Monday, July 30, 2012

Redskins

After leaving the Saints last September and traveling back and forth to 4 different teams through out the season, with possibility of signing a contract that wouldn't be guaranteed, Jordan decided that it was probably best to stop chasing the dream and just go ahead and retire and move on.  He had a good run and it was time for him to be home.

We needed him at home last fall to take care of me and the kids while I was on bed rest with our surprise bundle of joy (Audrey) and he was here and he was A-mazing, as usual. Could NOT have done it without him.

This spring he decided to lose some of the extra weight he had to carry around for football and start the process of his deciding what his post-football career would be. We have been full steam ahead in that endeavor the past few months. He got down to 266 pounds, which is the lightest he has been since early high school days. He is in great shape, working out every day and helping coach a high school football team here. He has enjoyed being home so much more the past few months and getting to spend time as a family.

We have been cleaning out our storage facilities and getting our house back the way we had it before we put it on the market. We've done some remodeling, painting and re-done the kids rooms to make them their own. A lot of fun projects. It's also been neat to get our stuff out of storage and see what we have! We have lived "temporary" for so long now that we have stuff in storage we haven't seen in ages! It makes you realize how little you can actually live on.

In the process of cleaning stuff out we came across a lot of his football stuff from over the years. You know the stuff you throw in a box during a quick move knowing that one day you will do something special with it. SO neat to go through it all and reminisce over the last 10 years of our lives...so many people we have met and so many places we have lived. It's been such an awesome journey. It's hard to grasp it all when you are right in the thick of it. Life moves at such a fast pace and it is so unpredictable. We were always on the go. Always somewhere to be, moving cities, changing teams. Family and friends in and out all season long. SO FUN but it all FLEW by.

When Jordan came across his box with his Jacksonville stuff in it he got sentimental. Put his helmet on and said "wow I had no idea I would miss it this much. If I could go back I would do things so differently knowing what I know now." I was cleaning out my closet and found a suitcase in the back corner that was still full. I opened it up and realized I had never unpacked my suitcase from when we left New Orleans which is SOOOO unlike me. I was pregnant and exhausted when we came home from New Orleans. His departure from there was TOTALLY unexpected so we had been on an emotional roller coaster that day and just in shock. I just plopped the suitcase in my closet and never looked back. When I saw it I opened it up and showed Jordan all the Saints stuff in there with the tags still on it...never been worn! We had fun reminiscing and while we are 100% happy with where we are a part of us will always miss football...it's all we've known!

The next morning (yesterday) he went to church to teach his last class in a series that he has been teaching this spring/summer. I stayed home with the girls because Maddie had a cold and a slight fever. In the middle of church his phone started ringing with calls from his agent. He stepped out to answer it and learned that the Redskins wanted to fly him there that day to sign him! He was FLOORED. He drove home (trying to call me on the way) and we he came in he said "we need to talk". I was putting Audrey down and trying to get Madison to eat so she could go down for a nap too so I said "ok let me just go put her down first so I can give you my undivided attention."...thinking he was going to tell me something about church. "he followed me upstairs and was like no we need to talk now."

He told me the Redskins called and wanted to sign him today and then just looked at me and waited for my reaction.

um...total SHOCK and Silence were all I gave him. I had not even THOUGHT about this possibility. For the first time in 10 years this was no where on my radar of things that might happen on this random Sunday afternoon.

After a bit I said. "Well what did you say?! I mean we JUST talked about this last night. How crazy is that? You JUST said how much you missed it and that if you could go back how differently you would do things. This is a no-brainer, no coincidence...Clearly from God."

He agreed 100% we talked logistics and what if's and agreed he should do this.

Shortly after our conversation we were dropping him off at the airport to say goodbye.

We don't know how long he will be gone or when we will see him again (although we hope to go to a preseason game). We are just thankful God is giving him the opportunity again. If anything, the opportunity for better closure. We are at peace with whatever may happen. Wether he comes home in September or January makes no difference to me, I am proud of him either way. I am just glad he gets to put his helmet on one more time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

3 month Growth Spurt

Audrey must be having her 3 month growth spurt right now. This is her most pronounced to date.

