Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A few days before Thanksgiving

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I took the boys to see my brother and his family in Portland, Oregon. On the way there, Jack was totally entertained by the things we brought for him to play with and watch and Luke was quite content to be held and sleep the entire 3.5 hours! Such angels!

Here are some videos of our time there. We did fun things like the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), the Portland Children's Museum and World Forestry Center. We also hung around the house and played and slept.

At home





At the Children's Museum






At the World Forestry Center


One of the funnest things ever is that my big brother has a baby three days younger than our sweet baby, Luke. My SIL had a photographer come to take their family pics while we were there and one of the special pics she had done was of the sweet baby cousins. Here you can see how close they are in age and size. So so so fun!




Our flight home wasn't quite as successful as I'd hoped it would be. Jack and I both fell asleep right at take off and slept for some time (not sure how long). but then we both woke up. And for the next hour or so, poor, sweet Jack struggled and struggled mightily to get comfy in that huge airplane seat without much luck. Had I been able to hold him, I think we could have succeeded in getting him back to sleep quickly. But because I had to hold Luke, I couldn't hold the big boy. So finally we all quite trying to get him comfy and whatdya know? He fell back to sleep for the remainder of the trip. So while it wasn't a total success he did get some sleep.

At landing, we parked at terminal E...which was unfortunate because we took out of (and parked at) terminal C. So, we had to walk a bit to get our luggage and make it to the van.

One other bit of trouble we had was that the parking garages aren't color coded correctly. Inside the terminal, the garage we needed had a yellow sign...when in fact it was the BROWN garage. That made finding our van a bit of a challenge which was unfortunate b/c I was wearing Luke in front, the backpack on my back, pushing Jack in the stroller and pulling a piece of luggage with the car seats on top. It was needless to say a bit of a challenge. But we found the van eventually and were outta there.

Luke, who'd slept since about 10:30 p.m. Portland time, was RAVENOUS at 7:00 Houston time, so we had to stop at McDees for breakfast. Then it was on to Samantha's school so we could see her before her day (and Michael's day) began.

The boys and I finally made it home about 8 am and I began the task of furiously cleaning the house. Michael had done a great job of picking up, but it needed "cleaning" in the worst way. Michael arrived with his parents about 5 o'clock and I'd done about 85% of the cleaning so we left it at that.

It was a SUPER trip to visit my brother and I was sooo proud of my boys. Jack certainly enjoyed his first plane ride and I enjoyed giving him that experience.

BTW, one video I unfortunately neglected on my Thanksgiving post was Luke talking to his PawPaw. Priceless...



Up next...Ice skating.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Going backwards

Well, it seems I'm behind again on my blogging. So, in stead of trying to catch you up in order, I'm gonna work backwards.

Michael's parents came from Kansas for Thanksgiving. They arrived in Houston the same day I returned from my trip to Portland (next blog post). We had a great time together cooking, watching movies and playing with the kids.

My part of the cooking included the turkey and ham, bread, tea and pies (chocolate, pumpkin) and pumpkin cheesecake, Michael's only request.

We had guests from church who didn't have any family close and one of Michael's co-workers from India. He hasn't been home since Julyish 2008. It felt good to share our home and family with him.

Enjoy...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Luke speaks and Jack spells

I was lucky enough to catch some of Luke's very earliest purposeful talking. So sweet.


Jack spells something...not sure what, but he'll come up and say, "Mommy, what does this spell?" and then proceed to string a bunch of random letters together. Thought maybe some of you brilliant people can figure it out.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

An update on everyone

Starting with the youngest to the oldest...

Luke



I hope I don't look as tired in real life as I do in this picture!!


Luke enjoys the wrap as much as I enjoy wearing him around.


Jack
Jack and I found this cool praying mantis yesterday at my mom's house!! He's pretty cool!


My boy loooves him some scooter!


Samantha
She had the day off from school on Monday Sept 28th so we headed to the zoo with some friends. It was NOT fall weather like the previous week...definitely still summer. :( Notice Luke...that's all he did at the zoo! Notice on the carousel and in the praire dog tunnels that it's not my kids waving at me...they didn't even notice I was there. Thank goodness for our friend (also named Luke) who WAS paying attention!



