Friday, July 29, 2011

It's a Purple Friday!!

I just needed to take some pictures of my baby this morning. She is just getting so big. She is so close to crawling. She will be sitting on her bottom, lean forward, like in the picture below, then sit back up. She will even try and lunge to crawl, but she just can't quite get there yet. Isn't she so beautiful?



"Mom, it's too bright!!"











SOOOO close!!!




HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That...

I have been so busy the last fcw days.

I have no projects completed. I hate that.

We have another busy weekend to come.

Ugh. I am tired just thinking about it.

So, here are some pictures of my beautiful Avery Grace. I wrote in her baby book last night and put in some tickets and memorabilia I found from the zoo and stuff. I don't know why I keep a baby book - I keep a blog too. I also have a journal I write in for her. Not every day, but every few weeks or when something happens. It's nice that she will have something to read that I wrote, with my own handwriting. I hope that is something people always do. Write letters. Or journals. Not just put everything on a computer. It was funny last night, the book was asking things like, "My first dentist's visit was...." so I had to cross reference the blog and journal to get the date. I am glad we have all of this. I think Avery will really enjoy looking at it when she gets older. 

I don't know how many of your kids were holding their own bottles early, but Avery did not. She just started holding it herself this week. She could, she just never wanted to. We always did it for her, I guess. I will say, it's must easier to just give her the bottle instead of holding it there for her. We actually ate breakfast together this morning. :-)


"Um dad, I know you want me to drive you around, but I don't think this is gonna work..."


"Mom, it's WAY too early for pictures..."



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Swimming with the Crew

We were able to round everyone up down at Faith and Scotty's and into the swimming pool. Jordan and Sophia were really tired at this point, but they did their best. Sophia, who really never cries, just wasn't having it. She kept telling us her brother was cheating at a water game they made up. No amount of reasoning with her was going to stop her from crying, so I told her it would be best if she went and sat out for a few minutes until she calmed down. She didn't want to get back in the pool, but after about 30 minutes, she went back in and swam.


Here is Scotty and Jax...



Avery got to swim with her Nawnie. Avery was in the pool for a long time - her feet were wrinkled!!!



Here is our first picture of Avery with her Aunt Faith!!! They just loved her.


It was a good day...

Well, I went from having one of the worst days in my life to having a pretty good day!

I found out yesterday that I will be starting a new job! I am very excited. I've needed a new challenge with a career and this seems to be the perfect fit. It has been a lot of soul searching since Avery was born to figure out what I wanted to do about working. I really thought I would want to be a stay at home mom. That wasn't an option for a long time, financially. There was just no way we could afford it. But the job I've been at since last summer, while it hasn't paid the best, it has offered me so much more and really was the perfect job for me during these changes in our lives.

When I worked at my previous job, it was incredibly stressful. We worked overtime all the time and were constantly being talked to about our "performance." People were being let go left and right. I was terrified and stressed out all the time. I would come home crying at least two days a week. While I was making good money, I was also 6 months pregnant and I knew that I couldn't lose this job, because no one else would hire me. Jason and I decided it was best for me to try to find something else, that wasn't as stressful, even if it meant me taking a pay cut. So, the company Jason worked for was hiring for a customer service representative. I could do this, easy. It was good hours, and they even paid for maternity leave, even though I'd only been there for 90 days. And my boss was also pregnant, so she was so understanding. Actually, she is one of the best people I've ever worked for. I don't know how I could have gotten through this year of my life with anyone else as my manager.

I was nervous about getting myself into another stressful situation, so I really put off finding something else for a long time. But I guess God had different plans. and this job I got seems like a great opportunity for me. When it comes down to it, we've spent so much time worrying about money. It sucks every single ounce of happiness out of you when you are constantly worrying about making rent or buying food. I don't mean, worrying about whether or not we can go to Chick Fil A or something. I mean serious money worrying. And to me, I just know that I am not a person who can be the best mom, sitting at home every single day, just worrying. Avery doesn't need that. She needs an environment that will be happy. Not me, being unhappy and crabby all the time. Or a dad who is terrified that he won't make enough to be a good provider.

