Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A KherBear Hug

Kherington Grace,

Today was a rough day.

I was stressed and sleep deprived, and you were a cranky beast most of the day.

This evening my body really, really hurt and I was resting on the couch, watching you play.

In your tired neediness, you were climbing all over me.  Clambering on my belly and my back really hurt me and I couldn't hold it together anymore.

I started crying.  No, sobbing.

Huge, uncontrollable sobs that stopped you in your tracks.

You studied my face.  For a minute, my scrunched features must have looked like a smile. You started to laugh along, but then you saw my tears and knew I was sad.

Immediately, you threw your tiny arms around my neck in a bear hug.  You kissed my lips and the tears off of my cheeks.  You put your monkey lovie on me and patted my back.

Your pure sweetness just caused me to cry more, and you alternated between hugs, kisses, and pats.

Though easily bored these days, you sat patiently beside me as my sobs turned to quiet tears, then sniffles, then hiccups.

After another big hug, you caressed my cheeks and then kissed my belly.  You began to walk away with your monkey, then turned around and brought it back to tuck into my arms.  I guess you thought Mommy needed it more than you did at the time.

At nineteen months, I don't know how you knew exactly that I needed.  But you did.

Your love healed me, Kherington, and made everything better. You are the sweetest child.

I know I will never forget today.  And I wanted to make sure that you knew the story, too.

And please know, Sweet KherBear, I will always be here to return the favor.

I love you like a bear loves honey, {And everyone knows that's an awful lot.}

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Double the Fun

Let me be completely honest.

There are days when I think Oh crap, I'm about to have TWO cranky, crying, pooping, snotty, needy kids?!?!

And only 20 months apart! How will I stay sane?!

I imagine twice the laundry, more sleepless nights, double the vomit when the stomach bug comes around.

I see one being potty trained while the other goes through diapers like sand through an hourglass.

I hear two different cries for mama. I see two wiggly bodies to dress and two knotty heads to detangle.

Twice the bad behavior, double the time-outs.

One will pull at my breast while the other pulls my hand to take her outside.

Two car seats to wrangle and four shoes to search for.

I know sometimes it will be more than twice the work and will take more than double the energy.

But I rarely go to this dark, scary place.

I'm not kidding myself, it won't be easy.

But when I wonder how I will get it all done...

I imagine two slippery bodies fresh out of the bath, two giggling girls on the bed between Mom and Dad, four bouncy pig tails in my rearview mirror.

I think of double the kisses and twice the hugs.

I know we will have infinitely more laughter. Oh, the laughter!

Double the bed time stories, two telling terrible jokes, twice the magic.

Two tiny voices singing off-key with Mama and dancing like maniacs.

I forsee sisters holding sticky hands and sharing secrets.

Twice the innocence and beauty.

With more than double the love coming our way... how can I worry?

We are too (two?!) blessed to be stressed.

I say bring it on...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hadley's Happy News!

"If you surround yourself with the good and righteous,
they can only raise you up."  - Mark Glamack

Skip and I are extremely blessed to have some wonderful friends.  We know a lot of good people who aim to live Godly lives and strive to walk in faith.

So when it comes to choosing God Parents for our children, we have a lot of great options.  As with Kherington, we wanted someone for Hadley who believes in family, love, prayer, hope, and compassion.

As we began to think about the right choice for Hadley, we knew the perfect family!  And they have honored us by heartily agreeing!

Meet the Sanchez family...


Sam, Bobbie, Ainsley, Sammy, and John David

Not to be outdone by Kherington's plethora of God brothers, Hadley will have three God siblings, too!

Sam and Bobbie are great parents and fun friends that have strong Christian values and enjoy being active in their church. They are positive people who look for the good in others. They currently live in Florida...  but we know that no matter where life takes them, they will always love our daughter, be there for her, and support her on her walk with Christ.


We feel so blessed to be raising our children with people who raise us up, like the Sanchez and Kneupper families! 

And it doesn't hurt that they all have precious kiddos that we adore!

Friday, August 19, 2011

8 Months


Still glowing and growing (and sweating!) at the eight month mark.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From My Front Porch...


Enjoying a watermelon that Daddy grew in our very own garden!


It was delicious!

Monday, August 15, 2011


You know by now that I'm a huge fan of hand-me-downs and resale shops. Babies hardly use their clothes before they grow out of them... so my girls are blessed to wear 90% hand-me-downs. 

As kids grow, they are a little rougher on their clothing.  But they also get attached to special items and certain themes/characters.

So when you want to spruce up your old clothes and make them new again, you upcycle!

My friend Katherine, mother of five beautiful girls, is the master of upcycling.  Her creative little company, BeBe Gear, reuses old fabrics to make something new, fresh, and unique. 

She just made Kherington an upcycled Longhorn dress.


We love it!

It is already soft and comfortable.  And this handcrafted dress is one of a kind... meaning my lil' horns fan won't be wearing the same overpriced outfit from the co-op that 600 other kids are wearing on game day.


