Friday, February 5, 2016

A Cornucopia of Crazy & 19 Weeks

The other night I walked out in the living room wearing my pajamas, and Nick's eyes almost popped out of his head. 
Okay, that sentence actually sounds a whole lot different written out than it did in my head so let me try again. The other night while I was wearing my pajamas, my bump seemed to be growing right before our eyes! I mean, take a look at this thing! 19 weeks and it looks more like 30!! Salomone babies do not mess around. 

Yesterday was my 19 week anatomy sonogram. That is the best appointment of the whole nine months if you ask me! It's always so exciting and fun to be able to watch your baby for a long time and get everything checked from head to toe. Somehow watching its movements on the screen and knowing that's actually happening inside of you- an actual baby!- makes reality sink in a little bit more. The amazement of it never wears off. I was extremely relieved and thankful everything looked perfect, and our little man is growing and developing just as expected.

His hands were up by his face the majority of the time, and he was flipping and moving around. I got so excited peeking at him! I literally could not be more excited for this sweet baby boy! I think with each baby my heart grows exponentially larger. 
Now I did ask Dr. Snead to double and triple check the gender. I was holding out one last shard of hope, but sure enough- he is definitely a HE =) He wasn't shy about showing off his boy parts and left nothing in question. 

Other than that, the appointment was pretty uneventful. I go back in a month, but I feel like the appointments get pretty boring from now until we get close to the end. It is worth noting for my own satisfaction that I have only gained 9 lbs, as opposed to 12 like I thought. Hey, it's 3 lbs. but I'll take it! Although I'm not actually sure if that's a good thing, because the reason my math was off was because I weighed more in the beginning than I thought. Oops!

Besides my doctor's appointment, yesterday I got to have lunch with my friend Brittany. She is also expecting her third baby who will be arriving in just days! We had a early birthday lunch for her/ third baby celebration. I hadn't seen her in forever, and we had the best time catching up! 
We ate lunch at the T Room in Dallas, which is a restaurant inside of this insanely swanky store called Forty Five Ten on McKinney Ave. They sell shirts- SHIRTS, not blocks of gold, mind you- for upwards of $2300. Can you even imagine?? It's fun to look around the store in disbelief, but honestly, it makes me nervous to touch anything. Afterwards we treated ourselves to delicious cupcakes at Trailer Cakes. 
These two had lots of fun while I was gone. 

On Wednesday we went over to Logan's friend Weston's house to play for a bit. Weston has two older brothers, and apparently they love this Curious George tea set. I couldn't believe it, but my boys did too. Weston's mom Tara made them hot tea, and they sat there sipping away like little gentleman enjoying a spot of afternoon tea. 
I would make a comment about raising the next generation of gentleman, but it really wouldn't be completely accurate considering I couldn't find Everett for a minute, and found him standing on a stool at their bathroom sink with his head under the faucet drinking water like a dog!!! What on earth? I couldn't help but laugh when he popped his head up, his chin and shirt dripping with water and happily said, "LOOK! DINK! WA-WE!" [his word for water]. So maybe proper gentlemen is a bit of a stretch at this point.

Wednesday night was so much fun too! Dillon has been out of town, so Kimba and the girls came by for an impromptu visit and ended up staying for dinner. I really can't find the words to describe the amount of mayhem that ensued as the four kids played while Kimba, Nick and I attempted to piecemeal something for dinner that would satisfy the masses. Needless to say, I really needed to go to the grocery store, so I think we ended up emptying the remains of the freezer serving bits and pieces of: salmon, grilled chicken, a few chicken nuggets, two hot dogs, a green salad, one piece of baked fish, mac & cheese, roasted carrots, fruit, croissants... I mean it sounds like quite a spread, but in reality it was just ridiculous trying to scrap enough together to feed seven people. I think we might have been better off ordering a pizza and calling our losses. While all this was going on Everett and Nora roamed around the backyard barefoot with a bubble mower, and Logan and Hattie took turns arresting people and chasing each other with giant balloons they had blown up in the playroom. It was the most fun, memorable and wonderful kind of chaos!
I can't look at this next picture without cracking up! Logan and Hattie "arrested" Everett and marched him into the guest bedroom, just like he was off to the gallows. He was so compliant and went right along with their nonsense! Thus is the plight of the second born child...

