Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008

This was Jackson's first year trick or treating. Last year we had just moved into our house, and I knew Jackson would not understand the concept. This year we went to Jake's (Jackson's first cousin) neighborhood. Jake is actually wearing the costume that Charlie wore when he was Jake's age...a cheetah (I think Charlie's grandmother made this outfit)! Jackson loved running from house to house, but then when they came to the door he would run away...I think because he thought we were dropping him of at some stranger's house...ha. We met a lot of people and were able to have some conversations with some. I debated whether or not we would go trick or treating because it does seem like we are celebrating Satan on this holiday, but for kids it is a fun way to get out, get some candy, and for us in ministry it is a great way to meet some people. Our society and our neighborhood is so private, this is one of the few times we can actually meet and talk to our neighbors. Next year, Charlie said he was going to stick a First Kids flyer on the candy we hand out. Go to Charlie's blog for the history of is interesting:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Guess Abigail's Birth Day...There Will Even Be a Prize!

Guess Abigail's Birth Day...Here is the information:

  • I am due December 9th and if I am dilated at all they will induce me that day for medical reasons that I am not going to go into here
  • I was induced on my due date with Jackson even though I was 4 cent. dialted and in labor for weeks...haha
  • Also guess her weight, height, and exact time you think she will be born. Whoever is the closest will get a picture of a trophy as one of my posts or a prize that you suggest that does not cost any money...haha
  • Jackson was born on his due date at 11:17 am after being induced that morning. He was 6 pounds 14 oz, 21 inches
  • I have seen many blogs who have done this and I thought it would be fun to see what yall think. I have anywhere from 4-6 weeks left. I think the earliest I will deliver would be two weeks before the original due date which would be November 25th. But since I had contractions Sunday I thought I better go ahead and let you guess
  • Here is the format that I would like you to use in your comment, and here is my guess:
  • November 26th, 12:22 pm, 7 pounds 1 oz, 19 inches long (don't worry I do not get a prize)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Video of Jackson Enjoying the Fall Festival 2008

Fall Festival 2008

Fall Festival was so much fun this was fun last year as well...I love this event! There were some things that went wrong of course, but overall it was a great outreach/family fun event. I think there were about 800 people there but I could be wrong. This event and VBS are the biggest events Charlie has all year. We had the Lads come for a concert and the kids loved them...this band was at Centri-Kid camp this summer and they are so great with kids...very ineractive. Jackson really enjoyed them as well and was one of the few preschoolers dancing and loving the concert (I will be posting video of him dancing soon). When the band stopped playing he threw himself down on the grass and had a crying fit...he is a very unique child.
Overall, praise was that:
  1. Jackson kept his outfit on all night. When I put the bottoms on at home he did not like them so I just put an undershirt on him and Charlie put the rest of it on when we got there. Charlie was the elephant catcher (zoo keeper). I was going to try and dress up like a zoo keeper as well but being so pregnant it just did not happen. I got Jackson's outfit at for $15. Jackson loves elephants and greets most people with an elephant motion.
  2. Jackson had a fun time (he loves to dance to the live music) and we were both able to stay there for almost the entire time
  3. I had some mild contractions yesterday. They came about every 20 minutes for a while. For most people that would be a big deal but I had contractions with Jackson for 4-6 weeks and then a very fast delivery. I do think I will give birth at the end of November. You will have a chance to guess the due date, weight and height of Abigail soon...there might even be a prize for the winner. I am so glad Abigail was not due now because Charlie had a 14 hour day yesterday and it would have been really hard on us. I have had some major lower back pain this morning and cramps in my legs so I have called the doctor and I am waiting to hear back from them (it was a hard night last night). I am not doing anything today. Jackson is already about to go crazy staying in the house and it is only 10 am, however, he is being very loving to me and I think he knows I do not feel good. Any suggestions on how to keep a two year old entertained when we are stuck at home?
  4. Update: I talked to the doctor and she said she was pretty sure I just got dehydrated since I was having cramps in my legs as well. They can cause contractions every 20 minutes. I have not had any more contractions and she said if that happens again just drink lots of water and lay down on my side. That makes sense because we went out Saturday night and I hardly drank any water like I usually do. I am drinking a ton of water now! Also, if I eat a banana every day I do not get the terrible leg cramps...we ran out Saturday so that could also have been a problem.

