Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pictures of Adrienne's Party

I've haven't had a chance to blog about how we spent celebrating our newest one year old! Here's goes nothing (with some pictures, of course!)...

On Adrienne's actual birthday (Thursday) we went out to dinner at the Olive Garden as a family of 4. Spaghetti is her favorite so we picked an Italian restaurant and she literally ate nothing. Lol. Oh well! We love their food regardless

On Friday night we threw Adrienne a big birthday bash!. We had a lady bug theme and everything turned out so pretty. We only invited our family and we still had about 20 people. Adrienne's one popular little girl:-) She got lots of nice presents, the food was great, and the company was even better!

My girl and me at her party

Adrienne opening some gifts. I love the look on Brooke's face here!

John's aunt made this cake. Isn't it amazing?

About to devour her cupcake!

What a mess!

Getting cleaned up!

Isn't she precious? If only I could convince myself that she's really one. It still doesn't seem possible!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

My dear, sweet Adrienne,

A year ago from today you made your grand appearance and graced our family with your precious life. We initially admired you for your beauty and nobody could believe how very much you resembled your daddy. However, as the days have gone by, we have grown to admire you, also, for your content and silly nature. Everything about you fills our home with pure joy.

You, my daughter, have been the most easy going baby. Everything from eating to sleeping and all the other things in between have been effortless for you. When you were just two weeks old you started sleeping through the night and you have consistently done that up until now (Knock on wood). I can name about 3 nights in your entire life where you were up a lot but you were sick then. You are just not particular about anything, either. You eat whatever we put in front of you (Except for ice cream of all things. Imagine that!), take whatever sippy cup happens to be clean, and play happily with others.

Lately you have been into everything and this kind of perplexes me. You have been such a "perfect" baby but now that you are mobile you leave no surface untouched! You love to climb anything and everything (especially the rocking chair in your toy room) and you continually empty cabinets, drawers, and closets of their contents. Whenever you're done, it seriously looks like "Hurricane Adrienne" struck! Now that you're walking more and more I can't help but wonder what trouble you'll find yourself in!

I am so thrilled because you and Brooke already have an undeniable bond. When she walks in a room you just squeal with delight. Brookie loves to help me care for your needs and she shares all of her toys with you without being asked (Most of the time). Each day I spend time watching the two of you together and I can't help but marvel over how much she cares for you and how much you already look up to her. Before you were born I used to wonder how Brooke would adjust to you in our home but you were the best thing that ever happened to her!

I love your 7 little teeth and your funky dark hair (that refuses to grow in on the top). I love how your smile seriously lights up an entire room. I love how you make me want to be a better person because you deserve the best mommy. I love how you inspire me to love Jesus more because I want you to see Him through me. I love how your spunk and silliness have created so much laughter in our home. Basically, princess, I just love YOU!

I am so incredible thankful that God picked ME to be your Mommy! I can't wait for the years ahead so I can teach you all about being a woman. I feel so blessed when I think of all of the amazing things that I will be able to walk you through as your Mama.

Thanks for lighting up my entire world. Your Mommy is SO in love with you!

With All My Heart,


Mommy and Adrienne before leaving the hospital

All ready to head home in her pretty new dress

My girl and me at dinner tonight

The birthday girl being a total ham

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Having Children

A couple weeks ago a group of people from church was talking about having children. One lady (who was visiting) said that she used to put effort into her appearance before children and now she just doesn't care. She continued and said that she used to want to spend time with her husband but now she's too busy for that, also. Then she said to my brother (who is expecting his first baby in September), "Enjoy the time now because children just zap you." My brother and his wife said, "We're scared now!" I was trying to be polite and welcoming to this individual but I was coming unglued! I LOVE my children and while they require effort and time sacrifices, I didn't just throw the old Jillian out the window, along with my spouse, the day I became a mother!

I took my brother aside after class and tried to give him my take on parenting. I remember being afraid (though excited) about how parenting would change my world when I was pregnant with Brooke and comments like that would have really discouraged me. I tried to explain to him that though parenting is challenging it's even more rewarding! It's not some infliction or a horrible lifestyle that includes no fun. John and I haven't really stopped doing things but we've just simply incorporated our children into our plans. It was an adjustment, sure, but it doesn't mean that you stop living your life. I just don't get people!