On Monday Teri and I took the boys to The Perot Museum in Dallas. The trip wouldn't have been complete with Everett getting car sick on the way there and throwing up all over his car seat and clothes. Poor buddy!!! Naturally I didn't have extra clothes for him, but a quick u-turn to Target solved all of our problems, and we were happily on our way to the museum no worse for the wear. 
Logan and Everett absolutely loved the museum. We haven't been in a year or so, and they are at the perfect ages to enjoy it. They both loved racing all of the animals downstairs, and Logan was especially fascinated with the planets and dinosaur bones on the third floor.
They enjoyed building, climbing and playing in the kids' area afterwards. We could have spent the entire morning in there only. We definitely need to put Perot on our rotation of fun things to go and do more often.

After the museum lunch at Breadwinners feels a little bit like a must. 
These boys love their Grammy so much!

Those are some fun things we've done this week! Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Spring in January- Weekend Recap

The weather has been amazing the past few days! Not exactly what you would expect in January, but then again we live in Texas so you just never know what the temperatures will be from one day to the next. Since Thursday it's been in the 60's and 70's, and we've spent a ton of time outside enjoying the sunshine! 

Thursday afternoon we played in the cul-de-sac with some neighbors. I tried out one of the neighbor girl's hover boards- I know, I know, not the smartest move when you're pregnant- but it was seriously SO much fun! 
Since Santa brought the boys their fire truck, Everett has been terrified of it. Then out of nowhere Thursday afternoon he decided he wanted to ride in it. He LOVES it now, and he and Logan have ridden in it every day since.
That pair of brothers melted my heart driving down the road in their "fiah tuk," as Everett says.

Met a rival gang on the streets
That night Logan helped me cook dinner, as in real, actual helping. He measured and stirred and poured stuff in the pan. It was fun for us both!
I'm not sure why, but this past week Logan and Everett have been thick as thieves. (Never mind the fact that Logan wore the same exact outfit two days in a row. Believe it or not, I did wash it over night, and he pulled it out of the clean laundry pile.) Anyway, they have just been the best of friends all week long, and it's been adorable. Everett will tell Logan what he wants (in this case it was AL-MUNS) and Logan will happily oblige and get it for him. They have just laughed and laughed and played upstairs. They love to go in the playroom and play basketball together. "C'mon bubba. Les go. Baket-ball," Everett will say and off they will go up the stairs. I hear them talking to one another upstairs, in their carseats, or they lay in the bathtub and talk back and forth. Everett will mimic what Logan says and they both just laugh! This little friendship is brand new, and it is the greatest thing ever! I think the fact that Everett is talking so well all of a sudden has really helped.

Friday morning, after their AL-MUN snack on the couch we headed out to run some errands, and Logan wanted to stop by the library and get some dinosaur books. It was so pretty outside, and I really wanted to have lunch on a patio, so we walked across the street to Mi Cocina. (Hallelujah we were eating out and it wasn't at Chic Fil A!) This could have gone either way, but the boys were so well behaved, and it was actually a really enjoyable lunch with them both. I think the beautiful weather puts us all in good moods!
 Later, a handsome man bought our lunch...
Friday night we went over to Al & Teri's to celebrate Nick's grandpa's 88th birthday! We had lasagna and chocolate cake and enjoyed a fun night with Nick's family.
Saturday morning we went to a birthday party for a little friend of Everett's. They had face painting and a balloon artist, which was a big hit. Everett walked right up to the face painter and told her "tiger" all on his own.
Johnny Cash had no interest in face painting, but got a balloon sword and belt and also a freeze ray gun. He and another little boy at the party had fun playing with those.
Saturday night (the night of the baby-sitting mishap) we went to Del Frisco's in Fort Worth with Kimba and Dillon. Kimba and I treated ourselves before dinner and made appointments at the Blow Dry Bar to get our hair done. She and I were cracking up when we picked them up, and our outfits were so similar. Curled hair, tall boots and floral dresses we've both worn in our Christmas card pictures was the uniform of the night. Dinner was delicious, and we had a great night out with some of our BFFs.
I wish I had taken some pictures today... we had a fun day! Nick played golf with a group of his friends, and my mom came up and went to church with me and the boys. We sat with Andrea and Chris, and then met Teri for lunch after the service, since Al was golfing also. Logan and Everett were in heaven at lunch with so many of their favorite people. We spent the rest of the afternoon & evening outside in lawn chairs chatting with our neighbors on a driveway while the kids drove each other's bikes/ cars/scooters and caused general mayhem of one kind and another. Warm weather sure makes for fun days!

Almost Like Making A Murderer, But Not At All

Did you read THIS article, What to Pay a Baby Sitter, that was floating around Facebook a few weeks ago? A lot of people seemed to really like that article. While there were a few valid points made and I get the overall message the writer was trying to send, a lot of it really infuriated me.

