Christmas 2011

We had a wonderful Christmas as a family of four, even though we were exhausted with a newborn.  We spent the 23rd in Sugar Land at nanny's house.  We had a great time and were spoiled as usual.  Lawson and LL got tons of adorable clothes, and I have been having a blast dressing them in each of them.  My favorite thing that I got was a certificate to have a canvas pictures made, I still need to pick out what picture I want to have done. 

The picture below is at my parents house on Christmas Eve.  We always go there Christmas Eve, pig out and open presents.  This year we had Mexican food, and I am hungry just thinking about how good it was! 

Christmas morning was so much fun now that Lawson is a little older.  He loved walking out to new toys to play with.  His reaction was priceless and so funny!  And sweet Lauralyn happily sat in her seat and watched all the action.  It was a little surreal to actually be a family of 4 on Christmas morning.  It is amazing how quickly things change.  I definitely need to do a better job of living in the moment!

After "Santa Claus", we headed over to my parents house for breakfast. This is probably my favorite tradition.  I LOVE my mom's breakfast and it did not disappoint.  I even took leftovers to have breakfast again for lunch!  I did feel pretty sick to my stomach for some reason, and laid in bed with Lauralyn in my arms and talking to my dad.  It was actually a neat little memory.  Lawson showed his independence (and his love of food) by sneaking off to the breakfast room while everyone was scattered through the house, sitting at the table and eating what everyone had left on their plates.  It was a sight to see him sitting in there all alone just going to town on the food and drinking Orange Julius.

We spent the rest of Christmas day relaxing and playing.  It was WONDERFUL!  I look forward to the years ahead and teaching Lawson and Lauralyn about Jesus, His birth, His time on earth, and why we celebrate his life at Christmas (and all year for that matter).  


Santa Claus

Lawson and Lauralyn went to see Santa Claus recently. Lawson did good as long as he had his blanket. I love the Santa at our mall. He took his time and was very pleasant.

The picture cracks me up, but isn't that what Santa pictures are all about?


Jarrett's Graduation from Seminary

Jarrett graduated from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth with his masters in Christian Education.  He didn't actually have his graduation ceremony until December.  
He had to be there a day early for rehearsal, so we took Lawson and Lauralyn and stayed in a hotel.  I'm not going to lie, it was a little stressful with LL only being 6 weeks old and Lawson being a VERY active 21 month old. 

We did get to see the campus, rest some and eat good food.  Jarrett's mom thankfully came too and we stayed in suite, so it actually worked out pretty well.  Both kids went to the ceremony and Lawson lasted through almost the entire thing in my lap,  I was pleasantly surprised.  Lauralyn slept through it all.  Afterwards we celebrated at the Cheesecake Factory, did a little shopping and headed home. 


Lauralyn 1 Month Old

Weight: Around 8 lbs
Diaper: newborn
Clothes: newborn

It's hard to believe a month has already passed.  Lauralyn has been such a sweet little blessing to our life.  She has gotten on a pretty regular sleep/eat schedule.  In the evenings she will eat at 7:00 and 10:00.  Then she has been sleeping until at least 2:00 and then again until anywhere from 4:30 to 5:30.  She is a great eater, but has a tendency to overeat and then spit up a little.  She nurses during the day about every 3 hours.  Right now she has a head of dark brown hair, blue eyes and dark skin.

I'm not one to stay home all the time, so she has been out and about since 6 days old.  That was the first day we took her to the mall.  She has been out to eat several times and even went to Canton Trades Day this past week.  She is so easy when we go somewhere.

Lawson hasn't really had to adjust much to his sister being here.  It's almost like she has always been around.  He loves her already and tries to give her a paci, blanket, toy anything he thinks she might need.  He is actually a big helper even though he's only 20 months.   He is able to throw her diapers away in the garage and can get pretty much anything we tell him that we need.  The biggest thing for him was learning that you have to be gentle with little sister.

Here are side by side pictures of Lawson and Lauralyn at 1 month.


