Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Eve...

This year was our first year to attend our church's Christmas Eve service. Since we have never been to this particular service, we were unaware of a few key items. Like they actually do have the nursery available for our kids and about a million people show up to the service and arriving early is actually very necessary. However, we arrived late and brought all three kids with us to the very packed service. After running into our best friends---we are very blessed to have the Montoya family in our lives...not only are the parents our great friends, but their kids are best friends with our kids---on their way to joining the family choir for the service, we managed to make it into the service with no child crying or losing something that they brought. However, once the service started...things began to crumble. Spenser enjoyed the music, however, just couldn't handle that he had to be quiet and was not able to move around. Chloe started crying because she could not see her best friend, Lydia. Olivia started crying because it was time to eat....luckily she takes a bottle, so I was able to stay in the service and not leave to nurse her. However, Joul had to take Spenser out of the service and I was left by myself: I was feeding Olivia and trying to console a crying Chloe. Then I had to deal with the annoying teenagers behind me who were extremely disrespectful during the entire service. They began to mock the candlelight singing and their parents did nothing. It was very hard for me because I was not getting what I thought and had predetermined what I needed from the service. However, looking back I would not change a thing. This was my family...perfect or was all mine. God had decided to bless me with three wonderful children and one amazing husband.

Although not everything runs smoothly all the time....I am thankful for the blessings in my life. I am thankful that my curious five year old has begun asking questions about what it means to believe in God. I am thankful that my "all boy" son has been talking and singing and loving his mommy. I am thankful that my pudgy baby girl enjoys her sleep and continues to give me sleep all night. I am thankful that my crazy husband loves me and supports me and makes me laugh. Because He lives....

God sent his Son they called him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives

Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know he holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He Lives

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days because He lives

And then one day I'll cross the river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know he lives

Thursday, November 4, 2010

.........more trick than treat for us.....

Well...Chloe was more than super excited about Halloween this year. I guess since she is a crazy school age kid now, the hype of holidays has an even greater affect on her. She decided several months ago that she wanted to be a cat for Halloween. I was totally up for this, since she already owned half of the outfit. (black dance leotard and tights) Anyway, I found a really cheap cat face mask and tail and she was so anxious to be able to wear the entire outfit. Well, the Friday before Halloween, she was able to wear her costume to school, but they weren't allowed to wear face masks. So I made her cat ears from a black headband that I already owned and then I glued crayon covered card stock ears to the head band. Not the best, but she loved them. I also painted her finger nails and toe nails black...which was AWESOME! (for her anyway)

(Spenser just HAD to be in the picture)
Spenser, Joul, Olivia, and I all went to Chloe's school Friday afternoon to Chloe's school Fall party. She was so excited to see us, even though we only made it to the last twenty minutes of the party. (I have actually found it quite difficult to balance the needs of the two younger kids to the needs of Chloe and parent at school activities)

As we were leaving the party with Chloe she was asked by one of her friends (and the mom) to come over and have a play date. What? My child is not old enough to go over to her school friend's house and play. I almost cried...but this was a huge means she is growing up. We, of course, said yes and Chloe spent several hours (without her parents) playing at a friend's house. Weird...very weird.

Anyway, the next day on Saturday we went to her cousin's birthday party and then she went home with Joul's parents, AKA Nana and Pappy. Starting last year, when Chloe was four, Nana wanted to involve Chloe in the charity of Samaritan's Purse. She let Chloe pick out all of the toys to be put in the shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Anyway, Halloween weekend was the second year Chloe was able to participate with her Nana. When they brought her back to us Sunday afternoon (just in time for our church's fall fest) they told us that she was complaining that her bottom hurt. We asked her about it, and she said it hurt when she went to the bathroom. However, she said she was fine and wanted to go to the Fall Fest and trick or treating.

This is when it becomes more trick than treat for us.....

