Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm baaaaack!


I've been done for a week, and man, has it been amazing. Definitely surreal! First time in 5 1/2 years that I haven't had to worry about writing or typing something, what's due, what needs to be read or completed, what PRAXIS needs to be paid for and passed, etc! C.R.A.Z.Y.
I thoroughly enjoyed both of my placements. Different they were, but I learned so much from each and enjoyed my students.

I graduate Saturday. 10:00am! I pick mom up from the airport tomorrow, and we are having a graduation party Friday. I don't know what we'll do at the party, but I said I HAVE to celebrate! Being with friends and family is enough!

I have loved spending so much time with my boys this past week. Lots of hugs, kisses, and snuggling. I think Maddox and I have reconnected. Braxton's always been a momma's boy but Maddox just seemed more distant this past month. He has really become a daddy's boy and I glad since Braxton has always been so close to me. Matt is loving it, too. Now that I have been home, Maddox is more lovey on me and has been more attached, while at the same time getting plenty of daddy.

We are ready for Christmas here! I am done shopping for the boys and everything is wrapped. I still need to buy for Matt but what I'm getting won't be hard to get. We need to finish up for some family still, but nothing major.

This year is going to be sooooo fun. I cannot wait until Christmas morning! My boys are being SPOILED!

Now for some pictures!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shutterfly: Free 50!

One of my favorite things to do when Christmas time rolls around is make our Christmas cards! I love to take the pictures and choose the perfects ones for our card. This year, I think it is going to be a one photo kind of card.
Shutterfly has a SUPER new collection of Christmas cards. They have cards for all tastes and preferences. AND they are offering bloggers a free set of 50! We have ordered Christmas photo cards from them before and have always been pleased. But I am so excited about the new designs. I LOVE this unique design and this one as well! It will be tough to choose.
Shutterfly is a great place for gifts for family! Last year, I made a photo book for my mother-in-law and it turned out fabulous and she loved it! I have been wanting to make a calendar or two, as well. I'm really thinking that when the boys' birthdays roll around this year, I will take the easy route and create them on Shutterfly. I was looking at the invites they have and they are really, really neat.
Oh man, just found this super cute Christmas card.....ahhh choices! No matter what I choose, it will be awesome, unique, and free!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's going...

I have full teacher hours. I am up at 6:30 and gone at 7:20 or earlier. I leave school between 3:45-4:45. But it's going.

We have adjusted well. The boys are doing well with the sitter all day. I miss them, but I get through the day knowing they are just fine and in good hands.

The days at school seem to be going faster. I am enjoying it more. I have learned everyone's name and routines and schedule for the class. I have learned a lot. I have been schocked and surprised. I have gained respect and authority. I have a great cooperating teacher.

I will soon take over for 2 weeks. I am almost ready.

While I'm gone teaching all day, Braxton is learning. I came home yesterday and he could read all the 'at' words. Today, he had 'ot' and 'un' words added to his list and he read a sentence! makes my heart smile and a lump rise in my throat. I am so proud of him. He is wonderful at it. We have the best sitter! Oh, she is wonderful!

Well I just wanted to give a little update. I will leave you with a picture of my boys!

I don't have any time to blog!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Teaching Heart Mom blog Back to School Party

The Teaching Heart Mom blog is an awesome bolg for teachers AND moms. They are having an awesome Back to School Party over on their blog and you should really check it out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

'Bout to be a BuSy Momma!

I finally got my student teaching placements today. I got one suburban school and one urban. I go to Woodmore first. 99.2% of the students come from economically disadvantaged homes. I will be in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd...not sure which, yet. The next half of the semester I will be at McConnell in kindergarten! I am excited about this school. It isn't as far away and I have heard such great things about it.
Adjusting to the demand and schedule of student teaching will be difficult. I will be gone before the boys even wake up till about 3:30-4:00 five days a week. Very different. I have worries and fears because I have never been away from them that much. There will be someone else with them, taking care of them most of their day.
But, really, I am blessed to have the babysitter I do. She is great with the kids and just her being so willing to be here that much is so awesome. She has a 4 year old (soon to be 5) that she will be preparing for kindergarten and she told me Braxton would be doing the same stuff. That is a huge relief for me. With me being gone, I knew I wasn't going to be here to be teaching and preparing him. Also, because he won't be going to preschool (or any type of school, like mother's day out that he has been going to) until I finish student teaching. So, he will start Preschool in January. He really is prepared enough already, but being away, I feel like I will be out of touch and unable to BE SURE. Our sitter will be reinforcing him with the basic things he needs to learn plus more!
When I get home in the evenings, I will go straight to cooking, then cleaning up, then preparing for the next day. I hope we can adjust to it well. Weekends will be spent doing work, I'm sure.
Even though I can't wait to learn everything possible from my experience, I hope it goes by quickly so I can be back home with my babies!!.....and have my degree :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Dayz~

