Sunday, May 29, 2011

once in 6 months is pretty good....

Okay, fine. I am getting to be a once per 6 month blogger. Sorry. (Sort of.) The truth is, I just don't like sitting down and thinking about what to tell an undefined audience so I don't really like contributing to blogging, twitter, facebook, or anything like that (although, I like to read all of your information). However, I do feel, about once every six months, that my children will say that I did not capture their childhood in an acceptable format or that family/friends in far away places will forget about us. So I feel the need to keep this thing up, if you can call this blog entry "keeping it up".

J is doing great. He is loving his work at The For the City Network. He is busy all the time and getting very good at juggling it all, most the time:). He has also recently begun a Navy Seal workout regimen, not to be a Navy Seal, just to be hardcore. He is not yet Navy Seal material, but if he gets resolved enough, watch out. He's unstoppable. We will be married 6 years this summer and he is increasingly the best person I have ever known, short of Jesus. (No offense to any of you, of course!:) We also recently found out that J's grandma's great-grandfather was Chinese. J's grandma is, of course, Mexican. No one has mentioned this before now. He is having a slight identity crisis. :)

I am heading the opposite direction on the "fit" spectrum as I am expecting number 3 in January. That makes me something like 9 weeks. I don't feel near as crappy as I did with the girls, but still plenty crappy. I think the baby is a boy based on this fact. I have also been quite the pushover in my pregnancy fog. Today I agreed to make popcorn and sprinkles for Annie's "friends". That sounds normal enough until I tell you that her friends are stuffed animals. Most people want to know if the pregnancy was planned. Well, aside from January babies not being planned since everyone knows that is the worst month for a birthday, the baby was also not prevented in any methodical way and the baby's mom is just not a good planner anyways, so it was a welcomed surprise. It was a magical moment. J kept asking if I was pregnant and I kept saying "who knows?". J's frustration mounted with a sudden swing into Walgreens on our way to lunch. He told me to go in buy a test, go to the bathroom and take it, and come out and tell him what it said. Positive.

Annie is quite the lady. She has about 40 stuffed animals that she must sleep with every night. That isn't abnormal for a kid her age, but what is abnormal is that they each have miniature pillows and blankets (compliments of J's sister). I think she might spend up to an hour putting them to bed after we have left her room for the night. She also has gotten really good at telling stories lately. The key elements are Jesus, monsters, someone jumping and getting hurt, 5 angels, and alot of "so" and "aaaaannnnd" all in the same story. She is committed to being comfortable. If she gets hurt at all throughout the day, she will demand her pjs. If she takes a nap, she will demand her pjs. If she goes upstairs, she will change herself into pjs. She spends most of her days in pjs. Annie, right now is really nurturing, serious, and likes to be in charge. She is the person who if you try to tickle her she will say "STOP!" and then 40 seconds later ask you to tickle her and love it.

Lucy is our immediate gratification child. For every moment that annie spends by herself reading to and putting her friends to bed, Lucy is screeching and trying to climb up our legs or on the table. She is a performer and a cuddler. If there are purses, necklaces, sunglasses or scarves lying around she will find them, put them on, and wait for you to clap for her. She is 0-60. She refuses any form of public childcare (church, gym, etc), because she is loud enough to make everyone suffer for your mistake as a parent in leaving her for 30 minutes. She is cute enough to make your heart melt and stubborn enough to make you pull your hair out- all at the same time. She recently learned to say please, which has spared our ears some squealing. This is a major break-though for us.
Lucy in action

In other family news, we have had the craziest 2 weeks. Justin's dad was in a motorcycle accident resulting in severe skin burns on his arms, face, stomach, hands, and knees. Some stitches and some broken fingers. We are thankful that it wasn't worse, but he will be in bandages for over a month! Judy is being so brave and thorough in helping him care for the wounds.

The same day our sweet niece, Ivey (19months) was admitted for respitory issues. After lots of worst case scenarios, the doctors settled on viral pneumonia/ a viral induced asthma attack. She is doing much better now, thankfully. Babies in hospitals is the worst. :(

ivey's first smile at the hospital... starting to feel a little better

1 week later we learned that a tornado hit Joplin, home to my Grandma, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and several family friends. My grandma's house was leveled with my dad and gramma in it. Dad is recovering with an arm broken in 4 places (got surgery just 2 days ago due to the wait), sprained ankle, broken ribs, and lots of glass all over. Gramma has a fractured hip and was already recovering from surgery. Both have lost everything they own except the clothes they were wearing. No phones, no wallets, no ids, no house, no cars. Both are thrilled to be alive.

