Friday, December 30, 2011

So pregnant!

    I'm actually not as powerfully pregnant as I have seen friends of mine become. I'm still about three weeks away from my actual due date, you see, and I have some friends that have entered the 40+ weeks zone of pregnancy. Therefore, I am not complaining because I have no right to.
    I entitled this post "So pregnant" because I have passed the 37 week mark. Last time around, when it was Noah in my tummy, I went to my 37 week check up and they sent me straight to the hospital to kick that baby out the next day. Thusly, the most pregnant I ever got with Noah was 37weeks and a day. Today, despite the fact that my pregnancy ticker on my blog page says 38, (it's a week fast and I've never gotten around to fixing it), I am 37 weeks and 2 days with child. I am the most pregnant I have ever been in my life! Today is my 37 week checkup with my awesome doctor. I'll let ya'll know how that goes when I get back. Honestly, a small part of me is hoping that there is some non-life-threatening reason for me to once again head to the hospital to have my baby this very day. The majority of me, though, wants to stick this thing out and see it through to the end, whenever that may be.
  Oh, I've got to get ready! TTFN! Ta ta for now!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Play Dates, They're kinda a Big Deal

Today, I once again had the pleasure of hostessing playdate. I got the house nice and clean, which is something I have needed to do for quite a while now, so thank you, play date, for pressuring me into getting that done. I sent out the notice of location change yesterday to everyone who usually came and a few who I thought might be interested in trying it out. Previous experiences with hosting our play times at my house had me believing that maybe two people would show. (I'm not complaining, though. Even those small groups are a lot of fun.) This time, however, things were different.
   There were five toddlers and three babies in my house today. Yup, you heard me. Five noisy, active, adorable tots running pel-mel throughout my home. As loud as it got sometimes, those big 'ole babies did very well with not harming each other and kind of sharing toys. Meanwhile, us mommies sat around the living room and chatted about everything under the sun. (Mostly mommy stuff). Not to toot my own horn, but I had made cake pops, and some got eaten. *hostess with the most-est right here* It was super enjoyable! Babies got passed around, toddlers were loved on, and women got to have grown-up bonding time, an activity that is very much necessary for a woman's sanity, if you ask me.
   Now, I am taking part in what I hope is not going to become the norm around here: Noah's nightly sleep rebellion. These past two nights Noah has been out of bed almost as soon as we lay him down. No amount of reasoning and threats of punishment seem to encourage obedience, and it's super frustrating! This is not my baby! Last night he must have gotten out of bed 16 times, minimum,  before he finally fell asleep. that means a lot of spankins for Noah. Now I do not wish to jinx it, but he seems to be doing better this night. He has poked his head out of his room twice, and it was after a few minutes of staying in bed. Boy, does that sound sad, but I take what victories I can and celebrate them with relish.
   Tomorrow, Noah and I and Grayson and Miss Angie are going to the farm! (And maybe Aubrey and Lydia). We're going to pet goats and horses and cows and chickens! This is going to be fun! Now that they're an age that they can really enjoy these types of activities, I can see several trips to farms and aquariums and zoos in our future.
   Alright. I'm tired. It's 8:23. *whew!* God bless ye, merry gentle-readers!

Monday, December 26, 2011

'Twas the Day After Christmas

I'm telling you, friends, Christmas is a busy day. I wish it wasn't that way. I'm thinking my family should figure a way to spread the events a little better so as to give me and Stephan a chance to spend more time with everyone and not feel so rushed!
Anyways, Christmas was fun and filled with family and joy, so I'll mark it off as a good one.
    It started off with early morning snuggles. For the past two mornings now, Noah has snuck into our room at about 6:20-ish to gain entry into our bed. He then nestles down in between mommy and daddy and falls back to sleep. It's a sweet, adorable time for all of us, but I fear I must make it stop here pretty soon. Even though we all slept an extra hour both nights, I want Noah to stay in his own bed and not feel the need to disturb Mommy and Daddy every morning. So if anyone has any pointers about how to train your toddler to stay in bed in the morning (unit a decent, predetermined hour, at least), please pass them on to me!
  And now back to Christmas:
Stephan, Noah and I got ready for church and then Noah opened his one gift from us.
It was a pair of rubber boots for visiting the farm, a coloring book, a "Choo-choo: book, and a tractor book.
 Then we loaded up and headed to Christmas morning with my family. I got an adult onsie. 'Nuff said.
After a splendid time with the folks and my siblings, we went to church to relish a lesson on the reason for all this hoopla and celebrating. It was a fine lesson indeed, but my favorite part was seeing all the tots in their Christmas best! I wanted to get a group shot of all of them, but that didn't work out. Instead, I got one of Noah and Lydia!
Only after I put the camera away did they hug like I had been asking them to for the camera.  
 Aren't they adorable?
After church, we rushed home, changed into comfier duds, then boogied on over to Jacksonville for Christmas with the Du Toits. I love spending time with the whole Du Toit clan. I'm sad that it happens so rarely. Marlene and Sias cooked amazing food and enough of it to feed a small army. Noah played with his cousins and loved it.
There were plenty of toys, but everyone wanted one red car. Kids these days...
   After we ate, Noah, Ashton and Julia got to go see the moo-cows, the horsies, the goats, and the bok-boks with Ouma, Oupa, Aunt Erin and Aunt Jerushah. (Noah calls chickens "bok-bok"). Meanwhile, the boys tossed around the 'ol pigskin and I sat inside because I lamely wore my comfy house shoes and they got cold and wet real quick. It was a grand time and Erin made her amazing, life-affirming chocolate dessert that I love so very much.
  The rest of the day was spent unpackaging, sorting, and putting away the gifts we received. I wore my onsie. After a few tries at going to bed for Noah (he was jacked up on Christmas spirit), he finally fell asleep, and I followed soon after. It was a good Christmas, friends.
 
