Thursday, September 29, 2011

I have returned!

Oh my great goodness! The Du Toits have returned from the beach. I have so much to say about said trip, but I also have a plethora of pictures, so I shall blog through pictures first, then I'll fill in with words later.
    Firstly, I give you a brief peek into Noah's very first experience at the beach:
video
 Oh friends, it was joyous! Noah seriously took to the beach like a fish to water. No seriously; Stephan, myself, my mom, my dad, whoever was holding Noah in the water had to be careful, because that kid would try his hardest to dive head first into the waves. Not only did he enjoy the water, (except for when it got into his eyes) he loved the sand!

he rarely went down to the beach without his shovel.
 If he wasn't trying to swim with the dolphins, he was digging a hole or destroying any attempt at a sandcastle we made. At one point, Stephan had Noah buried up to his waist in sand, and the kid loved it. I would cover his feet in sand and say, "where'd your foot go?" and he would shrug his shoulders and then wiggle his foot free and laugh. Then he would want me to do it again.
This outfit meant that mommy wasted a little bit less time slathering on sunblock.

Of course, the one thing we forgot was the portable high chair. Noah ate on phone books.

There was lots of down time. Notice my father out cold in the recliner.

Noah loved sitting at the table like a big boy.


He wouldn't really focus on his eating so much. He was having to much fun!

this was before Stephan got a stomach virus.

Noah had lots of toys. If he wasn't outside, he was having fun playing inside.

Handsome happy boy!

We watched his favorite movie every once in a while.
 On Wednesday night, after Stephan had been laid up with a nasty bug for a bit, the family went to Lulu's Seafood restaurant. It's a big place with a neat ambiance going on. There was live music for the first half of our meal that was really loud. At first, Noah didn't want to get out of his father's lap, but then he got pretty into the music and swayed to the music in his high chair. For a big tourist attraction, the food was overpriced and only average. 

My unwashed-ness is detracting from the cuteness of this family picture. 
    I had fun and got some sun. Noah had loads of fun and did pretty well in the car ride there and back. Stephan enjoyed Saturday through Monday, then spent Tuesday and Wednesday in bed. I took more pictures, and I'm sure there are more stories to tell about our first family trip to the beach, but it's almost 10 and we spent all morning in the car and the rest of the day unpacking and straightening up the house, so I'm going to bed.
    Witten says hi, by the way. He grew a lot while we were at the beach and he moves so much. I love being with child!
     May God bless you all, my friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big Brother Practice

Today, Aubrey forced me to walk fast again during our morning walk. Now my calves are sore. I'm not actually complaining, I'm happy. Yay, I'm sore! It's good to have you back, work-out buddy!
   After our morning walk, in which we stopped and let Noah and Lydia run around a grassy field like excited hoodlums, Noah and I ate lunch and then boogied over to Crisi's for play date.
Noah and Lucy took turns in the folded down walker
   It was same ole', same ole' for a while, until I got to hold Kyle. I love snuggling with that baby boy, and for the first time, Noah noticed what mommy was holding. Now, earlier in the play date, Noah had discovered the "baybee" and took it upon himself to sit very close and stare curiously at him when he started to cry at one point. When mommy Sheryl picked up Kyle, Noah went about his business of playing. Then I stole Kyle from Sheryl, and suddenly, Noah was so intrigued.  I sat down to love on little Kyle and Noah immediately scrambled into the chair next to me. He was so excited about the baby in my arms that I offered to let him hold Kyle. Cuteness insued:
     Kyle did very well in allowing Noah to "hold" him. In truth, Noah just sat very still and let me prop Kyle up in his lap. After Sheryl and I finished gushing and cooing and taking pictures of these two adorable boys, Noah leaned way over to give Kyle a kiss, and then he hugged him tightly. It. Was. Adorable! I was very happy to see Noah respond so well to a baby. That is, until I picked Kyle back up and snuggled him in my lap. Noah then went crazy! He tried to climb into my lap and nearly squished poor Kyle in the process. And then, when I refused to get the suddenly offensive baby out of the way for him, he smacked little Kyle right on the forehead! I am very happy and relieved to report that it was more of a play slap than an angry hit and Kyle didn't even cry (though he did look super surprised for a minute), but I still snapped at Noah and scolded him very firmly for hitting a baby. Noah was very somber for a few minutes after that and he didn't pay any heed to the baby for the rest of our time there.
     I still think Noah's going to be an excellent brother. Most of the time, that is. Stephan and I will have to work on his jealousy, but I can't expect perfection from a 16-month-old. I was super glad to see him respond so positively to a baby, even if he did get a little jealous there towards the end.
    After Noah and I held Kyle, we passed him down to Meredith and Wyatt to let them have big brother practice. Wyatt seemed a bit less interested in the baby, though he did wave at him and say "hi". Still pretty cute if you ask me.
     