On Tuesday and Wednesday (the 3rd and 4th) she had a rough day and night. She was fussy when she was awake and slept in tiny increments and pretty much wanted to eat all day.  She nursed all day long.  Yesterday (Thursday) she woke up and took huge naps all day and was barely awake between naps. I put her down for her last nap at 3:45pm yesterday. This nap is usually her toughest and she only sleeps 20-45 minutes. She fell right to sleep and was still out cold past her bed time (5:30/6:00pm). I struggled with what to do because I knew she needed to sleep but I also didn't want her to think 3:45 was her bedtime and be ready to party at 3:45 am. I woke her at 6:45pm to eat and she so didn't want to be awake. She ate just a few minutes on one side only before passing back out for the rest of the night.

She slept until 6am this morning (Friday), she woke up, ate, and went right back to sleep until 9am. I fed her at 9am and we left to run some errands. She immediately fell asleep in the car and I got home and transferred her to her crib at 10:45am. It's 1:00pm and she is still asleep! SO basically she has been awake only to eat in the last 24-48 hours! SO CRAZY!

I should have measured her before and after for a comparison :)

Quirks

This is a random post.

1. Morning is my favorite time of day. My day goes smoother if I get up before everyone else and get in some quiet time/solitude with my big cup of coffee.

2. I like to start the day with an empty dishwasher....prevents dishes from stacking in the sink all day.

3. I love smells. Smells have a big impact on my daily choices. Our laundry smells amazing. Sometimes I look forward to doing the laundry because I enjoy the smell so much. I also love it when my kids smell good. After baths they always say "mommy, come smell me".

4. I still bite my fingernails. If I don't have them done and I find a hang nail I bite it off instead of filing it down. I noticed a year or so ago that Hunter bites his nails. I mentioned it to him and he stopped. I wish I could do it that easily!

5. I like to be comfortable. I base my daily outfits on how comfortable I will be. At home I sacrifice cute for comfort. I love to dress cute but if it's uncomfortable I will be miserable the whole time. When I get home the first thing I do is take my shoes off, jewelry off and change into comfy clothes. I love house shoes. I can't have enough house shoes.

6. I am super particular about my sleep. I sleep well. I fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. However I have to have the scene set. Box fan on high, sound machine on rain, baby monitor as far on the other side of the room as possible (so I can only hear if they need me and not every little noise). Overhead fan on high, pillows stacked 2 deep at the perfect angle and a full bottle of water and my phone within reach. Thermostat set at 70 or below. I sleep like a baby. I do not nap well though.

5. I don't like background noise. My dad is this way too. If I am talking to someone I have to pause the TV, turn off the radio or *try* to get the kids to be quiet. When I am alone in the car I like the total silence...no radio. Also, I hate commercials. They are always louder than regular TV and that makes me irritable. I always mute the TV or pause it during commercials to wait for the DVR to skip ahead.

6. I love to take baths. I have quite the collection of bath bubbles and salts and of course the number criteria is how good they smell.

7. I don't like clutter on the countertops. I am particular about how the house looks even when no one is home. My bare minimum is a clean living room/kitchen and guest bathroom. I feel better when the whole house looks flawless but I can settle for my bare minimum if I am tired. Jordan said the other day he is starting to get my system (almost 8 years later). In his defense I "re-organize" a lot so my system has changed many times. But what he meant was he is starting to understand why everything has a place...and why everything gets put in said place. Because he can actually FIND what he is looking for!

8. I love it when the weather is sunny and breezy. HOT and STICKY makes me irritable especially if I am dressed and ready for the day. I like cold weather too because it's cozy. But my favorite is the weather I can wear a flowy sundress and not get hot or cold.

9. Flowy sundresses are my favorite. They meet the number one criteria...comfy but are also cute (and if washed by me they smell good too).

10. I love to be sore. I workout to stay in shape but my number one goal when I workout is to make myself sore. It feels like I had a better workout if it hurts a little to move. Also, when I get a massage I tell them it's not possible to hurt me...use LOTS of pressure. I like the massage to almost be painful it's so deep. I am usually sore after getting a massage because of this, but it feels so relaxing.

11. I love getting my teeth cleaned.

12. I wish I had better knees. I have so many things I want to be able to still do but the arthritic knees hold me back. They are arthritic but also destroyed from all the years of knee injuries in sports. It would be a miracle to go one day without knee pain.  If I could get a knee replacement (or 2) and come back and do all the athletic things I want to do I would do it at the age of 30. The reality is....that's not how it works.

13. I love visitors. We have always lived away from our family and a lot of our friends. I LOVE it when they come to visit and stay with us. I love a full house. I love to have company. And I love when company stays overnight. I feel like you get to know people so much better when you stay with them. Going on vacation with people is also a way to really get to know them. I have the greatest friends and family.

