Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paci and Pull-ups are GONE!!!

What a week of success far....
It all started Sunday afternoon when it was time to put the girls down for their naps.  I went to lay Madi down in her bed when I realized that I couldn't find the one staple that always works to get her to sleep quickly....HER PACI (or 'bobby' as she calls it?!?!).  We have been down to one paci for a while now and I told myself that once we lost this last one, that would be it.  Madi is 1 1/2 now and I didn't want to have to go buy more pacis, because in her year and a half of existence, we have already lost about 10! Yeah, 10!!
So, it was nap-time with no paci, and I didn't panic.  I just told myself that this was it, she would have to cry for a little while but would soon get over it and fall asleep!  ....and I was right!
It is now Wednesday and she hasn't had the paci since Sunday morning!  One thing I love about a 'paciless' Madi is the fact that she talks more now and you can actually understand what she is saying!  She didn't need it, in fact, she has only asked for it once in the past three days and I would say that she is doing just fine without it!!
....oh and her smile is priceless...we definitely needed to get rid of the paci!!
With paci (aka bobby).... precious!

Now...a few weeks ago, I blogged about our struggle with potty training and all the stresses that were involved.  I ended that blog by saying that I would not rush it, I would ultimately go on Kaycin's timing, and that when she was ready then we would do it!
Well, Monday morning, I got an itch to try something new.  I had gotten advice from a few people that told me to just put Kaycin in panties and that would do the trick!
I put her in her little princess panties Monday morning just to see how she would take to them.  She loved them-called them her "big girl panties".  She teeteed in the potty shortly after and was so proud of herself!  I continuously reminded her that we don't teetee in our panties and that if she went teetee in the potty all day, we would go buy her more panties at the store! 
Monday, she had only one accident and that was in the morning shortly after we had first put her panties on.  It is now Wednesday afternoon and she has not had an accident yet!!! WOOHOO!! I am soo proud of her!! She is such a big girl, and I think putting her in panties just made something click in her head, because she now has this whole 'I'm gonna go potty in the big girl potty' thing down! 
Its a little bittersweet, where I'm totally fine with the fact that I don't have to change anymore of her diapers, but I'm a little sad that my baby is growing up so fast.  The potty training was perfect timing, and she caught on so quick.  Which is good, considering the fact that most people who look at Kaycin, thinks she is at least 4 and should be potty trained anyways...and I would get looks when I would take her to change her diaper at a restaurant or a store....although they had no idea she was only 2 1/2!!!!!
Oh well, I am a proud mom with two little girls that are growing up way too quickly, but happy with the fact that they are happy and healthy.  God has given Clayton and I two little girls that He knew we needed, all in His timing, and it couldn't be more perfect!! So what, they have the same birthday exactly one year apart!!!  So far, it has only been a blessing in every way, shape, and form!  God knew what He was doing, what He is doing now, and what He will do with us in the future!  I am just glad that He got us through potty training for the time being!
Our BIG girl....
Sweet Sisters....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homemade Ornaments....

This year...after a little inspiration from my good friend Jordan, along with all of her inspiring craftiness....I decided to make homemade ornaments for some of my family members and friends! I bought plain cardboard, already assembled ornaments from Hobby Lobby and some really fun decorative paper and decorative beads that I would use to Mod-Podge and decorate said ornaments! I had a blast with this craft, and found that this may become a new tradition of mine...kind of like a 'From our house, to yours' kind of gift! Its a cheap and a fun way to give a little something to the important people in your life! Here are a few pictures of just a few of the ornaments I made... I wish I would have taken pictures of all of them, but I got a little eager and excited and passed them out before I could!! 
 one I made for my mom...

Monday, December 6, 2010

a new coloring desk....

So, it has been awhile, but I finally buckled down today and finished Kaycin and Madi's new desk for their room.  I have had this desk in my garage for months now...and before that, it was in my parents garage.  
Here is the before picture.....

My mom called one day and asked if I would be interested in a vintage desk that a fellow teacher at her campus was getting rid of.  She thought that with the right touch ups and with a little re-vamping, that it would make for a cute piece of furniture in my home.  I quickly said yes!  Tracey and I got to working on it at the beginning of the summer, first with sanding and stripping it, then we cleaned it really good and got it ready for a fresh coat of paint!
The bench didn't come with the desk, but it was one my mom had around the garage that wasn't in use, and it was the perfect fit!
Stripped and sanded.....