The whole comment that she made about her spouse really frustrated me. This may sound harsh but seriously, I had my husband FIRST. I love my children and I will always, always meet their needs and care for them but making time for John and his needs is just as much of a priority. I get so sad when I hear about couples who split up after they become empty-nesters because they suddenly realize that all they ever had in common was their children. Obviously John and I have kids together but above that, we are best friends and we love to laugh together, "play" together, and just BE together. Children add to what we have as a couple... Not take away.

John and I had Brooke 13 months after we got married and believe it or not, people made rude comments on the timing. I'm not saying that having a baby that quickly into a marriage is for everyone but I'm really proud of the way that our relationship has matured through it all. One person that I worked with while pregnant with Brooke said that they baby would ruin my marriage. I guess that just all goes back to the fact that people have no respect for vows they made to love, honor, and cherish "from this day forward." I guess that's another topic that could really get me going right now. Lol

I am so thankful for my children. They are gifts from Jesus and I am blessed beyond belief that He chose for them to live in MY home. Sure, I can't be selfish anymore and I always have to meet their needs but life is still abundant and rich and I can honestly say that I love my husband more today than I ever have!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Miracle Worker

Today was a VERY difficult day with the girls. They spent the entire day either fighting or whining. On top of all of that, Brooke was extremely disobedient and I can't even tell you how many times she was disciplined for her attitude. They are usually awesome but today was just a completely different story. By nap time I was totally spent and extremely eager for a break from it all. I needed to work out but I mowed the lawn instead (I figure pushing a lawn mower for an hour is great exercise!) and it felt wonderful. I got a shower and felt refreshed, ready to conquer the rest of the day, but then the girls quickly woke up and the issues started all over again. :-(

I was feeling really frustrated and worn out by the girls.. I'm not going to lie! Before I knew it, however, John woke up and seriously fixed everything. I'm not sure what it is about that man's presence but for starters, it calms me down but also, it causes grumpy, fighting girls to turn into little angels pretty quickly. What does this man do that I'm not doing??? Lol

Whenever I start to doubt myself as a mom or feel like being a parent is impossible, John just steps right in and reassures me. A simple hug from him or a hand with the girls is all it takes to turn my attitude around. I am SO thankful that God gave me a man that gets me. He makes our home so much more lighthearted and laid back than I do! What an amazing man:-)

I'm happy to report that the night actually shaped up pretty well. We still had some issues with the girls but because John was there to help me, they quickly passed. He is truly my hero. What in the universe would I do without him?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Uses for Trash Bags

As much as I love this time of year where the days are getting longer and the sun is shining more often, I have one major complaint... Adrienne is getting up at the crack of dawn now! I realize that none of you will give me any pity because she's slept through the night consistently since she was about two weeks old but hey, it's worth a try!

After two mornings in a row of her getting up at 6:15 (remember, my kids are usually up at 8 at the very earliest) I was fried and desperate for a solution to these early mornings. My sister recommended room darkening curtains for the two huge windows in her room but I didn't want to run right out and buy them. I already have really nice blinds and adorable valances (to match her bedding) that look great in there so I didn't want to change anything. I also didn't want to waste all that money if the sunlight wasn't the problem after all. Maybe it was just some phase or something? So, in order to prevent an unnecessary purchase, I got the bright idea to cover her windows with black trash bags (purely as an experiment, mind you). I am happy to report that Adrienne slept straight through to her regular time this morning but now I'm sort of bummed because I have to mess with new curtains. I guess I can't have it both ways!

You should see those awful window coverings that I made out of those trash bags. I find it comical, actually. Brooke keeps saying, "You did a great job with the curtains, Mommy." Hahaha. I'm glad that SHE thinks they're nice! Needless to say, however, I will be shopping around for the perfect blackout curtains this weekend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who's the Mommy Here?

I have to crack up over the ownership that Brooke takes for her little sister. It's heart warming and hilarious all in one. I think that somehow in that little three year old head of hers that she really believes that it's her job to take care of Adrienne. Here are some recent examples...

*"Mommy, I'm going upstairs to get my shoes. Could you please watch my sister?" I'm pretty sure that she got this from John and me because whenever one of us has to go upstairs or somewhere away from Adrienne we ask the other to keep an eye on her. She's at that stage where she simply has to be watched every second. She's into EVERYTHING!

*"Mommy, my sis is hungry. We need to get her a snack." Yes, Brookie, I know that your sister requires food. Lol.

*The other day Brooke was eating some ice cream and Adrienne was flipping out. Brooke started to feed her little bites from her spoon (after asking for my permission first) and they must have split the entire bowl of ice cream because they shared so nicely. This same thing happened the other day when Brooke had a Popsicle. They are so precious!

