Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dylan is THREE! {Decor & Details}

Dylan turned three years old a few weeks ago! 
We had a crazy fun time celebrating our sweet boy. His wonderful teacher, Carman, from the Parent's as Teacher program runs a party petting zoo called JC's Traveling Barnyard. She and her husband have a miniature farm, and they bring all the animals and adorable crafts for the kids to do. We cowboy'd up the place and made some wonderful memories with our little guy.

Homemade cupcakes (made by Dylan) and fresh fruit
Fresh fruit in my vintage Pyrex
"Dayzeeeeez and flowers for spiders"
Recipe books for the kids featuring "Hit the Trail" mix - all the kids made bags of trail mix

I rummaged through our house and found fun farm themed toys and books. Ryan's childhood cowboy boots fit in perfectly! I cut bandanas in quarters and tied them together for an easy cute bunting.

Bandanas tied around a farm themed board book and a box of chalk were favors for the littles.
The Traveling Barnyard included a darling photo spot with hats and sunflowers.
A few of our furry and feathered friends!
The little sheriff coming out to see the mini farm!
Vicky Lynn the goat feasting on my brand new Redbud!! AAAh!

Dylan in his sweet birthday shirt awaiting all of his friends!

Decorations: Hobby Lobby
Pyrex & Favors basket : Goodwill
JC's Traveling Barnyard:
Bandana Bunting Idea:
Custom Birthday Shirt:

Cupcake Tower:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

School is a No Go.

We enrolled Dylan in school this fall. Mommy's Day out to be specific, but the church called it Day School. We researched different churches, and after hearing several great things from friends and acquaintances about First Baptist BA, we decided it was the one.

We excitedly got him prepared in the weeks preceding. Ryan, Dylan, and I visited the school and met the teachers at the Open House. We were thrilled with the facilities, and very happy with the two teachers assigned for Dylan's room. The halls were decorated with awesome animal murals, and each room was dedicated to a creature. D was in the elephant room! We let him choose his own backpack, and how perfect - he chose the elephant.

His first day of school was an anxious rush, and I was nervous of how he would react. My Mom (Nana) joined us, and Ryan took the morning off to see him off on his first day. We all walked him to his class, pack, lunch, and nap mat in tow. I took him in and helped him to the potty. While we were in there, all we heard was a class full of crying kids. He asked me about them, his eyes starting to well up with his own tears. As we said our goodbyes, the bawling began. I swallowed a lump and kissed him goodbye. We listened to him crying "mama, dada" all the way out of the building.

The weeks following were no easier. Every day on the ride to school, he would plead "no, no." When I picked him up, it was the same each time. He was sitting in the teacher's lap, looking so sullen and miserable. He would see me and burst into tears as he ran to my arms. He would drag me to his stuff, then pull me down the hallway to leave. He hated it! The teacher said he was very kind to the other kids, and was great at following directions. She mentioned that he was glued to her side every moment, and did indeed seem sad.

I expected him to be slow to warm up. We've spent nearly every day of his life together! But it seemed to be more than that. Family that he was normally eager to see noticed that he was anxious and scared to leave Ryan and I. His personality was changing and he was sad every day of the week. Sunday's made my stomach churn, knowing I would have to see him so sad the next morning.

We talked about the pros and cons of school. Was it necessary? Would he be missing out by waiting another year? Ultimately, we knew it wasn't worth him being miserable. That is much of the beauty of being a stay at home Mom: school was merely a choice. I've gotten "the look" and a few remarks about us taking him out too soon, and we didn't let him adjust. But we know our decision was the right one.

Dylan's OPAT (Mommy & Me) school teacher hugged me with tears in her eyes and told me she was so proud of me for following my intuition. She said "you will never ever go wrong by choosing to listen to your child's needs versus the pressures of society." I knew that in my heart, and it was so reassuring to hear it.

His anxiety is slowly subsiding, and my happy kid is starting to come back around. We might try school again next year when he understands a little more. But for now we will fill our autumn days with new adventures at the library, Mommy & Me classes, our homeschool curriculum, family outings and the park, and that is just fine by us!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Poked & Prodded

I am sitting in the Regional Medical Lab waiting room this morning. I will be here for three hours, and I am not allowed to leave the room. Other than a long movie, this is the longest I have sat quiet and still in years!

Before I made the switch to my lovely midwife, my previous Doctor's office ran the usual battery of blood and pee tests that are taken at the beginning of pregnancy. I got a call letting me know my urine tests came back with a high number of sugar. They recommended I take the three hour glucose test, but I opted to wait.

