Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cow Kroger, Nineveh, Moo, and More

So I'm supposed to be de-cluttering my closet, but I just don't want to. I know that's not very mature....but it's just an overwhelming project at the end of a busy day. Maybe I'll start and then finish tomorrow.

Anyway, during dinner tonight Isabella told me that cows eat hay. I said, "No, they don't eat hay. They eat grass." Abby, who had already left the table, piped in from the living room and said, "No, no no. I'll tell you what cows eat. Cows eat cheese." She was very serious about this. So I asked her if the mommy cows went to Kroger every week to buy their cheese, and she told me that they do "if there's a Cow Kroger." So we'll be on the lookout for a Cow Kroger in the area in case we ever need to give our cow some cheese!

Isabella has had her fair share of cute sayings the last few days. The other night when Matt asked her what the Bible was about, she said, "Nineveh." Matt said, "Who went to Nineveh?" Isabella emphatically answered, "Jonah did NOT go to Nineveh." (Which is true before that whole whale bit)

Last night we were having a devotion with just Isabella and discussing how God made everything (flowers, plants, trees, etc.). When we were reviewing the story, I asked Isabella who made flowers and trees. She said, "Jon did." Then I said, "Which Jon?" She said, "The one that has Mrs. Krystal." So I explained to her that Jon does not make the trees and plants. She then continued to insist the rest of the evening that Jon made the animals, plants, etc. and that Krystal made people. We'll have to work on that Bible lesson a little more!

Isabella has been telling me alot lately that I'm her "best mommy in the world ever." I LOVE THAT! When I ask her who she loves though, she always answers Daddy, then Abby, then Ali Kate. She never includes me on the list. Not sure why since she declares her undying love for me every day.

She and I were in Abby's room yesterday, and she told me that when she grows up, she's going to live in Abby's room and play with her toys. She said "I'll love that." Until then, I think Abby's room is off-limits to Isabella without the express permission of Princess Abby! When we find a new house, they are going to be in for a surprise when they get to share a room for many years to come!

Ali Kate Update: Today Ali Kate said three new words: banana (nana), moo (moo), and yes (yeah). She said banana at breakfast (that's what she was eating). She mooed for us tonight while we were reading a baby animal book. When I asked her if she had bubbles in her bath (compliments of her bath wash...not bubble bath for a baby!), she said, "yeah." I'm super proud of her! She's really attentive and beginning to take off. She can clap on cue during "If You're Happy and You Know It." She also does her prayer hands when we sit down to eat....and she ends the prayer with a hearty amen every time. She loves to initiate peek-a-boo, and she loves it. She also blew me a kiss for the first time a couple of days ago....just in time for Valentine's Day. What a cutie!

My girls...I just could eat them up. They really do keep Matt and I going with their crazy antics, cute faces, and barrels of fun. I'm so glad God gave us each of them. I can't imagine life any other way.... they are the best daughters "in the world ever."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blog Name, Baby Name ???

Ok...this boy thing is throwing me for a loop. We can not decide at all on what we want to name our son. The funny thing is that we thought we knew which names were our favorite for a boy until we actually found out that we're having a son. Now we're over-analyzing every boy name under the sun. I want something a little different, but not too different. It needs to be a strong man's man name. I love last names as first names for boys, but Matt really doesn't. My favorites include Dawson, Grant, Carter, Anderson, Brock, and Rylan. I love Reece and Jackson, but they are definitely out. Carter basically is too. Matt has a few that he just hates, and that's fine because this is a together decision. We're just having fits finding the name that we both love for our son. I guess we're very picky since this will be our only son! We do agree on that. Four kids is the limit!

And now about the with three princesses won't work soon. Neither will adding "and a prince" because that's simply too long. So I'm brainstorming. I'm thinking something that describes fun chaos, organized craziness, etc....something along those lines. The new name will probably focus on the number of kids rather than the gender. I have no idea!

Now...I do have to say that if this had been a girl... I'd narrowed it down to Lauren or Anna Claire. I figured that out at least! Now I'll just have to bequeath that so someone else!

