Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Posted by Mandy at 9:12 PM 4 comments Links to this post
First off, huge thanks to LeeAnn and Taylor for having all of us (minus Clayton, who was working of course) over for a few hours of fun tonight! It was much better than the original plans I had made of sitting home with the kids alone all night. lol No New Year's Eve kiss for me this year I guess... ah well.. a belated one will have to do.

So is anyone else always a bit sad when a new year starts? I hate to admit it, but in general I have a really hard time letting go of things. All kinds of things. Papers that Madison or Carter have drawn, old clothes (just the kids'.. not mine), even things that you wouldn't think you'd be attatched to, like my now old cell phone. I miss it... I have a hard time moving forward. Before the ball dropped Dick Clark said something along the lines of "these are the last few seconds of 2006..." and I got a bit sad. 2006 wasn't the best year of my life, but it was a good year. Madison even said to me, "When it's 2007 I'll turn 6 years old!" Ugh... thanks for that reminder! I just got over the shock of her turning 5. lol Instead of focusing on what all I feel like I'm leaving behind in '06.. I'm trying to focus on my goals and what I'm looking forward about '07. Obviously, our long awaited baby will arrive in June.. and to be totally honest I CAN'T WAIT! :) Clayton and I are on our way to working our way, slowly but surely, out of debt. Madison will play in her second year of Tball, in which Clayton plans to coach, this summer... and we're all really excited about that. Carter will turn 3 and I plan to start a more structured preschool routine with him sometime following that. So, there are those things plus so many more that will come that are so very worth being excited about! Even in the short term.. like this Wednesday I go for my 4 month prenatal checkup.. and I'm super excited! Then, in February, we should get to find out if our baby is a boy or a girl. (can't wait to buy the first blue or pink item!) And, I'm feeling the baby move some now.. and I know it'll just get better and better as the days go by. And, hopefully in 2007 Clayton and I will be able to agree on a name for this new one.. so far no luck! Just for those that are curious.. the names I like are as follows:
Girl: Sophia, Olivia, Ava, Mia, Victoria
Boy: Samuel (favorite), William, and I'm liking the names Dean (my dad's middle name) and Charles as middle names for SOME first name..

clayton has said he likes Samuel... but hasn't said he's sold on it. The only girl names he's thrown out are Megan (no) and Morgan (cute.. maybe). So... we're basically at square 1. Oh the name game... it's all part of it! I wonder if my parents gave much thought to my name. I know my first name is from the song "Mandy" and my middle name is after my Mom's used to be best friend. (Beth) Cool tidbit: If I'd have been a boy.. my name would've been Clayton. :)

Yes, I realize I've rambled on about nearly nothing.. forgive me. I'm home alone and my kids are asleep! I haven't had this much internet time in.... weeks! I'm off to lay on the couch and poke at my belly in hopes that the little bean will poke back so I can go wash my face and brush my teeth in pure joy. As long as the monsterous spider I saw run behind the desk earlier doesn't show back up.. my night will be good! (Suzanne... I feel a battle cry coming on...)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Visit with the Parkers!

Posted by Mandy at 2:48 PM 2 comments Links to this post
I meant to post this last week, after their visit last Thursday, but my poor little man got sick that night with a horrible fever, and STILL HAS IT a week later. Found out he has a bad cold which has caused his very first ear infection. We've NOT had a good week. Fever in the 103-104.5 degree range all week, and no sleep for any of us b/c of his pain and night sweating. He's been on antibiotics for 3 days now, and today he's showing some signs of improvement. It's kind of hit and miss. Anyway...


Isn't this a GREAT picture of Suzanne? She is so darn cute. I couldn't get over her belly and I even got to feel the baby rolling and kicking! It was so amazing. I can't wait to feel that in my belly! (I am feeling small flutters here and there now, so that's been really exciting!)


Here are all of the kids riding the two seater jeep. lol They rode that thing all over the place! Gracie laughed SO HARD when she first got on it, I don't know if I've ever seen her that excited before! It was so good to see them all together at our house again. That's the first time they've all been here together since the Parker's moved!


I just loved this one of Carter and Grace. I wish I had a comparison picture of them at this time last year... it would've looked nothing like this! (Carter would've been Grace's age, and she would've been an infant) They had so much fun together!

It was so good to see all of them. It made my day! It's been too long since we sat at the kitchen table chatting and eating chocolate chip cookies, Suzanne!! I knew I missed it, but didn't realize how much I really missed it until you were here. Hey, at least we have cingular now so we can talk without running up your minutes! Yay!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kids 'make you' say the darndest things...

Posted by Mandy at 8:46 PM 7 comments Links to this post

I so vividly remember the days, before I was a mother, even after I was a mother, but before I was the mother of a toddler, when I thought to myself oh so often, "I'll never say, or do, THAT." Don't we all have those memories? I never thought I'd repeat the phrases I hated so much from my own parents. I catch myself saying those same phrases now. Just Sunday at church, I said to Madison, "Stop rocking that chair back or it's going to fall over." How many times did I roll my eyes as my own mother said that to me? Or how about, "Carter, stop running with that stick!" Or, my new favorite, "Go out or come in but close that door!" Even the one I hated probably the most of them all... "because I said so.." UGH... how aggrivating is that one? I also find myself becoming "that" mother more and more though. The picture I put on here, I picked because it makes me laugh and think "My gosh I love them!" I never could understand how someone could be excited over a baby rolling over, eating solids, or standing alone much less why it was thrilling for a child to say "mamma" (they all learn to talk eventually...) or to say "I love you." These are, in general, everyday events. Even childbirth in itself is no big deal if you think about the headcount.. it happens every single day, just like anything else. Or so you might think before it happens to you. People always talk about the gift of children.. but you really can't understand that until you're granted that gift. Why DOES it make us so excited when our newborn first smiles at us? Did we think he or she wouldn't? Did we think our kid would end up the smileless wonder? I'll never forget my squeel of delight and giggle and "get the camera!" responce to both Madison's and Carter's first smiles. It just melts you doesn't it? Everything they do can melt you if you really ponder it. It gets harder as they get older sometimes to really stop and think about how wonderful they are... but they ARE wonderful. Sweet, silly, innocent... and the fact that they think we, their parents, are the most fantastic thing on the planet makes it even more powerful. Madison's new phrase is, "Mommy, guess how much I love you." "How much, Madison?" "One hundred and ten!" (she's 5.. that's almost an unimaginable number to her! lol) My favorite part of that phrase is..."Daddy, guess how much I love you?" "How much?" "One hundred and nine!" That's mommy's girl!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Forgot to tell ya

Posted by Mandy at 8:25 PM 3 comments Links to this post
I had my second dr's appt on the 6th and all is well! We had to get another ultrasound because the nurse couldn't find the baby's heartbeat on the doppler. (which had me in tears!) It was AMAZING how much bigger the baby was on the screen. She didn't give us much of a look though. :( She just zoomed in on the heart and it was pounding away at 156bpm! I did see the baby wiggling all around, and you could see long arms and legs, knees and elbows, all moving and waving. I wish we could've gotten a longer look. So I'm 11 weeks, 4 days today. Closing in on the second trimester. (already?) Now it seems like this pregnancy is flying by! I know I'm hormonal and emotional but lately I've had a really hard time looking at Madison and Carter and seeing how big they're getting. Just tonight I looked at the living room, once they were asleep, and right in the middle of the floor there was a toy vacuum, a wooden board with games on it, and a plastic dinosaur all sitting next to each other as if they were purposely arranged there. I started thinking about how, sooner than I'd like, those things will be a thing in our past. Toys will be replaced by all kinds of big kid things. :( I just love my kids being the ages they are... it's so hard to let go of what we have right in this moment, even though I've learned from experience that they just get more fun as they grow. I guess knowing that I'm pregnant for the last time, and I'm getting ready to go through the baby phase for the last time, is getting to me. I'm pretty sure our family is totally complete with 3 kids... it's just hard to think that we'll never go through this again. Do you ever get over wanting a young baby or child around? Do you just have to continuously push those feelings down no matter how old your children get? Maybe once this one gets here my feelings will change and the "completeness" will set in and I'll be just totally content with life and how it's going to change in the future. Right now, as I said, I think I'm just a bit emotional!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Approaching holidays

Posted by Mandy at 1:52 PM 1 comments Links to this post
How the holiday season changes for us as we grow older! When I was a child, Thanksgiving and Christmas were the less stressful times of the year. They were full of family, friends, and fun. My job was to arrive with my parents, not get into trouble, play all day and all night long, and eat and open gifts. Nothing could have been better! Now, the holidays bring forth some of those same feelings, mixed with a feeling of stress! Christmas especially. Clayton and I both come from divorced homes, so that makes 4 sets of just our parents houses to make sure we visit, or visit those parents at SOMEONE'S home. Add grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends... and wow! You could really make yourself crazy if you chose to visit everyone. My main form of stress right now is the gift buying. I'm not sure when it became tradition to buy everyone a present... but I sure feel the pressure to. I really wish we could just buy for our children and be done with it to be honest! Well, of course my nephews and neice too... I could never not buy them something. :) I find myself asking our huge families to please not buy us gifts, b/c we then feel the pressure to buy for everyone, and we just can't! Not to mention, with just the kids new toys we always have to overhaul the house to make everything fit! lol So, this year, I really want to stive to have a fairly stress free Christmas. To see it like I did as a child. Just show up, eat, "watch" as the kids open gifts, and enjoy the time with friends and family, rather than worrying about who bought what and who offered to help clean up first and did the most afterwards. (yes, things can get competative with those types of jobs) Hopefully the weather will be good to us so we can all travel to visit, since I know a lot of you will be doing even more driving than we will be. Here's to enjoying Christmas like it's meant to be enjoyed this year!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Baby's first portrait

Posted by Mandy at 2:30 PM 5 comments Links to this post

Here is our baby! We had our first doctor's visit today and it went great! I was a nervous wreck.. thankfully they got us in quickly and the very first thing we did was get an ultrasound. I realize this picture is hard to make out, but the actual ultrasound was AMAZING! The baby was wiggling a little and even moved it's arms around! I cried during the whole thing. I couldn't stop! Even once it was over if I'd look at our pictures that we got I'd start tearing up again. I feel like the most blessed person on earth. I'm 9 weeks and 1 day, and the baby measured exactly 9 weeks and 1 day.. it really doesn't get any better than that! My official due date is now June 28.. though with a scheduled csection baby will be born about a week before that. To help those of you unfamiliar with ultrasound pictures, the baby is laying on its back, looking up at us when the picture was snapped so you're seeeing the baby's face and belly, face up. The head is on the left, right below the head you can sort of see the two small spots that are actually the arms.. then the body, and the legs are the other two small spots. :) Madison was so excited when we showed her the pictures... she is thrilled about this baby. Clayton was trying to get me to talk about baby names on the drive home.. but I was too excited about our appt to even concentrate on that. lol It seems too early to talk names, which is strange because I was thinking up names for madison and carter basically from the day we found out we were pg! I guess that the ones I really like I know Clayton doesn't really want... so I'm actually going to have to go searching for names this time! I'm too tired for that right now. lol I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!! Eat lots of turkey for me, just in case I'm not able to. :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas!