The author pays her sitters a flat rate of $15 for three hours (two kids) and basically puts it out there for any kid desperate enough to accept her offer. Yes, she's right that teenagers need to learn the value of hard work and earn their money, but I just don't agree with her reasoning at all.

What got me was this paragraph especially:
My position is that it is not a terribly hard job:

<<Okay, time out right there. Did she ever baby-sit as a teenager? It can be a ton of work and incredibly tiring. Not to mention, it's maybe THE most important job, having the responsibility of someone else's kids in your care.>>

I don't expect them to be the mom, I expect them to watch a movie with my kids and feed them a little pre-made dinner. Probably almost exactly what they would be doing at home for free. If I could afford to pay them more, I would expect them to do more, like clean my house, make the dinner and do the dishes. But I know my budget, so I tell them that I don't expect much extra and pray that it will go smoothly for them...

That part just got me all worked up. I feel the complete opposite. If I'm willing to leave my kids with someone there is a lot of trust and forethought involved. I don't mind paying the going rate, or even extra, to ensure that. I pay them the same rate whether the kids are asleep or awake, because ultimately I'm paying them for their time. I want to feel like my kids are in good hands, and not just that I'm flippantly leaving them with the lowest bidder and hoping all goes well. Not to mention, once you find a good sitter, paying well definitely helps ensure future availability. 

I started baby-sitting in junior high and continued in high school for most of the same families. In college I would come home and do weekend jobs or go on vacations with those same families, and I even nannied for some of my professors' kids at A&M. All of those families treated me (and paid me) so well, and in turn, I did a good job for them. They set the example to me of how I want to treat our baby-sitters. 

I also think, what if there was some kind of emergency situation on the baby-sitter's watch? Would you really want the low hanging fruit there to deal with it and take care of your kids? I believe it's worth being more discerning and that mostly, you get what you pay for.

With all that said, we had our first bad baby-sitting experience last night. I guess it's bound to happen to every family eventually. We have been so fortunate up to this point to have wonderful baby-sitters who love our boys and do a fantastic job. I'm not sure exactly what transpired last night.

Emilee is away at college, and Layne got a real job (why do our baby-sitters have to have life goals??), so I was really needing someone else. I decided to email my sorority chapter at a nearby college and see if I could tap the baby-sitting well there. (Three bonuses of college kids are; they usually have day time availability, they probably have baby-sitting experience, and they need money.) I interviewed a couple of girls, and we ended up with one that we really, really liked all last semester. Well naturally, she ended up going to Spain this semester (again, the goals are killing me!) so we needed someone else temporarily. She recommended her roommate to us until she gets back. I had actually met her roommate when they came to our house to baby-sit together once, and she seemed nice, plus I trusted the recommendation. 

When she arrived I could tell she might not have baby-sat a ton just by the questions she was asking me. But she only had about an hour until the boys went to bed, and I seriously had everything laid out and written down in detail. Not to mention, Logan is basically self sufficient and Everett is easy. 

We got home a few hours later, and I could tell she was pretty upset. She kind of beat around the bush for a while but then she finally told me Logan hadn't been very nice to her. WHAAAA!

"He told me I was the worst baby-sitter in the world," she said. "And then, he told me... you'll never baby-sit in this town again!" her voice went up a couple of octaves as she said it. 

I wasn't sure if I should laugh (I mean, WHAT!) or be mortified. I felt a little of both. I think most people who have been around kids any length of time would have brushed it off as a four year old being silly, but I could tell she was actually kind of mad and upset. I apologized and told her not to take it personally, but assured her we would talk to him about it in the morning.

Now I know my boys aren't angels and they can act up like any other kid from time to time, but we have never once gotten a single bad report from school or a baby-sitter. They always say the boys are sweet and easy, so I just didn't know what to make of it.

This morning Logan came moseying into our bedroom, and Nick and I asked him what happened with the baby-sitter last night. Trying to get information was about like interviewing Brendan Dassey on Making a Murderer. 
Yeah. I don't know. Yeah. Uh-huh. Can I go watch WWF now?

We asked him if he had said those things, and he said he did and also, that he handcuffed her so she couldn't get out to baby-sit him. FANTASTIC.

"Logan you really hurt her feelings. Why would you tell her she's the worst baby-sitter in the world?" Nick asked.
"Because she was," he told us matter of factly.
"And you told her she can't baby-sit here anymore?"I asked.
"No. I said YOU'LL NEVER BABY-SIT IN THIS TOWN AGAIN when I handcuffed her up."
"Why did you say that?"
He shrugged, "I didn't like her."

