Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Goodnight

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God's only Son was born, oh Hallelujah 
{A Hallelujah Christmas by Cloverton}

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. I am so thankful for what Christ's birth means and so thankful for family to celebrate with. We have talked a lot about the Christmas story with Cambry this year and she can tell it really well. We need to video her telling the story because it is the cutest thing. She will say "Then the Angel said 'Mary you are going to have a baby.' And Mary said 'I'm too young to have a baby!' They were kinda like teenagers" Then later she will say "Joseph said, 'Inkeeper can I have a hotel room please?' But he said nooooo." I love hearing her tell it. We did our book tradition again this year and that was fun for Cambry to open one each day.

On Christmas Eve Eve my parents came over and we had a nice dinner and opened gifts together. Cambry was so excited about her gifts. We will have to try out her new tricycle soon! 

The next day we loaded up the car and drove to Waco. Cambry and Lainey had so much fun with their cousins. Anderson and Lainey are such a pair. Anderson just loves on her and it is the sweetest thing. Lainey loved Hollyn too and gave her lots of snuggles and hugs. We went to Christmas Eve service and all the kids did surprisingly well.

The Bryants came over on Christmas morning in their jammies after they had their Christmas at home. We let Cambry and Lainey open their stockings and one gift and then saved the rest until the afternoon. Cambry didn't even mind. They just played and had fun and we all had lunch together. Then after naps we opened gifts.

And here is the crazy part. We could not get Cambry to open all her gifts. She was having so much fun with all the toys - and mostly the ones that weren't even hers - that she WOULD NOT stop playing to open her other gifts. And she really didn't even have tons and tons of gifts. We only got her 3 gifts, and she would only open 2. She was in love with the shovel/rake/lawnmower set we got for Anderson and then once Nana and Pops gave Lainey the red wagon there was just no getting Cambry to open anything else.

I did not get a picture with the Bryants because it was taken on their camera!

Even by the end of the night Cambry was still not wanting to open any more gifts. The next day the boys went hunting and Cambry never even mentioned her other gifts. We had a fun day shopping and going to the children's museum. Around 8pm that night after the boys had gotten back we asked Cambry if she wanted to open her big gift. She finally wanted to and was so excited to get a dollhouse from Nana and Pops. 

We headed back to Houston on Saturday and Cambry stayed a few extra days with her Grandparents and cousins. We pick her up tomorrow. I miss her tons but I know she is having SO much fun with them. Isn't motherhood the strangest thing? You think all you want is a break from the responsibility of watching kids, but as soon as you get away from them you miss them so much. However it has been really nice having one-on-one time with Lainey.

We had such a wonderful Christmas. Everything is so much fun with kids. Cute Christmas outfits, seeing Cambry's excitement while opening her stocking, decorating a gingerbread house together, and sitting together at church. I have so much to be thankful for. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lainey 14 Months

I am not going to do updates every month (I didn't do one last month) but I will try to some months. Lainey is working hard to gain new skills. She is crawling all around and now she is pulling up on things. But it gets dangerous because she cannot really get down safely or stay up for long. But she is loving that she can get into everything. And it seems like WHATEVER Cambry is doing, that is what Lainey wants to come over and get. And Lainey loves Cambry's monkeys. Oh goodness. Since Cambry carries it around everywhere Lainey must realize it is a prized possesion and always tries to grab it.

I am trying to teach Lainey the word no. See here she is chewing on the phone charger cord and then smiling at me. If I raise my voice and say it very firm she will stick out her lip and start to cry. It is so pitiful.

I still can't figure out if she has outgrown her milk protein allergy. We tried giving her cows milk a while back but she didn't really like it. We tried giving her some milk based toddler formula and it seemed to make her fussy but I couldn't be 100% sure it was due to the formula. They we tried again a couple times recently and she got fussy and it seemed like she had reflux. So, anyway, we are trying to figure out what to do about that.

She takes 2 naps a day - one around 10ish and the other around 3ish. But every day is different so the times can vary greatly depending on what we have going on that day or the length of her naps. She sleeps well at night and has been great with all our busy evenings with Christmas festivites. 

Love this little one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

3 Year Old Cambry

Our sweet girl turned 3 yesterday! I just love the little girl she has grown into. Looking back through these pictures, I think she changed a lot between 1 year and 18 months. It seems like that was when the jump between baby and toddler happened. Then sometime after that she started turning into a little girl. I of course think she is the most beautiful 3 year old in the whole world. So glad she is ours.


