Monday, December 01, 2008

More pictures of Emerson

Pop, Uncle Steven, Elijah showing Emerson the bear he made for her at Build A Bear

Ella and Elijah taking a good look at Emerson for the first time with Gavin

Elijah and Ella watching Emerson get checked out and have a bath in the nursery

Nana and Emerson

Pretty blue eyes

Friday, November 28, 2008

Emerson Rae

Here are pics of baby Emerson!

She was not happy to come out of her warm, dark home! She started screaming before she was even all the way out! She has adjusted well now and has become very fond of cuddling - see the picture of her zipped up in Gavin's jacket.
Will post more pictures when we are home. Should be going home Saturday morning.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day to Be Thankful

We are so happy to announce that Emerson Rae Pate has arrived!! She was born yesterday, November 26 at 8:18am. She's 8.5 pounds and 19 inches with a lot of cute, chubby rolls on her legs and arms. Of course, we think she is pretty dang cute! I wish I had a picture to share right now, but we're obviously still in the hospital and I forgot to bring my usb cable to hook up my camera to the computer. We should be going home on Saturday and I can post some pictures then.
I am recovering well after a couple of small complications during my c-section. I am thankful that that part is over and we have our new little girl!
Thank you to everyone that has been praying for the health and safety of both Emerson and me - we are very thankful!
I can't think of a better way to spend Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


This is the Hulk and a ballerina, in case you can't tell. I never got a very good picture of either kid, or one of them together. But it's fitting since Halloween was pretty lame this year anyway. We tried to find a good church carnival or something to go to, but it didn't really work out. We did more driving than trick or treating, but lesson learned, I guess.

Wonderful Reminder

Not that I need any reminding since Eveyn is on my mind and my heart every day, but Elijah continues to be such a blessing in this realm of our life. He brings up Eveyn in the funniest ways sometimes and at other times in ways that are so gentle and sweet.

Last night I was folding laundry, some of which included baby blankets in preparation for Emerson's arrival. One of the blankets had some gross looking stains on it, so I asked Elijah to go throw it in the trash for me. He reluctantly did so, and then came back to me crying. I asked him what he was upset about and he told me that blanket was his favorite one and he didn't want it in the trash. I was thinking this was silly because it's been stored away forever and he was just overreacting because he doesn't like to get rid of anything. But then he got even more upset and told me that this particular blanket reminded him of Eveyn and it made him sad to put it in the trash. Well, obviously at this point the discussion was over and the blanket was immediately taken out of the trash and re-washed. How can I argue with that?

Even so, I was still doubting the legitimacy of his story a little since he hadn't seen the blanket in years. However, later that night at bedtime, he insisted on not only sleeping with the blanket, but placing it under his head and cuddling with it. So I guess for some reason, something about that blanket reminds him of his sister Eveyn that he still remembers and still misses quite a bit.

I am continually thankful for moments like these.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Elijah's Rain Issues

These pictures have nothing to do with his rain issues, but I don't post without pictures! So these are just various activities of Elijah.

Anyway, we got some great rain today! It's been so overcast for the last two days and today it rained. I thought it would be a great thing, but the afternoon was filled with problems for Elijah.
This morning I was cleaning out all of their clothes that don't fit, one of which was a Mavericks warm-up suit that is a size 3T. Elijah pretty much wears a 5 now, so I was definitely putting that in the discard pile. But of course when Elijah saw it, he wasn't going to let that happen and had to put it on right then. So I let him thinking he would see how short the pants were and have a meltdown and then agree that they didn't work anymore. Of course Elijah's comment was, "they're a bit short, but they work great!" Yeah, whatever. I don't really care to argue at this point after he's gone through all this work to put his basketball shorts on, his Dirk jersey, the entire warm-up suite, his socks and his shoes, and he's even got the jacket zipped all the way up to his neck just like Dirk does, and then with a big smile he stands back and says, "How great do I look, mom?!"

