Monday, December 27, 2010

i heart the 60's

No more point and shoot, and no more borrowing from Lisa, my new new camera is here and new business website is being created.  Wahoo, this one was worth the wait!

Monday, December 20, 2010


While Mimi was here spoiling us, she took us for a girl's night out to our favorite late night doughnut trailer - Gourdough's. This time the girls got to pick and they wanted ODB - doughnut holes with cream cheese frosting and coconut. YUM! My fave is still the blackout, but we have not tried them all, yet.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Read's fans

We had a great open house the weekend Read was born. He was able to get it started right with lots of spoiling. My Dad (PawPaw) stayed up till 4:30 a.m. the first night home, so Daddy and I could get some sleep. He did not adjust well the first couple of nights (before we knew he was not getting enough milk from me and had lost a pound). Then, Mimi took him at 6. Night 2 Mimi and Aunt Rissa took turns holding him.
We have the feeding and sleeping thing going. He eats about every 3 hours and naps between feedings. He goes to bed after the 10:30 feeding, wakes every 3 hours and is ready for the day around 7:30 a.m.  Open House is still ongoing, we have a guest bed ready for anyone who is in need of an infant fix.

Monday, December 13, 2010


The oldest is Landry Loo, L.E. and Sister
Then there is Bella Boo or Boo Boo Bunny and Sissy.
Read is up for debate - Read R. was born on Dec 2nd, so it has been proposed - R2D2 (thanks Jane and Marissa for the inspiration).
I have been calling him Reader and then b/c of the girls - Reader Roo.
We will take feedback, but I have a feeling he will be like the girls with multiple names.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

a little smitten

I never thought I could love Ben more, but each time we have a baby I realize I do.
Happy 12th Anniversary, Honey.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


On Wednesday morning, I received an e-mail from google that stated I had my same password for a certain amount of time and they recommended I update my password.  I logged into my account and when I pushed enter it said server unavailable.  I thought nothing else of it b/c our server is often unavailable.  The e-mail looked official, google's logo, google's login box, no reason for me to think anything suspicious.  Nope, I was dooped. 
On Thursday morning, I got my first phone call around 9:15 and after that my phone beeped all day - texts and calls. Someone had hacked my e-mail and sent an e-mail to almost all 400 contacts in my google account. Ben instantly reported to google and they shut my account.  He also changed all of his passwords and our facebook passwords.  After an hour of questions from google trying to figure out I was who I said I was, we waited again - 24 hours this time.
On Friday morning, Ben had access to my GMail, but it was wiped clean- email contacts, every email I had saved from the past 7 years, everything in the trash box. sent box, everything cleaned out and my blog was gone.  I just started praying, I could live without my e-mail, I would even create a new e-mail if I had to, but please not my blog.  It was my journal from the past 4 years, everything, my outlet.  After about an hour, Ben was able to retrieve it.  Words cannot describe the gratitude for him working to get it back.
Ben has asked me what I learned, and I will think twice about anything, but I still do not what I would have done differently.  It was not like someone asking me for a password - I thought I was logging into my account.  I am naive I know, but now I just get to be suspicious too.  I hate that the world is so cynical.  I can say I am  very thankful to have had different passwords for different accounts b/c they tried to hack into facebook too.
Please e-mail so I can have your email address too.

got milk?

At Read's first doctor appointment, we found out he had lost over a pound.  I will spare you the details, but we have had to start supplementing him with formula temporarily.  The girls were so excited to be able to feed him his very first bottle, Read was a little excited too. 
He has begun to gain weight and is doing great.  Last night, Mommy and Daddy got to go on a date to celebrate their anniversary. Today Mommy got to run a couple of Christmas errands, thanks to my little helpers and a bottle. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

meeting baby brother

As you can only imagine, the girls are totally smitten with their new baby brother.  LE instantly wanted to cuddle with him, Bell wanted to cuddle with me.  It took her a few minutes, but she decided she was ready to hold him too.  Now, she is all about being the big sister.  She says she is his leader.  She has helped to feed him and has picked out his clothes in the morning.  She will just sit and watch him.  LE likes to sing to him and tell him stories.  There is already an amazing bond that we cannot wait to watch grow.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