  No baby yet. I'm starting to think this kid might just wait the whole nine months. I'm so excited to meet him!

 I hope all of my precious readers out there had magnificent Christmases! May you all have a happy and safe New Year! God bless us, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and all in my head
Where busy thoughts and worries, the kind that I dread.
The space 'neath our tree was lacking in gifts.
The urgent need to buy more was giving me fits! 
For Bebe and Papa our gifts were prepared.
My brother and sister's gifts also were there
But for Stephan's family, I drew quite a blank,
And there wasn't much money for gifts in the bank.

To the store we would hurry, and there maybe find
A gift for Ouma and Oupa that would blow their minds!
With care we would select, for Werner and Paul,
Gifts not too expensive, and yet not too small.
For my sisters-in-law, I had a plan in place
to give them Christmas treats to put a smile on each face.
And lastly, but oh, most important of all;
gifts for Noah's cousins, children of Erin and Paul.

So really, I guess, there's not much left to buy.
I need to relax, refocus and try
To harness my worries and put them to rest
I'll leave this night up to God, He always knows best.
To all of my readers and friends I hold dear,
Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pandora, you're letting me down

"holiday" music on pandora radio is sadly lacking inspiration.

I have returned! I survived! I had fun! Stephan and Noah also enjoyed themselves on our weekend get-away to the marvelously decorated Gaylord Texan in Dallas, Texas.
 Noah loved the lights and the decorations. He said "wow" so much, I think he forgot a few other words in his vocabulary. 
 Here is a picture of the view from the balcony of our room. It was beautiful, but way more so at night.
 This is us right before we went into the Shrek the Halls Ice show. It was 7 degrees in that building. It was cold!
 This is the last that Noah saw of the show. He slept through the whole thing. My sister and mom got lots of neat pictures from the ice show, but I put my camera in my back pocket and then put my parka on over it.

  It was a very fun trip. I do believe I would have enjoyed it more had I not been 36 weeks pregnant. (Car trips when large are not fun or comfortable!) Now, we wait for Christmas! I do still have a few items to buy/make for gift giving, but I'm not to ashamed that we have very few presents under our tree. After all, it really isn't about the presents.

  I really have to grocery shop and clean floors. My wonderful husband has told me not to worry about the floors, he's going to do it for me. I love him. Thank You, God, for him.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Something about freshly vacuumed carpets makes me happy

Should I be at all concerned about Noah's time spent on the phone?
video
 I'm just kidding.
The kid thinks it's hilarious to imitate mommy, and I do chat often with friends on the phone. I captured this specific plastic phone conversation because Noah was talking to Papa and Bebe. At one point, though you might not hear it very clearly, Noah says "I love Papa" in his childish talk. Then end, when Noah goes of camera, he wanted to watch himself being videotaped. So eat your hearts out, Bebe and Papa! I think Noah likes you guys.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Prepare yourselves

Friends, I am a lover, not a fighter. As a woman, I struggle mightily with gossiping, but that's the closest I've ever gotten to expressing or exerting my opinion on a matter in any way. Now I realize that there are subject matters that have definite right and wrong aspects to them, Christianity being the predominant one, and that matters such as these can and should be argued to the ground. (Lovingly, of course.) However, there are many topics I see/hear/read about very often that people seem to think are appropriate for forcing onto everyone. These touchy topics are a good source of contention and division, even among families. That is why we choose not to discuss politics at the dinner table when visiting the Du Toits.
    That's why it frustrates me a tad to see often well-meaning friends post soundly one-sided opinions in their facebook status updates. You are now realizing that I am venting about facebook, and I'm sorry I didn't mention it sooner so that you who don't really care at all could stop reading sooner. But seriously! Mankind as a whole has never and will never agree completely unanimously on any viewpoint of any topic. There are some issues out there that, while there may be a more scrupulous and a more erroneous position to align yourself with, it is not necessary for the world to agree with your particular stance on the matter. Again, there are facts of life that are black and white and should be adhered to and advocated unapologetically. In those cases, I will not hesitate to voice my opinion. But If you're upset because, I dunno, you don't want horse meat to be used for food in the United States, fell free to express yourself, just please don't condemn those opposing you for either not caring or for disagreeing entirely. God will not bar your entrance to heaven because you liked eating 'exotic' cuisine.
   Okay, I have spent my frustrations. If you're reading this, I'm sorry for ironically judging those who judge others. I felt the need to speak my piece so that I can take a nap.

(As a important disclaimer, this little rant of mine was not aimed at anyone in specific. And because of it, I can understand why people might feel the need to speak strongly on any point in question. And now, I feel kinda redundant. : / )

     Peace on earth, goodwill to men!     