Posted by Mandy at 11:00 AM 3 comments Links to this post
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? we don't "do" Santa.. but we wrap or bag most gifts.. except the one that we know the kids will like best.. I love seeing them run into the living room and set eyes on that gift they've been wanting first thing!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Never have.. but maybe I will this year!

5. When do you put your decorations up? we've been saying we were going to put them up for a week! At this rate who knows! lol Typically the day after Thanksgiving

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? broccoli/rice casserole

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Sneaking around the house with my brother finding the presents that were hidden waiting to be wrapped.. what fun!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was 5 or 6... I asked my stepmom if he was real and she said no.. I was crushed b/c I really believed. I kept asking her if God was real or a story too... I was PO'd that I had been lied to about it and never intended to tell my kids that Santa was real.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? we open them all December since we have so many sets of family to visit.. but here at the house we open on Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? White lights, gold, silver, and white ornaments, and some of our family decorations. Angel at the top
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it.. but we never get any lol
12. Can you ice skate? Yep... love it!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A Baby Alive I wanted for a really long time when I was little!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? seeing family and spoiling the kids
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? 4 layer delight (sort of like chocolate pie.. only better)

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? it would have to be decorating the tree

17. What tops your tree? angel

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? What Child is This
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum!

I tag K.T. and Brandy to do this!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Snickerdoodles and Merry Berry

Posted by Mandy at 7:50 AM 4 comments Links to this post
We had another "Settlers" party last night and it was a great time. Lots of good food, which I was actually able to eat and hold down, and just a ton of laughs and fun. Taylor walked away "Lord of Catan" (did you know that's what it says? Not "King") and I'm sure in a few days Clayton will be dying to play again.. he can't stand to be beaten at anything, don't let him tell you otherwise.

I think we're going to put our Christmas stuff up tonight. Clayton and the kids are begging to do it, even though traditionally we always do it the day AFTER Thanksgiving, I figure what they hey, let's do it early! I just hope I can keep my boy child out of the tree and other pretties that will be all around the house. We usually hang candy canes all over the tree, but I'm not sure that will be such a grand idea right now. Maybe later on.. like the last week the tree will be up! I can't believe it's almost 2007! Where does time go?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Making it!

Posted by Mandy at 7:29 AM 10 comments Links to this post
Sorry for not posting lately. Clayton left Thursday to go to Iowa on a hunting trip and he's just now going to get home today. (Tuesday) Handling the kids totally alone, on top of throwing up constantly has taken its toll on me. I'm just sick and tired and tired of being sick and tired. lol I think when he gets home and takes up his normal 'jobs' I'll feel a ton better. Hats off to single mothers.. though I feel like a single mom a lot of the time... when Clayton's actually totally gone like this I realize how much he really does do around here!

So, an update on me. I'm 8 weeks along TODAY and though I'm pretty sick it's still nothing that I feel I can complain about. I guess once you've been in the depths of morning sickness hell before, the 'normal' morning sickness just isn't a big deal to you. I'm anxiously awaiting my Dr's appt next week. It can't get here fast enough. I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about it.. I'm a nervous wreck. I just pray I get a great ultrasound that shows a perfect healthy baby. I also hope it makes this baby real to me. I still am just feeling numb to all of this. I figured by this point it'd have sunk in but it hasn't. When anyone asks me about being pregnant I almost forget that I am! I'm just ready to start showing and feel the baby move and all of that stuff. It'll be a while before any of that happens though!

Well, I officially became "that" mother. I sent an email to Madison's teacher about the little (okay.. he's huge) boy that sits across the table from her in class. He's a big bully and I'd had enough of it. He was tearing up Madison's things, physically hurting her, and calling her a "crybaby" if she'd get upset about it. So I asked the teacher (in a very nicely written way by the way) if she would please move one of them to a different table because madison was terrified of this child and was crying every morning not wanting to go to school because of him. The very next day the teacher moved him! Now a sweet little girl sits across from Madison. :) Thumbs up for a quick action taken on the teacher's part! I don't know why I hesitated to write the letter... I guess i didn't want to step on the teacher's toes by making suggestions about how she runs her classroom, but enough is enough. Momma Bear eventually has to come out and not worry about anything other than her child!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pickles anyone?

Posted by Mandy at 11:18 AM 6 comments Links to this post

This is a 3-D ultrasound image of a baby at 7 weeks.. that's how far along I am now and I find it incredibly cool to imagine that's what my baby looks like. Isn't it amazing how quickly babies grow?! I heard on Discovery Health that if a fetus grew as quickly the entire 9 months as it grows in the first 9 weeks, it would be as large as THE SUN at birth! Talk about a growth spurt! I'm feeling pretty well for the most part. I do have all day sickness.. but nothing horrible to be honest. I haven't thrown up in two days, even though I tried b/c I felt awful and hoped it would make me feel better! It's just a bit funny to me that I couldn't STOP throwing up with Carter, and I can't even make myself this time! Another funny thing, to me, is that I actually have found that eating a dill pickle helps me feel better. Okay.. does that not sound like something that would send you over if you were already feeling sick? Don't ask what made me think that would work... but I just wanted one the other day and it did the trick! This is the first time that I've been pregnant that I've wanted to eat pickles... God is ending our family on a good and semi funny note.

Thanks to everyone who came over and played with us Sunday! Clayton is ever so grateful that he got to play Settlers.. and that he held his crown once again. Someone better beat him soon before he stars thinking he really is the King of Sadan. (or is it Knights of Iran? lol) Inside joke.. I realize it makes no sense to most of you! Hope we can get together again soon! And I am ever so thankful to LeeAnn for brining me salad! I swear, I have never enjoyed a salad so much in my life! lol I'm never going to gain any weight if I keep these kinds of cravings up!

Monday, October 30, 2006

There's that reassurance!

Posted by Mandy at 10:46 AM 6 comments Links to this post
I knew it would show up eventually! Almost right on 'textbook' time! I'll be 6 weeks tomorrow.. and I've felt like crap ALL DAY! yahoo! lol I think I'll be spending a lot of time with the toilet in the next few months... it's only a matter of time before it progresses to that! lol Kristy.. if you read this.. go ahead and let me know those remedies you said you know! I'd really like to avoid a) taking the meds again and b) being in the hospital! Hook a sista up! Good news is all of my clothes still fit the same.. and so hopefully I can make it another few weeks before I have to bust out my stretchy, almost maternity, pants! We'll see!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halloween again!

Posted by Mandy at 10:34 AM 7 comments Links to this post

How is it time for Halloween again? These are the costumes the kids have chosen for themselves. Madison is a fairy princess and Carter is an Incredible. (his favorite movie!) I think it's going to be so much fun trick-or-treating this year... both of the kids are old enough to really enjoy it now. Speaking of, any word yet on what night we'll actually be going house to house? It's sure to be a lot of fun and I'm sure to be able to find any kind of candy I want to satisfy any cravings I might suddenly get in the kids pumpkin buckets! (you know you eat your children's candy too... don't act like it's just me!)

A quick update on me. I'm 5ish weeks along now.. and besides being extremely tired I feel fine. I keep waiting to wake up feeling sick any day now.. and sometimes I almost wish I would be sick at least now and again for some reassurance. It worries me that I haven't been sick really yet. Next week I'll probably be posting that I'm so sick I can no longer leave the house.. so I better be careful what I wish for! I'm just ready to get past this first trimester.. it's so very scary being early pregnant. My first doctor's appt seems like an eternity away.. I'll be 9 weeks when I go. Should make for a great ultrasound then though! Anyway.. just wanted to update anyone who was curious! I'll let you know if my lack of illness changes. ;)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Party update!

Posted by Mandy at 1:07 PM 7 comments Links to this post
Well, the Parkers ended up not being able to make it to the party... but we partied anyway! To say we had fun is a huge understatement! We all hung out, ate, and played games from 11am until 10pm!! yes.. you read that right! My stomach is sore from laughing so hard. Thanks everyone for showing up even though the Parkers couldn't come. It was really so much fun! We'll have to all do it again sometime soon. :)

Any men that are up to driving out for a game of "settlers" please call my husband... he is addicted to it after playing it just once! Taylor, you better bring some friends over soon to do that again! :) Clayton's already itching to beat you all another time I think. Just kidding... kinda.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'M PREGNANT!

Posted by Mandy at 7:29 AM 8 comments Links to this post
Yes... you read that correctly! I... finally.. am pregnant! I took a test this morning, not thinking it would be positive, because they never are... and it was! It came up almost immediatley!! I am in shock.. I am thrilled, and I don't think I could thank God anymore than I already have so far today! I'm a nervous wreck... I find myself doubting the test now. I plan to go buy more and retest.. if I see several positive tests it might seem more real. Thank you God.. you heard me, you helped me! Now just stay here with me! Clayton is away in Little Rock all week for training so I had to tell him over the phone. He is shocked and happy too. He told me to not to walking this morning, I don't need to move around at all, to come home and sit down. He's so silly... but it's sweet that he's already so concerned. Thank you for all of your prayers.. keep them coming! Now, just pray for a healthy mom and baby!!! I cannot believe this... I really can't!

Just a reminder.. Saturday will be party time at our house. THe Parkers will be here around 11am, we plan to grill out for lunch around 12 or 1, and they are just going to hang out all day/night so if you get a moment to stop by at ANYTIME of the day or evening please do. I know that they'd love to see as many friends as possible while they're here. If you'd like to bring something to help with lunch let me know and I'll give you an idea of what we need. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Posted by Mandy at 10:48 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. We've been running crazy! Race for the Cure was great! So glad I was able to go... it is so hard not to break down and cry through the entire thing though... seeing all of the pink survivor hats, and one lady I was walking behind, who was at oldest 28, had her two very young children with her. Their shirts said, "In celebration of my MOM!" and she had the survivor outfit on.. I cannot imagine the fear that family must have felt and the joy that they feel now!

