Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 is OVER!

I can sum up 2007 in one word...rollercoaster!! Or is that two? We started off the year finding out that David was going to be out of a job *again*. He was working for Accenture on the state Medicaid project, and the state was ending their contract early. He could stay with Accenture and relocate, or he could get a job somewhere else. As many of you know, tech jobs can be hard to come by around here, at least ones that pay the bills. So we started looking at options for staying with Accenture. They had several job openings in Australia, Ireland, UK, Singapore, Italy, and Greece, so we really started contemplating the possibility of moving overseas. At times I was all for it, I would love to live somewhere other than the US and let the kids have that experience, but then at other times, the thought of leaving everything familiar behind, I just wasn't sure if I could handle that again. The prospect of selling or leasing the house, selling my truck, storing furniture, it all just seemed so daunting. He did have a few phone interviews in Australia and we were looking at rental properties online, but thankfully, in the end, David managed to stay on the exact same job he was doing, but working for the state instead, and a small raise to boot. So it all worked out well, but the first half of the year was kind of a blur dealing with all that.

We started the year with Regan in pre-school and being 4 years old, and loving school so much that I thought when she started kindergarten she would just take right to it. Was I ever wrong. She turned 5 just a month before school started, so maybe that has something to do with it, her being one of the youngest, smallest kids in her class, but she has no interest in learning. She does like to go to school, but it's to play in the centers. She would get mad at us for the longest time for correcting her ABC song (contrary to what she thinks, it does NOT go A-B-C-D-F-I-G). She is doing a lot better now, 6 months in, she has learned all of her sounds and letters and is starting to sound out words and can read simple words like cat and dog. I think the Leapster she got at Christmas is really helping, it's learning in disguise!! She never ceases to entertain us though, she has so much sass, and can talk the horns off a brass bull (which we firmly believe she inherited that skill from her Nana Mona). She is so rough and tumble, and can keep up with her brother and his friends all the time, and she just keeps us laughing all the time. I am amazed that someone so young can have such a sense of humor.

Riley is now in 3rd grade, which at his school is the highest grade this year, so he's one of the oldest kids on campus. After being diagnosed with ADHD and working with a child psychologist, he's really come to understand how to deal with his behavioral issues and is becoming a little man. He is learning responsibility and sometimes, rarely, watching him take care of his sister, I can see that one day he will make an awesome father. Of course his adventurous streak has no end, he still rides his dirt bike, and recently upgraded to a 65cc, which from what I understand, is bigger and has a clutch. He is so smart and enjoys reading, his books of choice lately have been Calvin and Hobbes, which brings back a lot of memories for mom and dad!!

We had a real up and down year with Kenzie, with her deciding to move out this summer, and anyone who has or has been a teenager, can relate to our situation. It was rough for a while, but now I know she is in a good place, and finishing school and getting the help that she needs to grow and mature into a young woman that our mom can be proud of.

We opened our home first to my brother Pete while he looked for a new place to live, then to David's sister Tiffany, and her dogs and cat. So we do officially have a zoo in our house now.

For me, it was an interesting year. I really thought that when Regan started school, my life would be on easy street. Boy was I wrong. I had a bad case of empty nest, I can't imagine how bad it's going to be when the kids actually go off to college, I will probably be a basket case. I did enjoy having some time to myself, for the first time in a long time. We've never paid a babysitter, and since Riley was born, we've only used family to watch the kids, and with not having a whole lot of family in the area, our options in the child care department have always been limited. So to have an hour or two in the day to do something just for myself was quite nice. I still work for David's parents two days a week, and I volunteer at the kids school as often as possible. I'm hoping to use some of that "me" time to get some projects done around the house.

We adopted a kitty in January, Ricky-Bobby, Riley wanted him to be called Ricky, Regan added the Bobby herself, and so it stuck. We still have Bailey, our sweet little Border Collie that we got as a stray, and he had to have been abused, he's got the meekest spirit ever. But since Tiffany moved in with her Great Pyrenees Kenya, they've been playing a lot and are new best friends.

We made several trips this year, to New Orleans in August for Papa Leo's 60th surprise party, to Ohio in October to see my dad and Linda, and many trips to Sea World and San Antonio, and several camping trips with my BFF Tammy and her family.

