Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When all else fails, head to Branson!

A few weeks ago my dad called me and wanted me to check on getting a cabin for all of us to stay in at a local state park. Well, apparently everyone else in the state had the same idea so it was all booked up. So, we had to resort to Ole' Faithful - Branson! We decided to go back to the hotel we stayed at last summer with the indoor water park so the kids could swim since it is still a little cold outside. I was also wanting to see the tornado damage in person. It

I must admit, I was very hesitant and worried about taking Noah on this trip. I booked it not very long after his restaurant meltdowns and fit throwing was in full force. Well, I had been noticing all of that easing up over the last few weeks so I was hopeful for a good trip. I literally was praying every night for the patience to deal with Noah in a good way when he is having his meltdowns and for him to learn other behavior and adapt quickly. God answered my prayers! Noah was the BEST kid while we were gone. He sat in his stroller while we were shopping and in a highchair while we were eating. He held my hand while we were walking and in the indoor pool and playground. This was the kid other people told me about - he always did better for other people than me. I was not ok with that. Don't get me wrong, I want him to be good for others, but I deserve that respect also. So, once I caught on to him being good for others I started being harder on him, and I see improvement already.

Baby Greyson

There was 10 of us and we all had a great time. Noah loved the "baby" - Greyson and kept hugging and kissing him. Everyone was so good to help out with Noah too - my sister-in-law Kesha (Aunt Kiki) was awesome to just take Noah and let me rest. She said she remembers being pregnant and chasing a little one around. By the time we were done shopping I felt 9 months pregnant instead of 4! Noah is a water baby for sure and is so fearless! He went down all the slides - head first, feet first, backwards - he didn't care! He loves to splash himself in the face also and blow the water on me. He gets funnier by the day!

There is also an arcade/playground next door to the hotel and Kesha took Noah in the playground for over an hour while Nathan and I played games to win tickets so Noah could get a toy. It was just like a date night! HA!

It was a nice weekend getaway with family and if Noah keeps acting like such a good boy, maybe we can do more of that before Baby Stillwell gets here!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Zoo Trip

My mom always makes a Spring Break zoo trip and I have not been able to go for the past few years. I was either too pregnant or Noah was too small to enjoy it or I had other plans, so it had been a few years since I got to make the trip with the other family. Noah and I went with some friends back in July, but the difference of him enjoying it between now and then was amazing! He loves the animals and loved to point them out to everyone and try to make their noises. There was 9 of us together and we had a good time. The kids all behaved, the weather was nice, and baby Stillwell cooperated too (no sickness or tiredness)!

Daddy and Noah checking out the lemurs

Noah loved the Lorikeets!

My sweet boy enjoying a snack :)

Greyson riding a monkey!

Greyson usually loves Nathan, but this is what he did every time Nathan touched or talked to him!

Noah having a staring contest with a lizard!

We have always took the grandkids picture with this tree since we started going to the zoo years ago!

Noah loves to ride the rides! (and Daddy too obviously!)

Wore out and ready to head home and pack for our next adventure!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


As I have mentioned many times, Gavin DeGraw is my favorite singer. I remember the first time I heard one of his songs. I was sitting on Nathan's bed in high school watching a new show called One Tree Hill and the opening credits came on and this song caught my attention. I waited until the show was over and wrote down the name of the song and artist from the credits - "I Don't Wanna Be" by Gavin DeGraw. To this day it is my favorite song. Not too long after that Gavin did a concert at Arkansas Tech and Nathan took me. I was hooked. He is not very mainstream but does have alot of fans. I always love it when he puts out a new CD. I usually end up liking every song, and there is always one that stands out to me. With this last cd that was Solider, by far.

Solider it a song about loving someone so much that you will do anything for them, anything. Being a solider for someone in their life it such a strong thing to do, and also have done for you in return. This song makes me think of a couple of relationships in my life. I think that this song describes what God feels for us. He obviously would do anything for us and protects us. I would do the same for Noah and Baby Stillwell as well as Nathan. Being a parent I now can easier recognize that my parents did this for me. Everyone has that inspirational song, and this one is mine for sure. I sing it to Noah at naptime and I will sing it to the new baby also. When I get in the car and nothing is on the radio, put the cd player on, song #4, and Solider is on.