We ended up leaving the fall fest early because Chloe was freaking out. Every time she had to use the restroom she screamed and cried and I just knew something was wrong. We rushed home and checked her temperature and it was a 103. She was shaking and was totally scared to use the restroom. We almost took her to the ER, but thankfully our pediatrician has an on call service and we were able to get some advice that helped over night until we could bring her into the office on Monday morning. It turns our that she had a severe UTI...when I say severe...I mean the worst case possible. We were relieved to receive a treatable diagnosis and immediately went home to introduce the antibiotics. However, at this point, Chloe was unwilling to take any medicine and whenever she tried...she would throw up EVERYTHING. So, the pediatrician sent in another antibiotic that would possibly taste better and thankfully it did (even though it was the most expensive antibiotic EVER). Although we were able to get Chloe to take the antibiotic, she still needed to take Tylenol to help her fever. This was impossible...she just wouldn't take it. We threatened her, coaxed her, begged her, forced her...and yet, she still refused. Tuesday evening I was at Walmart and I get a frantic phone call from Joul telling me that Chloe was complaining of a headache. He checked her temp and it was a 105.....bad....very very bad! He called the doctor as I rushed home. He threw her into a cold bath (which she HATED) and forced her to take some Tylenol. Thankfully, her temperature slowly began to decline and we avoided, yet again, a trip to the ER. I may have purchased several dollar store toys to entice her to take her medicine...I am not above bribery!

Well...she got better...slowly...but she got better. She was actually able to go back to school today (Thursday). God is amazing and He helped us through this. We had several scary moments, but His presence was always felt. Thankfully, we had many people praying for her recovery and praying for our strength.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

one month

Today my darling Olivia, you are already one month! I cannot believe that thirty days have gone by since you made your entrance into this crazy world. Life seems to pass so quickly with our little family and your daddy and I could not be happier. You bring so much joy to your parents and I think even more joy to your siblings. Chloe is the best big sister and always wants to hold you and talk to you. She loves that you two have matching bows to wear and she cannot wait to play dress up with you when you get old enough. If your sweet brother Spenser simply sees you, he wants to give you a hug. We spend most days just hugging you and I think you are okay with that! You have begun to spend more time awake and I just love staring at you. Your eyes are starting to lighten up and I think you are going to have the same beautiful, bright, blue eyes that Chloe and Spenser have! Olivia Brontë, you melt my heart and I am beyond in love with you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Olivia Brontë Smith

Our precious Olivia Brontë was born on September 9th 2010 (1 day before her daddy's birthday) at 2:59 pm. She weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and was absolutely beautiful. I checked into the hospital mid morning and three hours after they began the inducement, Olivia was born. I am just so thankful that I opted for the epidural at the same time as they started the pitocin or Miss Olivia's arrival would have been very painful! Shortly after her birth, her brother and sister were able to join us in the delivery room and they fell in love immediately. Spenser's response was giggling and Chloe couldn't hide her huge smile. They both cried when the other was holding Olivia, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. The first night in the hospital was amazing. Olivia nursed every two to three hours and would always fall back to sleep. However, the second night was awful. My milk had not come in yet and so she was just not getting enough to eat. The night baby nurse finally convinced me to give her some formula after I nursed her and it was like magic. She fell asleep instantly and slept for a long time. Of course, this was after we were horrible parents and sent a not so happy Olivia to spend some time in the nursery so we could sleep for two hours.

The past two weeks have been tiring, but oh so rewarding. I still cannot believe that Joul and I have been blessed with three beautiful, wonderful, amazing children. We do feel as though we are complete and look forward to the future with our cozy little family.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today is your day Chloe!

Today my beautiful baby girl (who happens to be a very grown up five year old) stepped into her very first elementary school to begin Kindergarten. I am an emotional wreck, but she is a confident and excited girl. I never really thought that this day would come. That I would have to give up my need for overprotection and guidance and allow her to enter a whole new world. I never realized that she would actually want to leave, that she would jump at the chance to make new friends and learn how to read (her top two choices of things to do in Kindergarten by the way...). The love that fills my heart for this beautiful amazing child is beyond what words can actually describe. So, today I let go. Today, my baby, you begin the rest of your life. Today is your day Chloe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here we go...