   Friends, Bebe took me and Noah shopping yesterday. Khols was awesome and we got Noah and Witten some super cute outfits. After Khols, Mom took us to Best Buy to get us a really awesome treat: little t.v.s for our car!
Testin' out the screens. They worked.
     The tiny t.v.s were Stephan's favorite gift from Bebe yesterday. He opened them up to test them out. Humorously, he used Noah's favorite movie to make sure they worked. As you can see in the above picture, Noah sat down right in front of the screen and became unresponsive. It was especially funny when Stephan hooked up the second screen and set it near the first. Noah didn't know which one to look at, so he went back and forth from one to the other until Stephan turned them off. Thank you, Bebe, for the fantastic gift! This will make any and all future long-distance car rides much more enjoyable for everyone!
     Have a blessed day, dear readers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Oh, So Tired!

I meant to update my blog before the weekend, but I just couldn't find the time, nor the drive too. Therefore, a quick weekend wrap-up, as I really really want to take a nap.
   On... Thursday? Friday? I can't remember. Anyways, late last week, Noah and I got to play with Mary Meadows Marshall for a day!
"hey" 
Mary Meadows spent all morning and a bit of the afternoon with us. We played a lot, read a few books, ate lunch, and ran around like crazy babies do. But Mary Meadow's favorite part of all was, by far, Beere the Bear.

 She would take a break from whatever she was doing once every five minutes or so to run into Noah's room and throw herself onto Beere. She kissed and Snuggled that bear so much, he's still blushing. 
   My favorite part of the day was when Noah tried his best to impress Miss Mary Meadows, as you can see here:
video
     In other awesome news, Noah is becoming quite the professional at eating with a fork and/or a spoon! It's still kinda tedious and a little messy, and Noah usually gets tired of using the strange, new utensil after a while, but all in all, this transition is going a lot smoother that I thought it would. Also, since Stephan and I made such a big deal about every successful bite he got into his mouth when he first started using cutlery, Noah seems to expect applause and cheers every time he eats now. If we don't clap and say "YAY!" when he takes a spoonful of food to his mouth, he will.
   As for his little brother, Witten in a moving machine. I love love love feeling my new baby boy wriggle in my tummy. Yesterday, he kicked me so hard it almost hurt. It was probably because Noah was on my lap and, therefore, in his space. Uh oh! Sibling rivalry already! This is going to be so much fun!
    BSF tonight. I am so excited about BSF! I love having a structured Bible Study to do every morning. It helps me start my day off right. And Acts is one of my favorite books of the Bible, so I'm super excited to learn everything I can about it. So, for now, friends, I bid you all adieu. Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you. (*bum-duddle-lum-duh-duh-duh-duh! bum-duddle-lum-dada!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pictues return!

Why yes, I do have a camera.
 This morning, Noah and I went to see how Miss Aubrey and Lydia are settling in to their new apartment. So far, it looks and smells lovely. Lydia was so happy to see Noah that, just like yesterday, it took a while for her to calm down and stop giving him hugs. It was adorable on Lydia's part, but near unbearable for poor Noah. So much affection! 
This it the only picture I  got of Lydia loving on Noah and Noah being all, "get away!"
    Aubrey and I spent the morning eating Mac 'n Cheese and watching Lydia and Noah kinda play together. And no, we did not put them both into Lydia's pac 'n play to be mean, they both crawled in there through the open flap-thingie. 
Lydia would see a camera and not stop smiling hugely until a picture of her was taken.
 After this fun play time, I ran to Andy's to buy Aubrey and myself a decadent treat (it was so very good) and then we went to Playdate!
 In the beginning, it was Noah, Lydia, Lucy, Madi, Benjamin, his older sister Josephine, and little bitty Kyle. After munching on some mandarin oranges, Noah seemed a bit overwhelmed with all the activity and commotion and tended to play by himself in the corner, as he has been doing at most gatherings lately. Towards the very end, however, when it was just him and his girls, Noah moved to the center of the room and allowed Madi and Lucy to pet his head. 
soft like a kitten.
 I got to love on Kyle for a bit. That was fun. And I got kisses from Lucy and Madi. I asked Lucy to smile for the camera and so she got really close to me and did this:
    I absolutely love all those little babies. Or should I say active toddlers. All of them are walking around and starting to talk and learning all these new things every day. It's such a blessing that Noah has friends his age to grow up with, and I that I have friends with children about Noah's age that I can be so close to. 
Lovin' on Lydia
Aubrey aggravated her baby fever by holding a sleeping newborn.
 I was hoping to get a cute group photo of all the babies before we left, but as usual, planned pictures never go as I hope they do. Madi refused to sit with the others and nobody wanted to look at the camera, but I still think the shot I got is cute.
Noah's all, "would you please quit touching my leg?"
 Another great thing about playdate is how thoroughly it wipes out Noah. He should sleep for a few hours now.
    I love my friends. Thank You, God, for all of them. Especially Karen.