My boys have been outside in the water almost everyday. They were outside in it at 8:30 last night! Why not? Sometimes we just turn the hose on...but most of the time we fill the water table up and our little inflatable pool and they splash and pour the water.

We went to the new Spray Ground here in town and it was really cool.

This is a video of Maddox "calling" for Braxton at the Spray Ground.

Braxton had a water day at school. Here he is ready to go!

Sadly, summer is coming to an end :( I will be a very busy momma starting August 23rd. (But, I just have to get through 3 1/2 months and I will graduate!) So, I am going to try to have as much summer fun in the few short weeks I have left!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My most awesome weekend!

So, my mom was listening to the radio one day and heard. "Win tickets to see Brad Paisley at AquaPalooza!" She texted in the 'key word' and 30 minutes later she got a phone call saying she won! Her entire winnings included round trip tickets to Austin, TX, 2 nights in a hotel, and VIP access to AquaPalooza. Since my mom lives in Austin, she could fly one person out. She chose meeee :)

So, on Friday, July 9th, to Austin I went!!

(Is that not beautiful? Our God was so creative in creating our Earth!)

I was so happy to land in Austin and see my mom waiting for me at the airport! We went straight to the hotel and checked in. I saw pictures on the internet of our hotel, but they didn't do it justice. It was amazing!! I felt like I should have changed into something nicer before I went in...LOL! (But no worries, we weren't the only ones in vaccay wear.) I was so excited to spend our down time there!

This is me in the elevator of the hotel. We were on the 10th floor (out of about 22)!

Rooftop pool with an amazing view of Downtown Austin!

Some other family that lives in Austin came to our room and I was so happy to spend time with them. My grandma was even visiting from FL! That was such a great bonus to be able to see more family! It was my brother's birthday so we had a cake for him.

Friday night we had a show to go to within walking distance of our hotel. We met our group in the lobby, received our VIP lanyards, and went to the Parish to see the show. We saw Joanna Smith and Jerrod Niemann. Both put on great performances. We got to meet Jerrod afterwards!

He was super cool.
My sister met us up there afterwards and gave us a tour of 6th Street for the rest of the night.

The next day, we had to meet our group in the lobby at 11:30 and then we traveled to AquaPalooza. We were shown our VIP tent which was stocked with drinks and floats for the float zone.

This was our the view from our tent. (Stage to the left, float zone, and the boat zone)

Mom and I enjoyed listening to Joanna Smith again from the float zone and then got back out to walk around and get some goodies from the vendors (coozies, hats, shirts). We bought Matt an AquaPalooza shirt, too.

Then it was time to eat. We had a VIP BBQ in our tent. It was amazing. For real. YUM. Jerrod Niemann came in the tent to say hi before he went on stage, as well.

We went back to the water so we could watch Jerrod and then Brad!

This is a picture of the floatzone once Brad came on. See the pink noodles in the air? That's us!!

Brad put on an amazing show!

After Brad's performance, we headed back to our tent and then to the bus. When we got back to the hotel, it was night time....we went up to take advantage of that rooftop pool and hot tub! It was very pretty at night. After the pool, we went to the room to take showers and settle down for the night.

The next morning, my mom and I enjoyed the breakfast buffet at the hotel's restaurant. It was the best breakfast I have ever had! We had omlets made just the way we wanted and some other unique yummy things.

After breakfast, it was time to head out...but not before saying hey to Jerrod Niemann in the lobby and getting him to sign my CD. He signed it 'Stephanie, thanks for being here sweetie! Jerrod Niemann.'

