Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful!

It's day four at the Robert family infirmary...all three kiddos were down for the count. I haven't left the house since Saturday. Literally, have not stepped foot out of the front door. Yesterday was the worst for Reagan, and I barely made it off of the couch. Everyone seems to be feeling better today, even with coughs and runny noses - but at least they are up and playing! Reagan just clinked orange juice cups with me and said "cheers" which is a sure sign that we're making progress, haha. He was miserable 24 hours ago. And Grace is begging to play board games. When I said wait until Reagan takes a nap she said, "Mom. You're not the only one in this family." Which is her way of saying, "Do what I want right now, please." So yes, we're getting there. :)

I'm still not 100% certain what our Thanksgiving will look like. I think there is at least one stop we'll definitely have to skip, but I'll just be thankful to get out of the house at all!

Even though we've been pretty pathetic around here lately, I couldn't not check in before a major holiday. Here's a big "Happy Thanksgiving!" from my little turkey....




These were taken at happier, less sick, times. :)

Of course we have to share a few things that we are thankful for today.

Evelyn is thankful for:

"I'm thankful for Charlotte in your stomach. I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful that I have nice clothes. I'm thankful for our house, and I'm thankful for me!"

Haha.

Grace is thankful for:

"I thankful for my friends, and I'm thankful for my baby Reagan. I love my friends. I thankful for babies. I thankful for everyone."

Reagan is thankful for:

"Gibberish." 

Haha, I guess we can share a few of Reagan's favorite things. I think Reagan would say he is thankful for dogs, hats, trains, cars, babies, shoes, oreos, and oranges. :)

Eric isn't here to ask, but I have a feeling that he and I would share a lot of the same things to be thankful for. It's something we talk about a lot, because sometimes, well...we're just left scratching our heads at how blessed we are. We don't deserve it all.

We're thankful for each of our babies and for each other and this little family. Doesn't matter how ridiculous our days can be, by the end of each one we always look around in amazement and through the eyes of so much love. We may have spent the majority of the day wanting to pull our hair out, but by the end, when things are a little quieter and the day has calmed down, we're loving life. :)

We're thankful to God who always provides for us and who guides our decisions and who is always there at the center of it all. We are not the glue that holds this family together...our relationship with God is the glue that holds this family together.

I am thankful for a safe, warm place to live and lay our heads at night. 

I am thankful for life...all of it...it's all so precious. From conception to dying breath, everyone matters. No one is a mistake. I am thankful for our differences...for our different talents, strengths, abilities and interests. Each and every person holds at least some part of the many facets of their creator, and it's good to remember that.

We are thankful for all of our friends and family, everyone who has been placed in our paths in some way. You're all so precious to us, and we couldn't even function without some of you! We're amazed at the relationships we've made over the past few years - near and far and around the world. The connections we've made have opened unimaginable doors and really enriched our lives. We talk about you...a lot. So many of you by name you'd probably be creeped out, haha. We are so proud of what our family and friends accomplish, so happy for you, we pray for you and care about you. 



I hope that you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe and enjoy it!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Happenings Weekend

Well, we're getting an extra long weekend over here...Evelyn is home from school and we're dropping like flies! First she was sick and now I'm afraid Reagan is getting it, too. He's lethargic this morning and not himself. I just LOVE this germy time of the year. I hope that it runs it's course before Thanksgiving this week!

Thankfully we were able to get in a little bit of fun this weekend before sickness started creeping in - a little bit of holiday fun! It was Holiday Happenings weekend and the kids were really looking forward to the Lighted Parade on Friday night. Last year it was so ridiculously cold for the parade. By the time it was over Eric had turned to me and said, "Never. Again." :) Thank goodness it was literally 20 degrees warmer this year, and we ended up having a blast without freezing!


It seems to be a recurring theme around here lately, but once again Gracie was the most excited for this night to come. She woke up every single morning asking if it was the lighted parade day.

The girls were getting a kick out of running into their friends and teachers before the parade started. Any time Evie or Grace ever bump into a classmate they say, "What?? What are you doing here?!" Haha. It's super cute. 



After last year's freeze out I dressed us up in a million layers for this night. We might have been a little too dressed, but we definitely stayed toasty warm!

Poor Reagan...I thought he just wasn't into it, because I could not get him to smile...at all...not for the entire night. But after the fact I realized that he was just super tired. I had forgotten that he didn't get much of a nap earlier in the day.


At the time though I thought he was thinking, "Being in this family makes me miserable. Why do we think this is fun?" Haha. He was OUT in the two minute car ride home afterwards.