Preach On, Dr. Gaines (and Abby)

Abby ended up attending service with us Sunday because she had a rotten encounter with a little boy in Sunday School. When I went to check her blood sugar on my way to service, she burst into tears and wouldn't stop crying. Apparently a little boy said something mean to her (she wouldn't repeat what he'd said), and she was not coping well. She begged to go to big church with me. So I let her. She's learning God's Word either way.

Well, she was obviously listening very closely to Dr. Gaines. At some point, he got off on a tangent about how we are not to make this earth our home and how our homes are merely tents we use in passing. He was talking about not focusing on having large, extravagant homes. Well, Abby looked me square in the face and said," But it's ok if we get a large house because we need more space." Yes, Abby, we do need more space.

Then later on he was talking about where we can share about Jesus. He was talking about sharing at work, with neighbors, etc. He asked the rhetorical question, "With whom should we share the Gospel?" Abby enthusiastically answered, "Anyone." Then he actually said, "Anyone." She was so proud of herself for knowing what Dr. Gaines wanted.

So the lesson learned here.... she is listening and absorbing even when I don't think she is!

Who's Expecting?

Today Sammy and Nikki came over to play with the girls. Before I knew it, Abby walked into the living room looking for Nurse Sammy to deliver her baby. She had stuffed a baby doll into her shirt and wanted the nurse to take the baby out. Sammy had no interest in delivering the newest Stine family member, so her mom had to perform the delivery. Abby then continued to buzz the nurse to deliver baby after baby. I finally told her that she needed to wait before having more babies because her husband might get overwhelmed. Cheryl told her that she needed to go home from the hospital. Abby said, "No, that's ok. I can just live at the hospital and keep having babies. They have enough rooms for all my babies."

Now, I'm this how Abby perceives me? Yikes! Does she feel like I just keep having baby after baby? I feel like that some days.

Anyway, this was just too cute to not record and remember.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Scooter Patooter

Scooter Patooter is getting stronger every day. She's really getting to where she can crawl several steps in a fluid motion rather than the crawl, fall on face, sit up routine she was doing. She's also standing rather well when you hold her hands and keep her up. We're working on lifting her to standing by holding her hands. Of course, scooting is still Ali Kate's favorite mode of transportation. And she gets giggles out of everyone in the nursery who witnesses her moving about.

She's really beginning to communicate well too. Ali Kate always does her prayers hands when we sit down to eat. She says "amen" as soon as we're done. When I tell her to "open it" (meaning the flaps on the book), she opens her mouth and says "aaah." She can say uh oh, bye bye, I, amen, mama, and da da. We keep doing picture books and labeling the things around the house so that she'll start to pick up those words. I think it may be coming soon even if little by little. She may have some delays depending on what's causing her hypotonia....but I'm going to operate as if she won't have any delays.

She's making that transition from baby to toddler....I'm so not ready for that transition! She's all over the place, getting into everything.

Bella Grace

I'm very proud of my little Isabella. Although we've had a tough day today together, I am very proud of the changes she's made over the last several months. She has gotten potty training without almost any effort (except the poopy part...we're still working on that). She did get to go to Kroger with Matt last night to get a donut for actually telling us and then pooping in the potty (and keeping clean panties). She picked a purple sprinkled donut. I didn't even know you could purchase such a thing!

The potty is not why I'm journaling though. She's really made great strides in handling her outbursts, her frustrations, and playing with others. Her vocabulary is very, very large. Tonight she was complaining that she couldn't go to a sleepover that Abby only THINKS she's going to. Four year olds don't do sleepovers least not that I'm aware of. Anyway, not many 2 year olds probably understand the concept and can converse on the topic. Isabella is really beginning to show compassion toward Ali Kate. She brings her toys, gives her hugs and kisses, and really pays attention to her. We still have the outbursts of throwing toys at her....but they are getting fewer and fewer. Isabella is learning to behave much better in public and in classroom settings. She's really matured in the last six months.

She's also finally coming around to learning some "academic stuff." She can recognize about six or seven letters...and can count to sixteen. She knows most of her colors too. She knows her days of the week and months of the year. We're really focusing on letters right now.