Truth be told, Jason and I would really like to be able to take the kids places and do things with them. Not buy them stuff, we just don't believe in buying the kids lots of things. But we would love to be able to take them on a real vacation, take them to places in Dallas . Give them experiences. Have experiences with them. And we would actually like to be able to do things ourselves, once in a while. To not worry about buying a new pair of shoes we might need or getting down to the last little of money we have and realizing we don't have diapers. And to have a house. So, we both decided it was best for me to find something new. And this will be a great thing.

So, I leave you with a picture - doesn't she look like the Fresh Prince? I put this hat on her and she had it turned around like this when I was ready to get her out of the car....


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fortitude

Fortitude: Courage in pain or adversity


Yesterday was a day that Jason and I had really been looking forward to. There were a couple of big things that we were hoping were happen for our family. It turned out to be one of the top ten worst days of my life that I can remember.

I used to have bad days all the time. I really had no perspective about what a really bad day looked like, so small things could really hit me hard and before I knew it, I would be crying, throwing a huge fit, upset, just completely overreacting. I really don't have days like that much anymore.

After I had Avery, I started to realize that I had my health, my husband had his, and Avery was perfect. Things that I was going through weren't really that bad. And even though it was taking a long time to resolve, the things I was going through were temporary. I would live another day, eventually our situation would get better, so I stopped taking everything so hard and so seriously.

The hardest time I have in life, when my mind gets scrambled, when I stop being able to think clearly and rationally, is when I am tired. And I don't mean tired, I mean several nights in a row of horrible sleep, ending up in me being completely exhausted. Jason knows that this is when I need to hit my reset button. I am unable to handle whatever might be going on and get very overwhelmed, so I need a night of TV to get my mind off of whatever is going on and I full night's sleep.

Last night, on our way home, I just lost it. I just knew it was time to hit my reset button. So I came home, turned on Master Chef, ate some pot roast and birthday cake, took some Benadryl and fell asleep at about 930. When I woke up today, I did feel better. Although my eyes are puffy and my head still hurts, I know that today is a new day and it can be better than yesterday.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find it very difficult to not just give up. I don't mean, give up altogether. I mean, say, what's the point of trying so hard? To think, why am I doing all of this? It is not getting better, I might as well just stop trying. But something in me just says keep going, eventually there will be a pay off for all of the things I am doing to make my life better. At this point, my main motivation is my husband and my daughter. I would love for our life to be one where we can have the things we need and the things we want without it being so hard. I know we have some making up to do for mistakes of the past, and I know those things took a long time to get bad so it's going to take a while to get better. Sometimes, I just get blindsided and it just takes the wind out of me. But I have to know that God has a plan for my life and at some point, things will truly start coming together.

My mom said last night that it is going to take alot of fortitude to get through all of this. That I have already shown so much perserverance, I just have to keep going. I like the word fortitude. I think it's a very powerful word and the meaning is just as powerful. I think there are many people in the world who show great fortitude. When I think of the word "fortitude," I think of the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. He just kept going, despite things and circumstances around him being so hopeless. Sometimes, we choose to keep going. Sometimes, we don't have a choice but to keep going. I think for me, it's a combination of both. I can't stop trying because I have a family who is counting on me. Jason doesn't quit, I can't quit. At some point, we will get through this. I just have to believe that.

But today, as the song says, I am going to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Avery is 8 Months Old!

I really hate to say this, but I am not a fan of these pictures. They didn't turn out well at all. It was very early on Saturday morning, I was tired, Avery was tired, and I was trying to take these pictures quickly, as I knew that very soon, the house would be overtaken by 6 kids under 10 and I wouldn't be able to take them at all.

One kid did manage to distract her, but I liked her face, so I kept it!



I couldn't find a good blanket for a background, but here is the best one of the bunch.


Now this picture, I do love. This is SO her position lately. Up on that one leg, just about to take off. So this picture, I do love. 



