Sunday, December 23, 2012

The best analogy I've heard about God since becoming a parent was recently... and it goes something like this. If God gave us everything we asked for the world would be much worse than it is now. Think of your relationship with God as your relationship with your child. If you gave your child everything he asked for, his teeth would probably have fallen out of his mouth long ago and he would have so many things we wanted, but not much of what he needs. God sees the bigger picture, we can't. Just like, as parents, we see the bigger picture. If we gave our children candy every night their teeth would be rotten and they would be extremely unhealthy. So we force them to eat fruits and vegetables because we know it's good for them. So when God says no to a prayer request, I need to remind myself that He sees the bigger picture and is doing everything for His glory, not my selfish desires.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Layla!!

I cannot believe our little girl is ONE! It's so crazy to me that one whole year has gone by in what seems like an instant. Time needs to seriously SLOW down!! Here's a breakdown of what Layla has been up to recently:

She takes about 7-8 steps... still not full on walking, but she's working on it
She LOVES to mimmick sounds me, Chris and Josiah make. It's pretty awesome
She eats ALL THE TIME! And she lets you know when she's not done eating by the high pitch shriek that comes out of her mouth until the food is on her plate!
She is a  really great napper/sleeper. She naps about 4 hours a day and then sleeps 13 hours... now only if Josiah slept that great, Chris and I would be well rested too
She poses for the camera. She knows she's gorgeous and lets me know it by posing!
Her eyes are to die for! Ten times a day strangers stop me to tell me how beautiful she is and that her eyes are the bluest and most beautiful eyes they've ever seen... no joke
Wherever her big brother is, that's where she wants to be. She adores him, and for the most part, he adores her.
She is a mama's girl. About a month ago she started crying when I left her. Unless she is familiar with the person, she will cry the whole time I'm gone... which is why I no longer can work out at the gym. I get called out every time because she's upset. As soon as I pick her up, she's fine. A little annoying,  but mostly special
She has exactly 4 1/2 teeth. One on top, 3 on bottom. However, she thinks she has a mouth full by the kinds of food she chomps on
She absolutely hates the car. She screams and cries no matter how short of a distance we go. It's not fun whatsoever
She LOVES music! It's awesome! Whenever she hears a beat, not matter what kind, she's dancing to it

Here are some pics that we took of her at her family birthday party we had :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Busy busy summer

How we spent our summer:

 Met cousin Helen at a weekend getaway to Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. It has the most amazing lazy river that connected to an awesome pool with a sand volleyball court. We also rode bikes, ate really yummy food and sipped on some super girly drinks!
 Kissed some random dog... j/k. that's Livey, Uncle Carter and Aunt Elyse's dog that I (Josiah) talk about every single day. No exaggeration.
 Had good quality nap time with daddy.
 Pet some donkeys
 Loved on Livey some more
 Chased squirrels
 Went to San Fran to see Aunt Mindy with my mommy, Bebe and Aunt Judi... it was an awesome girls trip that will hopefully become a yearly thing
 Played in the kiddie pool inside as to avoid West Nile virus
 Swam outside in my super cute bathing suit and enjoyed chewing on keys
 Hugged each other a lot
 Ate people food and started to grow my hair out
 Wrapped myself in a blanket, one of my favorite things to do!
 Documented every restaurant we went to in San Fran (this says Naked Sushi on the chopsticks)
 Read books
Worked on my jump shot!

That was our summer in a nut shell! I will blog again next week after Layla turns ONE!!! I can't believe it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank you, but I didn't ask for your opinion.

We found out Layla was a girl when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Tomorrow she is 10 months old. When people asked us what we were having and we told them a girl, usually the first thing people said was, "well that's great! So you're done having children since you have a boy and a girl, what more could you want". This wasn't typically a question, it was a statement of fact. It used to offend me that people would just assume because we have a girl and a boy that we were done. Many people added to that statement that they think we shouldn't have any more children because why on earth would you want more than 2 children if you already have a boy and a girl?? People still do this today, as I assume they will until I get pregnant again. Some women tell me how lucky I am I don't have to be pregnant again (again, they are assuming we are done having children). This does not offend me anymore because I have learned that people have their own opinions and can think what they want, especially when it comes to children and how you should raise them. For some reason they believe if they tell you their opinion over and over again that it will, too, become your opinion. First let me say, why do people think just because we have a boy and a girl all is right in the world and we are done having children? Has anyone ever thought that having a male and female was not my goal in the first place? Second, why is just having one of each desirable? Am I not, or anyone else who wants children, allowed to want more than 2 children if the first 2 happen to be opposite genders? Second, I am NOT done having children. I want LOTS of children. How many I want to have is none of your business, quite frankly. That is for me and Chris to decide. If you think we should have just 2, then keep that thought to yourself. Yesterday a woman told me that having 3 children is bad because then someone always feels left out. Just go for 2. Why would she assume that I did not come from a family of 3 children? This woman also told Chris that she thinks tattoos are defacing your body after her and him just talked about his tattoo. Let's just say she lacked tact. So, to sum up: 1)we want more than 2 children 2) how many we want is for us to decide and change whenever we want 3) keep your opinions about how many children a couple should have to yourself. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 16, 2012

