September 25, 2013

He's Here! He's Here!

Well, my sis in law and brother were scheduled to arrive at the hospital this morning at 5:30 am for a scheduled section at 7 am.  Little did they know what that sweet boy had in store for them!

After going in to labor and it progressing VERY quickly, my bro and sis in law made it to the hospital about 7:30 and at 8:39 pm, Tate was born!  He's already showing his impatience and determination!  And his absolute adorableness.  Is that a word?  It is now!

He weighed 7 pounds and 14 ounces.  Not too far from the 9 pounds she thought he was going to weigh.  The on call Dr. was there to deliver and I'm so happy they made it in time.  In case you don't live a round here, they had to travel almost an hour to the hospital, during a manhunt on I-20, and the roller coaster that is I-20, and STATE ST. in Jackson.  God was looking out for them.

I cannot WAIT to get to the hospital this afternoon to get my hands on him.  Big Sister asked me this morning to print out his picture so she could show him off during 'Share time' at school. So exciting!

Her parents and my parents are there now. I borrowed these photos from her mom's FB page!

I'm having a hard time focusing at work so I'm leaving at 2:30 to go pick up my kids and head over to get my hands on him!!!

We are so excited to meet Tate!

September 24, 2013

Santa List

Just in case Santa reads my blog, I wanted to post a few things that have been on my wish list.

1)  Any apparel from the College World Series.  Size L or XL.  I sure wish I could get one that says National Champions - MSU on it.  Well, I am sure they were printed but since it didn't quite happen, it might not be the best idea to get.  Some kids in Indonesia might be wearing those one day.

2)  A watch.  I need a good watch.  One that a. works and b. looks decent c. doesn't have a ton of bling or a big face on it.

3)  Mary Kay gift certificate.  I recently went back to using my MK since I have a reliable friend actively selling it.  I wasn't happy with my Cover Girl replacement so I'm glad I switched back.

4)  All the money in the world so I could give some away and travel some.  Seriously.  Well, money is nice.  We are planning a trip for Nov. 2014 and would sure love to have it paid for in 2013!

5)  World peace.  Sorry, I had to. Even though all the interview questions at Miss America this year were about twerking, sexting, and Syria!  GEEZ.

Well, tomorrow baby Tate McEwen Loper will make his grand entrance.  I cannot wait to get my hands on him tomorrow afternoon.  And most every day after that! Stay tuned for pictures.  Ok, TONS of pictures.

September 23, 2013

More Birthdays!

I knew I was going to be late in posting these but here goes!

Happy belated birthday to the absolute best mom in all the world!  She is one of my best friends and has always been my biggest cheerleader. She helps me so much with my girls and we know just how blessed we are!

We had a nice birthday lunch for her this past Saturday, which was her actual birthday.  She's going to have a big week with the birth of her last grandchild!

Happy belated 34th Mom.  We hope you never reach 40!

Saturday was also my brother in law's birthday.

He's our go to guy for all things air conditioning related.  He's saved us a time or two.

He's the middle brother but the one with the most compassion.  He wants everyone to love each other and never wants anybody to get left out.  Middle child syndrome I guess!

Thanks Josh for all you do for us.  Happy belated birthday!

September 20, 2013

Happy anniversary!

September is a big month for birthdays and anniversaries in our family.

Today, my brother and sister-in-law celebrate 10 years!  They have a to do list to finish this weekend as a way to celebrate.  Well, they are really preparing for boy #3 to arrive on Wednesday.  I cannot wait to get my hands on that little guy.

Congrats y'all!  Brother, you done good when you got this one!  

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are also celebrating an anniversary this week.
I think it's 8 or 9 years for them?

So glad we are all family! Congrats to y'all as well.

We wish all of you many more years of wedded bliss!


Big Sister had her first friend sleepover last Friday.  She's spent many a nights at my parents or my in-laws or with cousins but she's never had a sleepover with a friend.

Well, technically this friend is a cousin too but it's too far down the line to really count!

I asked the hubby when would be a good time to have this sleepover and his only request was when he wasn't there!  So of course, he was at work.  For most of it.

I picked these 2 up from school and let them burn some energy off at the playground with some other friends.  Then we ran home to change clothes and headed back to Newk's for my birthday supper.  Whew.  Little Sister was NOT having it.  I ended up walking her around outside.  My sweet and awesome mother took over when she was done eating so I could finish my sandwich.  I don't think we'll be visiting any restaurants that don't have a playground for a while.

These 2 LOVE to color.

And be silly.

After supper, we headed back home and they went outside to jump while I got Little Sister ready for bed.

All I could hear were giggles and songs being made up about hummingbirds?  It was pretty funny!

