Our daughter was approached about being an Altar Server a few months ago and this past Saturday was her first day. All week she was nervous, so we practiced a little bit and I reassured her as much as I could. We got to church about an hour early so she could practice and do a run through of mass a few times with Mr. LeCompte. We were unaware she needed to wear close toed black shoes luckily, they had some in the back. They were too big, but some tissue fixed that. As time approached and the church began to fill up she said, “mom I just don’t want to mess up.” I could see the worry on her beautiful face and immediately explained to her that she would do great and to remember how she practiced. As I watched her I could feel in my stomach that this is where she is supposed to be, she looked happy. It was wonderful watching her be a part of the mass and taking on this big role. At the end of mass she stood in the back and had this whole new sense of confidence and accomplishment. Before Father talked with the other members he made it a point to tell her how good of a job she did. When we went to leave she was told by Mr. LeCompte and Sonia that she did a great job. Khloe was smiling from ear to ear because of how nervous she was about messing up and I know it made her feel good to hear that.
Another wonderful thing about her being an Altar Server is we get to share the fact that I was one when I was her age. All the fears she had about Altar Serving I was able to let her know I had those same fears. I was very shy when I was her age so the thought of people staring at me scared me and she had the same concerns. I'm proud to say she is looking forward to serving now that the jitters are gone, and that’s wonderful. As I explained to her it will take a few times before she goes in with no worries of messing up but after that she will be fine.
My husband and I are so proud of our baby girl. We appreciate everyone who took the time to come and see her serve for the first time because this was an important night for her.
Last week Christina posted about our mom's night without the kids. We had a much needed evening of adult time, which included dinner, dessert, wine, movies, popcorn, and everything in between. However, that is not a typical weekend night for us. The majority of the time, we spend our nights and weekends with our kids. We wouldn't want it any other way, but we did have a few laughs remembering how different our previous weekend without the kids went.
This time, we still enjoyed our (cold) dinner where we were tending to one of the kids between bites. I'm pretty sure Christina ate standing up, while I had Gabriella whining at my feet because she wanted my attention on the floor with her. We also planned to talk about which bible versus we wanted to read next for the blog, but that did not happen either because the babies decided they were going to party on Saturday night instead of going to bed at their usual time, which was fine, no big deal. We let them stay up and continue to play. So we decided to rent a movie while the guys where outside in the garage watching the fight. We had been wanting to watch Adrift, so this was a great time to do that! Or so we thought HAHA. We figured once we started the movie and turned off the lights, the kids would relax and settle down. Jokes on us. It took us 3.5 hours to watch a 2 hour movie. It was (unintentionally) always something. The babies needed their diaper changed (at different times), someone was thirsty, we would stop to redirect one of the babies from doing something, then we needed snacks, or we would rewind it multiple times because we missed something or couldn't hear. Naturally, 3 out of the 4 kids fell asleep within the last 10 minutes of the movie. All we could do was laugh about it and think yes, we did enjoy last weekend without any interruptions and a 'peaceful' adult night, but we are so blessed to have these babies and all of their interruptions <3 We do need our adult nights every once in a while, but we enjoy our movie nights with the kids just as much, and we still enjoy ourselves and have great conversation... even if we did eat our dinner cold :)
Raining on my parade. Yeah, that’s right. I had a great moms’ night in and was able to relax and kick up my feet and have some girl time. Well, that changed the day after when my son began to run a low fever. He had no other symptoms other than the fact that it was low grade, so I figured it had to be from teething. We go and have dinner at my brother and Megans’ house Saturday night and he was playing just fine, still a low fever so nothing alarming. We go home put Zechariah to sleep, shower and go downstairs to catch up on our shows. Zechariah woke up crying with a slightly higher fever so we continue to keep switching medicine between Motrin and Tylenol and he ends up fighting his sleep throughout the night. Come Sunday morning we decided to go grocery shopping and get it out of the way and as soon as we load the groceries in the car and my husband begins backing up, Zechariah throws up everywhere. Wonderful, right? I get him cleaned up and switch him into his sisters carseat (they spent the weekend with their grandparents) and then we went home. When we get home I feel like he is hotter than I’m comfortable with and sure enough it was 103.2, I instantly messaged my Aunt who is the Nurse for our Pediatrician. We continued giving him medicine and juice and finally it came down to 98.5, thank God we could breathe a little bit. However, we had another rough night with little to no sleep but that’s alright because as long as we made him comfortable that’s all we cared about. Bring on Monday morning, here is the high fever again but this time it was 103.6, again I message my Aunt. She begins to respond immediately asking me questions about him and we realize he has a rash on his belly and stomach, weirdly though his legs were cold (which I was then told is normal). She requests a doctor visit and we have him there a 9:15 a.m. and the verdict.......my baby has strep. GREAT!!!!!! Having 2 other kids in the house with something contagious, that’s awesome. Anyone with a family knows we pass sickness around the house like we are at breakfast passing one piece of bacon around before our mom catches us. It’s never ending for a few weeks, we are a family of five so it takes its’ time to attack us like a ninja. I mean HELLO we are moms’ we aren’t allowed to get sick or the house falls apart. Sorry, I went off on a tangent, back to my son. We got him antibiotics which are working great and we will be giving him those for 10 days, it isn’t contagious anymore. Hallelujah!!!! There is one perk to your kids being sick, snuggles. That’s right, my baby wanted lovins’ and I welcomed it with open arms and lap because that’s where he mostly laid.
