Saturday, December 15, 2007

"I'm freakin' out, dude!" -said by mr. elijah winston pate this week.

Christmas Miracle

Our household has been blessed this year with our own Christmas Miracle - and no, I'm not pregnant again! Elijah has decided to join the world of diaper-free living! Truly amazing. And it has been so much fun to be with him everyday to share in his successes! It's so delightful to see your child expressing such pride of accomplishment for something in his life. I just never knew that pee and poop could be so much fun, but it really is! And to top it off, he told me yesterday that he thinks he's ready for boxers. How cute would he be in boxers?! Very cute! That on top of his comment to Gavin a couple of days ago that he wanted to wear jeans so that he "could be a real man like you, daddy." He's growing up so much these days and it's a blessing to see him want to be like his dad. However, it also touches a very soft part of my heart to hear him on the phone today tell me, "mommy, I just need you." It's an honor and an amazing thing to watch Elijah call on both Gavin and me in such different and unique ways, and I am so thankful that we are available to provide those needs to him. God is good to bless us with these things - wonderful children, dedicated spouses, cherished families, pee and poop!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Forget College, Start Saving for Orthodontics!

Elijah went to the dentist yesterday for the second time in his life. Our dentist office calls it a "Happy Visit." He really does a great job and actually enjoys going. He even thought the few little x-rays that he got were fun - mostly because he got to wear Spider Man sunglasses during them. They let him hold a mirror the whole time so he can see what they're doing, as well as hold the water sprayer and the suction straw. It's a real discovery and learning opportunity for him, so he becomes pretty fascinated and will comply with just about anything. So, needless to say, it was a very successful trip. However, we were also told that he is a prime candidate for orthodontics, and that it could start as early as 5 or 6 years old! What? I know, he won't even have lost his baby teeth yet! But, based on his x-rays they found two pretty obvious characteristics of future orthodontics patients - a very narrow palate (meaning he may not have enough room for all of his adult teeth) and the pronounced effects of sucking his finger 24-hours a day.
So, all of this information sent Gavin to the internet to look up average costs of all of these things, and it's not cheap! So this lead us into the discussion that plenty of people never get braces and make it through life just fine. I mean, it's not life and death, it's just teeth. And then I started to think of different people you come across in life that you look at and think, "I wonder why they don't just get their teeth fixed - it's so easy now."
It seems like we always figure out a way to pay for those necessary things, no matter how difficult it may seem to come up with the money. So, when the time comes, we'll make it work and take care of his beautiful toothy smile! And then hope that Ella's teeth are perfect!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Early Santa Visit

Apparently, we got very bored today sitting around the house with the cold rain, so we ventured out to the MALL! I know, the last place we should go on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but I felt like the two little kids in The Cat in the Hat - "we sat there we two on that cold, cold, wet day." We had to get out! So, we decided it would be a good time to get the Santa visit out of the way.
It's always an interesting experience with Elijah because he's never quite sure if he likes Santa or not. As I was getting him dressed, he reminded me of how much he was scared and cried during last year's visit. But I told him that was so long ago and that he wasn't that little anymore. He agreed, and became pretty enthusiastic about telling Santa that he wanted a skateboard and a dog. However, once we actually came up to Santa's Workshop, the mood changed. But between Gavin bribing him with ice cream and me telling him that I was taking Ella whether he came or not, he gave in. His only requirement would be that he would not sit on Santa's lap - he would only stand next to him. As you can see from the pictures, Santa did convince Elijah to sit on his lap after a short conversation, but it wasn't a real exciting or joyous occasion for either kid. Also, as seen in the pictures, this Santa was not too joyous himself. A little rough around the edges. And for anyone who has seen A Christmas Story enough times to remember the Santa scene, Elijah reminded me of Ralph's little brother who just weirdly sits on Santa's lap and doesn't say a word and Santa becomes annoyed and bored with the whole thing. It had me laughing pretty hard on the inside, but also very annoyed with this Santa guy!
(Make note of the picture where Elijah and Ella are looking at each other for a little reassurance. Classic picture!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Kiddo Update

