Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Turning 3

Alright y'all…my whole plan of blogging more often in 2013 is a huge fail.  Tomorrow is May.  I've wrote on this blog once this year so far.  How do other mommy bloggers do it?  I don't know.  I need a plan.

So to bring us all up to speed, Makayla turned 3 years old this month.  The girl is growing up right before our eyes.  Let's go through a few pictures of her day...

I love her hair in the mornings.

Opening a couple presents from mom and dad.

We had a couple people over that night for dinner, cake, and to open presents from my family.  Our dear friends, Scott and Jeanne Fraser, came over and Scott got in the birthday spirit with the girls!

Opening the tea set from Uncle Josh, Auntie Kelly, Noah, and Isaiah.

Noah picked out a cake to serve with the tea too!  So cute!

Large floor puzzle of different kids from all around the world (from Grandma and Poppa).  We've put this together numerous times already, good activity for her and I to do together.  

And probably her favorite gift, if you can tell by her face (I wish I would have gotten a better angle of her smiling on this one)...

ROLLER SKATES!! from Uncle Bry.  She talked about wanting roller skates for days and days before her birthday--I didn't even know she knew what they were!?!

Immediately put on the roller skates.  Then she got her dollhouse from Grandma and Poppa.  Seriously, so cute, all the little furniture is made out of wood and came with the dollhouse.

I think I'm going to start the tradition of letting my kids pick their birthday dinner every year.  Earlier this year for Adara's birthday, I made her favorite foods--homemade mac and cheese and broccoli (obviously she was too little to "pick" what she wanted).  Makayla picked spaghetti and chocolate milk.  I also cut up cucumbers and strawberries because she loves those too.  Interesting combination, I know, but it makes it fun for the child.  Kayla also requested chocolate cake.

I saw this idea on Pinterest of putting a layer of brownie in the middle of your chocolate cake.  Let me tell you…GENIUS!!!

It was a little rich but still oh so yummy.  I caught the birthday girl taking extra tastes...

Fun day and I think our goal of making the birthday girl feel special was accomplished! :)

Two days later, we had Makayla's "kid" party at the local park.  It was gorgeous weather and a great day to be playing outside.

After all the playing, it was lunch time.

I used my same ideas from her birthday last year of rainbow fruit kabobs and veggie cups, plus sandwiches, chips, and Izze juice.  Good and easy picnic food.

Cupcakes and a donut tower for dessert.  Kayla had been asking and asking for donuts so I caved in and let her have them for her birthday.  (Why are those little hard-coated, chocolate donuts so yummy?)

The kids played again and then we all headed home for nap time.  Saying that Makayla had a blast is an understatement!  She talked for days about her friends coming to her party to play with her.  I almost didn't even have a "kid" party for her because she's still so little and sometimes gets overwhelmed by so much activity.  But gosh, so glad I did!  

Thanks to all our family and friends for making Makayla's third birthday so fun!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1 year

Hello all!
Well, one of the things I decided to do better in 2013 is blog.   My kids are growing like weeds and leaving memories in the dust unless I find somewhere to write them down!  Perfect topic to start off the year…a 1st birthday!

One year ago today, I was holding this brand-new-to-the-world little munchkin.  Miss Adara.

How fast a year can go by--my oh my!  Going through a few pictures tonight, I love these...

Where to begin?  Sweet Adara is a little bit of miss independent meets momma's girl.   She is crawling now, pulling herself up on everything, and just mastered climbing stairs this week!  I remember bringing her to a check-up in November and the nurse practitioner was concerned that she wasn't more mobile yet (10 months old and not crawling/pulling up on things)... said we needed to have a home physical therapy consult (seriously?!).  I never followed up on it due to us moving but 2 weeks later the girl was EVERYWHERE!