In other news, Samantha got her first babysitting gig this week. She watched Luke on the bed while I dried my hair. She rocked it! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

his video debut

I got a COOL Flip camera as a gift from my hubby when Luke was born, and it's so easy to take and upload video with this little contraption that I'm hoping it will make posting videos so easy I have no excuses.

Here's one of the first that we've taken...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another update

Update:

We have the MOST wonderful practice of pediatricians in the world. I just received (within 10 minutes of each other) calls from both our regular pediatrician (who we didn't get to see on Monday and who has today OFF) and the pediatrician that we did see. They both had questions that I couldn't answer, so I will call back on one of them and our regular doctor (Dr. L) will have a conversation with Dr. G about his questions.

I feel VERY blessed to be in Houston where there is so much technology available to us and where we have so many truly caring doctors.

------------------------

We had Jack's hip aspirated this morning and it turns out that there was hardly enough fluid to actually aspirate. But what fluid he did get, he's 99.99% sure is NOT infected. They're doing a culture just to be safe.

So, the next step is a perthes test in a "couple of months"...the thing the orthopedist doesn't know is that we've met our deductible this year! We'll be back sooner rather than later!! :)

The waking up was the hardest part. He wanted that IV OUT NOW!! Eventually we were able to get through to him and he drank his sprite and peed and then they took that darn IV out and we were out the door in less than 5 minutes. It was none too soon for Mommy and Daddy.

I have to say that I couldn't have done it without my Michael. He's been my strength and my equal partner in all of this. I'm soooo thankful for you, Michael and wouldn't want to go through this parenting roller coaster with anyone else! *smooch*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jack update

Found out this morning that there is "non-specific fluid" on his hip. Will have it aspirated tomorrow morning. Should be interesting.

He's able to walk around (on his tip toes) but we're trying to keep him still...wish us luck. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Catching up

Just so you know, I had Baby Luke 9 days ago! He's beautiful and perfect and wonderful...in every single way! I hope to have time this week to write down the details for posterity's sake. But not tonight.

Today we took Jack to the doctor only to return with no answers. He's been complaining of his right hip hurting for weeks. Being the "tough" parents that we are, we've been compassionate but not overly pro-active about his pain because it hasn't really slowed him down at all. Until this morning...when Michael found him crying on the floor of his room unable to walk. We decided to go to the pediatrician and as soon as I could pull myself outta bed (it wasn't Lukie's best night), I made the appointment. At the doctor's office, you could definitely tell there was a problem so the pedi diagnosised it as "Irritable Hip Syndrome" and made an appointment for us with the best pediatric orthopedist in Houston. They also did some blood work on him and diagnosised that he has a virus. We went to see the orthopedist and they did x-rays that are NORMAL thank goodness. The plan was for us to also have an ultrasound to determine if there's fluid on his hip, but the US tech was gone for the day so we'll do that tomorrow.

If you heard me say today that Jack has Synovitis, please excuse the misdiagnosis. I was under the impression that the hip pain + virus = infection in the hip. But that doesn't seem to be the case. If there is fluid on his hip, they'll do an asperation of it, which means no food after 1 AM tomorrow morning.

If there is no fluid, we're kinda back to the drawing board for a reason for his pain. Thankfully, the orthopedist seems to be interested in really finding out what's going on.

We'll keep you updated...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Building my confidence

I'm not sure how I got here, but I realized tonight that I'm quite scared about this labor and about being able to manage three beautiful children. It wouldn't surprise me at all to one day to hear God say, "Dear One, I kept sending you into labor, but you weren't ready."

I think there was a time in my life where there was no doubt in my mind that I could deliver this baby the way I want, the way I know I'm capable of doing. But maybe it was the concern over the oldest two and my ability to get them safely to someone who could care for them in my absence, or maybe it was concern over whether Michael could get to me quickly enough. Or maybe it was my concern over getting EVERYTHING ready prior to his arrival. Maybe it's my concern about being able to continue the norms of the older two while nurturing the precious babe that's in my womb. Maybe it wasn't of those things, maybe it's been all of it that has undermined confidence.

