Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Pictureless but Wordful Post

These past few weeks have been pretty eventful in the Lewis home.

William celebrated his first birthday, cyber style. We had both our phones and the computer with family Skyping for the birthday song and cake eating. It was a hectic 20 minutes trying to communicate with everyone at once whilst ensuring I capture the event with pictures and video, but we're so glad most everyone got to take part even though they are thousands of miles apart.

We decided to find a pal for Raheem (our chubby beagle), and found another male beagle on Craigslist. I called the girl and she and I texted back and forth all day. She had a million questions, wanted to come check out our home and yard and then make her choice. Casey and I were a little baffled by her extreme worry, but we went along. She came by Friday night and I guess we passed the test because she left him with us. But asked if it was okay if she kept in contact to see how he was. Sure? Rusty was super sweet, but very timid and shakey. The next morning, I strapped on his harness and tied him to a pole outside while I cleaned the car out. Minutes later Casey ran over frantic telling me Rusty had slipped out of his harness. Thankfully William was napping and Maddie was busy on the computer. We ran after him. Here's the thing about Fredericksburg, it's full of forest and wide open yards. We chased and looked and chased and looked for a good two hours. We fretted and worried all day and night. We drove around looking and left trails of food for days. We posted signs all over the neighborhood and got lots of calls of people who've seen him, but can't catch him. We set up an animal trap from Animal Control but are on our last two days of renting it. I've seen the dog 3 times since his escape and cannot catch him. So, somewhere, out there, we have another dog named Rusty.

We've been tight and our budget lately, so I decided to start babysitting again. I watch a 4 year old boy and will start watching a 3 month old girl in November. The boy has autism and ADHD, which freaked me out a little at first, but things have been going great so far. I haven't had much interaction with autistic children, but he doesn't act how I thought he would. He's social and talkative. He has a hard time sharing, but lots of kids do. The main thing I notice is how behind he is in areas. He's not potty trained, but will go when I take him and have him try. He doesn't know any of his colors, shapes, letters or numbers. He knows maybe 2 animals, but can't tell me what sounds they make. I work with him everyday on colors, shapes and animals, but he just can't remember any of it. Luckily he starts speech therapy school tomorrow, and perhaps he'll get better. I'm hoping things continue well with him, and that once Baby Girl comes we can keep a structured schedule or I may get too overwhelmed. I am very grateful that I found a way to bring in extra income while still being able to stay home with my kids. Hopefully now we can start saving again ,and have a little more breathing room with groceries and gas, and maybe even see a movie now and again.

With the extra income I'm bringing in with babysitting, we decided it was time for a second car. We got a 96 Honda Accord, and besides the large dents on one side, it runs great. I'm so grateful that I no longer have to spend 2 hours a day in the car taking Casey to and from work. It helps so much with my schedule when William can nap in his crib rather than the car.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Maddie's First Day of Preschool

This morning we woke up early to get Casey to work then hurried home (but stopping for a sprinkle donut of course) to get ready for Maddie's big day. When Nana was out visiting she got Maddie this outfit and backpack for her first day of school.  She's been very excited to wear it. She was so cooperative all morning. "Mads we need to do your hair."  "Ok Mom!"  "Mads we need to brush your teeth too."  "Ok Mom!"  Wow, I hope this is how each school day goes.  We packed up her backpack with her school supplies then headed outside for a few pictures. She didn't even offer up a fuss over this. Then we loaded in the car and drove to school.  She even asked for another picture outside of the school. Who is this kid? We walked in and all around us were sad kids and consoling parents. Secretly I wished I had some consoling to do. I said good bye and off she went into the play room. What happened! She didn't even cry? I was so proud/sad that my little shy girl is growing up and understanding that there's no need to be scared. I'm excited for this new journey for her but am so glad that I will still be her main surroundings for her each day. I know I need to soak up these years and am so grateful for her in my life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Growing Children

