Sunday, July 20, 2014

y-y-y-yes to v-v-vbs

The kids finished up another week of Vacation Bible School this week. The kids really enjoyed the Agency D3 curriculum at a local church during the week when Derek was down at army training. Jackson has been singing the songs and doing the motions ever since! Another local church was doing the same curriculum this week and I knew the kids would love it. At the young ages of my kiddos, repetition is key and I figured the lessons might sink in a little deeper if they had the same lessons again.

My heart was so happy several times this week as the kids talked about VBS and I'm so thankful for the churches who put on these programs, not only to reach unchurched families of the community, but to offer a chance for "church kids" to grow, too!

The first was on Wednesday morning, when Jackson dug through his piggy bank to give money for the offering. Not only was he so eager to contribute his own money (a dollar bill plus six coins!!!), but he gave an equal quantity to Belle could give an "offbring" too. He gathered and shared coins with Belle for the rest of the week. I was sure to contribute, as well, because I was so proud! :)

Next was Thursday. Our church was putting on a backyard Bible club a few days this week and Jackson had the choice to chose either VBS and this day he went to the park. A friend snapped this picture and shared it with me. My heart melted into a giant puddle. I was so proud to know that Jack volunteered to pray in front of his group. I only wish I could've heard the prayer!

I have caught Belle singing VBS songs this week, which might not sound like much of an accomplishment. But, my sweet little girl can be difficult sometimes... She doesn't really like questions and knows how to shut down further questions pretty quick. When I ask about VBS she "doesn't have fun", the Bible lesson "is boring" and at music time, "I don't like the music, so I don't sing. But the other kids do." The one thing I could get her to talk about was snack time, but that always involved popsicles! So back to the point, catching Belle singing her songs when I wasn't watching made me happy. And believe me... I knew better than to let her know I was watching because it would have stopped REALLY quickly. 

Here's the VBS "performance" from earlier this summer:

That's my little darling in the middle in yellow. Ya know, the one with the scowl. This picture is a little deceiving. She was alternating between the scowl and waving enthusiastically at us. Either way, she did anything BUT participate with her little peers.

Jackson, on the other hand, was a rockstar, which is a far cry from where he was a year ago when he blew spit bubbles instead of singing. He's the tiny one in blue in the middle of the pic. 

Lessons from VBS, as told by Jackson:
  • Jesus healed a blonde man. (eventually, EVENTUALLY I was able to deduce that he meant "blind") 
  • Jesus dying on the cross is a "very complicated" story.
  • Jesus is better than cupcakes. When you have a cupcake and eat it, it's all gone. But Jesus is always there!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another T-ball Trophy!

We finished up another season of t-ball this week and Jackson earned another trophy. I know that eventually he'll have to work hard to earn more than just a participation trophy, but it's so fun for now to watch him boast with pride with his growing trophy collection! His favorite thing about this season is that the coach gave them gum whenever they played outfield. Oh, and the time he hit a home run. 

Jackson loves to play ball and watches to practice and play every single day. Derek even spray painted bases on the grass in our back yard at one point this summer. Otherwise, we'll use a ball gloves, trees, branches, miscellaneous toys-- anything than can be a makeshift ball field! Jackson has become very knowledgable about the game itself and can get into a ballgame, even if it's on tv. We've even been reading books lately on the KC Royals and learning about legendary players like George Brett and Bo Jackson. 

Even though the season is over, Jackson is far from putting down hit bat and glove. He desperately wants to make it to a batting cage to practice some machine pitches. Hopefully Derek will be able to take him in the next week or two! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

30 weeks

We're getting so close to the end of this pregnancy! My appointments are now every two weeks, more baby things are happening, and baby preparation is in full swing. I figured I'd keep my pregnancy posts in line with the frequency of my appointments.

I don't have a specific 30 week pic, but this is a candid pic my sister took last week-- I feel like I'm enormous! 

How far along?: 30 weeks
How big is your baby?: 3 pounds, and almost 15.5 inches long!
Total weight gain?: 25ish pounds, I think. My weight gain is slowing down from the last two months (thank goodness!) and have only been gaining 1 pound a week for the last few weeks. Hopefully, I don't have too much more to gain in the last 10 weeks! :)
Sex: Baby GIRL! We've seen her twice, so we're pretty confident!
Maternity clothes: All the time and I'm just hoping I can make it through the next few months without needing to bigger maternity clothes. 
Sleep: Over the past week, I have felt the wave of third trimester sleepiness. Thankfully, I sleep pretty soundly at night! 
Symptoms: Some braxton hicks contractions, round ligament pain, and just other as-to-be-expected pregnancy issues. Fortunately, nothing to serious and nothing that is too debilitating.  
Stretch marks: Yes. :( 
Movement: Lots and lots. Especially when I eat a meal that I've been particularly craving, which is humorous to me! Like, she was really having my cravings, too! 
Best moment this week: This is the hardest one. Derek and I had a baby name conversation and so that's worth mentioning. We have ideas, but nothing concrete. My sister came home from seven weeks in East Asia and we also worked really hard to move all of Belle's things to her new shared room, I dressed like a cow, and we bought the remaining baby gear items like a high chair, carseat, and bouncer!
Food cravings: Pancakes. And cereal. 
Labor signs: Nothing real. Thank goodness. 
Belly button in or out: Still depends on if I'm inhaling or exhaling, though it's become more flat than anything.
What I miss: Fitting in bathroom stalls. 
What I'm looking forward to:  Meeting my baby girl! But before that, I'm excited to get her room ready and get all of her little clothes organized. 