 
I'm so thankful for events like these and for the people who organize them for others to enjoy. The lighted parade is quickly becoming a favorite tradition to kick off our holiday season. 



There were several Frozen themed floats this year....


Of course the girls were all about the candy!



 Even Eric said that it was a fun event, so I count that as a success. :)

Eric and I had another great night out on Saturday, but it was when we picked the kids up that evening that we learned Evelyn wasn't feeling well. Sunday was spent at home resting and cleaning, and now here we are. Will Gracie be next, or will she come out unscathed? We shall see! (And goodness gracious, I hope I don't get it. When I'm pregnant it takes me forever to recover from being sick!)

Traditionally this is a really fun week ahead, with several Thanksgiving celebrations, decorating for Christmas, shopping, and all of that good stuff. So we'll see how well we're all feeling to enjoy it! I hope that YOU are feeling great and starting to get excited for the season!

Have a great day!

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Disney Vlogs - Part 2



I was specifically asked over the weekend when the next Disney vlog was coming, so this one is for you, Grandpa Greg! :) I had to fight with youtube for over an hour last night trying to get this thing to upload.

It's Hollywood and Halloween today. Just when you thought the world was plowing onward toward Christmas, we're rewinding back to pumpkins and trick-or-treat! This one is for those of you still holding on to the last bit of fall we have left.

This day was so much fun! Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party definitely makes it worth checking out Disney World in the fall. And if you have a little boy, do not miss Hollywood Studios! Looking back through all of our video, I realized that Reagan was more into this day than any other. I actually caught him dancing and playing along in a world that wasn't completely taken over by princesses. :) So here it is! Day three and Part 2 of our Disney fun.


Thanks for watching!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snowy Weekend!

Once again I logged in to blog yesterday morning, and our pictures from the weekend were mysteriously missing from our iPhoto albums. I have not been having good luck on Mondays lately. So finally, it's our turn to share the excitement over the first snow of the season! If you want to call it excitement, haha.



There seem to be two camps of people that come out of the woodwork when the first snowflakes start falling from the sky: the people screaming, "Nooooo!! I hate snow!" and the people screaming, "Yaaay!! My decision to put up the Christmas tree early is now completely justified!!" Me? I fall somewhere in the middle. I think snow is beautiful to look at, but if it's cold enough to be snowing, it's too cold. I am not a winter person. At all.

Our first real snow experience this year came a day before our kids' first snowy day. Eric and I were driving north for our date night on Saturday, as usual, when I started hearing an icy ping ping ping on the windshield.

"Is it...snowing?" I asked Eric.

"Yep."

And soon the few snowflakes we had been seeing turned into a swirling whirling winter wonderland. It was really pretty - I kept wishing I had my good video camera along. The further north we drove the more accumulation there was on the ground and the heavier the snowfall was around us. I only felt bad that the kids weren't along with us to see it!

We stopped for dinner first. It was so strange pulling into the parking lot and seeing cars beginning to be covered in snow.


By the time we came out later, they were completely snowed over. I was not prepared to see a world blanketed in white so early in the season!

It just so happened that, once inside, we were seated next to a local LEGEND. Haha. Okay. Depends on who you are talking to. But I finally got an opportunity to meet someone that I had heard so much about. Eric lifts weights at the Monroe County YMCA in the mornings before work, and he always has stories to tell about the people he works out with. One man in particular really stands out - he is just an interesting guy. An accomplished photographer, he's been published in National Geographic and other notable places. But what makes him a legend at the gym? He is in his 70's and can do 20 pull-ups in a set. Haha...that is awesome.

Anyway, I was so happy to meet him and his wife. I thought it was so funny that he seemed just as excited to bump into Eric as we were to bump into him. They took turns bragging on each other to their respective wives...apparently Eric's work on the radio and his squat weight makes him an awesome young guy. :) And I can't tell you how many times Eric has told me, "I want to BE him when I grow up." So fun. Then the sneaky sweeties picked up our tab for dinner. So even though it was freezing cold outside, the beautiful scene and their sweet gesture warmed our hearts and started off our evening wonderfully. We ended up having a great rest of the night, shopping and hanging out with no kids in tow.

While we were in church on Sunday morning it was our small town's turn to get a decent amount of the white stuff. All of our kids were excited, but none more than Gracie. She was just ecstatic over it! We couldn't keep her contained inside. While we were having lunch at Eric's parent's house she kept sneaking outside to run around in it. The poor thing was in tights and had no gloves on, but she did NOT care. She would just come back inside and run her hands under some warm water for a little while and then run back out again. :)


My little drummer boy. :)

Evelyn was perfectly content to stay inside and play where it was warm, but Reagan did occasionally sneak out with his big sister to run around. Those two are quite a pair! I just enjoy watching my kids have fun, no matter what "fun" looks like to each of them.