Looks great naked huh!? Yeah, I thought so too.  But I knew that in order for it to be in my daughters room, I wanted it to be painted a crisp white and then add a little DIY distressing to give it some character.  So, after a few months of sitting in my garage, mom and Tracey came over to help me get it painted and add new hardware to 'cutsie' it up a little!! ...that was about 3 months ago!  
I finally finished today.....the desk is re-painted and distressed, the bench is painted and recovered, and I added some accessories and finally put it into my girls room...
Their reaction?? THEY LOVED IT!! Kaycin wanted to immediately start coloring and Madi, of course, just wanted to climb!  
I'm pretty proud of this little, drawn-out, project and here are a few picture of the finished product!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

LOVED my Saturday...

After sleeping in to a WHOPPING 7:45....
The girls and I came into the living room early to chill with a little chocolate milk (morning routine) and watch Saturday morning cartoons (Phineas and Ferb, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Dora the Explorer, and Diego....).  Once Clayton was up around 9, we started to get ready for me to get to the gym to get my hour massage and for daddy and the girls to play and workout.  In the process of getting ready, Clayton told me that the plan would be that we take two cars to the gym, that way after I was done with my massage, I could go shopping (YAY!!!) and he would play with and feed the girls for the afternoon! I WAS PUMPED! That made my massage that much more relaxing! So I relaxed, shopped, moseyed, wasted time...then I got home JUST in time to help Clayton get the girls down for their naps so he could head out to the Big 12 Championship game! He left a little after 2, and I chilled while the girls were napping! I probably should have cleaned the house...I sat for a few minutes trying to convince myself to get up and do it...but I got over that really quick! I, instead, proceeded to collect addresses for Kaycin and Madi's Christmas cards that will soon be sent out....went online and ordered said Christmas cards, played around a little on Facebook, then I got ready for my second round of shopping that I was going to do, now, with the girls.  After they were up from naps, I got them ready, we ran to TJ Maxx and Homegoods, then we went on to Chick-Fil-A (their FAVORITE) and ate (aka played) for over an hour! We are now home, relaxing, watching daddy's Cornhusker on TV, hoping to catch a glimpse of him in the stands (yeah right!), we are enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree, and I am enjoying watching my babies run and chase each other, giggling and screaming with JOY....
What a great day we had that went by WAY too fast!

Here is a sneak peak at some of the girls Christmas card pictures (the ones NOT chosen to put on the card)

And our tree...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life is good, God is GREAT!

