Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Cup Runneth Over!

I just realized I haven't posted since April 1.  wow.  I HATE the end of school years.  May is a m-a-r-a-t-h-o-n!  I don't remember school being that busy when I was a kid... but then again, I wasn't a parent then.  Is it me?  or have the schools added so much more "stuff"???  I was REALLY glad I only allow ONE after school extra-curricular activity for each kid.  Between ballet recitals, baseball games, I could not imagine adding anything else on top of school programs and parties.

Mati Claire is my bookworm.  She received 3rd place in the entire school for AR points with a total of 369 points!  She was first overall in her class.  She decided this was her last ballet recital.  :(


Merritt has finally decided to show some interest in learning to write her name (and letters in general).  She also FINALLY decided to participate in her end of the year program at preschool.  She also did GREAT on stage for the first time at her first ballet recital!  What???  Is that a light I see at the end of this tunnel we call "terrible 3's"  --> age 4 is ALMOST here and I couldn't be happier about that!

We left on the last day of school for our only vacation this year:  Universal Studios in Orlando and then a week at the beach in Sandestin, FL.  We took my 2 oldest nieces with us and had a great time!
It wasn't entirely busy, but I always feel I need a vacation from my vacation.  Just glad to be home and I may spend the entire summer just catching up on laundry now.

Biggest news from our vacation is that Mason decided to START WALKING!!!  Noooooo.. :(  Matt turned 39 and we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary!!  Big week!

 What else have I been doing (since I'm always talking about my kids)?
EATING and EXERCISING.  Have to acknowledge Advocare and TeamFitMom here.   This plan is i.n.s.a.n.e.  But, drastic change called for drastic measures.  I was desperate to start losing weight and knowing that I will NEVER have any more kids -- I was ready!  I also have such bad psoriatic arthritis, that I can't walk more than 0.5 mi.  I am 38 and couldn't imagine taking a family vacation without hurting all over.  My elbows began to lock up in the shower while I washed my hair.  I wanted to lose weight, but can't exercise because my knees hurt so bad...and as a mom of 4-- who has time to swim?   I considered myself 30 lbs overweight.  I was pushing a size 14 that i have NEVER worn in my life (size 12 is my "fat size" and a size 8 I get told I look anorexic even though I feel great, so I'm happy to be in a size 10 usually).  So size 10's are my goal.  I don't usually make a weight goal bc I hover around 145.  138 is my all-time best.  Being 5'10" ain't easy.  So I quit comparing myself to others.  Women doing these plans would drop 10 lbs in a week or two.  I actually GAINED 5 lbs during my first month of this plan.  What??  Totally discouraged, but thanks to my coach, Kristen...I kept pushing on!  I started seeing a rheumatologist also for my psoriatic arthritis and started a new medication that we are still testing out.  We've increased the dose once but still waiting to see how it works out overall.

I can't give the TeamFitMom plan away obviously, but I eat EXTREMELY clean, carb rotate, and try to workout like a beast!  I've definitely had to re-prioritize things...putting myself before a few other things.  Do I feel guilty?  Sometimes.  But there is a saying "if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  I wasn't happy and my self-confidence was fading.  Now I have energy to keep up with the 4 kiddos... I take them jogging with me.  They see me eating healthier and the effects on the body.  "Mommy, you don't look like you have a baby in your belly anymore!"  That's always a good confidence booster.  The biggest adjustment is eating 6 small meals a day.  There is a whole new level of preparing and planning it takes to do that.  I spend most of my day eating, working out, and taking my Advocare supplements!

Do I enjoy eating clean?  Heck no.  But do I feel better?  Heck yes!  I would love to run to the nearest fast-food place and inhale a giant cheeseburger.  But I remind myself that I had ZERO energy and found myself napping on the couch literally ALL day sometimes.

After 8 weeks on the plan, I've lost a total of 9" all over and a total of 13 lbs.  After my 8 weeks, I took a week off the menu for vacation and about 3 weeks off exercising because I have had a sick kid almost every day for the past 3 months!  I can't go to the gym when I have a sick kid so that has pushed me to do more at-home workouts.  Luckily, they came out with a new "at home" plan now! yay!

so here are a few pics of before and afters at just 6 weeks.  This was probably 6 weeks ago, and I think I look better than this now, but haven't updated my pics yet.  Anyway, I WILL be 40 and Fit!  Its hard, but so worth it!