Those were the only details we got, other than the fact that she didn't know how to wash their hair and she couldn't understand anything Everett was saying. 

We made it clear that he didn't have to like her, but he was never, ever to talk to a baby-sitter like that again. We rolled out the usual grown up lecture about being respectful and someone being a guest in our home and all the things parents are supposed to say in that situation.

I don't think we'll be calling her again, but I'm still not sure if I should laugh it off or be absolutely humiliated. I'm a little of both, but more so laughing it off at this point. I just wonder what all happened last night!

Do you have a hard time finding good baby-sitters? What kinds of things do you expect for them to do while they're there?

I was also disappointed last night that we came home and the house looked like a bomb went off. Lights on upstairs, toys everywhere, dinner dishes untouched... I never expect our sitters to go crazy cleaning, but I do feel like when you have ample time after the kids go to bed (and you're being paid well to basically do nothing) it's not unfair to expect some toys to be picked up and the dinner dishes put away. Do you feel like that's part of the job or simply a bonus? 

This is all the more reason I think it's worth paying great baby-sitters well when you find them. I happen to think baby-sitting is a terribly important job, and the good ones deserve to be well rewarded. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

18 Weeks

I feel very fancy right now. I'm sitting at my shiny new desk for the first time, which was delivered this morning! My desk chair doesn't have a cushion (back order, figures), there are sample cans of paint and two lamps sitting on the floor, and I'm surrounded by all of Nick's Texas Tech stuff on the walls and shelves. So it's a work in progress, but we'll get there. A fancy new desk is definitely a start. It's the little things in life, isn't it?

This week was week 18! I'm almost 19 weeks now, and it's so hard to believe I'm inches away from the half way point! Eek!
Baby bean, me and my hot Lisa Frank shirt- I feel like you can really tell how much the baby has grown in this picture!

The biggest change this week is the size of the baby. Every time I run into someone they will stop and go, "WOAH! You're REALLY pregnant all of a sudden." Here's the thing-- an acquaintance of mine is due two weeks before me with her third baby. The difference is, she is about six inches taller than me and probably weighs 15 pounds less. I ran into her the other day, and I kid you not- she is barely even showing. Like, if I didn't know, I would hesitate to ask if she's pregnant. It blows my mind. I guess my tall, willowy 5'3 frame is destined to look like I'm carrying twins every single time. 

Here are some deets at 18 weeks.

Weight gain: The baby is supposedly the size of a bell pepper. I've gained about 12 pounds, this is almost exactly what I'd gained with Everett by this point and a couple of pounds less than I'd gained with Logan

Feeling: Since the first trimester ended I've felt great! This is the very best part of pregnancy! It's easy to forget I'm pregnant, except I'm a lot more hungry and a little bit more tired than normal. The baby moves around a lot, which is so much fun! He is especially active at night or when I'm sitting still. A couple of nights he's actually woken me up in the middle of the night moving around.

Baby Names: Here's the thing, we've got NOTHING. And it's not for lack of trying. We just cannot seem to agree on a name this time around. Hearing us talk about baby names, it's a wonder we were able to name the first two. We are just on total opposite ends of the spectrum of what we like right now. There is one name that Nick really likes, and it's a good name I just happen to know several kids with that same name & to me that's a deal breaker.

Every time I suggest a name Nick is horrified. "That would be the LAST name on my list." "That's TERRIBLE!" "Are you serious with that name?" "He's a boy, not a piece of art." "Are you choking or saying a name?" Those were just the responses last night to the names I threw out that I can actually publish on the Internet. Granted, I do like unusual names, but I also like some normal names too. I also like last names for first names, old-fashioned names, presidential names... I'm not that picky. My whole thing is, I want a strong, masculine name (imperative for Nick), but I want something unique. And it obviously has to go with Logan, Everett and our last name. I kind of wish we hadn't used Reid for Everett's middle name, because that would definitely be at the top of my list right now. 

Logan has been telling everyone we're naming the baby Leonardo, like the Ninja Turtle. He's dead serious when he says it, too. We're not, obviously. Today in the car, totally out of the blue he said, "MOM! I've got the perfect name for the baby!! We can name him Coulter!" It was so sweet! I have no idea where he came up with that, and unfortunately it's not his name, but it melted my heart. 

This is no easy task we've been given, but I'm sure we'll figure out something eventually.

Baby Prep: I've bought his bedding and his coming home outfit. I've picked out a couple of things for his room and the paint color for the walls. This time, I'm planning to do a very neutral nursery, grays, whites and very light blues. It will look totally different than Everett's and Logan's nursery, which is a lot more modern and bold. I'm excited to change things up! I'm really hoping to get everything finished this spring once we move Everett to a big bed. 