14. I love to be tan. I don't like the negative effects the sun has had on my skin over the years or the Melasma I developed in my childbearing years so I actually have not seen the sun in years. I use sunblock everyday under my makeup and a self tanner once a week to achieve the color I want without the sun damage. Weird? Maybe, but my skin thanks me.

15. I couldn't think of another thing to say but I couldn't end this on #14.

Pop in town

My dad came in town last month to help us get started on a few home improvement projects. We wanted to add a built in out door grill to our backyard and also turn the media room back into a bedroom, which it was originally intended to be. Hunter is going to take the media room which opens up the 2nd master bedroom to be our guest room again, since we frequently have guests. 

We also redid each of the kids rooms and made them their own. We have moved so many times over the years that our kids have not really ever had their own rooms done up how they would want them. I have always made do with what we had in the houses we have lived in but when you rent there isn't a whole lot you can do. 

Here in Houston all of our spare rooms had been staged as generic guest rooms when we had the house on the market. Now that we've been back here a year I figured it was time to turn them into kid rooms...the way they should be! We are almost finished so I will post pics when we are done. 

We are also re-painting the entire house a warmer color....this has been mostly my project. I take it one room at a time and have had numerous days of 6+ hours of painting before the kids get up, during nap time and after the kids go to bed at night. Jordan has been working on projects for the kids rooms. He painted Madison a canvas headboard and made Hunter a headboard for his room. He also painted Madison's room and is doing some painting in Hunter's room. He also has redone all the flower beds outside and added bricks around the perimeter of the beds. He plans to plant privacy plants around our backyard at some point but we may wait till it cools off a bit. 

Next on the list is we are putting hardwood floors in the Master bedroom. That will take a few days I'm sure so we just need to find some time (consecutive days) where he can work on that. He may recruit some help since I will be watching the kids I won't be much help on that project. 

Anyway, back to Pop's visit. Hunter LOVED having POP here. He was his little side kick. Pop and Jordan worked for a few days on projects and Hunter never left their side. 

We opened Hunter's room (what was the media room) to the adjoining bathroom (gave him a door). It was suppose to have a door when the house was built but we had the builder put a wall there so we could put our media room chairs along that wall. 

Maddie mostly watched from inside. She loves to help but often times ends up getting into stuff she shouldn't. Pop was digging up the grass to put in a flower bed along our garage.
Pop took a break in the shade to snuggle the kiddos.
Being outside in the heat is exhausting! It was close to nap time and Maddie was tired so se just laid down in the cool sandbox in the shade.

Jordan making the frame for the built in grill. Adam and Jaclyn came over one night for a cookout.
We like to eat outside in the summer. Our backyard is in the shade after 4pm. Eating outside makes for easy cleanup.

Framing the top of the grill to pour a concrete slab.

Little "helpers"

Finished product




Thursday, July 5, 2012

This and That

I love my babies! They are all so snuggly, especially in the morning.  We took this picture this morning. I was having my cup of coffee and snuggling Audrey after she ate. Hunter asked to join in on the snuggles and of course Maddie followed the crowd. Madison has become quite the snuggler since Audrey was born. She's right up there with her big brother now. I love it. They are just the best!

Jordan gave me the day off the other day. He is so great. He always takes the initiative to give me a break when he can tell I need one, and even when I don't! Audrey had a few nights in a row of waking more than normal and then starting her day WAY too early. After a few nights in a row I was just running on fumes. This particular morning he got up, saw me, and sent me back to bed (I took a 2 hour nap). When I woke I fed Audrey and he told me I have 2 options. Either he takes all the kids out of the house and gives me a quiet house OR I need to leave and get some time out of the house.... just me. I took option number 2 :) I walked around some stores aimlessly and enjoyed the slower pace and the peace and quiet for a few hours. No agenda and in complete solitude. It was JUST what I needed for a re-charge. I came back refreshed and ready to go again and it has been a FABULOUS week ever since! He's so good. God blessed me with THE perfect partner for me.

When I returned the kids where dressed in a way only daddy can do. I love when I leave him in charge. I always come home to some sort of entertainment. The kids had been swimming and when they came inside he just put them in whatever he could find for them to wear without going upstairs to their closets. Both were wearing his socks. Maddie was wearing Hunter's undies and no pants. Greatness.