C-C-Cicada (read like cha-cha-cha-chia)

Growing up I remember hunting for cicada shells, skin, whatever you call it, at night with my dad and brothers. I used to love doing that. Every year summer rolled around and I heard the sound of cicadas I would instantly be happy because I was reminded of my fun "cicada night hunts". However, because of the cicada swarm of 2011 in Nashville I hate the sound of cicadas. I am not joking or exaggerating when I say that there were hundreds of thousands of cicadas flying around town last summer for 2 full weeks. I hated leaving the house. I lost count at how many times I got pelted in the head or face by a stupid cicada. The worst part was they screamed when they hit you. It was horrifying. And I was 7.5 months pregnant back then, so trying to speed walk from my car to the door with a 1.5 year old was hilarious. Just to creep you out, here's a picture of a tree during those 2 weeks.

Terrifying, right? That's how every tree looked. Gross. So this summer when the cicadas starting singing, I immediately got shivers down my spine. The fond memories that used to flood my mind were no longer even a distant thought... all I could picture was what those trees looked like and the sound they made when they hit you. Yesterday afternoon when my little family was coming inside from a walk, Chris spotted a cicada coming out of it's skin. He pointed it out to Josiah and all Josiah wanted to do was touch it. He kept saying "touch it, touch it, touch it". I quickly peaced out with Layla. I was coming down the stairs after I had put her down for a nap and Chris said "Josiah has something for you mommy." I thought that he had taken the live cicada and wanted to show it to me. I started to freak out, but Chris assured me it was just the skin. Josiah had it on his shoulder (something I used to do and thought was hilarious). Chris then told me that Josiah touched the cicada over and over again, and then he showed me this:

Hopefully, next summer, I won't be horrified at the thought of cicadas and I can enjoy hunting cicada skins at night with my little bug man.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Norman, OK

This past weekend my little family drove up to Norman, OK to visit my brother and his family. It was such an awesome time together!! We got there Friday night at 8pm, just in time to put Layla down and eat some of their dinner. The kids played outside for over an hour since it doesn't get dark until well after 9pm. They had a blast together. Matthew and Naomi's house is gorgeous and their back yard is gigantic. They had a see-saw, a sand box, SEVERAL riding toys, a play house, you name it, they had it. Josiah was in heaven! Our outside toy collection is not one to be desired, but that will definitely change when we get our own place. Our house in Nashville didn't have a fence, as most didn't, and I was uncomfortable playing in the backyard where everyone could see us, not to mention we lived on one of the two main streets in our subdivision. Anyways, Saturday we all got up early and went to the donut store. Josiah just likes to suck the chocolate and sprinkles off the donuts, which I completely understand. Why waste room in your tummy for the actual donut? The rest of the day was spent playing outside on their enormous water slide. And I say enormous. So big that I even could climb up it, about 5 feet, and slide down it into a little pool area. I should have taken pictures, but I didn't want to ruin my camera or phone because the kids were splashing and throwing water every which way possible. Chris was an amazing brother-in-law and re-landscaped their front yard. He spent the entire day doing it. And he asked his loving wife to spray him with sunscreen and I apparently did a horrible job because his back is the color of blood. Ouch. We also went to their community pool and cooled off from being outside, then came home, ordered pizza and put the kids to bed (as you can read, it was a very healthy weekend). We left Sunday morning as the Reyes's headed off to church. I love my niece and nephews so much. And my brother, Matthew, who did I mention is a professor at OU (proud sister), and Naomi were gracious hosts, and I love them very much as well. I am so thankful that they are just a 3 hour car ride away, instead of a 3 hour plane ride. I am very blessed.