So, I am in the mood to COUNT MY BLESSINGS!!
God is great, and has been great to us this past year! I find myself very thankful at the moment for life, love, family, and friends! I have really enjoyed this past year and where God has put us.  We have met some amazing people living here so far. I am very thankful for the uplifting and encouraging relationships we have built with the Granthams, the Amrines, the Kirklands and the Samples....I am thankful that they are God fearing indiviuals that help keep Clayton and I accountable on a daily basis! I am also thankful for the relationships we have here that once started in different towns.  A couple that we have been friends with for years, that started in Abilene, Texas, has continued here in the metroplex.  The Ratliffs moved here not long after we did, and to have them here has been such a comfort and a piece of home! Not only do they have kids that are the same age as Kaycin and Madi, but they share so many of the same interests that we do, and to say that they are our greatest and dearest friends, is not enough...we love them like our own family! We have also reconnected with the Gaddis' and that has proven to be great for us. Coach Gaddis is a great mentor and friend to Clayton, and Gloria is always happy to step in as a 'Gigi' to us and our girls.  We are closer to home (Longview) which has made it easier for us to make trips to visit Clayton's family, as well as my dad and Kristine! And we are now only an hour away from MamaK and PapaT, which is perfect for them to make a quick trip to see their grandbabies!
I am thankful for my girls! They are unbelievably talented and never cease to amaze me! Kaycin is so beautiful inside and out.  She loves BIG and she gets mad even BIGGER. She has a huge passionate heart, and everything is important to her. I love that she has a purpose in everything that she does.  She is so smart and intuitive.  She picks up on things that I dont even notice. Shes funny, and goofy, loves to perform, but is reserved in front of people she isn't sure of, strong-willed, and incredibly talented.  But most importantly, she LOVES her little sister to death! Now, she is two and they have their moments, but she sticks up for her little Madi and loves her with her whole heart!
Madi is my precious little Madi Moo.  She has a cute little quirky personality and her smile will light up any room.  She's a little aggressive and takes up for herself.  She cuddles and talks, and sings, and laughs...she loves to get a reaction and she loves to laugh! Shes very smart, as well....she is a hugger and a comforter! She loves to make people happy and she is really good at it! Her smile is so contagious! She loves her sissy and would do anything for her!
I love that I have been given the opportunity to stay at home with my girls! God is great, and has put us in a position where He provides us with enough so that I can. Clayton works very hard and very long hours for us to do what we do! I am thankful God allowed me to have Clayton! I have loved him since I was 16 and have not stopped once.  Our relationship is very unique and I thank God that he gave me a high school sweetheart that I can now call my husband! Clayton is one of the most talented individuals that I know.  He is smart, very funny, very trustworthy, a man that isn't afraid to admit that he fears God and loves God. His ability to learn and absorb information blows my mind.  He is my little fact-finder! I love that no matter how much I nag or how annoying I can be...he always finds humor in those situations and  has patience where I have none.  We are a great balance and I thank God for my husband FOR LIFE! I LOVE him unconditionally!
I am thankful for my one and only sister, Kristine! She is an amazing God-fearing woman that serves her God with her whole heart! I look up to her more than she knows, and I find great joy in being able to call her my sister! She is my Kaycin, in that, she has always and will always look out for me.  I love her more than LIFE and feel so blessed to have her in my life!
I am thankful for all of my family! My parents...Dad, Mom, and Tracey, Clayton's parents- Charlie and Cindy, his brothers and sisters- Christy, Charla, Cody, and Clinton, my brother and sister in-laws- Adam, Jared, and Jenna and my niece and nephews- Kinzie, Jackson, Blaze, Wade, and Brady.  I am thankful that there is always entertainment and never a dull moment in the Farrell household. 
I am thankful for lifelong friends that I will always love...friends from Longview, Hallsville, Abilene, and Flower Mound.
....and seriously I could go on forever!
But most importantly, I am thankful for the fullness that my heart feels!! God has been so great to us.  I can always say that life could be better, but life could also be way worse, and in no way should I ever complain for what I have or who I have in my life! I have a life that some people may never experience and for that I am eternally grateful!
I could never thank God enough for the blessings he has showered upon me.  So, with all of that being said,  I am MOST thankful for a God that is loving, merciful, graceful, and forgiving! I am thankful that although I am NO WHERE near perfect, God loves and cares for me and calls me His own.  He is jealous for me and wants me to spend eternity with Him in heaven! What JOY I find in that! I am but ONE among billions of people on this planet, and God cares enough about me to know how many hairs are on my head! He is SO HUGE, yet so small so that He can be in my heart and with me always.  I love knowing that I fit in the palm of the hands of THE ONE who created the universe! WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!
I am thankful and my heart is full! God is soo Good!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Life of a Coaches Wife....

Here's an article from our local paper.

     Texas high school football is huge. Even bigger is the spirit and fortitude of a Texas high school football coach’s wife. The Friday night show requires a lot of behind-the-scenes support. Coaches’ wives are the stage managers; making sure the show goes on without a hitch. An important role of a stage manager is to assist the director. Their unyielding backstage support is crucial to the directorial success on any gridiron stage.

    The obvious downside to football season, as a coach’s wife, is the amount of time the coach is away from home. The actual time, however, is not as publicly known. 

According to Brandi Mann, wife of a Rouse High School coach, the average fan doesn’t realize that a coach can spend up to 143 hours a week, including Saturdays and Sundays, on football-related activities. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for the zoo or date night. 

    Heidi Brittain, wife of a Cedar Park High School coach, explains how the issue of time affects her relationship with her husband.  “The more we are apart, the more I feel distant from him,” she says.  They catch up on Saturday nights and attend church on Sunday mornings. “Attending church and being grounded spiritually help me to remember that coaching is a mission field and not just a job,” she adds.

