Monday, November 8, 2010

Where Have I Been?

I looked at the last time I had posted and was amazed that it had been so long since I had written anything about our family. It seems like I have been doing everything I can to keep my head above water with these three beautiful girls and when I get a spare second in the evenings, all I want to do is sit and relax. But it makes me sad to know that I haven't shared our family with our friends in so long. So....let me bring everything up to date.
Ashlyn is in kindergarten this year! Somewhere during the summer, after much prayer by both of us, we decided that God was calling me to homeschool Ashlyn. There are so many reasons why people decide to homeschool, and we have ours. But we really felt like this was the best decision for our family right now. Not sure if that will be the case in years to come, but for now that is what we are doing. It was very difficult for me especially to say goodbye to the "first day of school" pictures and the ideas in my head of walking away from her first classroom and all the memories that come with sending your child to their first day of kindergarten. But what I got in return was so much more. I get to spend everyday with her and teach her everything that she learns. I get to watch the light go off and see her "get" things. I am watching my daughter learn to read before my very eyes, watching her learn to do math, and watching her learn daily about God.
Ashlyn also started riding her bike without training wheels several weeks ago. She is so proud of herself and has really enjoyed being outside riding her bike in these last few weeks of good weather.
Ashlyn has a beautiful heart for God that amazes us everyday. She says the most insightful things and makes me so proud to be her mama. She is the best big sister ever. She is very much a rule follower and thinks that the rest of the world should be as well (can't imagine where she gets that from). She likes everything to be just so and has a beautiful naive view of this crazy world. I love her to pieces.

Kenley Lael...she is a mess. She is wonderful and hilarious. She makes us laugh everyday. She will be three years old in two weeks. While Ashlyn is completely into dressing up and pretending to be a princess or a fairy and have tea parties, Kenley isn't concerned if the sun comes up in the mornings. She could not care any less about dressing up. She doesn't care about what she wears as long as she gets to where jeans with it. She is as sneaky as they come and I am constantly having to watch her and keep from laughing while getting on to her.
Kenley started going to preschool two days a week at "Ashlyn's school" (where Ashlyn went to pre-K). She absolutely loves it and is learning so much. It is fun to watch her get to do her own thing and begin to be her own little person apart from Ashlyn.
Kenley (at the age of 2...yes, we are very proud of her) has learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She is incredible on a bike and it is amazing to watch her on her tiny little bike book it around the neighborhood. Daddy had to start riding his bike with her to be able to keep up. The kid wants to ride her bike from the time she rolls out of bed in the morning until she goes to sleep at night. She is obsessed with riding her bike. All she wanted to do for her 3rd birthday is ride her bike. She is very cute. I love to hear her talk, her voice is so cute. She has so many words that we don't want to correct because it is just so cute to hear her say them in her little two year old voice. She is growing so fast and I am savoring these last days of "two" with her.

Baby Leighton, or Lay Lay as the girls call her, is 9 months old now and just as sweet as they come. She has dark hair and beautiful blue eyes. She has started the phase of separation anxiety and it has definitely made for some longer days with her. But how I love that baby. I can remember wanting so badly for this beautiful little girl to be a boy. I smile now when I think about God knowing what I needed. I would not change it if I could. Leighton is so calm and content and sweet. She is so very much a third baby. She has no interest in crawling because she has two sisters that wait on her hand and foot. She loves her mommy and her mommy could just eat her up.

We are all doing well and feeling blessed. Blessed to be together. Blessed to be healthy. Blessed to have a job, a home, a family, each other, a God that loves us and knows His plans for us.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Potty Trained!

At the risk of jinxing myself, I am going to announce that Kenley is potty trained. This is not to say that she is accident-free, but she tells us every time that she has to go potty now. She hasn't had an accident in several days and goes tee-tee and poo-poo on the potty all the time now. She is in panties every day and is doing great. I must say that it has been a beating to take her back and forth to the restroom in public places with the baby carrier and both girls in tow. But, it has paid off and now we are done with diapers. No turning back for us now. I owe many thanks to Ashlyn for her help in accomplishing this milestone. Ashlyn has been the one many times that Kenley wants to take her potty and has been a huge help. It is almost impossible to take a two-year-old potty while nursing (notice I said almost, I have done it when Ashlyn was in school) and Ashlyn has come to my rescue A LOT! She takes great pride in the responsibility of helping. But now that Kenley has been wearing panties, she can go all by herself. Anyway, not much else to say, just proud of my Little Kenley Lael in her growing up just a little more each day. Since I have decided not to post the "poo-poo-in-the-potty" picture that Daddy took the other day, I have decided to post a picture of Kenley just being her cute self. Yeah for potty training! Two girls down, one to go!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Best Spring Break

We have had to do some "staycations" over the past few holidays because of everything going on with the job situation. So when Spring Break came around, I decided not to let myself get depressed when I heard about all the trips that everyone was going on. We could have a great time and make memories right at home. Ken had to work late early in the week so my sister came to stay with us and help me with the craziness that is three little ones for a few days. She saved my sanity for sure. I had planned on taking the girls to the zoo on Tuesday, but the weather ended up being kind of nasty so we decided to go to the museum of Nature & Science instead. Turned out, everyone that was planning on going to the zoo, decided to go to the museum instead. There was a long line just to get in and get tickets. I heard a sermon several weeks ago that focused on the fact that memories are made in the journey, not the destination. I kept reminding myself of this while standing in the line. And it was true! We had so much fun in the chaos at the museum. I so enjoyed getting to visit with Jill and being with my sweet girls and just watching them play. I had Jill to keep me smiling when the meltdowns came over no apparent reason. It was great. We took the girls to the IMAX movie about Alaska. Ashlyn was amazed, I could have just watched the look on her face the whole time. Kenley was terrified at first and when she finally turned around to watch the movie, it was with her fingers jammed in her ears. We went to some exhibits after the movie and lunch. It proved to be a little much for Ashlyn who kept commenting that there were too many people. She doesn't handle large crowds very well. The water exhibit was fun for us all though (even though we had to change Kenley's clothes afterwards).