Gramma's House. You can see the fire place is basically the only thing recognizable.

In other, more positive, family news, my other Gramma, Mary, celebrated 90 years with a bang! So thankful to all be there to celebrate with her!
molly, lucy, gramma, sally, annie

We are also having our 10 year reunion this coming weekend! Go Warriors!

me and J at our high school graduation.

Check back in December for more updates!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Here are some pics that J shot of the girls last weekend. Lucy is almost 9.5 months and Annie is 2 and 9 months. They are so much fun right now. :)

We are a week or so from moving to our new house which is really exciting so for now we are staying with J's parents and having a lot of fun with that! It's like getting to stay with family for the holidays which we have never done since our family lives here.

We also have a contract on our old house after only 5 days or so on the market so praise God! We are soooooo beyond thankful for that!

Quick update just to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The connection between a two year old and prayer

Annie is 2 years and 4 months old. I am in the process of training her on social graces, aka how to have good relationships with others. When she needs something, she is to say “please” instead of whining to get it. When she gets something, she is to say “thank you” instead of snatching it out of their hands as if she was entitled to it anyways. If she hits someone in the face with her shoe, she needs to say “sorry”, and not just "sorry", “sorry for hitting you in the face with my shoe”. And then when she is hit with a shoe, she needs to say “I forgive you”. And round and round we go.

How often do I instruct Annie to ask for things appropriately, be thankful, to say sorry, and forgive? I am convicted that I do not practice this with God nearly as often as I remind her to, even though there is ample opportunity. When I am hit with an injustice that makes me want to scream (like learning there was a sex trafficking house off N. Lamar- I just get pissed every time I pass the street), I need to beg God to fix it, ask him to help and comfort the women, say sorry for not reacting according to his truth, verbalize my trust in Him, and forgive the offenders. When I am struck with inconvenience (like when Annie refuses to put on her shoes for the 10th time in a day or “paints” her shirt with mustard), I there have the opportunity to thank God in all circumstances and ask him to grow me. It sounds hokey, but I should really consider it a work-out in the patience department and thank my God who knows me best for recognizing my need to grow in patience in that moment and steps in as my personal trainer. Or when God delights to give me some good time with a long-time friend, I need to thank him for giving me a gift, not just thank the gift for making the time. It’s all too simple, really. Incase you are not seeing my ample opportunities throughout any given day, see the bolded letters. These are all my missed opportunities in the last day and a half.

The bottom line: I really should be growing in prayer so much more than I have been when you really think about it. If I am actually thinking about what I am doing all day, instead of just running on autopilot (“what do you say?”, “say sorry”, “how do you ask?”), I should take my instructions to Annie as reminders from God on how to have a good relationship with Him. Having a good relationship with Him means talking to him, and talking to him is praying. I read today that all that we think and feel about God comes to expression in our prayers. What is God to think that I think and feel about Him based on my prayers? Let’s put it this way, it’s a good thing God’s self-esteem does not depend on how I think and feel about Him. He probably feels like an afterthought or a last priority. So in the spirit of prayer, I am going to thank God that parenting is hard and that I have to repeat everything I do and say 100x daily, so that I might be reminded of my "social graces" and ultimately have a better relationship with Him.

Speaking of social graces, here is a pic of some of my favorite kids learning the art last summer. It's hard to know exactly what they were thinking and feeling, but as it appears, we have Annie on the left completely unwilling to share her berries, Micah next to her stealing them anyways, Calvin envying Eli's sandwich and Eli completely discontent with his sandwich. Love this bunch.

Monday, August 2, 2010

5 months goes quick!

Since Lucy's been born, I really haven't had much of a chance to blog. I really had high hopes of being a better blogger and record keeper for Lucy, but it didn't pan out. My friend Jenny did a really amazing job of documenting her son's first year of life and I told myself I was going to do that, but then I never did. Here is a little snap shot, nonetheless. Jenny, get ready to eat your heart out with my creativity....

