Thursday, June 30, 2011

Show And Tell

So I wanted to show you what I got and tell you about one of my favorite boutiques, Harper and Grace Boutique.  I told you about them before (in this post) when they made Parker's 1st Birthday shirt.

When I hear the words "show and tell" all I can think of is my old Preschool students who would start out every show and tell with "This is my __(insert object here)__... and I like it... and I don't want anybody to touch it."

Love them.
Moving on, I found these dresses on sale and I picked them up for who knows what.

And then as I was planning for our trip next month I got to thinking, that can be a dangerous thing sometimes...

And I wanted to get the kids something made special to wear at Disneyland like we did last year (click here for that post)

The first thing I thought of was Harper and Grace Boutique.

Adrienne, one of the owners is a dear friend of mine.  Her In Laws were my neighbors (and friends) about 5 years ago.  We've stayed friends ever since.

After I spoke with Dani (the other owner of the boutique) about making the dresses for the girls I got to thinking, again...

And then I though, I can't make the girls something cute and special and forget about the Little Man!

So I ordered this too.  

Don't ya love it?  I swear the boy has about 5 tie shirts. 

They're cheezy.  I know this.  But I'm a sucker for 'em.  

 Oh and here's another thing I wanted to share with you.  Have you ever heard of foxpaws?  

What are foxpaws you say?

Just the cutest shoes on the face of the Planet. 

Harper and Grace Boutique is a distributor for them.

I just wanted to take a time out and show you that there's more going on behind the scenes of my pictures than what meets the eye.  Usually there's one, or more children in my lap, behind me, to the side of me, behind my curtain trying to get my attention or get into whatever I'm taking pictures of.

This was on my right today.

And this precious little baby was on my left saying,  "Those are my shoes.  I sure do love dem."

I would also like to add that just because I post a few "nice" pictures where everyone smiles and everything looks honky dorey doesn't mean that EVERY picture I took was like that.  What you don't see is the 35 other pictures I took before I got that shot.  

Being a Stay At Home Mom is seriously one of the hardest jobs there is.  Just yesterday I had to make a last minute early morning Dr.'s appointment because the kids gave me their pink eye (thank you), then I had to get blood work drawn for a blood test.  After that we ran back across town to try to make it to the gym before my favorite class started.  I was 15 minutes late but the instructor said "Come on in!"  Then we drove another 40 minutes to pick up the dresses and shirts from Dani... I was 30 minutes late!  Yikes!  Sorry again girl!  I swear I got every red light and got stuck behind every slow truck that was on the road.  

Then I got Starbucks and all was right in the world again.

After we got home I had to head into the Dentist, for the second time this week, to get my tooth fixed.  Luckily it only took a minute.  

But I did all this with all three kids, all before 3 O'clock in the afternoon.

Oh and after Brian got home I delivered baskets for 3 hours and then went grocery shopping.  Then we were up half the night with Ava who was suffering from a migraine.  It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.  She was in bad shape.  Poor baby, I hope she doesn't start getting them all the time like her Mama.

Ok, thank you for letting me rant and rave.  I'm not really sure why I felt like I needed to tell you all of that.  I guess I just wanted to let everyone out there know that it's not all Sugar and Spice all the time around here.  I know a lot of times we look at others pictures and think "Wow, they've got it so great."  Don't get me wrong, I do love my life, but I have rough days too.  Just like everyone else.

All that said, I wouldn't trade my job for anything else in the World.

Anyways, back to the shoes!

They're to die for.  I said it before and I meant it, if they ever make the cheetah ones in adult sizes I'm all over it!

Adrienne and her family gave my girls foxpaws for their Birthdays!  I couldn't believe it.  I was so excited!  And so where they.

So now you know.

Harper and Grace Boutique + Foxpaws = Love

Seriously check out their stuff.  I'm sure you'll find something you'll want NEED. 