So overall, a good year, we are all healthy, happy, we have food to eat and clothes to wear. I am reminded of the saying "I felt sorry that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet". I want us all to remember how good we truly have it, and that God has blessed us, and to pass those blessings on to others!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sea World December

Sea World December

It was somewhat of an impromptu trip, we thought it would be nice to go over Christmas break and eke out every last drop of fun from our season passes, since they expire at the end of this year. So we decided to bring Tristan and Marissa with us. It was fun, a little nippy, but not too bad, it warmed up during the afternoon, we just had to keep moving to stay warm. We did all our favorites, fed the sea lions, the lorikeets, rode the Steel Eel a million times, Riley is still about an inch too short to ride the Great White so that makes him mad, but David and the girls rode that. We split for a while, Marissa and Mackenzie off to do their thing, David and the boys off to do their thing, and me and Regan to the kiddie rides. We stopped to feed some fish and turtles, and rode the spinning paint cans, and the Shamu roller coaster. We had nice warm chocolate and strawberry funnel cakes and saw the penguins, and played a midway game so the kids could all win their own Shamu. It closed at 5 so we went to Chacho's for dinner, our favorite place to eat in San Antonio, and the kids had so much fun, they just HAD to spend the night with us too, so we have a houseful of kids, playing Wii, jumping on the Pogo stick, watching TV, another fun day at the Crappell House!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day

I was fully expecting the kids to wake us up at the crack of dawn, like they have in the past, but for some reason, they slept in, and David and I woke up before they did, around 8. David got the cinnamon rolls in the oven and I woke up the kids and we got started. They were excited about their Santa Gifts, those are left unwrapped, and Riley got a Ripstick, a Flybar Pogo Stick and the Stacking Cups. Regan got a dalmatian that skates, a Glo E bear, and a Bella Dancerella Cheerleader set. Riley also got some DVD's, a Chia Pet Bart Simpson, some Magic Cards, books, some t-shirts, and other miscellaneous items. Regan got a Leapster and some games (trying to fake her into reading) a Kidizoom digital camera, an iDog, Baby Alive with diapers, and some clothes. Kenzie got school supplies that she needed, clothes, shoes, gift card to Starbucks, and a purse. Each year they get socks and underwear, PJ's and slippers, so those aren't exactly the favorite gifts. I got a funny picture of Regan when she realized one of her presents was a package of socks, so then Kenzie and Riley each made a mean face when they opened theirs, it was funny. Then we spent the rest of the day playing around and eating leftovers. Riley wasn't on his pogo for 5 minutes before he fell and hurt his butt bone. Then he was mad cause he couldn't just hop right on the Ripstick and go a mile on it. It actually took a little practice, but before the day was through, he was going up and down the street with no problems. Baby Alive has already soiled a pack of diapers, the iDog is exhausted and the batteries on the digital camera are probably smoking. All in all a good day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve!! I think we do it right. We went to church at 1 with Pam and Dave and the Shenkins, the kids LOVE going to church, I'm so glad. Then we came home and started cooking. David fried a turkey, we've been using Emeril's fried turkey recipe and I swear it is the best recipe ever. Pam and Dave brought a Honey Baked Ham, deviled eggs, and Marie Calendar's pies, cranberry-apple and pecan, and I made broccoli-rice casserole and potato salad. We wanted something different from Thanksgiving and it turned out perfect. The kids opened their presents from Mimi and Papa, Riley got Guitar Hero for the Wii, which he immediately went to work on, and Regan got a lavender iPod that she is terribly excited about, and Kenzie got some $$. David's brothers Matt and Kris came over, Tiffany and Kenzie were here, the kids played, we ate, Alex brought his dog Baby, and so we had a little doggie party in the back yard too. A total and complete zoo, as usual! We played some Wii Olympics and watched A Christmas Story. Now, all the cooking is done and we have only to relax on Christmas Day and the only thing I have to cook is the famous cinnamon rolls.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Santa Baby

Regan was singing her "State Song" and stopped in the middle and said, "Mom, did you know there is a state called New HAMPSTER?" She's so adorable.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Texas Jumping Beans/Benihana

We met up with some friends from school today at Texas Jumping Beans. We were there from 1 till 5:30, the kids were so worn out! We got home just in time to change clothes and go to Benihana for dinner with the Shenkins. It was SO much fun. I don't usually like to go there, mainly because I don't like seafood and there seems to be a lot of it, but we hadn't taken the kids there probably since we went to Disney World. The chef was great, he lit a bunch of stuff on fire for the kids, tossed some shrimp tails in his hat, threw some chicken at the kids for them to try to catch in their mouth. Riley ate more that night than I've seen him eat in entire days before!! David and I had some sushi, spicy tuna rolls or something, they were really good, Riley tried them, thought they were too spicy but I love that he will try anything.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Birthday David!

Regan's Plant Show

Plant Show

The K-1 has been studying plants this session, and the plant growth cycle. They had to make a plant project for a show today. They had several options, they could grow a plant and keep a diary, grow a plant and do experiments with the amount of water, sunlight, types of water, etc. or Regan's choice, a diorama of what a plant looks like in all 4 seasons. The kids all did a great job, I took pictures of all of them with their projects since they all look so cute and scientific. They sit by their project and wait for the parents to come by and then they give their presentation. They're so smart!