I think I deserve a big hooray for not mentioning wanting to be pg at all in quite a while.. both on the blog and in real life. :) I say that as a precursor to how I'm feeling today which is insane! I just want the next week to hurry up and go by. We'll be starting our 12th month if we didn't get it this time. That's such a hard blow. To be honest, I'm not sure that we'll continue with this much longer. I'm due for a break... it's too hard! Who knows what the future will bring... but as of today, I'm just really exhausted with all of this.

We have a soccer game tonight.. I think the weather is supposed to be nice so that will be good. Last week it had gotten hot again and I was not enjoying the games that much I must say!

Oh, I forgot to say that we all did go eat lunch with madison Friday and had a great time! And, I must say, that I feel a lot better about lunch time. She was more than finished eating by the time they called them out, and I didn't feel it was too stressful like I had imagined. She seemed fine with all of it too.. and you could tell we had really made her day. She made mine too. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Party day set

Posted by Mandy at 11:19 AM 5 comments Links to this post
Okay, the "Parker Party" is set for Saturday the 21st. It works with most ppls schedules and is best for the Parkers. We're planning on starting the big event around 1pm... and it will go until the last person leaves. :) For food, we talked it over and it's probably going to just be hamburgers and hotdogs and such.. easy food for a relaxing day! We're thinking of renting one of those jump castles... we have to call and see how much they cost, but if any of you with kids would like to contribute to our jump castle fund, let me know! lol

I forgot to brag that Madison got chosen for ABC kid this week! We're going to eat with her Friday... she'll be so excited! We're also going to stay at my mom's house Friday night because my mom, sister, and I are all walking in Race 4 the Cure Saturday morning.. it's so much fun and such a moving experience.. I look forward to it every year!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Party at our house!

Posted by Mandy at 10:33 AM 4 comments Links to this post
So, since the Parkers moved off I've promised them that when Clayton's schedule allowed for it, we would host a going away party for them. Yes, it's late lol but this month we can finally do it! It's either going to be Friday, October 20 or Saturday, October 21. What's best for everyone? Kids are all welcome! The plan right now is just to have a big potluck. Clayton and I can buy the meat, and everyone can bring a dish to share. It'll be an indoor/outdoor event depending upon what floats your boat. We can do a bonfire and such as well. So, if you are missing the parkers and want a chance to catch up, you're invited!! I'll let you know the official date soon, after I get every one's input. (Parkers' input required as well!)

We had such a great night last night. Madison had a soccer game, and she loves it! She seems to know what she's supposed to be doing, but she seems to get so caught up in just running she forgets to chase the ball! lol Hilarious stuff! Afterwards we went to Taylor and LeeAnn's house and had a really great time! (and an oh so healthy supper.. it was sooo yummy!) Next time at our place so Carter can run free, okay? lol We've got another soccer game tonight too, and I get to go to parent group after that! Oh how I love my parents' group! It is what kept me going when Clayton was gone to troop school. I was so so so lonely before I joined up with them. (that's also where I met Suzanne and Matt)

On a sad note, what is up with these school shootings?! I think I heard on the news that there have been 17 since this school year started!!? What is wrong with people and what should be done about this? Are there any answers? You shouldn't have to be afraid to send your child to school... this is AMERICA!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The joys of Carter

Posted by Mandy at 11:42 AM 5 comments Links to this post

As much stress as my two year old little man can cause me, he also brings me so much joy. I wasn't sure what it would be like raising a little boy. I wasn't sure I was up for that challenge, or that I would even enjoy it. Imagine my surprise when each day this little man keeps me smiling and laughing and enjoying 'most' of my time with him.

Today I was doing laundry, and got to the white clothes. I was sorting socks and couldn't help but laugh at Carter's. Most of his have some sort of dull muddy stain on them, no amount of bleach can remove those stains. Two seperate pairs had those sticky briar things all in them... I spent a good amount of time picking those off. Madison's socks are all bright white and look brand new... but she doesn't enjoy rolling in the mud and going off of the worn path in the woods into the vines and briars like her baby brother does. Everything to Carter is an adventure. If there is a rock, he wants to pick it up and throw it at something, or someone. If there is a hill, he must climb it. If there is a small fallen tree, he must jump over it. It it's a larger fallen tree, he must climb up on it and then jump off of it. There is no greater delight in his life right now than having a nice stick to dig with or hit things with. He even eats like I knew a boy would. (no offense guys!) Madison was always such a slow and clean eater. Even as a baby! Carter does know how to eat with a spoon, but gets frustrated quickly and drops it to dig in with his hands. (as pictured) He has no concern about the mess all about him, or on him. I used to think these things were hard to deal with... but now I've learned to embrace them as part of having Carter. These silly things that I know one day will be in the past and I will miss them. One day he won't want to have an adventure through the woods with Mommy. One day he won't think playing at the park with all of the sticks we find together is fun. I fear the day that he decides sitting in Mommy's lap for a 20 minute cuddle session is "sissy stuff." I know it will come. So here's to enjoying the day! Whatever 'day' you're having... it will end and we'll never ever get this one day back again. A lot of this post comes from the fact that Clayton has had to work 3 fatality wrecks in one week's time. They were alive one minute, dead the next. In the blink of an eye.. their life on earth came to an end, and their friends and families' lives were forever changed. It really is true that old saying... "life's too short.."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

First soccer game

Posted by Mandy at 11:44 AM 4 comments Links to this post

We had our first soccer game last night and it was a blast! Madison even scored a goal and blocked another.. I'm so proud! She giggled the entire time she was there.. I definitely think we've found her sport! I just love our team... and the coaches are just wonderful! Honestly I couldn't ask for anything better.

Playgroup this morning was fun, but small! Just Leslie and me.. what's up with the playgroup peeps?! Do we need to change the day or something? I'm missing our get togethers! The good news is, Carter only hit Tyler once, and only threw something at him once... and he shared his drink with him after a while and even sat beside him without pushing him over! What an improvement! lol And, today, he dumped some dry cereal on the floor (our CONSTANT battle right now) and I sighed, knowing that a huge fight was about to take place as i made him pick up the mess. However, to my SHOCK, the first time I asked him to pick them up, HE DID! I hugged and kissed him and kept telling him how great he was.. I hope he will keep it up. It seems we're starting to turn the 'negative phase' corner... into a 'positive phase' soon! Thank goodness because I was about to resort to shock therapy or something. ;)

Madison has another soccer game tonight at 5:30 (anyone that gets bored at home.. come on out lol) and after that I'm supposed to go to curriculum night at the school.. sounds insanely fun. :P I really don't wanna go.. and am curious as to how important of an event it is. Clayton, on a fluke, will be home tonight, I don't want to miss him! We'll see what happens... I keep wondering if anyone would notice if I didn't show up. *shame shame*

Friday, September 22, 2006

Not for the weak..

Posted by Mandy at 7:54 PM 4 comments Links to this post
This parenting stuff is for the strong only. At least the patient and the willing to clean up gross things... several times each day. I have quickly been reminded why it's easier to just change diapers than have a newly potty trained toddler. Carter is doing fantastic on the potty training issue... no accidents at all.. all potty when we're home. (still no luck really when we're outside or somewhere else.. but no biggie) So, what's the problem? Well, the potty seat that fits over the regular toilet lid.. that is the problem. Somehow, when you pick it up, there is always pee everywhere underneath it.. great hu? I have two completely different potty seats, they both do this. It even happened when madison would use them.. what's up with that?! So, I spend many of minutes in the bathroom spraying and cleaning our toilet... oh how it shines now! I also could tell a story of how I had to use our big grill tongs the other day to dig almost an entire roll, of unrolled, toilet paper out of the potty, that an unnamed 2 year old had repeatedly tried to flush down. (after hearing the 3rd flush in a row I knew something was up) Ah yes... adventures in potty training. These are the stories veteran parents share with each other, laughing, and halfway happy, and halfway sad that they're over. Even in the midst of all of it I find it pretty comical. I always wonder "what is he thinking when he does something like this? What thought process came up with this one?" I'm just glad he's been able to make it to the potty each time. I remember Madison would run to the bathroom, and call me, and I'd find a puddle right in front of the toilet... she 'almost' made it. So similar to having a puppy... they chew everything, they pee on everything, they stay under your feet so you're stepping on them all of the time... God knew what he was doing when he made them so darn cute! (both puppies and children)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The wait is over

Posted by Mandy at 7:29 AM 2 comments Links to this post
A few hours after I left the dr's office getting my blood taken, my evil friend showed up.... 3 days early. Such is life I guess! I was pretty upset for a bit yesterday but quickly picked myself up and moved on. At least now I won't be sitting on top of the phone all day anxiously awaiting the phone call from the Dr! :) I don't care if they call at all! lol I don't plan on doing the medicine again this month, even though they worked beautifully last month, just because I want to remain as calm as I am right now for the rest of the month. Give myself a break. I need it! lol Life is good, God is good, and now I won't have to battle morning sickness as Madison's soccer games. ;)

Did anyone go to the parade yesterday? Madison was riding on the dance float.. she loved it! I was so proud. :) It really makes me feel like a real mommy when I see her do things like that.... wave from me from the float yelling "Mommy, Daddy! Hey!! Mommy, Daddy!!"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Let the waiting begin!

Posted by Mandy at 9:44 AM 4 comments Links to this post
So I got my blood taken today.. should know the results sometime tomorrow.. so we wait. I have to say, THANK YOU for all of the wonderful support you all have given to me over the past several months since I've been blogging. I'm sure it gets boring reading so much about this junk, but you guys keep sending prayers and hugs my way anyway. It really does mean a lot! I'm not someone that likes to keep things bottled up and very private, I always feel better when I talk about whatever is troubling me. And speaking of feeling better, I do. It hit me the other day... I have NO IDEA why, but I was driving home and felt an overwhelming joy. I was totally consumed with thoughts of my kids, my husband, our house, our life, my friends.. just everything that is so good in my life. God is taking great care of me and it's like I just noticed it all at once. I decided then and there that no matter what, I was going to be joyful. Sure I'll be sad if the result comes back negative tomorrow.. but I REFUSE to let it steal my joy. Just this morning, at playgroup, I barely thought about being pg at all, even though I left from there and went straight to the Dr's office for the blood draw! I feel like God is finally answering one prayer I keep praying, "If I'm not going to be pregnant, please let me not care!" lol I feel like, at least for right now, I will be fine. There is so much good in life, it's a shame to let one thing keep you dragged down so much. It seemed totally out of my control, the way I felt. But it isn't! It's a choice to be in the mood you're in.. no matter what's going on.

