon - hopefully bright eyed & bushy tailed!!!! Sleep is our friend!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Even When It Is Tough ...

So, I have had a huge piece of Humble Pie in the last few days .... in fact, I sat down at the dessert cart with a fork in each hand and devoured the whole pie!!! Just jumped right in and stuffed myself - my own personal pity party and I was the only guest.
Sophie is 6 weeks old tomorrow and she is still having some trouble figuring out a sleeping schedule - or should I say that HER MOMMY has had some trouble trying to force a sleeping schedule upon her!!!! I have been telling myself everything from "I am doing this for Steve, so HE can sleep" to "I have a 3 year old too, so I HAVE to do this!" But the truth is that I want what I want and I want it WHEN I want it!!!! So, I started reading a book that a friend of mine gave me and was so excited to read that a pattern starts to form at around six weeks... THEN I read that it is six weeks from the DUE DATE - so I have 3 extra weeks!!!!!
Now, truthfully I have had it pretty easy. I am married to the greatest man alive who is so willing to help with every little thing that he has spent many a night in the recliner - because it so happens that Sophie's favorite place in the WORLD is in her daddy's arms. And he has let me sleep quite a bit, but still I wanted it the way I wanted it, so I whined and complained.
Then, through some other blogs that I read faithfully, I have found blogs of women who have lost children too soon or have been trying unsuccessfully to have children and are facing daily heartbreak ... enter the humility.
Here I sit with a perfect, healthy BEAUTIFUL little soul - two of them in fact! I am so completely blessed with these sweet girls and I have the audacity to complain because I have lost some sleep!!! I begged God for these children. I prayed daily for the chance to be their Mommy. And God heard my cries and He answered my prayers with two girls that he ordained plans for, bringing them to me through wombs other than my own. He healed the wound of my own infertility and gave me these blessings to have and to hold as my forever children. He gave me a glimpse of His own love for me through the love I have for them and still I complained. Could I be more humbled? I pray that I will never know.
So, now that I have tasted the stuff, I have decided to try to avoid the humble pie from now on. I want to be grateful for every moment and not let anyone - here that satan, ANYONE - rob me of the joy of loving my children. I have a chance in the middle of the night, every night, to thank God for my life... and someday soon she will sleep through the night and I will not have that time.... but I will have first thing in the morning. I pray that I can teach my girls to start each day with a grateful heart that KNOWS the power of His grace - the grace and redemption and MERCY that is new every morning!!! And I pray that I will show them every moment possible - even if it is 2am - how blessed I am that they call me Mommy.
Thanks you Father, for a new start, for Humble Pie and for Your unending mercy and forgiveness!!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Praise the Lord!!!!

OK - Huge day in the B Household ...... (do ya hear the drum roll?!) ..... Hattie officially likes Sophie!!! Yep, it's true! She played on the floor with her and fed her a bottle!! She was not, however, so hip on sharing the tub with her tonight. I think we pushed it a little too far with that one. The tub is Hattie's domain and she did NOT want to share! Good to know! None the less, we now have pictures to put in their Sister frames!!! Another huge miracle of God, because Hattie HATES to have her picture taken and she was actually smiling and saying "cheese"! So, here ya go - proof that life in the B abode has taken a friendly turn!!!
YAY!!!! Girlfriends forever!!!
So, this is officially the sweetest picture EVER!
My three favorite people!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

My Hubby ROCKS!! (10 reasons why!!!)

So, I lost it the first time ... we will try again. Here ya go!!!

10 - He is pretty stinking cute!!!! This is not the reason I married him and it is not the reason I stay, but it sure don't hurt!!!:)

9 - He cooks!!!! Yep, knows his way around a garage AND a kitchen - nuff said!!!

8 - He aint scared of diapers!!! Trust me, this is very important lately!

7 - He is sooooooo smart!!! I don't know why, but there is something so enticing 'bout him explaining the scientific & aerodynamic reasons why this car does better than that car on that particular track in this race!