I was sad for this weekend to be ending but excited to see my boys! I missed them so! I think they missed me too!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vroom, Vroooooom!!

Daddy came home with this awesome surprise for Braxton yesterday. Braxton was giggling like a little girl as he scrambled to get his shoes on and take it for a test drive! He now has two vehicles (he got one for his b-day). I think I am close to being kicked out of the garage!

Mystery Rash

Sometime last week, we noticed a rash that had formed on Maddox. Then, it was under his arms and in his creases by his diaper and just a few spots and blotches on his torso. I thought maybe laundry detergent b/c I did get a small bottle of a new kind and it was irritating him. I watched the rash fade in some places and come in other places, worsen in some. On Saturday morning, he woke up and it was very bad. It had spread and worsened. I changed his clothes thinking it might be the sleeper he slept in since I grabbed it from a clean load of clothes. That night, I wanted to give him an oatmeal bath to hopefully soothe it. When I took his onesie off, I was shocked b/c it had gotten even worse on his torso. We called the on-call nurse and while we were waiting on her to call us back, it was getting worse while he was sitting in the bath. New spots were popping up that he had not had during the day. I posted a picture on Facebook from my phone because I have lots of friends who are nurses and experienced mommies. The nurse called back and I talked to her. I explained he had no other symptoms and it did not seem to be bothering him at all. She asked lots of questions and determined he didn't need to be seen, but just to keep an eye on him and if we really though he did need to be seen, then we could go to the Urgent Care Clinic. She thought it was probably an allergic reaction to something. The responses to the fb picture said the same. The next day, it hadn't changed much and he had even gotten some on his face. That evening, we had a friend at church, who is a Pediatrician, look at it. He said the same. Now we just had to figure out what it was a reaction to. We were thinking peanuts because I had given him pb&j for lunch twice that week and then before he got in the bath Saturday night (when it was getting worse while in the bath), Matt had given him a bite of peanut butter cookie.

Monday when he woke up, it was MUCH better. The blotchiness had cleared. There was still quite a few red spots in various places, but better! SO happy we were. I just knew it would be close to gone today (Tuesday). Well, no. He woke up and it was all over his face and he had more red spots on his torso and new ones on his bottom. I was baffled! What could be making it worse now? I knew he had to go to the doctor. I got to thinking... I ate a few handfuls of trail mix throughout the day Monday and I still nurse Maddox before his naps, before bed, and early in the morning to get him back to sleep. DUH! YES, it would affect him through breastmilk! UGHHH!! I feel like SUCH a bad mommy! This is the only thing I can think of and it kinda confirms the peanut thing. We still aren't %100 sure...there could be an underlying issue we don't know about. I am still taking him to the doctor to get another opinion. We go today at 3:00. Hopefully I will have confirmed thought and answered questions.

Here are some pictures.

This is Saturday night before his bath. (Brighter in person)

This is this morning (Tuesday). You can't see it very well, but the spots on his face are brighter red.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Check it out!

Look up! New header pictures! Yep, that's it :)

Okay, okay... I will share some more from the other day. Fun in the water table!


More interesting posts to come...... :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quick Hello

I have been slackin' in the blogging world. I haven't been inspired to write about anything specific.
We are busy having summer fun! I wanted to share this picture of me and my boys. I am rarely in the picture. And yes, you see a label that says door! I finally did the labels. They have been up for a while but just wanted to point out that I finally took care of the goal.
Soon I want to share the my birth stories for these beautiful boys!! Most mommy blogs I read have them for their children and I love to share mine.
Hope you have a blessed day ♥

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sleeping in their bathing suit...

Might as well...
These kiddos of mine {plus one more} love them some water. Our niece Brie has been with us the past week and we have been going, going. The majority of what we have been doing involves water. Sprinkler, fountain, slip-n-slide, pool, lake, water table....

We did go to the Discovery Museum where only their hands got wet ;)
Here is Braxton using the pulley chair on the roof of the museum.

...and Daddy and Braxton in the little clinic.

We've been to Coolidge to play in the fountains.