I had the very discouraging realization that my kids are growing up. Seriously; look at them. Maddie is always spewing out random facts from library books that we read together and saying things like, "That's peculiar."  She starts preschool next week and is actually excited about it. Where did my shy, nervous, little baby go? She's learning to write words on her own. So far she knows: Maddie, Mom, Dad, Yes, No and AFV (America's Funniest Videos). I'm not sure why that last one stuck with her. She's almost mastered the word "Geico" from us dropping Casey off at work in the mornings. She's FINALLY wanting to run around and play sports which makes her dad very happy. Every day she wants to go in the backyard and play soccer; which I would normally encourage, except the fact that she wants me to join her! I'm sorry but running around outside at 1 pm is not enjoyable.
Then there's William; our little Bubz. He finally starting crawling sometime between 9 and 10 months. He loves to get into everything. We realize now how easy Maddie was as a baby; so cautious and calm. William is not. His favorite is pointing and grunting when he's excited. We turned him forward facing in the car and now he can see the tv and is grunting all the time at it. He randomly points at strangers as they walk by which usually results in a smile from them; that's nice. He likes to push the computer chair around and walk with it. Sometimes he'll clap, but it's not as entertaining as pointing for him. Casey and I have the habit of enjoying ice cream most every night, and William has learned that that tub we carry to the couch means delicious goodness and he comes crawling full speed.  Next month he turns one; I can't believe it. Our kids are growing and there's nothing I can do but enjoy them each day. I'll quote this book I just finished reading, "The days are long, but the years are short." So very true.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life in Virginia

We've been here nearly 2 months now, and our house is finally unpacked and put together. We have settled into a routine, so that makes life much less stressful.  We only have one car at the moment, so we usually take Casey to work 2-3 times a week so we can venture out of the house. On those days we usually: swim, go to the library, go to the mall, McDonalds, or Chikfila. Not much different than life in AZ. We have gone to the beach once and played at the river once, which is a fun change from AZ. Our weekends are spent doing yard work, grocery shopping and being pretty lazy. We're learning the area and the lingo and trying to adjust to the humidity. I'm still not sure which is worse in the summer; AZ or VA? It's the difference between standing in an oven or standing in a sauna.

I will make a few complaints about life in VA:
1. There are NO sidewalks or crosswalks. And the shoulder of the road is about 2 inches wide, so there will be no bike rides or stroller walks for us.
2. We have to transport our trash to the dump in the back of our Pilot. I made the mistake of sticking our trash can outside once it got full and ended up tossing the entire thing in the dump due to maggot overload.
3. Bugs are far more bountiful here.
4. It stays light until 9, so Maddie thinks she can party late into the night.

And now a few of the high lights:
1. The farmer's market is huge and not overly priced.
2. Lighting bugs (one of the few bugs I do enjoy)
3. We have flowers to tend to.
4. I've seen a cardinal, a blue bird, tons of mockingbirds and robins.
5. On less humid days we can sit outside in the evenings and enjoy the good life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Big Move

Maddie was very interested as we packed up the truck. We got many requests to get stuff out of the boxes for her, like random Christmas decorations she could see in clear tubs.
As you can see, the packing got a little lazy at the end. We ran out of boxes and just began putting stuff in until it was completely full. I'm so sad that my big dining room table couldn't make the trip with us. Our grill and bikes also got left behind.
This little girl did great on the trip. This is a rare moment of her sleeping. She was content watching movies, playing her MobiGo, coloring and playing ponies.
This kid, on the other hand, needed a playmate in the backseat with him. Being the driver was nothing compared to trying to keep him entertained. I was all peek-a-booed out by the end of the trip.
I envisioned this lovely picture of our family as we gathered on our porch for the very first time. Instead, it was a hastily snapped pic of a very tired family. More of our new home to come another day!        

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I love my ridiculous husband. We threw him a graduation party, and his only request from me was a "face cake." I was unsure what he meant, so he explained, "A cake with a picture of my face on it." Since I didn't get him anything else, I tried my darndest to fulfill his request. As seen in the picture above, the coloring is all wrong and the cake in general is pretty creepy. But there it is. Happy graduation husband. Our life is pure chaos at the moment. Good chaos. After 3 months and 4 interviews, Geico has offered Casey a position in their Emerging Leaders program! We are uber excited, since this was our top choice of the many many jobs he applied for. We got the news a little over a week ago, and will be heading out to Fredericksburg, VA June 12th. Yep, less than a month away. We have been glued to our computer screens looking for housing and moving trucks. And to make it all even more fun, here is a preview of my current two week calendar: Casey's graduation, Casey's party, Casey goes to VA for 3 days for interviews, Teach joyschool, Cubscout pack meeting, Teach sharing time each Sunday this month, Host bunko, Maddie's 3, yes 3, birthday parties, Make 3 stupid aprons to sell (I'm a little upset I chose to do this one), Host sewing night. After this week I will be able to fully focus on moving and packing and all the fun the goes with a move. But we are happy to be moving on to this next stage of life!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Ideas

Today is Earth Day, and each year I try to make at least one change to be a better "earthling". Here are some ideas I found while browsing the interweb.

1. Go completely paperless. I have almost all my accounts set up for automatic deduction, but there's a couple that are still sending me statements and I just haven't taken the time to sign up for the paperless option.