Here are pics from last week when we welcomed Laura home!

My kids each drew a picture of them with Aunt Laura and we decorated her room.

The kids were instructed to keep the decorations a surprise. But on the way home, Belle was telling her all about the "party" in her room, but then added at the end, "but it's surprise, so I'm not going to tell you. Nope, I'm not going to tell you!" 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cow Appreciation Day: DIY Costumes

Friday was Cow Appreciation Day and we celebrated! Did you even know there was such a thing? Did you miss the celebration? Let me tell you-- you are missing out! The Chick-fil-a cows are by far one of my favorite marketing campaigns (I have an advertising undergrad, so I think about these things) and I find the whole concept of using cows to market a chicken sandwich restaurant quite entertaining. So one day a year, the Chick-fil-a cows host a Cow Appreciation Day for free Chick-fil-a food. I have friends who have participated for years and was determined to make it happen for us this year!

No thanks to my faulty glue gun that left us in quite the cow-costume emergency the night before, we managed to pull off some pretty decent cow costumes worthy of three free meals. Have I mentioned that I am so thankful for great neighbors that I can text and say: "We have a cow emergency! Can I borrow your glue gun?!?" 

It just so happened that this week was time for Jackson to get his allergy shot, which is real close to Chick-fil-a and so we were already going to be on that side of town. And we like to do something fun on shot days and let him choose if the fun thing is first or if it's last. (He always chooses fun thing last!). If the thought of wearing a cow costume in public was awkward enough, just add in a visit to the doctor's office. I told the kids, no mask or tails, but the office staff was highly entertained and the kids were eager to fulfill the request to see the rest of the costume.

There's something a bit ironic about wearing a cow costume as a giant pregnant lady. I certainly FEEL like a big cow most days and so on Friday, I had the pleasure of looking AND feeling like a cow.

I was expecting to see so many more families and little kids as cows, but I surprised to see so many corporate folks on their lunch break with cow attire! Cow costumes ranged from awesome to completely tacky (like an inside out black shirt with ripped up typing paper taped on). I may be biased, but I think ours ended up pretty awesome-- which was pretty much an accident.

The day before, I made a trip to Wal-Mart which long-story-short landed me with some majorly unpleasant braxton hicks contractions, so I spent the rest of the day lying on the couch and drinking water. Though I accomplished nothing of importance that day, I did manage to create our cow costumes.

1) Tails: Braided yarn-- about 12-15 threads thick. 
2) Shirts: White tanks with glued on felt spots. 
3) Masks: Inspired by this post, I used felt and pink construction paper (the one single piece of pink left!). I didn't draw any templates, I just cut. Worked good enough! I tied them on with yarn.

Total cost: $5ish. I stumbled across two random tanks for the kids in the house. They are both a size too small, but they worked! Mine is a nursing tank I unpacked recently that was on it's way to the trash, so no cost there. Felt was $.23 a sheet and I used eight, so almost $2. The yard was $2 or so. And then I just assumed that I used maybe a dollar or so in hot glue. 

The kids shirts were easy peasy. Mine however, presented challenges. Cotton stretches; felt does not. So despite having my spots close together when I glued, they'd be miles apart once I put the shirt on. But the biggest problem is that they'd just come unglued. Every time. So..... I resorted to gluing on the spots with the shirt on. I used a magazine to keep from burning myself and it was the only way it worked to get the spots on my belly. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

If you dressed up for cow appreciation day, I'd love to see some pics!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Official roommates & new bunk bed

Jackson and Belle are official the occupants of a new-to-us bunk bed and are sharing a room. 

Tonight makes night number 4 in the bunk beds for the kiddos. The original plan had been to set up the bunk bed a week earlier-- but we thought the room could use some fresh paint. And then we* took everything off the walls and realized there were a lot of holes that needed spackling, and then came sanding, and priming, and painting... and it just kept going and going!  The room is still bare, but the bed is up and put together and Belle has officially moved in**.
* we = me nesting and Derek cooperatively playing along
**By moved in, I mean sleeping in there. Her clothes and stuff haven't been integrated yet, but this is where she's residing!
I love the bed. I'm a fan of perpendicular bunk beds and it has a desk, a book shelf, and even drawers so it's all sorts of functional! 

Having the kids share a room serves a couple purposes beyond the fact that a new baby will be here within the next couple months. I was getting annoyed with the entitlement out of my little people and all the "me, my, mine!" going on. Along with the new room, all toys and possessions (with a few exceptions) have become community property. Lastly, I know that strong sibling bonds can be created by sharing a room and so that's a big bonus, too!

The transition has gone pretty good.The noise level has increased by a million percent. They laugh, wrestle, and play more. They also fight, scream, and cry more. My new favorite thing is to shut their door and say, "figure it out!" and they normally resume playing pretty quickly. Compromise is a challenge, but have quickly learned how to chose bedtime music together in fear of risking no music at all. 

The sleeping challenges are a bit different as it's more of a personality and preference thing, as opposed to learning to share space. Jackson doesn't nap and so he falls to sleep very quickly, while Belle on the other hand can stay up talking to herself for hours. Each night has become a little bit smoother.

Whew! One MAJOR task crossed off the list before baby #3 (who will probably never be named) arrives. I need to move more of Belle's things and then I need to dig out all of the new baby things and set up her nursery. I wish I could have a fairy god mother to make it all happen, but at least we got things started early and don't have to rush too much!

For those of you who have (or have had) kids share room-- What were your room rules? How did you manage the kid who stays up later or the one who wakes up early? Do/Did you kids have a designated personal space? 



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