Can y'all believe it's almost 2010?  For a lot of us, 2009 will be remembered as the year our baby/babies came along and turned our worlds upside down.  What a year it has been!  For now, I'm looking ahead and thinking about what 2010 might look like. 

I love the start of a new year, for many of the same reasons I like moving into a new house-it's a blank slate, a fresh start, wide empty space waiting to be filled.  This year, being the end of the decade (or not, depending on how you want to look at it), feels bigger, more important somehow, than most.  Has it really been ten years since the big Y2K non-catastrophe?  I was a senior in high school back then...my, how times have changed.

Anyway, I've mentioned before that I don't do very well making specific resolutions, but this year I do have some general goals in mind.  (And by the way, I did alright with the two goals I mentioned in last year's post;  my house was a little cleaner than the year before and we wasted a little less food.  Not bad, I think.)  So here goes...my list for 2010:
  • First, a repeat from last year... the house.  With the babies quickly becoming mobile and a fresh, new house waiting for us, improving my housekeeping skills is more important than ever.  Jeremy has promised to help me in this area, and I think between the two of us we can keep the clutter under control.  The specific goal in this area is to catch our laundry up every week.  Laundry is pretty much the bane of our existence in this house.  We let it pile up entirely too much, and it's got to stop.  One thing that might help this goal is the fact that our laundry area in the house we are buying is right off the kitchen and contains the door to the carport that we will use for coming in the house most of the time.  Meaning...it will have to be fairly neat or I won't be able to get in the door!
  • Secondly, another food-related goal...I have to start cooking more, and specifically, more healthy, well-balanced meals (as opposed to the hot dogs I've had for dinner two nights in a row).  As the girls begin to eat more and more table food, I realize how much I don't want them eating the junk that I sometimes resort to.
  • In 2010, I want to read more.  With all the extra housekeeping and cooking, I'm not sure where this goal will fit in, but I fell way behind in my annual book count in 2009, and I would like to rectify that situation next year.  (I'm kidding, by the way...I don't actually count my books during the year!)  In the next few days, I hope to narrow down a list of the books I really, really want to read this year, so at least the reading I do get done will be worthwhile.  Any suggestions for my list?  I'm a ficiton-lover at heart, but I'm trying to encourage myself to read a little non-fiction occasionally.  It's good for my brain to actually think about what I'm reading on occasion.  (Wait, most blogs are non-fiction!  That totally counts, right?)
  • A baby-related goal for next year is to get out for special activities with them as much as possible.  Being home mostly on the weekends, it's tempting to fall into a habit of staying home and being lazy all day, but I want us to get out and about as a family and make some fun memories in the process.  As they grow up a little over the next few months and start noticing more things about the world around them, it should be easier to find activities they will enjoy.  I figure one of the first stops should be the zoo...and they should be ready about the time the warm weather gets here!  Besides things like the zoo, though, we can do lots of free things around town.  The point is just to get out and do something a little different.
  • I don't do the whole work out three times a week, lose 10 lbs. kind of goals, but I can easily resolve to get more exercise.  I can easily do that, because almost any exercise is an improvement over what I do now!  : )  If the soft, post-baby tummy firms up a little in the process, all the better. 
  • There are two relationships I want to focus on strengthening and improving over the next year:  my relationship with Jeremy and my relationship with God.  Both relationships have suffered a little in the craziness of the past 8 months (although I have had many a late-night chat with both of them during those months!).  These relationships are definitely constant priorities in my life, but I need to focus more on making them what they should be.  (Along those lines, I'm thinking a once-a-month date night with my husband might need to be added to the list!)
  • Lastly, I think, but importantly, I want to practice more patience.  I need to have more patience with the girls, with Jeremy, and often, with myself.  I need to let go of things I can't control and focus on what I can...which are my actions and reactions.  I have a feeling my two little princesses will find constant new ways to challenge me as they grow, and I'm going to have to deal with it better than I have at times in the past.  I'm thinking that working on my relationship with God will come in handy for this goal as well.  : )
Well, that turned into a mighty long post, didn't it?  What are your goals or resolutions for 2010?  If you're doing a post on it, let me know...I might be missing something on my list!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Merry Christmas

We hope you have all had a wonderful holiday this year.  We spent the morning at home together as a family, then the rest of the day at my mom's house with more family.  It's been a great day.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a fabulous 2010!