I just thought I'd post a little update since I think it's been quite a while! Ella is 7 months old today! Hard to believe! She has a full four teeth - two bottom and two on top. She got her top ones in at 4 months! She is also doing a great job sitting up most of the time. Her main problem comes when she gets really excited, throws up her arms and seems to loose all control and falls over. Elijah gets a big laugh when that happens. Amazingly, she has also started pulling up and standing, although she can't crawl or move her legs when she is standing. But she loves to stand!
I have been trying to get her to eat solids for the past couple of months, but she just hasn't been too interested. This morning she ate more than she ever has - carrots and cereal - and seemed to really enjoy it for the first time. So maybe we're finally heading into the realm of "real food" with her!
I am thoroughly enjoying the interaction between Ella and Elijah. They are just absolutely in love with each other, and it is so fun to watch. They will just lay around on the floor together, lay their heads on each other, put their noses up to each other and laugh. It is so sweet. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!
On the Elijah front, we are still having much difficulty and struggles with potty training. He just doesn't want to do it. He'll do great for a day, and then decide he's done with it. I do have a plan of action, however, so I will update with all of that soon! He continues to amaze us with his vocabulary and personality. He always says the greatest stuff. A couple of days ago, he leaned over to me while we were eating lunch and said, "Mommy, tell me something about Eveyn." Wow, I was stunned for a few seconds, then told him a few things about Eveyn, and then reflected on how grateful I am that God has given me such a wonderful vessel for remembering our sweet little girl.

Our Pirate and His Parrot

The costumes were a lot of fun this year! Ella's costume was a lot cuter before putting it on, because I didn't account for the material having to stretch over her little body, and therefore many of the hot-glued feathers became misplaced and funky looking. She actually did a much better job than I expected keeping the feathers out of her mouth. The biggest problem were the grouping of feathers on her chest, directly under her little drooling mouth. About an hour into the night, those things were looking pretty disgusting and she started to look like a mix between a just-hatched chick that's still slimy and an older bird that was just molting. But she did get a lot of attention from passer's-by and she had a lot of fun at her first Halloween!
Elijah decided a long time ago that he was going to be a pirate for Halloween. I'm not sure where the idea even came from - he just announced it one day and never changed his mind. So his was a pretty easy one to put together. He had a lot of fun with it and even wore the big hoop earring and flasy gemstone rings! His Aunt Vanessa also taught him some good pirate quotes like, "Where's me booty?" and "Walk the plank!" along with ones he already knew like, "Aye, matey!" and a mean sounding, "Argh!" He was pretty cute. The same day that he decided he was going to be a pirate, he also decided that Ella would be his parrot. So the whole theme was his idea and we all had a lot of fun with it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Short Hair = Boy???

Usually, I politely ignore the innocent mistake of people referring to Ella as a boy. While it never seems to make sense to me how they come to this conclusion, it never bothers me. However, yesterday three people in one store, on one day seemed to think she was a boy. I don't see many little boys wearing entirely pink outfits with pink blankets, but whatever.

That's not really the part that is bothering me about this. It's the fact that everyone who mistakes her for a boy and then finds out otherwise (usually being corrected by her rather forward brother), always seem to make a comment about her hair being short and that's why she looks like a boy. What??

Is is just me, or do most six month olds have short hair? I've rarely seen a baby with long, flowing tendrils of hair - besides that, even if that is the case, most of the time those are little boys with mothers that just haven't had the heart to cut their hair yet. So, needless to say, I can't figure out this mentality of short hair = boy, long hair = girl.
I think some people just aren't very clued-in with that sort of thing - that babies just look like babies, which is why we dress them in all pink or all blue to give them some sort of distinguishing characteristic.

It reminds me of an old country man in Home Depot that came up to Elijah and me when he was just a few months old. Elijah was sitting in his all-blue carseat carrier, wearing a blue onesie and blue socks and not really resembling me at all and this man looks us over and says, "She looks just like her mama!" That still makes me laugh.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Elijah Quotes

"I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to Ella."

"Alright, alright! I get your point!" (I'm definitely not a fan of this one, and while I'm correcting the tone and attitude here, his dad is laughing. Most attitude-laced comments get a laugh from dad and a mental slap from mom)

"Let's rock n' roll!"

"Ella's making baby noises and keeps waking me up."

"Did you have a good day at work, Daddy."

"Hey, dad. What's up?"