One of my favorite things to do is take the kids out with me one at a time. With 3 kids they don't get a lot of one on one time with me at home. When I need to run an errand, and Jordan is home, I will often take a kid or 2 with me. Special outings with mommy usually end up with some sort of treat. I remember growing up when I would go places with my mom she ALWAYS stopped and got us drinks before going wherever we were headed. Dad always got us slurpies or icecream. To this day when I have errands to run one of the first things I do is stop and get myself a drink!

Last Saturday Maddie was the first kiddo to wake up. Hunter, Audrey and daddy all slept in past 8. SO Maddie and I made an early morning trip (7:30am) to home depot to get more paint (we are doing a lot of home improvement projects right now...more on that later). She is so fun to hang out with ESPECIALLY one on one. She is such a little ham! We stopped and got a coffee for me at Starbucks and cake pop for her. Breakfast of champions.

Peek a boo!
 Pretty girl

Hunter has been all about picking his own outfits lately. I embrace his new found independence. The other day he called down that he needed help getting his shorts on...odd...he's been dressing himself for years. He came over to me frustrated that he couldn't seem to get them on right.

Uh...YEAH dude... that's because it's a SHIRT! HAHA. I laughed at him as I told him and he said "yeah I was just kiddin mom"....what he says when he realizes he's made a mistake. He's so precious.
Last week I told the kids to get dressed because we were going on a walk. This is what we ended up with. I applaud Hunter's attempt at matching. Maddie however will NEVER be leaving the house like this.

Maddie is totally potty trained and has been since the day SHE decided to do it. She has a potty outside (Hunter has a bush) for when they are swimming or playing in the sand box so she doesn't track water or sand in the house.

She and Nolan (who potty trained the same week) often fight over who gets to use the potty. They come over to swim at least once a week. So I brought a potty out for each of them. They will laugh at this one day. Especially Nolan on the pink princess potty!

Hunter went on a special date with me after the week we potty trained Madison. He needed some undivided attention from me. My time had been 100% focused on Maddie's little booty the whole week and feeding Audrey that I felt like he was totally neglected. He is SUCH a trooper though.

We went and got ice cream and went to the "castle park" and fed the ducks. He's so fun to hang out with. He has so much to say! Sometimes Hunter will say something and I just look at him and can almost put myself 15 years in the future looking at him as a man and picturing the 4yo little version of him and the adorable things used to say. It's like those commercials where they are talking to their teenager but in their heads they see them as a 4 year old. I am so there mentally. It makes me want to press pause on life and just take video of every adorable moment because I'm gonna blink and they will be grown and gone! These are some of life's most precious moments.
 Castle park

Hunter and Madison play so well together. Lately they have been doing a lot of pretend play. Their favorite (overheard from the playroom) is bed time. They take turns putting each other to bed. They follow the routine EXACTLY as we do it. It's almost scary how well they do it to each other. They even say their prayers and I can hear them saying exactly the things I say to them as they put each other down for bed. It's so cute to hear. They also really like to play Tea or Coffee. They pour each other coffee and sit and drink it and talk. It seems they have been watching me a LOT more closely than I thought. Thankfully the things they have decided to mimic aren't negative!

They both love to swim and are little fish in the water now. They are independent swimmers and LOVE to run across the yard and jump in the pool. They are working on diving and the crawl stroke in swim lessons right now. Hunter treads water very well and floats on his back too. Madison swims mostly under water she hasn't learned to come up for air and go back down again so when she swims she gets from point A to B totally under water. Hunter can go all over because he takes breaths along the way.

They are total opposites in personality but get along so great. Hunter is a perfectionist, he likes things how he likes them and he is set in his ways. He is more cautious and has sensitive side to him. He is also our more strong willed child, if there is a point to be argued he will find it and wear it out. Madison is the dare devil and is very spunky but is a very easy going child that will do what you say without question. They both are so obedient though with hearts of pure gold, which is by the grace of God. We are very blessed to have such good good kiddos. They genuinely want to do good. They want to be helpers and they ADORE their baby sister. I can't wait to see what dynamic Audrey will bring to the group. She can do no wrong in Hunter's eyes. I can see them being great friends because of the 4 year spread between them. Madison on the other hand may be a little threatened when Audrey starts in on the fun. But who knows, they may surprise me. It's fun to day dream about the future but for now I am loving THIS moment. They are all so precious. We are very blessed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Today we had the Tonicks over to swim and cookout to celebrate Independence day AND Grant's birthday (which is tomorrow). 