Her 2 words are MA MA MA MA and DA DA DA DA.
She knows how to give kisses and high fives.
Waves to herself in the mirror.
Loves loves loves her sissy (unless sister is taking a toy from her).
Favorite foods are oatmeal, homemade mac and cheese, broccoli, and spaghetti squash spaghetti.
Takes one mid day nap and sleeps 8 pm to 8 am (sometimes longer).
Puts everything in her mouth that she finds on the floor (Kayla never did this?)
Starting to mimic things I do to her: wants to comb her own hair after i comb it, tries to put her hat on herself, etc.

She has this little indent in the middle of her bottom lip that is so cute.

Makayla tells me at least 2-3 times a day, "I love my sister mommy."  And it melts my heart every time. 
What a wonderful gift from God you are Adara! happy birthday.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

dear daughters

Mother's Day.

Oh how you have such a different meaning to me these past two years.

Prior to having my children, I spent Mother's Day hoping to make my mom feel just as incredibly special as she was to me(which I still try to do).  But now, I have so many more emotions and feelings on this day.  I feel such a gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord for allowing me the gift of being a mother.  There is NOTHING in this world that can compare.  I remember being in college, everyone talking of their dreams and aspirations, and yes, I was excited to be getting my nursing degree...BUT deep down in my soul, my dream was to be a wife and a mom.

And the Lord did not let me down.

I married the man of my dreams and two and half years later, began the journey of motherhood.  I get teary eyed just trying to think of the words to express the joy in my heart that my daughters have brought me.

Such unconditional love.

We all know that motherhood can be trying some days.  My patience is tested, my body just wants SLEEP, my muscles need more exercise, my hair needs a break from the daily ponytail, some of my friendships need more attention, my sweatpants want to be retired, my house always needs to be cleaned, etc, etc.

I chuckled at this the other day on pinterest...
Pinned Image
(so true!)

But guess what?

My babies are only little once.  And I am fully enjoying this stage they are in.

Dear Makayla,
You are such a blessing to me.  Thank you for being my little buddy.  I love our little talks we have while sitting outside together.  When you get excited to hear the birdies singing, it makes me stop and enjoy them too.  Your smile makes me smile.  I love hearing you sing "Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so" while you color at your little table.  Adara watches everything you do and wants to be just like you when she gets bigger.  You are so loving, I can feel it when you hug me.
Some of our recent activities include...
A tea party in your diaper

Hiding under the diaper changing pad cover

Going up the big bouncy slide ALL BY YOURSELF!

I love watching you hang out with your best friend, Baylee.

 You love to play with your own baby doll.

Putting on extra clothes before emerging from your nap. It usually ends up to be 3-4 shirts bunched up around your belly.

And doing your own hair.

I love you beyond words.  

Dear Adara,
You are the perfect addition to our little Thomas family.  You are a great baby, love to giggle and smile.  And although your name means "fire" in Hebrew, you have such a calm and quiet spirit about yourself.  I treasure our mornings cooing/talking to me after nursing, smiling, while laying in bed together.
You love your big sister and watch her constantly...

Your precious smile :)

Your second day at home

You have taught me that no two babies are alike! You like NOTHING that your sister did as an infant.  One of your favorite activities(besides eating) is taking a bath!  I look forward to watching your personality emerge over the next few months.
But please don't grow up too fast.

Love you forever,

And last thing...Happy Mother's Day to my absolutely wonderful Mom!

I love you so much Mom, words cannot express it.  Watching you with Makayla and Adara fills my heart with such joy.  I wish your mom could see you in your roll as "grandma."  She would be so proud.
Thank you for all that you do!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Birth Story

I've been wanting to type up Adara's birth story for the past month.  It was such an amazing day for Cornell and I and I don't ever want to forget it...

But before I begin, I just want to say that I, in no way, think that pain relief during labor is a bad thing, I just had my own desire for a natural birth :) Also, this may be TMI for some people to read...

As I've mentioned before, I was "over due" according to my doctor's calculations and needed to be induced if I didn't deliver by 41 weeks.  So, on January 20th, Cornell and I headed to TJ Sampson Hospital at 3:30 am.  I remember listening to worship music(Rita Springer and Brooke Fraser) and praying on our way to the hospital...I can do all things through you Lord, give me strength to do this, protect us, and keep the baby safe.  I was a bit anxious at the thought of having my body forced into labor yet again.

