The Big {Spring Break} Surprise

Sunday was the last day my aunt and uncle were here before they had to catch their flight back home. Mama was putting roast, carrots and potatoes in the crock pot for lunch after church for us to eat before they had to leave.

When church was over I picked up the girls from the nursery, ran into Dave in the hallway, passed off Little Bug to him and headed to the car to get Sweet Pea to my parents’ so I could feed her and get her down for a nap.

I arrived at the house, got Sweet Pea out of the car and walked up to the house.

Nothing was out of the ordinary until I entered the house and then out of NOWHERE my cousin Cristina JUMPS out of the hallway COMPLETELY surprising me!!!!!!!!!

We are more like sisters than cousins and I had not seen her in two years.

I know I stood there with my mouth WIDE open, not believing that she was actually standing right there in front of me!!!!

Words can’t describe what an afternoon with her so unexpectedly did to my soul!


I come from a very close-knit family and any time a group of us gets together it is such a special time. I woke up Sunday morning having NO CLUE I was hours away from seeing Cristina and I’m still sitting here a few hours after she has left thinking, Did I really just spend 7 hours with Cristina??

She and her husband, Marcio, were vacationing with Marcio’s brother and wife just a few hours from where I live and she couldn’t be that close without coming for a visit! She really wanted to surprise me and boy did she ever!

Marcio plays the piano by ear and he played several songs with the family sang! LOVE those moments.


Little Bug, of course, just loved her Uncle Marcio and Aunt Cristina immediately. Cristina brought her a little kit where you plant the grass and when it grows it is the hair. They had fun planting the grass seeds.


I was so happy Cristina and Marcio could meet Sweet Pea!! She loved them, too.


It was such a WONDERFUL afternoon!!! I still can’t believe they ALL kept this a secret from me! Unbelievable with this crew.

Looking back I can see all the clues that lead to Cristina’s surprise visit, but none of the clues by themselves were really able to give the surprise away.

Like the fact my mom had TWO crockpots full of food this morning before we left for church…for what I thought was for 7 adults. Um, even I know that you don’t need two roasts to feed 7 adults. But…it was actually for 11 adults. I didn’t think it strange because my mom has a reputation for always fixing more food than necessary because she always wants to have enough food to feed everyone.

Then there was the fact that when I drove up from church there was a mysterious car parked in the driveway across the street at the house that has been vacant/for sale for a while now. There is apparently a buyer now and I just figured they were at the house, but, really, it was the rental car Cristina & Marcio had used to drive here!

And then, apparently my mom DID sort of give the surprise away during a phone conversation to my aunt about a week or so before the visit!! BUT – she lied to me to cover it up. Which is huge. My Mama doesn’t lie for ANYTHING – those who know her know she was probably up all night the day she lied to me. (She did tell me that after she told me the lie, she wrote an email to all the family confessing how she had almost let the secret slip, but had lied to cover it up.) From the phone conversation I could tell someone was coming for a visit so when she hung up I asked, “Who’s coming?”. And my mom told me, “Martha! She has a conference a few hours away and she may try to drive over one day to see us.”

Martha (my mom’s cousin!) is a doctor and a conference sounded very legit. I bought it hook, line and sinker and never once thought that it was actually Cristina coming for a visit!


I am so thankful for the family God has given me.


Spring Break!

Last week, Mimi and Papaw (my aunt and uncle) came for a visit during Mimi’s Spring Break. She is a kinder teacher and Mimi and Papaw are grandparents to my girls!


We took a trip to the zoo. Papaw had fun walking around with Sweet Pea!


Guess who else was at the zoo?!

Tater & Little Bug had a blast together. Jennifer’s spring break was that week also and we couldn’t wait to see them!


It was a beautiful morning for the zoo. A little nippy, but it warmed up a little.


Tater and Little Bug fed the giraffes.


And probably the highlight of their day: the zoo park!


So thankful that adoption not only made me a mother but brought special life long friends in to my life as well.


A picture with Mimi and Papaw at the zoo!


Parks are pretty much a hit these days. We also went to the park in our neighborhood one day for some more outside fun!


Mimi helping the girls see-saw.


Never too old to swing!


Sweet Pea likes to spin on this. She is quite funny when she gets off and can’t walk straight.


I made dinner that night for anyone. (Any guesses on what I made??!) And then it was time for building forts and playing with the marble track.


We took the family to see the house!


We went to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Mama’s birthday.


Gramps, Papaw and Little Bug worked on the garden area in preparation to plant soon.


Little did I know…a BIG surprise was awaiting me at the end of this week!

All my family knew, except me!!!

100 years old!

Dave’s Great-Grandma turned 100 years old on April 29th! She was born just two weeks after the Titanic sank.


The family had a birthday party for her at her nursing home.


She held up pretty well during the party and had so many family and friends come by to tell her Happy 100th Birthday!


After the party (and naptime!) my mom brought the girls up to see their Great-Great-Grandma!