Riley's Christmas Party

I'm about partied out at this point. I'm the room mom for both kids (won't do that again) so I have to have a hand in all of the festivities. Not a big deal, I'm at their school a lot and I think it's important to be involved, but I can't tell you how excited I am that the break is HERE! I think I need it worse than the kids do at this point. So, Riley's class had their party today, it was fun, Ms. Baxter can sure crack the whip with those kids!! We did the station rotation again, I made cookies, and oddly enough, that ended up being the cleanest station. I was prepared for the worst over there, but they did good. Parents sent in tons of snacks, I doubt any of them ate one bite at lunch today. After snacks and party time, they had a book exchange and watched party of the Live Action Grinch movie, and then opened presents from their teacher. Then I had to move on to Regan's class for her plant show. I spent the entire day at the school. It was fun, but I need a nap.

This is Riley's friend Mikale (brother to Regan's friend Kai) just a family of goofballs!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Regan's Christmas Party

Regan's class had their Christmas party today, and there were lots of parents there to help, which is always nice! They had their stations set up, Kenzie and I did the cookie station. I had made gingerbread cookies and brought icing and sprinkles. Another station was the candy cane/pipe cleaner Rudolph, and they made Christmas cards for parents, and at one of their study trips to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, one of the parents took pictures of each of the kids in front of a Christmas tree, and they laminated them and the kids got to decorate the picture of the tree, to make an ornament. Very cute!! The teacher gave each of the kids a book, The Biggest Snowman Ever Made, or something like that, and they had a book exchange. Lots of fun and goodies. This is Regan's friend Kai, he really liked the sprinkles, can you tell??? Such a cutie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NYOS Economics Fair

Riley's class is studying Economics this session. They had to create a store, make their wares to sell, plan out shifts, earn some cash, design their cash, and then finally, all the 2/3 classes got together for an "Economics Fair" where they all sold their wares, they had to work their shifts where they would get docked in pay if they didn't show up to work their shift on time. I think Riley spent his entire paycheck on a rubber band ball. But, his money. It was so cute watching him work his shift, and telling people to hurry it up, I told him he had to be nice to his customers so they would come back, he didn't quite get that concept, he just wanted to turn a buck and get back out there and shop some more.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Lunch

Today was Holiday Lunch at NYOS. The only problem is, Regan's lunch was at 10:45 and Riley's was at 12:55, so David and I were going to try to divide and conquer. I have nothing better to do, so I dropped the kids off, went home for a bit, went back for lunch with Regan which David was going to try to make, but couldn't get away from work that early. Then I ran some errands and went back to school for Riley's lunch, with David. We ate turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, yummy cafeteria food!! It's been many, many years since we've had to eat congealed food with a spork. Brought back some memories.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Baking

More Christmas fun!! We made sugar cookies. I totally cheated and just bought the roll and cut it in half, rolled it in flour and let the kids have at it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bathroom Issues

No, I'm not having intestinal problems, it's MUCH worse!!

When we bought the house, almost 2 years ago, the bathrooms upstairs had linoleum, but we were told the toilets were set for a thicker tile, so there was a gap between the toilet and the linoleum, no biggie, the listing realtor (NOT our realtor, who was AWESOME) told us her boyfriend is a handyman, he could put in ceramic tile, no problem. So that was done before we ever closed on the house. When we moved in we noticed it wasn't a great job, there were huge gaps in the grout and the tile, they weren't spaced correctly, and there was some sort of glue or something all over the tiles that progressively gets darker.

Cut to September of this year, I notice a spot on the ceiling above the TV in the living room, which coincidentally happens to be right under the toilet in our master bathroom. No problem, we have a Home Warranty, so I call them, they send a plumber out. He tells me that the person who put the floors in, did it wrong, and didn't set the toilet back right. There was a perfectly shaped wax ring sitting there, it hadn't been installed properly, so over the course of the year and a half, water had seeped out of the toilet, making it leak onto the wood around it and leak down to leave a spot on the ceiling. So he put a new wax ring on, and put a riser on it to make the toilet level, since the floor apparently isn't.

So the other day I notice there is a steady seeping of water coming from the light switch in the living room. Right under the spot. I call the warranty people again, they send a plumber again, who tells me that the wood floor under and around the toilet has rotten through and he can't put the toilet back on there, for fear of it falling through the floor. Because of the rotten floor, water is seeping down the wall to come out of the light switch. Also, it gets better...none of this is covered by the home warranty. So, I have no toilet, a rotten floor, quite possible mold in my walls and no way to pay for it to be fixed.