This girl was NOT all about sharing her sister.  I was surprised.


After it got too dark to jump, they stayed out there and just laid on the trampoline, still making up songs. 

This one got a bit happier at some point.  But had NO desire to go to sleep.

I finally got the little one to sleep around 9:15.  The older 2 were content to watch movies in Big Sister's room.  I would hear giggling at random times.  One finally crashed about 10:30 (wild but I'll take it).  My kid didn't go to sleep and then came to tell me her friend was hogging the bed and snoring so loud that she could not sleep.  I tried to tell her that was part of it all but she wasn't having it.

So finally at 11:15 or so, Big Sister went to sleep on the couch.  Until she sneezed and ended up with the world's worst nose bleed.  Like, looked like a crime scene in my house kind of nose bleed.  We are used to this as my brother and I both had them growing up.  This was one of the worst she's ever had though.  She proceeded to FREAK out, rightly so, but then I got it to stop and she chilled. I think she was just exhausted.  I think she finally went to sleep about midnight.  Around 2, Little Sister woke up, waking up Big Sister.  Yeah, Mama was tired.  And our guest?  Slept right thru it all.

After some sleep, we all got up and went to get donuts.

After the donut trip where these girls PUT AWAY some donuts, we went back home. Since the weather was amazing, we headed back outside to jump and play.  I was still surprised that my girls preferred each other more than their friend at times.

All in all, I honestly thought it was going to be loud and giggly all night long.  I could not have been more wrong.  It wasn't bad at all.  I think they all had fun!  We loved having our friend over and hope we get to do it again!

September 19, 2013

Thanks friends!

Thanks for those who offered advice and encouragement.  I know when the hubby is working the 3-11 shift (he is off now!) that it's the hardest.  I just have to put my head down and get it done.

Just a few things.  We try to stick to the 1 activity rule.  While Big Sister does art and soccer, that's not really 1 thing.  Art is right after school and before I get off work so I don't count that one so much.  Soccer is only 1 hour during the week and 1 hour on Saturday.  She loves it and we will continue as long as she is enjoying it. She wants to try softball in the spring so we'll see how that goes.  She's so my child.

One area I'm not willing to compromise is church.  We will be at church on Wednesday nights, even if it stresses me out or pushes bedtime back.  We've done it for so long now that we have a routine about it.  I try to always pack a PB&J sandwich for kids to eat in the car between work and church.  If not, I run by Wendy's or something similar.  I don't stress about that.  We are good at doing homework in the car.  I would cut soccer out before I cut church out.

I've come to grips with the fact that my kids won't be in bed by 7 or even 8.  I can deal with that.  Those people who get their kids in bed by 7:30 on weeknights or whatever sure are lucky!  That just doesn't work for me.  I want my kids to be able to jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes before supper or bath time.  I want to be able to spend some time with them, after them being with someone else for 9 hours.  They might send me to the cuckoo barn but I won't be there alone.  I'm sure I'll know many people in the padded cell rooms.

We also do church on Sunday nights.  Yes, we don't get home until 7:30 or so but it's worth it.  We don't have it every Sunday.  I know this is the beginning of the week and my kids should be in bed early and ready for the week.  I feel like getting them spiritually ready is more important that 10 hours of sleep.

Just my opinion.  You don't have to agree.  I just realized after posting that and then reading the comments that I have it more together than I thought.  This is just temporary too.  This too shall pass.  And it will.  As long as I don't have to stay long at said cuckoo barn!

Also, I'm not knocking any of you either!  I was just stating my side because I can!

I did to a better job of just overall planning this week, so far anyway.  I was able to cook 2 meals on one night, granted one was in my crock pot and one was at 10:30 at night, but it lasted for a few days.  Plus, I was able to freeze one meal for my sis in law who is having my latest nephew next Wednesday.  I felt very accomplished until after the kids went to bed last night. I just crashed in my recliner and watched Survivor and Duck Dynasty because I was exhausted and mentally done with the day.  You people that get to bed by 9 or 10, how do you get anything done?

So here's some sweetness to end this post!

September 15, 2013

Parenting Advice

I have cringed at the idea of this post since school started.  Ok, maybe since vacation was over and we were actually in a school routine.

Does anybody else out there feel like they have ran a marathon every single night?  After getting up at 5:30, getting myself and 2 girls ready to go, working 7-9 hours a day, picking up a car rider, delivering kid to art camp, picking up sister at the sitter's,, coming home at 5:30 or 6 if we don't have soccer practice, cooking, eating, bathing, homeworking, reading, then finally getting 2 in bed, then fixing lunch and getting cups ready for the next day, cleaning my house (Who am I kidding? Ok, laundry HAS to be done), feeding the dog, planning for the next day's marathon, and many many more before getting into bed at 11 or 12, I'm exhausted!  I know I am not alone.

