Wednesday, November 21, 2012

HO, HO, Hope you don't mind I'm skipping a few holidays!

I love the holiday season! I'm so glad it's finally back! I already have my tree up, wreath on the front door, and garland on the porch! It's the most wonderful time of the year! I'm already using Santa as leverage.
(BT-Dubya: It's not working quite as well as I'd hoped)
We decorated the tree up one afternoon Blake was post-call so he could be a part of all the madness.
He and Carter manned the man chair, Avery and I decorated the tree, and Will broke various decorations, nativity pieces, etc.
Avery took this one...this is his typical reaction to his siblings

Getting our decorate on! What a horrible picture of myself..Grumble, grumble
Cookies and Milk at sweet boy

Avery and Mrs.Claus.
 We've already had sooo much fun and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! We have even already had family pics taken by the lovely Jodie Fairchild and the Christmas cards are made, stuffed, and addressed. Wahoo! I am ready.
I think ever year it gets more fun. Having little kids does make Christmastime so magical! When R and I were little our dad would shake jingle bell necklaces (you know the one, you know you had one and wore it ALL. THE. TIME. I did) to make us think the reindeer were flying away. AND we got to leave the tree on all night long. Little memories- the best ones. Ahhh! I can't wait. I hope my kids remember all the silly little things.

I'll leave you with a day early throwback (TBT, right?).
The picture from our first (maybe second) Christmas card. Amanda keeps this one on her fridge and I love it!

HO, HO, HOpe you have a great Thanksgiving.
Now, bring on the oreo truffles, macaroons, and fruit cake!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mr. August and everything after...

Carter Wright Phillips
 Fair warning, I'm going to ramble about Carter's birth (nothing gory, I promise) but I cannot promise I won't get overly mushy, and emotional about this journey so far.

I went to the doctor for my 37 week check-up. I'll be honest, I felt like crap. It was the hottest July on record, August wasn't very pleasant either. I really just thought that this pregnancy was a little harder than the other two because it was summer. The nurse does the usual- weight, tinkle, blood pressure. "Ohhh, your weight is up a lot from last week" Grumble, grumble. I had spent at least 4 days a week working on my fitness at the gym- the entire pregnancy. I didn't want to hear this. "Ohhh, your blood pressure is high- really high" My MD walked by "Yikes, calm down. We'll recheck it" So, I wait and it doesn't go down. And there's protein in my urine. Solid. I know these are not good things. So, we talk and decide that today is the day. I had to have a c-section. I had no change and she was worried about me laboring with pre-ecclampsia. This was a little devastating since the plan all along had been to have a VBAC, but when it comes to your babes it doesn't matter. And that was it- baby boy Phillips would be here in a few short hours.
I called Blake and through some tears told him we were having a baby today. I still remember what a blur that day was. I felt like this pregnancy had sped by. I went home, loved on Will and Avery and bumbled around the house trying to get everything together. Thankfully, my sister was still off for summer break and she could stay with the kiddos. Off I went!

We had been back and forth over a name for this poor kid. We just couldn't agree on anything- not that we fought over names, just that neither of us was in love with any name. Leave it to two of the biggest planners to have waited until the 11th hour to name their baby. (I think it's a little funny how we pride ourselves on being such planners yet this pregnancy was quite the surprise) So, about 30 minutes before they took me back we named our sweet Carter Wright Phillips. "It's three last names, Jess"-Blake says this to me and with pleading, super pitiful "I'm about to have major abdominal surgery to bring your child into the world" eyes, Blake shakes his head and smiles and that was that.

Everything went perfectly! And there he was. All 7 lb, 1 ounce of him screaming at the top of his lungs. Three memories I will never forget- hearing each one of my babies scream for the first time and looking at them and realizing how possible it was to love someone so much instantly. It's fierce. That immediate connection you have with this tiny little person peering back at you is really amazing. And every time closing my eyes and thanking God for this precious gift.