It rained just before they came over. Hunter and Madison were concerned they wouldn't be able to swim... eagerly watching outside for the rain to go away. It cleared up right at 3:30pm when they pulled in the driveway. 
Audrey's first July 4th. She was the most festive of the group however she missed out on most of the fun because  was in bed by 5:30pm. I tried to keep her up later but she likes an early bedtime!
 Yummy sliders and sweet potato fries
 Cutie patootie Nolan cheeses it up!

 Great action shot! Hunter flying through the air.
 Ava's turn
 Have I mentioned how much our kids LOVE the Tonick kids? Seriously they adore each other. They play so well together. It's so relaxing to just sit back in the shade and catch up with friends while our kids play together for HOURS. 
 We celebrated Grant's birthday with a carrot cake and party hats and blowers for the kids. 
 Jordan bought a bunch of kid firecrackers and sparklers. 
 This kid CRACKS ME UP. It's like Where's Waldo in the next few pictures...."Where's Hunter"?

 T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D of the firecrackers. He hates loud noises. At least this year he is outside while we do them and actually held the sparklers. Last year he was inside watching from the window. He's getting brave :)
 Love these two :)
I will leave you with this little gem. The Best worst firecracker ever. It shoots some smoke and sparklers then lays an egg....or hemorrhoid...we aren't sure. So WIERD so HILARIOUS! 
video
Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 months old

Happy 3 months Audrey!

Sweet baby girl, you are the best. You are so precious and sweet and easy. You have started playing with toys now and engaging with your brother and sister while they desperately try to play with you. You give big gummy smiles and coos and you enjoy getting to sit up and look around. We've tried the Bumbo with you a few times and you seem to like it for the first 5 minutes or so. 

This picture cracks me up. I caught you in the middle of your HOLLER, which is what you do before you start to fuss. I always know you are tired or hungry or bored (ready for a change up) when you do the holler. If I don't make it over in a timely manner it will turn into a holler-fuss, then a whine, then a soft cry but it rarely gets to that point.
You love your little baby papasan chair. You sit here during our meals or when mommy gets ready (if you wake up before I can get ready), and when I cook dinner. You are always content in your little chair.
Mommy would much rather play with you and hold you than fold the laundry so this is what it's been looking like lately....a GIGANTIC pile. I did end up folding this only for it to return the next day. It's amazing how much laundry our little family of 5 goes through. Laundry will always be there...but you won't. So I will always pick your snuggles over that pile any day. In fact you smell sweeter, which is hard to do because I LOVE the way our laundry smells :)
 I love your chubby cheeks. You've been putting on the chub these past few weeks. You are close to 13 pounds now.  You don't miss a meal. You love to eat and you are a good nurser. You finish in about 15 minutes now and go about 2.5- 3 hours between feeds (4 hours once a day for your big nap).
 Your brother and sister DESPERATELY want to play with you. They cannot wait for you to join in on the fun. When you play on the floor they are always right by you. They love to have Tea parties with you.


Your sleep is slowly getting longer and longer at night. I stopped waking you up at 10pm because it didn't really make a difference on how long you slept through the night, you woke at the same time regardless. The first time we let you sleep through the 10pm feed you went 10.5 hours straight (from 6pm). The next night you went 11 hours (from 6pm). You are staying right at the 10-11 hour stretch right now but since you go to bed at 5:30/6pm you still wake up in the middle of my night. You go back to sleep easily though and wake again around 7am to eat. Most days you want to go right back to sleep till 8 or 8:30 but some days you are ready to go after the 7am feed. Your naps are somewhat predictable. Your first morning nap is usually around 1-2 hours and you stay awake about 1 hour between naps. You mid-day nap is the longest, which I love, because it's at the same time as Hunter and Madison. You all 3 sleep from about 12pm-3pm. You tend to go the longest, sometimes to 4pm. You may or may not take a late afternoon nap. That one is the hardest for you. You either nap really short (20 min) or don't nap at all and go to bed at 5:30. Just like your brother and sister your "fussy" time of the day is from 4pm to bedtime. I use the term fussy loosely. You aren't fussy at all just less content. You have a harder time going down for that nap and aren't as into playing alone during that time. You do enjoy the swing during that time and being held by mom. As long as you get to do that you don't protest :)

You started drooling the past few weeks and you found your fists. You love to gnaw on them as well as any other items you can find laying around. You play with your car seat toys now and you like watching yourself in the mirror.


You are growing entirely too fast. We are already a quarter through your first year and it feels like you were just born! We love you to pieces and thank God for blessing us with you. You are an angel!