Here's where I need advice.  When the hubby is working certain shifts, he's not much help at home. Not knocking him, just stating the facts.  He's at work at least 1 week out of the month during bedtime routine.

Needless to say, I'm doing it all.  I'm not complaining (ok maybe just a bit), I just know I need to do some things differently.

How do you do things at your house?  I used to read with Big Sister every night before she went to sleep.  Last year, her sister was asleep by 8 every night so we had time after she went to bed.  This year?  Not so much.  And Little Sister is in that stage of getting out of her bed every 5 minutes for some reason.  So I go put her back in  the bed about 11 times before she realizes I am serious and not letting her out.  Or getting her more milk.  

This seriously takes away from reading time.

I've contemplated asking to go semi part-time at work so I could leave at 3:30 when school gets out and not come back.  We could come home and start on homework, supper, etc.  I haven't done it for many reasons.  I would potentially lose some great health insurance.  Plus, when the hubby is on certain shifts, Sister can ride the bus.

I just feel like there is someone (or many!) out there that have dealt with this.  Pretty much on a daily basis.

I want to be able to make the most of my time.  But, I'm tired of feeling rushed and always telling my kids to hurry up.  This school year has been so much better so far that I feel like I don't have to be AS strict about Sister being in bed and asleep by 8:30.  Would I like that to happen every night?  Yes!  but it's not realistic when we don't get home some nights until after 7 or 8.

I know some of you out there have some tips on ways to not make me a crazy woman by 9 or 10 pm every day!

So this is my unselfish plea for your advice!!  This is a tough one for me to admit since I think I'm superwoman and can do it ALL.

And I would be remiss to say that I am SUPER lucky to have a great and super awesome family unit supporting me.  I couldn't do any of it without them.  They babysit, they carpool, they sit in the car with a sleeping kid in between soccer games, they just generally help out a TON.  I can't thank you all enough!

Ok, now go...

September 13, 2013

MSU vs. Alcorn State

Last year, Big Sister's kindergarten teacher was new to town.  We found out very early who she was and who she is married to.

Her name is Michelle Hopson, married to Alcorn State's head football coach, Jay.  If you see her shirt here, she has on the purple and gold!

I promised my girl last year that if they survived kindergarten together, that I would take her to the first MSU home game, that just happened to be against Mr. Jay's team.  She and Mrs. Hopson (and ME) talked a little trash all last year.  More backstory, both Mr. and Mrs. Hopson went to Ole Miss.  So it makes our relationship that much more fun!

Well, needless to say, they both survived last year so we made plans to attend the first game.  I don't know what I was thinking with it being the first part of September.  It's been an extremely pleasant summer weather wise but man, once September started, it's been back to MS summer weather.  HOT, STICKY, GROSS.

Saturday, September 7th was no different.  Man, I think I sweated off 10 pounds.  I wish!

We left early Sat. morning and I was only asked approximately 957 times how much longer or are we there yet.  Just a guess.  It could have only been 829.

Once we got to town, we caught the shuttle to campus.  We found some tailgating friends but since we had already eaten, we decided to head down the kid area for a tattoo and some jumping.  

Once we made it to kid zone and she got her face tattoo, she wanted to go on the inflatable slide.  My friend and I headed straight for the free root beer floats they were giving away.  Good marketing right there.

By then, it was close enough to game time that we could make our way into the stadium.  We were dripping wet.  Did I mention it was hot?  

We were lucky enough to run into our former teacher and her daughters before the heading into the stadium.

Once we got inside and found our seats, it was almost time for the National Anthem, etc.  We got our her earphone things out just in case they did a flyover.  That scared the you know what out of her last year.  They didn't do one so she was good.

Have I mentioned that it was hot?

Once the game started, it quickly got out of control.  We were pulling for our Dawgs but we wanted Coach Hopson to do well too.

This is my friend Tracey.  She is a DIE HARD Ole Miss fan.  Her daughter went to USM and her son now goes to MSU.  She was there to support him.  It took all she had in her to be there.  I'm so proud of her.  We had fun catching up too.  Plus, I have picture proof that she actually wore some MAROON to the game.  She said the fan was necessary or else she wouldn't have carried it!

We had great seats behind the ASU team.  It was neat to see Coach Hopson's dad on the sidelines.  We had ZERO shade so it was pretty miserable until around hafltime when everyone started leaving.

Oh halftime?  It was phenomenal.  We really enjoyed both bands.

Once halftime came and went, the stands started clearing out a bit.  After that, there was a slight breeze so it wasn't quite as unpleasant.

