Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things I want to remember from the past week. (Volume 1.5)

This past week I actually captured a lot of videos of experiences I want to remember. I have been much better about grabbing my smart phone as quickly as possible to capture precious moments on video.

1.  We attended a free, introductory, music together class last week.  We had so much fun together during the class as a family.  I think Luke really got a kick out of seeing daddy participate. We learned many fun songs that had movements to go along with them.   The kids also were able to use some musical instruments they had never used before.  Here is a short video of the kids enjoying a drum before class began:

2.  Speaking of music....I JUST ADORE Luke's precious singing voice.   The kid can really carry a tune also.  When Abbey is upset, he sings a lullaby which just calms her down almost instantaneously.  Luke has a repertoire of about 25+ songs that he enjoys singing.  Lately, he has been singing Rock-a-Bye Baby.  His voice is beautiful and in tune when he sings it acapella.  We have a CD that includes a lady with a soprano voice singing the song.  Although her voice is very high, Luke tries to stay on key with her.  He struggles a little bit with getting his voice that high, but it is just precious.  He never performs if I get the camera out.  So, I tried to sneak a video of him singing Abbey to sleep in the car after church on Sunday:

3. With the heat being so intense this summer, we haven't taken as many family walks.  But, we have increased the frequency recently, as the nights are becoming more bearable.  Here is a video of Abbey swinging.  Unfortunately, I think it is only the second time she has been in a swing.  I love how she kicks her legs--almost as if to make it go higher.

4. Abbey tried applesauce for the first time a couple of days ago. I assumed she would LOVE it. I mean...what's not to love? But, after watching this video, what do you think?

In case you still aren't sure, here are some still shots I captured on my phone from the video:

"Ohh...gag me momma."

No, I don't think she likes it.  At least not this time...maybe next.

5.  Lastly, we attended a friend's first birthday party last weekend.  Emma is such a sweetheart.  She became so shy when the group sang "Happy Birthday" to her and actually ducked her head behind the table.  She didn't want to try her cake.   I'm sure all of us looking at her, smiling and laughing, was a little intimidating.

Emma and her mommy, Kacie

We all had so much fun in fellowship at the party.  The attendees at the party were all part of our church small group.  The party was a great reminder of the importance of these friendships.  Drew and I are both transplants to the area, and therefore, really have no nearby family as a support network.  We are so thankful for our friends here and are looking forward to these relationships continuing to grow deeper.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Things I want to remember from the past week. (Volume 1.4)

Here are the things I want to remember from the past week:

Luke decided to "share a cone" with Abbey.   Here, it looks like Abbey is thinking, "That vanilla cone sure looks tasty."

1.  First and foremost.....We have a new niece and Luke and Abbey have a new cousin!  Natalie Ann was born on Tuesday, 8/14, at 9:58pm.  She weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz and was 19 3/4 inches long.  Here are some cute pictures that have been posted of her on Facebook recently.  We love her and can't wait to meet her!

My sister-in-law, Emily, said that Brody really wanted to hold Natalie while standing up.  But, it wasn't as easy as he thought it would be.  :-)

I hear that Big Sister, Kaylee, is a great helper already!

cute kiddos!

Don't they look so proud of their new, adorable, sister?

2.  This past week we have been hearing some funny comments about Abbey's size.  I really don't think she looks that large anymore, but maybe I am just used to her size.  One nice man was talking to Drew and I when we were leaving a store.  He was talking about his children and grandchildren and then asked about Luke and Abbey.  He asked, "is your boy about three years old?"  We replied, "Yes actually, he will be three in just a couple of months."  Then, he asked, "and your daughter, is she about 18 months old?"  His jaw dropped when we told him she was only seven and a half months old.  Now, I can't say he was crazy, because she did happen to be wearing a size 18-month outfit.  So, there obviously are 18-month old children her size.  Also, I was carrying her, and I am not the tallest of women.  So, either Abbey looks large or I really am that short!   Then, the following day Drew and I were leaving a new meat market.  A young girl (about 9 years old or so) pointed to Abbey as we were leaving and exclaimed to her mother, "Mommy--that baby is BIG!"  I don't think she intended on us hearing her comment, but it was funny.

3.   We went to the pool last week.  It deserves its inclusion in this post because it is the FIRST time we have been to our pool all summer.  We love the pool, we have just been so busy and have not found the time to go. I snapped some photos with my phone since it was such a monumental event.

Abbey lounged and watched big brother.  (And in case you're wondering, Abbey does not drink that much water. We just fill up her cup so she can feel the cool water on her gums.)