his own entrance

I was supposed to be induced on December 3rd, but it was pushed back until December 4th. We were hoping my body would kick and I would go into labor on my own. At my appt on the 2nd, I was dilated to a 3, so the dr thought it was possible that labor could kick in. I cramped all day long on the 2nd and I was tears in multiple times b/c I could not tell the difference from the cramping and contractions. That afternoon LE and I were playing Old Maid on my bed and at 4:00 I told Ben he needed to get off work and take over b/c I was miserable. At 5:15, we sat down to dinner and I was again in tears. Ben asked if I wanted to nap or take a walk in hopes to kick into labor or even relieve some of the pain (walking actually helped me more than lying down when it came to the pain). We took our stop watch and started around the neighborhood. My contractions were 4 min and 45 seconds apart, but were only 30 seconds long. Doctor wanted me in at 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. By the time we finished our bike ride/walk they were 4 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. I called our friend Natalie, who had offered to let the girls stay the night when I was going to be induced and asked if we could still take her up on the offer. She was there within minutes and Mimi and PawPaw were on their way. By the time I got to the hospital at 7:30, the contractions were 3 min. 30 seconds and I was dilated to 6-7, so at that point I accepted I was in labor.
Against my better judgement, I decided to get an epidural. Something kept telling me not to get one, but honestly I was so afraid of labor taking hours and hours, I got one. At first, it was great, I did not feel a single contractions, but then my water broke and the pain was awful. My lower half was tingly numb, but yet I could feel all of the pain of contractions. The anesthesiologist tried to give me another one, but I was too far into the process it had not kicked in before he delivered. When my water broke we discovered he had already had a BM, so they ordered NICU nurses to be there, as a precautionary. Less than 6 hours and 5 pushes our sweet boy was here. At first, he did not cry and they instantly went to work on him to get the meconium from his lungs. It took a few minutes before I could see him, and I needed some extra attention from the delivering doctor. But, when I did it was love at first sight. He is so amazing, he reminds of LE when she was first born.
I will try my hardest post as often as I can, but as you can imagine our world has instantly changed.

Friday, December 03, 2010

today's the day

Hopefully by the time you are reading this, our little one will be here or close to being here.
Many have asked about his name, especially the spelling.
Read - Ben's dad's middle name, Grandmother's maiden name.  His lineage has been traced back to a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Allen - my dad's middle name.
Please be praying for us for the next few days.  I promise to post pics as soon as Motherly possible.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

belly shots

The countdown is on...I will either go into labor this week or he will be induced on Friday morning at 5

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2 Little Indian Girls

This week, we have been learning about the first Thanksgiving. The girls have a little background knowledge of the Native Americans b/c of my Dad's passion for the Mountain Men and their relationship with the Indians. The girls had a blast reading books, watching Pocahontas (ok, not real educational, but it was about Indians) and decorating their own buckskins. I could not get them to let me teastain their dresses, but they turned out cute anyways. LE really got into the Indian writings, she worked on her symbol drawings for over an hour.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

email about homeless outreach

I was unable to go downtown last weekend, but received this encouraging e-mail about recent events I had to share~

Today my church worked along side MHMR on serving Thansgiving Dinner to those from our city. There were several individuals I recognized and was able to speak with because I met them when I went down with you guys from Celebration. I did see the woman known as Red today. Kristi she wanted me to let you know she moved into her own home in East Austin and God is truly blessing her. She said God was blessing her with the different furniture that she needs and she was very thankful and excited to share with me. I wanted to let you know that victory report and let you know you have truly touched so many hearts. I wish you both well and a Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully, I'll see you guys in December.

Be blessed!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

Sorry for the delay, but Happy Turkey Day!
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Friday, November 26, 2010

room update - bed

Rain, wind, no help from Mommy and poison ivy could not stop Daddy from finishing the girl's bed. In August, we bought furniture from a friend (school desk, my desk and Cargo furniture). I was apprehensive about the Cargo furniture only b/c of the color. I knew it was great furniture, but it was the Cargo brown and I wanted the girls to have white furniture. They were still using their baby furniture (dressers) which are black and about to be used by another RFF baby. Ben worked many weekends to sand, prime and paint, but this week he was finally able to finish. When we took the girl's day bed down, LE cried, we were worried. She no longer wanted a "ladder bed" but wanted her big girl bed. She went downstairs for lunch & when she came back upstairs Ben had it assembled. They loved it. In the next few weeks, Daddy will finish the rest of the furniture. We moved it to the garage so he can work on it, wind or rain at least.
This furniture was purchased by the family that I was a Nanny for in high school and college. The boys, our ring bearers, were pre-k/kinder age and now one is working on his masters and the other is a college sophomore. I love being able to use it with the girls. Thanks Craig and Chris.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bella's bday dinner

