About Our Blog

Thanks for visiting! I created this blog to share updates on my family and how grateful we are for all the blessings the Lord has given us. I am happily married and the busy working mommy of two very active little boys. We enjoy raising our family and making memories together. I blog about the ordinary adventures of family life and my many other mommy-interests.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brendan is TWO! Happy Birthday B!

Brendan turned 2 August 5th! Now I am the mom of two BIG boys!

Brendan has brought so much JOY to our lives! I have never met such a happy and agreeable person before. I pray that he keeps his sweet disposition for his entire life. His precious grin and throaty little giggle are contagious and you cannot be in a bad mood with the B around! It is impossible. I feel so blessed to be Brendan's mom. Already, I can tell that he is a really remarkable person and watching him grow and navigate this world is a gift I get to receive every day as his parent. Brendan is a wonderful son, brother and grandson and such a special part of our family. We love you B! Happy Birthday!!!

We celebrated Brendan's birthday at The Little Gym and a great time was had by all. I highly recommend The Little Gym for a birthday party. They did EVERYTHING from the set up to the clean up, even writing down who gave what and lighting the candles on the cake. The kids had so much fun running and jumping! Definitely a neat day! The best things about the party were celebrating with the boys' second cousins (Dane, Ryan and Madyson <---being in Houston means we get to do things like this now!), hanging out with family, Brendan getting excited about the theme of his party which was Go Diego Go, and a VERY cute cake made especially for him. Brendan got a tricycle from Mom and Dad, books from his bubba and a pirate water table from Nana and Granddaddy. And in keeping with our family tradition, he got to pick his favorite place to eat (CiCi's Pizza) and enjoyed a homemade "Birthday Pie" - banana cream!

At Brendan's 2 year check up, he was 36 inches tall and almost 26 b. He stood up to be measured for the first time. Here are his percentiles:
Height : 86th percentile
Weight: 21st percentile
BMI: 14.1 (less than the 3rd percentile...this puts him as "underweight" but anyone who has seen this sturdy little carb-lovers, knows he is just fine!)

Brendan's Favorite Things at Age 2:

- Singing, listening to music and groovin' whenever he hears music
- reading books
- wresting with James and Daddy
- playing outside
- going new places
- bath time and pouring water from one container to another

- the park
- Children's Museum of Houston
- the mall: playplace, riding train, carousel
- anywhere Mommy is

- pizza
- apples
- raisins
- cinnamon raisin bagels
- chocolate milk

-"The Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves"
- "Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs"
- "Sloppy Joe"
- "Jamberry"
- "Bats at the Beach"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wouldn't you know it?

So I (and by me I mean Daniel) found the long missing camera battery charger. Great news! But guess what. I now can't find my darn camera. Wouldn't you know it!? Typical me. I must find that thing because we are going to be celebrating Brendan's birthday this weekend and I must have pictures.

Thank goodness for cell phone cameras or I would really be in bad shape. Regardless, I think I get a D- in Kid Picture Taking. Someday my family will look back at how the photo album jumps from May to August 2011 and call it "The Summer When Mom Couldn't Get Her Crap Together But Still Loved Us And Took Grainy Pictures With Her Droid".

You will just have to envision my cuties in this post. They are growing like weeds! So big! Tear. Gulp. How did they get so stinking big so fast? I am having full on conversations with James in which he is gesturing wildly and using words like "seriously", "beautiful" and "vehicle" and phrases like "I'm as ready as I'll ever be" (<--this was his answer when asked if he was ready to leave Party City). And then there is Brendan who is looking kind of big to still be called "the baby". He alternates between giving me hugs and kisses and trying to hit me in the face when I tell him no. Is he ready for the twos or what?