After his swim.  He loved it!

Walking back home. 

4.  Luke no longer wears diapers.  We actually potty trained him about a month after Abbey was born.  But, we have been putting him in a diaper for nap and overnight sleeping and we have been putting him in a pull-up for school.  We decided last month that we will no longer buy diapers for him.  In addition, for the last three weeks of school, he attended in underwear--no more pull-ups.  He does have accidents periodically, but we know that this will happen for a little while.  I think the going back and forth between underwear and a diaper or pull up was somewhat confusing.

Funny story:  On Saturday, Luke was in his underwear at naptime.  He had not quite gone to sleep yet and we heard some commotion over the video monitor.  So, Drew and I watched what ended up being a very entertaining scene.  Luke was sitting up in his bed, trying to take his pants off.  After we heard some "ouch ouch" comments, Drew went upstairs to check on him.  Luke had taken off his shorts and was attempting to remove his tight underwear but got a little "caught up" in it.  I heard Drew trying not to laugh as he asked Luke, "What are you doing buddy?"  Luke responded,  "Well, I was just taking my clothes off."  Drew asked him, "Why?"  Luke responded, "Because I wanted to."  "Because I want to" or "But, I want to" are Luke's favorite phrases right now.  Often, when we tell him "No" to something he should not be doing, he responds with, "But I want to." 

5. Luke is attending a new preschool that is a little closer to our house this fall.  This school's hours are a little longer than his previous school's hours.  So, they have a mandatory "rest time."  Nap mats are required for this. With tax-free weekend being this past weekend, I thought it would be a great time to purchase one.  So, I bought one, brought it home and it was a hit with both kiddos:

6.  Lastly, Luke is FAST!  The kid doesn't stop.  When he is outside, he pretty much runs nonstop.  Lately, he has really been enjoying running to our mailbox, which is about six to seven houses down our street and around the corner.  Last night, Drew and Luke decided to come back home "the long way."  Apparently, Luke ran the ENTIRE way.  He even figured out how he could tuck his water cup between his bicep and side to give him a smoother running pace.  He demonstrated it to me last night.  Drew captured a cute video of Luke "checking the mail" tonight.  This time, he decided to bring a back pack so that he could put the mail in it on the way home, giving him two free hands.  Here is the video:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things I want to remember about the past week. (Volume 1.3)

This is blog post #3 in the series, "Things I want to remember about the past week".  Here's what I don't want to forget:

1.  Abbey gives awesome hugs and kisses.  She has some great competition though, because her brother, Luke, performs outstanding in the hugs and kisses category.  I need to get some video of this. Here is a photo I took with my phone when we were out to lunch with my parents this past weekend:

Pulling Grandma in for a big smoochie!

2.  Abbey loves to play peek-a-boo.  Lately, she has been covering her face with a cloth diaper (burp cloth), and pulls it down just after you ask, "Where's Abbey".  She gives a huge smile when you say, "there she is!"  Perhaps I will capture a video of this sometime this week and post it in my next post.

3.  We participated in the Parent/Child dedication service at church on Sunday. It was such a special day that we celebrated with close friends and family.   It also happened to be my dad's birthday and I got to spend most of it with him--double blessing!  I am devoting an entire blog post to this topic, since it was so important to us. I will publish it in a couple of weeks, after I get to download the photos the church photographer took.

4.  We are so sad to see the end of the Summer Olympics 2012.  Although we didn't enjoy the three straight evenings that NBC filled most of the Olympic programming with diving and we didn't get to see any basketball or soccer, Luke did learn some new moves.

NBC, McKayla was not impressed with the Olympics Broadcast. 
 (Above photo courtesy of

A lot of the divers do hand stands before their dives.  Luke decided he needed to learn to do those also.  On a side note, I can't believe that Luke will almost be 7 and Abbey will be 4.5 years old the next time the Summer Olympics come around.  I am wondering if Luke will be beginning training in swimming, soccer, track and field or for some other Olympic event at that time, which would make watching the Olympics even more interesting?   Perhaps it will be wrestling, as this photo shows he might have an interest in the sport.  Here, he is giving one of his friends, Ford, "a hug" before he left our house today:

Goodbye Ford!
..and the hug continues onto the floor.

Here is a photo of Ford and his baby brother, Wright, who is two months old.  I snapped a couple of photos of the boys while they visited:

Ford also gives great hugs!

Isn't he adorable?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Name is Heather, and I am a Nomophobic.

