Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life without a paci...

We have been adjusting to life without a paci the past few days. On Friday morning, Brenden showed it to us after he noticed that there was a hole right on top. He wanted to keep sucking it but we told him it was nasty and needed to go into the trash. To our surprise, he agreed to this idea and allowed us to throw it away. We decided not to replace it and that we would just see what would happen. We did not "announce" this big milestone sooner because we were worried about how things would go...however, it is Tuesday night and STILL NO PACI!!!! (Even though there have been moments when we all wanted it and Brenden was even caught going through e trash looking for it. ha!) We will not lie and say that this has been an easy road for us. It has honestly been one of the hardest things to do as parents because when your child cries, acts tired, or acts frustrated...you want to do whatever is necessary to "fix" things for them. We knew that the paci would be the quick fix Brenden needed to feel better and more like himself but we didn't want to go back on our word. He has been like an addict going through withdrawals the past few days which has led to lots of tears, screams, time-outs, laughs, car rides, cuddles, sleepless nights, anger, frustration, pride, and definitely prayers. Tonight we are all resting peacefully with no paci and all that we can think of is...

Psalm 4:3 (New Living Translation)
"You can be sure of this...The Lord will answer when I call to him."

We are so proud of our big boy but more than that, we're so thankful that God hears us when we pray to Him even during our times of frustration with something as silly as no paci!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bryleigh visits Plymouth

This weekend was our first time taking Bryleigh to Plymouth to visit our family and see Daddy's hometown. The weekend went great and both Brenden and Bryleigh enjoyed the visit! We had lots of fun playing with Devon and Foster and visiting with all of the adults. On Saturday, we drove to Mema and Granddaddy's house for some quality time. They both got to hold Bryleigh and then she fell asleep with Granddaddy in his chair. It was too cute! Bryleigh also got to meet her PawPaw for the first time and let MawMaw, Aunt Donna, and Uncle Dan steal kisses every moment that they could. Brenden always loves going to Plymouth. His favorite thing is playing with his cousin Foster...he is his shadow the whole time we're there...poor Foster! He also loves messing around with Uncle Dan, watching his cousin Devon play games, hanging out with Granddaddy, and letting PawPaw get his "fat belly". He's definitely a "guy's guy". Above are some of the pictures that we took during the visit (unfortunately Devon got sick so we didn't get to take any of him as planned). We know that this was just one of our many visits there and we're so thankful for such special moments as a family. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bryleigh - 2 months old

Today Bryleigh turned two months old! It feels like we just had her yesterday and it's amazing that 2 months have already passed. We can hardly believe all of the growth and change that has occured during this time. She is very alert during her awake moments and those moments tend to increase each day. When she is awake she is looking at us, smiling, laughing, cooing, and reaching out to touch us. She is constantly kicking her little legs and flapping her arms (probably wishing she could get up and play with her big brother). She still has her dark hair and blue eyes and her little face is filling out more and more each day.

She had her 2 month check-up this morning and the doctor said she looked perfect. She now weighs 9 lbs 5 1/2 oz and is 22 1/2 inches long. They were very pleased with her growth and overall appearance during the check up. The doctor did tell us that she has a skin condition called dermographia...nothing major...just unfortunately means that she has mommy and brother's sensitive skin. It is why she breaks out some with bumps and red marks when her skin is scratched or irritated. Overall though, everyone is very proud of her and how far she has come in two months. We are very blessed to have such a great girl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So Proud!

Below is a note that we received from Brenden's school this week. Incase you can't read it, it says "Brenden used his sweetest manners today!" Needless to say this is exactly the kind of note or report you want to get home from school! It makes you realize that even though things may seem crazy or out of control sometimes, you can rest assured that you're doing something right or people wouldn't see things like this in your child! That note was definitely what Mommy needed this week! ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Potty Training Stinks...LITERALLY!