I know this is not the best thing to be raising my girls to do, but man, they love to kill bugs with their Daddy. 
For Bella's bday dinner, we went to where else, but Chuck E. Cheese.  My new camera takes video, so here is a clip of some good ole Texas bug killing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

another update

As I told you, I have been feeling pretty crummy for several days, more than just pregnancy crummy.  On Sunday, that developed into something else and then Tuesday that turned into something else and yesterday that turned into spending the morning in a surgeon's office.  I am feeling much better this morning, but I am on some great meds.  I am so thankful for a believing doctor and now a great surgeon and an amazing husband.  Please continue to lift us up in prayers, but especially that baby stays happy, healthy and comfortable for a few more days while I heal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Green Eggs and Ham Baby Shower

 My cousin, Anna and friend, Natalie hosted a sweet brunch for me and our little boy this past weekend. The theme - Green Eggs and Ham. It was a great morning with friends and family. He got some great things, just one thing more to mark off my list before he comes.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

baby #3 countdown

I have not been feeling real hot the past few mornings.  Breakfast has been a struggle to get down, can usually do cereal, not good going to a dr appt. 
At my appointment Friday, found out I have begun to dilate. I am sure that means something, but with the girls not so much, so will get excited when I start progressing.  He also had some concerns about how easily he could "feel" the baby.  He put me on the sonogram machine and discovered I was leaking amniotic fluid.  Then, I got on the stress test, which this baby does not like at all.  He kicked, squirmed, and had a good ole party the entire time I got to lay peacefully in a big comfy recliner; no sleep b/c of the Zumba class occuring in my uterus.  After the test, he sent me across the street to the fetal medicine office, so they could "squeeze" me in for a more formal sonogram.  Remember, upset stomach and 2 bites of toast, now noon, starving Mama, one hour wait to be seen.  Baby will not move, will not practice breathe, just sleeps.  They discover I am not "leaking" fluid, but they need to see him practice breathe.  Nope, not for 45 minutes.  We did get to see that he is still a boy, and he has a head full of hair.  Left the office and the stinker gets the hiccups for like 15 minutes.  So, he is a Neal/Richards and is already doing things on his own time.  He is head down and weighs 6 lbs 4oz.  I am excited to see his head full of hair.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

special gifts

Thank you Gigi and PopPop for all of my special gifts. My jammies are super soft, my new favorite cuddle bug is Angelina and I have watched Toy Story 3 twice.
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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Pooh Bear birthday

Bella's best friend is her Pooh Bear.
We had a great time celebrating Boo Bear's Pooh Bear Party. Thanks to all of her friends and family who made the day so wonderful. Special thanks to Mimi for the Pooh Bear Cake Pops, yummy cupcakes and Pooh Bear birthday cake.  She had so much fun! You could have not asked for a more beautiful day.
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Monday, November 08, 2010

baby #3 update

I am now going to the doctor every Friday.  I have to have a stress test every week now (my age) and he has started "measuring" me, but no news to report there.  I have found out that I am anemic, no surprise known that for 5 years and I have a potassium, calcium and magnesium deficiency, thus the Gatorade cravings.  I have had very bad charlie horses for the past two weeks and woken up with cricks in my neck and a sharp piercing pain in my abdomen, which is the result of the deficiencies.  I have not gained weight in 3 months, and my belly is now measuring 31 weeks, so he is growing.
I started having contractions last weekend, but nothing consistent and then this weekend they stopped.  Today I have had a handful, probably b/c I worked out this morning and then the girls and I walked/rode bikes to the mail boxes.  I slept really well last night and being able to get an extra hour of sleep was awesome this morning.  It made a huge difference in my day.
I discovered this weekend I do not need much, just a masseuse, housekeeper, personal chef, nanny, shopper, and homeschool teacher for my girls over the next few weeks.  I was very thankful my mom was here yesterday b/c she entertained the girls, made us a pot of chicken and spaghetti and cleaned my kitchen.  