Friday, September 14, 2007


I'm not sure what has taken place in Elijah's little head, but he has gone through a bit of a transformation over the past few months. I'm not sure if it's delayed stress/anxiety over Ella being here, or if he's just ready to be in a school environment with more structure, or if he's going through some weird developmental changes. What I do know is that he seems to have developed this alter-ego thing that comes out every once in a while. Half the time I'm talking to him it's as if he's gone deaf. The other half of the time he looks at me with this mad-man look, crosses his arms and outright defies me. Or he just cries and says that he's so sad. It's almost like he's going through weird emotional hormonal changes which I wasn't really expecting to have to deal with for at least 8 more years or so.
So, I'm curious. I've never really done this, but I'm looking for some feedback and opinions from blog-land out there. He's certainly not out of control or having serious issues with his behavior, and I definitely don't feel like we need a housecall from Nanny 911. I'm just curious about other mom's experiences. So let me know what you think.
It's probably just my first sign of him becoming more and more independent in thought and action. I know he's probably just doing that toddler testing game most of the time, but my job all of a sudden got a lot harder since he expects a logical (in his toddler mind) explanation for every single thing that I tell him to do or not do. And then he'll try to reason with me and explain things his way. I guess I should be thakful that he has such an active and intelligent mind, but to answer his own question to me, "mommy, am I wearing you out?" Yes.

Great Quotes from Elijah Winston

"Can you carry me? I think I broke my leg.

"But, mommy, you're not listening to me very well."

"Can you stop singing that? It's annoying me."

"I call you mom and I call your husband dad."

"I'm not Tony Romo, I'm just a boy named Elijah."

"I'm kind of sad that Jesus had to die and our baby Eveyn. But we'll see them both tomorrow."

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Well, I'm not real sure what we've gotten ourselves into, but I think we're about to get ourselves out of it.

Tonight was Elijah's first t-ball practice. This was something we were looking forward to and excited about, but during practice and the few hours following, our opinions changed. After putting the kids to bed, I came to Gavin and told him that I couldn't shake the feeling that I had made a mistake signing Elijah up for t-ball, and Gavin told me that he too was having issues with the whole idea. So, after discussing it tonight, I will be calling the city rec department to see about a refund. And just to clarify before explaining it further, there was no "incident" that occurred, and Elijah had a great time.

So, here's the deal. I would say three things really struck me tonight as I watched my son participate in his first organized sports team.

1. My son, who just turned 3 a couple of weeks ago and still hasn't figured out potty-training, is being "coached" on how to be a good baseball player - I mean really, he's still in diapers! It seems absured to be trying to figure out baseball fundamentals.
2. There were three kids having tantrums because they were already worn out and confused beyond belief 30 minutes into it and they didn't want to play anymore. But of course, they were not given any relief, only made to pointlessly push through their exhaustion. Again, seriously, we're talking about three year olds.
3. I didn't start playing basketball until I was ten years old, and I didn't even start learning actual fundamentals until eleven or twelve years old. But I still had plenty of time to develop those skills as much as I wanted to and have many enjoyable years of playing and learning.

I was just so struck tonight at the rush to competitiveness and skill (I was shocked to listen to a grandfather be so hard on his grandson and then apologize to the coach that this little boy didn't do as well as he should have - so very sad). There is no doubt that Elijah loves any and all sports, and he has a natural ability with most of it. I think he'll be playing some type of sport for most of his life - but is it really necessary to get him on that strict, competitive road now? Again - he's THREE! He is perfectly happy playing his own brand of baseball of having Gavin pitch to him, knocking the ball across the yard, running his bases and then tackling his dad. Instead of having a "coach" perfect his grip, trying to learn how to hit off of a t-ball stand (because he's used to being pitched to - isn't this a step backwards?), and then having ten grown men yelling at him in order to "guide" him around the bases. And then they don't even keep score! Talk about confusing!

So, the current consensus in our family - organized sports when Elijah decides for himself that he wants to and is ready to participate, not when his parent's (mom) decide for him that it would be fun and good for him. It's just another example of making him grow up too fast. I know that he has so many years in front of him to be involved in the craziness of team sports, and I don't want to someday look back on these few years of freedom, creativity, and imagination with regret that I didn't allow him to keep it and live through it with as much individuality as possible.

