Friday, December 03, 2010


I had a fun time decorating the mantel this year. I let the kids have at the tree, so I sort of took the mantel on as my adult space. Not that the tree looks bad at all, I just wanted to primp my own space.

There are always pictures that I see of spaces where I love the design, but I've never been able to put things together in just the right way. So, I guess you could say I did some "research" by blog-hopping to find different ideas I could steal. And let me tell you I stole some ideas!

Then I "shopped" my house. There were very few things I found that I wanted, so I "shopped" my friend, Amy's, house! I was very pleased with the treasures I borrowed.

I did end up picking up some pine greenery and ribbon from Big Lots, but other than that, no money! When I got home, I cut sprigs from the berry bush that seemed to have magically appeared in our yard.

So, here's my mantel and fireplace finished, with a grand total of only $12 spent. Not too shabby. (Kenny will be pleased!)
I also must add that it looks more magical with the big light off and the glitter lights glowing behind as well as the tea lights in the jars...oh well...I've never admitted to being a photographer!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Troopers

This may be long and drawn out to some, but I wanted to document today's doctor appointments because I was sooo proud of how my kiddos did.

The last time I had to take Avery to the doctor for stomach issues, I was informed that she had never had her five year check up! What?! I filed that information away in my mind that sometimes like to retain information, and other times does not.

Fast forward to this week. I realized that I had yet to schedule Braden's three year doctor appointment. Double What?!
So, 6-ish months after Avery was supposed to have her appointment and one month after Braden was supposed to have his, I realized that I had to get on the, to make appointments.

Guess who is out of the running for mother of the year, huh.

To my surprise, I was informed of an available appointment for the next day (today), and was eager to fill that spot since the next one wouldn't be until January. At that rate, I might as well save up until Avery's 6th birthday and make her have double the immunizations.

Let me fill in a little background. Braden doesn't mind so much about going to the doctor. Maybe because he was too little to remember the few times he's had minor issues, resulting in needle pricks everyday, or the dog bite. Avery, however, is a different story. She was a little older when she had her minor run ins...broken arm, urinary tract issues, stomach problem.

Kenny and I laugh now when we recall the day of the broken arm. The nurses were trying their best to get an IV in her arm. They resorted to her foot; it took four grown people to hold down one teeny little girl who screamed, "No ma'am! No ma'am!" all the while. Then there was the urinary tract issues. Luckily (for me) I was out of town, but my parents were the ones who had to endure that struggle. My heart broke just hearing about it. I'm not sure I would have made it through that one without tears of my own.

To make a long story a little shorter, Avery's not a fan.

After the appointment was made (both of them in one whammy), I asked Kenny if he would be able to leave work for a little bit and come help out. I had forgotten today and tomorrow was the day of the Super Six (football state playoffs), and he would be out of town. So. Alone I went. I had prayed hard all evening that things would go well.

I know Avery is the type who needs to know ahead of time what is going to happen, so I had to walk the fine line of telling her in enough time before we left, but not too soon so she wouldn't dwell on the inevitable.

Lots more praying took place this morning, then I presented the fact that we would be going for check ups. Braden asked and I explained what it would entail...looking in ears, eyes, throat, getting weighed, measured, etc. Avery was quiet all the while. Soon she asked, "what about shots momma?" I weasled my way out of that with an indirect, "well honey, if you guys do need shots, I know you will be brave." Followed closely with, "and when we're all done we can go to the store to pick out a treat because I know you will do so well."

That appeased her for about a second. Then more questions were hurled at me from both sides. Braden decided he didn't want a check up. So, I got out the doctor play stuff and we played doctor for a while. Of course I wasn't a serious doctor, I was the clown version, trying to make it as happy as possible.

By the time we finished, we decided we would take it one step at a time and that they both were going to stick their arms out and say, "Bring on the shots!" if they needed to.

I could tell Avery was apprehensive when we arrived, but they busied themselves with the blocks in the waiting room. Then after a good hand washing, we headed to get weighed.

Avery: 40.4 pounds.

Braden: 41.6 pounds.


We played some more in the room while Miss Jessi asked them all the questions and checked their blood pressure. They were so good to take turns. Avery went first and asked Miss Jessi lots of questions. Braden was excited to climb up and get his blood pressure taken. When Miss Jessi left the room, he pranced around and said, "Thanks for squeezing my arm!"

The doctor came in and did the whole ear, eye, throat check. When it came time to turn out the lights Braden giggled the entire time. His facial expressions made me laugh the whole time. It was fun to watch him jump up and be excited to do whatever Avery had just done. When it was his turn for the eyes, he told the doctor, "OK! Time to turn off the lights!"