Missions Monday - 10 to give 10

You can bring Christmas to a child who has nothing.

Give your $10 to make this Christmas unforgettable for one precious child by clicking here.

I am hoping 10 friends will give $10 to the children of Children's Cup.  PLEASE don't be shy and let me know if you participate. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

finishing touches

We finally finished our birdhouse. It turned out even cuter than I envisioned. Hopefully it will make a bird a nice home for the winter.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010


On Friday night, the girls drew out their pumpkin faces. LE drew the cat and Daddy carved, Bella drew a bunny that Daddy interpreted.
Saturday night, I worked the YMCA's Halloween fest. We raised over $21,000 for children scholarships to the gym and its sport programs. I worked with the seniors and they raised over $340 selling hot chocolate and baked goodies.
Sunday night, we went to our friends from church, the Tangumas. We trick or treated and grilled burgers. LE said "trick or treating is the best thing EVER." Bella said in response to a skeleton. "there's a bone head."
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

baby bedding

We have the baby bed ready, car seat figured out and now a camera. Just waiting for the baby.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

camera blues

The past couple of weeks I have been so lonely without my trusty sidekick.  My camera is my journal, my therapy and key to the girl's baby book.  I document everything with my camera and I should not be disappointed that it lasted for six years.  However, I have only put a small fraction away towards a new one.  For months, I have wanted a point and shoot to keep in my purse for outings to the park, homeless outreachess, etc. etc.  So, when we started shopping to replace my SLR (minimum $1000) I tried to make the grown up decision and not dip into our personal savings (knowing I am going to be without paycheck for at least 2 months).  Tonight, when we went to look at the actual camera and I saw my dream SLR sitting there calling my name I actually cried (have grace I am 35 weeks preggo!) I hope and pray it will do the job, it got rave reviews.  I have 2 jobs booked before Christmas, so I am hoping from them I can garner some more business to get my dream guy soon.  So, I have decided to not register at Babies R Us and just register at the online camera store.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Granny!

Wish we were there to take you to Hunan's.
Happy Birthday!
We love you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

rachel ray magazine

I recently subscribed to Everyday with Rachel Ray.  I actually got a free subscription through a blog I follow.  This past month, I decided I was going to try a new recipe every day and found almost all of them in her September issue.  One afternoon I sat down with my magazine, tablet and pen and planned the entire month of grocery shopping out of her magazine.  We enjoyed it so much, well today is my day to plan November.  I actually lost weight this month - only 1/2 pound, but at 8 months preggo that is kind of cool (dr. was ok with it too).  We had meals including Shepherd's Pie, Minestrone Soup, Cheese steak Kebabs, Bacon-Cantaloupe Wraps, & Picatta-style Tilapia. For the most part all recipes came from Rachel Ray, I ended up making a couple of meals that are RFF faves; LE insisted on and dumplings one Sunday after church, we had tortilla soup one night.  Ben loved that we had more meals as opposed to one-dish wonders, which is usually the norm.   She has a section for 30-minute meals from her show, $10 bucks or less meals (for family of 4), and one week of meals planned including grocery shopping.  The website has a lot of great ideas too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

in need of prayer

I am a stubborn person, I have no problem denying it.  And I hate to ask, but I really could use prayers. 
I am having a lot of back pain, it is just pregnancy.  It is bad I know b/c even my girls prayers tonight were, "please help Mommy's back not hurt and help her to not be tired".  I cannot just sit around for the next 5 1/2 weeks.  I am taking care of myself and I may push too hard, but I am not doing anything crazy.  I would appreciate your prayers for energy and the pain in my back to let up.  The dr. said he would write the orders for physical therapy, but that seems so unnecessary.  I know God can provide the relief.  I also could use prayers for sleep at night.  It is so hard to get comfortable sleeping on my side.  It is just not fun waking up hurting and tired.  Thanks I appreciate it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

N is for nest?