2. Using compostable doggie poop bags. I usually just use grocery bags, but apparently they take 100 years to biodegrade. Dog Waste bags.

3. Maybe I'll look into this program for when I'm done with some old sneakers. I usually wear them till they're disgusting; too disgusting that I would feel bad giving them to a thrift store. I usually toss them, but this seems a better option.

4. Someday I'll plant a tree with my kids, but not this year.

5. Today we are going for a walk and picking up trash. We'll have to wait until this evening because it's going to be 100 degrees today.

6. That 100 degrees put a wrench in my going carless today. I think our only outing would have been to church, and it's a bit too far to make my husband and kids endure the heat. Maybe tomorrow we'll go carless.

7. And finally, we're going to make a craft from something in our recycle bin. I don't know what yet, but it won't be hard to think of something fun.

Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I had a very nice little Easter lesson with Maddie after church. I did the plastic eggs filled with different objects and scriptures to tell the Easter story. She thought it was very fun and exciting to open each egg, but when we got to the egg with the nail, she was instantly quiet and listened as we talked of Christ on the cross. We looked closely at a picture and saw each nail in his hands and feet. I told her it was okay to be sad when we think about it, but that he did it because he loves us very much. She was so sweet and said, "Sometimes when I'm sad, my eyes get a little bit watery." I'm not sure if she meant she felt sad today (I think this was her 3rd Easter lesson of the day) or just telling me that her eyes water when she's sad. But I'm so glad she's old enough to begin to understand the beautiful story of Easter and what it means for each of us. Happy Easter!

(Chicken Baby weaseled her way into most of our Easter pics this year)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Video Making

Here's what we've been doing with our free time. Very productive, I know.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

William at 6 Months

My little Wills is 6 months. He's such a happy fun baby, and we can tell he's going to be a lot more active than Maddie was. He's not yet sitting up or crawling, but he likes to roll around every where. He loves to eat his peas, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. I have yet to find a fruit he likes. We're trying to get him to take juice or water from a sippy cup, so maybe he can eventually drink milk from one since he won't take a bottle. He has two sharp little teeth on the bottom and has bit me a few times while nursing. I think my yelp of pain scared him enough because he hasn't done it since. He absolutely loves Maddie...and Raheem. We decided the best way to his heart is to pay less attention to him. Maddie and Raheem definitely pay less attention to him than Casey and I; I think that's why he's so desperate for their affection. He usually only wakes once during the night, but sometimes 2 or 3 times when he wants to be fun. He's getting better at naps during the day, but still rarely naps for longer than an hour at a time. He's a big boy, weighing 21.5 pounds and 29 inches. We love our little son, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait till he starts crawling around.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I like to run. I hate my lack of motivation to do it, but I always feel better after a run. But here's my dilemma, I hate for people to see me running. It's not that I'm afraid I'm an ugly faced runner or that I fear looking foolish with my strides. It's a bit of the opposite. First, let me state that I do not envision myself as a beauty while jogging or that my form is perfect. The reason I hate when people see me jogging is because I feel that they are judging me. I fear they think I am trying to show off, that I'm only out jogging to show the world that I exercise and am in shape (which is certainly not true). I recently confessed my fears to my husband when he suggested I just run down McClintock. He, of course, told me how absolutely ridiculous I was. I gave in and ran down McClintock.
BUT today I prove my point friends. I went out for my bi-monthly jog, the weather was warm but I felt good, I was listening to my freshly made playlist. Biking towards me on the same side of the road comes an older lady. I make eye contact, smile, and what to wondering eye should appear, but a uplifted finger raised high and clear. Yes, she gave me the bird. And you know why? Here is what she was thinking, "Oh look at this lady out running. She thinks she's soooo cool with her fancy new shoes (I just got new sea foam green running shoes with some bday cash) and her hoity doity ipod, smiling like she's the best thing on earth." That is why I hate people to see me run.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


February is our busy month, and I of course was sick during the busiest part. Valentine's Day came first. We had a family craft night followed by heart shaped french toast. The next day was Casey's birthday. We had a big family gathering the Sunday before, so on his actual birthday we just had cake and dinner with our little family. Then came my 30th birthday. Casey made me dinner (plus dinner for an entire week) and also threw me a wonderful party with friends and family. We're thinking of adding one more holiday to our February extravaganza: Leap Year; 30 Rock style. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Dirty Thirty