Monday, December 12, 2011

I guess I should start Christmas shopping

Last night friends, I experienced the humbling hand of God.
As a precursor to this story, I'd like to have you all know that I was not too proud or even excited to undertake the task to be described in the first place. I was, in fact, super nervous. Now on to the story:
 A few weeks ago, when I was still relatively small and had plenty of breathing space, our church's worship team director called me and asked me if I would like to sing a solo at our annual Sylvania family Christmas celebration. I said yes. I picked out a song and worked on it to the best of my rusty abilities by myself. I managed to squeeze in two practices with Mr. Huggins on the piano/organ. Needless to say, come showtime, I still didn't feel quite ready for a performance. Also, by the night on which I was to sing a solo in front of the majority of my church family, I had just about enough room in my torso for quick, shallow breathes and very little support from my poor, crowded diaphragm. But I prayed and I asked anyone I knew to pray for me as well.      
The evening for me went a little sumtin' lik-a dis: Awe! cute children's choir! Sweet mommy/daughter duet on stage, please don't make me cry! Yay, more singing and revelry! Oh no, precious dramatization of loving family traditions is making me choke up! Uh oh, here comes my cue to head to the stage... HOLY COW, WHERE THE HECK IS MY STARTING NOTE? This is so painfully emabarassing, I kind of want to black out and not remember this. What's that, Mr. Huggins? You want to start over from the beginning because you were having sheet music issues? Hey! There's my note! Yay, the second time through isn't devastatingly bad! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, I finished! I feel faint, Stephan, let's go home.
   All in all, not a horrible experience, but I do hope people forget about that little intro part very soon.

Noah is incredibly stinky right now. I have a diaper to change and a bath to prepare. If anyone finds a method for encouraging toddlers to sleep in, please let me know. I would love you forever.
   Today, I start Christmas shopping! Woohoo 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Caar!

Noah loves him some cars.
With his simple little toddler talk, it sounds like he's saying "cawh" instead of "car", but you get the idea. There are times when he will play with his cars for close to an hour without needing any mommy supervision. If only those cars in the above picture weren't so heavy and hard. More than once has Noah dropped one of those bad boys on his tootsies.
 Speaking of tootsies; Noah loves to try on Daddy's shoes. He'll hunt down a pair of Stephan's sneakers or flip flops, whichever is more readily available, and try and try to step into them on his own until he has both feet firmly encased in the oversized footwear. He's also attempted this with my rainboots, which was just funny because once he was actually in them (with a little help from me), they came up to his hips and he couldn't actually move. Yes, seeing my big boy in his daddy's shoes reminds me that he still has a lot of growing up to do.
  Speaking of Daddy, have I mentioned lately how much Noah loves his daddy and Stephan loves his boy? In the picture above, Stephan had just come home from work. Noah was eating in his high chair, but as soon as he heard the keys in the lock, he perked up his head and said "Daddy!" And Stephan was happy to hold Noah, even though his back was killing him, as it has been for about a week now thanks to some pinched nerve. I had to take a picture because Noah was holding his Daddy so tightly and smiling like there wasn't a better place to be in the world than in his daddy's embrace.
   
  I plan on having fun tonight, friends! Tonight is our annual Sunday School Christmas party! To those of you who don't know my Sunday school peeps, you might be thinking, "Sunday school Christmas party? Woo hoo. That sounds crazy." But your sarcasm would, in fact, be quite accurate! At Sylvania church, God has combined a plethora of extraordinary and fantastic couples and families into a Sunday school group that is very much a blessing to be a part of. Good times and laughter are pretty much a given at any event we hold. And since our Christmas parties are white elephant gift exchanges, things can get pretty crazy. In preparation, I have to buy and bake about two dozen cinnamon rolls.

   Now, I have to shower. Later, folks!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Good, folks.

Here lately, my sweet tooth has gone nuts. Completely and totally wild, I mean. Pretty much any time of day, I have at least a minimal craving for something sweet. The good news: I hardly ever keep sweets stored away in my pantry, so the worst I can do is add a spoonful of sugar to my rice crispies. The bad news: it's Christmas. That means that once a week at least, I will be presented with opportunities to gorge myself on cookies, fudge, cakes, pies, candies, and even sugary drinks! My waistline is going to hate me once this baby gets here. Lord, give me discipline! I need it badly!!!
   Today there was a small but enjoyable group at playdate. There were the usuals; myself, Sheryl and Crisi and our little ones. But new to the crew today was little Mr. James Evans IV. He made his debut with his momma Emily and seemed to mesh right into the way things roll at our times of play. He and Kyle especially hit it off. They chilled on a blanket on the floor and stared wide-eyed at each other for a good 20 or so minutes. They're gonna be best buds.
    It was especially enjoyable to watch little James and Kyle interact for me because I know that, in 40-ish days time, Witten will be here to join in the fun! Granted, he might not hit the floor rolling as far as play-time goes, but it wont be too long before he will be laying there all cute and stuff. And to be able to see Kyle and James' personalities, it makes my heart glad that Witten will have two sweet, snuggly, adorable pals to hang out with. Not to mention the girls that were not present today. Autumn and Ella will even out all the manliness with there delicate girlyness once we manage to get them all together.
    Again today, I speculated out loud to my fellow playgroup mommies how quickly time has flown by. There was little James and roly-poly Kyle, lying perfectly content in one position on a blanket on the floor, while around them ran and played and squealed three large, active toddlers. We all mused in wonder about how, not even that long ago, it was those three chatter boxes that were laying on pallets on the rug. Heck, we took countless pictures of Lucy, Noah and Madi just lying there! Again I warn those new to the parenting business, or those of you who are planning to start that stage in life soon, treasure every moment! Every uncomfortable pregnancy moment, every weary newborn moment, especially those sweet cuddle moments with your tiny baby. They grow up so stinking fast!
    Now, Noah is sleeping (which is how I managed to update the old blog), and I have a load of laundry in the washing machine. I truly love being a stay at home mom. Thank You, God, for allowing me this blessing!
Peace be to you all, readers! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mid-morning munch

