Friday, July 25, 2014

One Month Left!


Where has the time gone?! One month from now - give or take (probably give, knowing my track record!) we'll be welcoming a new baby into our home! And we are all getting very, very excited! And scared. And nervous. =)

I'm feeling really good - almost too good! The absence of late pregnancy aches and pains has me nervous that "progress" is not being made. I'm trying to convince myself that having 4 babies so close together is making it easier for my body to remember, and just do what it needs to, without causing too much discomfort! Time will tell - but for now I'll enjoy it =)

My doctors appointments are every week now. I've seen just about everyone in the office and continue to be pleased with how kind and laid back the doctors and midwives are. Of course I would absolutely LOVE for Dr. Roberts to deliver this baby and will do what I can to convince him in the final days to be there for me =) Baby continues to show a strong heartbeat (150's) and is constantly moving around - most active in the evenings and before bed (please do not be a night owl!)

A few weeks ago I started on my "nesting" to-do list. So far, some pretty good progress is being made...baby book done, rooms organized/cleaned, pictures hung, big kids t-shirts arrived, bathroom being remodeled and school planning done! This week I took the kids to the mall and let Lillianne and Hudson pick out a girl outfit and a boy outfit for the new baby to wear at the hospital. Lillianne was especially excited to find just the right thing =) Her ooohhh's and awww's in the store were so sweet! Hudson is pretty well convinced that we are naming the baby "Carlen" and has called the baby that name from the beginning. I can tell you - that's NOT the name we've decided on - but I feel pretty confident that we have decided! FINALLY =)

Thirty days?! Come quickly! Littlest one, we are anxiously awaiting your arrival and every person in this family is eagerly waiting to hold you in our arms! XOXO

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Nolan - 18 Months!

My baby Nolan is 18 months! WHAT?! 

Oh my goodness, this little dude is something else! So cute, so full of energy, so determined, so silly! And so aware that he has every one of us wrapped around his little sticky fingers, too! 

Its been a lot of fun watching him grow and change these last few months. Here are some of his latest stats: 

* After a check-up on Wednesday, he's weighing in at a whopping 23 lbs (15%) and is 32.5" long (60%).  Tall and skinny, which came as a shock with as much as the kid eats...seriously, he'd suck on apple sauce all day long if we let him. He's also a big fan of yogurt, berries, bread, crackers, peanut butter, cheese, green beans, guacamole, bananas, and watermelon. And "nack" or snack. Its the first thing he asks for when Memaw or Granddad are around at Signspot. He heads straight for their lunchbox and cleans them out of cookies or chips. We joke that he's also quite addicted to his pacifier and insists on having it directly following a meal - much like a smokers need for a cigarette. Ha! 

*We're down to one nap a day. We've been on the go this summer and I didn't want to keep the big kids from enjoying morning activities outside of the house just because baby Bear was sleeping...so we pushed everyones nap time up and are able to do some fun things to wear Nolan out before rest time in the afternoon. He goes down (along with the older ones) in the afternoon around 1:00 and sleeps for 3+ hours). Lillianne rests for an hour and Hudson naps for about 2. So it gives some nice one-on-one time with the older kids. And I'm hoping the trend will continue through the fall as we adjust to having a new baby around. I soooo enjoy having everyone rest at the same time. I think this will be a forced event until they move out. =) 

* Skinned knees and bruised shins only mean one thing...He's on the go! Walking, running, riding, crawling around the dirt. He's all over the place and if he sees you coming towards him - he goes faster (in the opposite direction, of course!) He's also very much a climber. 

* Nolan is one determined little boy. He knows what he wants and gets quite vocal and sometimes frustrated when he doesn't get his way. He's the first to exhibit "tantrums" where he lays down on the ground and turns into a jellyfish to prove how mad he is. Poor things gonna learn pretty quick that the only thing thats gonna get him is a spanking! 

* I love how expressive and vocal little Nolan is! He is using all kinds of words to communicate! He loves calling out for "Sissy" and "Dadda" in the mornings. He likes to tell the world "morning" when I open the blinds in his room. He'll yell "ball" at any circle he sees! And will ask for "sauce", "dink"  or "nana" all day long. He kicks his legs and shakes his arms when we pull into Signspot each day - so excited to see Daddy, Memaw & Granddad and yells "Pawpaw" when we pull into Nana & Paw's drive. He gives some of the best squeezes ever. And when we tell him "I love you!" he affectionately says "OK"(thanks a lot!!)    Seriously, watching him develop language and put words together makes my heart smile =) 

* Wears size 4 diapers, size 12-18 month clothes and size 4 shoe. 