So later we're outside where it has been sprinkling off and on for the last several hours and I'm thinking he's going to play basketball with the warm-up suite on since he has all day and since it's pretty wet outside. But in fact, he now announces to me that he needs help taking it off so that he can play. The real players don't play in their warm-ups. Of course, they don't. But the real players actually have warm-ups that are baggy enough to fit over their shoes, and don't pull down their shorts and underwear when they're trying to take them off. And yes, I am complaining about this to Elijah as I'm trying to pry the ankle of the pants over his shoes, while bending over and coming close to fainting because the weight of Emerson being upside down is somehow cutting off my airway. And Elijah says, "oh mom, it's easy." Alright bucko, you sit down and take them off yourself. Yeah, not as easy as he thought. And then to top it off, about five minutes into playing without his warm-ups on, he starts complaining about getting wet. The warm-up suite is NOT going back on.

Once that fiasco is over and he's done playing, it was time to hop in the car and run around to the drugstore to get a couple of things. And amazingly, it started pouring down rain right as I was starting to put Ella in the car. So I quickly got her buckled in while Elijah was scrambling to just get in the car. I was about to run around to my door as I told Elijah to buckle himself in, when he yelled in a panic, "I can't do it!!!" So, I instead ran over to his door to begin buckling him in, all the while getting completely soaked while I listen to him tell me, "it's okay mom, I'm safe and dry in the car!" Thank you for caring, sweetie. Now here's where he really doesn't care one ounce about his mom's level of dryness - As I pull the car out of the driveway, he asks me where his blanket is. I say it's inside the house. "Mommy, you HAVE to go get it. I NEED it!" Sorry, babe, you've gotta take one for the team on this one. He did alright and his sweet little sister shared a corner of her blanket with him for about two minutes. Then she giggled and took it away.

The rain really started coming down hard while we were driving. It was one of those where you can barely see and the streets flood in about two minutes. I was actually enjoying it quite a bit. But, I really didn't want to get out at the store with both kids, and all get soaked just to get some candy for Elijah and Gavin to take to a soccer game later. So, I called Gavin and told him he might need to pick it up on his way home from work because of this rain, however Elijah was not happy about this because he wanted to pick out his own candy in the store. I kept reassuring him, but he wasn't convinced. And all of a sudden from the back seat I hear a little voice pleading with Heaven, "Please God will you make the rain stop now?!" It was so desperate and so funny. But sure enough as we pulled into the drugstore parking lot, the rain stopped and we were able to go inside.

I'm not real sure what that kid just learned about the power of prayers, but I'm just wishing it was still raining!

Monday, October 13, 2008

43 Days and Counting

I don't know if you can make it out, but this is a picture of Emerson's feet. One foot is more clearly defined than the other. Anyway I love baby and kid feet pictures, so I love this sonogram.

She cannot get here fast enough. I'm not sure what I'm going to do from here on out, because like I told Gavin, I love having the kids, but I really hate being pregnant. I am so tired of it at this point since having four kids in five years. I still want more, just without the pregnancies, and more importantly, NOT NOW! We've always talked about adoption, so I'm sure we'll do that at some point, but that's another topic all-together and I'm sure I'll be pregnant again at some point - but like I said, I need some TIME for my tired self! (I'm sure many of you are thinking, "well, doesn't she know what causes all these babies and how she can stop them?" Well, yes we do and we have apparently had quite a bit of Divine intervention in this particular area). I actually really enjoy the challenges of parenting and being at home all day with the kids, but it's when you throw that pregnancy aspect into it that I get really beaten down at times. And I really don't like to complain, and I feel like I do a mostly good job of having a good attitude and being thankful that I get to be pregnant again. After all, I know plenty of other women that never get the joy of experiencing another life within them, and I also know what it's like to lose a child of my own. All this to say that I am extremely thankful for another little baby, but you better believe I'm counting down these days until she is out of my belly and into my arms!