Still Here

I haven't been able to post all week, but we are still alive and kicking here!  We moved out of our house and into the rental house last Sunday, and life has been pretty crazy since then.  We are so, so grateful to have a place to go until we decide where we are headed next.  While we are in the rental house, we are living out of boxes as much as possible to avoid having to pack so much again.  We have a potential house that we hope is going to work out, so our fingers are crossed to be in it by mid-February! 

We had a few nights of interrupted sleep during the house-transitioning process, but things seem to on the mend now (I'm hoping!!).  Actually, I shouldn't even say we had interrupted sleep, because once they got to sleep, the girls did okay...it was just the going-to-sleep part that was frustrating for a few nights.  I'm incredibly spoiled by babies who have gone to bed without issue at 7:00 pm for the last four months, so I was frustrated to have to wrestle with them until 9:00 or later some nights.  Thank goodness they stayed asleep pretty well once they got to sleep, or I really would have thought I was suffering!  We are incredibly lucky in the sleep department...it just goes back to my lack of patience, which the girls are helping me work on.

Needless to say, between the babies and the house being in upheaval, Christmas preparations have been a little different this year.  We did not put the tree back up after we moved, and I have just started wrapping gifts (which I usually love and can't wait to do).  It's quite a different Christmas, for sure, but we will enjoy it all the same.  I can't wait to see my babies on Christmas morning, looking all sweet and snuggly in their holiday pajamas!  I know they won't care that they have gifts, but Jeremy and I can't wait to play with show them their new toys.  : )

We finally got Internet hooked up at home today, so maybe I can get back to my regular posting and reading habits...I have felt so disconnected without cable OR internet!


It's not exactly how I pictured our first Christmas

It looks like we will officially be homeless on Christmas this year!  Okay, not really, since we have a rental house to go to, but we won't be homeowners for our first Christmas as a family of four.  Our house is under contract, and we are set to close on December 21 (assuming everything goes as planned...we pray that it will!).  When the house had not sold by the middle of November, we assumed we would be here at least through the first of the year.  (Did I mention I put my tree up earlier than EVER?!)  Well, wouldn't you know, a lady looked at our house the week after I put my tree up and immediately made us an offer.  We came to an agreement, and oh yeah, did we mention that she needs to close on or before December 21?  What a mess...  But I will be SO glad to get it sold that I don't even care.  The girls won't remember that their first Christmas was spent in a rental house, without a tree (cause I am NOT putting it up again), and living out of boxes. 

Thank goodness for an amazing family who can provide us with a house to live in for as long as we need it.  My aunt has just finished remodeling a house to rent, so we will be moving in there until we get something else.  The other option was staying with my mom, and with my sister home from college and a friend of hers visiting from Brazil for the holidays, that would not have been a happy situation AT ALL.

The depressing part of the situation right now is that we thought we had found the perfect house for us.  It was built by an older couple and the man apparently passed away last year.  The house is empty and it was going to work out just right so that we would only have to spend about a month in the rental house while we painted, etc. in the new one.  It was an unbelievably perfect fit for our family, and I couldn't believe our luck in finding it so easily.  We settled on a price and had a contract...then my dad crawled underneath to do his inspection of the foundation and crawl space.  And so began our breakup with the perfect house.  The whole neighborhood is in a lower section of land, not a flood zone, but the dirt underneath the house was basically moist clay mud.  It was a bad situation involving water, rot, and mold.  Bah....   Of course, we couldn't go through with it after finding that.  As much as it sucks, I will not risk my babies' health for a house we like love.  Back to square one we go.