6 months
1 year
18 months
2 years
2 1/2 years
3 years

I am so thankful for the past three years with her. She is such a joy. I am trying to just be thankful and happy instead of sad that she is growing up. Each stage is so fun and as she gets older I get to see more of her personality and they way she thinks. This girl can talk. That's pretty much what she does all day long. She makes me laugh so often with all the things she says. When she watches a show or movie she talks the whole way through asking a million questions trying to understand everything. She always asks me what road we are driving on. I think it is hilarious that she is learning the major freeways in our city. She also will repeat back to me any lessons I teach her as if she is teaching me. She will say things like. "If we tell someone we don't like them would that be nice? Noooo. If we push someone would that be nice? Nooo." I also love to hear her prayers at dinner. They are so sweet and honest. She loves all things princess, especially Frozen and Tangled. She loves little dolls and figurines or anything she can pretend to make into a family. She likes to color with crayons and markers and enjoys playing with play-do. She doesn't go anywhere without her "monkeys" (blanket with monkeys on it)

Please note in her sleeping picture she is holding her monkeys, Anna, and several small figurines in each hand. She likes to bring lots of stuff in the car.

We asked her a few interview type questions on her birthday, and here are her answers.

Favorite color: Pink

Favorite food: Macaroni

Favorite movie: Frozen

Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Tackle him

Favorite thing to do with Mommy: She said wrestle, but we don't really do this. Couldn't really get any other answer from her. She does love for me to "get" her and chase her around the house though.

Favorite thing to do with Lainey: Give her hugs

Favorite toy: First she said her telephone, then crayons, then her minivan

Favorite store: Academy (she loves to look at the bikes)

What do you want to be when you grow up: Rapunzel

Favorite Disney Princess: Anna

Favorite animal: bear

I took the girls to the Children's Museum for her birthday, and then that evening we all went to her favorite place, Sweet Frog (fro yo).

Happy Birthday Cambry Paige!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Jammies and Bedtime Routines

My mom got the girls matching Christmas jammies and they are so cute. I love babies/kids in jammies. Makes me just want to cuddle them.

Lainey always has the BEST hair after bath. It gets kinda wavy and curly. I wish it stayed like that all day. She still usually has a little wave throughout the day but other times it gets pretty straight.

Bedtime routine is pretty simple around here. Usually we just read books. Then we say goodnight and leave the room. Approximately 15-20 seconds after we walk out Cambry starts calling "Moooommmmyyyyy.....Daaaaaaaddddddyyyy" in a sing song voice. We usually wait it out for a while, then go in. She has a variety of excuses she rotates though.

I forgot to give you a hug.

I forgot to give you a kiss.

You forgot to give me a hug.

You forgot to give me a kiss.

My toes aren't covered up.

My blanket is dragging on the ground.

I don't want this doll in here. Put it in the playroom.

I need Anna (or Snow White or Rapunzel etc).

Is it morning time yet?

I need a sip of water. (we keep her water cup 1.5 inches away from her bed)

My nail is coming off.

I need to tell you something.

You get the point. I guess we could just totally ignore her but sometimes I am just so curious to see what her latest excuse is. We have fun taking turns going in there and laughing at all the funny things she says.

A new thing I want to start at bedtime is praying scripture over the girls. At our last Divine Design of the semester we had a mom come and talk to us about how she prays scripture over her kids all the time. She prays a couple verses over them before bed each night and has done it every since they were little. She talked about how they quickly memorized so much scripture this way just by hearing it once every night. She would do the same verse(s) for about a month or so. She suggested Deuteronomy 6:5 as a good verse to start with. I am really excited about this. I am hoping this will encourage me to memorize scripture and maybe Cambry will start picking it up too!

I pray that you, Cambry/Lainey, would "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" Deut 6:5

Thursday, December 11, 2014

4 Types of Santa Pictures

There are 4 types of Santa pictures.

Category 1: The It-Almost-Happened Picture

This is when there is some degree of effort, but it just wasn't quite enough. Maybe you showed up and Santa was on lunch break. Or maybe it was closed for the day. Or maybe you waited in line for 15 minutes not moving and decided it was just not worth it. Basically you end up with no photographic proof of anything happening didn't.

We have fallen in this category before. First attempt 2012.

Category 2: The Can-I-Get-My-Money-Back Picture

You often see those pictures of children sitting on Santa's lap screaming. That is not what I am talking about here. Those are actually so bad they are funny. The screaming/crying pictures are category 3; and while not ideal, they are still better than category 2. What I am talking about here is a step beyond category 1, but the results are not good. Maybe your child is halfway out of the picture. Or maybe your child is mesmerized by the beard and will NOT turn to look at the camera AT ALL. NOT FOR ANYTHING. Only the beard. No amount of name calling and silly noises can take her eyes off the beard. Ok, that is what happened this year.

Clearly, Lainey has never seen a beard of this caliber before. Too bad they don't have a bell or something that they could use to get her attention.



Why do they even have 2 elf helpers if they are not gonna help us with the bell?

Let's move along.

