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?
 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!