6 - He even makes NASCAR interesting!!! I never thought I would say it - 4 hours of cars turning left?!?! - but I am actually starting to enjoy it (shhhh, don't let it slip!)

5 - He can fix ANYTHING!!!! So, Dodge wanted $45 per key fob to reprogram 'em ... my man did it himself in about 5 seconds ... for FREE! Not to mention all of the strollers, phones etc.... It's goooood to have a handy man!!

4 - Did I mention the hands?!?!?! I know you are rolling your eyes right now, but hey ... it's important! They aint just handy for fixin' - if ya know what I mean!!

3 - As long as we are on anatomy, let's not forget the - get your mind out of the gutter - lips!!! Not only are they REAL good at kissing, but they always know just what to say to make me feel beautiful, special, loved and cherished! Gotta love that!

2 - He is THE BEST Daddy in the whole world!!! His grown boys wnat to be him and hi little girls can't get enough of him. Sophie's favorite place in the world to fall asleep is on his chest. Hattie can't get to the door fast enough to greet him when he comes home from work. I can't tell ya what that does to this heart of mine!

AND ... the number one reason My Hubby Rocks .....

He is a truly heart focused and mind set MAN OF GOD!!! There is a reason I was not afraid to use the word "obey" in my vows. I have no qualms, second thoughts or fears of following a man who is TRULY following after God! I could not ask for more and I could not be more Blessed!!!

So, there ya go... I love my Hubby and if he ever reads this he will probably be embarrassed, turn a hundred shades of read, be horrified by numbers 3 & 4, and somewhere deep down, be honored and humbled! And THAT is why I love him!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Been a While!!!

Hi fRamily, sorry it has been so long between posts.... Been a bit busy! My wonderful man had a birthday and I had a post all ready to go about the top ten reasons my hubby ROCKS!!!! and I lost it..... Will try it again later! For now I will just update ya as to what we have been up to.....
Last weekend hubby allowed me to participate in the Breast Cancer 3 Day event ..... Quite a commitment since he would be alone with the girls while I was there. We both survived and the girls are no worse for the wear it seems!!!
Most of you know that My Bestest friend Paula fought a brave fight with Breast cancer before she went home to Jesus in 2004, leaving behind a husband and two sweet, strong , amazing girls who turned 8 and 10 last month. I miss her every moment of every day and will do ANYTHING to make sure that her girls don't have to live with the fear of the disease. But I have a few women in my life who have fought and won too - my Grandma, my sister Marla and my friend Alice to name a few and as we speak (or as I write) my friend Holly is recovering from her surgery last monday..... So, I think it is time for the big BC to go away for good!!!!! And I am committed to that goal and will fight till it is won!
Well, Sophie is stirring so I better go - ok, now she is CRYING!!!
I am attaching pics of the girls and the event!
Blog at ya soon!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Big Sister AND Guardian!!!

So, we were all concerned that Hattie was not going to bond with her little sister ... Well, she still won't touch her or get too close, but she also won't let us get too far without our Sophie! We have had to make a couple of outings and Hattie was sure not to leave her sis behind. Hattie likes to push the garage door button, so I set Sophie down so I could lift Hattie up to push it - but I set her down INSIDE the house and H thought that was where I was gonna leave her and she would not touch the button till Sophie was safe in the garage with all us (granted the door into the house was still open and Sophie was just inside the door, but that was NOT good enough for her protector!!!). Then, at the store I had to put Sophie in the cart before Hattie would get in and had to put Sophie back in the CAR before Hattie would get in! I love that!!! Does my heart good to see her loving her sis!!!

As for the reason for the shopping trip - prune juice. Yep, the doc had me start giving Sophie a 1/2 tsp of the stuff once a day 'cause she was a bit backed up ... well, it worked. I know a little TMI, but there is more to the story that I need to tell cause I need prayer!!! Seems prune juice also gives ya a bit of the cramps - at least that is what we are thinking it is - and Sophie is AGAIN not sleeping well at night. Again today she fell asleep as Hattie was waking up!!! PLEASE keep us in prayer as we figure out how to help our girl. It is SO hard to see her in misery!