Ava has one of those personalities where she doesn't care what anyone thinks.  I love that about her.  She dances to the beat of her own drum.  

Take this outfit for example.  She dressed up in Brooke's old Bat Girl costume but she didn't put on the whole costume, just a few pieces.  Brooke waked by and said "Why didn't you put the whole costume on?  You look funny."  

Ava didn't miss a beat she just said "This is how I want it." and skipped off with a smile on her face.

I think you look good baby girl.  

I pray you always keep that positive self image and don't let anyone ever tell you any different.  

I think Ava was an animal in a past life.  Not that I believe in past lives but if I did, I would believe that Ava was some kind of an animal.  I am 99% sure she's going to grow up and work with animals in some way.  Ever since she was a baby she's always had a special way with animals.  

Her first word was our dog's name, "Chester."

Here she is being a "Mama Giraffe" to the "Baby Giraffe."

Speaking of personalities, someone is starting to develop a little attitude of his own.  Recently he's been exercising his right of free will.  Anytime he doesn't like something he crosses his arms and gives us that face.   He used to say "I'm mad."  But now he is trying out the strong silent protest.  He says it all with his eyes.

And  his finger.  Sometimes Brian will just stop what he's doing and just point at Parker.  He thinks its hilarious.  When he does it back to Daddy, Brian pretends like it hurts.  With every new point, he throws himself around like it was a punch to his body.  

Parker thinks this is hilarious.  

It's his new favorite game.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting To Work On The Summer Bucket List

Remember a few post back I told ya about how I was working on a Summer Bucket List?  

Well we sat down at dinner one night a few weeks ago and got our list made.  But it took me awhile to get it all put together.  

This is our family list.

And Brooke and Ava made a list of their own too.  

I plan on putting pictures of us doing the things on the list in all the blank spots on the board.  Can't wait to start checking things off!  

I'm weird like that.  I love a good list.  And I love crossing things off a good list even more.  

Am I alone in this?  Am I the only one with this neurotic kind of behavior?

Really I'm asking.  I need to know!

Since Summer is well underway I decided we better get to work on this whole Bucket List thing.  The first thing we decided to do was make our own chalk.  I had seen it on a blog awhile back but I was a little nervous that it wouldn't wash off the concrete because of the food coloring.  But my friend Kristine did it with her kids and she said it washed clean off when they were through.  

So I figured we could try it.  If it didn't wash off I would blame it on Kristine and that way Brian couldn't be mad at me right?  Haha Just kidding Kristine.  Love ya girl!  

Now here is the part when you SHOULD read the recipe.  Or you could do what I did.  I figure I could just eye ball it and it would all turn out alright.  Heck I was a Pre-School teacher for 4 years... I've got to have some kind of inborn sixth sense about this kinda stuff right?  


I kept having to add water, and then more corn starch, and then more water and more corn starch...

Finally we got the right consistency and we were ready to add the color and get to town.

Doesn't it look good?

And it was fun too.

The girls discovered that it was easier and funner to use your fingers.

Pretty soon it was all over everything and everyone. 

And I do mean ALL over.

Look at those cute little toesies.  

And look at that mess.  I'd say that's a sure sign of a productive, fun day. 

Saying Goodbye To A Dear Friend

Actual Date: Monday, June 20, 2011

A week ago today I said goodbye to one of my very oldest and dearest friends.  21 years ago my Dad brought home two little kittens.  Both black and white.  They were absolutely adorable.  We named them Spottie and Dottie.   

Later in life Dottie went on to move in with my Grandma Helen and lived a completely pampered life.

  Spottie on the other hand was content to live at my parent's, eating dog food (she preferred it over her own cat food).  That was until my Papa retired and started to show signs of Alzheimer's.  At that point I thought it would be good for Spottie to move in with him and keep him company.  Also we wanted to see if he was capable of taking care of himself and a cat.  She lived fat and happy with Papa for about a year.  And I do mean FAT and happy.  Spottie gained a few pounds while living there.  Every time Papa ate, he gave her some food too.  My Parents would buy him food, cook it up, vacuum pack it all in meals and put it in his freezer for him. We finally realized he wasn't able to take care of himself when he went through a months worth of meals in about two weeks.  Papa gave her the name "Princess Spot" and she lived up to that name in every way.