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Friday, April 1, 2016

March Madness

March has been crazy busy!  I guess that's every month for me now though.  :\

Tried to relax during our Spring Break.  Mattox's birthday.  He's 6 now if I didn't post about that.   He had a very low-key birthday this year and didn't mind his lack of a big party as long as he still got some cool birthday gifts.  Nerf guns!

My Mason man turned 1.  I blinked and he's 1.  Why is it the harder you try to remember every little detail about everything during those first sweet months, that when you look back - it seems like a blur?  He pretty much sums up the definition of being the baby.  Looks up to the older ones, tries to do what they do.  He never lacks for entertainment!  He is ALL boy...and getting a little aggressive... he likes to hit and scratch at you.  Getting rough already!  I stopped breastfeeding about a week ago.  I cried and sulked for 2 days.  But its time to move on.  He was NOT happy about it, but finally taking the sippy cup.  He also quit baby food and only wants what we have for meals (another Merritt??)  If my pregnancy was any indication, then he won't have any trouble with foods!  He weighs 21 lbs and is 31 inches tall.  He FINALLY started sleeping all night on a regular basis!!!!  Hallelujah!  Will pull up, but not walking yet (thank goodness).  Seeing as his birthday is the day after St. Patrick's Day, I'm afraid he will always have a little green in his birthdays!   It rained that day, so we had alot of the decorations planned for outside - had to move them in - so they didn't get the same effect they were meant to.  :(  but he LOVED his cake and was my only child to dig into it!  He thought it was hilarious that I was actually letting him throw it everywhere!

(his pics below)

Merritt spent a week with Gigi and Poppy in Tennessee.  It was a REALLY nice and much appreciated break from her.  I did feel guilty.  But then again, all my other kids have spent a week with them in the summer (usually all together) -- so it was her first time!  I keep asking myself if its her age (terrible 3's) or if its her personality.   At the moment I think its a little of both.  But  I am mentally drained by the end of each day from her alone.  I love her to death and would do anything for her, but her voice sounds like nails scratching down a chalkboard most days.  Constant, loud, and shrieking usually.   I feel like I'm attempting to break that free spirit of hers (with no success), but I honestly don't know what else to do.  She also has to learn to behave and the rules of certain settings.  That's such a fine line to walk.  According to everyone else, she's an angel.  Yeahhhh.... they don't see her at home.  Not buying that for one second.  But here's a pretty angelic picture of her, right? ;)

And Mati Claire is the best big sister that ever lived.  She helps.  She entertains.  She excels at school which makes my job easier.  She behaves.  Just an overall joy to have.  I would be lost without her.  

MC and her best friend Brooke at their 80's class party.
I stopped breastfeeding, and started my Advocare.  I also started my exercise plan for the next 12 weeks through TeamFitMom (  You can tell its been 2 years since I've worked out!  But will post before/after pics if and when the time calls for it!

My local store/lady "Meme's Bakery" made this and it turned out perfect!  Delicious too!

"Mommy doesn't like for my hands to get I'll try it like this..."
"Wait, she's going to let me do it anyway?..."
"and this is just the beginning...this is awesome!"
My sis and me.  excuse the medicine cabinet behind me...but that's real life!

We LOVE our "chachel"
Shenanigans is definitely his middle name!
my "wee one" with her Ty!
"the Luckiest Big Sister" and she knows it.  she loves her siblings even though she won't admit it.  

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Springing Forward

I have got Spring Fever.  It can not come soon enough.  I have so many plans for the months coming up and so excited that I can't wait for them to get here.  Because...

1)  I just started weaning Mason.  I've only cut out one feeding and I cried all day.  Something about knowing he's my last baby and it breaks my heart.  I want him to stay a baby forever!  I see why my older sister always complained about me getting whatever I wanted all the time (of course I didn't see it that way at all--I got hand me downs all the time).  As much as I LOVE breastfeeding, I am also excited to be moving on past this stage.  So I can...