Summer is ticking on along and we are staying busy. Lots of trips around town to do neat stuff. My best friend from Fort Worth, Kelli, and her little boy Jack, came down to visit this last weekend. It was great! We hit up Palm Beach and the Houston Children's Museum. We even had a Girl's Night Out to eat at Babin's (YUM!) and a movie (Horrible Bosses = Hilarious). They gave Brendan Lego Duplo blocks for his b-day and they are a hit. We have played and played with them. And let me say that Daniel sure is a pro at building stuff with them. Always neat to get new toys and I enjoy watching Brendan and James build towers and use their imaginations to make things.

Well, late and we have a lot going on tomorrow, so check back later to see if I ever find BOTH the camera and it's battery at the same time!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So many changes and so much to share, but lost my camera charger!

We are slowly but surely getting settled in at my parent's house. Man, are we slow. It is taking us forever to get unpacked here but I pretty much have two little munchkins under my feet most of the time. By the time they are asleep all I want to do it sit down. But you know the funny thing? I am spending so much time with my kids that I feel WEIRD without them right there by me. So we are just taking it slow and realizing that anything we are going to do it going to take longer. We always spent time with them, but if we had a big task to tackle we might attempt it while they were at daycare but now we just do it with them here. We will be living here until we sell our old house and are ready to lease or buy a new house down here. My parents are pretty much the most generous people ever. How else can you describe people who take you, your husband, your two kids and two pets into their home?!? Oh and also all our stuff? Yikes! Who knew we had to have so much junk to get by day to day.

I know it has been/is an adjustment for everyone but it has also been incredibly comfortable from the start. It is so nice to see my parents and for the boys to interact with them. The family dinners are a highlight. Everyone sitting around together sharing about their day. It just feels great. This whole thing has been difficult for James somewhat. He doesn't seem to understand that we are not just visiting. He has been having some tough days and really pushing the boundaries. I hate to bother people and even though they are my parents, I feel awful when my kiddos are not at their best because I want this to be as easy for them as possible. But let's be serious, I am mothering a one year old (for one more month! sad face!) and a three year old. Oh and they are boys. Need I say more!? They are pretty much all action all the time and we are at the ages where bad attitudes are part of the territory. I will have to send my parents on some trans-Atlantic cruise some day to say thanks!

We are settling into a nice routine and I am LOVING the homeschool experience so far. I got a ton of the A Beka curriculum on Ebay or Amazon for a very affordable price after doing a lot of research and talking to other homeschooling moms. James asks me every day if we are going to do homeschool and Brendan climbs up on my lap to see what we are doing that day. We are doing it four or five days a week (sometimes we take a break on Fridays). It is so nice to interact with my children like this and my favorite part is listening to James talk about his ideas spontaneously as we are doing the lessons. There is so much going on in that head of his! And his memory! Well it is just remarkable. I can't wait until Brendan can carry on conversations like that with me. He is saying so many words and making full sentences and commonly used phrases. I know it wont' be long until we are having back an forth complete conversations. Brendan is doing the 2 year old curriculum because he wanted to do something too instead of just watching. After the morning homeschool session we do something very hands on like play dough or stringing beads or finger painting or baking. These week I am going to brave shaving cream painting! I got some neat ideas from a Montessori at home book and from some friends who homeschool little ones.

We had a week of vacation where we went to Sea World and also to Galveston. It was wonderful and VERY much needed time together. Sun, sand and water. Three of my favorite things. Now that we are close we got a Moody Garden's Palm Beach season pass. That place is incredible. Thinking about taking the boys back this week. Also thinking of a jaunt back to Sea World in a couple of weeks. It was a nice trip and we'd love to go again. We missed Daniel so much when he moved to Houston ahead of us. It was a long five weeks without him. and we are still so thrilled to be with him. These trips were just what we needed. He was actually off for 10 days and we are going to miss him tomorrow. Luckily I was cleared to drive after four months (due to a medical issue) and now we are going to go out and explore the area. I know the boys will love going to the library for story hour. It should also be fun to meet up with my cousins' kiddos soon too. Nice to see them all running around together.