I think this is a funny title for my post. Mostly because I think it's intended for those single, popular, partying people out there who have crazy birthday blowouts on their 30th party. My party: a bbq with lawn games; bring the family.
I have mixed feelings on turning 30. I don't feel old, but I do feel a bit of nostalgia and underachievement. I loved my high school years. I loved my college years. I loved my single years. I've been surrounded by wonderful people my entire life and I have so many fond memories with so many of them. Ditching school to go swim at the nasty "hole", playing softball in the perfect fall weather, making fun of all my roommates via homemade videos...loved it all.
But I never did accomplish any type of career goals. I feel like a complete failure in this area and often wonder if I could go back in time, change my major and career choice, but still end up with my current husband and family? The fact that I never got to enjoy the satisfaction of landing an awesome graphic design job before starting a family is my biggest regret. But I do hope to hop back on the schooling/job wagon when my kids start school.
So I'm 30, now what? I've been thinking about this the past few weeks, and just like the start of every new year, I know I have to step it up. I need to be more spiritually strong for my family. I need to realize that my body needs healthy foods and exercise. I need to read the news now and again to have an intelligent conversation with my husband. I need to wear makeup more than once a week. I feel like a full blown grown up and it's time to start playing the part. I also know that not all of this is going to be accomplished immediately and I need to cut myself some slack sometimes. So, instead of instantly hitting the couch when the kids fall asleep, I am going to do one self improving thing. Whether it's just checking a news website or deciding to drink a bottle of water rather than that delicious diet cherry Pepsi.
I'm excited for this new chapter where my life is focused on family and I get to enjoy the children I am so blessed to nurture and raise. I feel like Tim McGraw crooning his song, "The next 30 years will be the best years of my life, raise a little family and hang out with my (husband)." Amen Tim, amen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Good Day

Today was labeled a "no TV, no computer" day. With little William loving to be held all the time, it's been far too easy for me to let Maddie just watch some Blues Clues or play on the computer. She's become far too dependent on this for entertainment, so we decided to take a day's break. I think our decision created a bit of magic to fall onto William because today he napped two times in his crib! The first for an hour, then second for two hours! I felt like today was such a breath of fresh air. Maddie sat at the counter chatting with me while I did the mound of dishes from Casey's birthday dinner last night. I was able to get most of the laundry done while Maddie played at her Grandma's. We walked to the park, we played board games, William was hardly fussy when he wasn't being held. If I can have days like today, I think I can maintain a sanitary living condition for our family and keep our kids entertained without always relying on the tv or computer.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lovely Winter

We enjoyed Christmas in St. Johns this year. We were lucky to get lots of snow to play in. Maddie loved her Minnie Mouse from Santa. I didn't get any Christmas pictures of William, but this photo was taken on Christmas Day so we'll count it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

William's Photo Shoot

I'm a bit behind in the blogging...Here are William's newborn photos taken by my good friend Jenna Jameson. They turned out so great; I couldn't put all the ones I loved on here because it takes too long! He is not even one week old in these. My how he has grown, by about 10 pounds!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012...Here I Come!

Every year I make a list of goals. It's something I quite enjoy doing. Writing a list of all the things I want to someday become. But then everyday life steps in, and I quickly get sidetracked just trying to get the dishes done each day. Here's hoping I can better myself in at least one way this year.

1. Nightly family and personal prayer/scripture study.
2. Exercise at least 3 times a week. (I already broke this one, but am still trying!)
3. Drink more water (I'm the worst!)
4. Read one non-fiction book.
5. Monthly date nights and temple dates
6. Work on family videos, a photo book and a piece of art decor for the house.

Friday, January 13, 2012

William Updaate

Our Sweet William. Apparently Sweet William is a plant, who knew? Just a little update on our adorable little boy. He is almost 4 months! He is definitely a fast growing boy. 9pounds at birth, 12 pounds at his 1 month appointment, 15.2 pounds at his 2 month, and we are awaiting stats for his 4 month appointment. I predict a near 20 pound weigh-in.

He is laughing and smiling and trying to engage anyone he can in baby gurgling chatter. He LOVES his big sister and his eyes follow her all around the room.

He's quite fond of being held, and still doesn't nap during the day without that comfort. But, he does do pretty awesome at night and will sleep from 9 pm-ish to 7am-ish with only waking once to eat (usually).

We got a bit lazy in the bottle making/pumping department, and he now refuses a bottle. We were so adamant that this kid would most definitely take a bottle! Ugh, we failed miserably. I have hope that we can still make it happen. It must happen. Mother needs her time off too.

This kid can drool! Maddie wasn't a huge drooler, so this is new to me. I always try to dress him so cute for church, then have to throw on that tacky bib. Ruins the whole effect. His hair is hilarious. It looks like a come-over in the back. I'm still hoping some curls will emerge.

We love our Bubz.