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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Five Zero

My beautiful Mother turned 50 on Monday! Ryan, Dylan, & I gathered our family together for a sweet surprise party. We shared cake, blew bubbles, folded Origami, popped firecrackers, played with the babies, and celebrated all things Theresa. It was an exciting afternoon, and so great to get the family together on such a pretty Spring day. Love you Mom!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dirty Thirty & a Roadtrip to the Mountains

Ryan, Dylan and I have had such a fun and crazy month! It seems like every week has been jam packed with road-trips and new events. We celebrated our birthdays at the beginning of the month; Ryan's on the 4th and mine on the 7th. A year ago in March 2011, Ryan sent me an email outlining a day trip he wanted to take. At the time, he had just gotten a new camera and wanted to go somewhere scenic to get a few good shots. It sounded like so much fun! Time passed, and continued passing...before we knew it the idea had been put aside and forgotten about.

Fast forward to February. I was brainstorming a fun plan for Ryan's 30th birthday, and a day-date sounded right up his alley. I asked him what his ideal birthday would consist of, and he answered "to spend it with you & Dylan!" So sweet. Well, I half listened to his request. I pulled up his old email and got to planning his big birthday outing! I confided my plans to Ryan's parents, and they agreed to pick Dylan up bright and early Saturday morning. I used my free time during Dylan's naps to create an itinerary book. I was so excited! It was hard not to spill the beans!

Saturday morning rolled around, and Dylan woke us up with his usual "DaDa!?" Ryan brought him to our bed like we do every morning, only this time he came back to a book on his pillow. I snuggled with Dylan has Ryan read through the pages of maps, pictures, menu and directions. He was so excited that I remembered, and that we were actually going to go. "When are we going to do this?" he asked me. I told him his parents would be at our house in an hour! It was time to go before we knew it. We kissed critter goodbye for the day and he waved eagerly, excited to go play.

We hit the road and headed for the hills...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To my Husband

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am crazy about you. You are the very best part of my day! Dylan squeals with joy, Chloe runs circles, and my heart leaps with happiness to have our family together. You are my strength and my rock. Nothing can scare me with you by my side to talk me through my worries and fears, and I feel so safe even in times of adversity. Even on my crankiest, frowniest (new word) of days, I am soothed by the simplest touch of your hand in mine. You are the father of my dreams; the kind that every mother prays for in her child's life. I love to step back and watch you with Dylan - no matter if you are carefully learning to discipline him through his tough times, teaching him new and wonderful skills, or my favorite, being insanely silly with him. It is so amazing how helpful and involved you are, and I couldn't thank you enough. The look in Dylan's eyes when he is with you reminds me how heroic you are to him, and there is no one better for the job. Thank you for the hardest of jobs that you do for me. I appreciate so much that you wake up each day with a smile on your face and go to work each day. Thank you for the little things that you so graciously do. Painting, fixing, cleaning, pulling Dylan's wagon on our evening walks, throwing Chloe's toy 12 billion times, sharing the cooking with me (let's face it, you are so much better than I am!), letting me take quiet showers, warming up my freezing feet, getting the mail every day, managing our bills. I notice it all, and I appreciate you so much. I cherish our time as a family of three, and I also love our weekly dates so much. It is so much fun sneaking a moment with you and feeling seventeen again.

Thank you for being such an amazing Daddy, a wonderful husband, and for being insanely smart, crazy sweet, and wildly hilarious YOU.

                                                                                                                                      Love, Mrs. Smith

Thank you Kristen @ We are THAT Family for reminding me to take a moment to tell my Husband how much I love him.

You must take a moment and check out her blog, and the post 100 Ways to Make your Marriage Rock. I am so excited to follow her blog and continue to work on my marriage and faith!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tasty Treat {Chocolate Pretzel Buttons}

We tried a new sweet recipe last week. My intentions were to pass them out at school for Valentine's Day treats, but I kept running into guests and couldn't let them leave without a plate full. Between sharing and Hubs and I sneaking treats, they were gone in a flash. They will definitely be a staple treat to add to my favorite sweets to make.

Recipe rundown:
Taste: Sweet & Salty
Texture: Crunchy & Creamy
Ease: Easy!
Appearance: Fun & Colorful
Expense: $10
Pros: Very easy to make, customizable for holidays with the colors of M&M's, and delicious.
Cons: If you bake them too long the chocolate oozes off the pretzel. Don't overcook!
Would I make this again? Yes, they are a fun party snack & and easy gift.

Square pretzels
Hershey's Hugs
M&Ms (We used peanut butter. Try whichever kind you like best!)

Preheat oven to 200°.  (If your oven runs hot you may want to turn the temp down to 170°.)
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. 
Place the pretzels on and top them with the hugs.

Be on the lookout for little chocolate thieves :)

Bake for 3-5 minutes until the chocolate is shiny and soft.
Do not overcook or the chocolate will run off the pretzels.
Lightly press an M&M in the center of each hug and press it down to spread the chocolate.

Allow to cool completely (a few minutes in the fridge works perfectly)

Try to eat just one. I dare you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

{Little Sprout} 20 Months

You are 20 months young!

You weigh 31 pounds and fit into 18-24 and some 2t clothes.
You wear a size 7.5 shoe.

You love to run and dance, but spinning is your favorite silly move. We are teaching you how to jump! After we change your diaper on your changing table we let you jump off into our arms - right now it is just a free fall, but you love it.

You started gasping two weeks ago. It is hilarious! Any little noise that surprises you, or action that shocks you warrants a big *GASP!*

You are still obsessed with airplanes - we have to stop and listen or run outside to see it whenever they fly over us. You think every loud vehicle is an airplane & start signing "airplane! airplane!" when we hear rumbling.

You have a special place in your heart for animals just like I do. You get so giddy when you see animals outside, and you just love to look at pictures of them in books as often as you can.

Milk & Orange juice are your drinks of choice.