The worst part of the whole falling-through on that house is that now we compare every other house to it (and did I mention it was perfect for us?).  There is a house that we liked a lot before we found this one, which we will probably end up buying in the end, but I can't help but see its shortcomings now.  I just hate to feel like we are settling for second best on such a major investment.  We are going to look at the probable new house again this weekend, and you'd better believe we will be sending Dad under that crawl space immediately!  I am going to try to put the mold-infested house out of my mind and just try to imagine our family living in this house.  We'll see if it's a fit. 

As crazy as it sounds, the little OCD, neurotic part of me loves to move.  It's a messy and chaotic time, but I love the chance to start fresh, to organize and arrange our household all over again.  Each place we lived has been a little more put-together than the last, so there's hope for the next one.  Maybe it will actually get painted, decorated, and organized by 2011!  : )  (Although I guess we have to find it first....)


8 Months

8 Months

Dear Addison & Mackenzie,

The fact that this month's update is over a week late is testament to how busy our lives are these days.  e are preparing to celebrate your first Christmas, and although you won't remember it, your daddy and I will treasure these memories forever.  Christmas with you girls is going to be so very, very cool.  I can't wait to watch you figure it all out over the next few years, as we create new traditions for our little family.

This first Christmas is going to be a little crazier than usual, since we have sold our house and will be moving just a couple of days before Christmas!  We didn't plan it to work out this way, but at least you won't remember the chaos our lives will be for the next month or two.  I am so excited that you will get to grow up in my hometown and go to the same schools I went to as a child.  I think you will love it there, although you will probably get tired of it at times and wish you lived in a bigger city where there is more to do and where everyone doesn't know your business all the time.  We all felt that way at some point, particularly during our teenage years, but I hope you will come to love our little town as much as I do.  I am very excited to cut out our 45-minute commute each morning and evening.  Your daddy is taking on a commute in this move, so remember to thank him for it when you're older!  : )

This last month has been full of fun and new discoveries for you girls.  You have become steady, expert sitters, and you can roll wherever you want to go.  You are both showing signs of getting ready to crawl soon, but I'm okay with it if you want to hold off a little longer, since I have no idea how I'm going to keep up with the two of you moving in opposite directions!  Food has become a major source of fun and entertainment for you both.   Addison, you particularly LOVE your food and you are very vocal with your appreciation when you are enjoying a meal.  You tried some new foods this month, including turkey, lima beans, broccoli, and small bites of my cinnamon toast-which you would devour if I let you.  As a food lover myself, I am having a blast introducing you to new and exciting tastes.  It blows my mind that you are now big enough to begin eating off my plate...soon there will be little hands reaching over for a bite at every meal. 

Your Auntie Laura was home from college to celebrate your first Thanksgiving with you.  We went to church, as has been the tradition in our family for four years now.  Our church cooks a meal and serves it free to anyone and everyone who would like to eat with us.  It is a real blessing to those in our community who have no place else to go, and I was so excited for you to spend your first Thanksgiving there with our chruch family.  Auntie LJ will be home again soon, and I know she is excited to spend some more time with you. 

I am looking forward to a lot of time off work during this upcoming month, and it will be fun to spend the extra days hanging out with my two best girls.  Some of my favorite moments come from the normal moments spent at home, just being with you.  All week long I look forward to Saturday mornings when I climb up in the recliner with the two of you in my lap and we take a good nap together.  The cuddles and giggles every evening when we get home are truly the highlight of my day.  We sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and go over all of our animal noises, and you two just laugh and laugh.  I love those moments...and I love you girls more than you will ever know.

Love, Mama


Strike a Pose!

8 Months

LJ and girls



Although we still have a few moments like these-     (who doesn't???)

Fussy Mackenzie

some days...

things have been much better for Miss Mackenzie over the last few days.  The culprit behind all the attitude last week may have been a second bottom tooth that made an appearance on Wednesday!  I hate this teething stuff...I tend to attribute the signs to other problems, then I feel bad when a tooth shows up and I think they may have been in pain for days.

Maybe eventually I will realize that EVERYTHING can be a sign of teething, and they are just going to pop up when I least expect it.  Some photographic evidence of the recent teething:


drooling Mackenzie
Can you see the drool on her shirt?