*If ever Adrienne gets into something that she's not supposed to Brooke tries to take matters into her own hands and grab it from her. This usually results in a fight... As I'm sure you can imagine. Lol! Other times she'll say, "Mommy, sissy is doing something dangerous." She often exaggerates big time but I think it's really nice that she tries to be helpful.

*With every new achievement that Adrienne reaches Brooke is EXTREMELY excited. She gets on her fake little phone and says, "Grammy, you're never going to believe what Adrienne did. She..." I love hearing her have this fake little conversations. It's hilarious! I hope that she's always this proud of her baby sister's accomplishments.

I could go on and on about the kind ways that Brooke helps me take care of her little sister. I am really amazed at how nurturing Brooke already is and how much she loves Adrienne. I love to think about the relationship that they will always have because they are binded by sisterhood. I hope the saying, "Sisters by chance, friends by choice" will always be true for them throughout the years!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Brooke enjoyed nursing so much as a baby (so much so that she wasn't fully weaned until about 23 months) and anytime she was tired or upset, nursing her would "fix" her. Nursing was so helpful in caring for her that I used to stay awake at night wondering how I would mother her when she finally stopped breastfeeding. The good news is that she weaned so naturally that is was never a big deal.

When Adrienne popped out I just naturally assumed that she would be the same way and that she would nurse until she was older. However, as we approach her first birthday, she is just not interested in breastfeeding:-( She has never been a comfort nurser by any means and now that's she's eating more foods she has very little use for it. Today she nursed only three times (when I practically forced it on her!) and it's just sad to me that she's so uninterested. What got me REALLY sad is that she doesn't even want to nurse before bed anymore. If I try to feed her she'll spend the time laughing or grabbing at my nose or talking to me. Those moments are precious but it just reminds me that she's not really a baby anymore!

I'm hoping that Adrienne continues to nurse for at least a while longer but if not, I'm thankful that we were able to nurse for all of those months that we did! My philosophy on weaning Brooke was to let her self wean, meaning that I didn't ask if she wanted to nurse but I didn't refuse her either. My fear is that if I practice this same method with Adrienne that she won't ever ask. In that case, I think I'll continue asking for a while. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful, healthy, special thing and I would like to see her nurse longer than a year. We'll see...

Man, raising babies is bittersweet, isn't it? It's fun to see them grow but with each new step you miss what they've left behind. I think I'm just feeling sappy because Adrienne's birthday is less than 2 weeks away. How could that even be possible????

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Trading it Down

The month after Brooke was born we were in need of a new car. After searching and searching we ended up with a beautiful Pontiac Grand Prix (that was less than 2 years old at the time) with all the bells and whistles. It had a little over 10,000 miles on it and it drove more smoothly than you can imagine! Despite purchasing the extended warranty, we never, ever had one bit of trouble from that trusty car. On top of all that, it was so sleek and we just felt good driving it.

As you would expect, a car like I just described comes with a car payment that isn't so wonderful. It was a big financial responsibility and John and I were SICK of it. For me to stay home with our girls we have to sacrifice and we try SO hard to manage our money wisely to save for our future. After doing a financial "Spring cleaning," we decided to sell our beloved car. John's brother agreed to buy it from us but he was very patient and kind in letting us take our time to fork it over to him. This morning we went to the bank and paid off the loan and while it felt good, we were a little bogged down by the fact that we would have to be a one-car-family until we found an inexpensive, reliable car.

After driving around all morning we didn't really see many cars that we were willing to purchase and it was frustrating. We knew we COULD get a really nice car but we truly wanted to cut back on our monthly expenses. We stopped at one final dealership before heading home and there we found the perfect car for us! It's a white '04 Chevy Malibu with 82,000 miles on it (less than our Pontiac has right now). It's in pristine condition, great on gas, and it has a nice, roomy trunk. We got an incredible deal on it and it even came with an extended warranty! I feel VERY blessed that God provided us with a car and that we are officially rid of that car payment. Thank you, Lord!

On the way home from our big purchase John and I were talking quite a bit about things. I told him how bad I felt that we had traded down his awesome car for an adequate car. I know how men are with their "toys" so I felt upset for him. This is what he said, "Baby, it's a car. Who cares what we drive as long as it gets us back and forth?" He then went on to say that now is our time to sacrifice and cut back for our growing family's needs and that one day when the kids are grown we'll have a super nice car again (hopefully). I have always respected and admired my husband but seeing the way he happily sacrificed a car that he loved for the better of our family just really touched my heart. It's one thing to do something for your family but to do it so joyfully and with such willingness is amazing. I cannot express how blessed I am to have John as my husband! He amazes me every single day.