I actually finished Olivia's crib skirt. It only took me a couple of hours, but it ranks up there with her diaper bag as one of the hardest sewing jobs ever...and it is also something that I will probably never make again! It is also a little too long, but I am too exhausted to hem it anymore today. I kind of like how it looks, so I might just wait to hem it once we lower the mattress all the way down. I just can't wait to actually put sweet little Olivia in her crib!
Here is what I started with: over five yards of fabric! (which was way too much by the time, if there is a next time, I will be using a lot less fabric)
The finished crib skirt....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Olivia's far

The dresser/changing table....I still need to put a changing pad in the middle. I also covered a plastic box with brown/white polka dot fabric to hold the burp rags that I made. You can see her cute little "going home from the hospital" outfit next to the diaper box I made a while ago.

The wall art above the dresser/changing table. Not much, but I made the pictures on the computer and then decoupaged them onto canvases. I really wanted some form of art on the wall, however, everything I liked was just ridiculously I got crafty.

The wonderful glider rocker...with the quilt that my mom made for Olivia (which is also the same fabric I have bought to make the crib skirt...which I haven't even started)

Olivia's name that is on the wall above her crib (which we still need to buy)

The wonderful blankets that my mother made for Olivia

In the next month I will have hopefully finished, or at least started, Olivia's crib skirt. I am also going to attempt to make her sheets as well, but if I run out of time, I will just have to buy those. I will finally buy her crib, which I have been putting off for obvious reasons....who wants to really put another crib together? I do have the crib picked out and I think it will look just fabulous in her girly girl room.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

THE cutest little dancer

Okay, so Chloe had her very first BIG dance recital on June 12th. All semester long, Chloe's class had been learning and practicing their three dances for the recital. They had three different costume changes, they had to change into two different color tights, and they also had to change between their ballet shoes and their tap shoes. The wonderful moms who volunteered to do all of this backstage will forever be amazing moms because that was not an easy task. Oh and Chloe had to wear eye liner, mascara, red lipstick, and brown eyeshadow.....yeah good thing there was a mom who put all of this on her, or she would have looked like some sort of scary clown if I had to apply the makeup.

Anyway, I managed to take a few, not so good, pictures during each performance. It was difficult because flash photography was not allowed, and I forgot to put my camera on the setting for taking moving pictures. I also failed to take any video. However, these girls were so adorable and despite forgetting most of their moves, managed to probably be the highlight of the afternoon.
The opening number....(Chloe is the third from the left)

Their ballet dance....probably my favorite (Chloe is fourth from the left)

The tap dance

At the end of the recital, showing off her "cutest dancer" trophy
(Which we totally bought and made up for her)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Biggest Dresser EVER

Okay, so a few months ago I found a dresser at a garage sale for $40. It was really ugly, but I thought that I could paint it and then antique it a little.

The before picture:

I decided on an off-white base coat and then we applied a blue on top of that. I then antiqued the entire piece of furniture. Now my idea of antiquing is just making it look old and worn, which is a look that I think I achieved. However, the dresser is HUGE and it's a lot of blue and the blue is also way lighter than I thought. We painted/antiqued the mirrors as well, but they really dated the furniture in a not so good way, so we threw those out. I will probably just buy a mirror to hang on the wall. I do like it and for now, it is being stored in our living room since Olivia doesn't have a room in our current house (which will change in a few weeks when we move). I might even replace the drawer handles, but for now I kind of still like them. Anyway, I can't wait to actually use the dresser/changing table in September.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More things for Olivia....

I have been debating on whether or not I was going to sew Olivia's name to hang on her wall like I did for Chloe:

However, I decided that I wanted to try something different. Instead, I bought wooden letters from Hobby Lobby and decoupaged scrapbook paper on the letters. It took me two days and two different trips to Hobby Lobby to find the right paper, but I just love the way Olivia's name turned out and cannot wait to hang them in her room. Of course, I have to wait a month until we move to our new house, but it is worth the wait!

(That is Spenser's cute little hand trying to grab the O and run away with it....which he was successful with right after I took the photo)

Children's Museum

Last week we took the kids to the children's museum for the afternoon. The next day Joul left for Boston, so it was a big help that the kids were still so exhausted from all the fun they had at the museum.
All the play cars were Spenser's favorite
Chloe in the little house having a tea party
Spenser and his leash so he could walk around the rest of the museum
The outside water area where both kids had a ton of fun