At this point I just laughed, what else can you do right?? David wants to find the guy who put the toilet and floor in originally and see if he has contractors insurance, and get him to pay to fix all this. Problem there is, I don't think he was a "contractor" I think he was someone's boyfriend/handyman who did his girlfriend/realtor a favor. So I am hoping our homeowner's insurance covers this mess, but I don't know since it's water damage and all that.

I am choosing to look on the bright side. I could see this as one more punch in the gut (I've had a few this year) or I can see this as an opportunity. I have wanted a new, low-flush toilet for a long time now. I've wanted to redo the tile in there from day one, and I've wanted our whole bathroom to be tile, not just the toilet room (whatever you call that). Heck, I should throw in a new jacuzzi tub and a bigger shower stall for good measure. And while I'm on it, maybe I can finagle some new cabinets out of the deal. I want it all!! So, I'm not going to worry about it, it's in God's hands, and we know he does exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Christmas!

You can never have enough Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Memories!

Brings me back...

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm dreaming...

I just ADORE this song and this video. I send it around every year, I just dare you to watch it and not crack a smile (and I've watched this a million times!) It's so cute, and keep an eye on the white reindeer, he's super talented.
White Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2007


How is it that one small family of four can not get it together enough to SMILE for about 5 minutes??? OMG this was one of the more frustrating 5 minutes of my life. Trying to get dad to agree in the first place, then get him to stop holding his head to the side like he's a big pimp, not stare lifelessly into the camera, or give me rabbit ears, then to get Riley to stop copying his dad, and stop making silly faces, stop trying to make his sister fall off the chair, I just hope people enjoy it cause it's more than likely the last time you guys will see a picture with the 4 of us in it until maybe Riley or Regan get married. Here's an outtake for you...

Decorating the Tree

A few days after Thanksgiving, we put our tree up, David was out of town on business, but Aunt Tiffany was here to help. We got the tree up, decorated it, put our stockings out, and watched my favorite Christmas movie of all time, White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, an awesome movie!! Had hot cocoa and enjoyed the warm weather. It has certainly NOT felt like Christmas lately. The tree is a jumble, I let the kids hang all the ornaments, that explains why some branches have 2 or 3 ornaments and some branches are naked and bare! Riley couldn't be pulled from his computer game for long, but Regan grabbed some refrigerator magnets and hung the doggie stockings on the fireplace, what a great idea.

Happy Thanksgiving Part Two


Okay, so I'm WAY behind on posting pictures, but I finally got around to it today. We had a great Thanksgiving, Kenzie was here, David's friend Alex and his kids Tristan and Marissa, my brother Pete, his girlfriend Jessie and her daughter Ashley, and Dave and Pam. David fried a turkey (Emeril style) and we had TONS of food. We rocked out to Guitar Hero and the boys jumped most of the day on the pogo stick. Alex dared Pete to eat one tablespoon of cinnamon, that was interesting. He did it, but he said his mouth dried up pretty quick. Boys will be boys I guess. Then we all took turns trying on Regan's Ariel wig, not a pretty site!! All in all it was a fun, relaxing day and the food was just awesome.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Girl Scout Parade

Girl Scout Parade
After Regan was sick for over a week, hadn't eaten in over 6 days, she was finally feeling well enough to do the Pflugerville Christmas Parade. She got to ride in the float and toss out candy to the people along the sidelines. She was still not back to 100% but all she had to do was sit there, so she handled it. After the parade, the Girl Scouts had a party at the Pflugerville Library, and we stayed long enough to get a cookie, then headed home, she was already worn out. But, she looked so cute in her Santa hat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Update on Regan

I took Regan back to the doctor today, they thought she was pretty dehydrated and that was why she wasn't getting over the virus, her poor little body was just fighting so hard. So they wanted to give her IV fluids, and it took them 3 tries before they could find a vein. She screamed, I know it hurt her so bad, she's always been so tough, she never cried when she got her immunization shots as a baby. But this was too much, even for mom, as I had to try to hold her down while they rolled a needle around in each hand before they finally found one deep in her elbow area. Then we just had to sit and wait for 2 bags of fluid to go in. The good thing, once she was done, she went to the bathroom, and she drank a half a can of Sprite on the way home. She's still been running a fever, and sleeps a lot, but at least now her body is better able to fight off the virus. Thanks for the prayers, they are working!