 Robby and Layla were already in bed when we took this picture.
 Josiah is completely in love with his cousin Abby
 Josiah and Jacob racing cars before we left

 My mom made Layla this dress and Abby this shirt. So stinking cute!!
Beautiful little girls!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A few pictures

Most of the pictures I take are on my phone and I haven't downloaded them yet, but I will because there are some good ones on there! Here are a few from my actual camera.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life lately

Life has been absolutely WONDERFUL lately! Dallas has been so good to us. Like I mentioned before, the kids and I have play dates at least once a week and I try and see a friend sans kids every other week. We have been to the pool several times already in the past 2 weeks, and I foresee pool time becoming a twice weekly occurrence. Chris and I are able to go on dates at least twice a month and we are also going on double, sometimes triple dates with our friends. In fact, last night we went to the Rough Riders game with our dear, awesome friends, the Bucheks. There are some people that I thought for sure I would have seen by now, but haven't, and some people who I didn't expect to see, but have. It's been really fun catching up on people's lives and seeing how different our relationships with our friends are now that we, and them, have children. Nashville is slowly becoming a distant memory, and for that I'm thankful. And for those of you who will read that sentence and judge me because I had 2 children there and got to experience life away from home with just the hubs, for that I am  thankful , but glad it's a memory now and not in my present or future (Although I wish we could have taken the Hermans to Dallas with us).
Josiah and Layla do new things every day. Layla started crawling the day I started potty training Josiah (right at 8 months for her), which that right there shows that God DOES have a sense of humor (less I remind you that He chose to make farts have a noise, because he could have made them silent, but that's another topic all on its own). The day after she started crawling she decided to pull up on any and all objects. She thinks she can walk, so if she has to get somewhere she half crawls, half walks. I walked at 9 months, so Layla might follow in my path and be an early walker (again, God's sense of humor is coming out). She talks now, blows raspberries, laughs hysterically at her brother, smiles whenever Josiah is in the room and actually lets her play with him, is becoming extremely independent, throws fits when i take away my keys from her, cries when I leave her (which I LOVE because I know she loves and misses me too!), smiles at strangers... the list goes on and on. Whenever I go out with just me and the kids I get stopped at least three times from strangers telling me how beautiful Layla is and asking me where she gets her eye color (for the record, my mother-in-law, mother, grandmother, aunt, niece and nephews ALL have blue eyes). Yesterday someone told me that I win the award for having the most beautiful children they've ever seen. I choose to believe I am the first person he has ever said this to :)
Josiah is just as awesome, if not awesomer than ever. He talks all the time now. I understand about 95% of what he says, but most people probably only understand 50%. He LOVES being outside, swimming, playing catch, kicking the soccer ball around, making car sounds, hugging his little sister (he even has a baby voice he does for her), his mama, watching movies, riding toy motorcycles, Porter Pace and Brody Buchek. He talks about his Uncle Car Car (Carter) ALL THE TIME! Whenever someone calls me he immediately says "Car Car", then is slightly disappointed when I tell him no. He loves petting animals, being the LIFE of the party, meeting new people, eating chocolate, and reading books at bedtime with mommy. He also has started saying stop it, go away, and EVER (like don't you EVER do that). Those are the only mean things he says, and we are trying to teach him that they aren't nice and are disrespectful. He does take care of his mommy though. Whenever he thinks I'm hurt he will rush to my side, hug me and stroke my face until he knows I'm okay. He finally lets Layla play with him and it brings me such joy to see this. That's the main reason we decided to have children so close in age because we knew he needed a playmate.
Being around family has been so incredible. Chris's parents see the kids everyday (because we live with them) and my parents get to see them often as well. My Aunt Judi gets to see them too because we work together, and she babysat last night while we went to the baseball game. Uncle Scotty lives close by so we have him over for dinner every once in a while. Me and Layla are flying out to San Francisco to visit Aunt Mindy in August with my mom and aunt. We are going to Norman to visit my older brother, Matthew, and his family next weekend and will go down to Austin next month to see Chris's sister, Elyse, and her husband, Carter.
I absolutely love my 3 days at home alone with them and am so thankful Chris lets me do that. I can't wait to celebrate him this Sunday on Father's Day. I know how blessed I am and do not take my life for granted. Pictures to come...