Friday, September 07, 2007


I just put Ella to bed a little bit ago, and I caught a whiff of dried slobber coming off of my shoulder. I turned my nose closer and pulled that part of my shirt up to take in a big sniff and told myself that I don't ever want to forget that smell. She just has the sweetest smell to her breath and drool! It's kind of like puppy breath, but better. I also realized that there are several other smells that I hope I never forget.
I love the smell of Elijah's head and hair. Even when it's dirty, it just has this distinctive "Elijah" smell that I could breathe in all day (although he let me know he was done with my cuddling the other day by telling me that superheros don't cuddle - who would've known!). Amazingly, I also hope I always remember how his faithful blanket smells. It has this dirty, musty smell that tells you that it has been everywhere Elijah has been over the last couple of years - even after it's been washed. I already have plans to adopt this much-loved blanket once (if) Elijah ever decides he's done with it. It's a pretty special blanket.
I can also remember the way Eveyn smelled. It may seem kind of strange for me to describe it, but it's what it is. She really had the very distinctive smell of a newborn baby that was never really given a bath. She never really got clean, so she had a somewhat strong, and a little bit sweet smell to her. I still love it and can still even smell it when I see her pictures and open the little box I have of her hospital items. A couple of weeks after she was born, I walked past a flowerbed that had been newly mulched/fertalized and strangely, it smelled just like Eveyn. Weird - but it makes me thankful that I might get to smell her again someday while walking past a flowerbed!
I don't know if other people are this way, but I depend very heavily on my sense of smell. It seems like almost everything I smell either reminds me of something, takes me back to another time in my life, or makes me hopeful of something to come. I think I could do without my sight or hearing, but if I couldn't bury my nose in Ella's neck, Elijah's head or Gavin's chest, I think I would lose a vital connection to them. It's an amazing thing to think about - what a cool thing God has given us to enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Here are a few pictures from Colorado. We had a really good time - it was so nice to get away from the Texas heat for a while! Both kids did a great job traveling and adjusting to being away from home - they are such great kids! A couple of Elijah's favorite activities were throwing rocks down mountains and chasing after Bachelor, the resident dog. We had a small birthday celebration for him on our last day, and one of his requests for his birthday was to ride the ski lift again (the last picture). That was probably one of my hightlights of the trip - just the two of us rode the lift up to the top of the mountain while enjoying the peace and beauty around us, and then went on a couple of mini-hikes once at the top. Then we rode back down and had some more peaceful, quiet conversation. I really cherish those times I have with him!
We are all happy to be home, back in our regular routines, but still recouperating from the travel -our first Monday back has been kind of a lazy day so far!

First Signs

Here is the first sign that football season is starting. Last night they watched a few minutes of a pre-season game before bed. This will soon be the regular posture of our family, with the occassional pounce and tackle by Elijah. I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bennett's Site

Please pray for this sweet little boy who is fighting for his life. Gavin and I went to ACU with his parents. Please check out his site to see pics and journal updates by his parents. Thank you!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Big Foot

When I was pregnant with Elijah, my grandma gave me a little piece of information that I took as folklore. However, what I thought to be a very odd and improbable side-effect of pregnancy, has repeatedly become a painful fact in my life: my already big feet have grown half a size with each pregnancy. And I don't mean they swell up and then return to their normal size; I mean they have permanantly grown and changed.
Before Elijah I wore a size 10, sometimes 9 1/2. After Elijah, that possible 9 1/2 flew out the window, never to return. And I have subsequently worked my way up to a size 11! (That's really difficult and embarrassing for me to share)
But now I have an even bigger problem-I want more kids.
So what does this mean for my feet? I guess it means they will keep growing and it will become even more difficult for me to find shoes. And I'll probably be sharing shoes with Gavin someday. So I suppose this will just be added to the long list of weird and annoying physical sacrifices made in order to bring those beautiful kids into my life.

Big Foot

When I was pregnant with Elijah, my grandma gave me a little piece of information that I took as folklore. However, what I thought to be a very odd and improbable side-effect of pregnancy, has repeatedly become a painful fact in my life: my already big feet have grown half a size with each pregnancy. And I don't mean they swell up and then return to their normal size; I mean they have permanantly grown and changed.
Before Elijah I wore a size 10, sometimes 9 1/2. After Elijah, that possible 9 1/2 flew out the window, never to return. And I have subsequently worked my way up to a size 11! (That's really difficult and embarrassing for me to share)
But now I have an even bigger problem-I want more kids.
So what does this mean for my feet? I guess it means they will keep growing and it will become even more difficult for me to find shoes. And I'll probably be sharing shoes with Gavin someday. So I suppose this will just be added to the long list of weird and annoying physical sacrifices made in order to bring those beautiful kids into my life.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Missing Child