So, anyways, we pick up our new car on Monday. I'm really excited! I am blown away by God's faithfulness to continually provide for our needs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Police Week Thoughts (A week late, I know)

Last week was Police Week where there was a large focus on remembering all of the fallen police officers. I hate to say the words "fallen police officer" so lightly because they were real people... People with families, dreams, lives, and ambitions. "Fallen" doesn't quite seem like a respectful enough of a term to remember people who gave the ultimate sacrifice by simply doing their job.

With all of the buzz about Police Week I came across a list of all of the area cops who were killed in the line of duty. Through John's 4+ years of being a cop I have learned to make peace with his profession and I have become pretty immune to the dangers he encounters.... BUT, reading this list really reminded me that being a cop requires John to daily risk his life. It's something that I try not to dwell on but those thoughts really do cross my mind often. Sometimes I'll roll over onto his side of the bed at night and wonder if he's in harm's way and at other times I don't think twice about it because his job has become so "normal" to me. It's kind of a weird thing how my emotions are so up and down in regards to all of this.

I would say that my #1 fear in this life is to become a police widow. I can't even imagine living a life without John. However, as his wife, I wholeheartedly support his calling and I know that he will be the best cop he can be if don't try to hold him back. There are so many days that I'll hear things in the news and letting him go out the door is harder but this is what he signed up to do and I'm extremely proud of him. It takes a special man to do what he does day in and day out and I am honored to be his wife.

There are two things that I try to do each night as he leaves... For starters, I always, always give him a hug and kiss and let him know that he is loved beyond belief. But most importantly, I pray for him and bring my worries up to Jesus. In the wake of all of these police work related anxieties I've been focusing on 1 John 4:4... "Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world." Somebody FAR greater than me goes to work with John each night, therefore, I don't need to worry. The gun, the badge, the bulletproof vest, and all of the other police gear have nothing on the mighty God we serve!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I have felt a little uninspired to write lately. Life is great but there hasn't really been too many exciting things to report. I'm not complaining though! John has also been off since Sunday morning so that helps keep me away from the computer. I would pick him ANY DAY over my blog though, of course:-)

Mother's Day was kind of a blah, if I can be honest. It was nice because John had to work Saturday night but he came home and slept for a few hours and then met me at my parents' house after church to celebrate the holiday. It really made my day to have him there! The plan was to go home after that and get some rest before heading out to his parents' house for the evening... But both girls would NOT nap and they were extremely grumpy and fussy. It was just awful! I had this idealistic view of the afternoon but it was NOT happening. Dinner with John's family was anything but restful as both girl continued to be miserable. I think they must have fought over every single toy that night and it was just exhausting! John was amazing and he treated me like royalty but really, he does that every other day so it wasn't different than any other day. John got me a sweet card from him and a precious card from the girls, along with money to buy some clothes that actually fit my body that is 16 pounds lighter! I have come to the conclusion that Mother's Day is just another day and while it's nice to be recognized, it's silly to focus on ONE day for the appropriate appreciate and thanks you desire.

I'm excited because John's supposed to go back in to work tonight but he's going to some class so he'll be working 8-4 for the next 2 days!!!!! It's a bonus because he gets to stay home and sleep next to me. I love it! I can't wait for the day when he gets to be put on days for good.

Brooke had gymnastics today and she did awesome! Despite the teacher being really crass, I have seen Brooke grow and develop so much in the recent classes. Today she was talking and laughing with the other girls and she was so brave as she did the different activities. I'm really glad we stuck it out through the problems with the teacher because I think she's benefiting from being there. YAY!

Alrighty, off to relax with John. Once again, I'm SO thankful he's home:-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reoccuring Emotions

One of the things in my life that I can't seem to stop mulling over is the fact that I couldn't deliver my babies vaginally. I know you might be thinking that I'm super ungrateful or irrational because I have two beautiful daughters despite my "inability" but really, it's something that eats at the heart of me if I let it.