That time when he finished, he knew it was the last thing Avery had done, so he headed to the door to leave. Little did he know there was more in store.

Avery was told she would need two immunizations and Braden one. She was confused why he only had to get one, but after some explaining, she was ok. We were also happy to learn that she won't need any more immunizations until she's 11. After she found out that was another entire lifetime for her, literally, she was excited.

When it was her turn for her shots, she sat up like a big girl, and asked Miss Jessi questions. When the first needle went in, she said, "That didn't hurt really bad." Then the medicine went in and she felt a little burn. She didn't like that too much, but I could tell she was trying so hard not to cry. She told me later, "Momma, I was extra brave because you were standing right there beside me. If you hadn't been there, I would have been more nervous." Those are words every momma needs to hear. For her next shot she told Miss Jessi, "That one didn't hurt at all, and no burning either!" When she found out the measles and mumps immunization was the one that hurt, she said, "Mean measles!"

I can't begin to describe her sweet face during the process. It made me want to tear up because she wanted to cry so badly, but she held it in and was so brave.

Braden was watching the whole process. He could sense that Avery wasn't liking it even though she was hiding it well. He said once, "Don't do that to my sister!" They can fight and fight, but in the end they will always stand up for each other.

It was his turn, and he got his in his leg. The nurse held his legs down and I got his hands. It went quickly, and there were a few tears, but then he was pretty proud of his little bandaid.

Then they informed Avery she would have to get a needle stick in her finger to get a little blood. Bless her heart; she thought she was finished, and that threw her for a loop. She didn't cry or whine, but she did panic a little. We tried to tell her that the worst part was over, and the other wouldn't hurt badly, but she was still so nervous while we waited at the lab. Braden told everyone we saw about his bandaid and shot.

Avery asked the lab tech tons more questions about what it would feel like, would it be worse than the shots, etc. Finally the lab tech just took her hand and showed her. Avery said, "That wasn't bad at all!" Then she looked down and saw the blood and had to close her eyes. Such a weak little stomach. She talked the whole time with her eyes closed, and was very proud to earn her sticker when it was all over. Braden was also graced with a sticker as well.

We headed to the dollar store so they could pick out whatever they wanted for being so brave, and then we topped off the morning with lunch at Chic Fil A. Braden continued to tell everyone he saw about his shot and his bandaid. Avery joined in to tell of how brave they had been.

My little troopers.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Braden's Third Birthday Party

This morning was fun to get together with friends to celebrate Braden's birthday. We opted for the easy route this year and had it at Burger King. Talk about easy set up and clean up! It was perfect! I think we enjoyed being with our friends as much as Braden enjoyed being with his! He especially enjoyed his "motorcycle bike" as he calls it.

I'm so very thankful to have such a fun, spirited, sweet, active, wild, crazy, and precious little man for our son.
(more pictures on facebook.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Braden's Cake

The kids and I have been making Braden's birthday cake today. He requested a motorcycle cake this year. I figured, "hey! I made a giant castle for Avery on her birthday, a motorcycle should be a piece of cake!" (Pun intended..)
Well, let me be the first to tell you that, even though it didn't take as long, I thought the motorcycle was harder than the extravagant castle. Maybe because I had to cut pieces out and put them together like a puzzle.
At any rate, the kids and I had a blast being together, and it didn't turn out too bad. All that matters is that Braden thinks it's the best motorcycle cake ever.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Deep Breathing Really Works

This morning while I was cleaning the bathroom, Avery alerted me to the following.

I know at some point I'm going to laugh about the whole thing.

Don't think I'm quite there yet.

But my blood pressure has returned to its normal state.

And this little culprit helped clean up.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Boo! Lollipop Ghosts!

The kids and I enjoyed our morning of making lollipop ghosts! I saw the idea online, but did not remember where (sorry; not meaning to plagerize here..)

What you'll need is a block of almond bark (or white chocolate chips), mini chocolate chips (for the eyes), lollipop sticks (I found mine at Wal-mart in the party section), wax paper, and a few great little helpers!

Melt the chocolate according to package. I started with 90 seconds, then stirred, and added increments of 15 seconds, stirring until all melted.

Next, plop desired amount on wax paper (we put our wax paper on top of cookie sheets so the kids could move them around easier), and form into desired shapes. You need to make sure it's thick enough so it won't break at the end.

Add lollipop stick, then put more chocolate on top of the stick. Decorate with chocolate chip eyes. The kids added noses and mouths too!