We love this little man so much! Hard to believe that in a months time he will be a "big brother" and won't be a baby (who am I kidding... he'll always be my baby!) I am so incredibly blessed and thankful to be called his Momma and my heart bursts with JOY when he is near =) 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Visiting Great Memaw!









We're in the middle of a bathroom remodel - so I thought it would be best to hit the road for a few days =) We headed to Tennessee for fun with our favorite Great Memaw! I was super proud of the kids. They were well behaved, got along with one another and made travelling without the extra help much easier =)

The weather was surprisingly perfect for mid-July! Sunny, breezy and temps in the upper 70's were a perfect combination for walks outside, a trip to the splash park and playing on the front porch. Lovely. Aunt Linda came over on Thursday to spend the night playing with the kids - "Mother May I", "Simon Says" and "Red Light, Green Light" were favorites. =) And Nolan loved throwing rocks, eating dirt, picking flowers and riding the metal dog by the front door.

It was a perfect way to get away as summer winds down!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Adventure Week 10











This week was a HOT one! So I wanted to do something in the air conditioning =) Pump It Up in Roanoke was the perfect spot. The kids LOVED bouncing and jumping for the 2 hour session on Wednesday morning.. It was not crowded (thank goodness!) so they were able to have free run of the joint. They have a huge slide, bouncy basketball court, large obstacle course and small obstacle course. It was clean, too. We'll definitely be back - soon!

We had a big service project this week - and one that was extra special! Lillianne, Mom and I hosted a baby shower for the Pregnancy Resource Center. I was so thankful for the great turnout and brought to tears seeing how many things were collected for an organization that is so dear to our family. I think everyone had a great time playing a few "shower games", eating yummy food, and spending the afternoon catching up during a very busy summer! Someone from the PRC spoke for a few minutes about the center and ways to pray for them as they minister to mothers & fathers in the area. We had a prayer tree with requests for prayer and the little girls enjoyed making birth-day cards for the babies. They were precious!

A couple of the moms expressed appreciation that the girls were invited to come along and noted that they were able to have some really neat conversations with their daughters =) I, too, had the chance to talk with Lillianne about all the great services that our local PRC offers - and share how we can show love to momma's who need extra support.

It was a very special day!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!












It's July 4th! One of our favorite holidays! 

We were all thankful for an extra family day - Daddy's been working some long hours at work and the kids were so excited to have him home! We lounged around in the morning then headed to Roanoke for a hotdog grillin', pool splashing', suntan gettin', ice cream eatin', sparkler twirlin' good time! 

I can't tell you how much my little ones LOVE their cousins! And I am so glad for it! They get along so well and have a great time laughing and pretending together. Derek, Dylon and Ashlee are SO GOOD to play with them - they are in high demand when the family gets together =) 

The weather was perfect for sitting poolside. I loved just sitting back listening to everyone talk. I'm so thankful for a family that loves each other and truly enjoys spending time together! 



Friday, July 4, 2014

Child Labor






Almost every day we head over to Signspot for a few minutes so I can keep up with the billing, pay taxes, answer questions and say HELLO to our favorite people! Its the kids highlight - they know there are "snacks", trips to the convenient store, and special projects. Lately they've been "cleaning" in the back - and personally, I think their the cutest workers in town =)

Now…if only I could muster that kind of motivation at home…

Summer Adventure Week 9!









Just a few more weeks before schools starts --- and we're finishing our summer adventures strong =) Each week the kids have looked forward to doing something special plus we've been able to have some great conversations together while we're out and about serving. Its been really fun!

This week we served as volunteer drivers for Meals on Wheels in Roanoke! I'm so thankful that Mom was able to come along (couldn't have done it without her!) We picked up around 15 meals to deliver. The route took around 2 hours and I took turns letting Lillianne and Hudson bring the food door to door. The elderly people that we visited were very grateful and kind - and were especially excited to see my special helpers! We had some nice conversations, watered plants, shared some smiles and ended our route feeling full of joy! Nolan got a little frustrated towards the end - we ran out of snacks and he wanted to get out and help! It was a big success and we look forward to serving in this very easy way again!

On Thursday we tried to beat the heat and went blueberry picking early. Not early enough - we were sweating before long - but managed to pick about a gallon of sweet berries! The kids did great!! Nolan ate the entire time while Hudson and Lillianne worked hard to fill their buckets. I'm testing out a few new blueberry recipes - hoping to enjoy them at our 4th of July celebration this afternoon =)