Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We definitely missed the fabulous Fiddlesticks Farm in Midland, but we enjoyed a trip to a pumpkin patch last weekend. We actually got to pick our pumpkin from a field, which was a fun treat! The kids also liked the hay ride (Is anyone else used to calling it a hay RACK ride? AJ says I'm the only one he's ever heard call it that!) behind a tractor, the corn box, and the hay maze.

It's beautifully green here (and beginning to turn orange, red, yellow, amazing!), but I decided black and white was a fun look for this set of pictures.

Drew was determined, a commonly seen trait in our son, to pick up this large pumpkin.

He loved to run around the hay maze and laughed so hard anytime someone found him. We love to hear him laugh!

The girls enjoyed being buried in this corn

Drew spent some quality time with this old, sweet dog.

Riding behind a tractor!

The reason it always looks like I'm squeezing the life out of this boy in pictures is because tickling him is the only way to get a good smile for a picture.

Jenna adores him...really we all do. I love watching him be a daddy!

The Blackburns' Fall Visit and Finger Sucking

My parents came a couple weekends ago, and we had a great time with them! A couple highlights were the car they brought after rescuing it from a neighbor who was giving it away and an air show. Our kids can't get enough of time with their Grammy and Grandpa!

Unfortunately, the only speed avaiable is quite fast, so here's my mom running next to crazy driving Lydia.

Jenna preferred to stay out of the car and hold Grandpa's hand.

At the airshow, Drew was in heaven! Trucks, planes, firetrucks...his dream world!

In the last month, we've been working hard on helping the girls quit their finger sucking habits. We're seeing great success, and two pieces of advice were most helpful.
1. Sticker charts: we had to divide the day into several parts so that they could have some success, but this was the key in making them active participants in the effort to quit. They were quite motivated by a sucker or a trip to the dollar store with Daddy!

2. Band-aids: when it's time to sleep, we put a band-aid on their fingers to remind them not to suck. Someday we'll have to do it without band-aids, but both girls are working toward their final reward by going several days and nights in a row with no sucking! Yippee! Success...finally!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Drew prays

Here's the other precious one that makes being a mom worth all the work.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sweet Jenna

Sweet Lydia

I have the best job

Today I started the day pretty grumpy. It's my day to take my kids to a friend's and have the morning to get things done alone. But we both have sick kids, so I needed to keep them with me. It's turned out to be a fun day, though. Everybody's feeling better today so we went to run errands including a donut shop. They patiently waited while I picked out the supplies to make a fall wreath, and we found some cute bedding for Drew's big boy room. Then, out of the blue, this came out of Jenna's mouth during lunch. The girls say it every so often, but I'd never videoed it. I decided it was time. Scroll up to "Sweet Jenna" to see this video.

Then, Lydia liked the idea of being on camera, so Jenna captured "Sweet Lydia." (scroll up)

In other news, we've started our fall activities and are having fun. I'm still questioning if we're doing one too many things, because the kids are pretty worn out at one point in the week. We'll have to keep evaluating. We're doing library story time, a marriage course at church (it's our best option for a date night right now because they include dinner and childcare in the cost for the course), MOPS, AWANA, and a ladies Bible study at church. The girls' definite favorite is AWANA--they love it!

No, they don't always match, and they don't usually sit so still right next to each other. But I had to seize the moment this week at story time.

Oh, and the girls just joined gymnastics. We've been pursuing non-surgery options for treating Lydia's strabismus (eye crossing), and we went to see a developmental optometrist in a town 2.5 hours away (it's the closest we could find). She helped me understand the implications of Lydia not using her eyes together, primarily a lack of depth perception. She says surgery can fix the cosmetic problem but doesn't address the brain problem of using the eyes in sync. So... she says this can lead to trouble with eye-hand coordination, tracking when reading, etc. This all rang a bell based on what we had noticed in Lydia, so we're ready to follow her suggestions in hopes that her brain can be re-trained to use both sides and also both eyes at once. One idea was to start gymnastics because she says using both sides of her body's large muscles will start to train the brain to do the same with the smaller muscles. She's also put tape on the inside of her glasses in hopes of giving her feedback when her eyes do cross and make them want to straighten out so that she can actually see. So, that's why we've started gymnastics for both girls. What a fun therapy option! We're praying for wisdom in knowing what steps to take next, especially since this doctor is so far away and isn't in network with our insurance.

Boy or Girl?

We've decided not to find out! We're getting crazy and going for the surprise this time around. Everybody who's done it both ways says it's totally worth it, so we'll see for ourselves. I'm planning a VBAC again, and I'm thankful to have found a doctor here in Little Rock who agrees that this is a great plan for us.

Here's a picture from 13 weeks. I'm now 16 weeks and feel great! My belly got big fast, but I don't think it's grown too much since then...I hope! AJ even asked me the other day if we're sure we're not having twins. Stinker!

The girls continue to talk to the baby regularly. When they hear a song with the word baby, they say, "Baby, this song's about you!" And of course Mommy gets to help the baby talk. Drew loves to pat the baby and sometimes claims he has a baby in his tummy.