I have got to find my camera charger because I am pretty sure I have no recent pictures of Brendan and James except some no so great ones on my cell phone. I have to capture these moments. My boys are growing by the minute! :-) Off to bed. Busy day ahead tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Move is a four letter word

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of nervousness, uncertainty, euphoria, exhaustion and thankfulness. In this short time, Daniel applied, interviewed and accepted a job offer with his company in The Woodlands, Texas. This is an outstanding career move for Daniel as well as something that had been in his heart for a long time. Not too long ago, he applied for the same job in Plano and was turned down. We were bummed, but decided that the time was just not right. But then this opportunity came along and he got it! We always say all things will happen in God's time and this is better than we could have even imagined. It felt like we were building a big jigsaw puzzle and every single puzzle piece we pulled next was the exact right piece that we needed. That is the best way I can describe it. One of the best things about this whole thing is that we can be close to my parents and family in the Houston area. We have not been within 250 miles of family for the last 8 years. It's about time we came home!

It has been a long and difficult road getting down here. I had not known exhaustion like this before, not even with a newborn in the house. Beyond tired is all I can say. Daniel went on ahead to start work and I was holding down the fort alone. Hard work! And Daniel was driving 1,000 miles a WEEK between his work commute and coming home to visit us each weekend. We have learned how tough we are! We are still catching up on our rest.

Let me say that once we are in our home (and out of my family's house), we will not be moving again for a very, very, VERY long time. To put it mildly the whole thing was quite an ordeal. It seemed like whatever could go wrong with a move went wrong with our move. It was very frustrating dealing with the company and they made a lot of mistakes. That combined with us being novice movers, it was extremely stressful. My kids deserve medals for being such troopers throughout the whole thing. B is young enough that he was not fazed at all, but I can tell it is has been tough on J. We checked out a bunch of books about moving from the library and I know that they helped. He was very excited to see the moving truck pull up!

We are at my parent's house now getting settled in. How wonderful are my parents to make the offer for us to live here? It is nice to be here and laugh and talk and make memories together. I am doing the normal housekeeping stuff and have started cooking for the whole family, which I love. The best thing so far is that I am LOVING this time with my boys. When I can drive again this fall, it is going to be even more awesome! It is indescribable the feeling I get when I look at them and know that I am not having to give this moment to someone else. While I was working we had a lot of quality time but felt like I was ruled by the clock. And my family got what was left of me, instead of the best of me. Now they get all my energy and focus. What a change it makes in a family!

I adore just being with my boys, getting down on the floor to play with them, taking little opportunities to teach them new things, letting them "help" me with whatever I am doing, but the best is when they crawl into my lap with a book. We must have read over an hour yesterday. We take walks, we play in the yard, we blow bubbles, we sing songs, we play with play dough, we do every thing they think looks fun and exciting.

Right now I am busy finding a routine for us. We had been without one for a while with Daniel already gone and the move. But I am taking it slowly and relishing that there is no rush. We have TIME and we are not constantly hurrying from one activity to another. I wouldn't mind doing some tutoring or working at a place like Sylvan on Saturdays as long as I get to be the primary caretaker of my kiddos. Of course, we mommies do whatever we have to do for our families and if I need to go back to work, of course I will. But I pray for the ability to stay home for a couple of years. The power of prayer is beyond amazing, so we will see what God has in store for our little family. I cannot ever get this time back and I am so suited for this. I will blink my eye and they will be grown! My children are my favorite people in the world and I am savoring every single second with them and watching their relationship with each ofter flourish. James told me Brendan was his best buddy and Brendan follows James around with his big grin. My boys. Be still my heart!

About Our Family

In a nutshell, we're a family that is all about having fun and spending time together. Our family is made up of Daniel, Lauren, James and Brendan. We share our home with our orange tabby Tucker and our lab-mix Cheesecake. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in December 2010. . We thank God for all the blessings he has given us and never forget we have been given amazing gifts in our children. We love how blogs let us stay connected with family and friends. Thanks for stopping by to check out what is new with us!