Lauralyn's Birthday

Just like with Lawson, I was induced at 38 weeks with Lauralyn.  We went to the doctor on Wednesday November 2nd and Dr. Klouda wanted to induce on Friday the 4th.  I was already dialated to almost a 3 and 80% effaced.  My blood pressure was a little high, so she said it would be best to go ahead and induce before I got too sick.

Jarrett's mom came to town late Thursday night, so she was able to take care of Lawson while we headed to the hospital.  Here is the last picture of me pregnant.  I look sooo tired!  It was about 5:45 am. 
We got to the hospital, got admitted and headed to our hospital suite.  I say suite because we got the big corner room which was nice AND it was where my nephew Abram was born.

We got a slow start because the nurses could not get my IV started.  It took 4 tries, but finally my amazing nurse Marcie got it in and started the pitocin.  I was in relatively no pain until Dr. Klouda came and broke my water which I think was at around 9:30.  After that I got my epidural, which did NOT go great.  The anesthesiologist kept hitting a nerve and I kept shaking and kicked Jarrett.  I'm sure he will never forget the look of fear and pain in my eyes as he held my hands.  Finally everything got settled and and the anesthesiologist finished up.  After that I was pretty nauseous and not feeling well at all, plus I still felt pain on my right side.  Once Marcie gave me more pain medicine and I got over the nausea, I started feeling the urge to push.  There was NO down time.  They told me not to push and called Dr. Klouda to get there.  It was hard not to push, but once she got there it took four pushes and our daughter entered the world.  That moment with both of my children is the most amazing feeling in this world.  She was beautiful and cried very loudly!

Once she was cleaned up and in our arms, we noticed what we thought were "baby" grunts.  However, the nurse was concerned and contacted the pediatrician.  She said it was a sign she was having a hard time breathing.  They check her oxygen which was great and ran a few tests and took an x-ray.  The x-ray showed some fluid on her lungs.  The pediatrician said it could be either amniotic fluid that didn't get pushed out or neonatal pneumonia.  It was heartbreaking and I broke down for a second, but new in my heart that she was alright.  They started her on antibiotics, so they had to put a little IV in her arm with a little splint.  We ended up having to stay an extra night, and the culture they took showed that it was not pneumonia.  She also had to have amniotic fluid pumped from her stomach because she was spitting it up and would not eat at first.  Once they did that, she started eating like a pro!

While at the hospital, Barbar brought Lawson to meet his sister.  He really didn't seem phased by her and just watched her. 
Asher and Abram both wanted to hold her.  You can see her little splint in this picture.  

Two doors down, another couple from Lindale was having their little girl.  There is a good chance that these two will be good friends one day.  The is Claire Ann.
Finally, it was time to go home.  We dressed her up in a dress that was mine when I was a little girl.  

What a blessing she had already been to our family.  We are so thankful that she wasn't sick and that she is home a perfectly healthy now. 


Lauralyn's Arrival

Lauralyn Ricki English
Born November 4 12:26 pm
7 lb 6 oz 20 in


Halloween 2011

I have to admit, I wasn't really looking forward to trick-or-treating this year.  We have just been so busy, and I am just SOOO pregnant that I kind of had a bad attitude about it.  BUT, we ended up having a great time.

We headed back to our old neighborhood and met up with about 20 people to make the circle and trick-or-treat.

Here is Lawson before we left.  His outfit is from his Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Stacy.  They bought it for him while they stationed in Japan, and it fit perfectly this year so I thought it would be a perfect costume for halloween.

Here he is with our neighbors, Reed and Davis.  He LOVES to be around the older boys.

He did great trick-or-treating.  I wasn't sure if he would get it, but he sure did.  It's amazing how kids just follow what the other kids are doing.  Daddy held his hand the whole time as we went door to door. 

We did skip quite a few houses because we really don't need that much candy!!  The most funny thing Lawson did was after the first house he had a seat in the driveway and went for the candy.  He was ready to eat some right then!  And we let him eat on a Blow Pop pretty much all the way around the neighborhood, he loved it!  "Candy" is now a word that is part of his vocabulary.

And here is a picture of our family.  I can't help but wonder if this will be the last picture taken as a family of three.