Yes, I do have to say, even though it is super cold...and wet...and slick...and kind of a pain in the butt...snow is nice to look at. And there is something a little magical about it. I'd probably miss it if it were gone.



Probably. ;)

Have a happy day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Do Ya Wanna See My Baby? :)

Babies don't get a lot of blog time from the inside, so they have to take what they can get. Even pictures of pictures. :)


We were able to get a few more photos of our beautiful daughter yesterday while we were measuring her growth. She is very comfortably head down at the moment, and it was kind of hard to get a good picture of her face as she slept soundly in there. I loved seeing her precious little face again, even more filled out than just a few weeks ago. She looked so calm and peaceful, completely unaware of the stress her mama was feeling just moments before we saw these photos.

Yesterday was the big test for us, and I feel like we've jumped a hurdle. It was the first ultrasound we had where we could really measure her growth from one previously. I was praying so hard that in just a few weeks our baby would be measurably bigger. Please let her be bigger. They measured her femur first, as that is typically the easiest and most obvious bone to get a measurement from, and immediately we saw that she had definitely grown and was right on track for her age. Hallelujah! A silent tear of relief rolled down my cheek, and I was nothing but smiles for the rest of the scan. I just knew then that everything else was going to be okay after that. :)


So far we have seen no other signs of complications from her SUA. One-third of babies with this condition have some sort of issue, which obviously means that two-thirds do not. The odds were in our favor, but...ONE-THIRD. That's a lot. Enough to make a mama worry. Her heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs look perfectly normal. In four more weeks we will be scanned again to make sure she is still thriving. We'll have several more ultrasounds after that one - every four weeks until she born. But I hope that after yesterday we are out of the woods. Now our prayer is that she stays in there as long as possible and that we don't have pre-term labor, which is common with SUA. That would definitely be a first for our family, haha! My babies usually bake as long as they possibly can in there.


Charlotte is not only measuring on time - there is one part of her that is markedly big. And lucky me, that would be her head. :) She has a very round head. The ultrasound tech just couldn't get over how perfectly round it was. That's not super unusual in our family. My sister's big round baby head was the stuff of infamous legend in our family, haha. I will spare you that birth story. :)

So it's a happy day for us! We're thankful for a healthy baby. And it's just a bonus that I think she's too darn cute. I wanna hug and squeeze her!! But not for a while. Hear that, little sister? You just stay right where you are and keep looking pretty.

Still, I can't wait for our entire family to get to meet her. Especially Reagan. The little guy is in complete denial that there is a baby in my stomach. He smiles and shakes his head like, "Ya'll are crazy!" when we try to tell him there's a baby in there. The other day his hand was resting on my tummy and Charlotte kicked it. You should have seen the affronted look on his face - he swatted it right back, haha. He pointed and looked up at me, wanting to know exactly why my stomach decided to attack him. He is still learning that, no, you cannot hit mom's stomach, even when it hits you first.

My heart is a little lighter going into this weekend. I hope you have a great few days, and we'll see ya next week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Disney Vlogs - Part 1



I have been INUNDATED by Disney World this week. It's popped up so much in my real life that I even had a dream about being there. Even when I'm asleep I can't escape it...not that I'd want to! :)

In the last few weeks I have literally had half a dozen friends message me about their plans for Disney in the next year. (Yay!) So many of my youtube friends are currently posting vlogs about trips they just came home from or planning videos about trips they are going on next month. I can't watch TV without seeing a commercial. It's Disney mania. And so...that prompted me to finally buckle down and start going through our videos to do a vlog of our own. I'd like to have them finished before all of the Christmas craziness starts.

For as much video as I took on our trip, I'm actually surprised at how much I didn't capture. Whole chunks of days with no recording whatsoever, because I tried so hard not to live this first trip through a camera lens. No regrets about that! But I did manage to get a little bit of every day to share. Today's vlog is of our first two full days at Disney - The Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Here we go!



Before going to Disney myself I used to watch other people's videos and try to soak it all up. I'm not sure if there's a published video online that I haven't seen. :) Now when I see other people's videos there is a giant ache in my heart. Not like a jealous ache...but a "I've been there, I've seen that, I've touched that, I miss that so much" kind of ache. Not every person is a Disney person, but if you are, it oddly feels like a home away from home. Being there is like waking up in a dream you've had over and over again. And some of it you can't really appreciate until you get home and realize, "Whoa...I did that!" Kind of like giving birth for the first time. Haha. It's just so surreal. But maybe that's just for the really young at heart Disney lovers, which I am totally guilty of being. I heard other people say similar things before, but now I get it! We already talk about our next trip.