Kenley making a mess at the water exhibit

Ashlyn hamming it up

Ashlyn frustrated with all the people at the bone dig

Kenley took some time to have a pedicure....she didn't tell Mommy. Ashlyn came running into the room and told me that Kenley had painted her toenails. I was trying to tell her how this is a "no-no" while snapping some pictures.

Pretty pedicure

The weather was pretty most days and the girls asked to eat dinner outside. So we had a little macaroni and cheese picnic one evening and they loved it. Ashlyn loves to eat outside and have picnics.

Dining al fresco

Sweet Leighton spent most of the week sleeping and growing. She has done so well going to sleep in her bassinet and going back to sleep after every feeding at night. She is sleeping for about a 5 hour stretch at night which is good for me at this point. She continues to be a sweet little baby and is growing so fast. Ken got to spend some time with her this week on his days off. They are so cute. We have people that say she looks just like Ken, some say she looks like me (I think they are just trying to be nice) and some say that she looks just like her Uncle Joe. I can definitely see that, but I also still think she looks A LOT like Ashlyn. Whoever she looks like, she is a cutie and I love, love, love that I have this little baby girl

Sweet Baby Leighton at 7 weeks (almost)
Time with Daddy

Yesterday the weather was beautiful so we decided pack a picnic lunch and take the girls out to a park. I saw a park in Ft. Worth when Jill, the girls, and I headed over to eat dinner with her cousin one night. It was the coolest park and the girls had a blast. I didn't get any pictures because my camera battery was dead, but we will definitely be back and I will have to post pictures. The park had a huge wooden fort style play area and Ashlyn spent most of the time running around playing by herself. When we tried to play with her she reminded us over and over that she was working in England and she couldn't be bothered. She has the most remarkable imagination. I love it. Kenley spent most of the time swinging. And little baby LayLay just chilled out in the Baby Bjorn and slept. Ken was Superdad and pushed the girls and about 10 other kids on the merry-go-round and taught both girls and about 6 other kids how to climb a giant caterpillar ladder. I am so blessed to have him as a husband. He is the best dad I have ever seen.

Today the weather is nasty again and Ken is back at work. The girls and I decided to build a fort in her room for them to play in. I told Ashlyn that I can remember doing this with my brothers when I was a little girl. It is one of the best memories I have of playing with my brothers. She said, "Really? How do you still remember how to do it?" Very funny, Ashlyn. So with three chip clips, a bed sheet and one rubberband, we created a clubhouse masterpiece. It has allowed for hours of pretend play. It is so sweet to watch Ashlyn and Kenley play together (and get along). I see more forts in our future.

Club Rushing

Don't they look mischievous?

So we have had a great Spring Break staying at home and spending time together. I have learned that when we think we don't have some opportunities, God is providing other opportunities in order to bless us. This was one of those weeks. I love my family and was blessed to spend this special week with my sister, my girls, and my sweet husband.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet Leighton-Two Weeks

My sweet little Leighton Anne, I simply cannot believe it has been two weeks since your birth. It seems like one day I was counting hours until I could hold you and the next time was flying by as I started my new life as a mother of three. The past two weeks have been crazy for me as I adjust to life as a mother of three and getting to know you. I feel like I am finally getting a handle on what day it is and what time it is (for the most part). I have thoroughly enjoyed spending these two weeks at home and just watching you change each day. Here is a journey in pictures of your first two weeks of life.

Last picture on January 26th before I went to the hospital

Meeting big sister Ashlyn for the first time (with Nana's help)

Meeting Kenley Lael (who is still so enamored with you)

A tired mommy holding my new baby girl

Meeting Grandad

Spending time with Nana (thanks Nana for taking over the job of rocking)

Getting your first bath (notice the look of helplessness on your sisters)

Sleeping the day away with your pink blanket

I thought I was so prepared for the way I feel about you. After all, I have had two little baby girls before and fallen in love with them. But when I saw your tiny sweet face, I knew that there was nothing that could have prepared me for the love that I have for you. I am in awe of how deep my love is for you and has been since I saw you.
Although I am way past the point of exhaustion, I love being with you each day and learning about this sweet little blessing that God has given to me. In the past two weeks, these are the things that I have learned about you: You seem to have your mother's sense of urgency and punctuality. I was only in labor for two hours and God gave you to me on this perfect three hour schedule...quite a change from the other two. You have the tiniest, sweetest little face with little delicate ears. You have loved a pacifier from day one (very good for mommy) and it takes up your whole face which is so cute to me. You loved to be rocked to sleep. You like to be swaddled so that your body is snug, but both arms are free. You like your arms free of the swaddle, but you like me to hold both of your hands while you fall asleep. You quietly remind me after three hours when it is time to eat, without much crying. You are soothed by the sound of Kenley singing "Jesus Loves Me" and Ashlyn excitedly saying, "It's okay! It's okay, LayLay!" as she flaps her hands wildly in your face. You like to be held against someone so that you can feel them breathe. You are already starting to make eye contact instead of the blank newborn stare. You are perfectly "Rushing" girl with your tiny little head that no hats fit on. You are perfectly "Rushing" girl with the adoption of your version of the pink blanket. We wouldn't know what to do without a giant pink blanket to haul around and get filthy. You are loved more than you can ever imagine. Welcome to the world, baby girl.