I made a promise to myself before Avery was born that I wasn't going to keep retaking pictures of memories, only to find the right one. And when I did her "month" pictures, I said, no matter what or how bad pictures turned out, this is her, on this day and it's a memory I want to remember. So, here they are. I mean, they are ALWAYS beautiful - she just can't take a bad picture as far as I am concered!!!

Happy 8 Month Birthday, Avery. You are SUCH a big girl now. By next month, I bet I won't be able to keep you in one spot!

Trip to Faith and Scottys - Part One

The kids had been down with their cousins, grandparents, and aunt and uncle all week, so Jason and I drove to meet them today. Its about a 7 hour trip (with traffic and a couple stops).


Apparently, a few people were quite happy with Avery's arrival! All 6 of her cousins just were so excited to welcome her.

I am really glad she goes to at home daycare and is used to be around other kids. This didn't overwhelm her. Not one bit.

We got in at about 830, so not a whole lot of time to hang out. We are tired, but ready for a fun filled day tomorrow.....






Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Friend Kate is HERE!





(we like holidays and dressing up.)

In a tribute to my friend Kate joining our blogging world, and in an effort to get her to stay, I have decided to make today official Friends Day, in honor of her blog great name, My Moo Points.

 
So - here are my top 5 favorite episodes of our beloved show (in no particular order):

1. The One With The Embryos (The girls lose their apartment by losing to a game of trivia to the boys)

Favorite Line:

Ross: According to Chandler, what phenomenon scares the bejeezus out of him?
Monica: Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance
Ross: That is correct.
Joey: The Irish jig guy?
Chandler: His legs flale about as if independent from his body!

2. The One Where Ross Got High ( Monica and Chandler invite Monica's parents over for Thanksgiving, but Monica has not told her parents they are dating)

Favorite Line:

Rachel: First, there's a layer of lady fingers, then a layer of jam. Then custard, which I made from scratch. Then beef, sauteed with peas and onions, another layer of jam, then some whipped cream on top!

(Later after trying it...)

Ross: It tastes like feet!
Joey: I like it.
Ross: You like it?
Joey: What's not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Beef, goood.

3. The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Where everyone finds out about Monica and Chandler - sidenote, I remember rolling on the ground at my parents the first time this came on when Phoebe danced. Classic.)

Favorite Line:

Phoebe: Ah! Ah ah!! Chandler and Monica! Chandler and Monica!!
Rachel: Oh my God...
Phoebe: They're doing it!
Rachel: Oh..
Phoebe: My eyes! My eyes!!!

4. The One With The Humor ( with Brad Pitt)

Favorite Line:

Will (Brad Pitt): My two biggest enemies. Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates.

5. The One Hundreth (where Phoebe gives birth)

Favorite Line:

Phoebe: Ross, maybe I should have specified that I'd be needing a grown up doctor.
Dr: I get that all the time, I am fully qualified to...
Phoebe: Shh, Doogie, Shh. Doesn't anyone know that I am going to be giving birth soon? Go! Go, little boy, go!

I love Friends. You've always been there for me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JASON!!!


Happy Birthday To My Wonderful Husband!!!
From the moment we met (again) I just knew you were the one
for me. You are the sweetest, kindest, most patient, fun, respectful,
funny, incredily amazing man I've ever known and I am so glad that
I get to be the one who spends the rest of your life with you.
No one deserves a better birthday than you. You have sacrificed
so much for our family and for me, you have put others first and
put your needs aside for the needs of us. We are so thankful for
a man like you. I hope we can give you the birthday you hope for
and I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your entire family.
I love you,
Jenna











I love you honey!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Counting My Blessings

Jason and I have had alot of reasons to count our blessings in the past month. We have a few more to come, very soon (which I hope to be sharing with you shortly). But aside from financial blessings, or people blessings, I found myself last night counting other types of blessings.

