Sunday, December 30, 2007

Obligatory Newsletter

That's right, I feel obligated to do one of those total year sum-up posts. I feel like Indigo in the Princess Bride....Let me explain, no there is too much, let me sum up.

Kids first:

Paris is doing great. In 2007 we escaped stitches, but did have one incident that result in a large Dermabond blob on her forehead. It has healed nicely though and we are all in agreement that dermabond is better than stitches but we'd prefer to not do either in 2008. She finished her last year at Sonshine school in May and was a total ham in the program. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or hide. I opted for laugh. We got several comments from other folks after the program regarding her spunk and all I could think was. "Now do you understand why I say she tests me daily?!?!" The summer was great for our Goose. She turned 5 in June and had a pool party in her brand new swimming pool. We got her (and all of us) one of those blue above ground pools. It's right around 3 foot deep. We only had to drain it and start over once and we have definitely leanred a few things about pool maintenance. Fall brought the start of kindergarten. She is attending Pebble Creek in College Station. She has a fabulous teacher, Miss Gore. The first week was torture and then it got better. I would definitely say she has developed a love of learning and aside from having to get up at 6:45 in the morning as really loving the whole school experience.

Tripp has had a big year as well. I won't cover too many details for him. If you want more info just hop over to Monkey Dance and check it out. His year in review includes Sonshine School two days a week. He finished his year in Mrs. Tiffany's (Tiffy) class in the spring and started this year with Mrs. Shannon. By the end of last school year we were starting to have some concerns. Since then we've been through a long process that led us to our current place. Tripp as an Autism Spectrum Disorder. All the professionals are in agreement that he's on the spectrum, we're just waiting for them to score all his assessments to see which "box" they'll put him in. What does that mean for us? Not much really. We keep on loving him and relating to him they way we know how. We do lots of counting and math and video games and when he's in a total zone running around all crazy on his tip toes we've even been known to join him. He is beautiful inside and out. He loves his family tremendously and he is absolutely brilliant. If you don't beleive just sit down and do some addition or subtraction or even some light multipication with him. Yes, he's only 3 and he does those things. Just don't try to have a regular conversation with him - he hasn't figured out how to do that yet. In the mundane part of his life he has graduated to a full size bed, is mostly potty trained during the day, and has mastered putting his dishes in the sink after meals. 2008 promises to be a new journey for our sweet Monkey as we continue through the assesment process and begin receiving services/therapies to help Tripp be the best he can be, and personally I think his best will turn out quite amazing!

Vivian has had quite a year as well. A year ago our Bug was just a wiggly loving little thing preparing to get tubes put in her ears. Since that surgery she has learned to crawl, stand, walk, run, jump, speak, and demand. Yes, I said demand. Anyone who has heard the cry for "Cacker!" knows what I mean. She has recently graduated from her crib. We decided to skip the toddler bed with her so she's sleeping in a twin bed. Her's and Tripp's are both sitting on the box on the floor to keep them low and so far it's working beautifully! Let's see.........yes, she also has gone from a nursing baby to one who runs around with her sippy cup tucked neatly under her arm. And watch out if it's empty, you may get hit when she throws it. She's still taking a paci in bed, but it has been banished from the rest of her life. Since we just started the big girl bed I've decided to let it ride for now. I do intend to get rid of it before spring break since we want to start potty training then. Yeah, it might seem a little early to some of you but she already tells us when she needs a diaper and can answer honestly as to whether she is stinky or just wet. I'm praying it will be an easy transition for her. Truth is, she may well be out of diapers compeletly long before her big brother is! V started Sonshine School as well this year. She goes two days a week just like her Bubba. One of my best girlfriends is one of her teachers so I had no qualms about it at all. Mrs. Erika and Mrs. Hilary love my baby girl and take good care of her while she's there. It is, indeed, all good. Oh, and this morning I heard her count to 4. I guess big brother is teaching her a few things!

Now for the grown ups:

Easy is, well he's fabulous. But since my opinion might be a little biased I'll actually give you and update on him. He's still working for Durotech in Houston. He is so good at what he does. I'm happy to say that the owners of his company seem to realize what a gem they have on their hands. I guess only time will tell how willing they are to compensate him accordingly. He's been on some interviews and even had an offer or two from other companies, but each time we pray about it and feel like we're supposed to stay put. In addition to work he completed a small construction job turning a garage into a very nice apartment at his Aunt Pat's house. He's also worked hard getting house plans ready for my folks. They bought a lot up here and we will begin construction just as soon as we get the plans back form our architect buddy and get them approved by my parent's development. I know once that kicks off life will get hectic, but it is so worth it when I think that this time next year we will have my folks so close. Though he might not say it himself, I've seen my husband grow a lot this year. He is constantly seeking to improve himself and become more fully the man God designed him to be. Watching him with our kids is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I think all this stuff with Tripp has been hard for him, but it seemed from my perspective that once he got through the initial pain of acceptance he has softened and bonded with all of our kids more than ever. Oh, and he takes pretty darn good care of me too!