Shortly after we had to move Papa into a Nursing Home Brian and I moved to Texas and we decided to take Spottie with us.  Brian was not a huge fan of cats but he said "Well, she's 14 years old.  That's like a million in cat years.  She can't possibly live much longer.  Right?"  

I think she lived so long just to torture him.  

Spottie was not the most photogenic kitty ever.  In fact the very first picture I posted was the very last picture taken of her and it's the best one I have.  The past two weeks before her passing Spottie was just not herself.  Even though she was 21 she still was very social and active.  

Her favorite thing to do was chase hair ties around.  If she found one of those things she go crazy.  I can't tell you how many times I woke up in the middle of the night hearing something crash around into the walls and doors and when I would get up to see what it was, it was just Spottie throwing a hair tie up in the air and chasing it around.

Like I said though, for the past two weeks she really wasn't coming out of my closet at all.  In the last week she wasn't even coming out to eat or drink.  I was having to take her food to her and if I didn't help her find it she wouldn't even know it was there.  It was becoming clear that she was all of a sudden blind.  I could tell it was making her a nervous wreck because anytime someone would pat her or pet her she would be startled like she didn't even know anyone was there.  At one point Spottie was walking down the hall and Ava was behind her and she just reached down and patted her head and said "Hi Spottie Girl."  And poor little Spottie took off running like something was after her.  She was completely terrified.
I felt so bad for her because she used to LOVE the kids.  You would think after 21 years she would learn to stay away from kids and babies but she loved them.  In fact anytime the kids were sick she would be like a nervous Mother pacing in their rooms.  When I was very sick during my pregnancies and had to be on IV treatments at home she would curl up next to me and keep me company during my puking marathons.  She had such a caretaker spirit about her. 

Anywhere we were, she was there too.  Here's Ava showing Spottie the eggs she found on Easter morning this year.

This picture was from about 6 or 7 years ago.  Looking back on these old pictures really makes me realize just how much weight she had lost and how old she was really looking in the last year or so.  She was just bones, 6 pounds and she had really stopped grooming herself.  Her fur was getting oily and started getting knotted.  I had to start brushing her a lot lately.

That picture also reminds me of the new name that Brian gave "Princess Spot" while she was living with us at that time.  She had this awful habit of scratching her nails on our furniture.  Our brand new bed... our couch (I was fine with that, I hated that blue thing anyways!) and our 100 year old piano...  I swear I bought her any kind of scratching post there is and she would not use them.  Brian said "She needs a middle name so we can yell at her properly when she scratching stuff.  That way she'll know she's really in trouble."  So, that's how she got the nickname "Spottie Francis."  It didn't help with the scratching but we got a kick out of it.  

She really was a good cat, besides the whole scratching thing.  She never ever had peed outside the litter box.  She was litter box trained from the day we got her as a kitten.  Well, I guess I shouldn't say never... There was that time she peed on my Dad's head when he was sleeping...

Spottie jump up on their bed and walk up to the top of their pillows (My parent's seriously have like 15 pillows on their bed.  No joke.) and head over to my Dad's side of the bed.  She didn't really think anything of it because she often liked to sleep on top of the pillows.  But a few seconds later she saw my Dad shoot straight up and he was dripping wet.  It took them a minute to figure out what the heck was going on and why my Dad was soaking wet... Spottie had peed on him! 

Still as I sit here telling you this story all I can picture is Spottie thinking in her own little cat way "Nobody puts Princess Spot in a corner."  