Whatever "it" is, I'm releasing it tonight. I am SURROUNDED by my Creator: the ONE who supplies strength in my times of weakness, the ONE who provides comfort in my time of discomfort, the ONE who provides love in my times of loneliness. He does this miraculously by surrounding me with friends and family that WANT desperately to pitch in and help, and by giving me the most wonderful life partner in the world, who wants nothing more than to see me succeed and will bend over backwards to make that happen.

So baby Luke, precious one, Mama's heart is now ready for you to come. I've had all the physical "stuff" ready for at least a month now, but now the real transition has happened...my heart is surrendered to the fact that I can't and won't do all of this myself. But don't you worry, everything's gonna be fine, dear one. Our Heavenly Father is holding us both in his hands and won't let either one of us fall out of his reach.

A labor update
Yesterday I went in for my weekly checkup and when asked the question: "Is the baby moving well?" I honestly answered "No." I hadn't felt him move in about 15 hours. So, they put me on the baby monitor and monitored his heart beat. At one point during a contraction his heart beat dipped a bit. Then they did a measurement of my amniotic fluid and it was at the cutoff mark for being "OK". So, between those three things the midwives sent me to the hospital to be induced as I was 40 weeks on Wednesday. This was certainly NOT my #1 choice for a labor plan, but Luke's safety comes first, obviously. But by the time I got into a L&D room I'd been having fairly regular contractions for 2 hours, so not only was there no need to induce me it was too late...we all thought I was in labor. YEAH! BUT by 8:30 last night the contractions had virtually stopped.

We decided at that point to do a 1L saline drip to maybe bolster the amniotic fluid in hopes that I could go home today to rest and maybe go into labor again on my own. This morning they did an additional monitoring of his health called a biophysical profile (BPP). It includes measuring the AF (it was up to 5.6...not all that much of a bump since they had given me another 1L bag of saline this morning), and measuring his "reflexive" movements (purposeful movements: open and closing his hands, flexing his neck, kicking, etc) and "fetal breathing" which is where he "practices" breathing...this was amazing to see is ribs expand and contract.

Since he passed the non-stress test (all the heart rate monitoring) and the BPP, and with my promise that I will rest from now on, and that I wouldn't hesitate to come back if I "think" I might be in labor and with an appointment to come back in Saturday morning for another non-stress test, they let me come home this morning. There are more plans for me over the weekend, but they're all assuming that things don't progress into labor on my own. So, for now, we'll take in one step at a time.

Speaking of my first promise, I'm off to lay down. I think that catches you all up on where we are.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A picture post to rival AJ

Wellllll, probably not really quite enough to rival AJ, but...

My birthday pics:






Me snuggling with Z:

Our friends held a baby blessing for Luke, instead of the congregational baby shower that would have been WAY over the top for a third baby. It included our closest friends and was a TON of fun!!!








My three friends who threw the fabulous blessing:

Michael's birthday:


And finally, re-decorated children's rooms:




Samantha has had no problem filling the places Luke is currently leaving blank with her own babies



And finally, my belly as of Aug 17, 2009:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Random tidbits

Well, here we are still waiting for Baby Luke. He's thrown us all for a loop, since neither of the other two children have waited this long to come. Part of me is glad he's staying so snuggly, because it's really giving us an opportunity to get into a good routine of helping and participating in the necessary morning and evening activities for the older ones. Samantha is now in charge of picking and packing her "ancillary" lunch items the night BEFORE, and both kids set out clothes for in the morning. It's also given us the chance to set a breakfast and lunch schedule, so there's VERY LITTLE thinking that has to occur in the morning...just lots of routine!

On the other hand, I kinda had my heart set on already seeing his sweet baby boy face by now! As I always say: nothing before it's time, nothing before it's time.

Yesterday at my 39 week appointment, we noticed that my blood pressure seems to be creeping up. The midwife began to talk around bed rest, and I just pretty much stopped her in her tracks and said, "At 39 weeks, I am NOT going on bed rest. We just need to figure out how to get this baby here." She agreed and that was the last I heard of that.