As you can see, the kids make some very interesting shapes! Avery went with smaller ones, and after finishing the process, I realized I probably should have encouraged Chance and Braden to make smaller ones too. That way when they eat them, they aren't getting too much all at once.

They don't take very long to set, and then enjoy!! This little guy is my favorite.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Mirror Redo

After Braden's room switcheroo, I moved his changing table to the entryway and took the top off so it doesn't look like a changing table. (I have yet to change out the knobs yet, but that will come in time.) Anyway, I've been looking for a mirror to put above it. My friend Amy found a treasure today at a garage sale for $5! It's hard to find big mirrors for so cheap, so I asked her to grab it up.

She warned me about the fruit, but it still took me a little off guard when I saw it. I'm not a fruit kind of gal...some people are, and I'm not dissing them, but it's just not me..especially in an entryway.

So...I started my wheels turning and paint a mixing. I had some aqua leftover from my dining room table and some yellow from my kitchen walls, so I mixed them together to make a softer aqua with a greenish tint. Then, I added some damaskish stencils to the corners in the light yellow, and finished it off with a light stain so it wouldn't look like it was freshly painted.

I am going to have to figure out how to reconfigure the entryway now because the accessories need to be changed out to fit the more contemporary feel. But for the time being...I'm pleased with the replacements of the fruit! (Who knows why this picture came out so teeny...)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I stumbled upon..

One of Avery's latest. I guess she wanted the Barbies to go for a, uh, ride?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Big Boy Room Revealed

I still need to add something to the wall that his headboard is up against. There is also a frame awaiting an updated picture that my friend, Ashley (over at, made for Braden when he was born. I am also probably going to do something to the top of his curtains to make them look like they belong in a big boy room instead of a nursery.

I thought I would go ahead a share a few pictures because some people have been asking how it turned out. Braden absolutely loves it, and the kids love playing in the open space almost more than Avery's room now.

I included a picture of Braden sleeping, and yes he does still sleep with a paci. Not a battle I choose to pick because it's not messing his teeth up, and I want to tackle one big step at a time. Enough defensiveness from me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another milestone

Braden has had a big week! Potty training himself, and now tonight is his first night in his big boy bed! We finally got the mattresses picked up, and figured tonight is as good as any. He told me he would rather sleep in his crib. (Avery told him we needed to put it in the shed in case we had another baby--but that's a whole other train of thought...)

I asked him why he wanted to sleep in his crib, and he said he was scared because his big boy bed was too big for him. I put his bumpers on either side of him so he could snuggle up like he normally does in his crib. (And so he would have less of a chance to roll off the bed.)

We did our nightly bedtime ritual, but instead of all getting in Avery's bed to sing and pray, we moved the party to Braden's bed. Avery was the most excited I think.

When we left the room, my little man's tiny body was tucked into what seemed like a massive bed.

Add another *sniff* here.

(Pictures still to come...)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Braden's potty training

Yesterday Braden decided he wanted to start going potty. I've never pushed it with my kids. I've always felt that when it's time, they know it, so why mess with the accidents and such until necessary. (With Avery, I waited and it only took a few days for her to catch on.)
Apparently Braden decided yesterday was the day. We have been talking about it in passing, and if he sees someone else going potty, he will try. He's never had success until yesterday.

Right before bed, he asked if he could go, and he went. Avery was there the whole time encouraging him. She ran out and told Kenny. We all applauded and shared M&Ms.

Well, today when Braden woke up he was dry, so I asked if he wanted to go potty again. He said yes, and tried, but had no success. We tried big boy underwear for a bit, but then I had the other kids' schooling going on and didn't really have time to clean up a mess. At one point, he had on a pull up and asked if that would leak. Before I realized what he meant, he shivered...I did know what that meant! After a while, I thought I'd try the no pants at all method. It worked most of the morning.
Later, while I was fixing lunch, I heard him screaming my name. I ran in and he was sitting at the table. He had an accident and didn't really know what was happening. I felt so bad because he was so scared. We got him cleaned up and diapered up.

Fast forward to after my games tonight. He spent the afternoon and evening with his Nonna. When I met up with them at Kenny's football game, Braden asked me, "is this going to leak?" So I asked if he needed to go potty. He said yes! So off we went, and went he did! His diaper was dry at that point.
We finished watching the game, came home, and were getting ready for baths. I took his diaper off and it was still dry. He always knows Avery goes potty before getting in the tub. As I was filling up the tub, I turned around to find him going potty without being asked!

My little man is catching on!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Braden's Big Boy Bed

We just bought Braden his big boy bed. ~Sniff~

I've kept him in his crib for so long because he really does love it. Also for selfish reasons because it keeps him trapped a little longer in the mornings while I stretch and try to roll out of bed on those mornings where he deems it necessary to wake up before the booty crack of dawn.