Just a little background information for those of you who might not know the circumstances... I labored for 15+ hours with Brooke (with absolutely NO pain medication) and pushed for almost 3 hours, only to ultimately have a C-Section. She was stuck and when they finally pulled her out she was bruised and had a crazy cone head. When it came time to deliver Adrienne the doctor strongly advised that I had a repeat C-Section to ensure our safety. For months I was very unsettled about that fact and I wanted to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) but John and I finally decided that the doctor knew best and we complied with his guidance. It was a very difficult decision and it didn't help that Adrienne's delivery was completely awful and it resulted in her being in the special care nursery for the first 24 hours of her life. I will NEVER forget the helplessness I felt as I laid numb in a hospital bed unable to get to her.

Even though I'm thrilled with my family and realize that the way my children came into the world isn't what's important, a part of me still aches. I will never know what it feels like to birth a baby (the normal way) and have him or her placed directly on my chest, blood and all. I will never experience the beauty of a natural birth with no medical interventions. Our next baby will inevitably be born into a sterile operating room. I don't know why but it just kills me.

The other day I was reading my Parents' magazine and they had a write up on saying how a 3rd C-Section is more risky than they once thought and moms should opt for VBAC's with their 2Nd child if at all possible (because once you've had 2 C-Sections there's no going back). Yeah, that stuck a dagger in my heart. And then just tonight (which ultimately inspired this post) I came across a C-Section awareness board and of course all of the women on there seem to bash people like me that didn't try for a VBAC. I feel like they were hating on people like me. I'm all about natural birth and even though I labored naturally with Brooke for hours on end I can never, ever say that I "went naturally." I'm not sure why but this really, really bothers me inside. Maybe it's my pride?

These feelings also creep up very strongly whenever somebody I know gives birth naturally. Please don't mistake me for saying that I WANT people to have C-Sections or that I wish this on others. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Hearing about other women having the delivery of MY dreams just makes me feel a little bit envious inside. For instance, I was watching this show called Teen Mom and even the majority of the TEEN moms were able to have vaginal deliveries. I just don't get it! Again, that shouldn't bother me but it just does.

I've said this so many times but my children are no less mine or any less special because they were born via C-Sections. This is the important truth of the matter that I need to remember! Seriously, I don't think about this all very often but when I do, I tend to really let it get to me. Life is too short to focus on silly things like this... So why can't I stop!??!?!???!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Silly Adrienne

Adrienne is doing some precious, silly new things and it's so much fun to watch her turn into her own individual! This stage is A LOT of work but it's truly a blast and so worth it! Here's what's new:

*Whenever we say, "Where's Adrienne" she puts her fingers over her eyes and tries to "hide." SO cute!

*She does NOT like the word "no" and when we tell her no she cries, spazzes, and sometimes hits her head on the floor, wall, couch, etc... She has a crazy temper! She also throws herself back constantly when she doesn't approve of something.

*She shakes her head "no" now. If we try to feed her something that she doesn't want she shakes her head like crazy! It's hilarious! She randomly shakes her head for the fun of it but she also uses it to communicate with us.

*She's AWESOME at sign language and consistently says "more" and "all done" while she's eating!

*She finally started saying "mama" and it just melts my heart. It will never get old being called Mama!

*Back to her temper... She FLIPS out when we put her in the car seat and it's so much work trying to buckle her in. John and I always fight over who gets to put Brooke in the car and who has to take Adrienne. Lol

Alright, just wanted to jot some of these things down so I wouldn't ever forget these precious moments:-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010


To be completely honest, this past week has been a more difficult week for me as a mom. Brooke's been extra challenging which isn't a huge deal, but to add to that, the girls have not been napping well. From day one I have worked to put them on the same nap schedule as each other but lately they have been falling asleep in the car (on the days we're out) and then not transferring into their beds without waking up raring to go. We have had some unavoidable appointments and commitments this week and the car rides managed to mess with naps almost every single day

I was starting to feel bogged down. It's hard to not EVER get a break throughout the course of the day. I book their nap time with one thing after another... My exercise and shower usually come first and then I do any housework and/or laundry that is laying around. Without the free time to do those things, I was starting to feel the weight of not having enough hours in the day. Then, I just gave my feelings and frustrations to God. I've been praying every day that God will give me a servant's heart for my children and that when their agenda conflicts with mine that I will be content to meet their needs above my own. For me, it's easy to care of my girls and be content in doing so when our everything goes according to my "plan" but it's hard to not let setbacks frustrate me.

I must say that God has really answered my prayers as of late. I have a renewed sense of excitement and joy in regards to raising my daughters. Granted, the girls still aren't their usual perfectly napping selves but I'm not allowing that to get the best of me. The dishes and the housework can sit for a bit longer and the laundry might have to pile up a bit but all of that stuff isn't what really matters.