We've played in the sprinkler and slip-n-slide.

We had a wonderful picnic at the lake and then went for a swim. It really was great family fun!

Full mouths!

Taking a break for a drink.

Last night we bought the boys a water table or a 'Fun Flow Play Sink.'

Perfect for both of the boys! They just love it!

Today we went swimming again. We went to swim with Raven, Matt's boss' daughter. She just adores the boys and is so good with them.

Taking a snack break. Maddox wasn't so good in the pool today. I think he is getting swimmed out...or he has learned that when we swim, all he gets to do is float in his little float.

These are just the events I had pictures of. We went swimming last week, too, and those sprinklers come out often!

I hope you enjoyed my fun-filled, picture-loaded post :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

{A spin on Photo Story Friday}

This won't be an official Photo Story Friday b/c I did not take some of these. But I want and need to share.

These pictures are a little old.
The first one is of Matt, me, and Braxton on Pensacola Beach in March 2007.
The second is of Matt and Braxton on Navarre Beach (minutes from Pensacola Beach) in July 2008.
I am sharing these picture because these beaches are about to get very ugly. With oil. Oil clumps have been popping up along the shore of this powder white beach.
I grew up in Pensacola and these beaches fill my childhood memories. I would have never imagined such a dreadful thing to happen to these beaches.

This picture screams home to me.

I am heart broken.

Pray the spill gets corrected soon.

Pray for all the businesses that are going to be greatly affected by this.

Pray for the outcome of these beaches.

Pray for the people that love these beaches.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June Goals

Time for my JUNE goals!

Go hiking and picnicking
Another play day at Coolidge Park
find the closest water park and visit it
Read Crazy Love by Francis Chan with my book club
Go see Toy Story 3 with Braxton
Have a date night with hubby to make up for our anniversary that we didn't celebrate last month in the midst of all the others celebrations!

We arranged Braxton's room a couple weeks ago to make more room, but we are planning on getting him a junior loft bed to make even more room. Hopefully Maddox will be moving back in there soon!
After getting the loft bed, move toy shelf from downstairs up to his room and build bigger, deeper shelves for downstairs

a nice monogram for outside

Make labels for things around the house
Braxton: familiarize him with labels, continue to practice handwriting
Maddox: keep teaching him words

Make a list of all recipes I have tried and liked.
Freezer cook
Try 1 new recipe

Stay on top of laundry
dejunk closets and under bathroom sinks
put away some toys in the toy Tupperware

start vitamins daily again
Keep working out on the Wii Fit 4 times a week
evening walks at least 3 times a week
no junk and smaller portions
Find a good facial product and clean my face every night.

May's Goals- How Did I do?

How did I do???

Go hiking and picnicking some more! We didn't do this any this month, though I did want to many times. It rained a lot!
Have a great birthday :) My birthdays have been lacking the fun factor the past few years.
I did :)
Host a successful 4th birthday party for Braxton uh huh :)
Play day at Coolidge Park we had a couple of these!
Keep leisurely reading Breaking Dawn finished it, and loved it just as much as the first time I read it
Read Don't Make Me count to Three to catch up with my book club I did, and it was a great book!

and I have a goal for the summer (don't know which month it will happen it): day trip to Atlanta to visit zoo and aquarium...Six Flags would be awesome, too :) Might have to be a couple day trips. not yet

Pack some more things up to make the move easier, whenever it happens. I did pack some clothes up and took some to Good Will but the move isn't happening so :(

Make labels for things around the house oh my goodness, I have totally forgotten to do this.. I WILL!!
Braxton: familiarize him with labels, continue to practice handwriting oh yes, he is getting good at writing
Maddox: keep teaching him words trying, but he definitely is behind like his brother was. but no worries, Braxton talk plenty now

Make a list of all recipes I have tried and liked. nope
Freezer cook!! Got this wonderful idea from my friend Sarah. Now that school is over, I have time to do this. I have made brown bag burritos 3 times but thats all. I want to do some meals.