Category 3: The Why-Are-You-Torturing-Me Picture

I think these are so funny. Is that mean? Probably. But when you see a kid with a look of sheer terror on their face due to a jolly, magical character, it is just kinda funny. I am not heartless though. We could have easily fallen into this category this year, but I did not force it. Cause clearly, isn't one of my children missing from the picture above? Yes that would be Cambry who went all stiff-body on us and would not budge once she entered a 6 foot radius of Santa. And I didn't make her. See, aren't I sweet? I actually do not have an awesome examples of pictures to post for this category. The closest I have is our last year picture where Cambry is trying to get away.

Category 4: The Happy-To-Be-Here Picture

This is where the child actually looks happy about sitting on Santa's lap. Or even if there is not a smile, but just cooperation without tears, it still counts. This category makes up the smallest percentage of Santa pictures. And with each additional child you have in the picture, the chances of achieving this category are drastically reduced. We actually fell into this category on attempt #2 in 2012. I am thinking in 2016 we will have a shot at this again. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


This year we spent Thanksgiving with my family here in Houston. We spent the day at my parents' house hanging out and enjoying a yummy meal. We had turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, dressing, candied yams, rolls, and of course limas (I think we may be the only family that does lima beans on holidays?). My Aunt, Uncle, and cousin from Austin came, as well as my sister and her boyfriend from California. (We missed you Kimmels!!) Lainey had a fun time crawling around and getting lots of attention. Cambry loved playing with the nativity, looking at all the decorations and getting lots of attention as well. The girls wore their beautiful Christmas dresses from Gigi and looked so adorable.

I have so many things to be thankful for. I am of course thankful above all for Jesus and his mercy and saving grace. And here are a few things that I am particularly thankful for this year.

Lainey's progress. Whoa. God has certainly answered so many prayers. At one point we thought she had hearing loss when she failed her hearing test at the pediatrician at 6 months. Turns out her hearing is normal. We thought she might not be able to see when she wasn't tracking or really looking when we tried to get her attention. Turns out it was strabismus and surgery went great and now her eyes are doing really well. She is now doing new things all the time. She is crawling like a champ, pulling up to high knees, and is starting to pull up to standing position by herself now. She is so so sweet and adorable.

Cambry's sweet heart. God has given her a special love for her sister. She often wants to play with Lainey and be a little mommy to her. She will sing to Lainey "I'll love you for always" (from the book she loves to read). And she is such a sweet heart in general. I just love her personality and the way she thinks.

Our church community. One of my fears when we started working with youth about 6 years ago was that we would miss out on community. Teaching in the middle school department on Sundays means we don't get to go to a class of our own. I was worried we would miss out on friendships. But I have never felt lacking in this area since we started. In fact, I feel like we have twice the community. We have our wonderful group of bible study friends (as well as other friends from our old Sunday school class)  that we have been with since the beginning of marriage, and we also have wonderful friendships from the other people who serve with the youth department.

Medical care. We have seen a lot of doctors and therapists this past year. We live in one of the best cities and countries for quality medical care. As much as I get annoyed at insurance issues and referrals and tons of phone calls and how the med center is just so hard to get to, those are really first world problems.

Of course I am also thankful for Greg - the best husband and father, both of our families who are always there for us, and many many other things.

A couple days after Thanksgiving we drove down to Brazos Bend State Park for the day. I am not quite ready to try tent camping with the girls yet. Lainey is a bit unpredictable when not in her bed. The park was just under an hour away so a day trip was great. The weather was perfect. We hiked around, had a picnic lunch, and found some playgrounds where Cambry could run around. I would love to get some friends together and go back some time.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kids Love Smiling for Pictures

After our neighborhood Santa pictures did not go well, I tried to get a picture of the kids just by themselves, safely away from the bearded man. Cause we had worked hard getting the cute outfits on with the matching bows. I mean, I had squeezed Lainey into her last year shirt which is size 0-6 months and paired it with some 6 months pants from a valentine outfit and it was actually working and for crying out loud is it too much to ask to get a decent picture? Yes. Too much. Way too much.

Spread the joy y'all. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Family Pictures

I was so excited to get family pictures taken this year! This was the first time we have actually hired a photographer to take our pictures. I love how they turned out. I think we need to make this a yearly thing. I already ordered 2 big canvases from these pictures to hang in our room since our walls are completely bare. Big thanks to Taryn Melgoza Photography for these picture. And here is a little story on how I met her. So several years ago I used to make make cakes as a fun little side hobby. You know, back before I had kids and could spend 18 hours getting the icing just right. Well she heard from our mutual friend Kristen that I made cakes and ordered one. Someone else picked it up so we never actually met. Then she took photos for the very first Houston Moms Blog event last year and we finally met. I started following her photography page and then booked one of her fall mini sessions.