And how sweet is big brother? Today at book fair he spent his last $3 on a ring for his baby sister!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pray for Sweet Baby Regan

I'm just asking for everyone's prayers for Regan. She started telling me on Saturday that she had a headache, we went to see Polar Express with her Girl Scout Troop, and she just didn't seem her normal active self. By that night, I knew something was wrong, she was running a fever and kept saying her head hurt so bad. By Sunday morning, her fever was 103.6, she was vomiting and miserable. I took her to the doctor on Monday and they said it's enterovirus, which being a virus, there's nothing they can do, no antibiotics to give her. They said to just watch her for any signs of meningitis. So today, her fever was up to 104.5 and I just hate it. She has sore muscles, hasn't eaten since her Girl Scout trip where she had half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich, and today she's only had about 1/4 of a can of Sprite. I just want her all better, she's never been sick like this, and it's hard for mom to watch and not be able to do anything to help her out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sea World (again)!

Sea World November

We're trying to make the most of our season passes, so we drug some friends with us this time. The weather was excellent! It rained most of the way down so we were nervous, but it was blue skies and great weather the whole day. It was not too hot, not too cold, there was hardly anyone there, no lines to ride anything, it was perfect! We fed the dolphins, the sea lions and the Lorikeets, who were MUCH more aggressive than the Lorikeets at the San Antonio Zoo. We walked in the aviary and were instantly covered in birds. When Regan ran out of nectar, they bit her arm, and one kept thinking my thumb was a nice juicy worm. The sea lions are awesome. Reminds me of when we went to San Francisco (B.K. - before kids) and saw all the sea lions (or seals) off Fisherman's Wharf. They are loud, smelly and adorable!! We saw the sea lion show, again, and of course Riley rode the Steel Eel a few thousand times, and argued with us most of the day that he really IS tall enough to ride the Great White (another inch or so to go in actuality). David and Craig did the brew tour and relaxed and had an assortment of beers and cheeses and fruits while Laura and I had kid duty (how did we let that happen?) The dad's and kids rode the water rides, with some panchos so they didn't get too wet (Regan called them "nachos") and we watched the Pirate 4-D movie which is always fun.

And of course, we stayed till the bitter end then hit our favorite place to eat in SA, Chacho's! Made it home just in time for bed time since the kids have 2 more days of school until Thanksgiving break. I can't wait for some time off to catch up on some sleep!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Family Volunteer Day

Volunteer Day

Today was Family Volunteer Day in Round Rock. We signed up with our Home Group to work on the Headstart Program's playground. It was a lot of fun, they had Beauty and the Beast there, Aladdin, Tinkerbell, Cinderella, and the Incredible Family. David and Riley helped build a sandbox, Regan and I cleaned some playground equipment, we painted tricycles, planted a garden, and just made the playground look a lot better. The kids had a good time, and I'm sure we'll sign up to help again next time!

Family Visit

My Nanny and my cousin Raelynn came in to visit Kenzie this weekend, with Raelynn's adorable new baby Karlee Elise. She is almost 2 months old and so cute. Almost makes me want to have another one...NOT!! But it's fun to hold them, cuddle them, then give them back when they make a poopie. So we went to visit Kenzie, she was so happy to see her Nanny!! And today we had lunch at Chuy's before they headed off to Aunt Kathy's for the night.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Riley's Video Game Sleepover Party

Riley's Sleepover

On Friday Night, our house was invaded!! We hooked up the Wii to a projector on the deck in the backyard and had it project on the side of the house where the kids could play games, although the adults probably played more than the kids. We had PlayStation 2 Guitar Hero going in the living room, rocking out all night. We had about 12 kids running in and out, playing video games and jumping on the trampoline, having a great time. Around 1 am, we turned the games off, and put on the Transformer's movie, and they were all fast asleep pretty quick. We ate pizza and cake, had muffins the next morning, the kids were worn out on Saturday!! It was a great time, Riley got some great presents, and I'm glad it's over for another year!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Snaggle Tooth

My baby girlie lost her first tooth! And the sad thing is, I wasn't here to see it. Daddy was doing mommy duty that day, and made Regan her favorite dinner, a bean and cheese burrito, and she told him after a few bites, "Dad, I feel a hole in my mouth" and he didn't know what she was talking about until finally he looked over and noticed her tooth was gone. We just found out it was loose on Saturday when she tried to bite off her Fall Fest wristband! So, apparently she swallowed it, since it was no where to be found. I told her maybe the Tooth Fairy would leave her money in her tummy right next to her tooth. She didn't think that was a good idea. And sure enough, the good old reliable Tooth Fairy left her a shiny golden dollar coin under her pillow, and Regan carried that thing around in her hand the entire day! Such a big girl now.

Monday, November 5, 2007

9 Years Ago...

I can't believe my baby boy is 9!! I just thought I would share "Riley's Story" today.