We also had a discussion about being induced, and in general I am opposed to messing with the labor process. I truly believe that God created our female bodies for this beautiful act of love and nurturing, and for the most part, it needs to be allowed to do it's thing. But because of convenience we've been suckered into a series of procedures that ramp up the scariness and difficulty of the natural process. Don't get me wrong, I'm VERY thankful for science and technology and current medical knowledge as it's saved my life (and my baby's) at least once already. And in that vein, if they determine that amniotic fluid is deteriorating (via ultrasound), I'll have no other choice than to be induced. All it may take is breaking my water, or it may take some other medical intervention, but we'll cross that bridge after Sept 2 (unless my BP becomes a problem).

FOOD
One fun thing that I've been doing this summer is cooking and baking...a LOT! I've made fresh blueberry muffins, oatmeal chocolate chip muffins, orange muffins (with icing...that made Samantha gag--WHATEVER!) and this morning for the first time, we made cinnamon rolls (outta the can, sorry to disappoint) for breakfast. Sometimes cooking supper is so mundane and boring but somehow it hasn't been that bad recently. Michael seems to have a penciled in grilling night on Wednesday so that helps and I've been trying to buy enough that we have at least one night of leftovers from each meal that I prepare which really helps. In that vein, I've got three meals (with leftovers) prepped and frozen so that when Luke FINALLY arrives, we've got some of our favorites already bought and fixed. Yeah!

READING
I've been reading some this summer, too. The two series that I've read almost completely are Francine River's Lineage of Grace Series (I have yet to read Unshaken about Ruth as I can't find it in our library system) and Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. VERY different books, but all have VERY strong women...which you'll be surprised to know, appeals to me! :)

I had intended to post pics on this update, but I'm having technical difficulties. I'll try again later!

Monday, July 20, 2009

My kids say the funniest things!

Today on the way home from the grocery store, Jack says, "Wow! That hellercopter is SOO Coooool!" ... "Except it doesn't have any hellers!"

I have absolutely no idea what he was talking about, I just LOVED his expression and the pronunciation. This is one funny kid!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Recent videos from our summer

My wonderful SIL inspired me to buy a Slip-n-slide for our family. And all I can say for the performance of my children is that in other areas of life they TRULY excel. Prowess on the Slip-n-slide though seems to be a bit lacking:



And finally tonight we had our bunk beds delivered and installed. Here's the kiddos headed to the top bunk for the first time...



And finally this is just a fun little clip from a family owned and operated ice creamery here in our neighborhood. They send a free ice cream coupon in the month of your birthday and since June is Jack's birthday we went on the 30th to redeem our treasure. The place is called Moo Hive Honey Ice Cream and in the bathroom is a glow in the dark bee hive with sound effects. As you can imagine, it is the kids favorite part.



And just as good as that is eating your "Fire Ant" ice cream and getting to make faces at yourself! Notice the princess all dressed up in her lime green boa.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My favorite song

This song really speaks to me right now. It is both a promise and a warning not to waste the few precious months that Lukie is completely dependent on me. I can't wait for my little one to arrive and although we've done NOTHING to physically prep for this new one, there's so much love and tenderness built up inside me, he'll be welcome anytime he decides to come (although no one wants him here for another 8 weeks :) ).


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Animal cookies according to Jack

Mother's Animal Cookies


Father's Animal Cookies

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jack's Little Gym Show

Sorry it's taken so long to get this posted, but I had trouble uploading it and then got distracted. Better late than never, right??

Jack's Birthday video and pictures

Sweet boy Jack turned turned FOUR this past Sunday. It's amazing to me because I totally remember being awakened by Michael's phone call and promptly realizing I was in heavy labor JUST LIKE it was yesterday. Except that it wasn't yesterday, it apparently was FOUR years ago!!

To celebrate we had our Life Group from church over since the kids from that group are fairly close in age and relationship. Michael grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and I baked the cake. We blew up our pool and the kids swam most of the evening and when they weren't swimming they were making a mess with bubbles...talk about cheap entertainment!!!