Now enjoy this very brief peek into our weekly play times:
video

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's oh, so quiet...

I think that God does not let trials and testing times into our lives as punishment. Well, yes, He does sometimes when the occasion calls for it, but I think that, at least personally, those times in life that aren't as comfortable as I would like them to be are put there to make me appreciate God's goodness. It may sound like illogical nonsense, that trying times are times to praise God, but to me it makes perfect sense. Every time we have faced any sort of "hardship" (and I use the term very loosely, because God has blessed us and been so good to us that minuscule bumps in the road of life are all we have to complain about), God has been faithful to provide and deliver us, whatever the situation calls for. That's why I praise God in all things. And that's why I love this song 
    Now, friends, my baby's waking. I shall go and play with him. And tonight is the start of BSF!! We're studying the Acts of the Apostles. Yeah!! Also, I'm making meatloaf for dinner. Be blessed, friends and readers, and bless God, in good and bad times. He certainly deserves it. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

My eyes are burning.

I think I got some organic, cucumber-cranberry eye gel in my eye. Organic doesn't make it any less painful or irritating.
   Today was a joyful day of associating with friends and eating unhealthy foods. That's the perfect combo for a great day. First was watching the Skinners move in to their new apartment, then Noah and I headed to Miss Crisi's for some playtime and then a Mary Kay facial party. I super enjoy Mary Kay facial parties because I get to play with makeup. (yeah!) While at Crisi's, Noah took an impressive 3-hour nap. After that, we ran home, changed, dined quickly, then went back to the Skinners' to warm their new home with $5 pizzas. The pizza was good and greasy and then we walked through the park with Noah and Lydia in Lydia's awesome wagon. I got a stitch in my side so bad that I had some difficulty breathing for a bit. I totally walked it off.
   Tomorrow, we have a lovely, lazy morning not planned out at all. Well, by "we", I mean me and Noah. Stephan's got a full and productive morning scheduled. Tomorrow afternoon, however, the whole of the Du Toit clan, including Ouma and Oupa, is heading to Dallas to help celebrate cousin Ashton's 3rd birthday. It's gonna be a late night, as the party ins from 5 to 7. I guess I should get some sleep.
     Have a blessed and peaceful night and weekend, readers.     

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Funfetti!!