The tooth count is tied again at 2 each!  Addison got hers about two weeks apart-first the left, then the right bottom tooth.  Mackenzie followed the same pattern, except her right tooth came first.  I'm beginning to wonder if we don't have a couple of mirror-image twins on our hands.  Their hair patterns do swirl in opposite directions.  Hmmm...  It's so interesting to watch all the similarities and differences emerge as they grow!

The last two posts have been mostly about Mackenzie, so here's a picture of my Addie-bug...demonstrating one of my favorite Addison expressions...



Patience...Yeah, I need some

So, yeah, for about 6 months now, my babies have been AWESOME sleepers.  They were sleeping through the night by the time I returned to work, even if we sometimes got up for the day at 4:30 am.  They gradually extended their sleeping hours, and for the last several months have been sleeping basically from 7:30 pm-6:30 am.  (I know...I am UNBELIEVABLY lucky in the sleep department!)

Getting them to go to sleep has been pretty easy too.  For a long time, they would fall asleep on Boppies while eating their bedtime bottles, and I would just transfer them to bed. Then, they began to stay awake through that bottle.  They were tired though, and we started to work on putting them to bed awake.  They were doing pretty well with falling asleep on their own fairly quickly. 

Fast forward to last Thursday night...  The girls and I stayed the night at my mom's, which is not unusual for us to do every couple of weeks (and in fact, we had stayed there the night before and had no issues).  My mom, sister, and I went to a movie while my aunt and cousin put the girls to bed.  They were asleep when we got home, but Mackenzie started fussing about 30 minutes later.  I cuddled her for a few minutes, she went right back to sleep, and I went to lay her back down in the pack and play.  She was NOT having it.  Every time I would go to lay her down, she would start screaming.  After several tries, I ended up falling asleep with her next to me in the bed.  Mackenzie got to sleep with me for the third time in her life (she spent two nights in the bed with me when she had a cold a couple of months ago). 

Friday night-back home, back to our normal routine, right?  Not so much.  Again, lay Mackenzie down in the crib and she screamed.  Frustrated, I brought her to the couch with me.  When she fell asleep, I laid her in the Boppy, which is how they both take their naps.  Finally, she stayed asleep.  Eventually, I moved both Mackenzie and the Boppy to the crib and she slept ok the rest of the night.

And that is pretty much how every night has gone since then.  I wondered if Mackenzie was sick, maybe with an ear infection so that it hurt to lay flat.  But she's FINE when she's up playing, and that includes lots of laying down and rolling around.  It's been very frustrating, to say the least.  Occasionally, Addison has gotten in on the screaming action, but she pretty much settles once Mackenzie gets quiet.

I really don't know what the issue is...  Both babies are beginning to get a little more clingy to me, so I don't know if it's that, if she really has felt bad, or what.  I have tried letting her cry for a few minutes, but it just gets louder and more frantic.  I have had to rock her to sleep every night since this all started.  In the grand scheme of things, it's really not that big of a deal.  Even if it takes awhile (and some tears on both our parts) to get them to sleep, they stay asleep all night.  It's not like I'm up at 2:00 am rocking crying babies (thank goodness!).  The real problem is me, and how much I'm letting it stress me out.  I get frustrated so easily when I have had to go in there repeatedly to quiet a crying baby (mostly Mackenzie).  I end up frustrated with myself for being mad at them, and usually in tears because I feel bad for losing my patience. 

Maybe that's what it is...a test to help me realize that I need to have A LOT more patience than I have at times.  I am so incredibly blessed to have two beautiful, amazing, healthy little girls, why do I let the little things get to me so easily??  Any suggestions?  I know Mackenzie will work out these little issues (whatever they are) eventually, so in the meantime, I will keep praying for patience.  Jeremy and I have also made it our early New Year's resolution to have more patience with the girls and with each other in general.  (I'm guessing we will need it even more, since it looks like we will be moving into a new house pretty soon!!  More on that later.)

Maybe I can get some pictures up tomorrow...I've been slacking on both posting and pictures lately.