    Attempting a once-a-month date night is how Katie Schmidt, wife of a Cedar Park High School coach, and her husband stay connected. Brandi and her two sons spend a lot of time at school and regularly attend practices. Elizabeth Jackson, wife of a Frisco Heritage High School coach, wrote a book called “Poems, Prayers and Peanut Butter: A Year of Encouragement for Coaches’ Wives,” during her alone time.

    Some coaches’ wives feel the pressure of bearing the sole responsibilities of the family and home. Being a seasonal single parent requires a large hat rack. Carrie Bresnehen, wife of a Rouse High School coach, sometimes feels like “ ... I am responsible for it all.” She finds that as her children get older, things get a little easier. 

Channa Norman, wife of an Irving Nimitz High School coach, has a saying: “You just do what you have to do.”

    Criticism toward their husbands is also another speed bump on the road to keeping it together during football season. Negative comments from parents are difficult to hear when their husband spends more time with their kid than his own. 

    This group of special women has discovered solace and celebration in each other’s company and support.  They regularly get together before and after games; have girls’ nights out; attend Coaches’ Outreach marriage conferences; join coaches’ wives associations; and vacation together. 

    While the negatives of this lifestyle have their impact, it’s clear that the positives knock down any hurdles these women face. A common joy for these women is seeing how their husbands have positively influenced the players. “I love watching him coach and seeing the difference that he makes in the lives of so many kids,” says Carrie. 

 “Sometimes he is the only disciplinarian for that kid. Literally, one time, he grounded a kid from his car,” Brandi explained. The player had a single mother who had trouble controlling him. The mother asked Coach Mann to step in.

    Though they struggle to fit in “me time,” these ladies wouldn’t trade this life for anything. For Katie and her husband, meeting and getting to know the parents and players has evolved into lifelong friendships.  The Manns love their life of football. “I am living my dream life in every way,” Brandi said.

    Former Alabama coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant said, “There ought to be a special place in heaven for coaches’ wives.” 

    These women make things pretty special here for the director and stars of the Friday night show with their endless enthusiasm and tireless encouragement.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Potty Training...

Dont Rush It!!!
Kaycin is smart....very smart....a little TOO smart, sometimes! She is 2 1/2 and we are in the process of teaching her not to tee-tee on her princesses (pull-ups with Disney princesses on them) but instead to go in the potty! The approach we are taking has proven to be challenging and tiresome!

When I initially started potty training, I just knew Kaycin would pick it up quickly and we would be done before the school year started!! Boy, was I wrong! She has now been in pull-ups for about 5 months! I guess I was basing her progress on the progress she has had in other areas! For instance, Kaycin has been in a big girl bed for almost 6 months now.  When we started, I fully expected the middle of the night, tap on my face, me freak out, and she start crying, moment.  I expected her to miss the comfort of her crib and to fight the freedom she now had, so she could come sleep with us! I WAS WRONG.  She could not have been happier about having a pink, big girl bed that she told everyone, 'mommy made'! 

Since she was 1, she has helped me with Madi.  Whether it was throwing away diapers, getting diaper rash cream, getting the diaper bag for me, or even putting on her own shoes....Not that I was incapable of doing these things, she just always beat me to it! She is very intuitive and catches on really quick! I cant do anything without her knowing about it. And she cant do anything halfway! She is fully committed to everything she does and has a purpose for every move she makes! She amazes me a little more everyday! Thus the reason, I was under the impression, that she was gonna kill this potty training nonsense!!!


So, I have now made the decision, after talking to many moms who are in the same situation, that I am going to keep encouraging using the potty, but I am not going to rush it! Last night, I was eating dinner with a lot of mommies who have children Kaycin's age and they all talked about how, to them, its not worth the fighting and stress to push it.  I agree! In the grand scheme of things, I know that Kaycin will one day use the potty like a normal human being! Now, dont get me wrong, she wont be 4 and still be in diapers! I have just decided that with my circumstance and the advice from many other moms, that Kaycin will decide when she is ready and I cant do that for her.  I can push her and encourage her and even demand her to use the potty, but so far it hasn't worked! She knows what it means to go tee-tee and poo-poo in the potty! She just isnt ready! And, although I am tired, beyond TIRED, of changing poopy diapers at this point, I am okay with Kaycin waiting until she is ready! 

She is just 2 1/2, but she has kind of always done things according to her timing, and so I will apply that to the potty training process as well!