Potty Training

To anyone out there who has ever potty trained their child/children I am VERY proud of you. It takes patience, dedication, consistency, patience, love, and did I mention patience? I followed the 3 Day Potty Training e-book to the letter. I wanted to start when Josiah was 22 months old, which the book recommends, but decided to wait until after we moved back to Texas because I thought that might be too many transitions at once. So I waited until he was 27 months old (we moved back just before he turned 2). Several people gave me their unwanted advice and told me that I was crazy for doing it this early and that it wasn't going to work and why did I want to get him out of diapers so soon (seriously, that was a question??). I would say most were not supportive of my decision to potty train at 27 months, but my mom, dad and Chris were behind me 100% and that is what I needed. I needed support so that I would be encouraged too. It's hard work for the child, but equally as hard, in my opinion, for the person doing the training. We were staying at my parents house while we were potty training, so it was important that my parents were behind my decision. And like I said, I would have started potty training at 22 months if we weren't moving back to Texas one month later.
I did exactly what the book is titled, potty trained Josiah in 3 days. I literally did not leave his side, except for his naps and bedtime, for 3 full days. I was actually looking forward to spending 3 full days with Josiah. Chris and my mother took care of Layla so I could focus all my attention on Josiah. The first day he LOVED having me by his side all day long. The second day he LIKED it and the third day he was about done with me, I'm sure wondering why I was being so annoying. But we stuck to the book's rules and by the end of the third day, he was fully potty trained. He got MANY rewards. Dump trucks, fire trucks, trains, cars, stickers, you name it, he got it. But hey, rewards/bribes worked! I was/am so proud of him and still can't believe he is wearing big boy underwear. My little baby is growing up too fast! So, if you're thinking that you can't potty train your child, I am here to tell you that you CAN! If I can, anyone can.


Chris said the most hilarious thing last night when we were driving home from a Rough Riders game. "I regret not wearing socks... why are they so embarrassing?" This might not sound hilarious to you, but let me tell you, I laughed for a good minute at this comment. He's so right! Why are socks so embarrassing? I remember when I was in junior high AND high school we would wear socks that were to mid calf with shorts and be proud of it. Everyone was doing it. Then one day, overnight it seems, it was the very uncool thing to do. Now if even a little of someone's sock shows I think "nerd". Really, Kristine?? Shameful, but true! And the thing of it is, MOST socks show with shoes. There are very few stores that sell "hidden socks", and the ones that do you have to make a special trip to. They don't sell them at Target or most department stores. Why can't we go back to a world where showing your socks was cool? Chris said he will be glad when he reaches 40 and it will be okay for his socks to show because all dads are sock show-ers over the age of 40. Hopefully I can be comfortable wearing converse with my shorts, having a little tiny bit of my socks show. I can dream. I am thankful for posts like these because right now, this is one of my biggest problems.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm copying this word for word from a mother who I would really like to meet