We had such a fun evening together with our friends. We had several comments the day after about what a "FUN" evening it was to be together.

Without further ado, pictures:
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My Lightening McQueen masterpiece:
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The kids eating:
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His new Lightening McQueen "tractor tipping" launcher toy:
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Another McQueen launcher:
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Jack receiving his Leapster 2 from RoRo and PawPaw and a game from Samantha:


Jack's big gift:
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Jack finding his big gift:


Jack driving his truck:


It was a VERY busy day for this pregnant mama, but it was sooo worth it to see our boy so happy and growing up surrounded by so many friends. We thank God for your noisy, crazy little boy self everyday, Jack Wilson. Thanks for being a super boy!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Some videos for your viewing pleasure

In kinda random order, I'll post some videos that we've taken of the children's performances over the past month.

Samantha's Little Gym Show -- May 28th
This was the last day of school, which required that we spend two hours outside prior to her show...which didn't lead to our best performance, but seriously she's six so we're just glad she hung in there and cooperated.

video

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Our first swim of Summer 2009

We had our first swim of the summer today at our local YMCA. They've installed a new "family rec pool" that's about 3.5 feet deep everywhere, except under the slide which brings me to my story. Jack (remember he's only 3) WANTED to do the slide BAD! So, I ask the lifegaurd what the rules on the slide are. To which she replied: just pass the swim test (swim the length of the lap pool without touching the side or the bottom). Okey dokey. I explained this to Jack and he, in his three year old boy way, started rambling on about something else. So, I said, "Son, let me show you what they are talking about and we'll practice." So, we leave the rec pool to go the the lap pool. We get in a lane and this dude swims the entire length of the pool for practice, TWICE.

Finally, the time arrives to actually take the swim test and he does it AGAIN, no problem. A little tired, but he passed. He gets out of the pool and we wait in the line for the wrist band only to be told at that point that he's not tall enough for the slide. WHAT!!!!!????? I had a discussion with them (the life gaurd I had originally spoken to was there and I addressed her) and told them what the life gaurd had JUST told me and they were moderately apologetic. Michael had met up with us at this point and I sent HIM to talk to them, to no avail. The explalantion they gave him was that the slide manufacturer had REALLY emphasized the height rule recently (because they'd been letting kids go in previous years who weren't tall enough...Hello, Samantha!) that littlier kids can get thrown out of the slide because they don't weigh enough.

I was okay with that explanation b/c I really didn't want him to get hurt, but I wasn't very happy with the gaurd that told us otherwise. Michael suggested that they measure kid's heights PRIOR to the swim test so that the kid will know whether they're tall enough or not. DUH!!

Jack cried, I WANTED to cry, but we all got over it, thankfully, and had a super fun time at the Y. We ended at the perfect time because no one cried over leaving...they were as tired and hungry as we were!

And we all now know that Jack's as good of a swimmer as his sister...he just lacks a bit of the focus during class. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A conversation with Jack

Yesterday afternoon:

Jack: I'm going to wash my hands (he'd been playing in the sand) and go poo poo.
Me: Okey-doke.

minutes later, he comes back in from outside
Jack: I'm going to wash my hands.
Me: ...and go poo poo?
Jack: No, it drained.
Me: Drained? Did you go poo poo in your underwear?
Jack, very annoyed with me for asking such an intrusive and belittling question: NO!
Me: Well, then where did your poo-poo drain?
Jack: There's poo-poo in the sandbox.
Me: You poo-pooed in the sandbox?
Jack: NO! The dogs did it.
Me: So, where's your poo-poo?
Jack, very matter of factly and non-chalantly: It drained.
Me: So, you don't need to go anymore?
Jack: Nope!
Me: Okey-doke.

Who knew that "drained" meant the feeling passed? Obviously not me! Kids are weird!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pepperoni rolls

Michael clued me into one of his Internet friends, Debby, a long-while back. A short-while back, Debby posted about making pepperoni rolls (she even gave a pictorial tutorial here), a comfort food in their family. Loving my husband like I do and loving our Bible class like I do, I took it upon myself to bake pepperoni rolls for breakfast tomorrow. Here are the before pics (I'm hoping that they're rising like Debby says they will):





I have no idea if I did them right. But it's bread dough wrapped around pepperoni and mozzarella, so really, how bad could they be, right!?