Speaking of playgroup, we had a great time this morning.. okay, I did anyway. It was just Brandy, Leslie, and me and our kids.. but I really enjoyed it. Great company and great kids! If it would've been a bit less wet it would've been even better.. but, ah, who cares. :) Carter found great joy in hitting trees and the ground with a fantastic stick he found.. at one point he found and opening in the fence and was in the woods! I had to go retreive him... that's our fault, we've been tracking through our woods a ton lately! So thanks for the fun time gals!

Who's going to the parade today? Madison is in it! She'll be riding with Kim's Dance Factory... I can't wait! She's sooo excited! :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pregnant, or medicine?

Posted by Mandy at 8:25 PM 5 comments Links to this post
That is the question. So, the injection I got (called Profasi) has HCG in it.. the stuff that turns a pregnancy test positive. So, obviously, the medicine will turn a test positive if taken too soon after it's administered. To see how long it would take for it to get out of my system, I started taking home tests at 6 days past the shot. That day I got a light but definite positive result. Obviously the meds were still there. So I waited and retested at 9 days past the shot and got a blotchy, dark, shadowy line in the test window.. I'll stretch it and call it a faint positive. I figured if I waited two more days and retested I'd get a true negative result. That was today. Instead I got a faint positive. It was a darker line, visible but not very, but I was surprised as heck to see it. So, now the question remains.. remaining medicine doing this.. or early pregnancy. I have no way to know right now. I plan to retest Monday.. SURELY if I'm not pg I'll get a true negative result by then... I have a blood test Tuesday. I hate those.. the results are so final! lol Pray for my sanity! This is a bit hard to wrestle with in my mind.

Friday, September 15, 2006

TGIF!

Posted by Mandy at 4:05 PM 1 comments Links to this post
I am so happy it's Friday! And, I'm in a wonderful mood tonight because Madison had a really really good day at school today and the teachers were all super nice at pickup time this afternoon, I didn't feel rushed for once! (i wonder if ppl have been complaining?) I have chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge just waiting to be baked... and Leslie and Tyler are going to come by and hang out and pig out with us! What could be better?

Have I mentioned our potty training journey lately? It's actually going great! At home, he's 100% trained. (well, not counting nap and bedtime) However, he has to be bare bottomed for this to be true. Even in underwear, he'll pee in them.. and NOT CARE that he's soaking wet. ??? I remember Madison flipping out the first (and almost only) time she wet herself in panties. My little man couldn't care less though! So, I'll take what I can get! I haven't changed a dirty diaper in over a week, and one pack of diapers is lasting a very very long time now. I'm really proud of him. Everyone has told me it takes boys forever to potty train, but so far so good here!

So will anyone be coming to Tuesday playgroup next week? I hope it's a nice cool morning and we can all get together! I really miss our girltalk!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

new blog thing

Posted by Mandy at 9:18 PM 1 comments Links to this post
I haven't done one of these in a while and just the title of this one made me laugh for some reason. lol

You May Be a Bit Obsessive Compulsive...

Meticulous and detailed oriented, you have some irrational obsessions.
Maybe it's your super neat closet or washing your hands a gazillion times.
You probably know it's weird, but you just can't stop thinking about it.
In fact, the more you think about your quirks, the more you have to do them.

Does this bother anyone else?

Posted by Mandy at 2:45 PM 10 comments Links to this post
Okay, first off, this post is NOT to spark a debate.. but I am genuinely interested on how others feel about this. In the handbook I read how corporal punishment can be administered WITHOUT the parents consent and that you will only get a note that day sent home if your child was spanked at school. It is totally up to the principal (and teacher probably) if your child is spanked or not and that the parents will not be contacted for permission. Does this make anyone else REALLY upset? Probably me more than anyone else seeing as how we do not spank our children. (again, no debates please) Now, Madison has never even been given a warning at school so I'm really not worried that they'll snatch her up and spank her one day, but it just very very much bothers me that it's written that it is not up to me what happens to her should a situation like that arise. It makes me think I should write a letter to the school and let them know that under NO circumstances are they allowed to hit my child. Is it only me that thinks this is not okay? I don't know how I'd feel about others spanking my kids (without my knowledge) if I were a spanker... but I do know how this idea makes me feel now.. sick! And since we're on the subject of school vents.. is there ANYTHING we can do about the 15 min lunch time? I'm being very serious.. Madison is starving everyday and each day she says she didn't have time to finish her food. I've taught my kids to eat slowly (as we all should!) and now they basically want them to scarf it all down! Are we powerless over this?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ah.. the self torture

Posted by Mandy at 8:34 PM 3 comments Links to this post
Do you have anything that you do, that you know is going to probably just upset you, but you can't resist doing it anyway? Maybe it's eating a box of Oreos, when you know you'll feel guilty about it later, having more caffeine than you set your goal amount to be, or buying another outfit, when you vowed to start saving money. I know I'm guilty of doing all of those things from time to time, especially the Oreo example, but tonight I did my latest form of self toture. Looked online at maternity and newborn clothes. Why oh why do I do this? Each month I get hopeful, and start browsing to see what's out there this season.. and it never makes me feel happy when I'm done, so why do I continue to do it? Anyone know the answer? Why do things that don't, in the grand scheme of things, help us emotionally or physically? I remember, after madison turned 1 year old, looking at my flabby body in the mirror and deciding then and there to get into shape. And boy did I. My attitude about junk food from that point on was, "This doesn't taste as good as being thin feels!" I was right! Now, I see me letting my body go a bit again. So I'm trying to focus more on getting back into shape. I'll do well for a week, and then slip for a week. Why is it so hard? I'll have that extra helping of supper, and before I ever get up to refill my plate I'll think, "I don't need to eat anymore.." but it never stops me. Why? Am I a sucker for punishment or what? Any wise people out there know the answer? Am I the only one that does these things to myself?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Doctors Appointment Update

Posted by Mandy at 7:27 AM 4 comments Links to this post
It went great! I am still in shock at how perfect it was! Normally I'm in a ton of pain by this point in my cycle. My ovaries are typically busy growing painful cysts, but this month I've felt almost nothing... I really had thought that the medicine had done nothing. So they did an ultrasound and found one big, mature, beautiful egg on my left ovary!! My doctor was all smiles.. and so were we! (clayton was with me) He also said my uterine lining was PERFECT... everything was too good to be true! I got a shot to release the egg.. so in two weeks I'll go for a blood test and we'll see if we got it! Thank you for all of your prayers. That appt. could not have possibly gone any better! I am still in so surprised that that was my body we were looking at on that screen. I haven't had a good ultrasound since I was pregnant with Carter.. all of the rest have mainly involved head shakes and many, "hmm, that doesn't look good..." so this was a pleasant change.

Chris and Betsy came over yesterday, and of course they brought Bailey. Oh she is sooo cute!! I couldn't hold her b/c I've had a little cold.. and even though I'm mainly over it why risk it right? I did enjoy just looking at her though. Chris happened to have some new video games with him so he and Clayton enjoyed that! I'm sure this will spark a new "I need a new video game" thing with Clayton. lol

Who is coming to small group tonight? As far as i know Clayton and I will be there... unless something insane happens in the meantime!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Potty time!

Posted by Mandy at 3:57 PM 8 comments Links to this post
Carter has only worn one diaper all day. That was at naptime, and the rest of the day he's been allowed to run around naked. He hasn't had a single accident! Same thing yesterday! No diaper at home, and no accidents! He's really potty training! He even pooped in the potty a little bit ago without even telling me! He did bring me toilet paper, which I thought was strange... and then ran to the potty saying "yay!! Big boy!" lol Okay, so maybe only I'm excited about this, but I am so happy he's really potty training! I'm sure it'll be a long time before he's ready to go without a pullup when we're out and about, and that's fine with me, but if he will just keep going on the potty at home.. ahh.. life will be easier!

So the side effects I thought were from the meds I'm on turned out to be that I have a cold! I'm really kind of glad because I told Clayton yesterday that I will NOT take this stuff again with how badly it makes me feel.. so this was our one and only shot at getting pg before I said "enough!". But, now he's feeling sick and Madison has a sore throat.. hooray! It isn't just me, and it isn't the medicine! :)

What is everyone doing for Labor Day? Me? Not a clue.. but Clayton is off of work on Monday so maybe we'll get to do something... we'll see!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Side effect city!

Posted by Mandy at 2:31 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Okay.. I was feeling pretty well the first two days on the Femara. But, starting last night, I just felt like I had a cold.. really tired and achey. Today it's even worse. Ugh... I'm EXHAUSTED! I truely don't know how I'm going to make it through the rest of the day. Just two more days, just two more days, i can make it two more days!

Madison has her first dance class tonight! I'm so excited! She is too! She is going to look so adorable and i hope she knows some of the kids in her class. She dances around so much I thought she might enjoy an actual lesson. We'll see how it goes! It won't hurt my feelings if she hates it and doesn't want to do it after a while lol. Our first soccer practise is next Thursday at 5:30pm. Bad new is dance class is every Thursday at 5:45pm. What am I going to do?! This is EXACTLY why I didn't want her to do both of these things. She cannot be both places at once. Ugh.. I don't know what we'll do about this.

We're entering the land of potty training. I've discovered that Carter is very capable of going on the potty as long as Madison isn't home. When she's here to play with he loses all focus! But hey, gotta start somewhere!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Day 2, so far so good!

Posted by Mandy at 10:39 AM 9 comments Links to this post
I took my second dose of Femara this morning and so far no side effects! I have been a bit tired, but nothing horrible. I hope I continue to feel this good throughout the rest of the month!

I'm so excited that Small group is starting up tonight! Madison also is bumping up from Cubbies to Sparks! ACK! I am so not ready for all of these changes... but she's so excited. I guess the Sparks are the ones that wear the red vests? I dunno, but I'll find out tonight. Clayton won't be with me for Small Group b/c he is going with his Dad to one of the last games at Ray Winder Field. That kind of sucks but I'm glad he's getting to go!

I've been walking every single morning (weekdays anyway) since school started and I've lost one whole pound. :) lol Hey, you've got to start somewhere! I'm also lifting weights again and eating less/better. I feel a heck of a lot better, that's for sure! It's a lot easier to go for a walk now that it's a bit cooler outside! How about the weather today hu?! Wow.. we've been outside almost all day long enjoying it before we end up back in the 90s again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tomorrow's the day

Posted by Mandy at 12:34 PM 4 comments Links to this post
So I start taking the fertility drug tomorrow. I am beyond nervous. There are such mixed reviews on this crap. Some ppl say it's great.. other say it's dangerous and shouldn't be taken. I just have to trust God and my doctor... and go forward. Please don't stop praying.. just add my health and the health of any baby that might come from this to that list. I am so scared! ack!