Abigail's Room Part 2

I think there might only be one more post on Abigail's room, but I just had to post all the hard work Charlie's mom did. Doesn't it look great? The border is made from tulle that I ordered from Mary Jo's fabric in Gastonia, NC... I got an entire bolt for $20. Mimi made the bows that she got a Michael's (she painted them and used a white pin to details of the bows). She also made this beautiful shelf and got the decorative bows from Micheals. I think we have been working on her room for three straight weekends...but it is completely worth it for her! The dresser is beautiful and I do not think this picture does it justice.

All that is left to do on the checklist is:
  1. Get the bookcase from my parents and paint it
  2. Find screws to fit the inside part of the crib
  3. Get wall letters (I think I have decided to go with some loopy letters at Micheals and will paint them and have bows hanging from them)
  4. Get a mattress
  5. Get a white lamp
  6. Clean out the closet and get all her clothes organized into binds
  7. Clean out Jackson's closet
  8. Eventually get black out curtain

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jackson's Dream Came True Today...He Got to Really Vacuum

Today, we cleaned a good bit at our house. The above picture is of Jackson copying Charlie vacuuming...he wanted to really vacuum very badly. Jackson loves the vacuum cleaner and today I decided to let him use the small vacuum that we have that we use on hard floors. He was so excited and did a great job helping us clean. Here is the video:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Abigail's Room (So Far)

This is the terrible first color...aren't you proud of me for not breaking down over this color?

I am definitely nesting now. As y'all know I am a huge planner and when I went to the doctor we went ahead and scheduled the rest of my OB appointments....ah! I go every single week in November and I really want her room all ready by 36 weeks because I know if I go into labor then they will probably not try to stop it. Well, I will be 36 weeks on November 11th...which is basically in three more weeks.

We have never painted a room in our house because we have always lived in apartments or parsonages. So, Charlie went to Lowe's to get the paint and it was definitely a brown pink color (they guy really messed it up). After painting two walls this terrible color (I did not go crazy...amazing), we realized that we would have to go back and get the right color. So, it took longer to paint than it should (Charlie started painting last Friday which is why I have not posted much on the blog)....but Charlie did a great job and I love it (Charlie was very patient)! I just had to post pictures of the terrible color because words cannot describe it.

Future plans for the room:
1. A dresser - Charlie's mom has a beautiful dresser in Lauren's old room and I am so excited that they are giving it to us this weekend...yay!
2. A bookcase -My uncle actually built a great bookcase that my parents are giving us and all we have to do is paint it
3. A border for the top part of the room. Charlie's mom is very creative and has come up with getting this white tulle and hanging it at the top of the room to act as a border (wooden bows that she got a Micheal's will be hanging from the tulle). Charlie's parents are going to come help us with the border this weekend.
4. Wall Letters to hang above her crib-I am being picky about this and I want Scripted white letter and white ribbon bows hanging from the letters. I am trying my best right now to order them online. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to buy scripted wall letters?
5. Crib- we have the one that was in the fire and it is beautiful light wood color. We need a mattress.
6. Lamp-I want a plain white lamp...any suggestions on where to get an inexpensive plain white lamp? Then hopefully I will get this lady who monograms things to do a bow and put her initials on the lamp shade (a nightlight cover and trash can would be great too but we might wait on that). I thin she charges just $5 for monogramming.

So, all we really have to buy is decorative stuff (wall letters) and the mattress...God is so faithful to provide!

The theme of her room is bows and monograms...can you tell I am excited?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jackson's First Trip to the State Fair

First, I have only been to the State fair a few times in college so I really had no idea they would have so many cool things for a two year old. Our day started off rough. Jackson had two nights of not sleeping well. He had been struggling with a clear running nose for about three weeks now off and on, so we were concerned with another ear infection. However, we know he is teething bad since he chews his shirt all day long….he is chewing his shirt so hard that he would not even look up for some of these pictures. Long story short, before we went to the fair, we had been to the doctor that morning and he had not slept well in two nights. The doctor said his ears looked perfect but she was concerned that he was getting a sinus infection and gave us prescription for a mild antibiotic…he is not contagious at all. You mean all these breakdowns are just the terrible two’s, and not because he is feeling bad? Sad