I am not sure "nomophobic" is a word, but "nomophobia" is a new word.  Actually, there is even a website devoted to nomophobia:  The website states:

Does just the thought of no signal on your mobile phone make you break out in a cold sweat? Do you start to feel anxious when your mobile battery life gets low? If so you are showing signs of a growing worldwide stress syndrome – Nomophobia. Although a total cure is not yet available can help you protect yourself from having no mobile phone contact and also help you manage your symptoms. It’s also a safe place for you to help others by sharing your own experiences and providing information on how you’ve overcome Nomophobia in the past.

photo courtesy of
My nomophobia began when I got my first smartphone, which happened to be for work.  Every time I heard a ding, I instantly grabbed the phone, checked the email or text, etc., responded accordingly, and then moved on with my life.  I am one who likes to be extremely productive, responds with a sense of urgency, etc.  Unfortunately, the emails were always coming in.  It was virtually impossible to maintain an empty inbox with my last job.  Nonetheless, I was always doing the best I could to keep the inbox mail at a minimum.  This meant the smartphone had to remain nearby.  

My nomophobia later progressed as technology did.  I joined several social networks and had constant quick access to the internet at the palm of my hand.  I no longer needed the gps navigation on my vehicle as I always had the use of google maps navigation via my smart phone.  I had an app for everything:  pregnancy tracking, babycare, banking, Bible, flashlight, social network, car maintenance, best gas prices in the area, music streaming and even an app to track my runs (pace, path, duration, etc.).  Now, anytime I begin a thought with, "What was the name of that Actor that.." or "What year did...", "How much does.." or "What is the best way to...", I know is there to provide me an instant answer.  I learn so much every day via my smart phone.  For someone who has a physical and emotional need to be productive and constantly learn something new, this smart phone is a NECESSITY!

How in the WORLD did I survive without it?  I was thinking about this earlier today as I was driving.   Before this awesome technology, if Drew and I were out and about in an area of town we were unfamiliar with and wanted to eat at a restaurant, what would we do?   We would probably either rely on randomly driving by a restaurant and judging it from the outside or going into a convenience store, hoping the cashier was a foodie and asking for suggestions.  Now, we simply pull up our google maps app, search nearby restaurants, see reviews and even review the menu and prices prior to navigating there.  Saves time and gets us a better chance of having an enjoyable experience.

I have left the house in the past and within a few minutes swiftly turned around after feeling I was missing something--my smartphone.  In that few minutes of not having it and trying to decide whether to turn around to get it, many "what if's" rapid-fired in my head.  What if I got into a vehicle accident?  How would I contact Drew, call the police, etc.?  What if our car broke down?  How would I call for help?   What if I needed to search for the nearest Target?  Yes, I now look at my mobile phone as a necessity.  How else would I be efficient, stay connected with friends and family near and far, keep my life organized, get my instant answers to my constant questions, find that quick recipe for dinner while at the grocery store, see a photo of my nephew who lost his first tooth (just minutes after it happened), or capture a video of something new the kids are doing and then instantly send it to Drew so he doesn't miss out?   I know somehow we got by without them in the past, but it is just so hard to think about going back to my life pre-mobile/smart phone.  And that is name is Heather and I am a nomophobic.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Things I want to remember from the past week. (Volume 1.2)

This is my second post in the "Things I want to remember from the past week" series.   I am really liking this idea, so it may just stick.  Here is what I want to remember from this past week in our life:

1.  Okay, so this first story isn't from the past week, but I DEFINITELY want to remember it.  So, I am documenting it here.  About a month ago, I was having a difficult morning.  I was trying to get myself, Luke and Abbey ready quickly, feeding Luke and feeding Abbey, changing clothes, packing Luke's school bag and putting his lunch together for school before we had to leave at 9am.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Luke attends school.  So, sometimes the mornings feel like a lot of work to get out the door.  But, I have it down to a strict routine and it usually isn't that difficult.  For some reason that day, the feeling of being constantly needed was just harder than most.  I knew that when we got into the car, Luke would want to listen to "his" music (or as he says, "His Mukics") and I really was just hoping to have a little bit of something for myself.  Not to have to listen to the little kids on the CD sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" just this one morning was something I really desired.  I wanted to hear some grown up music.  I actually decided to put this into a conversation to God after I got into the car and began driving.  The prayer went something like this: "Dear Lord...I don't know why, but for some reason this day is just really hard for me.  I would LOVE to be able to just hear some grown-ups singing some praise and worship music on the way to Luke's school."  The next part of the story STILL gives me chills when I tell it.  Instantly after this prayer, Luke says something I have NEVER heard him ask before: "Mommy, I want to listen to some of your music.  I like your music."   Praise the Lord.  This is literally the most instant answer to prayer I have ever experienced.  It serves as proof that God hears ALL of our prayers.  Even simple little requests like this one.  He knows us and truly cares about us--every little piece of us.