With Brenden turning 3...yes, 3...in less than 2 months, it's definitely time for us to work on potty training a little bit more. It's something that we've worked on casually here and there but it has not become part of our daily routine at all. This week Brenden broke out with a really bad diaper rash so we thought that we might use it to our advantage to work on the potty training. You know...your bottom won't hurt as bad if you use the potty instead of using your diaper. Makes sense, right? Well, Brenden was SO excited about wearing his big boy underwear today. He picked out the "race car" ones to wear since that has been his favorite movie to watch the past few weeks. He was so cute grinning from ear to ear this morning and running around the house in the undies. Every time he would pass someone he would lift up his shirt, "flashing" Lightening McQueen, and saying "Ka-Chow" as he ran by! All of this would have been great if he had also stayed dry at the same time. However, in less than one hour, we had 3 pairs of wet undies! Needless to say we're back in the diapers for a bit. We'll keep working on it though, it's just that between trying to feed Bryleigh, change her diaper, eat some breakfast, clean up the house, get ready for the day, clean up pee from the carpet, and sit down for a moment...we needed a break! He'll get it though, I'm sure of that, but for now we can just look at the cute pictures posted and laugh knowing that even in the middle of chaos and frustration...they are still so cute! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"What kind of Mommy..."

Some of you may have already heard about the comment that was made about me earlier this school year. A friend of mine came to me one morning at school and told me that she ran into someone that was talking about me. The main thing that stuck out to me in this conversation with my friend was that this other woman had a problem with me only planning to take a 6 week maternity leave. (Now lets clarify that the State doesn't give it's employees maternity leave first of all...I had to take 6 weeks of leave that came from my sick time, personal time, and time without pay...I had to pay for my substitute to take my place and when I return I will not have any time left to be sick or take off to be with my sick kids so 6 weeks is actually harder work than it seems!) ANYWAY...This woman said that she wondered "what kind of mom would only take off 6 weeks of work to be with her new baby?!?!" Needless to say this comment made steam come out of my ears and then later made me cry just because it hurt my feelings so bad. Now that I've returned to work, I admit that I've had this comment running through my head OVER and OVER and OVER again every day. I am sorry to say that I even had this woman making me feel guilty for returning to work and for "leaving" my kids.

However, after a week of work, my attitude has changed! I am so blessed in so many ways. Daily I'm blessed with an amazing husband that wakes up every morning beside me and kisses me hello...he comes home from work every evening and kisses me hello...he plays with our kids, changes diapers, encourages me, supports me, and is the best spiritual leader a family could have. On top of that I have two AMAZING kids...Brenden is so full of personality and is always looking for ways to make people smile and laugh. He doesn't care if he knows you or not, his mission is to connect with you and see your "happy face". Bryleigh has already been such a light in our life. She is the girl that we wanted and a survivor that could have had numerous complications from coming into this world so early, but instead she is perfect to us! I am also blessed with the best family...I have 2 God-fearing parents that worked hard my whole life to provide for me and my siblings. They are still two of my biggest fans and are the best "Nana" and "Papa" kids could ask for! My brother and sister have always been like friends that God blessed me with since day one. They have always worked hard to protect their little "sissi" and make sure that I'm okay in every area of my life. I also have the most wonderful friends that have always been there for me in every turn or obstacle. All of my friends are true testimony to the fact that you don't have to see someone every day or live next door to them to feel their love or know that they are there for you the way you need them to be. Finally, I have the best job! Most people don't wake up in the morning looking forward to going to work. I cannot wait to teach my kids everyday and to associate with my coworkers throughout the day. I am so glad that I majored in something that I actually love and that I found a job that was a dream come true to me! As I said before....I am so blessed in so many ways!

I know that this has been too long already, but my whole point of getting on this soap box is to say that after one week back at work...I realized...."What kind of Mommy" would do this???? Me! A mommy that is blessed beyond belief! A mommy that wants nothing but what is best for her kids and that's why Nana has them all day. A mommy that loves her husband more every day and that's why they take advantage of family time whenever possible. A mommy that has an amazing support from her family and that's why she is so close to them and doesn't go a day without hearing from one of them. A mommy that has friends that are praying for her daily so that it's possible for her to go back to work and survive lifes obstacles. A mommy that actually enjoys her job and just hopes that she's making a difference in the life of a child that needs her! That's the kind of Mommy and I guess the truth is..I'm actually proud to say that I'm that Mommy! :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mommy's Back at Work!

Well, 6 weeks have come and gone entirely too fast honestly! Bryleigh is now 6 weeks old and this reality means that it's now time for Mommy to return to work. Originally Bryleigh's due date was August 21st which meant that Mommy wouldn't have to go back to work until after intersession, but the early arrival meant an earlier return to work. However...there is a good side to all of this. Along with coming early, Bryleigh also opened the door for an extended maternity leave. This means that Mommy now gets to stay home with the kids an additional 3 weeks over intersession. So in all honesty her maternity leave is 9 weeks long instead of 6 with just a week of work breaking it up. This bonus leave has been the motivation for returning to work. No matter how hard it may be to get up in the morning, say goodbye at Nana's house, pump 2 times a day in a bathroom, and work all day...it will all come to an end after a week and we'll be home enjoying our bonus maternity leave! Very exciting!