David and I had been married for a few years when we decided to have kids. Well, to be completely honest, I wanted to wait just long enough after we were married that people weren't counting back on their fingers and thinking we HAD to get married!! David wanted to wait until he was 35, so we compromised, and waited 5 years. After having a miscarriage early on, I was desperate to be pregnant and have kids. I was on fertility treatments and we tried just about everything for over a year. I remember my doctor telling me this would be the last month he would let me take the fertility pills, the next step would be much more complicated, involving, and expensive. So, for us, this was our last hope for a while.

Imagine my surprise when several weeks later, after having several negative pregnancy tests, the doctor decides to do some blood work, and I get a phone call on April 15th that the blood test showed I was, in fact, pregnant! I couldn't believe it. And by that point, I was about 10 weeks pregnant! So my first trimester was already almost over, and I hadn't had any morning sickness or any other symptoms.

I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I did have gestational diabetes towards the end and had to check my insulin levels 4 times a day (with the finger prick) and do 4 insulin shots a day in my legs, that was such a pain. I was due November 24th, which was Thanksgiving that year. I woke up at 6 am on the morning of November 5th to go to the bathroom and tell David goodbye as he left for work, and as I got out of bed, my water broke. My first thought was that I was so huge, I had lost all control of my bodily functions!! I called the doctor and of course, my doctor was off that day, so the on call doc says to come on in, it's time!

I hadn't packed my bag yet since I still had 3 weeks to go, and I wasn't having any contractions, so I called everyone and told them to meet us at the hospital, started some laundry, packed my bag, took a shower, totally frustrated David by not just jumping in the car to go! The contractions started in the car, around 8:30, and they were about 4-5 minutes apart, but not too strong. I got checked in to the room, and I was already at 4cm. Things were going along great until the evil doctor I had that day showed up. She just wasn't very nice, but I won't go into all of it. She kept insisting that I would end up with an epidural (I didn't). Things got really rough around noon, the contractions picked up, but when it came time to push, after about 4 or 5, there was Riley! He weighed in at a tiny 6 lbs, 13 oz. He was a little bird baby!!

Riley had jaundice pretty bad initially, we took him home and had to have a light suitcase, and a light paddle strapped to him, but after a few days of that he was fine. He was NOT a good sleeper though, and would wake up about every hour and a half. He was 9 months old before he ever slept through the night. He was a handful as a baby.

We named him Nathan, which means Gift from God, and we wanted that name first, to remind us always that we went through SO much to have him, and he truly was our Gift from God. And Riley, which means Courageous, and even to this day, we see his courage on almost a daily basis!

I am amazed at his willingness to try anything, whether it be food (like recently, the alligator he ate in LA) or a new sport, like motocross (when he was barely 5!) or any of the other sports he's played: soccer, baseball, basketball, football, karate, just to name a few. He has such a sweet spirit, and he's very sensitive to other people's needs. I will never forget one time when we were camping with our friends and Baby Abby was fussing about something, and Tammy had done as much as she could for her, but she was still crying, Riley couldn't take it. He had tears in his eyes when he asked me, "Mom, do they just not care?" He's an amazing young man, and I can't wait to see all the great things he's going to do in his life.

Happy Birthday Baby Bird!

Birthday Cupcakes

I took some chocolate cupcakes up to Riley's school to pass out to his classmates, and he enjoyed getting to be "student of the week" and be the center of attention, for a good reason this time! We're having a party at the house over the weekend for his school friends, so this was just a small part of the bigger birthday celebration week! David doesn't think people should have a birthday week, but a birthday is just too short!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wii Would Like to Play

Riley got a Wii for his birthday, and boy, is it FUN!!! We had a Wii tournament Sunday night when Pam, Dave, Matt, Tiffany, Kenzie and the rest of us took turns playing the Wii!! We let Riley open his present early so he could enjoy it over the weekend, and had the family over for a small family party.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Skate Park

Riley has been bugging me FOREVER to take him to the skate park in Round Rock. I was waiting for cooler weather and a time when there wouldn't be a thousand skater punks there trying to run him over!! Well, today turned out to be a great day to go. He wore his roller blades, and the kids that were there were really nice and they gave him some pointers and he was actually doing a lot better when we left. I heard one kid tell his friend, "I told him what to do ONE time and he did it, why can't YOU do that?" He had a good time, and even though he had lots of falls, there were no injuries, and he can't wait to go back and bring David when he gets back into town.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween. Riley's friend Tristan and his dad Alex came over. Riley dressed up like a vampire, mainly because he thought it would be cool to "float" with his Heely's. Regan was Ariel, the Little Mermaid, complete with crown, red wig, wand and light up dress shoes. Which means that after about 5 houses, I was holding the wand, a few more houses down, and I was holding the crown, a few more houses, I was holding the shoes, and in the end, I came home holding ALL of Regan's accessories, a dog on a leash and Tristan's helmet. It was fun though, got lots of loot, that thankfully, I haven't even looked at! We ordered pizza and the kids got to go to bed a little late tonight. I feel for their teachers tomorrow though!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Canyon of the Eagles