We've been on the lookout for just the right one for a while now. I knew we were inheriting Kirk's mattresses when he went off to college, and I figured that would be a good time to make the switch. Well, the time has come; Kirk left yesterday, leaving his mattresses for the taking.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this new turned-over-leaf. Thankful that he's growing into such a healthy, sweet, big boy, but saddened because he's my baby. Seeing him go to sleep at night in a big boy bed is just one step closer to the he will be the one moving to college.

Avery's switch seemed more natural because we were moving to a new house, and since we were expecting Braden's arrival in a few months, we just set up her big girl room when we moved in.

So this is where I am now. Avery gave up her crib for Braden. Who is Braden giving up his crib for? Kenny said, "let's get to work!" I'm not sure it's that easy. I'm still on the fencepost about a third child. That doesn't have to be decided now, but that in itself makes me sad. Am I closed for business? I feel like our family is complete, but don't really want to be. Weird. Thoughts. Swirling. in this now tangent paragraph.

At any rate, Braden is completely thrilled, as am I because we found the PERFECT bed! I just thought I had found the perfect bed a few weeks ago, and was watching and waiting because the price seemed to keep falling from week to week. Good thing I did because the one we ended up with is ten times better for crazy cheap!

I want to show a sneak peak, but his room is a mess now, with the treasure of a dresser I found a few weeks ago for super duper cheap, a new trunk to hold his toys that won't fit in the storage under his completely awesome new bed, the bed itself in pieces, plus the crib, changing table and rocking chair still in tact from before...oh and the futon. Can we say crowded? Plus, the icing on the cake (the bedding) is still in the process of being shipped. So, if anyone does care to see pictures, they'll just have to wait for the reveal that will come once it's all put together. Which will probably be soon because Braden is just as excited as I am, so I will be working hard to get it pulled together as quickly as possible.

This is the teaser blog...and a little journal for myself.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Hide and Seek

The kids and Kenny are playing hide and seek. Avery and Braden keep hiding together.

When Kenny comes into a room, he asks, "are they behind the (insert object here)?"

Braden answers with a muffled, "No. We are behind the curtains (or other object)!" Suprisingly, Avery has not gotten frustrated with him yet.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I've really been upset with myself that I haven't been documenting things on my blog like I used to. I blame it on Facebook, and the ability to add quick snippets as statuses. In the past, even if the snippet was quick, it usually blossomed into a full blown story. I blame my mom for that; for being the Mrs. Story-Teller of all times, then passing a little of the gene along to me.

So now that blame has completely been cast off of me, I want to attempt to remember a few of the things we've been up to. Unfortunately, our computer died a little while back. Fortunately, we have a fabulous friend who offered to build us a really nice one at a very nice price. I say all of that to say, now I have our great new computer, but no pictures have been uploaded in a long time, so those will come later.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the pool at Nonna's (Kenny's mom and dad's) this summer. We were worried for a little because Braden did not show interest in the water like he did last summer. Now, all worries are aside. We don't know when it happened, but some switch has been flipped, and we now have our water baby back. He is still more cautious than Avery ever was in the water, but at least he is in, and not sitting around the edge basking like a sunbather. Of course Avery has enjoyed the water since day one, and has 'graduated' to no floaties. She stays in the shallow end, but has tested out her minor swimming skills the few times she ventured a little too deep. We spend our time with Mrs. Potts (the giant teapot and accessories), having tea parties, playing dolphin (which consists of jumping out of the water, back into the water, headfirst), flipping under water, competing against daddy to see who can stay under water the longest, and many, many, many other exciting games.

The kids and I took a trip to Texas in June to visit my family. My brother was great to fly into Montgomery, only to turn around and travel the 12 hours it took us in the car, back to Forney. After our stay there, he was not scared off from the first trip, and did the same going back. I was very appreciative for the extra set of hands, and of course the kids were enamored with Uncle Jase since they don't get to be around him much. The trip itself really did fly by. Grammy and Pop enjoyed their grandbabies, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with everyone as well. I even got to spend one of the days there with my very best friend from high school. Seems like everytime we see each other, we pick up where we left off. It's neat to see how our lives are still similar; both married, two kids, same interests, etc. It is always hard to say goodbye after such a great visit, but on the flipside, it's always nice to come home. I was not the only one ready to see Kenny again; the kids were very ready to see their daddy. We got home late Wednesday night, and Thursday when they woke up, they asked, "Oh no, is daddy gone again!?" They were glad to hear he would be home after a short workday.