In the process of loosing my camera, I also lost some pictures of the girls building a nest. We have been learning about animal homes and LE decided she wanted to build a bird house. I wanted to post pics after the girls had a chance to "decorate" it.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

senior moment

I have come to the conclusion that working with seniors can be more entertaining than working with preschoolers.  I have a new client at the gym male, 72 years old, widower, retired Army, green Beret, paratrooper, broken nearly every bone in his body and recovering from a major heart attack.  I learned all of this within the first 6 minutes of meeting him.  He was so awesome to work with and so fun to listen to his stories.  However, my favorite part was when we were walking to get on the treadmills.  Super model in her tiny shorts and sports bra was running on the treadmill, he says, "Holy Cow, God bless, can we work on that one?"  My response - "um, no, we will be working over here" on the last treadmill in the row, thank you very much.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

T is for turtle

We are really enjoying the curriculum we picked out for the girls.  Now that we are in the swing of it, we have adapted some things and I have become more comfortable with adding/taking away knowing what it is the girls are really in need of.  Every day there is a special activity and in the beginning I was trying to figure out how to manage it so Bella would not have to repeat it next year, given we will probably be using the same curriculum.  Since then, we have discovered she is more advanced in her letter/sounds than we first thought.  Within the first week, she was able to recognize all of the letters and now she knows most of the sounds.  She is even writing her letters now.  We will continue on this path for the time being of doing a modified kinder curriculum for her, and a more advanced kinder curriculum for LE. 
LE read her first book yesterday.  It was about turtles.  I was blown away with her ability to figure out the words.   This is her journal entry for the week.  Once upon a time there was Turtle.  He was walking slow to the pond.
*On a side note, became frustrated this week with the world's political correctness.  One of our favorite tv shows is Super Why.  I never have to preview the shows and I know the girls are actually walking away with something other than 30 minutes of babysitting.  We were able to record the episode The Tortoise and the Hare.  This week our Bible theme is I don't quit, I persevere.  I could not find the book at the library, so thought we would watch the Super Why episode instead.  Yes, except they completely changed the plot of the story!  The hare does fall asleep, but wakes up in time to catch the tortoise and they cross the line together, b/c in the real world we cannot have winners and losers.  We all must be equal.  Needless to say, making another trip to the library today to see if we can find the true story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

3rd trimester update

Not sure when I will have any more pics to post, so thought I would update you on me... I do not do pregnancy well, thus the very minimal updates on what's going on with me.  I am 4'10", so being 25-30 pounds heavier and carrying it all in my midsection does not equate happy thoughts or happy blogposts.
  • I am 6 weeks, 3 days away from my due date, and I am still working.  I teach class two days a week and I consult four days a week. 
  • I have put on 25 pounds and it is all in my middle area, chest to hips, that is all the details on that one.
  • I have not slept through the night in weeks, multiple potty trips and the inability to fall back asleep have made the nights my least fave part of the day.
  • I crave chocolate, anything chocolate.
  • My back and hips are the worst.  I know he has not dropped yet, but my hips and my lower back are taking a beating.
  • There is a large pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried up each night b/c I hate climbing the stairs.
  • He has hiccups 5-6 times a day, mainly at night.  Do infants have hiccups that often I cannot remember?
  • I go to the dr. every other Friday now.
  • I am measuring 28 weeks, but doc says that it is just a primitive tool they use, so why use it?
  • Ben and the girls are awesome.  I know the girls are starting to think this will never end, but they are getting better about me having to rest more often and not being able to pick them up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

What a difference a year makes, and I am sure I will be saying that next year too. We met Mimi, my brothers, and sis-in-laws Friday afternoon at a nearby Pumpkin Patch. The purpose was to get some fall photos of the cousins. Thankfully there was 5 cameras b/c my loyal, trusty companion decided to break today. I went to view some of my photos, and they were black. I got a few to choose from, but hoping one of the other cameras captured some memories for me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

T is for...tent

Ben and the girls had their first campout last night.  Being as we just got over poison ivy they opted to camp in the backyard.  All 3 of them slept outside all night, and came in about 7:15 this morning when the sun came up.  The overnight low was 46 degrees. They were all snug as bugs in a rug, except for Daddy who lost his socks in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heaven's Gain

Tonight, one of the most inspiring people I know went to be with Jesus after arriving in South Africa to distribute the Tori boxes.  Please be in prayers for my friends, the Oehlerkings.  Dave and his wife Jean, were the founders of Children's Cup.  I acknowledged him one time on his accomplishments and he said point blank, its not me.  It is Jesus, all for his glory.  I know they were planning to be in Africa for a few weeks, so please lift Jean, their kids and all of "his children" up in prayers.  I can personally say that my life was changed because of this man.   Thank you, Mr. Dave.