I felt a need for sweet today. Thusly, I went out and bought cake mix and icing. My intent was to make cup cakes, but when I looked for my cup cake pan, I couldn't find it. Oh well, cake is just as delicious.
   On a related note, if anyone wants to come over for pulled beef (the neat-o Brookshire's by my house didn't have any pork roasts) and cake tonight, let me know!
    So here I sit, licking the batter bowl and thinking about the time in the near future when I will make cookies or cup cakes with my two sons and let them lick the beaters and bowl clean, just like my mother did with me and my siblings, and it makes me smile. I'm definitely looking forward to making memories with all my babies that they will hopefully treasure for the rest of their lives. Memories like dying Easter eggs, hunting for the perfect Christmas tree, jumping into massive piles of leaves that Daddy worked for hours to rake together, having family movie nights, and other fun and simple activities that I remember with smiles.
 Also, I hope to ingrain in them, through gentle and loving encouragement, the weekly routine of attending church. My parents took all three children to church every Sunday, save only for the rare days that one of us was sick or we were iced in (That happened twice). Of course, as a kid and well into my high school career, I often resented church and having to go to it, but  I went every Sunday all the same, even when Mom or Dad didn't go. Now, most likely thanks to the fact that I have found a church that I love very much, I look forward to attending Sunday morning service.  That's just one of several spiritually healthy habits I'd like our family to get hooked on.
 All of this thinking has reminded me how parents are so stinking important to a growing child's life. It puts a lot of pressure on Stephan and my shoulders when I think about how even the smallest things we do and say, starting from when they are very young, will have a lasting impact on Noah, Witten, and all future Du Toit's lives. If I had to do this alone, or even if it was just me and Stephan trying to do this ourselves, it would be too much. Praise God, praise God, we have unlimited help coming from an almighty God. I pray every night that God enables me to be the mother my sons need; the loving, supportive, stern yet forgiving mother that reflects Biblical values from my life into theirs.
    Thank You, God, for the Bible, and for revealing your perfect parenting techniques in it. Help me to align my parenting style as closely to Yours as possible. Also, thank You for blessing me with parents who set such good examples for me through their lives and their words. And thank You very much for that guy You made my husband. He's a good one. And such a good Daddy. Noah loves him so much. Amen,
   Woo hoo! Cake's ready! Now, I must go and frost. Seriously, if anyone wants to come over for cake anytime in the near future, call me! Please don't make me eat all of this by myself.       

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fish Fries are Fun!

Fish Frys? Stephan and I went to a fish fry at a sweet couple from church's house. I've been to one other fish fry in my life. It was at a friend of Stephan's house for Stephan's first father's day. That one was tasty, but this one was packed with friends from church. It was a massive get together. The fish was yummy, the french fries were delicious, and someone made some incredible brownies. Noah ran freely amongst children of all ages. He also got super dirty. It was a pretty successful gathering.
    On a side note that is related to my last post, I finally got a picture with Colleen. I like this picture because, though the quality is rougher (because it was at night), You can get a bit more of a time-lapse contrast from this picture.
Again, me; 20 weeks, Emily; 31 weeks, Colleen; 38 weeks
    It's basically how pregnancy looks at 20, 30 and 40 weeks. As you can see, Colleen has an adorable, round belly, Emily's close behind, and I just look kinda large. I love it, because I get to look forward to getting that big again. And Colleen is awesome because she's going for the all-natural delivery in the hospital. I think that maybe with my third or fourth pregnancy, I might try for no drugs, but until then, I'm too much of a pansy. So I shall be praying for her, as well as all my other soon-to-give-birth friends. I really am excited about giving birth again. Noah was a good experience. Let's hope this one is similar.
     Tomorrow is church. Yay!

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Marvelous, How Wonderful!

...and my song shall ever be how marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior's love for me!

  God is so good. Yesterday, Stephan and I got to see the baby He is knitting together in my womb. Since good news needs to be shared, I'd like to introduce you to Witten Allen Du Toit:
His adorable profile

his sweet little face
  Mr. Witten is already nothing like his older brother. Noah was always a docile, calm baby, even in my tummy. This little boy is a mover and a shaker! He made the ultrasound technician chase him all over my belly. We finally got a good shot of his handsome face. Needless to say, Witten's father and I are so very excited! Noah's acting indifferent for now, but I think he's excited as well.
"When little brother gets here, I'll show him how to play with toys!"
  Due to some minor issues that the doctor said should be little concern, we get to see Witten Allen again in 8 weeks! (More pictures to come then).
   I got to share the great news with all my friends at Bunco night last night. While there, I commanded the other pregnant mothers to take a pregnant-pose picture with me. Now friends, I've been starting to feel a little large lately. After snapping the adorable shot below, I realized that I still have some growing to do.
Me: 20 weeks,  Emily: 31 weeks, Meredith: 32 weeks(-ish?)
   (Meredith was being a bit deceitful in her choice of shirt color for this picture as she is having a little girl, not a boy. We forgave her.) Colleen was not there with her big-ole pregnant belly, so I'll have to catch her later and rope her into one of these here pictures.
     I am so happy right now. I'm going to have two sons. Wow. Two little boys! I hope they're best friends. I hope Witten is healthy. I pray daily, just as I do with Noah, that God will save him while he is in his youth and bring him into His kingdom. I also kinda hope these two aren't too similar looking. My mom has a hard enough time getting me and my sister's names right, and we look nothing alike.
   Now, faithful readers, I'm off to make lunch! May God bless you today.