After getting registered, we were brought up to a delivery room and told our nurse would be in soon.  Someone finally came in at 6:00 am to get me admitted(not that I was paying attention or anything).  I will never forget us watching the Duggers on TLC while we waited.  The dad said how much they loved having kids around, and couldn't wait until they were grandparents because with having 20 kids, if each kid had 5 of their own, they may end up with 100 grandchildren.  WOW is all we could say to each other.

So anyway, I got admitted, changed into a gown(and reminded that I was not allowed to wear my bra or underwear), IV in, and Pitocin started.  Now if you know anything about Pitocin, it hurts and basically forces your uterus to start to contract.  I had it with Makayla and despite wanting to go naturally, I couldn't stand the pain and intensity of my contractions and got an epidural.

Sidenote: after having Makayla, I had some discomforts with my back(at the site of my epidural) and legs for months  and preferred to not go that route again if I was able.  Plus I remember always feeling like I had cheated labor with Makayla, I didn't feel anything and even took a nap during my labor, then woke up and the nurse said "okay, it's time to push."  It was definitely pain and feeling free-which is what the epidural is supposed to do-but I knew that's not what God intended for me in the birth of our children.

With this pregnancy, we prayed over and over that the Lord would help me do it naturally and that all would go smoothly.

So when the nurse handed me the consent to sign for the epidural, I said "no thanks, I'm not going to have one."  She told me that everyone has to sign one, even if you don't get an epidural, because they want to have it on hand if you change your mind. (At this time, I will say is the start of NO ONE encouraging me to labor naturally.)

Dr. Mody came in around 7:30 and checked me.  She reminded me that I wasn't dilated or effaced AT ALL!  So that was encouraging :)  She talked about pain management, I reminded her that I was going to try going natural.  She left but then came back at 8:30 to break my water.  There was still no changes and I asked if I could get up and walk around, she said no, it wasn't good for the baby.  I had some flashbacks of my labor with Makayla...laying in the bed-horrible contractions-tubes and monitors everywhere-couldn't get comfortable.  I just KNEW I didn't want that again.

So her and the nurse left, Cornell and I hung out, and I slowly started to feel the contractions get stronger and stronger.  When on Pitocin, the nurse comes in every 15 minutes to turn the rate up until you max out at 20 ml/hr(I think).  I remember dreading her coming in each time because I knew that each contraction would get worse and worse.

I believe around 9:00 am, I was getting uncomfortable and told Cornell that I needed to he helped me get all my monitors together and we went to the bathroom.  While walking, I realized it felt much better to be standing up during a contraction than laying down in a bed.  So we walked back and forth in the room for a bit.  Eventually the nurse came back in and hooked me back up to the fetal monitor.  When I got back up to pee, we repeated the cycle of walking in the room.  As the contractions got more intense, the only way to get through it was for me to stand up, bend over 90 degrees, lean on Cornell, breath slowly, and rock my hips back and forth.  I remember saying over and over to him, "I can't do this, I can't do this."  And he would say right back, "YES you can babe, your doing great, your so STRONG!"

He was so wonderful during my whole labor, so calm and encouraging.

Around 10:30 am, my nurse came back in to check the monitors and I asked her if she would check and see if I was dilated yet or not.  She said she would check me at 11:00 am(not really the answer I wanted to hear).  I agreed but immediately told Cornell that if I was no more than 3 cm dilated, I was getting an epidural because I couldn't stand this pain ANYMORE!  I, once again, had flashbacks of my labor with Makayla...I remember having horrible contractions for about 4 hours, thought I would be dilated and getting closer to delivery, but when the nurse checked me, she said "your almost 2cm!" BLAH!

So-more contractions and it was finally 11:00 am! My nurse came back to check me and said...."your 6 cm dilated!"
I think Cornell yelled with excitement at this point.  I grimaced with pain, thinking "what the heck am I doing?! I need something for pain."