I love my soliders: God, Nathan, and my parents. I am a solider to them and others also. Everyone needs a solider.

Here are the lyrics and a link to hear the song. He hasn't made the music video yet. Enjoy and I hope it inspires you as it does me!

Where did all the people go?
They got scared when the lights went low.
I'll get you through it nice and slow,
When the world's spinning out of control.

Afraid of what they might lose
Might get scraped or they might get bruised.
You could beg them, what's the use?
That's why it's called a moment of truth

I'll get it if you need it,
I'll search if you don't see it,
You're thirsty, I'll be rain,
You get hurt, I'll take your pain.

I know you don't believe it,
But I said it and I still mean it,
When you heard what I told you,
When you get worried I'll be your soldier.

Funny when times get hard,
At the last moment when you're supposed to charge,
Always on the longest yard,
Oh, they feel their feet getting cold.

Hiding here, hiding there,
Find them underneath the stairs,
People hiding everywhere,
Trying to be still like a stone.

I'll get it if you need it,
I'll search if you can't see it,
You're thirsty, I'll be rain,
You get hurt, I'll take your pain.

I know you don't believe it,
But I said it and I still mean it,
When you heard what I told you,
When you get worried I'll be your soldier.

My aim is so true,
I wanna show you,
I'll try forever,
I'm never gonna say "surrender".

I'll get it if you need it,
I'll search if you can't see it,
You're thirsty, I'll be rain,
You get hurt, I'll take your pain.

I know you don't believe it,
But I said it and I still mean it,
When you heard what I told you,
When you get worried I'll be your soldier.

I'll be your soldier
Well I'll be, oh I'll be your soldier
I'll be your soldier
I'll be your soldier

Monday, March 19, 2012

Best Lazy Weekend Ever!

Noah and I seriously had the laziest weekend ever. Nathan played in a softball tournament Saturday and Noah and I hung out at the house all day and did nothing! By nothing I mean we played, ate junk food, and watched tv - so something, but still nothing at the same time. He has been being so much better about throwing fits lately and he was very good all day Saturday. I was having some growing pains in my abdomen due to Baby Stillwell so I was glad he was happy to just sit around and play with me all day. I didn't bother to fix my hair or put make-up on because I had no intentions of going anywhere all day, so I wasn't looking my finest in my sweats. But, I loved how Noah just loved on me and gave me random hugs and kisses just like he does when I am all fixed up. He just loves him momma.

He thought it was so funny to bring me fake food with his neck!

We watched alot of cooking shows that day (bad idea when you are pregnant and don't cook) so I was starving. Since going anywhere was not an option (I was looking rough remember) and fast food did not sound good after watching all the cooking show food, I had to search the kitchen. The only thing I could find in the cabinets was Tuna Helper! So, Tuna Helper it was! Noah got up on the counter top like he always does to help me get things out and he just sat there and handed me the ingredients to make it. It was so cute! He was so happy to be sitting up there like a big boy helping!

Helping Momma cook!

Sunday we went to church and then Nathan had to work. So, Noah and I decided yesterday went so well we would try it again. We changed in our sweats and started the DVR of shows. Noah loves him some Dr. Phil! He gets so excited when Phil comes out and points at the tv and claps! It is so funny. Noah likes to help clean too, so I decided to vacuum and dust the living room. I picked up all the toys and stacked them on the couch so I could vacuum. He thought that was so funny and decided he needed to ride his four-wheeler on the couch! My little daredevil! Even after we were done cleaning he put the four-wheeler back up there and got on it, this may have been a bad idea!

My little Daredevil!

I also discovered on Friday that the dollar store is like a gold mine for a one year old! I found Noah a construction hat, Mickey watch, sunglasses, Mickey coloring book, and Elmo (or Melmo as he says) flash cards! He was in heaven!