My kind Father-in-Law is a diabetic, and he gave Ryan and I a finger prick monitor and test strips. Reluctantly I started testing every few days. My numbers were perfect! Still, my midwife wanted me to go to the lab to be sure. She didn't think the three hour test was necessary just yet. Ryan, Dylan and I headed to the lab and I drank the (so far from) yummy lemon lime 50 gram glucose drink. We ran errands for an hour then my blood was drawn an hour later. Days later I got the phone call letting me know I failed. Harrumph!

The nurse told me a three hour test was in order after all. She said I would fast the same, I would just have to stay longer. Wrong! Sherry came to watch Dylan one afternoon, and I headed to the lab with my yarn and crochet needles in hand, starving after a three hour fast. The lab surprisingly let me know that a 10 hour fast as well as a morning test was necessary. So here I am again. I had a delicious bowl of strawberries before bed as my last pre-fast meal. Dylan gave me a huge hug and kiss goodbye, happy that Daddy was home to play for the morning - what a treat!

I had my fasting blood drawn, then downed the 10 oz, 100 gram orange nastiness. One hour has passed, and I've had my first hour blood drawn. Two more to go! I am shaky and lightheaded, but holding it down. My fingers are so very crossed that I do not have Gestational Diabetes. But I will stay positive if I am! My cousin had GD during her pregnancy, and she said it was such a blessing in disguise. It's a swift kick in the pants, urging you to eat healthier and exercise more. Aside from the constant finger pricks, that doesn't sound half bad.
Looking forward to finding out my results!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

A New {little} Life

We are so elated to welcome our new sweet baby into our family. It is still so surreal that once again, I am growing a human life, creating another little person to fill our seemingly full hearts with even more love. Ryan and I have grown so much as parents, husband and wife, and people in general.

So many years ago, he and I shared a conversation that was one of the most meaningful in our lives. We were in Dallas with friends, and we were celebrating a fun evening at a quaint little pub. Ryan and I took a break outside and sat on the empty patio, enjoying the cool evening. He looked at me and smiled and told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and wanted to have a big family with me. We talked for so long about what an amazing life we had ahead of us, sharing our hearts and love with our children. We laughed and cried, excited about our future.

When I found out I was pregnant with Dylan, we talked about that night, and how it was coming true. Again, two years later, we remember that excitement we felt and are yet again in awe of the beautiful changes in our lives. We thank God every day for blessing us.

The journey of little baby bumblebee started over a year ago. In August 2011 I suffered an ectopic pregnancy. While my body recovered and our hearts healed, we thanked God for the blessing of our amazing little boy. He is our everything, and we love him to the moon and back. In a tearful conversation together, Ryan and I agreed that if another child was not in our future, we would still feel abundantly blessed and our hearts would be full.

Although there were many odds against us, I had healed well, and we knew we were ready for another child in our lives. With giddy excitement we decided to start trying in February. Valentine's Day, our birthdays, Easter, Dylan's wonderful second birthday - as holidays passed, the negative tests stacked up. There were so many times where I just KNEW I was pregnant...only I wasn't. While I know nothing of the powerful ache that years of unsuccessful pregnancies can bring, I was beginning to feel the slight pang of worry and disappointment. Dylan kept our days full and busy, and we continued making wonderful memories together. Ryan kept me smiling and positive, and assured me that it would happen in time. Meanwhile, we single handedly kept First Response in business.

In June we decided to go on our first summer vacation together as a family. We would spend a week in the New Mexico mountains at Ryan's parent's cabin. Then we would leave Dylan with them and spend a week in California visiting my friends, Cara & Sarah.
After a surprisingly smooth 12 hour drive to the beautiful mountainside, we unloaded for our week in nature. Dylan was elated to be free and to play with Grandma and Baba. He jumped into the soft dirt, dump trucks and shovels in hand, and pretty much stayed there for the next two weeks.

The second morning came early as Dylan woke us before sunrise, yelling "Mama! Dada!!" and crawled into our bed for snuggles. After the whole house woke and ate a delicious breakfast, everyone migrated outside to play. As I sat on the porch swing enjoying the cool breeze, it happened. IT HAPPENED! That moment where I realized that everything had changed - that my body was quietly letting me in on the big secret. I felt the marvelous butterfly flutters in my tummy that I recognized so dreamily from the day I found out I was pregnant with Dylan. I quietly excused myself and darted inside to grab my last pregnancy test. I took the test and closed my eyes. When I opened, it told me exactly what I had hoped that it would. I was pregnant! I shakily stared at the double lines, taking it all in. I slid the test into my pocket and went back out to my family.