Her Bible knowledge is there...but mixed up. Last night she wanted to read about Jonah and the ark. She also told me that Isaiah was in the garden with Adam and Eve. Well, at least the names of Bible characters are in her brain somewhere. We just have to straighten them out. Hey...she does know that Jonah was supposed to go to Nineveh. I think that's impressive. She also knows Ephesians 6:1 by heart. Of course, she gets plenty of practice repeating that one day in and day out.

Anyway, my little rebel is calming down a bit. I'm super proud of the strides she's made. Hopefully the new baby won't cause her to rebel extra to get attention. We'll see!

Amy told me that she was very imaginative, moreso than her peers, at church Tuesday. She went on and on about how smart and imaginative Isabella is. I was very proud of her.

Friday, January 4, 2008

We're Having a Boy!

Words can hardly express how elated we are today. Today is an awesome day in the Stine household. Ali Kate turned one today which is a huge deal in itself. Didn't I just deliver her yesterday? Has it already been an entire year? We're doing gifts and cupcakes along with dinner out on the town tonight. (Eating out has become a family birthday tradition. Since the birthday girl doesn't have a favorite restaurant yet...and Mommy's pregnant, I think Mommy gets to choose for her. I'm thinking something involving onion rings or french fries....Outback anyone?). We celebrated with Dad and Betty last week, so this is birthday party number 2 for our little princess. We've gotten her a few toys and a Little Giraffe blanket and pillow set. She'll love them! It'll be her first blanket to use in bed since she's now one.

We went in for our ultrasound today...and we're actually having a boy. I can barely type that without wondering if it's for real. After three girls, people only expected us to have another girl. I've been saying this entire pregnancy that it's a boy, but I tried to prepare myself this week for the possibility that it was a fourth girl. Any child is a gift from God, and we'd welcome another girl in our girly world here on Central Trails. Deep down though I really wanted a boy this time. As the tech was doing the ultrasound, I thought twice for sure that I'd seen his malehood. Then she zooms in and stops and says, "Anyone want to guess what that is?" I said, "I think it's pretty definitely a boy." I began crying right then and there. Tears of joy for sure. I think Matt and Abby thought I was crazy. Oh, well. I'd just wanted a boy so badly, and I couldn't believe that I actually had a son in my tummy. What will the Stine household be like with a boy? No telling! He'll have plenty of little mommas for sure! I can't wait to check out the boy stuff. Matt and I are going to have to have the "how long can I put him in smocked clothes" discussion soon. And we've got so many great ideas for boy names. It'll be hard to narrow it down.

Thank you, God, that we have a very healthy baby boy on the way. Everything looked great on the ultrasound. He's measuring 19 weeks, 2 days...and weighs 10 ounces. Oh...and I gained one pounds this month for a whopping weight gain of 3 pounds so far this pregnancy. I'm elated over that too!

Now, do I really have to part with all those gorgeous baby girl clothes we no longer need?

The first person to find out today was Jamie Lee. She was downstairs at the hospital when we were leaving. She was the first one to find out and to see the sonogram picture. Afterward, we tried to call my no avail. Mom, answer your cell phone! We got Matt's mom on the phone. She screamed in delight the entire phone call. Matt started the phone call by acting like nothing was going on and making small talk. Then she kept saying, "Well, tell me, tell me." So he finally said," You're going to have your second grandson." She just screamed! It was like having a firstborn all over again.

When I called my dad, I asked if he remembered that today was a big day. He said, "'s Ali Kate's birthday and you're finding out you're having a boy." I said, "You're right." Then he said, "So did you get her another cake?" I said, "Dad, I just told you big news!" He said, "What big news?" Then I replied, "That you're right. We are having a boy." He almost sounded like a schoolgirl on the other end of the phone. He just kept saying things like "You're kidding" and "I knew it was a boy." Then he said, "I've got to tell Betty. She just knows you're having a girl, but I told her it was a boy." He was tickled blue! He wanted him a grandson for sure.