If you watch the trends of media, whether it be print, internet, or TV, you've probably noticed that every couple of months there is a new version of the "mommy wars" being played out. Last month's battle du jour was surrounding moms who work vs. moms who stay at home. Now, a firestorm has ignited over a provocative photo and article in TIME magazine about extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting. These manufactured mommy wars are predictable because they tend to provoke strong reactions from mothers who feel judged, as well as mothers who want to feel superior for their choices. A litany of analysis, outrage and defensiveness usually follows. Women tear each other down, while the entity responsible for initiating the battle reaps the benefit (whether it be a hot debate on a talk show or a political playing card). The insecurities of women surrounding their parenting choices are frequently pawns in the ratings game, and I think the most recent TIME magazine article and photo of a preschooler breastfeeding are intended to incite such a reaction.
I don't much care if you breastfed your kid until they started kindergarten or if you fed them formula from day one. I don't really care if you turned your infant car seat forward-facing prior to age 2, or if you homeschool, or if you send your kids to daycare while you go to work. Do you cosleep? Did you circumcise your son? I DON'T CARE. Do you "babywear"? Push your kid around in a stroller? Use a leash for your kid at Disneyland? Whatever. Good for you.
When it comes to issues of motherhood, there is one issue I care about: some kids don't have one. All of these petty wars about the choices of capable, loving mothers is just a lot of white noise to me, Quite honestly, I'm often astonished at the non-essential parenting issues I see moms getting upset about. Particularly when there are so many kids in this world not being parented at all.
This is the only mommy war I'll wage. I'm confident that most mothers are doing the best that they can for their kids, even if their choices are different than mine. I think it's ridiculous that so much energy is spent on debating largely inconsequential parenting decisions when so very little attention is given to the children who DON'T HAVE PARENTS. Why isn't this causing outrage? Making magazine covers? Inciting ranty twitter posts?
This is the war I'll be involved in: We, as a society, are not doing enough to protect at-risk and motherless children, both in our country and globally.
(Because apparently we're too busy worrying about that kid whose mom gave him formula.)
The kind of war I'll get behind will advocate for kids with bigger issues than a mom who goes to work. Or doesn't.
I'll get upset about the fact that LA County's family court system is so atrocious that they recently allowed press into court hearings for minors, in the hopes that this might finally provide some accountability for social workers who aren't doing their job. Let me repeat that: social workers are so understaffed and/or screwing up so badly that reporters are allowed into confidential court proceedings in the hopes that it will shape them up.
I'll be disturbed by the 18-year-olds I regularly see on adoption photolistings who, despite being old enough to live independently, place themselves on national photolistings because they desperately want a mom and a dad in their adult life. Because, in one teen's words, he "wants to become a member of a permanent family".
I'll whine about how, when we called our Christian agency about a healthy African-American boy from LA county who was in need of a home, we were told that they had no prospective adoptive parents willing to accept a placement of a black child. NOT ONE.
I'll get upset about a system that requires foster children to be placed in an adoptive home for 6 months before terminating parental rights, regardless of an absence of reunification efforts by the birth parents. I'll be angry about how this scares away prospective adoptive parents, and hurts children by leaving them in a limbo even after years of no contact or even abandonment by their birth family. I'll rant about how children whose parents have failed them should be made legally freed for adoption AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, so that more people would be willing to step forward and adopt.
I'll get behind complaining about how the government renames orphans and calls them "wards of the state" and renames orphanages and calls them "group homes", and how we collectively turn a blind eye to the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of children waiting for families in the US.
I'll be appalled over how many children around the world will age out of orphanages due to lack of paperwork or other factors that make them ineligible for adoption. I'll continue posting about the deplorable conditions of third world orphanages and the developmental challenges that neglected children will face.
I'll fight for the moms who don't have access to prenatal care, or for the moms who have to abandon their children because of poverty. I'll be mad that such inequities exist, and I'll support organizations that help change it.
The only mommy war I support involves moms banding together to talk about the number of children in our world who are missing out on basic human needs. Security. Love. Affection. Let's wage a war about that. Not everyone can adopt, but we can all do something. Even if it's just using our voices for something more productive than personal parenting choices.
Let's stop quibbling about what competent mothers are choosing for their kids, and step it up for the kids that don't have one.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I will thank the Lord everyday for these two beautiful faces. They are perfect and made in His image. I do not know what I did to deserve such wonderful children, but I will never cease in giving thanks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


That's right, I'm blogging about my hair today. I hate my hair as much as the next person, and lately I hate it even more. It's really long, and I want it to get longer, but I never know what to do with it. If I wear it down I don't have time to blow dry it... takes at least 20 minutes, and who has an extra 20 minutes to get ready in the morning when you are still nursing your baby? Maybe I could nurse while blow-drying? That wouldn't work. Or at least Layla would hate it. Also, Layla loves to grab it and keeps a death grip on it. I also hate it in a pony tale because of all my stupid fly-aways. My least favorite hair cut on me is just above my shoulders. I would go really short, like chin length, but my face is still fat from carrying 2 children for 9 months, and I don't foresee it ever getting thinner. What to do, what to do... suggestions?

And yes, I realize this is a VERY vain post. Deal with it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Josiah turned 2!

He officially entered his toddler years on February 19. I can't believe it! Where has the time gone? It's true what they say... the days are long, but the years are short. I wish Josiah would still let me hold him like a baby. Whenever I try he gets mad. I don't blame him. It has to be uncomfortable for his big body to be cradled in my arms. It usually lasts 3 whole seconds. I'll take it!
For his birthday my ENTIRE family came in town... the Oklahoma Reyes' and Mindy flew in from San Francisco! Maybe not just for Josiah's bday, but hey. Aunt LeeLee and Uncle Carter drove up from Austin too! It was so special! I love having my WHOLE family in one room. Something I will NEVER take for granted!

 My immediate family. LOVE them!
 Opening some presents. Jacob is helping.
 He sure does love Mater!
 2 years old!

 Look at that face! So handsome!
 Getting his chocolate cake on. I let all the kids put icing and sprinkles on their cupcakes. It was messy, but fun!

 A little bit of silly string to liven the party up. Josiah follows his cousin Abby around like a puppy dog. Several times a day he will ask where she is.
 Jacob and BeBe stringing some peeps.

 Slippery bubbles!
 Oh, and have I mentioned how much Josiah loves his uncle Carter??
Happy Birthday sweet little boy!