Last year, my girl wanted NOTHING to do with Bully.  Little did she know, we knew who was in there.  Turns out my cousin married a girl who used to be Bully.  Small world!  

Well, this year she really surprised me.  I saw him walking around by where we were sitting. I didn't say anything.  She saw him and saw people taking pictures when him.  She asked if we could go down there and take a pic.  I asked if she was sure and she said no.  Then she decided YES, she was ready.  We headed down to field level (all 4 rows down) and she walked right up to him and tapped on him.

OH MY, she looks grown.

Then some girls standing there asked if I wanted them to take a pic of both of us and in return, I could take theirs. 

Um yes please!

He picked her up and she never even flinched!  I'm so proud of her!

We decided to leave after the 3rd quarter was over.  We wanted to go visit Lisa and her family before it got too late.

Right before we left, they played Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down" and found our favorite Jonathan Holder in the crowd.  He was our closer for the MSU baseball team.  He got QUITE the reception, cowbells and all.  

We headed back toward the shuttle and to my car, we headed over to Lisa's mom's house to change clothes and visit for a bit before heading back home.

I didn't get any pics but one of her daughters and mine played and played.  They are kindred spirits!

We headed home and got back around 11.  My girl stayed awake for all of it.  She crashed less than 5 minutes after walking in the door and was up before I was the next morning!

We had a great time!  It was fun to see her former teacher in a different setting too.  But it was hot and I have little desire for that again.  I will be back for the LSU game and hope the results are the same.  Wouldn't that be nice!!!!!!!

September 11, 2013

Another Happy Birthday and a Story!

Today is a special day for one of my best friends! 

Happy birthday LB!  So glad we get to share our birthdays almost together!

I'm so glad we've gotten to be so close over the past few years!  You challenge me to be a better, harder worker at everything.  You constantly listen to me complain and gripe about everything.  You are always ready to be my lunch date. My kids love you just as much as I do!

We hope you have a fabulous day!  I know you will since I'll see you today! hehe!

Also, happy birthday to cousin Daniel!

And, I know today is a sad day as we remember what happened 12 years ago on 9/11.  I was in college (yes, I'm old) but I was trying to explain it to Big Sister this morning.  I told her there were some mean people that thought they were bigger than God and tried to take over and in the process, killed a bunch of people.  My smart girl said that reminded her of when Jesus was alive (and threw in the fact that she knew He was still alive now) and those men were killing kings and trying to be Jesus, but none of them could.

Man, good morning to you too Sister.  She might be my challenging child, but she sure is smart.

Have a good day all!

September 9, 2013

A Special Happy Birthday

Today is a special day!  It's Daddy's birthday!  We passed this morning like ships in the night.  He was coming home from work as we were leaving for school/work.  

Big Sister gave him his card and we drove away.  He was headed inside to sleep away his birthday.  Oh, getting old is NO fun!

Happy birthday to the love of my life and best friend for more than 17 years.

Happy birthday Daddy (Hubs!).  We love you and hope you have a nice sleep!

September 4, 2013

Vacation Day 7

So, I totally dropped the ball on blogging the last day of our trip.  So here you go! Not that a single one of you care!

Well, today was our last full day at the beach.  We decided we would make the kids enjoy the BEACH since that is where we were.  I think next year, we just need to go somewhere with a pool, or 5.

It rained off and on a bit but never got bad enough to do anything.  The girls and I ventured out to the inside pool (seriously, this place has 5 pools!) while Daddy went to get him a big Hazel's buffet style breakfast.  If you know Orange Beach, you know Hazel's.  I won a trip through my first job (when we were still newlyweds) to OB, but it was in February.  We went because why not?  Of course, it was around Valentine's and we had never been to OB.  We decided to try this place called Hazel's since the sign said seafood buffet.  We walked in and I was given a single read rose, nice touch.  Then we were seated and as we looked around, we realized we were the YOUNGEST in there by at LEAST 30-40 years.  And we were 23!  They had a nice band playing love songs and some people dancing, but we ate (it was good if you like fried) and hightailed it out of that joint.

After the skies cleared up, we headed to the sand!  We tried to spend as long as possible out this day, knowing it was our last!

Baby Sister is a Daddy's girl sometimes.  She was walking in his footsteps.


In case you didn't notice, in the above picture, Big Sister is jumping over the 'fence' she built. Would be a great shot if those random beach walking people weren't in it.

If you look closely in this above pic, you can see a head, or the top of one. She finally got comfortable enough with the sand on the last day to get buried, or semi-buried.

The next day we left in the POURING down rain.  It was, for the most part, an uneventful trip home.  Thank goodness.

We had a great time yet again at Orange Beach and SeaChase.  I'm so glad we were able to spend some quality family time away and with our moms!