2) Lose that baby weight!  I ordered my Advocare 24 day challenge... and I'm weaning myself off the bad junk food I've been eating lately.  I can not wait to get started again.  Looking forward to having energy, sleeping better, eating better, feeling better!  I love Advocare products and they WORK as long as you stick to healthy clean eating.  It is hard, but worth it.  Because I want to be 40 and fit with 4 kids!  My hubs is turning 40 next year (I'm not far behind him).  I have 3 years to reach all my goals physically:  still fit into my wedding dress, get into my favorite jeans, I'd prefer to wear my size 8 clothes again, and I'm not worried about the scales as much... but I'd be happy with my 145 lb weight goal (even better is my record 138 but I've been told I look anorexic at that weight even though I'm happy with it and feel great at that weight).   So that is a 30 pound weight loss goal!  Yep, I put on 40 with Mason---wow!  20 year high school reunion will be coming up next year -- so I hope to be close to my goals by that point!  Not even sure if I'm going or if we will have one, but just in case.   But I'm putting my goals out there so I'm held somewhat accountable.

3) Vacations.  I plan to start taking some new medications (I'm terrified to try them) for my psoriatic arthritis.  I can't walk more than 0.5 miles without my knee feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife.  My elbows throb in the shower while I wash my hair.  All my joints hurt most of the time.  I keep psoriasis in my hair even if I'm not having a flare-up on my skin.  I am so tired of it, and willing to try one of the new approved drugs even though there are several side effects I'm scared of.
I'm 37 and can't walk more than 1/2 mile -- what would I do when I'm 40 and we want to go to DisneyWorld again or another country where you walk everywhere you go?

4)  Cleaning out.  Yes mam.  Now that Mason and Mitt are outgrowing the last of the clothes - I can clean out my attic!!! Hallelujah!  If you know me, then you know clothes are a bit of my obsession.  Plus when you have older nieces, it all adds up!  Can not wait to get rid of all these plastic boxes that have taken over my house!  And baby gear.  I am drowning in a sea of toys!  I will be selling and donating a TON of stuff this summer.

All of that needs to happen June ;)  jk

Valentine's Day was very low-key for us this year.  I was a horrible wife and didn't even get Matt a card.  Told him I would make up for it by cooking whatever he wanted one day this week?  Does that make up for not being able to get to the store last week because I've had a sick child?

Merritt has been sick for 1 full week and then woke up running a high fever this am.  Ugh.  so this is as good as the pics got yesterday.  You can see Mason wasn't up for getting his pic made (nap time!).

Only way to catch his picture is while he is asleep and not moving!

and just for fun... since everyone seems to like his Mohawk hair...mati claire calls it his "chicken hair".  :)

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Omphalocele Awareness Day 2016

Sorry, I'm a little late in posting.  O Awareness Day is Jan. 31st each year.  Its amazing to see a showcase of these babies.  Even remembering the ones that have passed.  In the MOO group, we get to know each other, whether through the multitude of questions posted or being located physically near another MOO (moms of omphaloceles).

This past year, several states have had the day legally recognized by the state government as Omphalocele Awareness Day.  Definitely on our way to be nationally recognized!

Awareness?  Yes, we need to let each mom that gets the diagnosis know that it is not a reason to terminate the pregnancy.  They will have struggles.   It will be hard.  Its heartbreaking.   The baby may make it or not make it.  In the words of my own OB/GYN, "it may or may not be compatible with life."  I'd say in MOST cases, the baby will be ok.  Or at least in my experience (despite what the statistics may say).  But you have hope, you have the MOO group there for you to answer your questions that most doctors can't, and you have an increase in modern medicine and technology on your side.

We've seen articles where the CDC says cases of omphaloceles and gastrochisis are increasing.  I might agree with that.  In the 4 years that I've been a part of the world-wide MOO group, membership has gone from around 400 to thousands!  Granted, some of those are GOO's (grandmothers or grandfathers of omphaloceles), DOO's (dads of omphaloceles), etc.   Most of us do NOT agree that so called "risk factors" are true.  There are SO many of us that had none of these existing factors to cause such a defect.  Personally, I don't smoke, I'm not obese, I don't do drugs, I wasn't taking any medications, and I'm not African-American.