Second week of school.. started out nicely so far. Madison did fine this morning and i actually had a very friendly woman help her out of the car so that was a nice start to the day. I dread pick up time.. but one can hope that maybe it'll get better! (yeah.. right.. )

Who's coming to playgroup tomorrow morning?! (8:30ish right?) I hope to see a few of you ladies there!

Friday, August 25, 2006

MES vent

Posted by Mandy at 11:55 AM 11 comments Links to this post
I'd love to say that I like Madison's teacher... I'd love to say that I like how the room is set up... I'd love to say that I'm satisfied with what goes in inside the school.. but I can't. Why you ask? Because I am basically not allowed into the school, at all! I walked Madison into school the first two days, before she asked me to just drop her off up front. I still thought i had the option to occasionally walk her in if I wanted.. but turns out, I don't! This morning, as I'm dropping Madison off, I see two different mothers, that are walking their children in, stopped and bascially scolded for doing so. I heard, as I was driving away, "We're asking that no one get out of their cars..." WHAT?! So we no longer can walk OUR kids into the school if we want? I totally am supportive of everyone just driving through the pickup line at the end of the day to get their kids... but what is it really hurting if parents park in the parking lot and walk their children in? That is what we were told we could do in the beginning.. but not anymore. So, I have no idea how Madison is doing in school... I never get to go into the school.. I never see her teacher, I never see the principal, I never see anyone! I am just a nameless face that drops her off and picks her up. I am less than satisfied with this. How do they expect parents to be "involved" if we're not allowed to be? I don't want to be a disturbance.. but is a quick hello to her teacher and the aide in the morning really that burdening? Once a week if I walk her in is it that hard for someone to say "she's doing great!" Or "let's work on..." ??? I'm tired of being rushed to drop her off.. I'm tired of being rushed when I pick her up. I got an ugly look and a wave that meant "hurry up and move!" when I simply took 5 seconds to reach back to buckle Madison's seatbelt yesterday. I know ppl are waiting.. I myself waited nearly 15 minutes in the line.. I'm not being rude by securing my child into her booster seat before taking off onto the road full of angry parents. So.. this is my vent. I know I am not alone in these feelings for several other mothers have said the same things. I just hate feeling like a complete outsider that is only in the way each day. That's my little girl! I want to know how she's doing each day!

Okay, sorry for the long rant.. but come on! lol For some good news.. I was really worried how much the fertility meds were going to cost.. and I didn't know what (if any) insurance would cover. I was SO happy when Clayton called me after he had picked it up and said "It only cost us $21!" HOORAY!! Both meds combined.. $21 out of pocket. Thank you God for our awesome insurance! So, God forbid, we have to do this several times... we can afford it! :)

Guess what we're doing tomorrow! Going to the circus! Yep.. Ringling Brothers at Altel.. that's where we'll be! Madison is sooo excited :) I know Carter will love it too.. he just doesn't know it yet. lol

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The hag showed

Posted by Mandy at 5:18 PM 6 comments Links to this post
Well, I awoke to my most hated friend this morning. What a way to start the day. If I am not going to be pregnant, is it really too much to ask to at least have a regular cycle once and a while? I called my doctor.. and we are starting fertility treatments this month. I"ll be taking a drug called Femara (similar to clomid) and then going in for an ultrasound midcycle to check the size of any eggs that might have grown and see how my cysts are behaving. If the eggs have grown to the proper size, I'll be given a shot of Profasi to release the egg(s). My body seems to like to ovulate late, when it does ovulate. Meaning the eggs have aged by the time they are released, and unlikely to get fertilized, or be a healthy pregnancy if they do fertilize. I'll start the Femara pills this coming Tuesday.. I am nervous about it, but hopeful. I've just come to the reality that we are not going to get pg on our own. God is taking us down a different path for some reason unknown to me. Clayton is on board 100%... I feel good about it, and my doctor is EXTREMELY optomistic about it. So, I guess everyone that matters in the deal is full steam ahead! I pray that it just takes one month and we're pg! I hope this baby we're trying to get knows how very much he or she is loved and wanted already. I dream about him or her every single day. So, if I act like a crazy person this month PLEASE take into account that hormones are being pumped into my body! lol

Okay, James family... we MUST get together sometime soon! I don't know when lol, but we're missing you guys! :)

I signed madison up for soccer today... she goes back and forth on whether or not she wants to play, but clayton and I think she'll enjoy it! She's talked about wanting to play soccer since she was 2! If nothing else she'll look darn cute in that uniform. :)

I started "school" with Carter this morning. He did so well sitting with me and listening and answering questions. "Questions like "what color is this square?" :) I'm really enjoying our one on one time together!

Okay, that's an insanely long update on the Moss house!! I hope everyone else is having a little less going on than we are. lol

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm late...

Posted by Mandy at 10:30 AM 5 comments Links to this post

Yes.. I hesitantly said it. I'm one day late. Now, with my irregular cycles this could mean absolutely nothing. Of course, I am on pins and needles though. I don't know when I'll retest. I'm so afraid to see another negative result! I'm sure now that I've blogged about this I'll start in about 5 minutes... but I had to let my pals know what I'm feeling! Sort of excited, sort of hopeful, REALLY afraid that I am really not though!

Madison's first day of school went GREAT!(note picture taken as we walked out of the door yesterday) She loves her teacher, loves her classmates, and in her words, "Kindergarten is WAY better than preschool, Mommy!" :) She was so excited to go back today. She literally ran down the hallway to her class, way ahead of me. I had to catch up to her to just kiss her goodbye. She was already sitting down next to a friend. I think if I wanted to I could drop her at the front door like the other parents do and she would love it. I, however, am just not ready to do that. I like walking her in. How else will I ever see her teacher?! I want to be 'that' mom that's everywhere you turn! lol I just want to know what's going on.. we all know how much information you can get from your kids!

We did have playgroup this morning and it was so great! I felt bad for Carter. He really didn't seem to have much fun. I think he's unsure what to do by himself out there. I'll have to bring trucks and things like that for him next time... that's always a hit! I did have a lot of fun though! I'm sorry we missed you, Brandy!! Next time you'll have to come a bit later so we can all hang out! :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

First Day of School

Posted by Mandy at 10:00 AM 9 comments Links to this post
Well, my baby girl is officially in Kindergarten now. She was so excited. She acted as though she'd gone to that school a hundred times before. I, on the other hand, felt like I stood out like a sore thumb. As if everyone could sense that "new 'big school' mom" feeling I was giving off. Madison sat at her spot at the table and was all smiles when I left. I got back to the van and tried very hard not to cry, but I could not hold back the tears. I am shocked that I am so emotional about this. She's been in preschool since she was 3.. but this is so different. It's REAL school. I am sitting here just wishing I knew what she was doing. I can't wait to go get her and hear all about her day! Carter is missing her a little. He was asking for her when I got back home. But, he's definitely enjoying the one on one time with mommy and daddy!

Are we doing playgroup tomorrow? I'd love to if it isn't raining!! I hope I won't be out there all alone! Once I drop Madison at school I plan to head to the park.. all who want to come hang out, come on!

Oh, I did find a nice big lunch box at WalMart.. it is not cute though. After buying cute ones last year, I've learned my lesson. If I want to actually fit food in there, I'll have to put size over attractiveness! I'm still on the lookout for BIG and CUTE lunchboxes for cheap though.

I'll be anxiously awaiting all of the blogs about the first days of school! I hope everyone has a great first day!

Friday, August 18, 2006

update

Posted by Mandy at 5:23 PM 1 comments Links to this post
I did take a test, it was negative. Not surprised at all. I'm fine as of this moment. Thankfully Leslie and I had plans to go to Pine Bluff today for last bit of school shopping and to eat KID FREE! Ah.. it was so much fun and so nice to get away! Madison is all set now.. I bought her a ton of shoes today. Tennis shoes, two pairs of black shoes, one for school, one for church, and tap shoes. I FINALLY found tap shoes in her size! Payless beside WalMart IN PINEBLUFF has them for any interested! I can't believe she starts school Monday.. I really just cannot believe it. All that I have left to do is go buy her food for her lunch box. How did the summer go by so quickly?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ready for school!

Posted by Mandy at 9:22 PM 4 comments Links to this post
Clothes bought..check. Backpack bought...check. All supplies bought.. check. We are officially ready for school!! My mom, sister, and I lived it up at Park Plaza and bought Madison's school clothes. (oh how I LOVE Gymboree!) I even found the most adorable dance outfits.. I got ballet shoes at Toys R Us.. but am yet to find tap shoes in her size!! I am going to look in Pine Bluff tomorrow.. and last resort, I'll order them online. I really need to try them on her though! The ballet shoes I got her were a size 1... as in all the way past little girl sizes. All of her other shoes are now a size 11... so that's a huge difference. New tennis shoes are also on my list of 'needed items' but I am pretty sure I can find those. Ahh... a sigh of relief!

Now... a sigh of dread! I am going to go ahead and take a pg test in the morning. Mainly because I think it's always good to start your day with huge disappointment.. it makes everything else happening around you seem like no big deal. Really though, I just want to prepare myself for what's about to happen. My ob/gyn's office called... my nurse to be exact.. and we talked about what should be happening if we didn't get it this month. They highly encouraged me to call them when the hag shows so they can start infertility workup. They said it.. the big "I" word.. infertility. I nearly burst into tears just hearing it.. the reality of that is so scary. I have such mixed feelings on doing any treatments. On one hand I feel like putting this in my doctor's hands is like taking it out of God's and saying "I don't trust you to help me so I'm going here.." On the other hand I feel that if God doesn't intend for me to be pg nothing will get me that way. And... I'm not the type to let one of my children die of a disease b/c I think taking them to the doctor for medical help is telling God I don't trust him... I don't know. It's just such an unknown world to me. I mean.. how many people actually know someone that REALLY needed medical help to get pg? I only know one person first hand. She did end up getting pg but after a long hard journey. Am I willing to go through what she did? Is Clayton? I don't know. I guess we'll just take things one step at a time. Talk to the doctor in depth about everything.. and pray pray pray for guidance and strength. I'm afraid to go for that fist observatory ultrasound and hear what they'll say about the condition of my ovaries. It shouldn't be surprising to me because of my pain level.. but I guess hearing any news 'for certain' can be hard hitting. Am I rambling? I'm sorry. I haven't talked a ton about this. It's hard for me to talk about it outloud. I get too upset and I hate feeling that way. So, be warned that this blog might not be a fun and pleasant place at times throughout the next month or so. I have no idea what will be going on. I do know that I'll get through it though.. and something will be gained.. because I refuse to beleive that God is allowing me to walk through this for no reason at all. I know there is a reason.. and it makes me wish that God would just cut me some slack right about now!