That's what's new at 18 weeks. Happy, feeling good and getting bigger by the day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kat Lee & The Dreaded Four Year (Un)Well Check

Raise your hand if you loved Lisa Frank back in the day. You know what I'm talking about, right? The rainbow and neon cheetah print animal designed pencils and stickers and notepads of the early 90s? In 1992, Lisa Frank was my life. I actually had a Trapper Keeper with this design on the front, and I can distinctly remember how beautiful I thought it was.
I found it extremely humorous yesterday, then, when another mom walked up to me at Logan's preschool and commented that my hot pink and white cheetah print sweater reminded her of Lisa Frank. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure she didn't mean that as a compliment. It made me laugh so hard for some reason. In a way she's kind of right. I loved Lisa Frank in 1992, and I love it still. I guess that look isn't for everyone. It sure is the look for me though!

It pretty much blew my mind when Jaymi and I were discussing this hot topic yesterday, and she had never heard of Lisa Frank. "Like... Paul Frank, the monkeys?" she asked. Stop. You can't claim to have lived through the 90s if you don't remember Lisa Frank. She needed to borrow a jacket of mine today for her tennis match, so thankfully I had a pack of Lisa Frank stickers to "monogram" her tennis jacket. She will be left to wonder about the magic of Lisa Frank Designs no more. 

Yesterday was Logan's four year well check. 
I've been told by many-a-friend this appointment is one for the record books. It definitely lived up to its reputation for us. Logan had to get two shots, and for some odd reason he was thrilled about this. He told everyone he saw that morning that he was getting shots, and as soon as we got there he asked the nurse if he could please have his shots. Well of course shot time rolled around and the reality was a huge disappointment. Poor thing cried and cried. It broke my heart.
This was before the needles even came out. This was his mood/pose when I asked him if I could take a picture. You know that really helped the appointment along.
 But he and Everett were in the mood to give kisses to one another.
So on top of the two shots, Logan pulled a Helen Keller and failed his vision and hearing screenings! He barely failed the hearing test, and as it turns out he has a double ear infection!! I felt horrible. He's had a runny nose for the past couple of days, but he hasn't complained about his ears hurting even once. Dr. Hunt wasn't worried about his hearing at all once she realized that. The vision test was a lot more clear cut, and it really doesn't surprise me, unfortunately. I haven't noticed him having vision problems, but if he has any of my genes his eyes don't stand much of a chance. As my eye doctor once told me, "Oh don't worry, I do have A patient with vision worse than yours." Super reassuring! So we are off to the optometrist in a couple of weeks to see if Logi Man needs glasses. I think he would look adorable in glasses!

Other than those things (which really are so minor), Logan is doing great! He is right where he should be developmentally and about average weight, in the 48th percentile and a little bit on the tallish side, in the 64th percentile. 

I guess the appointment didn't scar him too badly, because I took him to school afterwards and he threw open his classroom door and announced, "I had to get TWO shots today!!" with a proud smirk on his face. There was an audible gasp from the carpet where the kids were sitting, and when I left he was trying to figure out how to pull up his jeans enough to show everyone his bandaids. He has spent the last 24 hours limping and whining about the pain (when he remembers to do so), but I have to admit, I've totally been letting him play it up and laying on the TLC extra thick.

While Logan was at school Everett and I met Kimba and Nora for lunch. This little duo could not be any cuter if you ask me! 

Then, today was a day I have been looking forward to for weeks!! Kat Lee, the writer/speaker/well-known host of The Inspired to Action podcast came to speak at our MOPS meeting. I know I've blogged about Kat's podcast and her program Hello Mornings! before, but it is worth repeating. If you don't already listen to Kat, do yourself a favor and pull up her podcast on iTunes or the Podcast app. It's pretty easy to find, because it's actually the #1 podcast under the Kids & Families category. I can't say enough about what an impact her work has had on me personally and also as a mother. She is just phenomenal. I listened to her podcasts every single day while I folded laundry and the boys napped until I finally caught up on all of them, and now I only get to enjoy the new ones when she puts one out. 

Needless to say, I was a little bit starstruck meeting Kat today. 
She lives in Waco, Texas (a couple of hours away) with her family, so over the summer when we were planning our MOPS agenda for the year I decided to go out on a limb and contact her about speaking at one of our meetings. Sure enough she agreed to do it! I was so honored (and thrilled!), considering she speaks at all kinds of large events across the country. 

