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

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Need One of Those!!

Last week, the kids and I were hanging out at the mall to window shop and play on the playground. We parked outside of JCPenny's where the hair salon is just because I was bored with my normal parking area which is closer to the playground. We needed some new scenery!

By the time we were ready to go, I got to the glass doors and saw that it was pouring rain! At about the same time, Gavin called to tell me that there was a tornado warning and not to leave the mall until the storm had passed over a little more. So, there we were just hanging out in the entryway, watching the storm in front of the JCPenny salon.
We had only been there a couple of minutes when an elderly couple came out of the salon and expressed their surprise and disappointment at the rain in a way that only a cute elderly Texas couple could do. Once they figured out what to do, the husband was sent to go get the car while the wife sat down close by us and preceded to put on her plastic rain bonnet and wait for her car to arrive.

While we waited for the storm to die down, and she waited for her husband, the woman struck up a conversation with Ella. Elijah very surprisingly didn't say much and didn't really try to join in on the conversation, or introduce his little sister like he normally does. But I noticed that he was studying the woman and her rain bonnet. After a couple of minutes, he asked me what she was wearing and why she was wearing it. I told him it was a rain bonnet and it was for protecting her hair from the rain so that it wouldn't get messed up. He became curiously quiet again, while continuing to study the woman and her bonnet. Finally he got a look of, "By george, I've got it!" I smiled at him and asked him what he was thinking about and very determined and excited, he stated, "Mommy, I think I need one of those for my hair!"

The woman laughed at him and thought he was pretty cute, but I was thinking, "oh man, I hope he forgets about this encounter!" Elijah is very good at pretending like he has forgotten about these strange little interests, but really he stores them in the back of his mind and comes up with a plan as to how he can obtain whatever it is that he wants. And then one day three months down the road, we'll be walking through the hair product aisle in Target and he'll spot it. It will be on the very top shelf, in a little taped up box, with tiny lettering that says, "rain bonnet" and he'll see it. He has special sensors for these things (not sensors for rain bonnets, but for strange items that he thinks he needs). So, in a few months if you see a picture of Elijah in an old woman's plastic rain bonnet, you'll know why.

Can It Really Be True??!!

This has nothing to do with my adorable kids or my wonderful husband, but my brain has morphed back into a screaming 12 year old since I have heard the news! NKOTB are back! I know, I know, I'm such a dork, but I think this is an exciting and fun thing! I saw them on the Today Show this morning, and it was just like I was back in sixth grade again. It was so much fun to see them all together again and I am marking my calendar for May 16 - when they will be performing live on Today. And yes, I will also be purchasing their new album to jam to in the car with my kids! Fun times!