I've realized over the past couple of weeks that I have really been longing for Eveyn. I'm not sure if it's because Ella has reached an age where her personality is really starting to show up which makes me wonder and think about what Eveyn would be like, or if I'm just going through one of those phases that will come and go for the rest of my life just as a natural part of grieving.
Either way, I find myself thinking about her more than usual which just intensifies the strange feeling that I've had ever since we left the hospital without her - that one of my kids is missing. On a pretty regular basis, I have the nagging feeling that I've forgotten a kid at the house, or at the store when I leave. Even after I look in the backseat and see Elijah and Ella, both car seats full, I double and triple check because I can't shake the feeling that one of them is missing. And I always come to the conclusion that it's Eveyn that's not there.
Sometimes that realization hits me pretty hard - I have a child that is not with me, I have no choice in the matter, and I can do nothing to change it. Amazing. As a mom, that natural instinct to be able to take care of your child is a very helpless feeling not to be able to fulfill. Even though I know that Eveyn is in perfect peace and I have absolutely nothing to worry about, that need to be a physical presence in her life still strikes me at times.
These thoughts always take my mind back to two moments that I'll never forget. The first of those times occurred in the hospital about 5 hours after Eveyn was born. After family visits, nurse and doctor visits, private time for just Gavin and me, and an insufficient bath for Eveyn, the nurse came back in the room and asked if we were ready. How do you ever say that you are "ready" to never see your child again? I knew when I gave her to the nurse, I would never see, feel, or smell her little body again. Somehow God gave me the strength to be able to hand Eveyn over.
The second moment occurred eight days later when Eveyn was buried. When the service was over, I could have stayed by her side the rest of the day and into the night. Even now, when I hear a particular song on Elijah's bedtime CD, I always picture myself sitting with her through the night in the cemetery. I think the only thing that allowed me to leave was the fact that I knew we had a chapel full of people waiting for us for the rest of the service. But again, I found myself asking how do I say that I'm ready to leave? How in the world do I walk away from my little baby being left all by herself out there? But again, God gave me the strength and the ability.
Because of this same feeling, I am torn every time I think about going to the cemetery to spend some time. While I know only her physical body is there, it's just the closest I can get to her. I think this feeling will fade over time, but sometimes I just have an overwhelming need as her mom to be physically close to her. But the struggle I have in doing that is the leaving. I hate leaving her again and again - so I just usually don't go and remind myself that going to the cemetery does nothing for Eveyn. It brings her no comfort or peace and nothing I do or don't do will have any effect on her. She is perfect.
What amazes me is that I'm coming to the realization that I'll probably be processing this over and over and over for years and years to come. It also amazes me that I know all of the logical steps of Eveyn's life-death-life, but the imperfect, emotional, physical part of me will struggle with this loss for the rest of my life.
So I have come to the conclusion that, at least for a while, I will always feel that I have a child that has been left behind somewhere. And at least for a while, I will think that I see a little dark-haired kid Eveyn's age running through the house only to realize nothing is there. But probably as long as I'm alive I will see pictures of my family as incomplete and I will long to see, feel and smell Eveyn again someday.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Let the Games Begin!

As of today, Elijah has officially entered the world of team sports. I was so excited to find that the city rec department starts teams for kids at three years of age, where most organizations start at five years. Yesterday was the first day of registration, and now Elijah is on a city t-ball team! I really can't express how excited I am about this! Not because I feel like I need to get him involved in everything possible as soon as possible, but because he has been really craving this for at least the last year. He is a kid that all day long switches his activity from baseball to basketball to football to golf to soccer to hocky to tennis back to baseball-and I'm not exaggerating in the least. He'll take an occassional break to read books or play with his cars and trucks, but it's always back to sports.
So, needless to say, Elijah is pretty excited to get to play on a team. And I feel like I've entered a new realm in the parenting world. There's something about all of this that takes away Elijah's toddler-ness and turns him into a little boy with a real social life outside of church and home. It makes him seem so much older all of a sudden - thankfully I can still count on the lack of potty-training to keep him in the toddler world a little while longer. Although, I'm pretty positive I would be okay with him growing up as much as he needs to in order to get out of diapers -there's something that just doesn't seem right about him running the bases in a diaper!