Happy Easter, everyone. We are blessed EVERY day with a God that's good. May you feel it with all the fullness of His being tomorrow.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another milestone

Yesterday, Jack and I had an event...one that brought me GREAT joy and a view of what is to come. It was monumental, if only in my mind.

I needed to put something in the mail, and with all the rain we've had, I didn't want it to sit in our mailbox, so I decided that we would walk to the post office. All together, round trip would be about .75 miles. I told Jack that he could ride in the stroller and we'd take the dogs with us, too. He considered my suggestion and then informed me that he would ride his Lightening McQueen bike (a 16: bike with training wheels). I was skeptical, but told him that he would have to ride it there AND back because I had the dogs and wouldn't be able to help with his bike. He assured me that he could do it and off we went. I want to proudly proclaim: HE DID IT!! And without one complaint!! I was sooo proud of him.

So, here's was my vision: Jack on his bike; dogs on their leashes; Baby So-and-So in the sling/pouch; all of us walking in late summer/early fall. Now that is was a beautiful site to my wondering-how-I'm-gonna-manage eyes!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A sweet story by my sweet girl

I don't know why this story Samantha wrote made me say, "AWWWW!" but it did. Maybe it was the intricacy of writing the whole thing (she's a bare-bones kinda gal), or the thoughtfulness of returning the bear or the sweet way she misspells things, or the confidence she has in her own writing ability...I don't know. But I loved it and thought I would share it with you.

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In case you can't read her writing it says: One day I lost my teddy bear and "I went to the groshry [grocery] sorte [store] and botte [bought] a new one Aftr theat [that] I fond [found] it so, I went back and sood [sold] my new one back."

Monday, February 23, 2009

They're growing up...



I only have a few seconds before I fall into a deep afternoon slumber, but I wanted to get this post started. For a long time, I've been keeping a list of things in my head that are markers for the children growing up. Here's a brief list (one I hope to continue adding to).





  1. Jack: Went into the dentists office today BY HIMSELF with not ONE tear shed. Utterly amazing to me. He must have asked the hygenist 15 times, "Are we done, yet?" and I did hear one, "I want to go see my mom." but not nary a tear! So proud of you today, Jack!!


  2. Samantha has her first loose tooth. It got loose about 3 weeks ago, but it's still hanging in there. Her permanent tooth is well on it's way to being fully in behind the baby tooth, so the dentist said it needs to be out this week.


  3. Jack can turn on any light switch in the house without a stool.


  4. Jack can get himself totally undressed and dressed!!


  5. Samantha is standing up for herself in school! There's a little boy who "loves" her and has talked her into buying her lunch...except she doesn't "like the way Herod Elementary cooks their lunch" so she's moved back to bringing lunch. I'll tell you it was SO AWESOME not having to pack her lunch each morning, but it was EVEN BETTER to hear her tell the little boy, "I didn't trick you, I just changed my mind!" Thatagirl, change you mind, any time!!


I have more floating in my head, but I need to rest before I miss my chance. Baby "So-and-so" is taking quite a bit of my energy!!



UPDATE: It's out! It's out!



Monday, January 26, 2009


These are the door decorations I made for the kids. Not perfect, but homemade with lots of love. I think they like them and hope they'll like them for a long time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My newest creation

I blogged earlier about my Christmas project. It actually turned into a Christmas 2009 project, but oh well. When you don't know what you don't have, you can't miss it, right!?

Well, I finally finished Mr. Snowman tonight...maybe 10 minutes ago. I'm so excited about him I can hardly wait another year to use him! We may have to use him in February or something?! ha!

Without further ado...







This has to be one of the most creative things I've ever pulled out of my head. I've made nap mats (with blankets and pillows attached) for the children, but this guy surpased even those. As much effort that I put into this guy, I'm really glad that Pottery Barn was out of their tree calendars!

I hope this is something the kiddos fight over when I die! :)