So anyways, I had been really worried about her for a good two weeks.  It seemed like she was getting worse everyday.  I spoke with my sweet friend Gina at church, she's a vet.  I wanted to get an honest opinion and I knew she would give it to me.  She was so sweet and let me cry and tell her my story.  She asked if her pupils were dilated big and I told her I had noticed that they were at times.  In fact Ava had just told me the day before "Have you seen Spotties eyes?  They're beautiful!"   

Gina said that it sounded like her blood pressure had shot too high and blew her retinas out, causing her to go blind.

It was so helpful to talk to Gina because going into her appointment on Monday afternoon I was prepared for what the Dr. would say.  He ran some tests and he came up with the same conclusion.  She was completely bind.  He even tried to test her reflexes by pretending he was going to smack her in her face and she didn't even flinch.  In fact she almost walked off the exam table a few times because she had no idea where she was.  

After discussing her behaviors and habits the vet told me that he was not one for prolonging suffering, and that it really wasn't fair to let her live on in fear.  Plus, we will be leaving soon to go on vacation for a month.  How could I possibly leave her feeling so bad and being so scared and confused?  That wouldn't be fair.  A part of me wanted to take her back home to my parents with us this Summer so that we could have her put down there and she could be buried at my Mom's house since that's the place she loved the most.  But the Dr. said that the trip would be too much of a stress on her and it would probably kill her.  I didn't want her to suffer or be scared anymore so I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Within minutes I was signing papers giving permission to have her put to sleep.  For months I had been praying that she would just pass on in her sleep on her own and that it wouldn't be up to me to decide when it was time.  Gina comforted me and told me that they hardly ever go on their own, and if I did decide to let her go that it would be a decision made out of love.

And that's ultimately what gave me the strength to go ahead with it.  I couldn't let her go on living in such fear every day.  It had come to the point that she was not enjoying life anymore, she was just enduring it.   

 Saying goodbye to Spottie was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  Even as I am writing this tears fill my eyes. For the last 21 years she had been there with me through it all.  I was 5 when I got her.  I don't really remember life without her.  She was there during my whole childhood, as I moved on to adulthood, got married, had babies.  She was there for me and comforted me when no one else did or could.  

After she had passed on the vet put her in a box for me and let me bring her home to bury.  Brian dug the hole for me and bless his heart, just when he was almost done, he burst through a pipe.  Water shot up into the air and soaked everything.  He had to run and shut off our water and after two trips to the store, he successfully fixed the broken pipe and was able to finish digging.  

Finally he got Spottie laid to rest and I went out to check on him.  He was a little misty eyed and I asked him if he was ok and he said "Yeah,  I just wish I had been a little nicer to her."  

That's such a life lesson for all of us.  Love on the ones you love, never taking them for granted because you never know how long you'll have them for. 

I had a few weepy days after Monday.  Poor little Ava has been taking it hard.  When she saw me unplugging the litter box and throwing it away the next day she started screaming at me.  "Where's Spottie going to pee when she gets back from Heaven?!"  And then the other day she went grocery shopping with me.  When I opened the trunk to put the grocery in I realized I had left Spottie's crate in there.  Ava spotted it and yelled "Spottie's back from Heaven! Look Mommy, there's her cage!"  She was so excited.  It broke my heart.  I had to tell her that she wasn't in there.  And then she said "Well, when is she coming back from Heaven?"  I told her never, but one day she'll get to see her again when we're all together in Heaven.  Then she just burst out in tears and yelled "But I'm really missing her!"  Right there in the parking lot.  I just scooped her up and held her and we both cried.  

Each day it's getting a little easier.  The first couple days were the roughest.  I was so used to hearing her meow every time I went in my closet to get dressed.  That was Spottie's favorite place and her bed was in there.  The first couple times I walked into the closet and didn't hear her annoying little meow it broke me. 

But I feel so relieved knowing that she's not in pain or fear anymore.  And that she has a new body in heaven, one that's not in pain.  

I think Ava said it best when she told my Mom on Skype "God's taking care of Spottie until we get to Heaven.  She's all better now."  