Our sweet Luke with his Olympic torch and Gold Medal

2.  Drew and I went on a date.  Really, this should not need to be on a post with the title, "Things I want to remember from the past week", because they should be occurring often enough to where they don't get documented like a special, one-time event.  But, we actually haven't had a date in about a year, so it is worth documenting.  Drew's parents came up for a visit and kindly offered to stay home with the kiddos while we headed out for a date.  Abbey is exclusively breast-fed and does not take a bottle (believe me, we tried the bottle and she refuses).  So, it has been difficult in the past to be away from her for more than an hour or two, because whoever she was left with was not able to feed her.  But, since she turned six months old, we have been adding solids to her diet.  I am able to be away from her from about 4:30-6p, because she can be fed solids during that time if she becomes hungry.  Then, I nurse her for the last feeding around 6:30pm before she goes to bed at 7pm.   She doesn't wake up for 12 hours for her next feeding, so after 7pm is the best for dates.   Drew and I ate dinner out at 5pm and then came back home to put Abbey down for bed.  Then, we headed back out for part two of our date:  shopping at the Outlet Mall and dessert.   It was so much fun just to be able to look at each other, hold hands and not be needed by others for a couple of hours.  Every time we have a date, it feels like the "romance" in our relationship is rekindled.  We MUST have more dates.   I told Drew at dinner that I "missed" him.  It made me teary in a happy way.  I love him SO MUCH!

3.  Abbey's new favorite sounds are "Da" "Ba" and "Ga".  Here is a video of our happy little girl practicing her "Ga" sounds:

4.  I love our kids SO MUCH.  And, I can't believe that my love for these kids just keeps growing--the love is so abundant that it is overflowing.  I bet I give them each about 20 hugs and kisses a day.  Is that weird?  I don't even know what is normal.  I have a feeling these kids are going to grow to up be "huggers".

Luke uses words to describe everything that he is thinking and feeling now and it is just SO precious. He doesn't stop talking. I love this age--the age when they can express themselves so well with words.  It gives you a glimpse into their precious, unworldly, young minds.  It makes me not want to have to expose him to the hate, worldliness, and other evils that exist around us, but I know it is going to happen someday.

Well, I came a little closer to exposing him on Wednesday--a day that was clearly a "Mommy Fail" day.  Mimi and I were going to take Luke and Abbey to a theater to enjoy their first "movie in a theater" experience.   We were going to see Winnie the Pooh, which was advertised as a $1 movie and geared towards young children.  We arrived to the theater 20 minutes early (Mommy Success), but found out that the movie was actually playing about a half hour away in a theater with the EXACT same name on the same Highway down South (Mommy Fail).  Quickly, I realized there was another theater that I had seen listed as showing the same movie just a few miles away (also for a $1--Mommy Success).   We arrived only to find out we could not get in unless we were part of the school group who rented out the theater for the movie (Mommy Fail).  By this time, Luke was extremely disappointed, as I had been hyping up this movie for the 24 hour period preceding this time (Mommy Fail).  Mimi and I swiftly decided that we were going to see a movie, $1 or not, so that he could have his first theater experience that day.  We bought tickets at another local theater for Ice Age 3.  Mommy Fail #4 occurred as the previews began and were SUPER loud.  Then Mommy Fails #5-10 rapid-fired.  Luke kept exclaiming..."It's too Loud" and had very confused looks on his face as inappropriate-for-his-age previews came on.  I was trying to think during the previews about how I am going to later have to explain death to Luke (after a Tim Burton preview) and need to explain other things that occurred.  When the movie began and the little teen mammoth started talking about the "hot" boy mammoth, I knew this was definitely not for Luke.  Luke wanted to go home.  Mimi had her hands over Luke's ears due to the piercing volume and we soon decided to go ahead and leave.

It has been several days since the experience and Luke continues to tell everyone (including me) each day, "I went to the movie...I didn't see Winnie the Pooh" and "It was too loud".  I am just thankful these two things are the only things he remembered from the experience.   On a positive note, Luke and Abbey really surprised me during this experience.  They both were super-easy going in the theater.  Luke sat very still and was quiet during what little bit of the movie and the previews we saw.  We were probably there for about 45 minutes total.  Abbey also was such a good little baby.  We will definitely be able to do this again and I am actually really looking forward to it.  I know Luke will really enjoy it.

Our little boy is growing up.