Monday, August 14, 2006

playgroup tomorrow?

Posted by Mandy at 3:05 PM 7 comments Links to this post
Who all will be coming to playgroup in the morning? I'd like to go since it will be our last one before madison starts back to school. (hopefully some of us will still be able to hang out with the older kids in school)

I have no time to actually post right now since my NO NAPPING son is sitting at my feet crying. (yes.. he really is) so I'm off to tend to him and I'll try not to strangle him in the process!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mommy burn out!

Posted by Mandy at 4:41 PM 3 comments Links to this post
Okay.. the night shift has now officially taken its toll on me. I am suffering from some serious mommy burn out. If I have to clean up one more mess, fix one more meal, or even just listen to one more story.. I might need to scream. The weekends are always the hardest, I truly do not see clayton at all.. maybe an hour a day. My stress is of course worse right now because I'm in the one week wait now.. it's even worse than the two week wait. lol I don't think I'm pg... as in I don't have ANY hope that it happened this month.. but i'm ready to go ahead and get a new month going so I can call my doctor and find some answers and hopefully pain releif! Am I whining? I know.. I am.. I'm sorry! I'm just plain worn out tonight. I need a break BIG TIME. (or just another adult to actually talk to.. that might help)

Thank the Lord for the rain! Wow we got a thunderstorm this afternoon! I know the plants are happy. :) It's a bit funny to me because Clayton and I were just wondering if he'd have to mow the yard again before next spring since a lot of our grass has died from lack of water. Now that it's rained so much.. I bet we'll find nice new LONG patches of grass that need to be mowed really soon.. he'll be SO excited! lol

Okay, for some reason I'm feeling a bit out of touch with everyone. I was just at the James's last week... but I guess missing playgroup did me in or something! I hope we can all get together sometime soon.. I need some playtime!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Take me out to the ballgame

Posted by Mandy at 4:39 PM 5 comments Links to this post
So, who all ventured out to see any of the Babe Ruth games? We caught our first one this afternoon.. it was so much fun! It was insanely hot, but the kids were fantastic and wow, those guys are great baseball players! Clayton played baseball from Tball up until he was about 14ish.. and he's itching to play now that he's watched that game! He even got to go to Ohio to play the Babe Ruth series there one year! Cool hu? (even cooler, Ohio was one of the teams we saw play!) I got a nice sunburn on top of everything. Nothing horrible.. but it looks ridiculous. Why didn't I think ahead and wear a tank top? Nope... silly me.. I wore a capsleeved shirt, can you picture how silly I'll look the next time I DO put on a tank top? Maybe it'll fade quickly!

Madison is officially signed up for dance! Thursday nights, that's where we'll be. Okay, it's only a 30 min. class but we're all really excited! Tuesday or Wednesday night we'll be going to stay with my mom and she's offered to take us school clothes shopping and then to buy madison's dance clothes and shoes! man.. I love my mom! :) I cannot wait to pick out tutu's and leotards and tap shoes.. oh this is what mommies of little girls dream about!! We're pretty sure we'll do soccer too. After talking to some veteran soccer moms, I feel confident it will be lots of fun. Carter is easier to keep up with now too... that will make things much easier.

Can anyone else not believe that school starts in just NINE days?! It'll be even sooner than that for those reading this late! lol Wow, I've got to go buy the rest of her school supplies! (plan on doing that tomorrow!) If anyone finds any large lunch boxes and aren't hideous.. PLEASE let me know! She has two cute ones.. but they hardly hold anything! It's so frustrating!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Anyone want a dog?

Posted by Mandy at 1:11 PM 6 comments Links to this post

Look at this cute face... don't you want him?! Grr........... that's me growling, not the dog, and I'm growling about the dog. Okay, we really do love him.. but he's about to be chained up until adulthood if his chewing doesn't stop soon. I don't know if I posted about the $300 in van repairs he costs us LAST WEEK when he chewed an O2 sensor out from under the van. We have only had the van back for one day.. and last night, on my way home from TayLee's (thanks for the good time guys!!) the transmission light came on. I started panicking.. but the van drove home just fine with no problems. Everything seemed in top working order.. no big deal. I mentioned it to clayton though. This morning he vanishes for a while, and then comes in while I'm on the phone with Leslie (Tyler has pink eye! poor little guy!) looking really PO'd and dirty and sweaty, carrying a weird little thing in his hand. You guessed it.. the O2 Sensor.. that the dog has chewed out.. AGAIN!!! AHHHHH!!! Clayton called my Dad (who does a lot of car work) and asked what we could do b/c we just cannot afford $600 in two weeks of van repairs! So he talked for a while and tried to install it back in again. We've yet to drive it though to see if it is working... oh man.. that dog better grow up to be the best dog in the entire world.. or he's getting bread and water to eat from now on! ;) Seriously though... this is why parents always flip out when kids want a new dog.. I never thought about how destructive one puppy could be! People that say kids are expensive never had a German Shephard puppy!

Carter and I had our first REAL fight of the wills this morning. He's become increasingly more mischevious since turning two, and lately a lot more disobedient. (to be expected at this age...) but this morning it seemed he was doing everything he could to make madison cry, and to make me want to strangle him. So, the last straw was when he got into the 'no no' cabinent under the sink that I keep the dishwashing liquid and such in. He got a bottle of diswashing liquid out and threw it down, looking me right in the eye the entire time. So I knelt down to him and said, "Carter, that's not for you, put this back please." and handed him the bottle. He took it from me and threw it again... and gave a little grunt that translates into "not gonna do it" for those that have never had 2 year olds. So, I sat him down in the kitchen floor... and basically wouldn't let him get up until he put the bottle back. I think it's time to start putting my foot down with him. I remember doing this same stuff with Madison. He is so much more compliant than she was though. After maybe 2 minutes of having to stay in the kitchen, he picked up the bottle, put it back, and ran to me all excited and proud of himself. He got tons of hugs and kisses and life went on. We'll see what the next battle of the wills will be. If he was only aware of the fact that there's not much he can pull that his sister hasn't already, and I now have an entire brain full of methods to deal with his craziness.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

IT'S NOT STREP!!

Posted by Mandy at 1:05 PM 4 comments Links to this post
Praise the Lord, the doctor said Madison does not have strep. So, if any of your kids get sick with fever, weird body rash, sore throat, possibly puking, etc... it's probably the same highly contagious virus we (and everyone else) have been passing around. Thankfully we've all been well for the past 24 hours.. so we can leave the house together again!

I don't have much time to post right now, but I did want to ask for a serious prayer chain to go for me. I've been in a pretty severe amount of pain this month (and the past few) over these cysts. If I didn't get pg this month, I'll be calling my doctor to see what he can do for me. I'm afraid this will put our trying to get pg on hold and that's a thought I don't even want to think. So PLEASE pray for me.. for my doctor, and for my health! Thank you!

Monday, August 07, 2006

won't be at playgroup

Posted by Mandy at 3:12 PM 7 comments Links to this post
How disappointing, but I will not be at playgroup tomorrow. Suzanne won't be there either.. we are pretty sure our kids have strep throat.. AGAIN! ARRGHH! Mine 'seem' totally fine right now, but that's how strep did us last time. Hit a little bit at first with fever and that weird rash, then totally 'went away' for a few days, only to return full blown later and knock everyone down! So, tomorrow I'm taking Madison to get the swab done and if hers is + then we'll all be taking antibiotics for the next 10 days. I just hope that maybe it's a weird virus that just looks like strep.. and it's gone.. and we won't need meds! One can dream right? So, have fun everyone that does go to playgroup tomorrow! I'm so sad we can't go, but I'd feel horrible if we gave strep to anyone else. Who knows who all we've already given it to! I had planned to go see Betsy, Chris, and the baby but now I see we'll be holding off on that for a while.. God forbid the baby get ANYTHING that we might have.. strep or not!

I made a discovery today. There is a room of our house that makes me not like my children. Yep.. I said it. The living room. Why.. why you ask? I guess because when I'm in the living room, I'm trying to sit and relax, read, or watch a show.. and they're being loud or 'in my way' and making it hard for me to do any of those things. During the day we typically leave the tv off and play.. so in the evenings when I do try to watch a little something, I get so upset when they won't just leave me alone for an hour. I also realized that I enjoy them MOST when we're all playing in one of their rooms. We all sat in Carter's room for an entire hour today doing puzzles and reading and such... it was a great time! Bring those same activities into the living room and I'm hating it. I just want to chill and NOT play. Am I crazy or does anyone else have a 'room' like this in their house? I guess it's all in the expectation. If I'm sitting down with the tv on I EXPECT to get to watch it. If we go into their rooms, I EXPECT to play.

I MISS MY VAN! It should be fixed already.. no one called us today though to come and get it so I guess we'll call tomorrow morning and pick it up on our way to the doctor. It's funny.. I LOVE my car... I like driving it so much more than I like driving the van; but I miss our 'routine' in the van. We have all of our music and such in there.. and we're just used to riding in it. I feel a bit lost being back in the car now! It's good to get to spend some time with my car again though.

Oh, anyone that's interested, Clayton is off tuesdays and wednesdays this month. :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

copy cat

Posted by Mandy at 1:22 PM 4 comments Links to this post
Here's my personality thing... I can't help but pick up on how much I never like my results on these things. I know they're pretty accurate of me.. but I always feel like it makes me sound MEAN! Ah well.. what can ya do, right?

Testriffic.com

Saturday, August 05, 2006

isn't he a cuttie?

Posted by Mandy at 8:21 PM 1 comments Links to this post

I just love this picture of Carter. We took it the other day when we were outside playing in the sprinkler. I know.. he's mine.. of course I think he's cute.. but yep.. he's my handsome little man!

I think the night shift woes are slowly sinking in. It's going to be a bit worse than usual the next several weeks with Clayton training one of the new troopers. He can't come home and have lunch and such like he normally does. These late weekends are just hard on me. I'm sure they're hard on him too. He didn't get home until 5am this morning from working last night. I expect the same tonight. I can't remember when his next day off is.. Tuesday maybe? I'm ready for it!

