Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We are spending the Thanksgiving weekend at home this year, just the six of us. It was fun making pies, stuffing, turkey, the works as a family-took time, but the memories are priceless. It was a stark contrast from last year, with me in the hospital with a brand new baby, and Robert at home with our three boys. Grateful and thankful to have my children, all healthy and home with me, and a partner who is active in raising them. We took a bike ride yesterday, will go to the Salvation Army canned food drive movie with friends today, and spend family time the rest of the weekend. I'll take out the decorations for the holiday season, and we'll watch some holiday movies. Our lives are incredibly blessed ♥

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rebecca and the circle

The circle of our family once had 5 parts, yet never felt completely finished. Deep inside, I knew-Robert did too-because actions speak louder than words. We welcomed Rebecca into our lives one year ago today, and while Robert knew who she was, I had no clue until she was placed on my chest. I love my daughter, the one I wasn't quite sure I would know what to do with, but shows me everyday that its okay. Its okay not to know-its okay to find out, to explore, to grab onto something and not let go. Its okay not to have all the answers, to do things perfectly, because life is like that. Yet, Rebecca fit into our lives perfectly, the noise, the heart and soul, our family. It was meant to be to have a large family. Happy birthday sweet Rebecca, may this year bring you more firsts, and more sweetness. We love you.

November 24, 2010

One month old
Two months old
Three months old
Four months old
Five months old
Six months old
Seven months old
Eight months old
9 months old
10 months old
11 months old
12 months old

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eat my cupcake Elijah

Elijah decorated the cupcakes for his class.
passing out the sweets
one of his best friends
blowing out the candle
little sister sneaking over to say hi

Last week, Elijah and I brought cupcakes to his preschool for his 4th birthday. It was bittersweet for me, having done this twice already, I thought it wouldn't be so hard. Yet, doing it with my little boy, I know this is the last year of preschool cupcakes for him. Next year, he'll be in kindergarten. We already had the first assessment done, and the preschool says he's ready (even though I may not be).

Elijah is my spunky boy. Arriving 14 minutes after Robert and I arrived at Clovis Community, he has kept us on our toes. He is my tiny boy, but big in spirit. We had a rough go when he was first here, PPD overshadowed my world-but we pulled through. I couldn't imagine not having him in our lives, he was the little brother my boys needed-we just didn't know that until he was here. Elijah is curious, and quite the charmer. Batting his eyes, he's quick with a smile and a hug. I do see how he's different when his brothers/sister are not around, and I cherish all the time we have together. Elijah is a talker-speaking his mind since he was 18 months old, and hardly staying quiet. I love the random conversations we have, everything from God and heaven, to police cars and school. You'd think he'd get lost in the shuffle between two older brothers and a baby sister, but Robert and I take care to ensure that doesn't happen. He's a helper, and creative, with an active imagination. I can't wait to see all he accomplishes, and am his biggest cheerleader. To my baby boy, I love you. Life is so much sweeter because you're here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Birthday mash

Yesterday was Elijah's birthday. All about him, my youngest boy turned 4. He took the lead on how he wanted to spend the day. The three of us watched Barney and Racing Stripes under the blankets in the living room. We took silly pictures with the camera. There was cake and ice cream for lunch, and then a long walk to pick up the three boys. We went to church last night for the family dinner, and then Elijah ran off to the children's program. He was happy and carefree, excited to show me a bible buck he earned. After we came home it was late, he was tired, we all went to bed at 8:30 p.m.

This weekend will be the big party celebration, with friends and ice cream, tomorrow we're bringing cupcakes to celebrate at preschool. Elijah is happy about all the festivities. His main highlight has been having cupcakes and cake, and ice cream. Mine has been seeing his smile, wrapping my arms around my child, knowing he's healthy and happy, and loved.

I'm excited about the birthday party this weekend. Lots of great ideas have been shared with me offline and online, the internet has been a wonderful tool. I had a friend make party favors for me, excited to see how they turned out. I have the family gift for each child tucked away, and the items set aside from my dad and brother. Its been a crazy couple of weeks, but I'm happy that its about something fun. Life is very good these days, and I'm soaking it up.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy birthday Gabriel

Gabriel 11/11/2005

6 years ago you came barreling into our lives. Arriving a mere 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, you and I shared the moment of introducing yourself to daddy, who missed your birth by 10 minutes. I was eager to meet you, but scared-how was I going to parent two little ones so close together in age. You and I grew together, always keeping one another on our toes, wide awake, ready to play. I quickly learned what Grandma meant by having my sneakers on, you always kept me on the go. I wouldn't change it for anything having you so close in age to your brother. Its that closeness in age that makes the two of you fast friends, always looking for each other when the other one is not around, always ready to share a story, a snack, a toy. Gabriel, you are the one I can count on to say "Let's go Mommy, its time to play!" You are the one who has an insatiable curiosity and love for being active-as trying to cook breakfast at a young age showed me and your dad. You are sweet and loving, always ready with a hug and a kiss. You love to snuggle and cuddle, both with me and your dad, as well as your brothers and sister. You are an amazing helper. First one in the kitchen to help me cook, or do something to help your sister. I love your energy, your spunk, you know how to get us up on our feet and have a good time. I loved having you home with me, our weekly outings with MOMS Club and Play Pals, you fit right into the mix. I can't wait to see how you grow this year, I've told you enough times I can't blink because if I do, I'll miss something. You smile and laugh, and grab my hand. Happy birthday sweet boy, happy birthday.

4 weeks old

6 weeks old

3 months old

6 months old
18 months old

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old

5 years old

6 years old

Monday, November 7, 2011

Impeccable timing

One of my favorite bloggers, Money Saving Mom, wrote this post and it resonated with me. I have been striving for discipline lately, not for my children per se, but for myself. I've found in the past that when I'm busy, I'm disciplined. However, the women's group at the the local church has me rethinking the word "busy". Lately its finding a balance between being busy and taking on too much, and keeping up with day to day life and enjoying what life has to offer. As such, sitting at the computer has fallen by the wayside, although I miss the time for self reflection. I still yearn for it, but lately there were just things that took priority.

I made the statement to Robert last night that I felt I had life at home more under control when I was in grad school and a mom to young boys than I do now. He looked at me and said, "You weren't a mom to four then." So is that the difference? If I look at the big picture, there has been a lot going on, but its because I wanted to be an active participant with all the kids. In no uncertain terms have I felt over-scheduled, but instead chose to fully participate in activities that brought joy and purpose to our lives. There have been a series of doctors appointments for the children, but that's on course for taking care of their needs. The me-time I'm used to having has ebbed and flowed with having an increasingly active 11 month old, with both her wanting me sometimes non-stop, and other times, being content to play with her brothers or herself while I take care of something at home. The me-time at the computer has been relegated to skimming on the smartphone, and downloading books to my Kindle. When the night is quiet I want to sit with my husband-who right now is under a lot of pressure with work. Sleep has taken priority, because a teething baby has wreaked havoc on what was a normal bedtime routine.

There's a lot I still don't understand about why things happen-but like I've said before, I'm going to enjoy the journey and where it takes us. Life is too short not to enjoy what's right in front of us. At the same time, in the days/weeks to come, I hope to carve out time to update what's going on here. I have pictures, a video, want to share what's going on with the Allen crew. I have let this blog fall by the wayside, but its not disappearing. Stay tuned.