My munchkin is a model.
 Here, He smiles coyly in a athletic, gray jacket. Carters should be paying me to post these pictures.
 Future NFL superstar? Es Posible.
 Cheesin' like a cheesy pizza.
 It should be a crime to look this cute. In this outfit, He really is a little version of his daddy.
We discovered at our Thanksgiving get together that Noah inherited his shockingly blue eyes from my mother's mother. Stephan and I both have blue eyes, but they are tinted with flecks of brown or a ring of green. Noah's are blue blue blue! Watch out, friends, he's gonna be a lady-killer with those peepers.

  This jolly time of year, I am very pregnant. 33 weeks doesn't seem that bad, but it's tough! I don't know if it's because I'm trying to entertain a toddler or because this is my second go at creating life, but unless it's somewhere between 7 a.m. and  lunch, I feel great like a whale and tired. By no means am I complaining. I LOVE being pregnant and plan to do this again. As with the first go-round, I love feeling the babe inside me moving and stretching and beating up my innards. Last night, I snuggled close to Stephan as we settled down to sleep because, as usual, Witten was awake and ready to party. I pressed my tummy to Stephan's back and waited. Sure 'nuff, Witten had at his father. My love kindly asked that I roll over, as he couldn't sleep with Witten kick-boxing him. (tee hee!)
     Now, it's snack time for mommy. I must go. Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men with whom He is well pleased!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hur-durr

I promised I might, therefore, I must.
    Here, friends, is the best of a horrible collection of portraits:
 No, I don't weigh 200 lbs. Yes, I was wearing makeup. (I don't know what happened to the color on my face) How is Stephan still amazingly handsome?? 
     Needless to say, this will most certainly not be our Christmas card picture this year.

  Speaking of Christmas...
Here is Noah, Wyatt, Lucy and Lydia gathered 'round the tree. Lucy was saying "I like this" and "Christmas tree"! Noah didn't want to get out of Sheryl's lap. Wyatt and Lydia liked poking the glass ornaments. They're so cute! 
     I've got laundry to fold and sort and put away. peace!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ride little Kitty!

Noah loves to "ride little pony" on daddy's knee. He likes it so much, he now rides little everything. He'll climb on top of Toby the dog or poor Charlie the cat if mommy and daddy aren't available; and if no living beings are present to bounce up and down on, he'll toss a pillow on the floor and ride little pillow.
  Another endearing new trait of Noah's is when I ask him to look at mommy and then I give him a command or ultimatum of some sort. Lately, I've been trying to teach him to say "yes, Mommy" when I tell him to do or not do something. The problem is, he's super good at saying "no" and only kinda okay at saying "yes". However, here lately, he's been responding to my request for him to say "yes, Mommy" by lowering his head to his chest in a large nod and saying "ya". I'm so proud!
 
   Oh friends! 'Tis the season of love and peace and remembrance! It's Christmas time! Kinda.
 The weekend, nay, the day after Thanksgiving, Stephan hopped into the attic and got down our three boxes of Christmas decorations, including the tree. We debated if we wanted to get a real tree this year, but decided to save money and stick with old Prickles. It only took about an hour and a half to have our house decorated.
 Noah loves the tree. He "helped" hang a few unbreakable decorations. Every morning, he says "light" and points to the tree until one of us plugs it in. At night, when we announce that it's bedtime, Noah makes sure to say "bye bye" to the tree.
    Here's the rest of our decorations. And the first fire of the season! (those are probably going to be pretty rare, as we still have a few issues with smoke wanting to sneak back into the house instead of going up the chimney).
    Yes, friends, it's that time of year when I have Christmas music playing most of the day and delicious smelling candles burning Christmasy smells throughout the house. I'm already dangerously low on spiced tea, as that is the beverage of Christmas for me and I've been drinking a mug a day. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
    But it's not the decorations or smells or treats and drinks that truly make this season so special. I promise not to go on a preachy tangent about the true reason of the season, but I would be horrible wrong if I didn't talk of Emmanuel. Seriously, people, "God with Us"! What kind of God would literally make Himself so small for the sake of such undeserving people? Infinite, All powerful Jehovah became tiny, sleepy newborn baby so that His plan for salvation would make it possible for His lost creation to be reconciled to Him. I really don't need to type more, because that in itself is mind-blowing.
   It is with that knowledge in mind that Stephan and I celebrate Christmas. We plan on raising Noah, Witten, and any other children born unto us to love this holiday for what it is truly meant to symbolize: how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We will give presents like God gave the greatest present to us. We will celebrate with family out of the joy of knowing that Jesus' birth meant we would be saved from eternal death through his death on the cross. Santa will be a cutesy, fictional character to entertain young minds, but nothing more.
    So friends, may you enjoy this advent season! May God bless you all richly. I am so excited!!   

