Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bennett and Mallory: BFF's (As of Late)

Bennett and Mallory haven't historically been super close. And it's always bothered me.  

Ok... I know Mallie's only three, so to say 'always' is a little dramatic.  But it truly has made me sad that they've never gotten along or been best buddies. So I've been praying about it a lot in the past year or so:

Lord, please help Bennett and Mallory to develop a close relationship.  Please help them to be friends.  Please give them love for each other. 

And you know what?? God has answered that prayer.  Slowly but surely, they are starting to include each other. To be considerate of each other...

To play together. 

To have conversations over popsicles...

And Oreos.

To protect each other...

To explore together...

And to love each other.
...Just like bothers and sisters should.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summertime (And the Living is Easy)

Well, we've made our summer list and have gotten to work crossing things off. Here's a little bit of what we've been up to so far this summer:

-Getting a kiddie pool, having it leak on the first try and then getting a new one. Can you tell which one I picked out and which one the practical McPreacher bought?

-Baking some favorite treats with all the delicious summertime fruit I can get my hands on!

-Getting a fresh summer haircut... Cooler and SO much easier with 3 kids!

-Going to the splash park

- Making ice cream in my new ice cream maker! (thanks, Mom!)

-VBS! Bennett actually enjoyed it this year. And so did Mallie, which is no big shock :0)

-Spending lots of time with Booey and Bobob at their house on the lake. SO blessed to have them living close again!

-Drinking LOTS of coffee... I do have a newborn after all...

-Drawing and coloring for HOURS on end

-Making Popsicles

-Finding a new obsession for Bennett: Ninjago!

-Eating LOTS of watermelon!

-Funnel cake!

-Painting nails and toes in fun summer colors!

-Shave Ice!

-And MOST of all, soaking up every moment with this precious girl!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Welcome to Our Family, Amelia Jane!

Well, it has obviously been QUITE a while since I've paid attention to this poor little blog!

But I couldn't let the birth of our sweet Amelia go unwritten about.  She is such a treasure. And it was SUCH a special day.
Somewhat-Brief Birth Story (for those of you who don't want to read an entire book about my cervix): The most important thing about Amelia's birth story is that her gender was a surprise!!! This is the first time we've been surprised, and it was the BEST!!! I Absolutely loved having that amazing surprise waiting for me at the end of  a difficult labor... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was due May 28 (Memorial Day), and I went into labor that night after walking up and down my hallway 50 times like a wild banshee!! I suspected my water was leaking, and my contractions were 5 minutes apart, so we called my parents to come over to be with the big kids and left for the hospital.

When we arrived, it was discovered that my water was in fact leaking, and I was admitted around 3am.  The bummer is that my contractions slowed down and became sporadic after arriving at the hospital. By 7:30am I had my epidural, my doctor arrived and broke my water (Dr. Han... she delivered ALL 3 of my babies!), and I was only at 6cm so I got a small dose of pitocin. The pitocin really got things moving, so I was thankful that I couldn't feel my uterus... until of course my epidural wore off at 9cm!!! Let's just say that the last hour of my labor and the delivery was excruciatingly painful.  I think pain that you aren't expecting to feel just hurts worse.  But maybe that's just me.

So the surprise of the baby's gender was what kept me going through those painful 2 hours (1 hour of transition + 1 hour of pushing).  Mallory came out in like 3 pushes, so I didn't not expect to push that long with my 3rd.  But Amelia entered this world with her head turned sideways AND the cord wrapped around her neck, so that's the reason for the extra pain and difficulty.

But it truly was ALL worth it as Neil and Dr. Han simultaneously exclaimed, "It's a girl!" Neil and I were in shock... DELIGHTED shock!  We both had become convinced in the weeks leading up to the birth that our baby was a boy.  And while we would have been equally thrilled with a boy, it was just so fun to be SO surprised!

We already had her name picked out - Amelia Jane Anderson. Amelia was a name that I mentioned to Neil early in my pregnancy, and he loved it.  So we were set on that name since early on.  Jane is in honor of Neil's Mom, Janet.

Bringing Amelia home has just been a sweet and blessed time for our whole family.

Bennett LOVES his sister  I mean LOVES her. He is checking on her, telling her he loves her, kissing her and giving her her binky and blanket every waking moment of every day.  Having her has really developed his sweet, tender side, and it's been such a delight for me to see how much he adores her.

 Mallory is also truly in love with her baby and is constantly dancing for her, singing to her, kissing and hugging her.  I can already see her nurturing, motherly side coming out. 

The McPreacher and I are just soaking up every minute of having a newborn to cuddle and hold.  We both feel that this will be our last baby.  Our family feels perfectly complete now.  So the perspective of already doing this twice and knowing how fast it goes and the knowledge that she will be our last has gotten us through the crazy adjustment and sleepless nights with much more joy than our first two.  We just adore her.

Amelia is one month old now and such a sweet, content girl.  This week she started looking at us and smiling.  This week she also started sleeping 6-8 hour stretches at night! Amen, Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!!!!

One of the things that people are always mentioning is how HUGE her eyes are.  When she opens those peepers, you are in for a treat! :0)

We love you, Amelia Jane.  You are such a precious girl, and we are so grateful that God has blessed our family with you.  We can't wait to watch you grow into the girl that God has designed you to be.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Love is the Air: Favorite Valentine's Day Traditions

Hello everyone,

I'm not even going to mention this latest blog-iatus (that's a blog- hiatus for those of you just tuning in) because it's become standard procedure for me nowadays.

Wait, did I just mention it?

I did, didn't I?

Any-whooo, I thought I'd take a moment to share a few favorite Valentine traditions that are simple and easy (and cheap!)

There are SO many cute ideas out there for Valentine's Day, but I've had to learn the lesson the hard way that I just can't do it all! When I try to do every little idea I see, I often end up "going to the party but missing the celebration," so to speak. In other words I become so focused on my doily table runner that I forget that the point of this holiday is to cherish the ones we love! Leslie wrote a great blog post about this subject the other day.

So, with that in mind, here are a few favorite, simple traditions that encourage togetherness.

1. 'Roses Are Red' Valentines:
A year or two ago, we started the tradition of making our own Valentines for each other (no store bought allowed!), and the rule is that the Valentine needs to follow the format of the poem "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue." I like to re-write the poem depending on what the kids are into that year.
Here are the Valentines I made the kids last year:

And here's the cute one Bennett made for me (with Daddy's help):
I've no idea what that crazy kid was talking about, but I like the way his mind works. Cake sandwiches? Yes sirree!

I also made one for the McPreacher of course, but it was a little scandalous so I'll just keep that to myself. Hehe.

2. Special Breakfast on Valentine's Day:
I LOVE breakfast, and in my book, any holiday is a good excuse to make a special breakfast! This is something I've been doing since McPreachy and I first got married. Even though this is kind of labor intensive, I LOVE cooking so it doesn't stress me out. Here are a few of the Pinteresting things I'd like to try for this years special breakfast:

And finally, our last little V-Day tradition...

3. Love Notes Jar

On our kitchen counter we have a jar where we can write little love notes to each other beginning the first o' the month. Then we read them during our Valentine's breakfast. Simple and sweet.

Here's the little bowl of love notes, waiting to be written on:
And here's a note that Mallory dictated for me to write for Bennett.

And yes, I know the pictures is sideways... I have issues.

Also, while we're at it, let's take a peek at a few of our simple Valentines decorations.

I think that about does it: Valentine's Day at our house in a nutshell... or any other shell that seems Valentinesy to you.

Either way, I love this holiday!