It was just God's will.  Why you ask?  No, I don't think God is cruel, but He does allow trials and tribulations to test your faith.  John 16:33 says you have trouble in this world, but you will also find peace in Him.  I will go as far as to say, your family won't understand.  At times, your spouse/partner won't understand.  Your friends won't truly understand.  Who will you turn to?  God was my rock.

Merritt is a happy, healthy 3 1/2 year old who eats everything in sight.  Just the other night she put down 3 oysters, 2 shrimp, a salad, chicken, onions, mushrooms, grits, pasta, and milk.... at one meal! Yes, I wish my other kids would eat like she does!  I have no idea where she puts it, but food has never been her struggle since she was 2 weeks old.  She's odd for an O baby like that, but I know several other similar to her.  My point is that every O baby is different!  Some may have trouble with their lungs, their hearts, their stomachs, or have other genetic abnormalities.  In Merritt case, she has a VSD (hole) in her heart.  But it does NOT hold her back at all.

Merritt, we love you and thank God for you!  God is using you in great ways!  "Your people" love you!

Saw this on a new t-shirt the other day:  "Who needs bellybuttons anyway?  They just collect lent." :)

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

What I Would Say To Her

Death comes to us all I know.  My mom is still here with me so it never crosses my mind that one day I won't be able to call her up and ask "is that regular flour or self-rising flour in this recipe?"  I know so many women younger than me that have been given the death sentence via cancer.  Most of them have very young children/daughters.  All too often lately, I've been driving kids to school or wherever.. and all I can think is... what if that was me?  What would I do?  What would I tell my kids?  What would I wish I could tell them that I haven't?  If I died today, what would I wish I told them?  Mostly things they wouldn't understand yet.  So I'll put them here just in case.

Mati Claire, my 8 year old, tends to ask me the most serious questions and coming-of-age questions on the way to school.  7:15 in the morning and we're discussing birth control (yes! at age 8!) and such things.  When you have 3 younger siblings, its difficult to hide the breastfeeding, the C-section scars, periods, etc.  I didn't necessarily tell her up front about any of it, but I also won't lie to her when she happens across these situations.  I'd rather her hear the information from me instead of some random kid at school.  We haven't had the "birds and the bees" conversation yet, but I know its soon.  I remember being in the 6th grade for my first sex ed class.  If my mom told me about it first, I don't remember.   But I do remember that class.  Mat Claire will be in 4th grade next year, so again, my time is limited before she starts hearing things from her friends.

Yesterday's question in the car was "mom, how do you know you are marrying the right person?"  (after the topic of divorce came on the radio).  I'm given about a 15 minute window before she has to get out in car rider line.  15 minutes to answer what I would call life questions each day.  My mind is blown because I'll be in the middle of discussing tampons and she gets out, slams the car door, and says "bye mom! love you!"  And I'm left wondering if I said it right.  Did I get the message across to her?  Did that conversation go the way I wanted it to go?  Did she understand?  Parenting is tough.