The kids did a great job with Mommy going back to work. Nana is amazing and it was so nice to know they were in good hands all day. Above is the picture that Nana took of Bryleigh on Mommy's first day back. As you can see she actually looks happy to be away from Mommy and doesn't look miserable at all! ;) Brenden also did just as well. He has been begging to go to Nana's house for 6 weeks so the visit was just what he's wanted for a long time now! We just hope that the rest of the week goes as smooth as the first day...we're keeping our fingers crossed and saying lots of prayers!

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Sun Come Up"

Brenden has had some trouble recently with sleeping all the way through the night. He typically comes into our room around 1:30 and has either "lost" his paci or just thinks it's time to get up. We have tried to work hard with him on realizing that it's not really time to get up until you see the sun come up. If it's still dark, it's time for bed. It seemed like a good idea and has been a HUGE help with him every night until this morning...
Since we're all back to work today that meant waking up a lot earlier. The plan was to let Brenden sleep as late as he needed to so that he won't be too tired and grumpy for Nana all day. While I was in the shower I heard the door open and in walked Brenden rubbing his eyes. "Mommy, get out...that scared me!" he said as he walked in. I told him that I would be out in just a second and that I was sorry he was scared. After about 2 minutes of showering and not hearing anything I decided to peek out of the curtain. Brenden was curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor waiting for me to finish my shower. I kept on showering and then I heard Brenden trying to talk to me.
Brenden: "Mommy!"
Brooke: "What Brenden?" (He makes us say what Brenden when we answer him.)
Brenden: "Mommy, I go see the sun come up."
Brooke: "What?"
Brenden: "I say, I go see the sun come up!"
Brooke: "Okay Buddy!"
About two seconds later Brenden comes running in the bathroom..."Mommy, the sun no come up! There's no sun!" That's when it occurred to us that this method might not be as big of a success as we originally thought. After begging me again to get out of the shower, Brenden finally gave up and decided to climb back in bed...with Daddy this time. :) Above is the picture taken of him as he waited patiently for "the sun come up"! (See, we kept our promise of putting a picture of him on here soon!)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We had a great time this weekend! Friday night we decided to go out to officially celebrate their 5 year wedding anniversary. We went to The Melting Pot and had a DELICIOUS meal in one of their private booths on "lover's lane"! We loved it! After dinner we decided to go to the movies to see College. Our advice to all of you would be to never watch this movie...probably one of the worst ones we've ever seen! Brenden spent the night with Nana and Papa while Bryleigh stayed at home for the night. We all got to sleep in a little bit on Saturday which was very exciting! (Bryleigh slept for almost 6 hours straight! AHHHH!!!) Saturday was a great day of resting and relaxing at home and playing at our own pace before heading to dinner at Red Robin...yes, we got the Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap...surprise! Today we had church, naps at home, and then errands to run. It was very important for us to spend special time together since Bryleigh is 6 weeks old and Brooke got the go ahead on Friday to go back to work! It's scary to think about not being home anymore but we all know how blessed we are that Nana is willing to keep the babies everyday. That is such a relief and makes it possible for us to get up and go to work each day! Plus, Brooke only has to work this week and then it's time for a three week intersession break, so she'll manage! However, your prayers are still welcomed! Above is a picture of us from our date on Friday night and below is a current picture of our big girl. Brenden wasn't feeling photogenic so we'll add a picture of him soon, promise! Good night!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Precious Moments

Long weekends and holidays give us a chance to spend extra time with the ones we love the most. This weekend was a great weekend for us because of this. We celebrated Steve's birthday on Friday night after shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall. On Saturday Bobby went to the UNC football game while Brooke and the kids went to dinner with the rest of the family. On Sunday we spent the morning at church, lunch with Nana and Papa, and then dinner with friends. On Monday, we went to the movies to see Wall-E and then had a picnic dinner in the park. The weekend was filled with little precious moments of getting to watch the kids play, catching up with family, and hanging out special friends. We always look forward to weekends like this and we cherish the memories that are made each time they come. The problem is that these precious moments pass entirely too quickly and we miss Uncle Greg like crazy...