Just a little plug Dr. Smith is an amazing Pediatrician and her Nurse Mary is wonderful and being my Aunt, she has NEVER made me feel like a burden when contacting her about any concerns.
Well, Gabriella and I have officially started the journey of weaning. It's something I am ready to do, but still makes me sad as we will never do it again. Friday was my last day to pump at work (I am NOT going to miss that!). Gabriella started drinking regular milk at daycare yesterday, and is having no issues transitioning! Baby girl loves milk like her mom and dad :) We still nurse when we are together; when we get home from school, before bed, throughout the night (teething sucks!), and sometimes in the morning before school if she wakes up in time. This will be the first weekend I am going to try to not nurse her during the day, so we will see how it goes. I'm not sure when we will have our last feed, but I am not rushing it. I believe it will gradually happen on it's own as she gets a little older. She is still only 11 months, and I am not rushing my baby to grow up any more than she already is <3
Being part of some mom groups I have seen posts about Houston Party Playland some negative and some positive but that is with any business. I have been wanting to take our kids there for a while, but we never seemed to have the time. Well last week my husband ended up being off work and we wanted to get out of the house, but it was raining so we couldn’t go to the park. I told him about this establishment and that it is an indoor play area. We decided to take the kids and packed them some snacks and their water cups. When we walk in there is a big sign that says, “no outside food or drinks please support concession stand.” Understandable right? We pay and proceed to put the kids socks on because it is a requirement luckily, I brought some just in case. I was surprised at how nice it was inside. They had multiple areas for kids of all ages, a trampoline, slides, tunnels, arcade area and a build a bear section. There is also plenty of picnic tables, couches, tables and chairs for everyone to sit on. My kids really enjoyed it and we stayed for about 2 hours, not bad for $24. Of course, running around the kids worked up an appetite and wanted their drinks and snacks that I brought them, but it isn’t allowed. I look for the concession stand that they want you to support and I was NOT impressed. They had bagged tortilla chips and individual cheese for nachos, the juices for the kids by the register were not cold either. I have no problem supporting your business but if you're not going to allow outside food and drinks, have a better concession area. Needless to say, we left and took the kids to lunch. Granted that won't stop us from attending this indoor playland, because the kids had fun.
Gabriella will be 11 months next week! They don't lie when they say time flies. Sometimes I miss the sweet newborn snuggles, but even at 10.5 months I still get plenty of snuggles <3 But now I also get more than just snuggles. I love watching her grow, explore, and seeing her personality develop everyday. We have already started planning her 1st Birthday party, and I cannot believe that we have had her with us for almost 1 year. It just does not seem like that long!
I have been getting asked since she was 6 months old when I was going to stop breastfeeding. My answer has always been the same, "I'm not sure, I am trying to make it to 1 year at least if all continues to go well". Well we're approaching 1 year, and while I know I don't want to continue to pump at work much longer, I don't know when we will be 100% weaned. We have both enjoyed the journey so much, and I will be sad when we do stop. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little excited to have my body to myself again and have a little more freedom to take weekend trips with Daniel without having to take those all so lovely pump breaks. They are not glamorous or convenient. I feel the time is coming and the end is near, which I have never said before.
I didn't put much thought into this experience, and we just went with what felt natural. I have been blessed with a supporting husband and family, and I hope I am just as blessed with our next baby when the time comes.