Thanks for the 21 years of unconditional friendship dear friend.  I will never forget you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sneak Peek...

Here's a sneak peek at the bunk bed my Dad and his neighbor Fred are making for the girls.  Their very own Cinderella Carriage.

I suspect they are going to totally flip when they see this in real life.  I mean really wig out, big time.

I can't wait to see it all painted and finished.  I think I might keep it for myself.  I'd even let Brian have the top bunk.

That's fair right?  

I thought it was pretty thoughtful myself.

I am so excited that I talked myself into buying this sign last year.  It totally complements the bed.

"One shoe can change your life. -Cinderella"

Potty Training ABC's

Actual Date: Friday, June 17, 2011

I forgot to add some exciting news!  

Last week I took Parker to the Doctor because he wasn't feeling so hot and he kept stumbling everywhere.  Well turns out he had Strep and two really bad ear infections.  Poor little guy.  He was still his happy little self.  

She said that the fluid in his ears was the consistency of glue and it will be very hard for his body to drain it all on his own.  Poor thing can't catch a break.  We talked again about the possibility of him having to get tubes put in. At this point I think I'm ready for it.  He's just been battling ear infection after ear infection.  Brooke has done really well since she had her tubes put in so I have faith that it'll be worth it in the end.

Ok you are probably like "Um, didn't you say you had good news?  I haven't heard anything positive yet..."

Remember awhile back when I asked you to pray for Parker's head growth in my Size Does Matter post?  Well the other day when he was at the Doctor I asked her to measure his head to see if he had had any progress.  And I am elated to announce that his head has grown 1.2 inches in the past three months.  This is after absolutely no growth in 9 plus months.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your prayers! He's still very low on the percentile chart but some growth is better than no growth.  

Just wanted to give you all a little update on that situation.  

So for the past month or so Parker has been telling me "I potty!"  Usually it's after he's just gone in his diaper.  But hey, it's a start right?  He's not even two so I'll take what I can get.

Potty training the girls was a nightmare.  It was my idea, not theirs.  So I decided with Parker I would just let him do whatever he wanted when he was ready.

I think because he sees the girls run off to the bathroom a million times a day, he kinda picked up on it early.  So I bought him his own little Cars seat to put on the potty and he loves it.  He would sit there for an hour if I let him.  Seriously, when he gets up there's a toilet ring around his little bum. 

He hasn't actually gone but I'm sure when he accidentally does one of these times he's going to be really excited.  And so will everyone else in the house.  The girls love to read him books while he's up there but recently he's decided he wants to work on his singing voice.  He sings everything from his ABC's to The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  

I caught a minute of it on tape to share with everyone the other night. 

Here's some of the comments people left him on Facebook.

    • Krystal Kellison He knows the alphabet? He's SO smart!
      June 17 at 5:58pm · 

    • Sara Nicole Saenz That is just to darn cite he is so adorable :)
      June 17 at 6:27pm · 

    • Bethany McAfee Frisch that's precious! We will have to sing that in Babyridge on Sunday
      June 17 at 6:34pm · 

    • Jennifer Billingsley Potty training already? He's not even two yet! Someday I want ALL your tricks.
      June 17 at 7:26pm · 

    • Jennifer Rowan So stinkin cute!
      June 17 at 7:52pm · 

    • Kyla Billingsley Bethany- He would love to show off for ya! Jen- It's all his idea. The girls were a nightmare to train. He's the one who asks so I let him sit there for as long as he wants. He hasn't gone yet but he thinks he's a big boy.
      June 17 at 9:01pm · 

    • Ashley Harmonson That is so cute:)
      June 17 at 10:25pm · 

    • Shirley Long Bowman absolutely adorable!!!
      June 17 at 10:29pm · 

    • Jaime Lynn Davis The kids and i love him. so so cute. Brady was like, "momma lets watch it again."
      June 18 at 10:23am ·