It was such a beautiful morning, and I wanted to get re-acquainted with the land. Mostly I was desperate to whisk Ryan and Dylan away to share the wonderful news. I snuggled D into the Ergo on my back and the three of us hiked down to the mountain stream. Bob and Sherry's neighbor "The Dentist" owns a darling covered bridge over the stream. While Ryan looked out an open window on the right, I placed the positive pregnancy test in the window on the left. I said "Oh wow honey! Look at that!" and he came to my side to see what it was. He looked out at the water, then down to the window sill; swooping up the test with a shocked look on his face. "You are pregnant?? Are you serious?! Toni!" I gave him a goofy grin with happy tears in my eyes and nodded. He wrapped his arms around Dylan and I and we all embraced. It was a perfect moment in a very beautiful place.

The two greatest loves of my life there by my side to celebrate the third.

I will never forget that day, the emotions and happiness - the beginning of the next chapter of our lives, our dreams coming true.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our Memorable Summer

Hello again! While I never actually said goodbye, I took a summer break from blogging. I ever so willingly let the summer fun get the best of me. This isn't the first time I have come back from a hiatus completely lost as to where I should start again. As each wonderful and fun day passes and we add another memorable trip or event to our summer, I yearn to hop on here and write stories of our adventures. While there is no way I could ever catch up to an entire summer full of stories, I do want to recall a few memories so we can look back and remember all the wonderful times spent in Summer 2012.

Today I will share our summer's most exciting news...

We are so excited to share the news of our new family member, due March 2nd 2013!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fort Gibson

April 7th marked the one year anniversary of my Dad's passing. I promised myself that I would make sure each year to spend this day honoring the wonderful Dad that he was, rather than mourn the sadness I feel from not having him in my life. After he died, I decided to spread his ashes in a beautiful spot that I knew he would have loved. My family joined and made a it a peaceful and loving day. 

On the one year anniversary of his passing, Dylan, Ryan, and I went back to Fort Gibson to spend the beautiful day lakeside in the sunshine. It was such a fun & memorable day! I love looking forward to going out and celebrating my Dad each year.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get Crafty {Playdough}

We recently discovered the most wonderful playdough recipe! It feels just like the store bought kind, and we had all the ingredients on hand. It is smooth and stretchy, and perfect for keeping little hands busy. It is a great go to gift for toddler friends too!

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • food coloring
  • wax paper
Lay out a piece of wax paper to the side, so you have a spot to put your playdough when it is done cooking.
Mix everything but the food coloring, and stir until smooth.

Stir over medium heat. 
Add as much or as little food coloring as you would like. 
We chose green, and put about 10-12 drops.

Continue stirring for a few minutes until you can see the bottom of the pan. 
Fold the dough into itself with a silicone spatula until a ball forms.
Flatten onto wax paper until cool.
Keep in an airtight container for longer use.

Monday, April 2, 2012

{Spring Adventures} Redbud Valley Revisited

Redbud Valley has been on our minds lately. As the purple trees bloom in our neighborhood, the Nature Preserve has been beckoning for us to come visit. We were a week behind to see the trees bloom in their full splendor, but it was beautiful all the same.

Dylan has changed so much since the first time we brought him here. The independent, brave little boy was determined to climb every step himself! We took the harder trail on a whim, and he did great. There was so much to stop and see!

We found a neat cave, and he crawled in my lap to take a picture. Those cheesy smiles that make Ryan and I giggle always show when a camera comes out. This was the last time I ever saw those sunglasses...I knew I would leave them there the moment I took them off!
D told me to leave the cave so he could sit on the boulder by himself. He clapped for himself - so proud to do it alone!

Even through the thick tree cover we spotted the source of his most favorite noise: airplanes! He made sure we all were looking as they flew overhead.

About 30 minutes into our hike, Dylan stopped walking and started pointing at his legs. Up to my shoulders he went. His yawn proved that we had successfully worn him out! He loved swatting every leaf that he could reach. The once wobbly baby on my shoulders has just recently learned to hold my hands and squeeze his little legs. Such a small achievement, but it is those tiny things that remind me how fast he his growing up.

We made our way back down the rocky terrain together. We all had such a fun time!

It was a perfect Friday spent out in nature.