For the last couple of days I've been having crazy dreams about her coming to speak. One night I dreamed I forgot to write her intro. before she spoke. Which is a whole other thing, because how do you introduce someone you admire so much without sounding like some kind of weird, babbling super fan? I think I managed to pull together a somewhat normal-ish, objective sounding intro. Another night I dreamed she spoke and everyone kept talking and no one would listen to her. So silly! 

Anyway, I'm not overstating things when I say, it absolutely could not have gone better today. I have never felt the urge to stand up and slow clap so strongly in my life. (Ha!) Kat made us laugh, she made us cry...she was so incredibly genuine and real... After the meeting a whole pack of us stood around and talked to her and picked her brain more. I could write about this and not ever stop. I'm just saying, if you ever have an opportunity to hear Kat Lee speak, take it, and if you don't listen to her podcast already, definitely check it out. I didn't think it was possible but Kat Lee was even better in person than on the world wide interwebs. I am a shameless super fan for life. She hovers right up at the top with Shauna Niequist, Donald Miller and Melanie Shankle (Big Mama) to me. 
My sweet friend Mandy (who is new to MOPS- YAYYYY!) and Kat

Kat Lee= a homerun for the preschool mom crowd for sure!
Natalie also joined MOPS this semester, and randomly got assigned to my same table. I am so excited! Just when I think MOPS can't go and get any better... Mandy and Natalie! I'm going to suggest a special Lisa Frank inspired t-shirt design for next year, and then it will officially be the greatest thing ever. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Deep and Shallow: Brain Dump From The Week

I'm not sure which is growing faster these days; my waistline or the number of thoughts swirling around in my head. I have so many feelings and things on my mind, it's almost like my brain is swelling and expanding right along with my belly.

I lie in bed at night thinking about all kinds of things, both big and completely insignificant. I wonder what life will be like with three kids. I wonder what the baby will look like. I wonder what we will name him (we have time but still, we aren't even close to having a few options narrowed down). I wonder what his personality will be like. I wonder how the nursery will come together. (I am SO excited about this!! Having a decorating project gets me all charged up and inspired.) I wonder how Logan and Everett's relationship will change with another brother. There are also lots of non-baby related thoughts mixed in there, but that's kind of beside the point.

There are so many things I wonder about, but yet I am also so much more at peace than I was when I was pregnant with Everett. This time, I don't question how I can possibly love another little boy as much as his brothers. I know without a doubt the love will come, and I also know they will each be unique and different from one another. I don't worry about how we will manage more than one kid. We manage just fine now, and for the most part, we have our rhythm and systems for doing things, which we can shift and adjust as we need to. I also don't worry about having a VBAC this time around, which is a huge relief too! I've done it, and I know I can do it again. But if something changes and I end up with a c-section, I know it's just fine too. I feel fortunate to have experienced both types of deliveries, and while I definitely prefer one over the other, I'm not worried about either.

One thing I find interesting this time around is how many people have asked me if I'm disappointed to be having another boy. For a while every time someone would ask that it would kind of throw me off or take me aback, because I'm not disappointed at all. Why would I be? And when I would tell them that, they would look at me like maybe I wasn't being totally honest. Well then, the more I thought about it, I realized that maybe I wasn't. A completely honest answer would be: Nope, I'm not disappointed at all this time. But I was the second time for sure. I don't know if people actually say things like that to near strangers, but maybe it should be alright to admit those kinds of honest feelings.

I remember so clearly, the morning after we found out Everett was a boy sitting at breakfast with my mom just crying my eyes out. I was so excited when we found out he was a boy at our gender reveal party, and then the next morning all of my excitement began to fade into disappointment. I was pretty sure that would be our last baby, and I would never be able to do all the things I dreamed of doing with a daughter. And I remember my mom told me, "I know. But sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we thought it would."  I don't think I told many people I felt that way, because I felt incredibly guilty and ashamed to even be having those kinds of thoughts. But I'm willing to bet a lot of people feel that way, and so maybe admitting it isn't horrible after all.

I got used to the idea of having only boys, and accepted the fact that God's plan for our family didn't look the same as what I had hoped it would. It took some time, but I got there. Then Everett was born (and let's be honest, after the first year of his life passed) he turned into the most awesome little ball of joy on the planet. I can't even think about him without my heart swelling up. And now of course, there is NO WAY, I mean NO WAY I would trade him for all the pink and bows and American Girl Dolls on the planet. Then watching him and Logan be little buddies on top of all that, forget it. He's exactly what I didn't know I always wanted.