Friday, November 25, 2011

You think YOUR family's awesome?

Psh!
They might be nice and loving and stuff, but mine is awesome!
Yesterday, my large, loud, lovable family gathered at my parent's home for Thanksgiving. Stephan and I arrived a bit early, 'cause we still had some of mom and dad's folding chairs and they needed them back. The rest of the family trickled in cluster by cluster until the Tracys arrived last. (Family tradition). As expected, there was turkey, ham, salads, green beans, casseroles, rolls, pies, and desserts of other sorts. We all partook of delicious, home-prepped food and enjoyed witty and humorous repartee around the table.
   Afterwards, even though everyone was full to bursting and ready to nap, it was suggested that we all take a family walk around mom and dad's neighborhood instead. I believe Uncle Don was the one who came up with that odd idea. Whoever's brain child it was, it turned out to be a great, fun idea! With all but four members of our family going for a leisurely stroll, it looked a great deal like a migration or exodus of sorts. Footballs were brought along for tossing during the walk. There was only one injury, (poor Hannah) and no hard feelings were retained from the experience.
  After the "invigorating" walk, it was time for one of my favorite parts of family get togethers: pictures. I may have attempted to describe our family's photo sessions before in this here blog, but I probably didn't do it justice, so here I go again. My cousin Kayla and Aunt Terry are photographers. They run a little business on the side of their usual work solely because they enjoy taking pictures. They are also super good at what they do. Therefore, when the call is out for picture time, some may run and hide, some might groan in anticipation of countless shots of various poses, but as for me and my house (except for Stephan), we jump to the front of the line!
    There was the whole family group shot, the Papa and grandkids pic, the Grandma and grandkids photo, the original sibling shot of mom and her three brothers and two sisters (minus Aunt Katie), then the one of that group and their spouses, and then everyone got to take their own, individual family photos. Stephan and I had to take ours a bit later in the day because about halfway through the session the Cowboys game started. Don't worry, we got some good ones during half time. And good news, sports fans! Aunt Terry promised to download all the pictures onto our family's private facebook group page, from which anyone of us can save whichever picture we want, so look forward to seeing a few of the best here on my blog. (I also took a few pictures, but my camera decided to stay at mom and dad's, so they wont be uploaded until later as well.)
    Yes indeed, friends, it was a successful day. In the midst of celebrating and feasting, I thanked God repeatedly for all of it. Everything I have, everything I love, enjoy, respect and revere has been a gift from God, my God. If every day of the year was Thanksgiving and I spent every hour of every day thanking God for what He has done for me, I still wouldn't be able to thank Him enough. And after a long day of close football games, emptying loaded plates, and posing for pictures, Stephan and I took our big boy home, put him down to bed, got ourselves snuggly-warm under the covers, and thanked God together for our blessings. Then I slept so hard, I can't even remember waking up for my usual night-time potty breaks. Noah did too, as he didn't make a peep until 7:05. (yay!)
I give you, my family, minus 6:
 
 
    Now, friends, on to Christmas! Time to get out the tree and decorations, fill the house with good smells and cheer, and play Christmas music to my heart's content! I love this time of year!
   Be blessed, dear readers, and in all things, give thanks to our Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.           

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ayudame, por favor!

Faithful readers, mainly you crafty types out there, I would like some ideas for a project of mine, so please put on your thinking caps and help out one of your less gifted companions!
 This is a lovie blanket I made for Witten Allen Du Toit:
 As you can see, it's pretty basic. I used left over fleece from Noah's Bam Bam costume to make it and since it's so rough-looking, I hand stitched the green "W" in the bottom corner to make it look, I dunno, rustic? I would say "all done" and be content with my work, but I can't help but think that there could be more done to it to make it look cuter. So, people like Meredith Hyde and Ashley Johnson and Heather Marshall, any suggestions? And please bear in mind that I am still rather new to the sewing-for-pleasure community, so I'm not the best at it. Simple ideas would be much much much appreciated!
   And now; a picture of Noah looking so very much like his daddy:
It's so cool to wear Daddy's shoes!
 And then, a picture of what we believed to be Noah attempting a head stand?
   Out of no where, Noah just up and puts his head on the ground and stays that way for about 9 minutes. At one point, the little dare-devil even raised his arms in the air so that he was balancing on just his feet and head! I think it was because Aunt Melissa was in town, so he felt the need to impress her. Aunt Melissa also taught Noah some cool dance moves and new words! She's such a hip aunt.

    Well, friends, God has blessed us with a glorious, wet day and good health, so Noah and I are going to rejoice and be glad in it. Even though he fell and gave himself a big ole goose egg on his head just a minute ago. I hope that all of you fantastic readers have a blessed day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hurray for Holidays!