Every time I give Avery a bath I count my blessings that I get to bathe her in a clean tub with clean, running water. I don't know why I think about this, but I find myself so lucky that this is a luxury that I have. I was watching a show about a woman who works for an organization whose soul purpose is to get wells in villages that have no running water. She spent one day all day walking back and forth from a stream, a 30 minute walk, with the woman that live there, that have to do this to get water. The walk there is not so bad but the walk back, they've got 30 pound containers of water that they carry on their heads. And they do this at least 3 times a day. Could you imagine? We just take so many things for granted in this country, it's ridiculous.

I am grateful and blessed every time I feed my daughter. To me, it's a priviledge that I have food to give her and that I am able to take care of another human being. There are many in the world that are not so lucky. This is something we've encountered a time or two in the past couple of years. Getting down to the wire and making sure we have enough groceries. Of all of the financial worries I've had, that's probably number one. Not for myself, by for the kids. And when I open the door and see food there, it makes me feel incredibly blessed.

But, probably the most blessed I ever am is when I look at my dogs and my baby and my step kids and see them happy and healthy. I give them kisses all the time and I know that the reason they are so happy is because we provide a good, caring home. I love on my pups and my baby and the kids every single chance I get. I love my husband, but I can't take credit for raising him. But I can take at least half credit for raising other beings in this world. I love it when Avery looks at her dad and I, side by side, loving her and smiling at her. She will look at us both together and just give us the biggest smiles. I am blessed that I am in a good, solid marriage and that we provide a happy, healthy home for her. No matter what mistakes me make/have made, it won't matter so much in the long run. When Avery looks around and explores, when she sees me when I walk in the door and goes crazy for me to pick her up, when she laughs, I am blessed. So far beyond blessed.

Money doesn't mean all that much. It really doesn't. Sure, it provides things you need, but money comes and goes. We love what money gives us. But to me, it's just the little things in life. It's learning something new. Raising a contributing member of society. Giving your love to other people and animals. When money comes our way, it's nice. I feel blessed then too. But I know it's all fleeting. I have learned my lessons in that area. But man, how blessed I feel in my life.

This is where Avery has spent the last two mornings. She stood up in that Pac N Play for a good 15 minutes this morning!! She loves it, I think because she can independantly stand in it.


Please excuse the ugly pillows my dog is laying on.


That tongue. All the time, she is sticking that tongue out!


Isn't she the cutest little chubs you've ever seen?

And finally, I leave you with a picture of the almost crawler. I mean, we are so close. I am certainly NOT trying to hurry this process along. I want her to be my baby as long as possible.


 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Living Room - Before and After!

Along with the girls' room that I finished this weekend, I also finished painting all of the hand me down living room furniture we received. I painted both of the end tables with my black interior paint, primed first by Kilz. It did take a while, just because there were so many nooks and crannys. I also took time in between each coat, so total, it took me random minutes for about two weeks. I was dreading the coffee table by this point.

I was reading a blog about a woman who paints all of her furniture in chalkboard spray paint (she uses all kinds of colors). She just swears by it, says that it goes on better and thicker than regular spray paint. I thought, why not? So I lined my patio with a drop cloth and got to work. Including dry time and putting on two coats, it took me two hours to start and finish, and get this thing back in my living room. And you can't even tell the difference in the tables. And I figure if one of the kids writes on it, it would be pretty easy to fix....

The only thing at this point that concerns me a little is Avery leaning and putting her mouth on it. I don't know if it's toxic, although, I don't know if any of the paint is? So I guess we will just have to keep a close eye on her.
 Here are the tables before:




And here they are after!



This picture doesn't make it look as shiny as it really does look in real life...

And here are some before and afters of the living room!

Before:



After:



Before:



After:



Before:


After:

(The main difference in this picture is that I got rid of that rug. It just didn't go anymore!)


 
Next on the agenda - new couches!! Whenever that might actually happen. Maybe a new rug. Something to go over our window (I have something for that, just need to get it framed.)
 
Otherwise, I'm thinking this redo is really awesome. Guess how much the whole thing cost me. Just guess.
 
Can of black paint: $5
 Two cans of Spray paint: $8
Materials for the curtains and harware: $15
 
Redoing your entire living room for $28, priceless.