Volleyball has started up again. We have all three teams practicing together for the summer, and it's been a great group to work with this year. I look forward to seeing how the season turns out.

Avery has enjoyed going to VBS this week. I didn't get to help out this year, and Braden still isn't old enough for classes, but he and I always go early to pick Avery up. He enjoys the singing and 'dancing' in the wrap up session. Avery asked him to sit with her class, so he feels like a big boy. I often stop and wonder where my babies went.

I started the P90X workout, and am over halfway through week 2. Sometimes I feel like I've been doing it for a long time, but then realize I'm only in week two. I still have a little way to go before I hit my goals, but am very proud of what I am accomplishing now. My eating habits are so much better now, topped with exercising everyday again really has been a good lifestyle change for me.

I have been working on the football media guide for the upcoming season. It's in the wrapping up stage now. It's been a big project, and is taking me a while since I only work on it when the kids are in bed, and I think it will be nice when it's all said and done.

Kenny is excited about his football team this year. I look forward to seeing how they all come together because it seems like a fantastic group of kids.

I'm in the beginning stages of transitioning to Braden's big boy room. I've held off because sometimes it's just easier to let him play where he can't get out of his crib, but he is such a big kid now: literally. I'm not sure how much longer he will fit in his crib. It's exciting getting new things together to change it over. It will be a while before that's finished, but I will be sure to post pictures.

I guess that's it for now.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beach Trip 2010

Kenny and I have been planning to take the kids to the beach for a while now. We just never picked a time. Last week, Kenny had his last day of school, and a week off before his summer schedule started. We figured it was the perfect time for a mini vacation. We normally stay in hotels when we go places, but we started looking into renting a condo this time around. It wasn't much more expensive, and the convenience of it was worth the little bit of extra we paid.
We left early Tuesday morning. The kids did fantastic on the trip, and the weather was great for 2 hours and 45 minutes. When we pulled into Gulf Shores, a gigantic black cloud rolled in, and for the last 15 minutes of our trip, it poured. Kenny and I just looked at each other.
Once we got settled into the condo, it was still raining, so we were glad for the indoor pool at the condo. Avery is a fish, so she jumped right in. Braden has become a little more cautious this summer, so he stayed around the edges.

Finally the rain stopped, so we headed out to the beach. Braden's words once we hit the sand were, "oh! It's yucky on my feet!" He must get that from his dad. I was glad he quickly changed his mind. He never did get used to the sand on his hands though. Avery ran up to the water and started jumping over waves. Braden screamed everytime we tried to get close. I finally talked him into sitting in my lap and letting the water run over our legs. Later on that day, he let me carry him into the water deeper. The waves were fun to jump over and through. Avery and Kenny had a ball in the bigger ones.

By then it was close to suppertime, and since it was Daddy and Avery's night to pick, they chose Pizza Hut. What a the beach, and pizza, but it was good, and the company was great. After dinner, we went to the grocery store to get lunch for the next day. By the time we were finished there, the kids were falling asleep while walking so they went to bed when we got home. They spent the night in the same room, and they thought that was pretty neat. Until the next morning...

Avery is my sleep in girl, and Braden is my awake early boy. For some reason, he decided he needed to wake up even earlier than normal, and that in turn woke Avery up super early. We started the day at 5:50. Avery said, "Momma; I didn't sleep well because Braden talked all night long..."

We spent the morning at the beach, then came back to the condo for lunch. The kids were super ready for naps by then, and they slept for a good three hours. When they got up, we went to the outside pool, but the water was too cold, so we ended up at the beach again. We played there for a while then got cleaned up for supper. It was Braden's and my turn to choose that night. We went to the Gulf Island Grill. Much more coastal feel...very good food. We took the kids to the souvenier shops and then for ice cream before heading back to the condo for the night.
After another early wake up, we spent the next morning at the beach again. We met some really nice couples, whose kids and our kids had a ball playing with. They had little nets, and spent the day catching fish and hermit crabs.
Around lunchtime, we headed up to the condo, cleaned up, then packed up the car to leave. We stopped for lunch, then stopped again at the outlet mall for some shopping at Old Navy. I was excited to find a Stride Rite outlet and some extra extra wide shoes for Braden, at a very affordable price! We loaded up again, and the kids were asleep before we knew it. They slept for about two hours of the three that it took to get home.

We topped the trip off by meeting Nonna and Big Daddy for dinner, then headed back to their place for some swimming. The kids fell into bed and slept very soundly until this morning.

Then I laughed because Avery woke up before Braden this morning. What a great trip! Can't wait until we can go again!