That’s right, you read the title correctly. We will be adding a new member to the family. My sister and brother in law are having a baby boy in a few weeks. To say we are excited is 100% an understatement, mainly because we NEVER thought my sister would have kids. She made it clear she didn’t want to have kids, but her mindset completely changed when she met Chuck (husband). The love they have for each other is beautiful and it created this precious baby boy, who we will be meeting soon. Cynthia (momma to be) is the Godmother to our oldest daughter and our son and Chuck (daddy to be) is the godparent to our son as well. Cynthia has been through it all with me, she has stayed at the hospital for days while I was in labor with our first daughter, stayed the night and helped me when I was first out of the hospital just to be a helping hand or providing a meal for our family. She loves my kids more than they will ever know and I know that will never change, but I do know a momma's love is something she will be experiencing for the first time. We all know there is nothing like it. I have no doubt she will be an AMAZING momma. I am so happy that we will be able to share the experience of motherhood together and that our boys will be so close in age. My husband and I get the honor of being the godparents to this angel and we don’t take that lightly, as we know we chose the godparents of our kids carefully.
You will be more loved than you understand, not only by your mom and dad but by everyone in your family. You have amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who will shower you with love. Auntie Coco will always have your back and know you can always come over for sweets when mom and dad say no more sugar. I love you baby boy and can’t wait to meet you.
Love Auntie Coco
My kids are fruit lovers. Does anyone else have kids who thoroughly enjoy eating fruit? They could eat entire bowl of grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries but their ultimate favorite is watermelon. I love seeing my kids eat fruit.
I used to go to the store and buy those Little Debbie cakes and have those for my kids snacks and sometimes I do purchase them as a treat. However, we have changed the way we shop in the past few weeks and to be honest it was a great decision for our family. We have all started drinking more water, not so say they never have Capri Suns or a soda here and there but their water intake as well as mine and my husbands has increased drastically. We purchased each of them a nice water bottle and that is what they refill throughout the day. As for snacks my husband and I bought snack bags to separate the food and make it easier for the kids to grab. On accident we bought the Ziploc bags that have the measurements on them, but they ended up working out great. Usually we go grocery shopping on Sunday but every now and then we go on a Monday, and whichever day we choose is when we prep all the snacks and food we buy for the week. We wash and cut everything, so we can put it all in the correct bins. In our refrigerator I have stackable bins on the bottom shelf that have individual yogurt or applesauce and in another bin is where I put the fruit bags. I also have a drawer for the Capri Suns, so they can grab those as well. Under my sink is a cabinet that is specifically for the kids. In that area on one side I have stackable bins for their dry snacks such as goldfish, popcorn, granola bars and Little Debbie cakes. On the other side I have their plates, bowls for snack or cereal and cups.
Having everything accessible for the kids is wonderful for many reasons but I will share a few. It teaches them independence, responsibility and confidence. They know they can handle grabbing a snack or drink if they ask, it's not a free for all. Everything would be gone if we didn’t have some rules for this. It makes them feel like big kids grabbing their own stuff. When I try and help they tell me "mom I got it" and they are on their way. In my head I am wanting time to slow down, so they need me for the small things. However, I LOVE that they are learning to be independent. Yes, I want the best of both worlds.
If you read our Modern Teaching section, you know I started my new job yesterday! Gabriella has completed her second full day at daycare, and we are both doing much better than I anticipated! Gabriella LOVES playing with her friends, she doesn’t even cry when I leave! This makes me feel less guilty about leaving her, because I know she is having fun. Her favorite parts of the day are playing and eating LOL. She is not a fan of nap time (if you know her, this is not unusual for her in new surroundings as she is quite nosy and doesn’t want to miss a beat) or drinking from her bottle (again, not a shocker). I love how patient her teachers are with her as they do not force her to do anything if she is uncomfortable with, but instead let her play more which makes her content. The toughest part about the transition is when I pick her up. It’s like she sees me, and suddenly remembers how much she missed me. She is clingy for the rest of the evening, even more so than usual. I’m sure that will get better as she adjusts. Another adjustment is both of us having to wake up earlier.. neither one of us likes that haha. Today it really showed, as she went down for the night at 6:30pm! Her normal bedtime is usually 8pm.