So that brings me to baby #3. I just kind of assumed it was a boy all along. And I guess the reason I never felt disappointed once we knew we were having a boy is because #1 I see how great it is to have only boys, and I don't feel longing or sadness to have a daughter (except when I see the Gap Kids Valentine dresses, which I will admit gets me just a smidge and I have to restrain myself from buying the whole lot of them for Hattie and Nora). And #2, and I think this is the main reason, I really didn't think we would have a third baby. No matter what the gender was, this baby always felt like a special added bonus to our family. Also, watching Natalie and baby Christina over the past year has reassured me that God knows exactly what he's doing and gives you the perfect baby for your family. Somehow all of that made a baby's gender matter a whole lot less.

Again, I'm not sure if it's PC to actually admit these kinds of things or not, but it's been on my mind a lot as people keep asking me; like should I be feeling disappointed here? Am I missing something? And then it occurred to me why I feel the way I do. I actually think of it as a gift to be in a place where I can just sit back and enjoy the outcome either way. So I want to tell people the truth, followed by the other truth which is: "Hey guess what!! I don't feel that way this time around! Cuz all I can think about is THE FACT THAT I'M HAVING ANOTHER BABY!" Then I will shower them with blue glitter and throw a sweet 90's phrase at them like, "BOOYA!"

>>PSA: Despite my over-the-top enthusiasm for pregnancy and babies of any gender, this is FOR REAL the last Salomone baby. You won't find a post here in a few years that's like, "Oh haha, oops, we only thought three boys was it." Nope, this is actually where we cut things off (NO PUN INTENDED)<<

That got kind of heavy and deep until I got to the part with the glitter, so I apologize for that. I didn't see that happening when I sat down to blog, and I would like to wrap this up with a few pics from our week. So on a more shallow, surface level here is what we've been up to:

As I mentioned, I am in full on nursery and office decoration mode. On Tuesday Everett and I went shopping for paint samples. He rode on the back of the cart just like this through Home Depot greeting fellow passers-by with, "Bye! SEE YA SOON!" I could eat him and his cuteness up!

On Thursday Jaymi went with Everett and I to Fort Worth to look at fabric for baby bedding. Of course, this turned into a fabric store--> antique mall --> lunch at McKinley's --> quick stop at my favorite little boutique, but the original intent was fabric. Our mission was a failure, but we had a great time any way. 

This face!

Wednesday morning the boys and I stayed home. I really made a point to spend the entire morning sitting on the floor playing and focused only on them. (Now that they play together, I am especially bad at this. While they play I will get stuff done around the house or do my own thing.) We had the best time! First they wanted to play with "the sand that sticks together," as Logan calls it and their foam dough that Santa brought. By the time all was said and done there was green sand ALL over our carpet. 

Note to self: Not pointing any fingers, but I am raising two totally different types of people, and I never had to worry about this at all with one of them. From now on, sand is only played with on the tile. But that's what vacuums are for, right? 
After the sand Logan wanted to go up in Everett's closet with a flashlight and play with his shadow puppets. This was my favorite thing we did all day. Logan made up this really imaginative story with his puppets about a witch that turns all the people in the castle into frogs. It kind of blew my mind that he came up with it. What blew my mind equally was later when we came downstairs Everett, who sat in the closet quietly watching the entire time said, "Mean witch. Frog!" He was totally listening and taking in everything Logan was saying. I should know this, but it always takes me by surprise when he expresses it to me. 
We spent the rest of the morning playing Legos, sword fighting (I took a bye on that one & only watched, did not partake) and putting on/taking off costumes (again, purely observation). 
I also taught Logan how to play a modified version of the card game Slap Jack, and that was a lot of fun too! I think I say this in every post lately, but four is such a fun age!

As I said, I am not good at sitting down and playing with the boys and doing nothing else on a regular day (Judge away, but zooming cars across floor for more than about ten minutes in one sitting, or reading more than a book or two at a time can be a bit of a beat down), but it was fun to let everything else go and only enjoy Logan and Everett for the entire morning. 

Thursday night some girls in my MOPS group tried out a barre class. The combination of going while pregnant and venturing out in the freezing cold earned me a plethora of guilt free desserts I'm pretty certain. 
And Friday was fun! We went to our church's indoor playground with Kimba and her girls and my neighbor Kylee (top left incidentally) joined us with her two girls. After that we had lunch at old faithful Chic Fil A, where we ran into Jaymi and her boys. I used to really like Chic Fil A before I had kids and ate there eleventy billion times.

This face. This face. This face.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Our Weekend & Life Lately

We have had such a fun weekend! Nick had today off for MLK Day, and part of me is sad to see the long weekend come to an end and life as usual resume tomorrow. 