1 Month Old

2 Months Old

3 Months Old

4 Months Old

Lucy is now almost 5 Months Old. I don't know where the time goes. She is so sociable. She loves being around people and is generally fine if she is being held. She loves to suck her thumb (which is new for us since Annie was obsessed with her paci). She doesn't look super Mexican, as you can tell. Everyone asks how Annie is around her. Answer: She couldn't be more thrilled about Lucy. She asks where she is every morning (right after asking where her Daddy is). She is so gentle around Lucy and really likes to "keep her safe". Since Lucy has been born we have been able to see Annie's protective nature come out more. Everyone also asks if they are more similar of different. Hard to tell at the ages they are, but what we do know....

Annie is a thinker. She really enjoys figuring things out and doing things "all by self". Hard to tell, but she seems like an achiever type, maybe just a typical first born. She is not concerned with what others are doing, she just wants to do her thing. She is very independent. She likes to decide things for herself. She is not very sensitive (although she has her moments as a 2 yr old). She gets over things fast. She remembers everything. She LOVES her daddy and they seem to be alot alike. :) She is very cuddly if it's her idea. Anytime you ask her anything she says "okay". She is also a rock-collector and LOVES every stuffed animal that has ever existed. On any random day she is either doing a puzzle, reading books, or nurturing stuffed animals.

Lucy already seems to be more of a people person than Annie. She thrives when people are in her face. She loves the camera because a person is usually holding it. Annie always seemed more interested in how the camera worked and holding it herself than smiling. Lucy is not very serious, she is easy to make smile even when she's upset, but if you should find her to be upset she will make you go deaf with her shrill cry. She is zero to sixty. She is on or off. She is definitely more sensitive to her environment than Annie ever was. She is still eating in the middle of the night because she has trained me to obey her shrill cry. (I know, I know...It's on my to-do list.) She is bubbly, chubby, and very insistent when she is hungry. She is still pretty great at sleeping anywhere since she loves to be held. She is my lap baby.

Two things in common to both of my girls: 1) Both of my girls were super chubby babies topping the charts. 2) Both don't look Mexican at all, but we hope they get scholarships anyways.

As far as me and J go, we just celebrated our 5 yr anniversary! We got a little time away together, thanks to J's parents!

I have been starting to sew again, which has been a great creative outlet for me! J's sis, Brittany inspired me to refashioning tshirts into kid dresses (like the green A&M one she made that Annie is wearing above). Been loving that and just ordered a pattern to make some booties! I will keep you updated and maybe post the result!

J is still loving his job and doing great things in Austin. I can't believe how well suited he is for his job. I am so proud of him. When the website is up and running, I will post the link!

I just found a bunch of videos of Annie learning new tricks from the last few months, so I am going to be posting those over the next month or so as I get the chance to upload them!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, J!

Happy Father's Day, J!

I cannot imagine a better daddy for our girls than you. It is your third Father's Day now and I can't believe all the ways God has grown you in this time to lead our ladies towards God in all things. Here are some of my favorite ways you do this at this moment in time, but I know by tomorrow there will be new ways.

1. You are truly a picture of God's tenderness towards his kids. One of my favorite things about you is the amount of affection you lavish on our girls. You are the most comfortable person in the world. There is hardly a time when your are sitting on our couch and one of us isn't curled up with you. You know how to be still and just take the time to sit and cuddle.

2. The way you truly listen to understand. Whatever random request Annie has pulled out of her hat, a box of "ray-rays" (raisins), nudder song? (another song, aka- change the music in the car) or any other indeterminable toddler phrase- you truly strive to understand her and build her trust in you to listen. You don't ignore even the simplest requests and strive to understand how she understands the world.

(Annie telling you a story.)

3. My most favorite quality about you is and will always be your humility. It is what drew me to you so long ago (10 years ago!). You have every reason, in a worldly sense, to be prideful (at least by my book- because you are soooo good-looking, talented, ect.), but you carry yourself just the opposite. One of the ways I see this is that you are always so quick to forgive and repent. Even if it means apologizing to Annie for something she hasn't even noticed. Another way is your unselfishness. If there is any way you are able to take a burden off of me- you always try to think of a way- even nursing. (Sadly, there is no solution to that one.)

4. You are someone they can truly admire. You have the privilege of embodying compassion and mercy as your full time job. Not only will they admire you because of the work you do- the passion you have to transform the city, give hope where there is none, and seek justice- they will admire you because you are a picture of God's mercy and compassion to all people with or without the job you have. You have always cared about people- really cared. You care how they hurt, care about what they need, and do your best to help them. Our girls will get to see first hand how to love all people and it is of prime importance to you that they do, by the grace of God.

