Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What to Do When You Turn 3...

  • and your Mommy's very pregnant.
  • and you've already had your birthday party.
  • and your Daddy is at work.
  • and your Mimi, Grandpa, and the rest of your family is working.
and...  and...  and....

There were many reasons preventing us from doing anything big for Daniel's actual birthday.  Honestly, I couldn't stand the idea of not doing something because Daniel's birthday has always been distracted with other events.  On his 1st birthday, I actually went into early labor with Samuel while we were getting ready to take Daniel to the zoo.  On his 2nd birthday, Brian and I were boarding an airplane to head to Alaska for 9 days of revival and sight-seeing. 

So, this year, I was determined to make certain that April 20th was special for Daniel.  In fact, I let him choose what he wanted to eat and threw in some other random things to surprise him!  Here is Daniel's 3rd birthday in pictures and in HIS OWN WORDS (in italics):

I wearing a birthday hat.
Ms. Woshel gave it to me.

 I'm drinking my milkshake.
This was the night before his actual birthday.
He said he wanted a chocolate milkshake.

I eating pancakes.  They are green.
They are not black and white.
What was inside your pancakes?
Chocolate and green!

It say, "Happy Birthday to You!" from Daddy.
For me.

I just going to work with Daddy.
It Daddy's work.
We're going to Daddy's work today.

My birthday was at Daddy's work.
Actually, the mission's coffeehouse was
also celebrating its birthday.

I just playing games.

I'm just eating my lunch.
Tac-er Bell.
I had a roll-up.

Going at Tac-er Bell.
What kind of face are you making?
A scarecrow.

I get a sucker at Mimi's work at the bank.
I gave the lady my dollar.
Well, actually, it was your birthday check
from your Pop.

I was at Cracker Barrel.
What did you eat?
I get ice cream.

To the park!
With Grandpa and Mommy.
It's a big, BIG park!

Swinging.  Grandpa pushing me.

I'm just playing cars with Grandpa.

Daniel, did you have a fun birthday?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

23 Months Old

Could Samuel actually be this close to turning two?!  I'm just amazed at how quickly time passes and how blessed I am to be his mommy.

In his 23rd month, Samuel:
Wore size 4 diapers.
Wore size 5 1/2 wide and extra wide shoes.
Wore mostly 18 month clothes.
Broke his leg in two places.
Wore a temporary cast for a week.
Then was given a big blue cast...
     just in time for KY to win the tournament!
Was a big fan of basketball.
Did not like having to crawl and NOT walk.
Asked to be held quite often.
Enjoyed a visit from Brother James.
Actually LIKED James.
Was still very shy and timid.
The attention from his cast was way too much!
Loved listening as books were read.
Was a big singer.
Could count to 10.
Said most all of the ABCs.
Devoured sweets...  especially cake.
Helped Mommy and Daddy celebrate
     their 5 year anniversary.
Got an Easter basket from MDO,
     although he couldn't "hunt" any eggs.
Missed a whole month of MDO.
Learned to pull up and stand on his cast
     within a quick two weeks.
Didn't like having his picture taken.
Looked awfully adorable on Easter Sunday.
Would not smile for the camera.
Had a favorite stuffed bunny rabbit...
     that went EVERYWHERE with him.
Had his 2nd birthday party a month early.
Shared his party with Daniel who turned 3.
Loved his birthday cake!
It was a personal pan pizza cake.
Did not enjoy the attention at the party.
Was still a big fan of Sesame Street.
Started liking Hot Wheels.
Could talk extremely well.
Carried on conversations.
Followed detailed directions.
Got his cast taken off!
Did not need a temporary cast.
Walked on his own just hours after removal.
Celebrated Daniel's 3rd birthday with:
     a milkshake, Taco Bell, visiting Daddy
     at work, Cracker Barrel, and movies!
Always asked for hamburger and fries.
Told us exactly what he wanted
     his baby brother's name to be.
Anticipated no longer being the baby.

Samuel's Favorites this Month:
  • Color:  blue
  • Song:  ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, What a Mighty God We Serve
  • People:  Mommy, Daddy
  • Food:   pizza, sweets, hamburger
  • Snack:  goldfish, cake
  • Toy:   Hot Wheels, Ernie and Cookie Monster plush
  • Movie:   Elmo in Grouchland, The Muppets

Popular Phrases:
  • I wanna race.
  • Daddy will hold me. 
  • Hold you.  (which means, "hold me")
  • I need you.
  • I love you.
  • Please, get me down.
  • I swinging.
  • I go outside.
  • Stop it.
  • I want chocolate.  (chocolate means milk)
  • Where are you?
  • Are you there?
  • Where'd he go?
Pictures from Samuel's 23rd Month:
Admiring the bubbles with Brother James

The biggest smile from the sweetest face

Daniel started an obsession for pirates,
so Samuel went along.