Happily recovering Noah is talking joyfully to his red car. My tummy is full of delicious Life cereal and a quickly growing baby. Rain is pattering gently on our roof. This week is going to be a good week.
  Why?
It's Thanksgiving!
  Thanksgiving this year is going to be especially special. Yes, there will be the usual happy aspects of this feast of gratitude like seeing all the family, watching the Thanksgiving day parade, eating delicious food, and enjoying the heavy food coma that comes afterward, but that's not what makes this year especially special. This year, I get the feeling that this Thanksgiving is going to be more of a giving thanks for the life of my Grandmother, Maureen Killian.
    For the past almost five years, Grandma Killian has been battling cancers of various sorts and overcoming odds and wowing doctors all along the way. Therefore, for the past four or five years, we have been hearing "this will probably be Grandma's last Thanksgiving/Christmas/other important event with us." God and Grandma always seemed to have other plans, though.
   Now, it seems that God's plan is, indeed, to have Grandma home with Him soon. As I write this, I am calm and composed. I know and she knows that it is not death for a believer in Christ to die, but merely a transition into glorification. I know that I will see her again. Truth be told, a small part of me is a bit jealous that she gets to enter into glory and be freed from sin and suffering forever and the rest of us have to continue the daily battle of resisting sin and striving for Godliness. Yes, I am calm and composed for now, but I think it's because I'm not thinking about how much I'll miss her.
    Therefore, this Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks to almighty God for blessing us with our matriarch for the time that she's been with us. My family will meet on Thursday and share food, laughs, prayer, support, and hopefully partake in a few good natured games. I sure do love my family. Thank You, God, for my family.

  And now, I have floors to clean and grocery shopping to do. (*gag!*)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Calm down, Pork Chop

Friends, I have noticed a while back something that happens to those who become mothers: we turn into worry-warts. Some ladies seem to worry more than other, even pre-motherhood, but once a sweet, new life become your responsibility to care for and maintain, event he chillest of chill people tend to show a little more anxiety.
   "How does this phenomenon show itself?" You are asking
  Well, readers, I can only speak from personal experience on this one, but I will say that anytime my son has a sickness, be it a cold, a fever, the runs, whatever; my mind inadvertently and of its own accord often jumps to the worst possible scenarios for any situation.
   For example: I often still check on Noah while he's sleeping, be it nap time or night time, because my mind will suddenly tell me that he's being too quiet. Nevermind that he's sleeping and therefore quietness will be a definite.
    Another, you say? alright.
Noah, for the first time ever, has a Dr's appointment because he is sick. He has only ever been to the Dr. Office for wellness check ups since the day he was born. Now, at 18 months, he is having a bit of difficulty breathing, so I am taking him to see the Doctor. It's the rational thing that all parents would do, but in my head, I'm praying fervently that Noah doesn't have pneumonia and I'm visualizing dramatic rushes to the hospital holding the limp, wheezing, blue-lipped form of my first born baby. Yeah, it gets that dark up in my head.  See? Motherhood = worrying.

  Now I must go. It's time to see the doctor and I have to wake Noah from his nap. Sorry, Sweet Boy! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sorry, Sweet Boy!

I believe that as a mother, there is very little in this life more frustrating than trying your hardest not to infect your baby with a sickness that you yourself have, but then they get it anyways. Sorry, Squirt. I promise I really didn't mean to!
  For a child with the same illness I just endured, he's doing fantastic, though. Yes, last night was pretty rough, poor boy, but right now, he's really putting me to shame. Except for the nose-drippings and occasional sneezes and coughs, he's acting perfectly healthy. I certainly didn't act like that when I was down. I hope this doesn't mean that he's going to get worse.
 
  On to brighter things!

I found a memory card in our old camera that we have been letting Noah use as a cell phone. Out of curiosity, I stuck it in the 'ole computer to see if there was anything on there. My stars, there was indeed! Pictures dating all the way back to our rent house on Magnolia and Melrose! (Only two or so, but there is one video!) There were pictures from our 2nd anniversary and a Halloween party in which most of the women there were pregnant, but only half were telling people yet.  These pictures made me smile super big. They (and many more which, I'm afraid, truly are lost forever) were uploaded on our old laptop that crapped out completely about two years ago. I thought I'd never see them again. Well, friends, take a peek into the pre-baby lives of the Du Toit!
We played video games!

We took these unflattering, up close pictures of ourselves!

Aubrey dressed like this all the time!

We actually dressed up for Halloween!

Kevin had anger issues.

We would take pictures of ourselves doing things like riding around town!









  
 
         
    We were so young and in love!
  Well, I hope that ya'll had fun tripping along down memory lane with me. I wish I had more to show you, but the rest are pretty much pictures Stephan and I took of ourselves. In all seriousness, it's wonderful to look back and remember the fun times we've had together, but at the same time, it's amazing to see how much we've matured as individuals and a couple. Not that we were entirely immature back then, but I can see now that with all the different stages and events that we have faced together in our marriage, Stephan and I have become more experienced, and, yes, more mature. I know for a fact that both of us are still fun-loving and joyful people, only now we have new and heavy, albeit precious and wonderful, responsibilities to shoulder.
   I thank God every day for the man He gave me to marry. I thank God that that guy loves me and thinks I'm purdy. I thank God for all the experiences we've shared thus far. And I ask God to continue to lead us as we face a future full of potential, changes, excitement, joy, hardships, griefs, and growth. God has been faithful, He will be again, His loving compassion knows no end. All I have need of, His hand will provide. He's always been faithful to me.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

An independent thinker.

Stephan and I have come to the conclusion that, for now, at least, Noah is a pretty independent boy. Give the boy a toy he enjoys and you wont even have to check up on him, he'll just be playing quietly in his room. Of course, there is the occasional crash-then-cry episodes that require immediate investigation, but those are pretty rare and usually over-dramatized by Mr. "I didn't do it". I am honestly very glad that Noah is this way. It enables me to do housework or my Bible study or even just lay on the couch and watch him from a distance. Thank You, God for a child that is not high maintenance.