Jackson went asleep on the way to the fair and was really not up for a big day, but we had not been to the fair yet and we were going as long as he was not sick. Once we got to there, I could not believe their petting zoo section. He got to go on a pony ride, which he liked as long as the pony was moving for some reason. You could actually ride an elephant! In case you did not know, elephants are Jackson’s favorite animals and he greets people with an elephant motion. In one of these pictures, he is doing the elephant motion. We have never been that close up to an elephant…maybe next year Charlie and Jackson will ride it. Plus, Jackson is going to be an elephant for Halloween (I got him a great outfit online at Old Navy for like $15) and Charlie and I are going to try to be some sort of zoo keeper for our Fall Festival. Then, we meet some people from First Baptist for a playdate for lunch. We ate some great fried food, and then on the way out we tried to ride the carousel but by that point he was about to fall over and had to have his passi in order to ride the ride without screaming. He was asleep in the car before we even made it out of the parking lot. I think next year he will enjoy it more, because they have some great toddler rides and we will try to go on a day that is not so hot.

How was your trip to the Fair? Love to hear from you especially if you had a great experience with your little one or have any advice on when to go and how to make it a good experience.

Ps- Update on me and Jackson. Jackson signed "food" and said the word "food" when he wanted food the other day out of the blue. This is the major praise because the is the first time he has correctly told me what he wanted. Baby signing time videos are amazing (he has been telling me if things are "hot" or "cold" which is good). I have not been feeling that great recently. I have been struggling with bad nausea every couple days and upset stomach. I have to really watch what I eat. I am still doing step and combat class but I cannot run at all anymore (most of the entire classes do not require running of any kind). It is a miracle and completely God that I am still able to work out at all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Interesting Passage from Yesterday's Bible Reading

Still reading through the Bible chronologically. I definitely have been focusing a lot of my time and attention on working with Jackson and his speech issues. It is taking up a lot of time, time where I could be focusing on loving God with all my heart and worshiping him.

Matthew 10: 37-39 (NASV)
"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

Am I really loving God more than my family? Where my time is, that is where my heart is.

Another interesting passage:

Matthew 10:42
" And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."

I had never really thought about this passage being about children utill yesterday. We looked up the phrase "little ones" in the Greek and it literally means "a little one." Matthew did not use the Greek word for children (padia) here so the word used could mean "a lesser person."

My study notes really clear this up by stating: "How much we love God can be measured by how we treat others. Jesus' example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish service. A child usually can't or won't return the favor." So all you hard working children ministry teachers listen up: you are showing how much you love God by teaching 'little or lesser ones', and you surely will not lose your reward here on earth or in heaven.

PS-Hopefully we will be going to the state fair tomorrow with FBC so be on the look out for pictures!

CVS Purchases This Week

First Purchase: Buy $10 worth of Covergirl Products get $3 back
I had a coupon from one of the Sunday's paper's that when you buy one covergirl face product get the second one free
So I got foundation trueblend for 8.99 and then got great powder with foundation for $7.99 for Free
So I spend $10.18 out of pocket and earned $ savings $7.99 (for the free face powder)

Second Purchase:
Generic zyrtec for both Charlie and I, 30 ct for $18.99
Sensitive dove body was for Jackson (his excema is back) $5.79 plus little sponges for him at $1
Jackson's vitamin Polyvisol drops at $9.99 (the generic has iron it so I am not getting that)

Got 5 Gatorade's for $5 and then earned $3 on these (I have been having cramps in my legs and have actually been drinking Gatorade a good bit recently.

So then I used by $2, $3, and $3 extrabuck I have earned in the last weeks so by total was $34.71 for all of that medicine and I earned another $3 for my purchase next time

There has been some really good deals at CVS the last couples weeks, and if you have not tried earning money at CVS I would strongly recommend it. A lot of my blogger friends only spend pennies on their purchases!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall: The Busiest Time of the Year for Us

Wow, we have been really busy. I was thinking about how my family is so busy right now and for us this season is much busier than winter, spring, and summer. First, there are Carolina football games, which even if we do not go to we still want to watch on tv. Second, it really seems to be busiest at church with fun activities to do on the weekends, not to mention the Fall Festival which is the children's ministry biggest outreach event. On top of just being plain busy in the Fall, we now have a speech therapist and a babynet coordinator to see every week, exercise classes to try to go to, and not to mention getting Jackson's closet cleaned out as well as getting everything ready for Abigail. I really have got to guard my time very closely right now because at night I am so tired I barely have any energy to do what needs to get done. For the last three weeks or so I have had to go to the grocery store after we have put Jackson down for bed (I would send Charlie but my coupons are very confusing right now). Any advice on how to manage my time better, especially while I am tired and pregnant, I would love to hear!

