Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun with Markers...

Eli recently decided that he really loves markers.
I tried to make him color before, but he really wasn't interested until recently.

I had to share the adorableness...:)

Yes, I make him get in the high chair to color.
Many times I am feeding Ileigh and I worry about what I would find if I let him have freedom outside the confinement of the high chair...
As you can see, he is a big fan of body art.

The next day I ask him if he would take off his shirt too.
Maybe not the best idea.
I think I only encouraged him to mark more on himself.
I see tattoos in his future.

He must take after me...not his daddy. Chris hates any kind of marking on his body.

Fun times.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Labor Day

Yes, I know it is almost October.
We are just finishing up a crazy busy month of shooting weddings every weekend and our normal photo shoot routine; it has been a little over-whelming. We are very excited for a little vaca and our "relaxed" October schedule.

Back to Labor Day.
We spent the long weekend in White Deer mostly. We shot a beautiful wedding in Groom Saturday.
Sunday, Chris was working out in my dad's garage and Eli wanted to help too.
Then he spotted a fire fighter's hat on my dad's work desk...jackpot.
I don't think he took that helmet off for the rest of the weekend. We have been back to WD every weekend since and the first thing he asks for is the fire helmet. :)

What more could a boy want? A John Deere and a fire hat. And Thomas PJs.

We made a quick trip to Papaw Campbell's house in Skellytown...of course we had to show off our helmet to Papaw... 

"You're something else, Pawpa Campbell". I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff. I am just so grateful for a husband who is quick with the camera. I LOVE the look on Papaw's face.

Ileigh Grace really liked Papaw's house... 

We also went out for dinner with my dad's side of the family! We were super excited that some of the Kansas crew got to come into town too! I have a few pictures from that too...maybe within the next month I will add them on. Here's hopen'

Swing Set

Man, oh man,do I like Craigslist.
Chris and I started talking about getting a swing set for Eli a couple of months ago.
We really wanted something big and nice being that we want to keep it around for a long time for many different kiddos.
We of course wanted a Backyard Adventure set, but holy moly...that is a lot of money for something that sits outside. Anyway, I started looking on Craigslist and we came across the perfect set for our kiddos (current and future).
And we talked the guy WAY down from his asking price. YES. Probably because it was a beast to move, but hey, we had some awesome helpers.

Here is Eli coming around the corner to see his "special surprise". He had no idea what was going on.

Chris was able to get one of the slides up by himself, and Eli had a blast playing on just that section for a few weeks...

A few weeks later we begged Chris' oldest brother to come help. :)
Here they are finishing up everything...

Eli was a big helper for uncle Steve and Daddy.

Here are the girls watching...actually, Abby did a lot of work too! I love a man that isn't afraid to ask for help.

Eli loving the tire swing...

We have played outside everyday since. Ileigh loves the baby swing and I think Eli has gone down the slides a thousand times already.
What a great investment!

Two days ago we bought a fabulous double stroller off of Craigslist...I am hoping we get some great use out of it on our vacation coming up!
I am currently looking for a queen headboard to redo for Ileigh's room on Craigslist. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This parenting thing, it is going to hurt


At the end of the first day of Eli’s MDO this semester I was met by a young, tired worker with a tired smile. Kudos to her; a room full of 2 year olds is not exactly my idea of fun…maybe for an hour, but not long after that I would be checking the clock every 5 mins.

I asked how Eli had been and she told me that he had gotten a sticker for helping pick up toys. “YAY! Go Eli” I thought to myself. She showed me the paper where all the stars were collected.

Then I saw it. I saw children that had three stars next to their name. Three.

My heart sank. I have never in my life been disappointed in Eli. He has always gone beyond my expectations of him. He walked early, talked early. He has always been the best in my little world; and if he wasn’t the best, I am sure I found a justification as to why.

But there was no way around that one star. Immediately I started blaming myself. I am totally a self-blamer; when things go wrong I blame inward and not outward. I should have made him help more picking up toys. I should have spanked him harder when he hit his sister- maybe it is my fault because I spank him at all. The list went on and on.

That one stupid star ruined my day…actually a couple of days.

My whole worth as a mom was tied to that one star. I mean, when you give up your career to stay at home, your career becomes your children. Believe me, if I didn’t feel lead by God to stay at home- I would be at work…in a heartbeat. As much as I try to be Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart, I long for the adult interaction and tangible numbers of success that are found in the structure of a good work environment.