Overall, I am very excited about this change in our lives, and we are both adjusting better than imagined <3 However, I wouldn’t be upset if I became I stay at home mom again and got to spend my entire day with her, as I miss starting the day with our morning snuggles. I will have to cherish them even more on the weekends now <3
Pictured below is her first day at daycare.. that face though! LOL
You imagine your baby and everything about having them home with you while you are pregnant, but you really have no idea what it’s going to be like. Especially as a first-time mom. Even for the seasoned moms it is still difficult because every baby is different. While being a seasoned mom might prepare you slightly better, it doesn’t make it any easier, more so because you probably have a toddler with that newborn as well!
Daniel took off work that first week with me while I was still recovering, and I am so grateful he did. He was the absolute best and took care of everything from me to baby. He got a slight break because I handled all the feedings because I was breastfeeding, and we decided to wait a bit before introducing a bottle (more on that topic later). We brought Gabriella home Sunday afternoon, and some of our family was here with us. After everyone had gone, the night began. At first it wasn’t bad, I thought “huh, I got this” (hahaha). All throughout my pregnancy, we were both against co-sleeping for fear of the dangers of suffocation. Even going into our first night, we had no intentions of letting her in our bed. My memory is very foggy of those first few nights, as I am pretty sure I was running off adrenaline and exhaustion. The three of us were in our room sitting in bed. I had just finished feeding her and she was asleep. The basinet was set up right next to the bed. I laid her down, and just stared at her, and staring back at me was the huge suffocation label on the side of the basinet! I naturally couldn’t sleep now, so with Daniel now asleep next to me, I just stare at her. I sit there and watch her sleep, swaddled up, to make sure she doesn’t roll over and suffocate on the side of the basinet. Well, that lasted about 45min and she was awake. Crap. I’m so tired. Why didn’t I sleep? I pick her up and feed her as I sit up in bed. Now she’s crying and not even feeding her is helping. Daniel now wakes up and starts rocking her, and that helps a little. He lets me get about an hour nap in before she starts crying again. I decide to come sit in the recliner with her in the living room to rock her. We both end up sleeping there, elevated.
Morning comes, and we have a good day! Go to the doctor to check her bilirubin and get a few visitors at the house. Night comes again and it’s more of the same. We try the basinet again, and no sleep for anyone. We end up on the recliner again. I wake up so sore and stiff from trying to stay in the same position all night! But, Gabriella slept so good on my chest. The third night I’m trying to be creative. Can she sleep in the bouncer? Can we put the bouncer on our bed? Nope, too big. Hmmm… maybe the boppy? That will keep her snug and it’s small enough to fit here on the bed. From that night on, she slept in her boppy on our bed, peacefully. Sleep for everyone! Around two months she outgrew it and wanted to stretch out more, and she had already doubled her birth size, so I didn’t feel like she was as fragile. We have been successfully co-sleeping since. I love every minute of it <3 We have made a few attempts getting her out of our bed, but that will be a post of its own 😊
What I learned is that you can have all the plans you want when you are pregnant, but you really don’t know how it will play out when you get home. Now that Gabriella is 9 months, I have learned so much from her, but I still don’t know how I will be when we eventually bring a second baby home. Will we co-sleep? Maybe, maybe not. There are pros and cons to both, so we will figure it out when the time comes <3
Pics of our first night home below..
This past Sunday was nothing short of beautiful. Our son was Baptized and as parents we couldn’t be happier for him to begin his relationship with God. My husband and I chose my older sister (Cynthia) and brother in law (Chuck) to be his godparents, we couldn’t have chosen a better couple to guide him in his journey with God and life.
To begin the festivities, we got his very first haircut on Saturday, which he did good with for a bit and then started to scream and cry. Luckily he was almost done so he didn’t cry for too long. Sunday morning, we got him dressed in his cute outfit and new shoes, as well as getting our other kids ready for Church. We had our regular church service and following that we had the ceremony for the Baptism. We had a little reception for him at our house with a sandwich bar, cold pasta, fruit bowl, deviled eggs, sweet tea and sodas......let's not forget the cake and ice cream. We also purchased a waterslide for the kids to play on but my husband (Steven), sister in law (Megan) and myself had a blast on it too. That’s right we played on the slide with them and I won't say who, but someone tweaked their back trying to do a trick going down the slide (and no it wasn’t one of the kids). The best part about the entire day was that we got to share it with family. This Texas heat is no joke, and everyone was real troopers being outside.