*This was a weird stage of labor for me because you almost become a different person-all your thoughts and feelings of that wonderful, natural, childbirth go out the door and all you can think of is pain RELIEF!  Especially difficult when everyone that came into my room offered me an epidural.

Right after my nurse checked me, things started moving very fast.  I remember telling her that I felt like I needed to push.  She said, "don't push, your not fully dilated and it will make your cervix swollen."  She then offered me Demerol and Phenergan...and at that point in my labor, it sounded very appealing.  But she followed it by saying that it wouldn't take the pain away but I would feel drunk in between contractions and may be able to relax.  It also may affect the baby but once she was born, they could give her a shot of another medication to reverse the effects of the Demerol.

Ummm, thanks!  I didn't come this far in labor, medication free, to have that happen.

I told her again that I felt like I needed to push so she checked me, I was at 8 cm.  She then left to go call Dr. Mody.  It's hard to remember everything at this point because I became almost delirious in pain.  I remember my body overtaking me and it just started to push on my contractions.  I find it so comical that my nurse came back in the room and started holding my legs shut and told me to NOT PUSH, just breathe.  I told her I couldn't stop pushing and then she made Cornell hold my legs shut.  I think I almost punched him while yelling "STOP HOLDING MY LEGS SHUT!" (now that it's all over, he tells me that Adara's head was coming out at this point).  I remember hearing all the nurses scrambling around my room and repeating over and over, "don't push honey, just breathe."

Now, if it was that easy, I would've listened to their instructions...but yeah, I couldn't stop.  It's like trying to keep your eyes open while sneezing, just not possible.

One nurse said, "your not having the baby in the bed like this! Dr. Mody is in the elevator."  And then what seemed like hours later...I heard Dr. Mody's voice.  It felt like she was my angel and calmly said, "Jamie, your going to stop yelling and listen to me.  On your next contraction, I want you to push while we count to ten." So I pushed....then pushed again and heard the best sound in the babies cry!  Adara River entered the world at 11:24 am(so I went from 6 cm to 10 cm dilated in 24 minutes, thank you Lord!).

I remember looking up at Cornell, who was standing over me, to ask him if she was okay.  I wanted to know if she had 10 fingers and 10 toes.  He was so sweetly covering his eyes with his hand, crying sobbing, that he couldn't hear me talking to him.  So I sat myself up and looked down at Dr. Mody holding my beautiful, perfect, little girl.  I remember saying, "She looks just like Makayla!"
They then laid her on my chest and I got to hold/stare/nurse her for the next 2 hours.  Hospitals have done more research now and realized that the babies temperature will stabilize much quicker by laying on their mother instead of being put under a warmer.
I couldn't agree more and enjoyed every minute of those first hours I spent with her.

One thing that I found so interesting in my labor experience is that NO ONE encourages you to have a natural birth.  Not your doctor, not your nurse, not even the unit secretary that comes in your room to fix the bed alarm.  Every single person that I remember coming in my room said, "don't you want an epidural?" or "you know you can get an epidural?"  My nurse didn't even suggest different positions for me to try to labor through my contractions! I was so surprised by this!  I'm so thankful to have had Cornell by my side to be my encourager!

Welcome to the world Adara River Thomas!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

23 months and a No bake cake

Well, just a few more weeks until we celebrate this little girls' second birthday.  
She continues to grow and change so fast, I need time to stop!  I want to remember all of her cute little sayings and gestures, all of her hugs and kisses, and her love for her little sister(since i'm sure this will change in the years to come!)
Makayla continues to amaze us with her vocabulary!  I don't have anyone to compare her with since she is my first child, but people around us here constantly say, "she talks so good."  She repeats pretty much anything that you ask her to's so funny and cute!

One of my favorite phrases she says now is, "I'm happy!" 
She also hugs Adara and then says, "I LIKE Adara!" 
Today we were sitting at the table eating lunch, and I think I must have sighed loudly because she says, "What's wrong mommy?" I replied with, "I'm tired and sick honey." She then got a sad look on her face and said, "I'm sick too." (we are all battling a cold here)
There is something so joyful about your child being able to express themselves...besides just the normal crying if they are upset.