For those that are interested, I'm in that dreaded two week wait now... I probably won't be talking about it much because I'm feeling fairly defeated lately, so if I'm quiet on the subject, for once, that's why.


On a bright note, tomorrow is Sunday and I'm still loving church! I have faith that I'll get a sermon that I need to hear tomorrow.. and come out of the building closer to God than I was when I walked in. I so often feel so lonely in these long months of constant night shift work.. I know that if I am closer to God, I'll feel more at peace, or totally at peace with being here "alone."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Oh no... what happened?!

Posted by Mandy at 11:49 AM 6 comments Links to this post
How did this happen?! How did Clayton sucker me like this? How did he make me... gulp.. LIKE CHESS?! Who just said that? Okay, so the second time around learning to play chess has been a lot better than the first. I did beat him today, but only b/c he helped me! lol Otherwise I'd have lost, again! I think my determination to beat him has taken over.. I HAVE to beat him! So, I think this time, he'll be sick of playing before I am. I'm getting a little better... I just plain stink at the thinking ahead a few moves part.. meanwhile his "detective" brain is all over that. So true for us as a couple.. I think in the right now, he's always thinking a few moves ahead! Guess at least one of us is always thinking then! :)

We had a great morning today. Clayton called one of the new troopers and his wife (that live here in town) and asked if they wanted to meet us at the park to play. (they have a 1yr old little boy named Joseph) They said sure, but Joseph was with his grandparents... so just the two of them met up with us. It was so much fun! They are a great couple and I really want to hang out with them more. He's just out of troop school and super eager to work. Clayton is still happy and excited about work so I'm sure the two of them will hit it off great! The woman is a stay at home mom too, and I invited her to join our playgroup Tuesday morning. I really hope she comes! She seemed excited about it! So, we all might have a new friend soon!

Clayton is napping right now getting ready for his long weekend. He's off to work at 5pm tonight and I don't expect him back home until 4 or 5am tomorrow. Pray for his safety and my ability to sleep!

Guess where we're going on the 26th! THE CIRCUS! Yippie! The Ringling Brothers are going to be at Altel then and we took madison when she was 3 and are so excited to go back! It's such a great show! They say "It's the Greatest Show on Earth!" ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My Growing Girl

Posted by Mandy at 1:26 PM 3 comments Links to this post

Do you ever have one of those days that you look at one or all of your kids and think, "Oh my... how did they get this big?" Today is that day for me in regards to Madison. After a GREAT time at playgroup this morning the kids and I went to WalMart. I bought Madison a big girl booster seat. (finally) I got her the Graco "Safe Seat" and it's "really cool" as Madison says! It's hard for me to think that she's done, forever, with a five point harness seat. Now it's all big girl stuff. She loves her new seat and can't wait to ride in it. (and I actually put the thing together all by myself! So proud!) While we were at WM I bought about half of the school supplies she needs. It was so strange walking those aisles picking up crayons, markers, glue, and scissors... but it hit me the hardest when we got to the folders. She picked out one with a butterfly on it and one with rainbows and unicorns on it. (do these selections surprise anyone? lol) I can so clearly remember the excitement of picking out the notebooks and folders I wanted for school.. and it's a little hard to think that my baby girl is now a big girl going to school! I did find her Year Book from PreK and got to see a picture of her teacher. (Mrs. Koone) She looks so familiar to me, but I'm pretty sure I've never met her. I think it's neat that she was the art teacher last year seeing as how Art is Madison's favotire thing! I hope that she'll get to do a lot of artistic work in class. Okay, so what if this entire post is about Madison. I'm feeling emotional about my child growing up on me!

On a slightly different note, playgroup this morning was such a great time. I'm loving the group of women we have coming! It felt so relaxed... just an easy going good time. If it weren't so darn hot, it would've been perfect! I have Parent Group tonight.. so double the excitement!

Clayton is training one of the new troopers starting tonight! This guy is stationed in Lake Village, so Clayton will be working down there with him a lot I bet. We got three new troopers down here in Troop F, so watch out you speeders! ;)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Chess anyone?

Posted by Mandy at 1:06 PM 8 comments Links to this post

I finally added a picture! It took my slow dial-up connection approx. 20 minutes.. but I got it on here. Now I think "why did I pick this picture?" I don't know.. but here we are! This was a little over a month ago when we took the kids to Mid America Museum. It was so much fun!

Madison is on a board game kick, so we've played Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders a zillion times this week. She saw the Chess board and asked if I would teach her to play... I laughed a little and said, "No, but maybe Daddy will teach you!" Clayton taught me to play chess a long time ago. I think it was when I was pregnant with Madison. I hated the game from moment 1! It's too involved, takes forever, and I could never beat him. (I beat him ONCE) Maybe I'm a sore loser, but it just wasn't my game! Now, he's on the Chess kick too. "Let's play Chess today! Come on, please?!" *sigh* So it seems that when he's off of work again, I'll be learning Chess all over again. Maybe the second time around I'll like it better. For Clayton's sake I sure hope so! Any of your husbands know how to play Chess? Clayton would love it if someone that is GOOD would sit and play with him!

I had a thought the other night after everyone left. We were having a great time playing our games.. and I got to thinking that we should let the kids play their own board games while we play ours. Start their own game night too! We'd need to take some time to make sure the big kids know the rules of whatever game... and then leave them to it and maybe they'd have fun and we could play our games easier without interruptions. I don't know.. they might just fight the entire time! lol

Tomorrow my two favorite events happen! Playgroup in the morning.. and Parent Group tomorrow night. :) I can't wait!! We're still doing playgroup at Western Pines right? At the insane hour of 8:30am? ;)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday night rocked!

Posted by Mandy at 5:23 PM 3 comments Links to this post
Okay, big thanks to everyone who came out to eat and hang out with us Friday night. Clayton and I talked all day today about how much fun we had, and how we hoped everyone else enjoyed it too. We seldom get to have company like that with his insane work schedule, so thanks for helping us have such a good night! For the next several months I'm pretty sure his days off will only be weekdays.. but if anyone is up for a quick supper and hang out session on a Tuesday night, we're your peeps!

Today was SO hot. So what did we decide to do? Meet the Parkers at the park for fun and sun and sweat! Ahh... the things that sound like a good idea until you do them! No, really, it was a great time. Suzanne didn't puke from the heat and my kids got worn out. Unfortunantely, Carter didn't take a nap today, and was sound asleep by 6pm.. so I'm sure he'll be up all night, or at minimum up for the day around 5am or before. NOOOOO!! At least we have church tomorrow.. I can finally say that we all love church now! Both of the kids are loving it, and Clayton and I are too. It's such a releif to enjoy it. :) I'm excited to see what message we'll get in the morning.

I'm officially on "baby watch." Betsy is going to have that baby girl any day now.. or any week now at most. I can't wait to get a phone call! I told her as they left last night that if they wanted to call me and start the chain reaction of phone calls, I'm all for it! We'll probably 'have' to drive to Crossett to see them after Bailey is born.. I'm so excited! Oh, Suzanne, Betsy is seeing a midwife that delivers at the hospital in Crossett if you're interested! I forgot to tell you that!

Okay, I promised Madison a game of Candy Land, so I'm off to get beaten by my 5 year old at a game that is all about luck.. the kind of games I don't like! ;)

Friday, July 28, 2006

ohh... my aching muscles

Posted by Mandy at 11:07 AM 6 comments Links to this post
The short yoga session I had with Madison yesterday must have worked me much harder than I realized. I woke up this morning with aching muscles all over my body! So, of course, I made sure to catch the workout on tv again this morning! Madison did it with me, for the most part. She was a bit distracting because she'd get into a pose and then ask, "Look Mommy, is this right?" So while I got a great workout again, I spent a lot of my time reassuring madison she was doing a fine job. I'm sure by tomorrow morning I won't even be able to walk. Ah, the things we do for beauty!

So, Clayton had a blast yesterday driving the car of his dreams. Supposedly he should have his in a week or two. He's so excited! He was telling me about all of the great features and how it drove and such, and I smiled and nodded and said, "wow that sounds great!" Meanwhile I, for the most part, haven't a clue what most of the stuff he's telling me means.. but I know it makes him happy for me to be interested! So, you guys out there, make sure to ask him about his cool car so he can talk to someone that REALLY knows what he means about it!

Have any of you heard the new Nickleback song "Far Away"? OH MY GOSH! It is gorgeous! I know.. LeeAnn is "not that into them" as she told me the other night (shame on you!) but I just love this song! I think I'm going to have to break down and just buy the entire cd. So far I've loved all of those songs.

Clayton is gone to buy food for the house... I told him specifically, "Buy MEAL food, not SNACK food!" So we'll see what he comes home with. I wish I'd have gotten in the shower before him this morning... to him, if he's ready first, he's going! lol So wish us luck on having food to actually nourish our bodies this week!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Breathe in... breathe out.."

Posted by Mandy at 11:24 AM 8 comments Links to this post
This is what Madison and I did together this afternoon. I decided to pick up Yoga again. I haven't done it since I was pregnant with Carter. (yes, I worked out my entire pg, and LOVED yoga!) I saw that we are getting to preview a channel called "Lime" on Dish and Yoga Zone was on.. so I clicked on it and caught it from the very beginning! Madison giggled and did it with me.. it was so cute! I forgot how incredibly hard that stuff is! No wonder I looked so good back in those days! Sheesh! So, we'll see how long my new Yoga kick lasts. It's a heck of a lot more fun to do it with Madison. It's even MORE fun to get Clayton to do it with me. He used to make fun of me when I'd do it so I'd make him do it with me. However, it's incredibly hard to hold a pose when you're laughing at your husband!

I feel like Suzanne today because I'm loving the cloudy day. I've had more sun than even I can handle lately so this is a nice change. It just seems quieter when it's dark outside like this. Carter even went down for a nap earlier! It's magic!

Clayton is out making every man he knows jealous. He just got his new Impala state car last year, but because he's such a good worker, he's now getting one of the first Arkansas State Trooper Dodge Chargers! He had to go to Petit Jean today to do a driving course with the car... meaning he'll be going 100mph or more, pitting out other cars, and just having a grand ole time! Nothing I'd ever want to do but he was so excited about it! I'm so happy for him that he's got a job he loves so much. :)(even though I'm often less than happy about the job that he loves so much!) One cool thing is, because he had to go do this today (which was supposed to be his off day) he's off TOMORROW! Woo hoo! Off on a Friday while working the night shift! That never happens! So, here's to THAT!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My favorite night of the week!