Thanks for watching, and hopefully the next videos will be soon to follow!



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Calm Before the Polar Vortex

...or whatever it is they're calling the cold front these days. :)

I am glad that the weather is taking a turn for the frigid on a day when the kids don't have school. It's a pajamas/pancakes/hot chocolate kind of morning for us. And as we stay warm inside, we are thankful for all the veterans who have served our country - past and present! I hope all who have served can get out and enjoy some of the free perks being offered at various places for you today. You more than deserve some tangible "thank you's!"

Well, we had a very nice weekend I should say. I didn't have any pictures to share with you yesterday...technical difficulties...but a few did magically pop up today, so here we are. We tried our very best to get out a bit and enjoy some of the milder fall weather this weekend. I had a fun Saturday night out with the boys. We had a nice morning at church on Sunday...and I didn't cook a single meal until Sunday night, which makes me very happy. It truly doesn't take much for me to have a "successful" weekend.

On Sunday afternoon Eric helped his dad with a little project, and the kids wanted to go to their grandparent's house. We played and played, and when Eric and grandpa returned we soaked up the last bit of sunlight riding bikes.



My little Reagy baby still remains a mama's boy, but nothing elicits more excitement from him than when he sees his dad or his grandpa walk into a room. He can't contain himself...he just exclaims their names with pure joy. :) Haha. And being sandwiched between the two, well...my son was just in heaven. 



Can you make out his little face? Nothing makes my heart flutter more than looks like those from my babies - even if they're not at me. ;) In a season of thankfulness, I am thankful for family that is near and who love our kiddos!


I had no idea my heart could jump out and ride a bike, but there it is, right there. :)

In other news, the Robert family is moving up in the world and we finally purchased some bedroom furniture that could fit our entire family if we wanted to pile in. As like most things in this life, we've decided to do things backwards...I suppose we enjoy being weird or something. But we are standing at a precipice of decision making once again as we plan to welcome yet another family member into the bunch.

To move or not to move...that is the question. And we have seriously considered it. We even looked at a house. Came thisclose to making an offer on it. That door is still not 100% closed, but we ultimately decided that the timing still wasn't right for us. We like to have all of our ducks in a row, and there are a few stragglers out there that we want to reign in first. Oh...the temptation - it's there. But it's just not the wisest move at the current time. And so - the backwards part. We've decided that as we continue to build up our emergency fund and save up a bigger down payment for a home, that we will slowly but surely buy things to put in that home when we do finally get one. 

So while many people buy the house and then furnish it...we're just taking the luxury of time to find really good deals on things and swipe them up as we can. Hopefully, not too terribly long from now, we will be able to move, and when we do, we won't be dragging our mismatched college-y furniture along with us. Baby steps. :)

So a good part of our last weekend was spent shopping around for things we need to accommodate our new furniture, because it's never just the initial purchase you know. (Another reason why we aren't buying a house just yet, haha. Oh, the extra hidden costs that get you!) Because we of course needed new bedding...and bigger pillows...and a new mattress pad...and we had to buy more bed risers to fit the bigger bed...and a tiny bit of touch-up paint, because (duh) we don't buy anything brand new. But even with all of that, we are extremely happy with our purchase. It was long overdue, and it looks great! I'm sorry I don't have a picture for you, but I also still don't have all of those things I mentioned delivered to me yet, haha.

I'm thankful for that big cozy bed to snuggle up with the kiddos in and enjoy this day off, so now I'm going to get to it! Thanks be to God and veterans for the ability to snuggle in a safe and free place today. Hope you have a happy Tuesday!




Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to Vlogging! Fall Memories

It's officially going on two months since we took our family vacation, and I confess that I have started and stopped trying to put together videos from that trip so many times. Honestly, I am just overwhelmed! There is so much video to go through, so many memories I want to share, but it's just...a monumental task. One of these days there will be video blogs from Disney. Might be six months after the fact, but ones of these days, I will buckle down and finish those. :)

With the holiday season upon us once again, I have been itching to get back into vlogging. There is so much I want to film and remember for my own sake, and it's truly something that I have to get into the habit of doing to make happen. If I'm not used to reaching for the video camera, I won't do it. So today I'm getting my feet wet again with video editing, just to familiarize myself again with how it works, haha.

You might remember that earlier this year there was a little...ahem...mishap...with our video camera. I sunk it in a bag of silica gel beads and then, well, it took us a while to get that taken care of. That pretty much put an end to the vlogging streak I had been on. :) But it's up and running once again, and I did manage to take a little video here and there of some various Fall activities we did this season.