So to answer this question, Mati Claire.  How do you know you are marrying the right person?
Well, I would say to her:
1.  Listen to your inner voice.  I like to think of it as the Holy Spirit guiding you.  Not your conscious.  What does it tell you?
2.  Does this man love Jesus more than you?  He better.  Is he a Christian?  I hope so.  If you put God first, its amazing how everything comes together in God's timing and in God's way.  It doesn't get any better than that. And you'll be so glad you waited for the right person (even if it takes longer than you wish).
3.  Look beyond the looks... is he a good person?  Is he superficial?  Looks can only take a person so far.  Looks go downhill with age... and some of the "best looking kids" in high school didn't age so well and some of the "nerds" in high school turned out to be really hot later in life!  :)
4.  Don't get me wrong... you'll have to look at this person for the rest of your life... as long as he's handsome to you that's all that matters.
5.  What do you not like about him?  Can you live with that forever?  And don't say there's nothing wrong with him, because no one is perfect.  As long as he's perfect for you.  If you can overlook the pet-peeves, then go for it.  If something he does drives you crazy in the beginning... it will probably only get worse in time.
6.  Is he a gentleman?  Does he have manners?  If not, move on.  No excuses.  If he doesn't put you first, then he isn't worth your time. If he doesn't make you feel like a princess, move on.
7.  Does he put forth any effort into grand gestures of love?  Any man who cares what other people think is superficial.  If he truly cares about you, he won't care if everyone around him knows it.  I would need to see a grand gesture of some kind before agreeing to marry him.  Just ask your Daddy about the contacts in the ketchup and then allowing my mom to go with us on our first date!
8.  Does he love his mom?
9.  Are his parents still married?  I would definitely look at this and this should probably be closer to the top of the list.  If so, he has a good example of what marriage should be.  He has seen that it takes work (even if he doesn't realize it).  If his parents are divorced, I'd say he's perhaps more likely to give up as well because he turned out ok, right?  ;) Or maybe he's seen divorce and knows what not to do.  My motherly advice would be to go with the still-married parents.
10.  Does he make you laugh?  Like touch-your-soul make you laugh?  He better.  And not in the mean-make-fun-of-you-put-you-down-funny.  That's not funny.  But life is too short to spend a lifetime with someone who doesn't laugh with you.  Your Daddy makes me laugh when I take things too seriously (which is often).  Laughter can take you far in life.
11.  Don't be afraid to be yourself.  If he tries to change something about you, then he is not the right person for you.  No matter what it is (clothes, hair, who your friends are, what you eat, etc).
12.  Does he have goals?  Ambition?  I won't lie --- if he doesn't have some kind of plan for his life as far as a job goes -- how does he plan to support you?  No goals = bum.  And you are better than that.  You deserve someone who can support you in the way that you want.  Marry for love, but also be realistic and practical. If he hops from job to job faster than you can blink, that doesn't look like a good foundation to me.  If you are happy with whatever income he makes, then that is great! Your Gigi always asked me, "If your husband dies, can you support yourself if you had to?"  So my goal for you is to have the job that will give you the income you desire.  You can not always depend on your husband for money.  Can you support yourself?  God forbid, what if something terrible happens to him and he is disabled?  Both of you need some kind of plan in the beginning.  Because marriage is hard and money usually makes it harder.

So that is my Top 12 answers for that question, Mati Claire.  I could go on and on but I'll stop there.  I would go into lust vs. love, but the question was about I'm assuming its past lust already and hopefully in love.  Don't even get me started on lust...that's a whole different post in itself!

I love you, Mati Claire and Merritt.  I'll have to do a different post for the boys later.  I do hope you find the right person you are meant to marry.  And its ok if you don't.  If he hurts you, you better believe I will haunt him for the rest of his life! ;)  Now that we've been married almost 12 years, I can honestly say its not about the wedding... its about the marriage.  Big wedding, small wedding, elope... it doesn't matter... do whatever makes you happy.

My love is your love!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016


I love breastfeeding.  In March of this year, I will have spent 4+ years having breastfed each baby for one year.  Sorry, but not sorry, this isn't a post to make you judge me or for me to make you feel bad if you didn't.  To each their own.  I know everyone has their own reasons and you do what you have to do to make it work.  I know many people's bodies won't make enough milk and people have to go back to work, mastitis, etc.  However, I personally know too many people who I don't think put forth alot of effort.  Yes, overall I thought it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.  After having breastfed 4 kids though, I will admit I have to laugh when I hear some people's excuses on why they didn't though.   I think those people just don't want to breastfeed-- which is fine too but I know that must be hard to admit-- so they give excuses instead.  ok!  this post isn't about that and I'll get off my soapbox.