 Blake and Carter

We moved to recovery and I finally got to hold him! Then all the usual, but his nurse noticed he wasn't breathing great on his own. He was breathing really fast and his oxygen levels kept falling.
She called the ped's resident on call and after some discussion decided he need to go to the NICU. This was all such a blur. Blake had gone home, he had a long day and had surgery in the morning.
We have a system in place where B's mom stays with me in the hospital. It's always worked out well. She keeps my mom in the loop and helps her not to worry and B can keep going to work.
 She was there to take him up to his room and meet his nurse and then back to go upstairs with me. It was such a strange feeling being so far away from your brand new baby. I didn't sleep the entire night. I was so anxious to get up and walk (I had to be able to walk on my own before they would let me wheel down to the NICU). My wonderful nurse kept checking on me- bringing me Popsicles and ice and begging me to sleep. Every two hours I would try to pump and my mother in law would take the bottles down to Carter's nurse. He wasn't eating yet, but we really didn't know much that night. Bright and early the next morning, you better believe I was laying on the call button to get up. (Having worked in a hospital, I realize how annoying I was, but I didn't care) I got up, walked "See, I'm fine!" Now, lets go see this baby!
I don't really know that I knew what to expect.  When I wheeled into his room I was so overwhelmed with joy and nervousness and there was my sweet boy with all these tubes. I knew in my heart that Carter would be ok. I think God gave me this peace inside that he would be fine, but still the emotion of seeing your helpless baby is so much. I cried- ok, I sobbed. I got to hold him and snuggle him- all these things I should have been doing all night long. It's an amazing thing- how his little, brand new body knew me. My nurse told me his breathing had gotten more stable and his oxygen saturation was coming up. Amazing. The doctors explained what was wrong, that it wasn't uncommon in babies born a little early and without laboring. Transient tachypnea of the Newborn- it usually resolves on it's own but it's a wait and see game. So, over the next few days we waited and watched, looked at x-rays, prayed. I was very excited when they told me I could start nursing him. It was a little tricky at first. He had an og-tube and oxygen tubing, but he was a champ. The second day Avery and Will came to visit. You can't see them, but they both have on health clearance stickers.
A slightly nervous big sister

Pumped about meeting his new best friend

The face we all make when Papa is rambling on

My sweet boy in his little bed
Snoozing during a middle of the night visit to nurse
Carter spent three nights in the NICU at UAMS. And like magic, at 72 hours his breathing regulated and his oxygen saturation improved. That night all the tubes, sensors, pokes and prods were removed and he moved into my room.
It was just the two of us that last night. I wanted to cherish that precious time with him. The calm before the storm of a three year old sister and 16 month old brother and all the responsibilities of being home. Just bond with the newest love of my life.

I realize how lucky we are. Lucky isn't right... blessed. Blessed our boy turned the corner and made it just fine. Blessed to have had such wonderful doctors and nurses taking care of both of us.
Just blessed...

A happy, healthy Carter
My loves.

Well, Carter is two and a half-months old now. We've made it through the first few bumps in the road we've had. He was fussier, more high maintenance than W & A. (Avery told me his nickname was "Crying Carter".) He's already had two ear infections. He's starting to get settled though, smiling and cooing, batting at the elephant on his tummy time mat. Laying down and going to sleep on his own. It's better everyday.
  And, yes three is much different than two :), but everyone seems to be adjusting just fine. Avery is completely in mother hen mode with her two little brothers. Will is enamored by his future best friend. I am smitten with all of them- Blake included.
Some days the chaos is overwhelming. Some days I think this couldn't get any harder. And then Will comes wheeling around the corner, completely naked from a bath, pees in the kitchen floor, and lets out his loud, goofy laugh and runs off. I can't help but laugh and be reminded that I'm so lucky.
And every sleepless night, every gained pound, every new wrinkle, every declined social activity is worth it.
We welcome you Carter, into this crazy family.
I am loving getting to know you. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sweet, sweet Summertime

May? Has it really been since May since I've blogged? Nooo...ok, probably it has. But, in my defense it's been REALLY busy! What have we done?

In June we went to the beach.

July was just fun outdoor summer fun. We spent A LOT of time at the LRAC pool. Only place a hot mama can play with her kiddos and not have fainting spell because of the oppressing summer heat! Many a Popsicle were eaten.

August was busy!!

I celebrated my 31st birthday at the yummy Big Orange and four days later I got my best present ever! Sweet Carter Wright Phillips (I will save all the exciting details for his very own post!)
 And then home in time to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. I'm sure we ate sandwiches and went to bed early! Those first few days after a baby are always such a wonderful blur.
And then Avery and Will started back to school! Will's first year at school and I have to say he's doing great! Avery loves school, so I know she was ready to go back!

Summer went by too quickly! We enjoyed the long, lazy days. And our last few months as a family of four.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Soccer Girl

Avery just finished up her first season of soccer. She really seemed to enjoy it (everything except her cleats, shin guards, and giant socks...) It was super fun as a mom watching her play a team sport.  She got to spend some more time with Emma and make some new friends too. Will also started the season taking a step or two and finished it chasing the soccer balls. Proud Mama here!

Here are a few pictures from the season...

First Practice


Proud of her medal

Soccer Ball Hoarding

Avery and Emma at the soccer party!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Potty Mouth

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but it's cute. This is from Easter morning. I love that Avery is dressing herself these days and she refuses to wear pants. For the last two weeks, she refuses to wear anything but dresses. But I digress...

This post falls under the "Adventure in Bad Parenting" and "funny things that come out of my daughter's mouth" headings.

Last Sunday afternoon I had a VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL meeting- I'm the preschool recreation leader.
Remember this, there's some irony in it.

Blake was on call the night before, so he was exhausted and napping. Both kids were napping (RARE) when I left.