All in all, it was a beautiful day and we appreciate everyone who helped put it on. Come 9 p.m. we were all exhausted and ready for bed.
After anticipating her arrival since I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks, the day had finally arrived. We had just moved back into our home after it flooded in Harvey 3 days prior. I was at my 38 week check up appointment on a Tuesday. My ultrasound showed low amniotic fluid, which was concerning because Gabriella didn’t have much room. They sent me over to labor and delivery to be monitored by the on-call physician. There, they hooked me up to the fetal monitor and did another ultrasound. After an hour, she gave me the all clear and sent me back to work as she found a couple of good fluid pockets. I called my doctor to update her, and she said she wanted to see me Friday to follow up. I returned to work and told them this would be my last day as I needed to get things situated at home because she would be here soon! Friday morning, I went in for my checkup. Dr. R hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and there was zero fetal movement. She took this “blow horn” (I’m not sure the proper term) and blew it on my belly several times. Still no movement. Thankfully they were also monitoring her heartrate and it was steady and strong (this allowed me to remain calm). Dr. R then took me to a different exam room to do an ultrasound and could not find any fluid pockets. She said, “Well looks like it’s baby time! I don’t want to send you home over the weekend in this condition”. I called Daniel and told him it was go time! I don’t think the realization had sunk in for either one of us at this point. We were going to have a baby in the next 24 hours. The induction process was started that Friday morning, and we were officially parents at 11:22am Saturday!
The first time I held her for our hour of skin to skin, I was in disbelief. I remember just staring at her thinking, “She was just in my belly, and now I’m actually holding her”. Taking in every inch of her. She was wide awake and looking back at me in such a peaceful state. We both just starred at each other. The nurse (who was so amazing) helped us with our first feed. I am so thankful for her experience, because I was clueless and just figuring it out as I went. I didn’t do too much research because I figured it would just come naturally and me and Gabriella would learn together. She just took my breast, squeezed it like a hamburger, and shoved Gabriella to me to latch. Now as a first-time mom, I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh that was rough!”, but it worked! It was such a weird feeling. You think about and try to imagine this moment your entire pregnancy, but you really don’t know until the day comes. Gabriella was such a natural, she made my first experience so easy. From then on, we latched for 30 minutes on each side every three hours, or whenever she desired. I have always fed her ‘on demand’. One thing I did learn from my support group, is the more baby is on breast, the quicker your milk will come in. I never stressed or worried if she was getting enough, because I knew that it was natural, and my body would produce what she needed if I took care of myself, even before my milk even came in. We were only in the hospital for 24 hours after delivery, so we were home in time for her first Dallas Cowboys football game! Our family, especially Daniel, are major Cowboy fans.
Come back next time as I talk about those first few nights home. Those endless, sleepless, blurry nights.
Are there any mommas out there who have struggled with kids being around the same age? I have a 3 year old and 1.5 year old and needless to say doing anything outside the house is stressful. Going out to eat has now been something my husband and I try and limit, grocery shopping is more difficult than what it needs to be, and attending church is almost impossible. My kids aren't disrespectful and that is something I can say with confidence, but they are verbal and loud at times. I like to say they get their volume from their daddy but he will deny it. If we go to a restaurant my daughter is going around the table to visit her siblings and my son is throwing food on the ground. Attending church is a whole other issue, my kids are so loved by the people there but if they talk or coo during the service we will get stares and head turns. I can feel the heat rising up my neck because we have been told to "sshhh" plenty of times. I understand it is church but we don't have a cry room like we use to and I feel like people need to be understanding that they are babies and they do make noise, and I also think to myself "weren't they ever taught not to stare" I digress, kids are kids and it is something that needs to be remembered by myself and others.
When I was pregnant, I decided I was going to try to breastfeed. I really didn’t have any expectations set for myself, as I didn’t want to be disappointed if I was unsuccessful. I joined a Facebook group called Latch and Chat, and I learned SO much from so many different momma’s and their experiences. My journey would have been more difficult had I not joined that group. From my milk coming in, to clog ducts, to mastitis, my girl not wanting to take a bottle, pumping, biting while feeding; this group was one of my best support systems. Someone could always relate to me and could empathize what I was going through and was there to answer any question I had. I encourage anyone who is currently breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed to find a great support group!
I hope you follow with me as I share my breastfeeding journey with you. The raw, uncut version.