These pictures were taken last weekend. We had a great time in Spartanburg! We went up there and Charlie drove a Uhaul filled with our queen bed and end tables that are going to be stored in my parent's walk-in attic. We are so blessed to have a place to store this bed since our house has only three bedrooms. Everything went very smoothly, and then Friday night we did a little shopping at Old Navy and got Charlie some tennis shoes. For Jackson's birth, my poor mom and Charlie had to stand and hold me legs for like 45 minutes while I pushed Jackson out. Charlie had old tennis shoes on and his heels became enflamed (he has a condition with his heels) getting Charlie new tennis shoes was on the top of the list of things to do before the baby comes. Sunday after church, we had lunch with Charlie's family to celebrate his mom's birthday. Jackson and his only cousin Jake always have fun together!

Jackson is now going to be a Puggle for two years. Puggles is a new curriculum through AWANA for 2 year olds on Sunday nights. Ashley and Amy (the leaders) do a great job doing crafts with them, taking them outside, and teaching them a lesson. Jackson loves all the activities. Additionally, for the last couple of weeks, Kirk comes in and sings praise music with them with his guitar...the kids love it! He was in the baby room but every time Charlie walked by he was his b-day is 12 days past the cut of date and we would rather him be in the Puggles room for two years than the baby room for two years. The speech therapist says it is important for him to be around other/older children who use their words to get what they need. She says part of Jackson's problem is that he just does not want to use the words he has for whatever reason to get what he needs. He looks so grown up in his Puggle shirt! I miss my baby boy.

On a side note, while I was in the car today I heard Steven Curtis Chapman's new song and it was a great reminder to me that my children are not mine, they are ultimately God's. Our life is His plan, and our journey. God can use our children to show his glory in whatever way he pleases. This is a good reminder for me and here are a few verses from the song

And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything
It's all Yours

These verses were written after the tragic death of his daughter. I guess God gives you supernatural strengthen to endure the unbelievable loss of a child when you need it.

"I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe

I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear

And questioned everything that I believe

But still even here in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through

As I can say in life or death God we belong to you."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pregnancy Laughs

I got this picture in my e-mail from babycenter the other day and I just had to laugh. Some women really enjoy being pregnant. I do not hate being pregnant, but it is definitely not easy for me. With this pregnancy the sneezing has been ridiculous...I even had to leave a baby shower early because I could not stop sneezing. However, the end result of being pregnant is one of the biggest blessing of my life, so I will probably be pregnant again. Anyway, my feelings do get hurt when women say comments like, "you have got to be having twins," or "you are so huge" or "there is no way you are going to make it to your due date." Part of me wants to say, "Do I look that bad to you?" Actually, this pregnancy I have had some women tell me I look good and not swollen. What is your recommendations for me to biblically respond to comments made to me about how huge I am? I am usually so stunned that I just do not say anything.

Ps-If you are pregnant do not get the flu mist, just get the flu shot. Jackson got the flu midst Wednesday night since he got the flu last Novemeber. He has to get it again in 4 weeks since this is the first time he has gotten the flu shot.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Update on Jackson: Speech Therapy

Since so many of you have been asking about Jackson’s speech therapy I thought I would write a quick post about it. On Tuesday we had the last private speech therapy that we will have for a while. She said Jackson has progressed a good bit just in the last three weeks with her. He says bubbles all the time, pop, blow, yucky, oh boy, golf, etc. He could not or would not say these words a couple weeks ago. We went to the private speech therapist for three sessions, and yesterday was our last visit until we see if the insurance will cover it (I have to file it myself). Also, yesterday we finally got our speech therapist from Babynet. Major Praise! She will be coming to the house weekly until he is three years old (he will have a big evaluation again at two and half to see if he still needs the speech therapy and then when Jackson turns three the school district that we are in takes over if he still needs therapy)

Resources if your child is having speech issues:

  • Main book recommended by my private therapist is: The Language of Toys Schwatzer, Miler (she says this is the like the Bible book for speech therapist working with kids Jackson’s age). It explains what is going on, and give you exercises to do with your little one and places to write when they accomplish certain speech tasks
  • (private speech therapist gave me tons of handouts and this website has some free handouts)
  • One of the best resources I have seen that my Babynet therapist recommends was the dvd serious Signing Time. Charlie went and got this dvd yesterday at the library and it teaches them “more, mama, etc” plus hand motions. This week we are working on “m” words that are not just descriptive words. We are really working on “more” (with the sign language) and making him ask for more when he wants more. We have also ordered Baby Signing Time off Amazon for a really good price. I really wish I had known about this resource when Jackson was a year old. It is the best teaching tool I have seen for speech issues! Jackson tells us all day long what he wants and what he has done through hand motions so this dvd is really helping him communicate. Once he sees the power in telling us what he wants through words, he will want to use his words. That is why it is good for Jackson to be in the two year old room at church and see other kids using words to get what they want. This dvd has kids doing the signing motions and Jackson likes it. We have learned that Jackson definitely does the best in the morning when he alert. Here is their website but Amazon has the best prices on dvd. I will definitely be using these dvds on Abigail. I would use these dvds for learning even if your child does not have speech delay.
  • I am just so thankful that we have resources now and a speech therapist from Babynet. Again, I started this process at the beginning of August and next week will be the first real speech session we will have from Babynet. I have seen improvements in Jackson and I am just very thankful (he is about 6 months behind in speaking which we knew already). I am learning so much and some days I feel like I am getting a degree in speech therapy with notes and homework assignments. This is a good thing because I really do not know how to teach preschool age children and I know I feel like I really am starting to get a grasp on teaching little ones. God is teaching me so much…especially with patience!
  • Today the Babynet coordinator (different from speech therapist she comes once a week as well to work on preschool goals) got him to ask for more with sign language and saying “mm” all by himself. This is a major deal for Jackson….he has come so far already!

Ps-when Jackson’s diaper gets full he rips it off…no we are not ready to potty train probably will not try till he is 2 and half or so (we want to potty train him when he is ready not just when we want him to).

Do yall recommend anymore resources for speech development?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pictures from Country Adventures

We had the best time last Friday night at County Adventures with the Firststeps children's ministry (Jackson and I finally got haircuts!). I was so glad that they did the hay ride while it was still light outside this year. Me and two other pregnant ladies decided not to go on the bumpy hayride. I think we had around 100 people there and we enjoyed the animals, hot dogs, camp fire and smores.

I love the Fall, however, I will have to admit that I am dreading cold weather. Last winter Jackson got the flu (his eyes rolled in the back of his head because his fever got so high), double ear infections, the croup, etc. Maybe Jackson's immune system has built up now, but it seemed like last winter he was sick every 3 weeks which was extremely difficult. At one point we all got the stomach virus at the exact same time...I have no idea how we got through that virus since we were all throwing up at the exact same time. If I had a job last winter, I might have had to quit it because I would have probably have missed a couple months of work. I love the summer time because illnesses are few and far between. Jackson did have a clear running nose this weekend and we have given him claritin and he seems to be doing better. Wednesday night we are scheduled for him to have his flu vaccine since he was one of the first confirmed cases of the flu last November (somehow Charlie and I did not get it and we have no idea where he got it from). He really needs to be well for this vaccine and he has to have it since the flu is a virus he obviously catches very easily.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Jackson's 4 D Ultrasound

Look at those lips! Jackson came out with these huge lips! It looks like Abigail does not have Jackson's lips...guess that is why I do not see them looking alike. This ultrasound was taken at 35 weeks though and Abigail's was taken at 30 weeks. Do you think Jackson and Abigail's ultrasounds look similar?

4 D Ultrasound of Abigail/ 30 weeks! Yay!

Last night we got to go back to We See Ultrasound on Two Notch Road in Columbia. We did this with Jackson and it really meant so much to me. We had the picture framed and then people wrote notes around the picture on a border at my Baby Shower. I really wanted to do this again because it was such a great experience. We had the best time last night looking at our little girl (definitely a girl). She opened her eyes and moved all around. I think she looks different from Jackson...I think she looks like Charlie. Who do you think she looks like? Which picture do you think I should frame? If you are pregnant I would highly recommend having a 4 d ultrasound and then framing the picture and having people write how excited they are to meet your little one around it on a border at your baby special! We also have a dvd of the entire ultrasound that we can watch on our dvd player! It really is one of the best experiences you can have...what a miracle!