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Pics

In case you can't tell, Ella is underneath the basketball. One of Elijah's many attempts to play with his sister. She's getting tough!

I love the way he looks at her. He's a great big brother.

This is just Elijah being Elijah.
These couple of pictures were actually taken by a good friend of ours at our home when Ella was about four weeks old. Aren't they beautiful?!
Just wanted to post some recent pics of the family. Elijah is really becoming adjusted to Ella these days - instead of screaming at her when she crys, he will either check on her and try to help her or he has even become able ignore and tune her out! Great progress! He is very sweet with her and really has started smothering her with his affection - always telling her how much he loves her and how cute she is while rolling around/on top of her. He gets kind of crazy, but it's very sweet.
I also have to share what he told me yesterday out of the blue. He just turned and looked at me and said, "Mommy, you are my favorite, best mommy."

Ella is now 10 weeks old and really starting to talk more and smile a lot. She really responds a lot to Elijah's voice and face, which is really cute. She talks to both of us quite a bit through the day and is usually in a pretty good mood. She is always very happy and talkative first thing in the morning when she wakes up, which I love. The most difficult time we have is being in the carseat. She really tends to hate it after being in it for about 5 minutes. Elijah was like that too, though so it gives me hope that she will probably get used to it at some point.

So, in general, everyone is doing very well and we're enjoying our blessings together.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Little Tidbits of Life

I just wanted to share a few tidbits of our life over the past couple of weeks.

This is a picture of Rigaud. He is a pastor in Haiti that we hosted at our home for the weekend, and he and Elijah became instant great friends. It was so much fun to have him in our home and to learn from him and allow Elijah that experience and new friend!
Elijah saw a Blue Man Group bit on the Today show and he thought it was the coolest thing ever - because they were blue and playing the drums with paint splattering everywhere. So, later we decided to paint (I had long forgotten about the "blue guys") and Elijah decided he was going to become the newest member of the group. Seriously - that was his intention the whole time - to be a "blue guy." So, I had to take a picture of him.

I thought this was the cutest picture - Ella's little frog legs.

We found this strange disk in our back yard, apparently thrown over by a neighbor, and Elijah decided to wear it as a hat. I thought it was pretty funny because he looks like the paintings of baby Jesus with a halo over his head in all of those super-old paintings.

Elijah thought it would be a great idea to put his old, too-small boots on Ella, so he did. He thought it was pretty entertaining, and so did I. This was a game that lasted a good ten minutes!

And, finally, this is what I found when I came back in the living room after being gone for about two minutes. If you can't tell, Elijah had climbed into Ella's pack-n-play with her to hang out. He loves his baby sister.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Amazing Love

I love this picture and I just wanted to share it. I've discovered that an amazing thing happens with your kids. When they're born, you realize that you've never known how instant and unconditional love can be. But the truly amazing part is that with each day, as they get older, you realize that you have literally watched them grow and develop from day one as they become these little people, and you grow to love them even more and much deeper than you did the first day you met them. This love as a parent is truly a miraculous thing.

I didn't think it was possible to love Elijah more than I did the day he was born, but that love has grown immensely over the past three years. And then I was stunned and knocked off my feet with that same intensity in my sadness when Eveyn died. I never knew I could love so much with Elijah and I never knew I could hurt so much with Eveyn. And now, we have Ella.

The love and the capacity to love just grows and grows. I certainly don't love Ella any more than I love Elijah, but I think my ability to love has just gotten bigger with each kid. I feel like I can love better and freer now than when Elijah was first born. Does this make sense? Maybe my feelings also have a lot to do with going through the experience of losing a child and also going through the process of dealing with a long history of depression. I don't know - all I know is that I love my three children immeasurably more than I ever thought I could and the thought of having more makes me smile inside (but not yet). If the love seems to increase each time, I can't imagine not having any more. I'll let you know when the fourth comes along - but no big announcements here - like I said before, not yet!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's Inevitable

Well, I swore I wouldn't allow it to happen, but Ella now has a little blanket that says Princess Ella (which I think is really cute) and this picture (which I think is absolutely adorable). So, I've realized something - there is a big difference between calling your little girl a princess and raising her like one. So, I'm no longer scared of the "p word" and I think my little girl looks beautiful in her tiara!