She continues to love Dora and Sesame Street, but now watches Diego and Curious George.  Loves the movie Rio and Jungle book(to say we have watched these 100 times would be an understatement).

She is wearing 3T because most 2T items are just too short for her long legs.  She is the same height or taller than most 3 year olds we know.  I'm thinking she may be a tall girl :)

As you can see in the picture...her hair is CURLY CURLY CURLY! But still very soft like my hair texture.  Remember I was worried about what her hair texture would be like? I didn't know how I would style it if it was like Cornells...but both her and Adara(so far), have my hair!! Yay!

She can count to 10 and sing her ABCs.  Loves to: play with her best friend Baylee, read books before nap or bed time, play with her kitchen and bitty baby doll, eat suckers, and play with big bouncy balls.  She still loves her mommy and continuously says, "why mommy?" or "C'mon mommy, let's go!"(while pulling my hand)
Also loves time with daddy, which usually involves lots of giggling or dancing together.  :)

Loves to eat-I try and feed her healthy choices but she sees me eating sweets and well, how can I say no to her cute little face.  I've even tried sneaking chocolate without her seeing, but if she sees me chewing, she points to my mouth and asks, "what's that??"  Then she will say, "Moooore chocolate please?"

Speaking of chocolate, I have a fun
new recipe if you want to try...

Delicious picture and recipe from here.

I found this super easy yet yummy dessert on Pinterest.  Decided to make it the other night and Cornell and I fully enjoyed it.  It's a fun twist on normal cake!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cake
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
12 whole chocolate graham crackers
optional-chocolate sprinkles

In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine 1/4 cup cream and the peanut butter chips, stirring just until melted and smooth: pour into a bowl.  Repeat with the milk chocolate chips and another 1/4 cup of the cream; pour into another bowl.  Refrigerate both about 15 minutes until cool.

With a mixer, beat remaining cream just until stiff.  Gently fold half of the whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.  Fold remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.

Spread each of 10 whole chocolate graham crackers with about 2-1/2 tablespoons of the peanut butter whipped cream.  Sandwich together coated crackers to form 2 stacks (5 cookies per stack). Top each stack with 1 plain graham cracker. Arrange stacks, side by side, on a serving plate, long edges touching. Frost with milk chocolate whipped cream.

Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight for cookies to soften into "cake".


ps-for a printable version of this recipe, follow the link under the picture.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Hello all! is there anyone left out there?
I know last time I posted, I was over-due with our 2nd baby...luckily she came out just a few days after that and we have been adjusting to life with two beautiful little girls.  I am working on typing up her birth story, it just seems that there isn't enough time in the day to finish!

Both girls are sleeping now, daddy is busy working on his sermon, and that leaves me a few moments to myself.  I finally got to start addressing birth announcements today, they have only been sitting on the table for 2 weeks.  While searching for my address book, I had to chuckle at myself...
today we had a weird day with tornado warnings/watches.  As far as I can remember, I have never had a true tornado warning(where the siren goes off, and not just to test it out) in my lifetime, just alot of practice drills.  So this afternoon when we were hanging out at home, and the tornado siren goes off in our little city, I was a bit unprepared.
I would like to think that I can think quickly on my toes, being a nurse and all...I mean I've been in quite a few high stress situations.  So the siren goes off and I tell Cornell we better head down to the cellar(not many homes have basements like in MN).  I grab Makayla and get our dog, Charlotte(Cornell has Adara).  Then, not knowing how long we will have to be downstairs, I try to think quickly of things that I need to bring with us.  I mean, what if we are down there for hours?! So I grab....
a glass of water, a blanket, my IPhone and IPad, and the diaper bag.
All the necessities right?!
No food? No candles? No flashlight?
Who cares if we are starving and can't see! At least I would be able to change a poopy diaper!