Stay on top of laundry, FOR REAL! We did, but we are behind putting it away again
Clean hand prints off walls check

Starting small: Workout (a good cardio workout) once a week. Getting a set day and time would help me stick to this. I just now started this...pulled the 'ole Wii Fit back out
Stop eating as much junk. just started this, too. it was hard with all the birthdays!
Find a good facial product and clean my face every night. nope :(

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Disheartening, but Necesary

It wasn't our time. We really thought it was. But, we had to let it go.
Our house.
Oh, sad times. We had to make the decision to let our house go. The one we had been planning to buy. Our condo wasn't selling, so we made the decision to put it up for rent because we didn't want to lose that house. The owner had been holding on to it for us and we had all our plans worked out. We had a ton of interest in the condo, both for sale and rent, and we had a a couple come real close to getting it, but it never worked out. Time was running short and we started weighing the choices. A lot of work (and money!!) was to go into that house, and we knew that and we were excited to get to work and make it ours. We mentally prepared ourselves. But, we knew that we really only had until June to get a buyer/renter because the owner didn't want to hold onto it anymore, and we understood that. Around the middle of May we let the owner know (who is a friend of ours) that we still love the house and want it, but we just don't see our condo going. By this time, we had slowed down the traffic of people wanting to see our house because it was getting to hard to deal with (I mean, we had multiple people seeing it in one day). Sadly, we gave the go ahead to let him do what he wanted with the house, which, of course, was put it on the market. It sold in 2 days. Goodbye!!
Now that I think about it, I know it would have been so much to deal with! (Not saying I still wouldn't do it, cause that house is worth it.) It would have been a lot of money, and the shape that that house was in, there's a good chance we would have found an underlying issue that we didn't have the funds for. We would have also had to find somewhere to stay until it was good enough (for my standards) to live in. Another huge reason is that our babysitter for when I am in school lives in our current neighborhood. I am going to student teach in the Fall and I need her. She doesn't drive and so I would have had to find a new sitter. We love her and her rates are great. Thinking about all of this, maybe God knew this wasn't such a great idea.
So, sticking it out here in our condo is what we will be doing for the next 6 months or so.
We withdrew our house listing from the market and are turning down all callers. We had a pretty inefficient real estate agent and I know this condo would have sold with someone else. I was getting more interest posting it on Craigs List after a few dead months of no viewers. So, when we re-list it, a new one we will have. We will re-list it in October probably, but if someone wanted to buy it, we wouldn't turn them down!
We will look forward to when it is our time to find that house!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo Story Friday

With such a great past week, my first Photo Story Friday is going to be picture heavy :)

This is a picture of Braxton in action on his slip-n-slide. He refuses to go face first so this is as good as it gets.

This picture illustrates the story behind taking pictures of my boys. They rarely look at the camera at the same time. I took another but Maddox was looking away in that one.

I took this picture moments later. We were getting ready to take my mom back to the airport. That Mammy loves those boys!

I took this one yesterday evening. Maddox was cracking us up because he just kept pointing to the water and screaming with a big smile on his face.
We're loving summer!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and ???

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birthday and more Birthday

Saturday, we had Braxton's 4th birthday party at our neighborhood clubhouse. It was a great place to have a party. We had snacks and had Toy Story playing on the TV.

We had about 15 kids there. We all went outside and swung at the pinata.

and I mean all of us.... this was after ALL the kiddos had a try.

Finally, I got the job done.

We went inside to have cake and cupcakes. Braxton blew the candles out before we were done singing. I think he hoped that would hurry us up. He didn't like being the focus.

Then, we got to the good part. PRESENTS! He racked up! He did like this attention!

After he opened his presents, we had a few more surprises for him outside.

The Power Wheels was a hit.

It was a great party!

Yesterday was his actual birthday, though all week he has been rackin' up. Monday, he got to go to Chuck E. Cheese and Tuesday Mammy got him the Toy Story Mania Wii game and a fancy Toy Story bathing suit.

Wednesday we celebrated all day. He picked CiCi's pizza for lunch, aunt JoJo took him to ToysRUs to pick out a toy, and then we went bowling that night.

I made "dirt cake" cups since we had plenty of cake at the party and we sang to him again and had those when we got home.

With all this fun having , I hadn't thought much about it, but goodness, I have a 4 year old!!

Happy Birthday precious boy! You light my life and I love you so much!!!!