We were able to get a generational picture including Great-Great Grandma, her granddaughter (Dave’s mom, Debbie), her great-grandson (Dave) and her two great-great-granddaughters (Little Bug and Sweet Pea)! Had Debbie’s mother been living (she passed away last July, weeks before Sweet Pea’s birth) it would have been a five generation picture. Such a special picture!

Great-Great-Grandma got to talk to Little Bug, even though Little Bug decided to be a little shy.


Great-Great Grandma got to meet Sweet Pea for the first time. Sweet Pea was bouncing up and down!


There is just something about this next picture…


The circle of life.

Movie Night with Uncle

December 30th we had not watched “Home Alone” at all during this Christmas Season. Little Bug and Uncle walked to Bisa’s house (my Grandmother) to try to find it. They couldn’t find it (this Christmas season will never feel complete since we didn’t watch Home Alone Smile) so they brought back another movie instead.

Little Bug didn’t get up from her nap until 5pm, so she got to stay up a little past her bedtime to watch a movie with Uncle.

I didn’t know if she would be interested in something other than Word World but she laid there for about half an hour watching.


Uncle loves his little nieces and they love him too.

If I suddenly go MIA…

If I suddenly go MIA


over the next week or so


you can blame these people!!


We’ve got family in town for the Thanksgiving holidays!


By the end of this week, two aunts and two uncles, my cousin and his wife and my brother will all be here!

Some are staying just through the weekend while others will be here for Thanksgiving.

I LOVE time spent with family!

First Family of Four Outing!

The weekend before Sweet Pea turned 6 weeks old, Dave and I packed everyone up and we went on our first outing as a family of four!


We went to the Town Center and walked around and ate dinner at one of our favorite places.


Sweet Pea slept in various places.


Daddy and Little Bug rode the escalator. Free entertainment at its best!

I did some double-stroller watching (stalking?!)!

While we were siting (picture above) I noticed across the way a woman pushing one of the strollers that I am considering purchasing!

I thought about getting up and going to talk to her, but decided against it.

Then, Little Bug and Dave went off to see the fish in the pond and I moved to sit on a bench that had become available. I looked up and this woman (and stroller!) were literally right in front of me so…

I said, “Hey! Do you like your stroller?!”

She turned around and I quickly explained myself, “I have a newborn and a 2 year old and I am considering buying one of those strollers! Do you like it?”

She was very friendly and we had a lengthy conversation about the stroller.

I was pretty much sold on it after that conversation!

I’ll let you know what I decided on soon.

It is not one of the strollers that was in my ”Double Stroller Dilemma” post!

Bike Riding Adventure

Uncle Wesley had the great idea of buying a kid seat for the bicycle!

Little Bug got her helmet on and was ready to go for a ride!


Grandma and Uncle got Little Bug all strapped into the seat.


And then they were off! Little Bug and Uncle rode the bicycle for over 45 minutes! Uncle would ask Little Bug if she was ready to stop or if she wanted to ride more. Little Bug kept saying, “Go again!”


They had to stop for a water break!



A little video of Uncle and Little Bug going for a bike ride:


I had been wanting to get a bike seat for Little Bug. I knew she would LOVE it.

This girl loves anything that has to do with the outdoors and Uh-Note!

Nap and Uh-Note

Before you think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth…

I haven’t. It’s just been a very busy week!

Figured out the nap problem. Monday, when I laid Little Bug down at 1:30 and she slept until 4:00pm, I knew the issue here was an issue of needing to lay down earlier and not later as I had first thought.

So, naptime is now back to 1:30pm, until there is a need for another change.

It’s interesting how I have seen a pattern of Little Bug needing more sleep during certain times and then needing a little less sleep. It’s never a huge difference but I do know that Little Bug requires 13-14 hours of sleep to function properly. Right now, she is needing 13ish hours…11 hours of nighttime sleep and a 2 hour nap is ideal, but I have seen this past week if she sleeps 11.5 hours at night, her nap will only be 1.5 hours.

It is interesting how sleep for baby/toddler is really a science and when you mix just the right ingredients of optimal wake time and consistency you have a recipe for an awesome sleeper. Getting the ingredients “just right” is more important for young babies, but as I learned with Little Bug this week, it still plays a big roll for a toddler as well.

Little Bug had a big surprise today! When she woke up from her nap her Uh-Note (Uncle Wesley) opened her bedroom door! She was still laying down but when she saw him she got this big smile on her face, stood up and started doing her little “happy dance” in the crib! Then she decided to play shy (which she is not!) and wanted Mommy. After she pretended she wanted Mommy she stood up and ran to Uh-Note who picked her up out of the crib! She gave him a big hug and had so much fun playing with him tonight.

Wesley flew in today and will be here a whole week! He’s already enjoying the nice weather here. He left some melting snow on the ground this morning!


Little Bug and her Uh-Note Wesley