On a good note, Sophie started her very first Bible Study yesterday!!! We are doing a Beth Moore Study (who I am convinced is one of my very best friends, I just don't know her yet!!) and Sophie went with me!!! What a testimony for someday!!!!

Blog at ya soon!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Getting reaquainted with our old friend SLEEP!

Ahhhhhh, sleep is back in the house! It is only 3-4 hours at a time, but we will take it!!! Sophie is brilliant and a very fast learner and it only took a couple of days for her to get the hang of it!!! I am not big on routines for newborns, so it was hard - but worth it! And now we are back to letting her decide how long she sleeps. She is eating well - already back up to her birth weight! She is the one
of the easiest babies we have ever had - now that she sleeps!! - and is such a sweet pleasure to have around! How quickly she has captured our hearts:)
So, I feel as though I have neglected to brag on Hattie and how well she is doing in school... Let me fix that!
She is cool with getting on the bus - not as excited as the first time she rode it, but gets on without screaming and crying, so we will are happy with that. Her teacher is going to work with us on Hattie's social language and awareness, which has already improved greatly - so we can't wait to see how far she can go with extra help. She will also be working with a speech therapist and possibly an occupational therapist to improve thos skills. We are just so very thankful that it was caught so early and we can help her before she starts Kindergarten. I had posted a pic of her in her classroom on the first day there but neglected to say ... HOW STINKING CUTE IS SHE?!?!?!?!?! With her little dress and buster brown shoes and sweet little bob haircut. I am just busting at the seams with how much I love this girl!!! She is such a big girl and is getting used to having a baby around and being a school girl. So many changes so quickly in her little life and she is hadling it all beautifully!! Thank you all for your support and your prayers!
Blog at ya later!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ahhhh, sweet sleep ... we miss you!!

Well, we are all home safe and sound. We brought Sophie home on Friday.... well, let me start at the beginning of Friday....
Hattie rode the BIG bus for the first time on Thursday - they brought her home to me after a pretty good first day of school. She seemed to enjoy it, but I knew the real test would be when it drove away the first time.... Praise the sweet Lord - cause it could ONLY have been Him, she was actually excited to get on it Friday morning!! Yay!
Friday afternoon we all went to pick up Sophie. Hattie saw her and was fine ... till Sophie got in the car with us!! She did NOT like that!! But she calmed down pretty fast and was soon ok with it. Not happy. but ok!
Friday night was a little rough, but not nearly as rough as Saturday night. I knew at about 7am Sunday morning, when Sophie was falling asleep just as Hattie was waking up, that we were going to have to work to get the days & nights thing straight!!
So, all day Sunday I only let Sophie sleep 2 hours at a time and fed her less but more frequently till about 10pm. Then she had a bigger bottle - 3oz - and we let her sleep to establish a night time routine. So, she woke to eat at 12:30, 4:30 and 8:00. Much better than the 5 hours awake and fussy the night before!! Plus, the tummy drops may have helped ... Milicon is our friend!!!
As for Hattie, Saturday she was oblivious and/or indifferent to Sophie, Sunday she seemed curious and by evening a bit concerned when Sophie cried. THEN, Sunday night on the way to bed, half way up the stairs Hattie stopped, looked over and said "night night Sophie" .... Praise God AGAIN!!!!
Life is going well ... still a bit tired, but ok. Happy and full ... that is B manor .... sweet abundance!

*** I am attaching some pics, can't decide which to use for the announcement. Any votes?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sophie Lee is Here!!!!!

So, big day in B Manor!!! Hattie went to meet her teacher, then we went to meet her new sister!!!! It was amazing! I watched both babies come into this world! I am whipped tired, so just the basics for now and I will tell ya all about it soon.....

Sophie Lee born 09/05/07 at 3:02 pm.... 6lbs 11oz, 20inches and healthy healthy healthy!!!


Blog ya more soon!!!