Mouths opened wide for a bite of cake!

Grinning upon opening his Easter eggs

Looking at the bugs on their
bedroom window...
Samuel is standing up!

Did not want to smile

Showing Mommy his bunny rabbit

Is that a smile?
Walking around on his cast
at his birthday Pizza Party

Where is Samuel?
Looking for his presents.

Look who he found:
It's Ernie and Cookie!
His two favorite characters!

Watching Alvin and the Chipmunks with Grandpa

After a long night of partying,
Samuel slept peacefully.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Airplanes and Cowboys

Bet you didn't know this...

"The cowboy will catch it with his rope."

That's how Daniel decided we could catch the blue and red airplane flying overhead while driving down the road the other day.  He is quite determined and innovative, if you ask me.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thriving at Three

I'm just going to ignore the fact that I had to type the fact that my firstborn son is 3 years old...  Wow! 

In his 36th month, Daniel:
Wore size 3T clothes. 
Wore size 8 1/2 shoes.
Wore size 3T/4T underwear and Pull-ups.
Had a wild imagination.
Was always pretending.
Counted 1-13 on a daily basis.
Said his ABCs.
Loved to sing.
Made up his own songs.
Would "cheese" for the camera.
Enjoyed Brother James coming to visit.
Brother James brought him some "bubble juice."
He's wanted to play "bubble juice" since then.
Became a big fan of Nickelaus.
He's the mascot of the Credit Union where we bank.
AND, Mimi just so happens to work there.
Went to Nickelaus' birthday party at the credit union.
Thus, began the obsession with pirates.
Celebrated Mommy and Daddy's 5th anniversary.
Really liked presents.
Could not wait until his birthday.
Was always trying to "fit" into things:
     boxes, buckets, etc.
Liked Easter eggs and candy.
Took a liking to babies.
Loved kissing and hugging Baby Josie.
Was very particular about many things.
Was super dramatic.
Threw crying fits.
Despised getting in trouble.
Would obey only when the "spanker" was mentioned.
Quoted Bible stories and scriptures.
Talked about Jesus a LOT.
Pretended to be: 
     monsters, in battle, Goliath, puppy dogs, and conductors.
Turned flips and did head stands.
Loved going outside.
Sidewalk chalk was super popular...
     As was the sand table.
Seemed to always make messes.
Loved the bookstore and story time.
Liked picking flowers...  for everyone.  Strangers included.
Always wanted to GO.
Liked the "idea" of Band-aids, but wouldn't leave them on.
Still loves baths.
Asked for a milkshake for his actual birthday.

(post on Daniel's actual birthday to come)

Daniel's Favorites this Month:
  • Color:  green
  • Shape:  triangle and circle
  • Song:  Do Lord, ABCs
  • People:  Ms. Rochelle and Shia
  • Food:  pizza, pancakes, fruit
  • Snack:  gummies, b-nana (banana)
  • Toy:  Hot Wheels, Thomas trains, Chuggington
  • Movie:  Chuggington Let's Ride the Rails, Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Bible Story:  David and Goliath, Jesus' Death and Resurrection
  • Restaurant:  Cracker Barrel, "Chicken Lay" (Chick Fil A)

Popular Phrases and Conversations:
  • I'm at the finish line.
  • I wanna go outside in the "yard sale" (yard). 
  • I'm a pirate.  I got the gold.
  • I got "pick-ups".  (hiccups)
  • I need to go to church.
  • I want to drive faster.
  • The police man will give you a "chicket" (ticket). 
  • I want to.
  • This is for my birthday.
  • This is not for my birthday.  This is for now.
  • Why?
  • What is that?
  • Oh, no!
  • I am "Golias" (Goliath).  I have rocks throw at me.  I have power!
  • Mommy, I need to go shopping. 
  • I got crazy hair.  Everyone will laugh at me. 
Pictures from Daniel's 36th Month:

Playing with "Bubble Juice" in the house

Cheesing with his new buddy, Brother James

Trying to fit in a toy bucket at Mimi's

Playing with Nickelaus the dinosaur
at our Credit Union's Birthday Party
for Nickelaus' 2nd Year as Mascot

Enjoying his pirate eyes from Nickelaus

Ready for a piece of cake

Showing off his bucket of Easter eggs
from his MDO party

In deep discussion while looking at the bugs
outside their bedroom window

One very cool kid on Easter Sunday

Eating his chocolate bunny from Mimi

Taking a nap with Nickelaus

So excited to see Baby Josie (and Scott)
at his birthday party

I think he was excited
over his Play-doh pizza shop!

The toy he had asked for
for over 3 months...
Chuggington trains!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three Years Ago Today...