Monday, June 04, 2007


Ella has officially been sleeping through the night for a week now! Yes, that's right - Elijah slept through the night at five weeks old and now Ella is sleeping through the night at seven weeks old. I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself for either having the skills to teach my kids how to sleep or for passing on the sleeping gene to them.
Anyone who knows me well knows that there are few things I like more than a very long night of sleep. I love, love, love to sleep. And now, I am ecstatic that I am getting to do it for 7-8 hours at a time each night! If it were not for my little early-riser, Elijah, I would probably be getting about 9 hours each night. But I suppose I shouldn't complain, should I? Not only am I getting a full night of sleep, but most of the time when Elijah wakes me up in the morning, it is with a sweet little voice that says, "mommy, can you please move over so I can lay down with you?" He will then lay in bed with me for the next 20-30 minutes trying to gently wake me up - because he also knows that I love to sleep. He has even learned a few tactics to try to tempt me out of bed once he gets bored: he gets my robe for me, brings me my cell phone and pulls the covers off of me. At some point when all of these tactics fail, his gentleness will subside and he will completely lose all patience with me, which pushes me to the point of guilt that makes me finally get out of bed.
I realize that by admitting these morning rituals I am making myself very vulnerable to criticism from others. However, I know that just because I am a mom that loves to sleep, that I cannot survive on less than seven hours of sleep, and that my two year old has to drag me out of bed in the morning, it does not mean that I am a bad mom. Besides that, this all takes place anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30 am. It's not like I'm laying in bed with the covers over my head at 10:00. So don't try to make me feel bad about teaching my son some responsibility by having him help me start my day!
So, Vanessa, there is hope for you too! Just teach your kids from the very beginning that "mommy sleeping" is a normal part of their life, and be thankful that your kids will probably inherit the same great sleeping habits as you!
Sweet dreams everyone!

Friday, April 20, 2007

First Shopping Trip

Ella and I had our first shopping outing together on Thursday. It was just the two of us, and we had a great time. We had the whole day together because Elijah was in Plano with Gavin's parents, so I decided it would be a great time to venture out on our own without any chaparones (don't misunderstand - I love the help and company, but my independence really needed to be practiced at this point!)
So, what better place to have a first shopping trip than Target. It has always been one of my favorite stores, and I have spent many, many entertaining hours with great friends there, and I felt like I needed to share that with Ella. Like usual, it was a very pleasant and relaxing time and I'm looking forward to many more trips like that in the future. (And just in case Elijah is reading this - I absolutely love going to Target with him too. We have had many wonderful and fun hours together there - you just can't beat a good hot pretzel and lemonade!)

Another great part of the outing was the first real use of my Hot Sling! It kind of makes me feel like a kangaroo, but it is so awesome to carry Ella so close to me and so comfortably, and have complete freedom with both my hands. Plus, this allows me to not have to carry in and deal with her carseat carrier. It is the greatest thing ever!

I Need to Move On

I realized something major last week during my nightly routine of sitting on the edge of Elijah's bed while he drifts off to sleep. It was an emotional time anyway because I was also sitting there holding little 5 day old Ella in my arms. But it just hit me like a bolt of lightning - my baby was no longer my baby. As I sat there staring at his adorable profile against his pillow and surrounded by about 25 stuffed animals, I realized that the new baby I was holding was a replacement baby. Of course, not in the sense that one child could ever replace another, but in the sense that Ella is now the "baby" and Elijah is now the "big brother." This realization made me very sad and made me feel like I had to say goodbye to a certain part of Elijah that I was not ready to say goodbye to. So, I was at this point an emotional mess sitting in his dark room, trying not to wake him up with the sound of sniffing and wiping snot.
And then, I was led to a second realization - that I had prevented him from moving on and joining in the normal activities of his peers - namely preschool and potty training. So the emotional blubbering just intensified as I laid this massive guilt trip on myself. At some point I finally pulled myself together enough so that I wouldn't look quite so pathetic when I re-amerged. I decided that I would have to call upon Gavin to keep me accountable in order to allow myself and Elijah to move on to bigger and better things like big boy underwear and being in the care of strangers for a day or two a week.
I've never thought of myself as over-protective, but I'm starting to realize that the first day of kindergarten might really be hell for me. Maybe my main concern should be that he's out of diapers by then.

Just some cute pics of Gavin and Elijah

Some Scenes from the Hospital 4/5 - 4/6