So off we go to the cellar. 
 Makayla thought it was great since there were old toys of hers down there...

(Cornell had grabbed a chair too since there was nothing to sit on).  So we are all down there, its gross and cold and wet, and i realize that I didn't even bring the glass of water.  Or the diaper bag.  I left them on the table by the door of the cellar.
But hey, I do have my IPhone and IPad! So maybe we could check facebook, pin something to pinterest, or upload a photo to Instagram while we are in the cellar. in a bad storm. with tornados.
Am I not pathetic?
I am almost embarrassed to type all this.
(although my phone did help because my mom was texting and updating us about the tornado/weather while we were down there)

Luckily we only ended up staying in there for about 30 minutes, nothing too traumatic.  The only tears that were shed were Makayla's when she got water on her shoes.
All that to say... I thank the Lord that we are all safe and okay.  But I think I need to take a chill pill with technology.  I have gotten so used to having it at my fingertips, that I treat it as if I couldn't survive without it.  I mean Makayla already knows how to turn on my Iphone, go to youtube, and watch her saved favorite videos.  She's not even 2 years old!!  
I have to remember that I have little eyes watching me at all times and copying everything I do.  
Thank you Jesus for my wake up call today :) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time for an update

Well, I am officially "over due."
So not fun.
This little one is just soaking up time in mommy's belly.  I wouldn't mind so much if it didn't mean I continue to gain weight and grow increasingly larger by the day.  The skin on my abdomen feels like it is stretched to the max and will rip any day now.
My doctor won't let me go a week past my due date so if this little one doesn't come soon, she will be forced out!  There is something about being induced that makes me slightly anxious.  The main reason I believe is that your given a date on the calender where your life is about to completely change.  There is nothing spontaneous or relaxing about that.  I remember being on bedrest with Makayla on a Saturday and knowing that on the next Monday we would be parents...I went through so many emotions...happy to sad, excited to bummed, confident to anxious, etc, etc.  I remember watching a movie with Cornell and I kept looking at him, thinking, "this is the last weekend it will EVER just be me and him!" It was kind of an overwhelming feeling.  Our world had revolved around ourselves for so long.  But now when I look back at that stage in our life, I realize how God's timing is always perfect.  To the outside world, it probably didn't seem like the best time to bring a baby in the world(i.e finances, busy schedules, no family near us, etc) but it was such a gift from God to give us Makayla.  Our lives have so much more joy in them with her here, and sometime this week, it is about to double!  I feel so blessed!  But also have the moments of feeling sad for Makayla...I want her to continue to feel so loved and special.  I have fully enjoyed this past one and a half years of us being the three musketeers. 

She is going to be such a great big sister.  She has been so great with her baby doll her, pushes her in the stroller, gives her a bottle, and wraps her in her blankie.  It's fun to watch how she is naturally very motherly.
I know I say this often, but I really enjoy this stage Makayla is at(21 months now).  She has gotten so vocal and is able to express herself so well to us.  She loves to run around the house, dance with her daddy, eat chocolate, and just laugh.  One of my favorite things she is doing now is her "routine" with expressing love to us...we can never just hug or has to be a hug, a kiss, a high-five, and then a fist bump(which she says, "pound it.").  All of those at once!  She also got transitioned into her big girl bed this month.  We had to do it before baby came so that way she didn't get a new sister AND her bed taken away.  She has done great, we've had no issues so far, she continues to sleep through the night and in the morning I can hear her saying..."MOM-eeeeeeee or Daaaaddy!"  She seems to not have figured out that she could get out of bed herself if she wanted :)  But I'm okay with that!

One other update on our life is that Cornell graduated with his Master's in Christian Leadership last month!  I am so proud of him and still have to remind him that he now has 3 degrees! 
Here's Grandma Wick with Makayla at the graduation ceremony...

And Cornell grabbing his degree...

Just a couple pics from our days at home...
Watching Dora and eating "num-nums"(aka M&Ms)

And taking a break from her "bouncy-bouncy."