Posted by Mandy at 11:16 AM 2 comments Links to this post
It's Wednesday... so that means it's Small Group night! I LOVE our small group. I've grown so much as a christian since going to it, and now that it's switched to a women's group, I'm growing even more. It's also really nice that I've made new friendship! I think we'll all get and stay really close, at least that's my hope.

The baby shower was fantastic! The best I think I've ever been to, including my own! A ton of people showed up and Betsy got everything she could possibly need/want that I could tell. She was so obviously overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. It's not often that you can touch someone like that. I know that she felt so loved and cared for by all of us, and she should, because she IS! I wonder is she's thought about how loved that baby is going to be. Just look at how many people our group's children have to love them! It's a rare thing to find an entire group of friends that love children, and can accept different parenting sytles. I love that I have so many good christian people around me to help raise my children. I pray all of our children will grow up to be good kids/teens and support each other in doing what's right, rather than following the crowd. Lord knows I followed the crowd way too much in school. I just don't want my children to have the same regrets that i have. Then again, I turned out okay, and i learned from the many mistakes that I made. You live and learn I guess!

I had a neighbor (that I just met recently) from down the road bring her 2yr old daughter over to play today! They're so much fun to hang out with.. and they've invited us to come swimming at their house Friday. :) THey also have horses, goats, etc and she said they have OLD horses that they use to train new/young riders that we can come ride anytime we want... how sweet are they?! Madison will love riding a horse. She got to ride a pony a few months ago and she had such a good time.

Oh, to make all of you other mommies jealous, guess what time we all got out of bed this morning... anyone? 9:40am!! Can you believe that?!!! Wow! I was shocked when I looked at the clock! We haven't slept past 8am in years! I could so get used to this.. just in time for school to start up again!

Speaking of school, the teacher list is supposed to be posted THIS WEEK so if anyone sees it up, let me know! I'd hate to drive out there and it not be there.. but i'm getting ansy waiting. Time to go school clothes/supplies shopping!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Playgroup today

Posted by Mandy at 11:49 AM 5 comments Links to this post
We had such a great playgroup today! K.T. came and so did someone that Suzanne met from a friend... I am so bad but I cannot remember her name! (Mari?) Leslie and Brian came too and everyone seemed to have a great time. (and for once no wasp stings! BONUS!) K.T. it was so great to finally meet you! I hope you keep coming to play and hang out on Tuesdays! Madison has talked NONSTOP about how much fun she had with Kyla! She usually doesn't have a girl her age there to hang out with, so I know it was so good for her. :)

I am SOOOO excited for Betsy's baby shower tonight! I went by WalMart and got a gift bag and packed all of the cutesy stuff up.. I just can't wait! Oh, by the way, why doesn't Wally World carry cute baby gift bags?! grr.. I don't think I saw ONE cute baby girl gift bag!! I love WalMart but ours is so bad about not having a good selection so much of the time!

So, Carter is officially a nudist! That boy! He still has no desire to actually use the potty, though he does sit on it a lot more now, but he rips his clothes off constantly! Ask Michael... last night (I picked Ashton up from daycare and kept him until Michael could come get him after work) while they were here Carter had taken off the ONESIE I had put on him (in hopes of keeping the diaper on) and ripped off his diaper. I put the diaper on backwards, he still got it off. I even tried putting some of Madison's panties on him hoping that maybe he'd like it if I bought him underwear.. he cried and took them off too. Oh well.. maybe he'll potty train soon! One can hope!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

BABY STUFF!! **squeel!!**

Posted by Mandy at 3:52 PM 7 comments Links to this post
Ah yes... any man that was walking by me in Kohl's today was rolling his eyes as I squeeled with delight at all of the pink baby girl clothes, blankies, shoes, bibs, and toys. I was shopping for Betsy's baby shower (tuesday) and oh wow.. it was so much fun! I had a ton of stuff carrying it around because I just could not pick! My mom had to help me! lol I won't disclose what exactly I got her because someone could sneak her the info before her big day.. and I'm not one to ruin a surprise! I'm off to Wally World tomorrow to pick up the rest of the stuff I'm getting her... and I cannot wait to see what everyone else got for her! I must give God some praise right now. I'll fully admit that last week, before I knew that I wasn't pregnant, I told Suzanne, "I'm not sure how I'll shop for baby clothes and make it to this baby shower if I'm not pg.. I think it will break me." But then I quickly said, "No.. I REFUSE to be 'that' woman!" (as LeeAnn said, "I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN!") After beginning REALLY reading my Bible and just trying really hard to have a better outlook on life, I had the best time today and I cannot wait until the baby shower! It's going to be so great! I feel full of joy today. Life is good, God is good. The fact that it's only 95 degrees today, instead of the 111 it was last week is good. I got to talk to Suzanne on the phone for like an hour today and that was good. She mentioned LeeAnn is coming over tomorrow around 4pm and I should bring my baby gifts then too... I was so excited, and that's good. I should really get Clayton to tear apart the console in the van to find Madison's lost Bible School Song cd b/c I could sing over and over again the song that once grated on my every last nerve: "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where?..." Yeah, you know it probably! Ah, it feels good to be HAPPY! I was so down all last week and lemme tell ya, that just plain stinks. So, my promise is to be a heck of a lot more fun to hang out with now! :) No moaning and complaining, and the only crying I plan on doing is crying from the great emotions I can't keep in!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

quick update

Posted by Mandy at 9:03 AM 3 comments Links to this post
I know a lot of people have been waiting to hear the news for sure, the hag found me this morning.. so we're officially on to month 9. Thanks for all of your prayers and kind words. I feel okay about it. God showed me the verses last night for a reason, I suppose he knew I'd need them!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Smacked upside the head by The Word

Posted by Mandy at 8:00 PM 2 comments Links to this post
So, have you ever sat down and decided to read your Bible, nothing out of the ordinary, but then you find verse after verse that make you look around and ask, "Are you watching me?" I had that experience tonight. God knew I needed it. I started out just searching around, not sure what I wanted to read. I looked up all kinds of words in the back to see if something would grab my attention.. and then I found it. "God's timing" Ugh.. I did not want to read that. To be honest I'm SICK TO DEATH of hearing about God's timing as if knowing that his timing is perfect should really make me feel better in a moment of intense greif. I guess it was in God's timing that these verses were brought before me, when I was ready and WILLING to read them and listen to the word of the Lord. So, I found several verses that I wrote down. (yes, I wrote them down! all of them that 'spoke' to me got written on index cards and I plan to read them daily! I'm memorizing my favorite one as "homework" for small group like I promised I would!) Here are a few that REALLY gave me chills. Sorry, i am aware that to most of you they will be like reading the back of a cereal box... which is exactly how I'd have felt a month ago reading the same ones. But, for God's glory I'll post them anyway!

Psalm 75:2 You say, "I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly."

John 11:6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
I read that and thought, hu? What's with that? Go rescue him Jesus!! Then the rest of the story unfolded...

John 11:14-15 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
So there was my "ah-ha" moment. If he'd have just made a sick man well, that would've been nice, but to bring a dead man back to life.. that is a miracle! The last verse that I wrote on this story is the one that gave me chills... truly.. chills. It was as if God held me as I read it.

John 11:40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

This is the verse I'm going to memorize for small group. It just hit me really really hard. I know my faith is rocky right now, that I have a hard time believing God is really with me when things don't go the way I think they should. I just need to believe... it's hard.. but I'm on my way!

The good and the bad

Posted by Mandy at 1:55 PM 2 comments Links to this post
The Good: I got to meet Brittany and Shaun today! What a great time! Her pg belly is so cute and I am anxiously awaiting the next baby update since I know they were getting an ultrasound today. :)

The Bad: I broke down and took a pg test today. I had a temp rise and other things that I let get the better of me. It was of course negative. Ugh.... so I guess in the next few days we'll be moving onto month #9.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Was group for me?

Posted by Mandy at 7:50 AM 3 comments Links to this post
Wow, our small group was great for me last night. Our focus was joy and what things in life keep us away from joy, and what things bring us joy. I was lacking joy for the most part yesterday. It isn't a constant feeling of crappiness, but it's off and on when I think of how low my temps are and just waiting for the hag to appear. Suzanne asked what our "chronic" joy stealer is lately... mine started as 'greif'.. each month I'd be so depressed that I wasn't pg that I'd be overwhelmed with sadness. I still have some of that, but I realized last night that now it's more the 'wearniess' that's getting to me. I know I've said to at least Leslie and Suzanne that I am just so tired. Emotionally I am exhausted. I feel a thousand times better than I felt a month ago, due to me reading my Bible and praying regularly again, but still, I feel just tired of wanting this. I just want it to happen so I don't have to think about it anymore. I told Clayton that he'll probably get his wish and this will be our last child because I just cannot imagine ever putting myself through this again. I know the end result will be worth it, but in THIS moment, TODAY, I am just drained. I always feel a lot better once we start a new month. I start each month with a lot of optomism and just KNOW that THIS month will be it. It's the end of the month that is hard... waiting and waiting to find out, then being so disappointed over and over again. But I did realize that last night, I am so blessed that that is the only joy stealer I could really come up with. My life is so wonderful. That feeling was validated when we got the most horrible phone call I can remember ever getting. Our friends (that used to be our neighbors here) have a son that has Spina Bifida. (sp?) He is prone to seizures and they are frequently rushing to the ER due to that. The doctors told them when Remington was born that if he made it to age 5 it would be a miracle. He had his 7th bday this year. Two days ago the father called to tell Clayton that Remington had had a seizure and had stopped breathing for 18 minutes. 18 minutes... 18 minutes that two parents watched their lifeless child turn blue, 18 minutes that they saw their whole world fall apart, 18 minutes that they knew nothing would ever be the same. He was rushed to Children's Hospital by medflight.. they stabalized him... and last night when we were all hanging out after small group the father called Clayton, barely able to speak to say, "Remington didn't make it, we're on our way home, and would you please be a paul bearer at the funeral." I was wondering why clayton was in such a hurry to go home last night, and when we got into the van he told me that and we just prayed for them and cried the entire way home. My sadness is not over Remington's death for I feel he was released from a life of pain. My sadness is for his parents, for as a parent I know that my worst fear is losing one of my children. How would you ever go on? How would you ever sleep again? And what I hurt the most for them over was, How will they walk into their home and see his things there, and know he'll never be there again. Oh Lord please be with them. Please be with all of us. I've never been to a child's funeral before... neither has Clayton. A child's death is tragic and I'm sure all that are there will be in disbelief that this has even happened. I also realized last night that my longing for a child is nothing compared to theirs.
 

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