Dollar store treasures!

Well, here is to many more lazy weekends full of momma/son memories made! Have a good week!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baby Stillwell #2

I am so glad to finally announce that Nathan, Noah, and I are expecting a baby in September! I was 13 weeks yesterday and I am due September 20th! We were able to get pregnant this time after 7 months of trying instead of 3 1/2 years like we experienced with Noah - so thankful for that! Here is what you have missed in the past 13 weeks:

I took my first positive pregnancy test January 14, 2012. I had basketball games that Saturday so I was up at 6:00 a.m. and decided to let myself take a test. Once you take a bunch of negatives too early, you tend to want to wait - it is like there is still hope if you wait to test. I immediately saw the two lines and literally looked up and thanked God - out loud right there in the bathroom. It was an amazing moment. I then took the test to the bedroom and turned the light on which of course blinded Nathan so he couldn't even see the test! I told him what it said and he hugged me and I told him "we did it without drugs this time!" - He said "good job!" HA! I felt like he was about to give me a high-five! It was funny. We decided then to wait to tell until we talked to a doctor and we would go from there. I wanted to tell everyone at 8 weeks, Nathan wanted to wait 12. So we agreed on 8 weeks for family and 12 for everyone else (aka: Facebook Official time).

6 Weeks

8 Weeks

The next few weeks went not as well as with Noah. I was never sick or tired or anything with Noah. If you remember, our whole family got the stomach bug and I basically never got over it. I pretty much kept the nausea until 12 weeks - that made for a long 6 weeks. I ended up having to get a prescription to use when the nausea was really bad because I wasn't able to work or take care of Noah - it was so frustrating. I literally one night sat there on the couch and cried because Noah was laying in the floor eating chips and cookies and there were toys and stuff everywhere and I could not get off the couch to save my life. I felt useless. Nathan came through and the first thing he said was "is this one of those emotional woman things?" HA! That made me laugh and snap out of  it. But, enough of the poor me - I am tough, made it through and I am feeling alot better now. Most days the nausea is just coming and going and gets better if I eat - which is so backward to me.

10 weeks

12 weeks

We told our parents by having Noah wear his big brother shirt - it took Nathan's family an hour to read his shirt! It was so funny! It made for a good memory for sure! My mom was suspicious of my visit and read his shirt right away. I sent a picture of the shirt to all my siblings then and we swore them all to secrecy.

Today we had our first ultrasound and it was just a quick bedside ultrasound. We got two pictures and the doctor said it looked perfect size and everything looked good. I am on drugs to keep me from miscarrying for one more week - so thankful for that, it really gives me piece of mind. We go back in 5 weeks for another ultrasound - I can't wait. We will not be finding the gender of this baby out either. It is just such an awesome experience to not know. So, only God will know until the baby is here. As far as what we want (of course we have the political healthy baby answer) - I want a boy and a girl - for some reason I have always wanted two boys and a girl. So, this time it doesn't matter to me. Nathan is team boy - he is scared of a girl. I think he would be an awesome Daddy to a girl. God knows what is best for us and will give us what we need. Noah doesn't really understand what is going on yet. He will pat my belly and say baby, and then pat his belly and say baby. He will also call himself Bubba. I think he will catch on more when the baby gets here.

I cannot wait to go on this journey again - thank you God for answering my prayers.

Monday, March 12, 2012

BBQ, Panthers, Rain, and Deals!

We had a busy weekend! Friday night my best friend Cassie came over! It was so good to see her and I really wish she would move back closer (Cassie, I know you are reading this, move home - thanks). Nathan went and got us all Rivertowne BBQ (our favorite) and we all sat around and talked and played with Noah. It was an awesome night! Cassie didn't leave until 11:00 and we texted until after midnight, just like the good ole' days! :)

Noah loved his BBQ!

Saturday we had a birthday party for my niece Tori and my stepdad David. Noah was SO good at the party. He was very busy checking everything out and playing with his cousins. I fed him before we went, and that worked out so good. We didn't have to fight him to try to get him to sit and eat while we were there and we took turns chasing him and eating.