Three years ago today, I had no idea what was coming.  I wasn't feeling all that well, but I was 39 weeks pregnant, and honestly, no one feels that well at that point.  However, I went to church with Brian anyway that Sunday, and it was difficult.  I was breathing heavily and extremely uncomfortable.

That afternoon, I took a nap and woke feeling a lot of pain.  Immense pain.  My back was aching, and though the contractions weren't regular, I knew something wasn't right.  Throughout the evening hours, I continued experiencing contractions, but they weren't consistent and I wasn't sure what was going on. 

I suppose it was the pain that I was in that caused Brian to worry.  I was crawling on the floor and leaning over the coffee table to keep from hurting quite so badly.  I cannot remember what time it was, but he made the decision to call the doctor.  I, on the other hand, was exclaiming I wouldn't go to the hospital until my water broke.  It was not breaking despite all the pain. 

The doctor said we should go to the hospital and get checked.  The ride there was excruciating, and the thoughts of natural childbirth quickly left my mind.  I remember telling Brian while in the car, "If I am not at least at a 4 when we get there, they are going to HAVE to give me something."  To my dismay, I was only dilated to 2 when we arrived, but they decided to keep me overnight.

The next day, on April 20th, we would welcome our firstborn son, Daniel Benjamin, into the world.  However, it was a long night beforehand, and I was in labor for around 23 hours before we held Daniel in our arms. 

Looking back now, I see why God chose this amazing child for us.  He is so full of energy and life while our marriage had been filled, up until Daniel's birth, with death.  We'd lost a child to miscarriage, buried two grandparents, and wept over the losses of both of Brian's parents.  Things hadn't been easy. 

When we became pregnant with Daniel, we were ecstatic and scared.  Loss filled our minds, but peace filled our hearts.  God had given me an awesome pregnancy, with a little boy who was super busy.  In the womb, this little being moved with such fierce force.  He rarely was still.  At night, I would lie awake as he kicked and pushed with all he had.  He was determined to let me know he was there.  What a foreshadowing this was!

Three years later, I'm pregnant with Daniel's second baby brother, and while I'm enthralled to be carrying this child at this point, I'm busy reminiscing over my precious firstborn at this moment.  Daniel has been everything I never imagined I could have.  I look into his eyes and see so much of God.  I look at his face and see so much of his Daddy.  I look at his actions and see so much of myself.  He's genuinely caring and perfectly rambunctious.  He's amazingly athletic and quite intellectual.  He's ridiculously meticulous and strangely determined.  He's thrillingly in love with Jesus and reading about Him.  He's constantly in trouble and consistently learning.  He's terribly social and awesomely brave.  He's insanely frustrating at times and exactly what we need all the time. 

Oh, how blessed we are to have him!  Daniel was the answer to so many prayers...  prayers of much-needed happiness, prayers for new life, and prayers that we thought could never be answered.  Yet, here he is, one day away from turning three years old, and my heart is filled with such happiness, life, and joy because of who Daniel is and WHO allowed me to have him. 

There are days when this sweet, almost three-year-old rocks me to the core and pushes my buttons as no one else can, but today, I'm simply in love with him.  I'm deeply, truly, and madly thankful to be Daniel's mommy.  And if nothing else, I'm grateful to my God for the gift we were anticipating three years ago today.  I cannot wait to celebrate his third birthday TOMORROW!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Time for a Pizza Party!

We opted for a smaller, less involved party for the boys' birthdays this year.  Oh, and we knew their parties needed to be combined, seeing as their brother is due two days before Samuel's 2nd birthday.  So, since I was having early contractions, we scheduled their Pizza Party a week before Daniel's birthday.  We invited mostly family and a few neighborhood friends.  It was perfect!

Waiting not-so-patiently for Daddy to finish praying

Hugging on Grandpa during the prayer

Daniel was so excited that
Baby Josie came to his party!

Our indoor train table provided lots of fun.

The sand table outside was such a mess,
but honestly, so much fun for everyone!

We borrowed a bounce house from our friends,
and Daniel was thrilled...
so were most of the kids!

Getting their personal pan pizza cakes
on a picnic blanket in the backyard.

This isn't the best picture,
but please look at Samuel
eating his cake.
On his 1st birthday,
he actually shoved his cake away...
My, how a year changes things!

Daniel didn't care so much for the cake...
He liked all of the cake's toppings!

Possibly Samuel's favorite gift(s)
came from Mimi -
Stuffed Sesame Street characters,
Ernie and Cookie Monster.
He was very happy to hug them!

Daniel found this gift unwrapped a week or two
BEFORE the party and talked about it
He was PUMPED to FINALLY open it!

Whew, what a tiring party!

Slept like babies...

Happy (early) Birthday, Boys!  Thank you to everyone who came and made this so special for the boys and our family.  We truly are blessed with dear family and friends.