BeBe Gear has a few cute pre-made dresses, shirts, and skirts in their etsy shop, in various styles and sizes.

Or you can order a custom creation!  Your size, your style, even your fabric!  Does your kiddo have a favorite shirt she can't bear to part with?  Want a unique way to support your favorite team or your elementary school on spirit day? Want a brag-about-my-age dress for a birthday? Upcycle with pride!

Find Bebe Gear here, and "Like" her on Facebook here!




Friday, August 12, 2011


Dear Kherington,

We read a lot in our house.

All day long you launch books at my head or hold them right in front of my face, just in case I didn't hear you insisting on reading a "BUK, BUK!"

You love old books, new books, and even the same books over and over.  For one favorite of yours, you say the first word before I even open the cover.

Before bedtime we snuggle in your room and read. I usually set the limit to 4 or 5 books, but you are one devious little story-lover.

When we get near the end of a book, you quickly shut it and grab another... as if not finishing it means it doesn't count.

If you grab a book and hop on my lap only to realize that you've chosen a really short, one-word-per-page book, you instantly change your mind and go hunting for a longer story.

Last night after our 6th or 7th book, I told you to choose just one more to be our last book of the night.

You nodded and mumbled "LAST.  BUK."

Off you went in search of the perfect book to prolong our story time.

You dug through the shelves and the stacks on the floor, searching high and low.


You brought me the Bible.

Well played, baby girl, well played.

Kisses from one bookworm to another,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

From My Front Porch...

Nothing says summer like the smell of chlorine and sun block, and the taste of warm water from a garden hose...

{Summer Fun!}

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Dear Hadley,

There are two months until I get to meet you.  Well, I hope.

It is true that I am busier this pregnancy and find that once or twice a week I forget about my condition until you send me a reminding jab.

But not a day goes by that I don't dream about you.  Very early every morning, before the sun peeks through the window, we commune together, you and I.

Your a.m. aerobic sessions pull me from slumber with a smile on my face.  Still half asleep, I cover my belly with my hand and send you love.  This moment of every day... before the dogs lick my face, before your Daddy tries to snuggle, before your sister calls out for me... belongs to you. I whisper to you and we push against each other through a layer of taut skin.

Later, when I go to drop your sister off at Sissy's, you both seem to get hiccups at the same time.  We ride along together, singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Skinna-marinky-dinky-dink," my two sweet girls hiccing and bumping away.

It always starts me day dreaming.  I am so eager to see how you girls will be alike and how you will differ. How sisters so close in age will be knitted in the same womb from the same genes.  It is going to be so beautiful watching you grow up together.

There are some things I wouldn't mind you having in common with Kherington... like her sleep habits and her penchant for kisses.  If you like stories as much as she does, I'll read to you both all day long. My lap is big enough for lots of book-loving babies. I hope you enjoy breastfeeding as much as Kherington, but you better agree to use a bottle now and then!

Sometimes my day dreams become night dreams, as my weary and aching body drifts off to slumber...  resting itself so that it might continue to grow you big and strong.  And sometimes those dreams are about you.  In the last one, you came early and your father wasn't there.  I felt alone and distraught without my family, but then they put you in my arms and I knew that our family had grown and that we would all four be together soon.  I can't explain it, but you had a full head of black hair! 

No matter how you arrive, what you look like, or what is similar or dissimilar to your sister, I know that you will be perfect.  God is making you that way.  Another miracle to answer our prayers and make our life whole.

When I was a child,  just the thought of having you someday made me happy.  Then learning of your surprise existence made me happier, and now every day my happiness grows as you do.  We are going to make each other so happy... you, your sister, your Daddy, and I.

I love you sweet girl, Mama

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Reviews

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

I've never been into the frilly pink princess crap. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against cherishing your daughter or reading fairy tales. But I don't want my girls growing up thinking only heels and diamonds make you beautiful or that they need a man to rescue them in order to be happy.  I enjoyed this glimpse into the disgustingly commercialized world of little girls today.  Let's remember the kind of women we want to raise and make smart decisions.  I'm all for dress-up, imaginative play, and reading... but you might find me gently steering my girls away from all the Disney crap on the shelves.

Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder Taylor

This is a cute collection of first-baby stories and new mom lessons.  I enjoyed it and got quite a few laughs. I found myself nodding along, thinking "yep, so true!"  Mainly it made me kick myself for not writing it myself.  I'll pass this book along to pregnant friends and then I'll read her next book: Naptime is the New Happy Hour and Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down.

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Ugh... Where to begin? The authors might be skinny (I don't know for sure), but that happens to be the only thing that qualifies them to write this book.  They make many unsupported claims, and most of them I disagree with.  Their blunt writing style is meant to be funny, but just strikes me as haughty and persnickety. They shun pretty much everything yummy... alcohol, sugar, starches, meat, animal products, milk, etc.  About the only thing I agreed with is their support of breastfeeding.  A diet of tofu, celery and water? No thanks.  You may be skinny, but you're a bitch because you're hungry.

*Photos "borrowed" from Amazon.com.  So sue me.

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