When I had Mati Claire (my first), it was the worst experience of my life.  I never wanted another baby after that.  I felt like I failed already at being a mom on the first day.  Couldn't even dilate to push her out and (being under general anesthesia) didn't even know she was born.  I felt I missed out on being the first person to see her.  I missed out on the "whole experience".   So I made it my mission to put a real attempt on doing the next step: breastfeeding!  Whoever said that breastfeeding is a natural process is totally 100% WRONG!  It was the most un-natural thing I've ever done.  Mati Claire fought me every single time for MONTHS!  Without going into too much detail, I basically had to "get it/letdown started for her".  She was the definition of the word lazy.  The good part is that my body has no trouble whatsoever making milk.  Call me Daisy the cow.  At one point, I pumped out 12 oz from ONE SIDE.  yep.  it was insane.  I digress.  She wouldn't latch.  She didn't enjoy it.  Which made me hate it.  Every trick or hold in the books wouldn't work.  The boob nazis were relentless.  When my nipples were bleeding and I couldn't even let the water in the shower hit them... I truly thought of quitting.  It wasn't suppose to be like that, right?  Bleeding is normal?  that can't be right.

Everyone kept telling me that after 6 weeks it would be fine.  For me, it was closer 8-10 weeks and I still had to use a few tricks to make her do it.!  I leaked so bad in between I was terrified to go anywhere despite the fact that I was wearing the bra guards (yeah right like those really work). I thought I was prepared by buying my nursing bras ahead of time.  Lesson learned:  don't ever buy nursing bras before your milk comes in.  I went from a C to something larger than an F if I remember correctly. But by the time 8 weeks rolled around, I wasn't about to quit then!  I didn't go through bleeding nipples just to quit!!!

Oh did I cry.  Even though I was nursing her, I still felt like a failure.  I wasn't used to having a baby literally attached to your boobs 24/7.  Mati Claire was a snacker.  She wanted to eat every 2 hours (30 min-90 min during a growth spurt).  It was again, another nightmare.  I couldn't go anywhere -- because I would most definitely have to nurse her at some point -- nurse in public, what???

But stubborn baby met stubborn momma!  Again, I was determined.  So I hung in there.  She eventually quit me around 11 months.  I will never forget it.  She took one sip and un-latched.  She looked up at me, shook her head "no" and sweetly smiled at me.  I couldn't argue with that anymore.  I cried for 2 days.  All that work and it had come to an end... :(

I also learned through her that I DESPISED the breast pump.  I never pumped again until I had to in the NICU with Merritt for 2 weeks.

Then came Mattox.  The piranha.  My poster child for breastfeeding awareness.  He couldn't have been any more opposite of Mati Claire.  He came out (and to my complete shock) grabbed my boob out of thin air and latched on like his life was depending on it (ok it was).  He nursed like he had been doing it in the womb for months before if it was possible.  I was prepared for the struggle and use all the tricks that I was used to with Mati Claire.

Mattox showed me that it WAS completely natural.  And easy.  My boobs never bled.  Sore for a few days maybe.  I think Mati Claire trained them not to leak after a certain time.  So no leaking that time around.  He eventually quit me around 11 months as well.  Gosh he made it easy, I didn't even have to force him to quit. He literally got in, got the job done, and was off.  Never took more than 5 min to nurse that baby!

I definitely lost some modesty during my 4 C-sections.  When too many strangers to count have seen your insides not to mention you naked from the neck down in the operating room-- who cares about seeing some boobs?  Man, I LOVE not having to pack food, heat food up, mix bottles, wash bottles, etc.

Just to give my extended version -- Merritt and Mason were also breastfeeding champions.  Had a hard time weaning Merritt after 15 months but she had good reason with all her physical issues.  She refused to eat for the doctors through a bottle and I was finally allowed to breastfeed after 2 weeks...she was waiting for the real deal and never looked back! And my baby Mason has made it so much fun that I will definitely cry when I wean him in just a few short months.   I'm not one of those people who still breastfeed their toddlers.  I will cut them off around age 1.  I was able to pump extra during those first 2 weeks in the NICU and donated it to the other NICU babies that don't even have mothers there.  Some were orphans.  Some never had their mothers visit them (hard to imagine but true).

As much as I LOVE the time I spent with each one, I am counting down the days till Mason is finished.  I am ready to start back on my diet, I'm ready to wear normal bras again, and I'm ready to sleep on my stomach again.