  So, friends, I have been under the weather lately thanks to a sore throat. I think I would prefer a fever or a headache over a sore throat. In fact, I'm sure I would. Sore throats are miserable and make swallowing a chore. Plus, they last for days and always follow the same pattern: starts with a seemingly harmless tickle that wont go away, leads to an irritating dryness and cough that aggravates it until it's a source of misery and pain that will not yield to any nasty-tasting cough drops. Then, suddenly, it's gone and I praise my Father in heaven that this, too, has passed. I'm looking forward to that there last part.

   Time to prep dinner. Ya'll have a wonderful evening now, ya hear?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pictores

I'm not sure if that's even a word. In any language.

   So, friends, some fun pictures from here recently.
Daddy and Noah just chillin' in the deck chairs.

Noah cruising around with his baby love

Ever since he was a tiny thing, Noah has loved to snuggle on Daddy's chest. Still loves to. Not so much with mommy...
 And finally, a string of pictures that made me laugh heartily when I took them. The back story: I heard Noah giggling maniacally in the hallway, so I went to investigate. I found him like this:

Poor Charlie. He took it very well, considering Noah's stinkin' heavy and wouldn't get off of him for a full 3 minutes. Charlie's expression in the next picture kinda says it all.
Ugh. Why won't he do this with the dog?
And finally, an end note about pictures and picture taking. As a pregnant lady, I have put on weight. I'm not gonna lie, it's a bit more than the weight I put on with Noah. Therefore, when I was preparing for our family portrait yesterday afternoon, I practiced smiling in the mirror in ways that negated the roundness of my face instead of enhancing it. Friends, it did me no good. Needless to say, I looked very large indeed in my family's picture. And pale, too. Stephan looked tall, dark, and handsome; Noah looked cute and cuddly, and I looked wildly overweight and pasty. (The lighting was HORRIBLE and they cropped it all wrong! yeah, that's what it was). If I can stand to, I'll post a copy of this icky pic-y when we get it. And no, we did not buy ANY copies of it. We just get one lovely, complimentary 8*10 picture to hang/hide in our home. I felt so upset about looking so large that I immediately made a batch of chocolate no-bake cookies to smother the agony. (God was gracious and made it so that they didn't turn out well. Hopefully, I won't eat as many. I can't make any promises.)
    So, what are my plans for post pregnancy? Healthy, ardent weight loss. So there. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

shh! my feet are sleeping

Daddy put Noah to bed tonight. He did pretty well. He didn't think to pick up all the toys first, though, so Noah thought it would be perfectly fine to get out of bed and play a bit. He got spankins.
   Friends, I remember very clearly sitting at our computer around two years ago and blogging about how my unborn son was trying very hard to kick my lungs through my diaphragm. I recall that memory now because intermittently throughout my day today, Witten Allen has attempted the exact same feat in the exact same location. I'm pretty sure he caught my rib cage once. I don't know for sure, but I think that Witten is going to be a lot more... umm... wilder than Noah was as a newborn. Yeah, that's a nice way to put it.
    Noah Sias Du Toit is measuring in the 92nd percentile, at least in weight. His current weight is equivalent to that of a 26 month old. In my concern, I asked our fantastic pediatrician if that meant that Noah was overweight. He assured me that Noah is perfectly fine, he's just big. He even told me to pat myself on the back, 'cause I was doing great as a mother. Then Noah got his finger pricked so they could draw his blood, and he scoffed at their puny attempts to cause him pain. Of course, right after that Noah got a flu shot that had him weeping huge tears of agony. Poor baby! (Though a part of me thinks that it's the act of laying on that paper-covered table that freaks him out, 'cause he cried the same way when they measured his length. Bad memories, I guess.)
    My schedule is a bit off. Tomorrow, I grocery shop. Also, my handsome family gets to dress in coordinated clothes and take a portrait for our church directory. (Yay!) It's going to be a chore to try to find outfits that match without being hokey and that everyone's pleased with. Hmmm....
     Now, I'm sleepy. BSF was fantastic, and I am loving studying the book of Acts. It's a fantastic read, you should check it out.
  Goodnight, moon. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Say What?

Why does it not feel like Saturday at all?

Noah and I got to enjoy lunch with our friends Reannine and Claire. Out of necessity, Noah sat in the booth next to me in a booster seat. I was pleased when he did so well, sitting like a big boy in the booster seat. Oh, and for those of you who don't know, The Corner Bakery is incredibly delicious and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to eat food.
 
  This is a short post because my pregnancy brain is especially addled today and Noah's napping super well, so I think I, too, will go lay down. Night night, friends.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wow

Today is day two of Noah sleeping in his big boy bed.
I have done the research.I have read the blogs and heard from friends and talked with Stephan about how this was going to go down. I was anticipating, especially after our very first attempt at nap time in his new room, a long, strenuous week or so of putting Noah back in his bed and sternly telling him to go "night-night" several times. (That's how naptime, day 1 went.).
  It is amazing to me, friends, how wrong I am. I could very well be jinxing things, and maybe Noah was just exceptionally tired, but for naptime, day 2, I put Noah in bed, gave him his blanket and pasi's (yes, I gave up on weaning him off pasi's. One huge transition at a time, I figure) and sang him his nap time songs, then left the room. He didn't fuss once. I watched him through a tiny crack in the doorway for a few minutes. He fiddled with his hand pasi, watched the fan turn, and stayed completely still. When I checked on him a few minutes later, he was snuggled up to his caterpillar pillow, fast asleep. 
           