36 Week Appointment

Yesterday I went for what I thought would be a routine exam. It was the first exam to see how the baby is positioned and to check for dilation. Jarrett debated back and forth whether he would be able to come, but finally decided he could get away from work to come to the exam. And it turned out that I was so glad he was there. 

The exam went well. I am 1 cm dilated and she is positioned head down. Right now she is measuring 38 weeks. 
The eventful part of the appointment was that her heartbeat was accelerated. The doctor checked it at the beginning of the appointment and at the end of the appointment and then calmly said, I need you to go check in at the hospital so that we can monitor her heartbeat. We weren’t too worried because she said it should be fine. I was so thankful that Jarrett had come to the appointment. And I was so thankful that my parents were able to watch Lawson for so long.

At the hospital we got checked in and hooked up to the monitors and everything turned out to be okay. It was actually nice for us to be forced to slow down for a second and just sit and talk. We have been so busy with moving, which I having blogged about, that we have had very little time to just relax.

I now realize that I really need to get her bag packed, my bag packed, the carseat in that car and a plan for someone to watch Lawson ready for while we are in the hospital.

I have a feeling Lauralyn will be here in the next week or two!!  My next appointment is November 2nd, so hopefully we will have a better idea then.


Lauralyn's Baby Shower

My friends gave me an awesome shower for Lauralyn.  We were given so many adorable outfits, blankets and precious headbands and bows.  It was so much fun to see all the PINK!!  I still can hardly believe we are having a daughter.  The table was beautiful! 
 The cake was delicious and gorgeous and matched the colors of her nursery perfectly. 
Some of the best friends a girl could ask for.  It's hard because with all of us having kids and working it is hard to actually hang out much, but I love each and every one of these girls. 
One of my best friends Bekah and Mikah Ann who will be about 6 weeks younger than Lauralyn!

My mom and mom-in-law, I am so blessed by both of them.
This is the sweet dress Lauralyn will come home from the hospital in.  It was mine when I was a baby!
My beautiful, talented sis-in-law, Ashley!  The shower was at her home, and she always makes it special.

I had a wonderful time and was blown away as usual with every one's generosity and love!  I'm always worried that I don't tell people enough how thankful I am for all the love and support.  It truly is a blessing to be surrounded by such amazing people.  


Labor Day Zoo Trip

The weather today was beautiful! We started off with coffee and muffins on the back porch while Lawson slept in.  Once Lawson woke up, we headed to the zoo.  It was Lawson's first trip to the zoo, so we were excited for him to see to see the animals.  Bekah, Michael and the boys and Matt Lindsay and Owen met up with us.

We started in the petting zoo.  Lawson enjoyed the petting the goats. 

Lawson just ran around loving everything.  He barely sat in his stroller, he was so busy looking at everything. 

I love this picture of him looking at the elephants.  He loves to see elephants in books and make the "elephant" noise.  So we were excited to show him realy elephants.  His expression below says it all. 

Lawson is taking a nap right now and then we are headed to have fajitas at the Carnathans.  This couldn't have been a better day to have off  for Labor Day with the cooler weather and all.


15 16 and 17 Months

These have got to be the best days of my life...so far.  Lawson is so much fun at this age, and I'm constantly amazed at him and just the little boy he is becoming.
15 Months

There are so many things I have yet to document, so I'm going to TRY to remember them and get them down so that I don't forget them.