Oh, Ashley Anthony almost started crying too. She started to tear up when Abby told her. (She kept Isabella and Ali Kate while we went to the doctor.)

I'll try to keep track of the name game we'll play the next bit. Right now we like Dawson and Grant alot...but I don't want to hone in until I've explored all my options.

Yay! I'm just so excited! I'm over the moon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

In case you can't tell, I learned how to post pictures tonight. Now I'm probably going to be posting pictures like a crazy woman. It makes this journal that much more meaningful. I started blogging as a way to journal my life quickly. I type way faster than I write. But pictures are always worth 1,000 I'll be using them tons now. It makes this more fun and pleasing to the eye since I don't have a pretty background. I refuse to pay money for graphics on the computer.

Aren't We Cute Together?

Taken on Christmas Eve, this pic shows that we've still got it! Matt has gone on and on about how we still look good together. (And I'm 4 1/2 months pregnant with our fourth child here!) Anyway, I nagged him to take these pictures at his parents' house...and I know he's now glad he took them! We got some cute ones of the girls too.

Freezing in Mississippi

Today was absolutely freezing! And of course the girls wanted to play outside. They needed to be outdoors since we've gotten little activity outdoors with the muddy yard and cold temps. Today was colder than we've been experiencing though. So clad in their reindeer fleece pajamas, coats, hats, and mittens, they braved the cold temperatures for a little backyard fun. We chased each other, swung (of course), played basketball and soccer, and just acted silly. It was wonderful. Matt and I were even in our pjs with coats of course. It was a delightful way to ring in the New Year. Not sure if our neighbors who stayed up till midnight last night appreciated our early morning fun....but we did!

Isn't Isabella just so cute!

Abby loves going headfirst down the slide

Abby....the best thing

A few days ago Abby said to Matt, " Dad, do you know what the best thing you could do for me is?"
Matt waited a second before she said, "You could get me some Crystal Light."

Of all the things Matt could do for her....that was the best thing. I wish I was so easily satisfied! She also told me tonight that I made the best ham she'd ever tasted. I took full credit for everything short of raising Wilbur's cousin.

Tinkle, Tinkle Isabella

Today is day two of potty training....and I don't want to jinx myself....but I think Isabella has the hang of this! It all started Sunday on the way home from church. She started crying that she needed to use the potty. She'd never used the potty once in her life. When we got home, I asked her if she still needed to potty. We went to the bathroom and she actually peed! Then we made our voyage (just the two of us) to Target for our big girl panty shopping spree. She picked out Dora and Elmo panties although she really wanted the Diego and Thomas boy underwear. She got really frustrated in the store that I wouldn't buy these. Telling her that they were for boys was to no avail. She didn't care at all.

Anyway, we went home and wore them the remainder of the evening. She peed once again before bedtime. Yesterday she pottied 4 or 5 times with NO accidents. Today she tinkled twice in her panties a little, but she told me both times that she'd done it....and she finished her business on the potty. It took Abby a long time to get to that point. She pottied several times today, and she did cry wolf a bit. But it was actually a stress-free day of training. Matt was hoem for New Year's, and it honestly seemed like a normal day.

She hasn't pooped yet....she's taken care of that in her diaper from bedtime. So we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'm just so proud of her right now. We're rewarding her with 2 M&Ms for each successful tinkle. She loves that immediate satisfaction.

For the record...since I'll forget by the time we train Ali Kate or the new baby (oh, by the way...we find out what we're having in only 3 days.....I'm brimming with anticipation!).....I wanted to record how we're training her. We've gone straight to big girl panties with diapers for naptime and bedtime since she always wakes up wet from sleep. She is getting rewarded...and we're not punishing for accidents. I've taken her many, many times to try....and she's been given extra drink to make her go. She's very excited about her progress. It helps that she's seen Abby go her whole life. We also made phone calls to relatives to announce our big news. She loved that! She also loves showing us her panties.

Anyway, I am very optimistic about this. I'm a little nervous about taking her out for a long time....but we'll take our chances.

Way to go, Isabella!