 My celebratory dances were almost interrupted by a cat funeral when Charlie tried to check in on Noah and proceeded to make a loud "crack" noise when the sticky door hinge creaked open. Praise God, Noah stayed sound asleep. I had to close the door after that.  I'm mildly afraid that this might be a  one-time thing and that tonight or tomorrow we'll have to redo the crying/spanking approach to settling down for a nap, but for now, I'm super hopeful and very thankful that God would bless me with such a wonderful boy!
   As of right now, Hes' almost been asleep for two hours. I feared that he'd never do that again. Praise God! Praise God, praise God, praise God!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Commence the Waterworks!

Oh friends! Oh readers! Anyone reading this, today was an exciting day!
  It wasn't exciting in the manner of speaking that anyone witnessing our day would have been blown away, but it was big and monumental and life-altering for my family. Let me explain:
     Noah's big boy room is ready! 
You see, friends, my amazing husband worked all this weekend and through the night last night to turn our "guest bedroom"/dog room/blemish-on-the-backside-of-my-house room into the big boy room for Noah that I've been envisioning for weeks! It's completely perfect, right down to the very last tiny detail. Except for the aquarium. Noah will have an aquarium in his room, but that will come a bit later.
    Anyways
 Instead of trying to draw all of you a mental picture, I'll show you picture pictures!
Just as I imagined, a chalk board for doodling on the walls!

The walls are buttery yellow with a bright orange accent wall. I made the valances. The basketball hoop was Stephan's find and idea.

His big boy bed. As I believe I mentioned, he'll be sleeping on the trundle, not the top bunk.

The play corner and future location of the fish aquarium. 
This secret hideaway behind his bed is one of his favorite parts.
   Now for something rare: tying the post title into my actual blog post.
Noah's room is completed, his bed is made, his clothes are hanging in the closet and folded in the drawers, heck, I even moved his diapers and wipes into his new room. Verily, Noah's room is ready for Noah. However, I'm not ready for Noah to move to Noah's room. We played with him for hours in his new room, and he clearly loves it, but tonight, he's sound asleep in his crib in his old room. Why? Well, for one, I doubt he can sleep in a big boy bed without a bed railing, which we have yet to buy. (I know for sure that he would roll right out of bed in his sleep). Also, and this is the biggie, Noah moving into his big boy room means that he's a big boy!
     Yes, yes, I realize that he is, indeed, a big boy, and that keeping him in a crib longer than necessary won't stop time's ceaseless pace, but today, as I watched him having so much fun in his room, I wanted him to stop for a moment and snuggle me. I wanted him to be my baby burrito again, that little thing Stephan and I brought home from the hospital. I wanted the little baldy-bean that only needed mommy and daddy and wasn't distracted by toys and hiding spots and stuff. My gosh, he's growing so fast and getting so big! It's wonderful yet heartbreaking at the same time.
   Alright, enough of this gooey show of emotion. I will probably always have feelings like those I vented above tucked away in my heart, but I can't dwell on them. Instead, probably tomorrow, Stephan and I will go buy a bed railing and, maybe, attempt putting Noah down for a nap in his big boy bed. Then, we'll work steadily at training him to sleep in that bed. After that, potty training. By golly, pretty soon he'll hardly need me.
   One lovely, blessed consolidation; tomorrow, I get to see my new baby boy. :)

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current
Of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to
Thy glorious rest above!

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth
never, nevermore!
How He watches o'er His loved ones,
died to call them all His own
how for them He intercedeth, watcheth
o'er them from the throne!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Festivities!

Before marriage and babies, Halloween was a chance to get dressed up cute and strut one's stuff. Now, as a mother, my prime objective for this holiday is to showcase my adorable boy in an outfit that will have others saying "Awe!".  Yes, that might still be rather self-oriented and self-centered and whatnot, but the way I see it, Halloween is a "holiday" that is purely for fun. There is no meaning to this day/night, it is simply a time to be goofy and gain weight from the plethora of candy that Noah is definitely not going to eat, so I must. Therefore, there will probably be no adult Halloween this year, (unless Emily decides to host the annual Jimily Halloween party two days after giving birth...) but there was, friends, a super cute bash for the babies!
                                             Pictures:

The Beautiful hostess and her adorable nun

That's as good of a group shot as you get with toddlers and babies


Noah was Bamm Bamm, Wyatt was an elf, Lucy a pirate (Kyle too), Lydia was Pebbles. 




"grabbing for apples", since bobbing would have been impossible.

The bean bag toss. Noah liked to take the tree buckets and move them farther away.
    So, yes, it was a good time. We didn't think to get a good picture of Pebbles and Bamm Bamm (Lydia and Noah), which is something I'll regret a lot later in life I'm sure. Kyle was a 3-month old pirate, which was just stinking adorable. There was also a monkey and a doctor, sons of some friends of Ashley's. Also there, little Autumn Shulenburger and little bitty Ella Hyde. These tiny babies make me so excited about having Witten!
 
      Now, friends, go and enjoy your Halloween weekend, however you chose to do so. Give thanks to the Lord and rejoice in Him always!