  • He loves to lay in bed with us before he goes to his room each night.  We cuddle, play and read books.  When its time for bed Jarrett picks him up and tells him it is time to go night-night.  He then starts waving at me and blows me kisses as he heads out the door. Sometimes he is even the one to say nigh-nigh when he is ready to go to bed.
  • He has really started signing quite a bit, that is unless he actually says the word.  He signs please, thank you, and all done.  I tried really hard to teach him the sign for more, but my efforts produced the word more rather than the sign.  He says it more than any other word he uses.
  • He thinks the sign for please will get him anything he wants!!
  • He absolutely LOVES to be outside and cries to come inside even though it is over 100 degrees outside. 
  • He has started loving to read books, and he knows exactly where his books are.  He points to them and wants me to get them down for him.  There are three on my bookshelf, and if I don't get all three down he get frustrated with me.  He looks at them and likes to make the animal noises, especially the monkey.  He also like to do the elephant and raise his arm like a trunk. 
  • I've heard him say a ton of words, the most common are momma, dad, more, I did it, milk, belly button, book, ba (which is blanket)
  • The sweetest thing is that he will lift my shirt up and hug and kiss on my belly and say baby.
  • He loves to bite our toes and he tickles the bottom of our feet and says "tickle, tickle"
  • He also gives us kisses and he always adds the mwah sound to it.  I guess I must do that when I kiss him.
  • He does pretty good eating with a fork.  He still uses his hand, but he is getting better.
  • When we are walking somewhere and he is holding one of our hands, he will reach for the other hands so that he is holding both of our hands.
  • He blows raspberries on our bellies to make "tooting" noises.
  • After dinner he says bath and runs to the bathtub.  I guess this is a result of how routine oriented we are!
  • He climbs on everything! 
We are just loving and enjoying every moment with him.  It is definitely going by way to fast! 
17 Months

28 Weeks

I am just about to start the final trimester.  It's gone really fast, but at the same time it still feels like forever until we get to meet our little girl.  The worst symptoms I have are pain in my heartburn at night, lower stomach, aching ankles and aching feet.  Other than that, I feel pretty good.  I've gained a little over 20 lbs.  so I am right at where I was with Lawson.  I wanted it to be less this time, but my eating habits just won't allow it!  Tomorrow I have my glucose test in the afternoon.  I'm nervous since it isn't until 3:45.  I have to watch every bite I eat.  The thing I miss the most is Diet Coke and regular coffee.  I usually allow myself a half-caf cup of coffee in the morning, but that is about it.  We are already counting down the weeks until she gets here, and I can not wait to see her sweet face and hold her.

Here is another picture of me at 28 weeks.  We actually had my parents watch Lawson and went to a surprise birthday party.  I hate leaving him, but I was glad that we did.  We had a nice relaxed evening with friends. 


Great Wolf Lodge

Before I went back to work, we headed up to Grapevine again but this time we were going to experience the indoor waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge.  Jarrett and I went up on Friday and spent the night in a hotel, ate, relaxed and hung out at Grapevine Mill mall until the next day when my parents and nephews came to join us.

First stop was lunch as The Rainforest Cafe.  It was a ton of fun and all three boys loved all the animals and the thunderstorms and the food was actually really good.  We sat right by a big gorilla, and Lawson was scared of it at first, but warmed up to it and started making monkey noises. 

We left there and headed to Great Wolf Lodge.  While mom checked in and the guys parked, I wrangled all three boys in a crowded lobby.  Luckily, Wolfy was there and the three boys hugged him and gave him "five".  I was surprised Lawson wasn't scared at all and he gave him "five" like the big boys.  Once we got checked into the room, we changed into our swim suits and headed to the waterpark.  It was a ton of fun and the boys had a ball. 

The boys had fun on the slides in the kid area.  Lawson even went down one of the bigger ones a couple of times.  Daredevil Asher also did two of the big tube slides with his Uncle Jarrett and Abram did these balancing lily pads that most people fell off of but he made across every time.  Lawson loved the water and wasn't scared of anything.  And I've got to admit, the adults had a great time too.  Indoor waterpark meant, no heat, no sun, no sunscreen and no worrying about sunburns!! 

That night after dinner we took the boys to story time in their pjs.  They sat with Uncle Jarrett and loved listening to the story.  After that dad (papaw), Jarrett and the big boys headed to the arcade and played for HOURS.  I'm pretty sure ALL four of them had a great time playing until after 10:00.
 Lawson inside the "kid's cabin" in our room.  The big boys enjoyed the bunk beds. 

The next morning we woke up and headed back to the waterpark.  We played and then headed in to clean up and go have breakfast/lunch.  After that we made one more fun stop at Bass Pro Shop.  Once again, the boys loved looking at the animals.  Lawson would point at all of the deer and say "dee"  That ended our trip and it was time to head home and relax.