Canyon of the Eagles

It seems to be the month for Spontaneous Fun Trips! On Friday, on our way home from Sweet Berry Farm, my BFF Tammy called and said the weather is great, lets go camping!! So they called around to find any place that had an opening, and I went home and started packing. We met them at Canyon of the Eagles, just outside of Burnet, Texas. It was beautiful! The drive, the scenery, the lake, the weather, everything was perfect. We ate lunch Saturday in Llano, at one of David's all time favorite places to eat, Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que, it was PACKED! Then we had to go to HEB to get some food cause we literally just ran out there. The kids got to ride their bikes all around, play on the rope swing, play in the dirt, just an all around fun time at camp.

The Lodge there is gorgeous, David and I want to go back without kids and stay in a cabin overlooking the lake. They had a cowboy there telling "scary ghost stories" on Saturday night, although the stories weren't too scary, the kids loved it. We got some hot tea and hot apple cider from the lodge and sat and enjoyed the stories on the beautiful patio, that was all decked out with Halloween decorations.

We went back to the camp and made s'mores, that's always the best part! The grown ups stayed up past 1 sitting and chatting around the fire, it was nice and chilly outside, just so much fun! We got up Sunday morning and after we packed up we walked around and drove down to the lake and just enjoyed the scenery. We will definitely go back to this camp, hopefully around this same time of year, it just couldn't be any better!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sweet Berry Farm

Sweet Berry Farm

Well, on an impulse today, I picked the kids up from school and headed out to Sweet Berry Farm. I have wanted to go there FOREVER but it's been rained out and canceled on me so many times. So today was beautiful, it's such a gorgeous drive out there, it was sunny and bright, around 80 degrees, and most important, NOT CROWDED!! First we looked around at all the different kinds of pumpkins they have out there. Some were quite freaky!! They had some that looked like they were covered in peanuts, some that looked like they had butts growing out of the top, some white, flat ones, just all kinds of weird looking ones. Tried taking some pictures, but it was pretty sunny and the kids were squinting a lot.

Next up was the Texas Maze, it's a giant corn field maze in the shape of Texas, and they give you a punch card with 12 different Texas towns on it, and if you can make it through the maze and find all 12 towns, you get a free drink. So, we spent a good half hour in there, but were victorious!! We found them all, and didn't get too lost in all that corn. Then we picked out our painting pumpkin, found some pumps to wash the dirt off, real working pumps, and as the kids started pumping to make the water come out, Riley yells, "Mom! This is just like Kid Nation!" They loved the pumps! So they painted a cute pumpkin, set it out to dry while we fed the goats pieces of the corn maze, they were just eating up the leaves of the corn, they were so cute, and very vocal. Then we took a hay ride all around the farm.

Finally, Regan picked out some mini pumpkins and cute mini gourds to bring home, one looks like a duck and one is shaped like a star. And before we left, we just had to try their homemade ice cream treats. Regan had a strawberry popsicle, from the strawberries that they grow there on the farm, and Riley and I shared a cup of pumpkin flavored ice cream that was to die for!! Really some of the best ice cream we've ever had (which explains the picture of him licking the cup). Then just goofed around a bit taking pictures around the farm. What a neat place, I can't wait to go back when it's strawberry and blackberry season!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Komen Race for the Cure

I'm a little behind this year, but I finally signed up again. I can't tell you what it means to me to do this race every year. My friend Tereasa always walks with me, and just being there with over 20,000 people, seeing all the pink shirts on the survivors, or the pink tags on the back of the shirts of people walking to honor someone, or in memory of someone, it's just awe-inspiring. I will never forget one year seeing a man, probably close to my own age, pushing a baby in a stroller and holding a little girl, and on the back of his shirt, his pink tag said he was walking in memory of his wife. His daughter had a tag that said simply, "In memory of...mommy". How heart wrenching. So, I do this every year in memory of my mom, who lost her battle with breast cancer almost 8 years ago, and in honor of my grandma, and my 2 aunts who have also battled breast cancer. If you would like to make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you can do so on my race center page HERE.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Spontaneous Day!

San Antonio ZooAlamo

So David calls around 10 am, he has to go to San Antonio for work, just to get a part, the kids are still on fall break, so he wanted to know if we all wanted to go for the day. We had free zoo passes since we went in July and had to evacuate cause the zoo keeper had been mauled by a tiger. So he comes home, picks us up, we head to the zoo, he drops us off while he goes to get his part, then comes back and meets us there. We headed straight to the back, the part that we missed this summer, so we saw the petting zoo, all the African animals, and the best part was the Lorikeets. You can buy nectar (or as Regan called it, "hector") and the birds will climb all over you to get it, the kids had a blast! They are so pretty, but they have really nasty projectile poo, you have to be careful (David wasn't, that's all I'll say here!)