That leads us to me. If you read my Temple Remodel blog you know how my year has gone. It's been a tough one, but a great one too. I've lost 30 pounds since March. I have a good 20 more to go to hit my goal, but I already feel better than I have in years. In addition to trying to improve my health, love my husband, and raise my kids, I started working part-time for our church as the Nursery and Childcare Coordinator. I also served as the POPS ministry leader this year. I've actually done that for a couple of years, but I'm handing it over in a few days to some dear friends. I'd say that's one of the lessons I've leanred this year - when to admit I have too much on my plate! I've also been constantly nudged by God to write and teach. He has given me some subtle nudges and some that felt more like being hit by a truck. I am going to listen and obey, so keep checking in on my Temple blog to see how that is developing. I'm sure there's more I could say about my year, but since I keep three blogs I'm going to assume that those who care have been reading and anything else I write will be redundant.

And the animals:

Cowboy is still with us. He just turned 9 in November. He's fatter than ever. I think Vivie feeds him regulary from her tray. He can actually be in another room asleep and hear her say "Uh-Oh" and he comes running to see what scraps she may have thrown on the floor.

Rufus (#1) had kittens early in the year. She didn't know what to do with them. I tried my best, but we lost the whole littler. She found herself with a pregnant belly again in October. I was headed out of town hunting with my Dad and I told Easy he should keep her in the utility room because I thought the kittens were coming in the next day or so. I left EARLY the next morning and Rufus #1 hasn't been seen since. I'm sure she went into labor and didn't make it. The first round was really hard on her. The prettier version, and the one we told Paris, is that she went into labor at someone else house and they kept her so they could take care of her and the kitties.

Santa brought two new additions. We now have Rufus (#2) and Samson. Rufus is a girl once again. Good news is that they have both already been fixed so we won't have any more of that kitty labor stuff happening around here! They are currently living in the laundry room, but are moving to the garage tonight. We plan to keep them in the garage for several week before we open the door and le them do what cats do outside.

We've also had a few fish, but our tank currently houses only some pretty shells and a "grow your own mermaid" who promises to increase her size by 600%. We'll see.

So there you go folks. That's our year in review. Oh, we also moved my Nana here a few weeks ago. She's living at an assisted living facility just a few minutes from us. It was a big transition, but one that was needed. We are all looking forward to a fabulous 2008. I'm not putting any specifice hopes on it - all I want is for my family to continue listening for God's direction and following it. I know He won't lead us astray so as long as we're following Him what else matters? I wish the same for all of you. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 03, 2007


As opposed to Decisions. Here's the scoop - Vivie is holy cow attached to her paci. She's not our first to be a paci baby. I've been saying that Paris took one until about 15 months, but the more I'm thinking about it, it may have been more like 21. I took hers away because she started biting the tip off and I was afraid she would choke on it. We "oops" forgot them all at Nana's over a weekend trip. For some reason I'm remembering that being in the spring which would have put her at 21-ish, not 15. What can I say, after three kids my brain just ain't what it used to be. Anyway, Tripp spit his out at 4 months. So, it's been a really long while since I had to think about when to take a paci.

We had gotten V down to just nap and bedtime before school started. Then circumstances changed (read: I caved in) and she started getting it in the car while we were in line to pick up Paris, and in the car on the way to drop off Paris. Then she got sick and "needed" it. So now it is just a permanent fixture in her mouth. She actually prefers one in the mouth and one in the hand. I've even seen her put two in the mouth - it's quite a sight. So my plan has been to take the paci away over Christmas break. But I find myself, well, not wanting to.

She screams. I forgot to give her one at naptime once and she was nearly hyperventilating by the time I got to her. She'll lay there for a little while and listen to her music, but it only lasts a few minutes and she wants her paci. She can even say paci. Sometimes she holds her hand out with her palms up and says, " Where's a paci?" If she sees a paci and it does not land in her mouth within 15 seconds she will scream, slap at her mouth/face, and has even writhed on the floor. Ask Stephanie - she saw it.

So, here's the delimma. Am I being silly wanting to take her paci before she's ready? Does she need it or has it become a control issue? Should I wait until she's a bit older and we can use logic in this process instead of just being the mean mommy who throws out all the pacis? If I let her keep them and we potty train over spring break (serisouly, she already tells you when she's gone) and then take the paci will she regress and pee on the carpet? Am I over thinking?

Input people, I need input.