We left from there for Hot Springs for a little weekend getaway! Our local high school basketball team was playing in the state tournament and I hadn't got a chance to see them play yet so we went to watch them in the finals. I had heard how awesome this team was and they didn't disappoint - it was an awesome game! They won 93-73 for a second straight state championship! The next day we planned on going to Oaklawn but it poured rain all day so we ended up just eating lunch and coming home. I went to Oaklawn with my grandma as a child and Nathan has never been so we are hoping to get back and get to experience it before the live racing season ends. It was a nice little getaway.

Back to Back State Champs!

Last week was also Rhea Lana - a local consignment sale. I LOVE this sale and look forward to it twice a year! 80% of Noah's clothes are second hand - kids grow so fast it only makes sense that way. We are always getting complimented on how cute Noah's clothes are and I love knowing that I got them at a good price. I got Noah some good summer clothes and the cutest shoes. I even got him a pair of boots! He loves to put Daddy's boots on, so he was so excited when I showed him his! He didn't take them off for hours! I also got Noah an outdoor play land. It has a ladder, slide, and you can even make a sand pit in the bottom of it. I can't wait for the weather to get warmer this week so we can go try it out. I haven't even let Noah see it yet because it has been to rainy or cold to use it yet.

Mommas little cowboy!

Happy Monday! Make  it a good week - I know I am going to!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012

We are so blessed to live in America and I forget about that all the time. I have been seeing this Kony 2012 stuff everywhere and finally watched the video today. Wow. I selfishly turn the channel and tune this stuff out all the time because I don't feel there is anything I can do. It is set out in this video what I can do to help and it is not too much to ask. I encourage everyone to do the same! God chose your path for you, be thankful for where he put you and try to give back in appreciation for that!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To each their own, sort-of...

I am going to say "to each their own" and then go on to totally go against that. I know alot of people having babies right now. In fact, I found out about 17 new pregnancies in about 3 weeks time. That is alot of babies. So, there is alot of baby talk around me and I keep hearing this and it drives me crazy. I do not understand people saying they do not want a certain gender of baby. I just do not get it. It is not that moms want girls and dads want boys - I have heard it both ways. I have heard more girls saying they don't want girls though - how a girl can say they don't want a girl is beyond me. You are a girl afterall! Do you hate yourself? I don't mean a mom or dad that already has one gender and really wants the other gender for their next chlid (that is an understandable hope), I am talking about those people who tell other pregnant people how "boys (or girls) are better/easier/more fun". It drives me nuts!

I have heard boys are easier than girls, and girls are easier than boys. I have heard girls require too much fuss and have so much drama. Newsflash: each kid is different just as each family is different! Some kids, boy or girl, are going to be just as hard to raise as the other. I have coached 4 year old to 13 year old boys and girls and I am here to tell you the boys were just as dramatic and fussy as the girls. My dad said his girl was way easier to raise then his boys and my mom said the same thing. But, I had rebellious trouble making brothers. Other families I know it to be just the opposite. I have heard the whole thing about "girls can get pregnant" - well, any boy I raise will be just as involved and struggle with the girl, whether they are still with the girl or not. That is part of raising a boy to do the right thing.

I do not like forcing sports on children or "girly" things on girls. I know someone whose niece wanted a doll for Christmas and they refused to get her one and got her a basketball instead and said she didn't need to play with dolls! The girl was 3! Ridiculous. Kids are not meant to live out a parents dreams. Kids are meant to be the parents dream. God will give you the gender and personality of the child he wants you to have. End of story. I cannot imagine being pregnant and not wanting the child or not being excited about my child because it wasn't the gender I wanted. I have 14 nieces and nephews and they are all very different and awesome in their own way. Some of them get on my nerves occasionally, but it is more of the age and stage they are in than the fact they are a basketball playing boy or a cheerleading girl.

So, like I said, to each their own, but not really. Quit being ignorant and realize each child is a unique gift from God meant to be exactly as they are. Ahhhh, I feel better now. :)