I am also doubly excited about Emerson's arrival because she will be here the day before Thanksgiving! I'm having a c-section on November 26 bright and early in the morning. Actually, it will probably still be dark. Anyway, I'm excited about this because she is getting here just in time for us to fully enjoy her through all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas days. I have always enjoyed this time of year up until Eveyn died. We've had two years of holidays without her, and it has never been close to the same. I haven't been as interested in the "normal" holiday stuff nearly as much just because it doesn't seem as important, even with having Elijah and Ella here with us. Don't get me wrong, we still enjoy the holidays together and have fun, there's just always that missing piece that you never forget. And this past Christmas was difficult because my grandma was very sick and in the hospital. It was the first Christmas in my life that I wasn't with Grandma to celebrate. She then passed away later in February. So this Thanksgiving and Christmas will have that additional missing piece. All this to say that I think Emerson is coming at just the right time. There is one saying about grief that I know to be untrue, and I think whoever said it must not have ever really experienced grief. But it says that "time heals all wounds." I don't think that time heals any wounds, but it does make them more bearable. And that's how I think of Emerson's arrival and timing. Even with the amount of joy she will bring, her coming into our lives doesn't heal any wounds, or make any sadness go away, but it does allow us to remember that no matter how deep our wound, life does still happen every day all around us and we are called to continue to take part in that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Have to Get Back on Track!

Man, I'm not doing so well at keeping up to date on this blog! A lot has been going on, so I'll do my best to do the updates without rambling too much.

In Elijah's world, his main concerns are watching each and every episode of the original Speed Racer cartoons which Gavin has been renting from Netflix, planning his 4th birthday party which he really wants to have at the skating rink, having sword fights with anyone and everyone, being the best super-hero he can be, going commando under his shorts, peeing outside (the other night at some friends' house, I looked out the back window to see Elijah standing in the middle of their yard completely naked while explaining his actions to the other boys), and becoming very open and honest in his curiosity and discussions of the human body.
This last interest has given me a lot of good laughs and some more serious discussions with him. An example of a good laugh: Elijah was shooting a foam dart gun, and ended up shooting Ella right in the front part of her diaper. He laughed and exclaimed, "I shot Ella in her penis!" After telling him that Ella actually didn't have a penis because she's a girl, he laughed again and said, "oh yeah, I forgot. I meant to say that I shot her in her anus!" Nice. I just don't like that word, not that it's a bad word, it just always sounds weird. I guess that's still my 7th grade immaturity in me! But it sounds extra weird coming from my 3 year old! Still funny, though.
We've also had some more serious discussions about pointing out obvious differences in other people. He seems to have an obsession with noticing peoples belly's and using the word fat. He doesn't even mean it in a cruel way, he just uses it in a very matter-of-fact way, just like pointing out someone who's really tall. But, the word fat isn't very well accepted by anyone, so we've had many talks about the right and wrong way to use that word - which is really confusing to him.

On to the world of Ella. She will be 16 months on Aug. 5, and she's getting ever closer to finally walking someday, I think! At least I hope so. Elijah didn't walk until he was 16 months old, so I'm not really concerned. She does signs with us really well, and she's very verbal, but she doesn't have too many discernible words yet. Her doctor said to give her until 18 months to see some improvement, so I'm hoping that will happen as well. But again, Elijah didn't really say much until around 18 months, so it doesn't worry me at this point.
Although she's not actually walking, Ella does have an awesome little knee-walk that she does most of the time now. Just like it sounds - she sits upright and walks on her knees. It's pretty cute, but she also kind of looks disabled, like she's an amputee or the bottom half of her legs just don't work.

And in new baby news, I'll be 21 weeks this week and we just found out on Monday that we are having another girl! Her name is Emerson Rae. The first name is obviously an "E" name that we just thought was unique and pretty, and the middle name is my grandmother's middle name. So, we are mostly excited about this! I only say mostly because Elijah is dealing with a little bit of disappointment about the baby being a girl! When I told him we weren't having a boy, he put his head down and started crying. Poor guy! I really felt bad for him! But I think he's getting over it by now. Another story will be Miss Ella and her reaction to Emerson when she gets here. I think we will have issues in our home!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Brain Freeze