5. You love to be really into their lives. You always want real time updates on what we are doing while you are at work. I always think this would annoy you, but you really want to know. You can't wait for them to learn new things and will so patiently and joyfully teach them new things. Even after a long day, you beg me to let you wake them up if you get home late. We have learned our lesson on that recently, but you still ask. :) Only now, I say "no way, honey."

There is no man in this world that I would rather our girls look up to than you. God giving Lucy and Annie you as a dad is God's absolute grace to them. I cannot wait to see the impact you have on their lives. God giving me you as a partner in parenting is God's grace to me. Thanks for making it such a joy and honor to be with you. I love you so much more than I even did 5-10 years ago. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Love my little ladies!

Now that we are officially a family of 4, we are on our way to adjusting back to normal life. In the last month we had Lucy, Annie turned 2, the bluebonnets arrived, we have had family visit from NC, and we have celebrated our first major holiday with Lucy. Here are some pictures to prove it.

At the best park- Mueller with the cousins!

The Lopez/ Burton Family

Lucy- 4 weeks

Annie's awesome birthday cake from her aunt Mo (Molly).

Getting a little help from Jack and Micah. I think Jack "helped" her last year too! Smart boy.

Lucy having a bath.

Annie in the bluebonnets.

Lucy has been with us for 5 weeks now. It is already hard to remember what it was like without her. :) We are adjusting a little more everyday. J and I are coming to find that we both always have our hands full rather than taking turns. This is why we are so thankful to have friends and family provide meals for us! Not only do I love surprises, but I also do not like to cook. It has been such a blessing and we are so grateful for not only the food, but to get to introduce Lucy to our loved ones and see each of you!

Since there is still not much J can do for Lucy, he spends lots more time with Annie- which is her dream come true. :) We both find ourselves feeling a little like single parents at the end of the day, each with our own kid. I hear it gets better.

It is so fun to watch Annie grow into her big sister role. She loves Lucy and uses the sweetest voice when she talks to her. Annie is still figuring out the whole breast feeding thing and will often practice with her dolls/ stuffed animals. Sometimes I think about what it would really be like if my two-year old was actually walking around breast-feeding a dwarfed hippopotamus in my living room. It is cute until I think about it too literally.

As for Lucy, she is the most cuddly baby I have ever met. A dream come true. I love it. She sleeps well for her age, but terribly for my age. She started smiling last week, which is totally heart melting.

More fun by the day....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lucy's Here!!!

We are so excited to have Lucy home!

My ideal timeline: early to the hospital, epidural, have a baby.
Lucy's timeline: late to the hospital, no epidural (and barely any doctor), had the baby.

Around 10:30pm, Sunday March 6th, we started watching the Office (which, ironically was about Pam having her baby and trying to ignore her contractions until midnight so she can get an extra night stay in the hospital). Come to find out, we should have been driving to the hospital at that time.

Here's that episode, just in case you missed it:

Normally doctors tell you "come in when you have contractions that last 45 sec - 1 min and are 4-8 minutes apart..." The doctor on call that night said to hold off until the contractions last 1 minute to 1.5 minutes. Since I'm a rule-follower, it never actually became time to go to the hospital by the normal doctor standards.

At 10:30pm we started timing contractions. First contraction: 30 seconds. Next contraction was 45 seconds, 20 minutes later. Next one, 8 minutes from the previous. From then on, all the contractions were less than a minute, but by the time 11:30pm rolled around, the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and really painful, and so J called the doctor to tell them, and they said to go ahead and come in because they were strong.

Good thing we did.

We got to the hospital room around midnight (thanks for the good idea, Pam) and Lucy was born at 1:20 AM.

J and I took no birthing classes to prepare since we planned on it going like Annie's. The only way we knew breathing techniques was from the movies. J kept trying to get me to hold his hand and squeeze, but I insisted on keeping him in a headlock and whimpering "please help me" the entire time. Not only him, but every nurse that walked in the room got this same plea from me.

I will spare you the details (give me a call/ email if you want them), but I will say that after Lucy was born it was an amazing moment. By far the hardest physical work of my life, but with such a great reward.

Here is Lucy featuring her nice pipes. I have never heard anything so piercing in my life.

I used the timer function on the camera to capture myself sleeping... just kidding. I had the nurse promise to come in after I fell asleep... just kidding again.

Annie is adjusting great to being a big sis! Another post to come from our first week at home!