This is one of those blog posts that I would love to skip over and not write. To me it shows just how far I have to come in my ideas of parenting and my goals/dreams/expectations of our children. If I can let a little sticker get me down, what will it be like when Eli comes home with a less-than-perfect report card? Or if he decides that college really isn’t for him and wants to backpack across some foreign land and not go to school. Am I really able to let go of all of my dreams for him, my expectations so that he is able to lead the life that he is called? This is hard.

This is going to hurt.

This parenting thing, it is going to hurt.

Last week I was sitting in a room full of wonderful ladies, they pour out their concerns for their children. Young and old, the concern of a parent never ends. There is no magic cutoff day when you stop worrying about them. And they are convinced that it just gets harder…what?

Man, sometimes the responsibility of being a parent just gets to me. But man, what a ride; what if we can succeed to help build responsible, respectful, compassionate God-fearing children. That is a legacy.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ileigh, 7 months

Man, these last few weeks have been rough, but seeing this little girl's smile helps me gain a little better perspective. :)

Ileigh is 7 months old. Crazy.

She said her first words this month. Of course it was "Da-da". I told Chris it was just a "happy coincidence" the first time, but then she said it three more times. Dang. I guess I need to try harder with our next child. Eli's first word was also Da-da.

For Da-da being her first word, she sure is a momma's girl. I can't even walk past her without those cute little arms waving in the air and those big eyes pleading for me to pick her up. 

Good thing she is cute. :) 

She is wearing 9 month pj's not really because she is long, even though she is, but more because we have barely bought this little one any clothes and there just happened to be a gap between 6-9 months. So 9 month pj's it is. I still can't spend twelve dollars on a sleeper that will only last a few months...
(I love this photo. She is watching two other little girls play. See that adorable little dimple? Awe.) 

We thought she would for sure have teeth by now, but none yet. I have found no logical reasoning explaining the fussiness/restless nights/moodiness/drama...except for maybe a loud 2 1/2 year old interrupting a good nap pattern...hmmmm.  

She hasn't been to the doctor yet for shots this month, so I really don't know how much weight she has gained. Did you know that people taking chemo shouldn't hold a vaccinated child for two weeks? The vaccination leaks through their skin and can affect an already low immune system. Now we all know. My dad just took his second of six chemo treatments, and it is a little difficult to line up her shots with his treatments. 

People told me that having children this close together would be hard- hard for the first year and then wonderful after that. I thought we were doing pretty well, but it has seemed to snowball here recently. A lot of family in town and a lot of missed naps make for unhappy kids and tired mommas. But, in a few short weeks we will be back in the wonderfully structured fall season! WooHoo!

Never doubt our love for you. You are amazing, little one. I cannot wait to see what is in store for you. You are simply gorgeous. Your big, deep blue eyes are changing into the same beautiful brown eyes your brother has. I love it. Your little smile is just breath taking. I have yet to go somewhere without someone taking note of just how beautiful you are.
You are one strong willed little girl, who knows exactly what you want, and you aren't afraid to tell anyone about it.
I hope you stay exactly that way, my love.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Eli's First Day of School...

I don't know, but it seems like there is a world of difference between 2 and 2 1/2.
Man, looking back on it now, Eli still seemed like a sweet little baby still back then...only six months ago.
Now he seems to be all grown up...with a grown-up attitude to boot
We have totally entered into the "why" phase.
Cute, yes, but man I have quickly learned to not even try to out reason him. UGH! The child!

He must take after his daddy...the attorney.

Oh, and I have to add in that he said his first "bad word" too- Thank you, Thomas the Train!!!
Do you see why I don't want him watching TV?!? Really, Thomas the Train taught him his first bad word! UGH!
(It was shut-up in case you were wondering)

Anyway, about a week and a half ago was Eli's first day back to MDO. We are still doing one day a week, but based on all the photo editing and cleaning I should be doing it should be two.
Never the less, one day it is.

Here is Eli showing off his new nap mat that I finally finished- errrrr...I mean almost finished. It still needs some straps, but hey, he can lay on it!

He also got to wear his "sprinkle" shirt (the teacher told me she really appreciated it!). He really loves that shirt...:) yay. 


He loves it.

Here is a picture of his first day of school last March...It seems like he has grown so much since then.