I went to my meeting and came home. Everyone was up having an afternoon snack. Avery was coloring. All was well. I was pleased.

I sat down and asked how long everyone had been up? Everyone happy? What are we going to do this afternoon?
We chatted for a minute and then Blake says (rather dryly) "You'll never believe what your daughter said."

Oh no.

He told me that ever so sweetly she had woken up from her nap, come into our room and snuggled up next to him. Then Will started babbling across the monitor. She sat up and looked at it and said "Dammit, Daddy, Will's awake."
He asked her what she said, and very matter-of-factly she repeated herself- dammit included.

Oh Fudge...

I asked if he scolded her? Put her in time out? No, he didn't he said. He was too surprised. But I'm pretty sure the thought occurred to him to put me in time out.

This word she could only hear one place. I admit it's my profanity of choice. I don't say it often, but when sleeping babies wake prematurely this is a time I mumble it under my breath.

How quickly we forget what little sponges they are. Even when we think we are mumbling.

So, I've resolved to not saying or mumbling it...or anything else I don't want my sweet Avery repeating. You can certainly feel safe your child will not come home from VBS saying "Dammit, that recreation leader is fun!"

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy FIRST Birthday Will!

I can't believe a year (well, more now..) has gone by since this sweet boy joined our family.

We celebrated Will's birthday at our house with family. We tried to do everything Will loves... started the day with church. In the nursery...which he seriously doesn't like. Skipping morning nap...which he seriously doesn't like. Lunch and running last minute errands. And then we strapped him in his highchair and all sang to him while he cried.

First birthday parties are for us, aren't they? But I can't help myself. Here are some pics of the hoe down...

A better way to start the big day than eating dog food?

My boys. Even got a little Tanner Dog action in there

Fitting in a little Tea Time

A little less than interested in opening presents. Luckily Avery is always willing to help.

A whole year little guy. A whole year... it has flown by. You have been a joy daily. You are my 'Chill Will'. You are my great sleeper and ever better eater. You give the sweetest little hugs. You adore your Daddy and would follow Avery anywhere. And, I think you'll be a great big brother...although I think you're quite content being our Sweet Baby Will.

I'm so blessed to be your Mamma. Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy.
I look forward to many, many more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Perfect Plates of Pumpkin

I think pumpkin is one of the most underrated ingredient. Most people think of pumpkin and think thanksgiving- Pumpkin Pie or Halloweeen- carved and toasted seeds. I'll be honest- I'm not a pumpkin pie fan. I usually skip over that pie to rationalize my bigger piece of pecan pie. But I love pumpkin otherwise! I cook with it all the time. If you remember, before my current role as CEO/CFO/Domestic Goddess of the Phillips home, I was a dietitan. Pumpkin is a superfood in my eyes. It's has fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium- all really great stuff for you! And it's especially super because you can easily get your family to eat it! I have two go to dishes that my kids love! Star ingredient? You guessed it- pumpkin! And Ill have you know that my sweet Blake claims my Pumpkin Pasta recipe to be my best dish and one of the many reasons he loves me so much. Right, dear? So, I'll share my secret super recipes with you. You can substitute canned for fresh, roasted, puréed pumpkin when it's in season. Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage (I adapted this recipe from Rachel Ray 30 minute meals) 3 links turkey sausage, casings removed 1/2 c chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 c dry white wine (I leave this out a lot just because I don't have any on hand and I increase chicken stock) 1 bay leaf 2 T fresh sage 1/4 t each ground nutmeg, cinnamon 1 c chicken stock 1 c pumpkin purée (careful not to get pumpkin pie filling) 1/2 c fat free half in half (use regular for a special occasion!) S & P to taste 1 pound cooked whole wheat penne pasta Cook and crumble turkey sausage over high heat. Once cooked, removed from pan, lower temp to medium. Add a small amount of olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add wine, bay leaf, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Increase to med-high heat and allow wine to reduce to about 1/4 cup. Add stock and pumpkin, allow to heat through and return sausage to pan. Turn to low heat, and add half and half. Let simmer 10-15 minutes. Toss with penne and serve. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins 3/4 c sugar 1/4 c canola oil 2 eggs 1 can puréed pumpkin 1/2 t vanilla 1/4 c water 1 1/2 c AP flour 3/4 t baking powder 1/4 t baking soda 1/2 t cinnamon 1/4 t nutmeg 1/4 t salt 1/2-1 c chocolate chips (I like mini or dark chocolate) Preheat oven to 400 Mix sugar,oil, eggs. Add vanilla, pumpkin, and water. Mix all Flour through salt in a separate bowl. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with chips for a little extr a yumminess. Bake in muffin liners or greased muffin tin for 20-25 minutes. I am still without computer- it's getting a new hard drive this week. More memory! Yea! But I've got a super cute pic of Will- stuffing his face with the muffins. He ate two. Hoss. I hope you try these recipes! We're having a pumpkin muffins for snack today!