Friday night we didn't do much. I fixed chicken tacos for dinner while Nick, Logan and Everett had a Nerf gun fight. Ha! We have been trying to eat at home more, and with the exception of this weekend, I'm proud of how well we've been sticking to it. I might have lunch out one day and then we eat basically every meal at home with the exception of Sunday lunch after church, and maybe one other time on the weekend. This is a positive change we've been needing to make, so I hope we keep with it.

On Saturday morning we went to visit Scat and take her out to lunch. Logan is on a huge "spend the night with the grandparents" kick these days, so of course when we got to Arlington he wanted to spend the night with Mimi right away. We came back home so Everett could take a nap, and then both boys ended up going to my mom's for the night. Insert celebration emoji here. FREE NIGHT! Except wouldn't you know, they hadn't been gone for half an hour before I started missing them like crazy. Nick and I had a really fun date night while they were gone though. We went to have hibachi for dinner and then to see the movie 13 Hours. (So good. SO intense!)
Logan and Everett had fun playing at Mimi's, being spoiled rotten, and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. I miss them when they're gone, but I don't think the feeling is entirely mutual. 
Also, Everett looks like such a big kid in this picture to me!

Sunday morning the boys came home pretty early, so we still had time to make it to church. I LOVE this picture of the three of them! I thought Logan and Everett looked so handsome in their little church clothes on this particular day. 

Today my mom and I went shopping at North Park and had our usual lunch at Neiman's. I love our North Park trips so much! While we were gone Nick and the boys went to the jump park to play.
 (Hello, baby #3, right?? I told you he was growing like crazy!)

My mom and I both found all kinds of good stuff, including this sweet little outfit for the baby to wear when he comes home from the hospital! It is light blue, and so soft! I now understand that the days of Under Armour and costumes are what inevitably lie ahead, so I have to get the precious outfits in early while I can. 
Tonight our friends Josh & Elyse and their two tots came over for dinner. Nick and Josh grew up together, and even though we mean to get together more often, we don't always do a great job. It was fun to catch up with them, and the kids had a great time playing!

Everett is talking more and more these days and starting to string together phrases and very short sentences. I've got to do a better job of writing down the things he says, because he is just hilarious! His personality is the best ever!! Logan is suddenly so much more independent, playing by himself the majority of the time, completely dressing himself and brushing his teeth, and really helping me out a ton. It's crazy the difference a few months can make. I can see a huge change in what he's able (and willing) to do in a matter of weeks really. I now know why everyone says age four is so much better than three. Overall he is in such a sweet, helpful phase right now. We are reading his first ever chapter book together, and he loves it. Actually, I do too! It is a sweet, special time for the two of us before bedtime every night.

One random thing Logan loves right now is taking his cars that light up in the dark to play. The other morning he asked if he could eat breakfast in the dark pantry with the iPad and his cars. Whatever floats your boat, I guess! Other times he will spend thirty minutes or more in our closet with these cars, hooking them up to a tow truck and driving them around. Kids are so funny!
The other night I was fixing dinner, and Logan played with his Paw Patrol cars right next to me and Everett played with a bowl of ice and a spoon for the longest time. I had forgotten about the ole ice in a bowl trick, it's genius. Logan loved it at this age, too. The great thing about their ages right now is that they are able to entertain themselves or play together for long periods of time. This is another great change I've noticed especially in the last few weeks. It sure makes it easier for me to cook and get things done around the house!
One thing I've been working on is planning the baby's nursery and my new "office" space. I am having so much fun with both!! I don't have a set plan for the nursery yet, but I'm getting there. I will be moving my desk and all of my things from the baby's room, and Nick has so kindly offered to let me take over the office. We don't use our office much, and right now it is full of all of Nick's Texas Tech paraphernalia. We're going to move his things up to the media room, and our office is about to turn PINK and GIRLY!! I have big plans for this room! I will post some pictures once I get it decorated, or at least figure out what all I'm going to do. 
Nick and I were talking about a budget for these two aforementioned projects, and of course he was like, "Hold on. If this baby was a boy I didn't even want to do a single thing to the nursery, and now we're decorating a nursery AND an office on top of that?? How did that happen??" First and foremost, our baby bedding and decor has now been through two babies and seen better days. That's just a fact I can't help. Babies are hard on stuff. Multiply that by two. Now the office space might be a slight addendum to the budget, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. It really only makes sense to knock both things out at once. Two birds/one stone, all of that. Besides being very pink, shiny and beautiful, the office will also be well loved, used and appreciated. That's got to count for something, doesn't it?