In case you're wondering, I'm still a blogger, but recently I've only been reading blogs instead of writing. The last time I had a writing drought like this it was because I was processing so much with losing Eveyn and the whole grief process (which I've found really never ends, it just changes). However, this drought is going to be blamed on pregnancy. My brain just isn't functioning these days. Gavin calls it pregnancy brain, my dentist (whose wife is also pregnant) calls it Pregnesia. While in his office last week, filling out an updated medical form, I couldn't remember if it was 2007 or 2008. I sat there just blank for a couple of minutes and then just decided to write 2007 because somehow in my messed up head I thought it might be less embarrassing to write down a year we've already been through rather than a year that hasn't even happened yet. Good logic.
So you can understand that when I sit down to type a new entry, my mind is either blank or filled with a storm of crazy thoughts. Also, once again, I don't have a camera!!! Elijah didn't break it this time, it broke by itself and was returned to Costco. I know I've said this before, but I really have a hard time posting anything without pictures, but hopefully I'll have some soon. I really just want an awesome digital SLR that I know is good quality. But that takes money, so if anyone is throwing out a good SLR, throw it my way, please!
My brain and my body are shutting down for the day, so it's time to go to bed!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Am I Going To Do???

So, with the new baby on the way I will have three kids that will be in carseats, and people have been approaching me with the inevitable question, "so, are you guys going to get a minivan?" Aaaaggggghhhhh!! (Did I spell that outburst correctly?) Anyway, I'm not sure what my deal is, but I have always, always sworn that I would not be a mom with a minivan. So, you say, "Just get a big SUV." I would personally much prefer this idea, but the cost difference between a big gas-guzzling SUV and a more efficient minivan is pretty significant on our very modest budget, not to mention the actual cost of the car itself.

So, something is going to have to give. Unfortunately, I think the thing that will have to change is my pride. Pride in what? I don't really even know. There is just something about a minivan that says, "Blah. I'm a stay at home mom. Blah, Blah. I'm just like the rest of the pack of moms that drive around town with our kids running errands in our minivans. Blah Blah Blah." But this is not at all how I feel about my life. I love my life with my kids and my husband. But for some reason, a minivan says the opposite in my mind.

I know I sound totally crazy, so forgive me. Isn't it true that our cars say something about us? We may not like it, but it's true. We buy cars for certain reasons, one of which is that we like the way they look and what that says about us, whether we realize it or not. I'm starting to get too analytical for this blog, but I do believe this psychology is true most of the time, and I don't like what minivans say to me!

Please forgive me if you own a minivan and you like it. Go for it! I just don't want to. And I'm really not a car snob. Drive your van with pride! Just don't slide open that double-sided door and make me go with you!

I guess I've got a few months to figure something out - maybe through therapy.

In honor of this post, here is a picture of the van I grew up riding in. I realize minivans have come a long way since the 80's, so don't try to convince me that they are cool now. Gavin and my mom are already covering this area just fine.

Happy Driving!

Elijah's Thoughts On the Election

"I want Barack Obama to win, because you know what he says? His job is to fix Washington. And I just like him. He's a nice guy. He does a lot of stuff, but I don't really know what it all is.
I don't really like Hillary. She lost before, and then she cried. Kind of like Ella, like a baby."

How about that synopsis! I'd say he's a pretty smart kid! I'm not sure where he learned all of his information. I'm guessing a mix of hearing commercials, the news and over-hearing some of mine and Gavin's conversations. But seriously, we don't really talk about it very much at all, so I guess he's been researching it online! Like I said, he's a smart kid!

(FYI, I do not claim to agree or disagree with Elijah's political views. I just report the information I'm given)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Here Comes E4!

This is what I've nicknamed the latest addition to our family that is due November 30th. In case some of you haven't caught on, all of our kids have "E" names. Still not sure how this is going to work out with the prospect of future adoptions, but I guess we'll worry about that when the time comes!

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, we found out a couple of weeks ago that I'm pregnant with the fourth. We are very excited, and once again, very surprised. We knew we wanted more kids, but we didn't really have such a short time-frame in mind - but this sort of thing has never happened on our timing, so I'm not so sure why we are very surprised.