So yes, I am a pro-breastfeeder.  Each one was different.  Mati Claire fought me and refused to latch, Mattox was my poster child, Merritt truly knew what she wanted and didn't want to let go, and Mason is my funny baby.  He gets so tickled (maybe bc he's so happy?)  that he can't nurse because he's laughing!  Its hilarious.  Sometimes he can't even look at me because he's trying to get back "in the zone" so he'll have to look away to keep from laughing or smiling.  (can't latch well if your'e smiling).  Knowing how happy it makes him, I will have a hard time weaning him as well.  Mati Claire and Mattox both quit me so I didn't have to wean them.

Looking back, the way they breastfed was a huge indicator in how they eat now years later.  Mati Claire is still the pickiest child I have ever seen!  Mattox is my crack addict when it comes to food/sugar.  He still eats like there is no tomorrow.  Merritt still wants the real deal: she wants me to slave over a hot stove with soul food and casseroles. No kid foods for her!  So I'm looking forward to see how this equates to Mason... I'm thinking he will be the one who plays with his food and laughs about it!

This is how you shut down breastfeeding shamers. Read more about Alyssa Milano's activism here: ATTN: on Facebook.
Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

I don't like my grandmother.  yep.  i said it.  The words "don't like" is putting it mildly.  those of you that know me already know this.  One thing I have learned as I'm getting older, is to  forgive.  get over it.  move on.
So its been close to 5 years since I've seen her the last time (before that it had been like 10-15 years). Her name is Jane.  She has Alzheimers now and dementia.  She doesn't recognize her own kids much less her grandkids that she never sees.  She's 94 years old.  Now that I've had my last child (and as far as I know, Mason is and will be her very last great grandchild from all the cousins combined) I figured she should at least meet them all.  Even if she doesn't recognize us.  But yes, I made my effort.  Nothing to write about really -- but had to document for my kids sake that yes, they all met her at one time.  Here is a pic of her 2 out of 3 children, 3 out of 6 grandchildren, and 7 out of 11 great grands.

Let me do a word vomit summing up the rest of the past month:

stomach virus circulated each member of our family THREE times.  Christmas shopping.  Christmas cards.  Northside Fundraiser and chaperone.  Accent Open House.  Hair Appts.  Field Trips.  Wrap ALL of the presents before our TN trip.  Sunday School class Christmas party.  Matt and I won the costume photo booth contest for dressing up like Caitlyn and Bruce Jenner!  But sorry, can't share the picture because its THAT bad!  Hilarious though.  Dr. Appts.  Christmas class parties x 3 kids.  Christmas Program at the Preschool.  Teacher gifts.  Pack x 6 people for TN trip.  Gingerbread houses.  Reindeer food.  Make cookies for Santa.  Book Fair board.  Mati Claire tied for 3rd place in that!  Orthodontist and dentist appts.  Teething baby.  Very little sleep for both of us.  The Elf on the Shelf not helping matters.  Matt works nights.  Cook for all of the above parties.  Did I mention the stomach virus loved our house this past month?  A normal 7 hour drive to TN turned into a 10 hour drive with the kids because of holiday traffic and road construction.  Allergy/sinus crud for several of us thanks to the 'Sip's weather -- 85 degrees on Christmas Eve!  I'm really really really tired.

I have never been so glad to wake up this Christmas morning with everyone home and well (other than Mason's teething pains).  The picture above got me thinking.  Its been OVER 5 years and its still not a "complete" picture with the other cousins and grandkids not in it.  I know one day my kids will be grown and move away.  I hope and pray we don't go 5+ years without seeing them.  Even if its not at Christmas, I hope all the kids will visit at least once a year at the same time!  I was reminded that some of my friends don't have their babies with them this Christmas.  Several babies went to Heaven this past year and I am grateful for every second I have with mine.

Its not about the presents.  Its about getting together and having a good time with family.  Its about first Christmases.  Its about the traditions you make.  My favorite decorations in my house are the stockings that my other grandmother made me and can't be bought.  Above all, remembering the real reason we celebrate = JESUS.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

"Who are you???"   
This toy is suppose to work on body control and motor skills.   
Don't be fooled -- its not real.  "PurrfectPets"  is awesome and truly the perfect pet.  

Our Christmas card picture this year.  Dalton Lane photographer.

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