Then we walked around the River Walk, had some mediocre Mexican food, played the tourist for a while, then walked down to the Alamo. It was closed by then, but it sure is beautiful at night all lit up with the Texas flag waving proudly.

It was a great day, and just something out of the blue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stomach Bug

I don't know if there is something going around, but between David and I, the last few days have been miserable!! David has had some sort of stomach bug the last few days, and I guess he passed it on to me. It's NOT fun here. David missed work Monday and Tuesday because of it. Last night, after Daisy Scouts, I came home and just had the worst pain ever. You can't sleep because of the pain, which is bad cause it just makes you so weak and tired. I tossed and turned on the couch most of the night, trying to get comfortable, and wasn't real happy when David woke me up this morning freaking out about his tongue. He stuck it out and it was black. So I stuck mine out and wouldn't you know, solid black. Disgusting. Then the panic sets in, is there some kind of poison in our house, do we have some rare spreading disease, do we need to go to the hospital? Kind of a mini-freak out. Then I googled it. Then I feel like and idiot. We had been taking Pepto chewables, and for whatever reason, it turns your tongue black. So, that mystery solved. Still don't know what the stomach bug is, but at least for now the pain is gone. I haven't left the couch all day, and the kids have been angels today, I SO owe them for this one!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pink for October

Remind your friends and family that October 12-19 is National Feel Your Boobies Week
Pink for October

Monday, October 8, 2007

Manic Monday Meme

Which month of the year do you think best describes your personality?
Probably June or July, the summer months. I'm pretty laid back, easy going, just want to have fun, and what better time to do that than summer?!

If you could have had the starring role in an existing movie, which movie would you pick?
The Philadelphia Story. To be a young, regal Katherine Hepburn and get to make out with Cary Grant AND Jimmy Stewart? Wow.

Are you attracted to people whose personalities are very similar to your personality or very different?
Well, since my husband is so different from me, I would say different. We compliment each other perfectly!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ohio Day Seven - Nine - Amish Country

On Friday we didn't do a whole lot, I had an upset stomach and didn't feel like doing much, which was fine with the kids, they had the neighbors over and rode four wheelers all day. Linda let the kids make their own breakfast each day, and Riley ate about 4 eggs every day, with toast and homemade apple butter!! Being out in the country really works up an appetite I guess!


On Saturday, while the kids rode four wheelers, yet again, Linda and I took a drive out to Amish Country. It wasn't far, about a 15 minute drive from their house. We weren't sure where to go, but all of a sudden we saw a horse and buggy cross the highway, so we turned off to follow it. Then we found a fool proof way to find them, follow the horsey poop! It worked, we soon found ourselves in the heart of Amish country, and it was amazing! I felt like I was in a movie set. They don't like having their picture taken so I tried to respect their privacy and not get too close. It was just too surreal to see them riding down the street in their horse and buggies. We even stopped at an Amish store and went in and shopped. I was surprised though, the inside of the store looked more like a Dollar Tree! They had all kinds of trinkets and kids toys things I would not expect to find there. I had my heart set on getting something genuinely "Amish" so Linda bought me a small handwoven basket and a hand printed magnet for my magnet collection, and a book of Amish remedies (which is VERY interesting!) and an Amish family cookbook. There were some girls running the store, probably around 8 and 13, and they had on the long dresses, the bonnets, bare feet, had the Dutch-type accent, they were adorable! We saw an Amish school house, complete with handmade swings and see saws, saw some very huge houses with the little buggies parked out front. It was so neat! I was like a goofy kid seeing it all.

Mt Vernon Playground
Then Linda wanted to wear the kids out so they would sleep good on the trip, so we went to Mt. Vernon which is the nearest town to them, about 15 miles away. They have an awesome playground there, the kids were completely sweaty when we left, they played so hard! I couldn't get over the beautiful country, I just always imagined Ohio to be flat and full of corn or something, but the trees were changing colors, from green to red to yellow and every color in between, rolling hills, green grass, beautiful old red barns, cows and horses everywhere, just a part of the country I had never seen before and never thought would be so beautiful (I just can't think of another word to describe it!)

So we left around 8:30 Saturday night, Linda was sad to say goodbye to her boy again! The kids were asleep before we left Columbus! Pete drove us to Memphis where we had breakfast and I drove us on home. Nearly 3,000 miles on my Expedition, the kids were awesome in the car, we made it home by 5:00 Sunday, David had grilled steaks waiting for us, he missed us bad!!