And, since this is the fourth, we already have a couple of names picked out since there are very few decent E names to begin with. Unless you consider Ebenezer and Eloise decent names. And I refuse to have another "El" name right now either, so that narrows my choices even more (fyi, we now have Elizabeth, Elijah and Ella being called out on an hourly basis, which causes me to constantly get tongue-tied). So although we already have a couple of good ideas, feel free to put your two cents in!

My only regret with this pregnancy is that I wasted the past year and didn't get the weight off that I had gained with Eveyn and Ella. I had just started a new workout regimen and was set to get busy losing this weight, and then I woke up a few days later and knew I was pregnant. Three home tests and one doctor test later, and it was official. But I am hopeful as far as not putting on any new unnecessary pounds and being very dedicated to working out throughout this pregnancy. I even had my first appointment with a personal trainer today at the gym and he totally kicked my butt. I hurt! But in a good way, and I feel completely confident in his knowledge and ability to keep me and the baby safe. So I'm excited about that. He even said that he's trained several pregnant women, and one woman worked out with him on a Tuesday and that Thursday gave birth!

Anyway, that's the latest. We are very excited and thankful that God has blessed us so greatly in the baby department!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ella Grace!!

It's hard to believe, but Ella turned a year old on Saturday! It's so cliche, but so true, that the past year went by so quickly. It surprises me sometimes how much she seems like a little person, with such a distinct personality, and not just a baby. Every day her individuality comes out more and more - sometimes good and sometimes not so good! But I love how different she is from Elijah and how she has changed the dynamics of our family and home.

One of my favorite things to watch is how she can now play much more how Elijah likes to play - rough. Ella has gotten pretty tough over the last year of living with Elijah, and now they are able to "wrestle" with minimal screams or rescue intervention from me. And when they're not wrestling, they like to kiss and hug and just look at each other and laugh. It's great!

Speaking of screams, that is something that Ella has absolutely perfected. She usually does this while sitting at the table waiting to eat, but she also has been known to scream just for a reaction, or to show off for company. She knows how to do sign language to get what she wants, but she is so stubborn and impatient that she really prefers to let out a horror movie-worthy, ear-piercing scream. So, we are in the process of breaking that habit!

The most exciting thing in Ella's big-girl life (at least in my opinion) is that I've gotten her totally off of baby food! She has finally gotten over any gagging issues with texture, and is eating real food at every meal!! Yesterday after church we went to Macaroni Grill and she had bread, spaghetti and even some meatballs! She takes two hours to finish a meal, but she's doing it!

Her birthday was on Saturday, but Gavin and I were in a bit of a predicament. Most of Ella's grandparents were out of town (my dad and both of Gavin's parents)! We wanted to celebrate her birthday, obviously, but we knew that her other grandparents were disappointed to miss any party that we had. So, we decided not to have an actual party with cake and presents (yet) but instead we took the kids to the Dallas World Aquarium and then out to eat Mexican food. So for her birthday, Ella got to eat guacamole for the first time, rice and beans for the first time and then top it all off with some fried ice cream! She really enjoyed it a lot! And the aquarium was great! Both of the kids really loved it. Ella went through for the full two hours completely captivated by everything, showing her amazement by constant pointing and, "ooooo"'s. We also invited the family members that were in town to join us (my mom, brother, and Gavin's sister) so that added to the fun.

Here are a bunch of pictures from Ella's birthday, but they are all out of order. I wasn't interested in taking the extra time to change them around, and Elijah wasn't interested in waiting for me to take any more time working on this! The first two are a couple of my favorites of Elijah and Ella when she was a couple of months old. He had made a habit of climbing into the bassinet with her to talk and show her different toys. He has been such a great brother to little Ella!

Having one of their first little chats

Sweet kiss

One year later!

Eating guacamole with Aunt Vanessa

Having some fried ice cream!

Crazy Elijah after a long day

With Nana and Uncle Steven at the aquarium

Checking out the baby stingrays

Giving a good "oooo" at some birds

Sitting pretty with the flamingos!

Getting some coloring instruction from Elijah