So it's nothing fancy. A small compilation of some of our Fall fun over the past month or so. But after putting this together quickly last night I realized just how much I missed doing it. So yay! Hopefully this will begin the start of a weekly vlog once again. :)




Thank you for watching!



Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy November! Halloween Weekend

One day you're walking down the street in the crisp fall air, with a cozy sweater on and the leaves swirling around in beautiful golden sunlight thinking, "It does not get any better than this!" And then the next day day - BAM. Ahaha you foolish mortals! It's bitterly cold and you need a winter coat and hat and gloves to keep yourself from freezing your tuckus off - and likely, you're still freezing your tuckus off.

That was kind of Halloween in a nutshell, haha. It was cold. And the wind. I get a chill just thinking about it.

But did that stop us from having a blast? Nnnope! We had a really fun night, as usual!


The kids had just gotten home from school where they had parties and lots of fun doing special activities during the day. They were so ready for the night of trick-or-treating ahead!

It seemed like such a long wait for Eric to get home from work this night. We were ready to get dressed up and go. The kids stood waiting at the door watching for him, as we began to see tractors and hayrides go down our street and other families beginning to emerge from their houses and meander around. We decided to take a few pictures while we waited!




This year I had a couple of little love bugs...and...a robot. Haha. There was no rhyme or reason. Our theme: stay as warm as humanly possible. We took whatever we could get!

We always make our first stops of the evening to various family members. My aunt Brenda and my grandma were on that list, and then we popped into great grandma's, where we always have to get a family picture.


One of my most treasured family photos we take all year. Even if the kids are usually making goofy faces in them, haha. :)

Let us take a moment to check out Evelyn's light bucket. So. While we were here we noticed that the lights on Evie's bucket had started to flicker a bit, and we were afraid it might go out at some point in the night. We realized that that thing had the same batteries in it since her very first halloween, haha. So we replaced the batteries, and HOLY torch bucket. It was so bright! It's even more exaggerated in pictures. So if you are one of my lovely friends who owns one of these things, just know that a set of brand new batteries will make the bucket glow twice as bright!

Eric's parents dropped in while we were visiting here. Reagan had been so shy and clingy all night, but as soon as he saw his papa, he said, "Sianara, mom!"



Just throwing this picture in there to show that Charlotte was also present. Haha. I am so bad at taking updated bump pictures.

We spent the rest of our night in traditional Halloween fashion, with some good 'ole door-to-door trick or treating.



It was so funny...every time someone would ask, "Where did you get those buckets??" Evelyn would proudly answer, "From some Chinese guy!" 

Seriously.

We had so much explaining to do all night long.

Evelyn had a chance to stop by her teachers house, which is always quite a thrill. I love Evie's teacher. When we were walking up to her front porch she said, "There's my bumble bee!" Apparently Evie had told her that she was going to be a "cozy bumble bee" for Halloween this year, haha.

We ended our night visiting the trunk-or-treat in town, which I guess we didn't get the memo on that it only lasted until 8:00. We were literally some of the last people there. We closed them out!

And then we had to stop by my parent's house to visit and pick up our annual halloween pumpkin pie...mmm! That thing did not last long at our house. Thanks, mom! We went home, had some more dinner from the crock pot, and ate delicious pie for dessert. 

So even though it was stinkin cold, we still managed to have a successful Halloween. Last one as a family of five!

We woke up the next morning to the month of November! I was ready for it this year. Usually it sneaks up on me, but I've been so ready to see the kick off of the holiday season. I was actually shocked when Eric and I went shopping and I wasn't bombarded by Christmas lights and music at every single store. Apparently there are a few stores out there who are still in Fall mode. :) 

Now daylight savings, that's a whole other story. Dark by 5:30pm? I don't really dig that. And my kids' sleep schedules are definitely off. Evelyn was hollering from her room thirty minutes before my alarm went off this morning, "HELLO? HELLO?? MOM? IS ANYBODY HERE? HELLO??"

I asked her, "Why didn't you just get out of bed and see if I was here?"

"My legs were too lazy," she said. So instead, she woke up the entire rest of the house, haha.

It ended up being a pleasant rest of the weekend. Nothing special - just the usual errands and things. Oh, and Grace wants to make sure that I share this picture.


I asked spider Gracie if she would like to close out the blog post by sending you a special message. She says, "Have a happy day! For Halloween! Have a great day! Have a party! Make sure you have a good day! Don't let the ghostses get you. Boo!"

So there you go. :) And really, have a great day! 



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