Friday, December 31, 2010

hold onto your hats, people! i'm back!

When I posted last on Tuesday, December 7th, I had no idea what was in store for our family in the coming days! Let's just say that you will never catch me saying that the life of a coach's wife is boring!

On Thursday, December 9th at about 1:30...Reed accepted a job at the University of Louisiana - Lafayette and was asked to report to work on Monday morning. We were so thrilled for this opportunity but a little nervous about the timing. I wasn't about to let him leave his 38 wk pregnant wife and 2 year old son alone in South Carolina while he was in Louisiana and all our family was in Mississippi! So the next twenty-four hours went a little like this...
*Called my OBGYN in Starkville to discuss options. He told me that he would love for me to deliver the baby in MS but there was a very tight window and I needed to get to MS quickly.
*Packed EVERYTHING I thought I would need for TWO months - including Christmas AND the arrival of a new baby.
*Called my mom and said, "Reed just got a job in Louisiana. I don't want to stay in Clemson by myself so is it okay if I (along with my 2 year old, my dog, and soon - my newborn) move in with you and daddy in your 2 bedroom rental house until say.....umm....February?" THANKFULLY...she was so excited (a little overwhelmed BUT excited) and I said, "Great! We will be there TOMORROW!"
*I cleaned out the fridge, made plans for our mail, house, etc, and about 8 hours after the phone call, I was sleeping in my sweet home in Clemson for the last night!
*By 11 am on Friday we were LOADED down in two cars leaving Clemson just as quickly as we had arrived.

I want to stop here and say this. I. LOVE. CLEMSON. What an amazing little town filled with wonderful people. The Lord gave Reed and me this short time in Clemson to teach us a lot of things and even though it was very short, we are so very thankful for every minute we spent there. We were blessed with a great church and small group, wonderful friends, and a great football staff. I loved my little house on Strawberry Lane and will miss it dearly. I am thankful for all the memories we made there.

*Friday, December 10th we arrived in Carthage about 8pm and started to unpack and get settled in.
*Sunday morning Reed left for Lafayette.
*On Monday, December 13th my mama drove me to Starkville for my first appointment with Dr. Pearson since this summer at about 16 weeks pregnant. The excitement of the weekend and I'm sure the 8 hour drive had done me in. I was 2.5 cm dialated and we scheduled an induction for Thursday, December 16th!
*I woke up at 1:30 Wednesday morning with really bad lower back pain. I waited and waited and walked around the house and finally woke my parents up about 3am. My in-laws came over to stay with Smith and my parents loaded me up and we headed to Starkville about 4am. I called Reed and he got up, showered, and left Lafayette at about 4:30.
*When we got to Starkville at about 5:30, I was surprised to find out that I had not dialated ANY MORE!!! Dr. Pearson came in and we made a plan.... He was leaving for his normal Wednesday morning trip to see patients in Kosciusko and Reed was still about 4 hours away. He told me to sit tight and we would start pitocin at noon. How fortunate to have MY doctor there with me and that he was kind enough to make sure he AND Reed would both be there for the delivery!
(The Lord's hand has been in every single detail of all this madness! I had three nurses throughout the day and I knew ALL of them!!! That would NOT have been the case at the huge hospital in Greenville, SC. What a blessing!)
*Pitocin started at noon... epidural at about 2:45... at 4:00 I was STILL only 4 cm...but by 5:00 I was 8 cm and getting ready to push!!!
*ANDREW BANKS STRINGER arrived at 5:30 and was 8 pounds and 20.5 inches. He was beautiful! He looked so much like Smith but so different, too! I couldn't believe his dark hair and olive skin!!!

After exactly two months living at my parents house with the boys and Reed in a hotel in Lafayette, we are back together again and getting settled into our new home.

Over the next few weeks, as I adjust to life with two little ones (I have had my parents help with the boys since day one) and tackle all these boxes (many of which have not been unpacked since we left Starkville) I plan to "archive" the past few months for my own sake and then back to blogging it will be.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

hiccups make me happy.

I am confident that I have experience one of my favorite moments in my entire life to date. I have been trying to get Smith to feel the baby kick forever and he has not been too interested, or at least didn't want to sit still long enough!
Baby Brother gets the hiccups ALOT and the other night I finally got Smith to sit down and put his hand on my belly. He thought it was THE greatest thing ever. He laughed and laughed and laughed. The faces he made were priceless! I could have sat and watched him feel his baby brother's hiccups for days.
I have a video I will try to upload soon.
I would normally NEVER post these pictures of me in my pjs....but I HAD to document my sweet boy and this sweet moment!

small group shower

We have been so blessed to find a wonderful church here in Clemson and I love our Small Group. We meet on Sunday nights and this past Sunday all the guys went out to eat while the girls threw a baby shower!!! My friend Heidi is scheduled to have a sweet little girl on December 31st so they spent the night showering Heidi and me with wonderful gifts and lots of great food!

Tacky Christmas

We were invited to a neighborhood "tacky" Christmas party last weekend and I totally forgot about it until about an hour before the party!!! I had great plans to be really creative when I first got the invitation, but my "mommy brain" got the best of me!!!
Smith and I weren't too hard...
(side note: I had to turn of my flashing light earrings for the picture)
But Reed was a chore. He wanted to be festive but I just don't have XXL Christmas sweaters laying around the house. Luckily, I had just bought myself a cute Santa nightgown that worked perfectly for him! I think if he tried to cross his arms it would have ripped right down the middle!!!
We were glad we remembered and made it to the party. We have wonderful neighbors and had a really FUN time!!!

football finale...

We finally finished our football regular season and we loved every minute of it. Being a Clemson Tiger is lots of fun and Smith is the BEST ballgame buddy! I PROMISE there is not a two year old in the world that is as content as he is at a football game. It can be naptime OR bedtime and even freezing cold outside and my little man is good to go....when it's game time...he is HAPPY!

Congrats to the Tigers on a winning season and we can't wait for the Mieneke Car Care Bowl on December 31st!!!

"sucker m&m's"

The ELF has made his appearance at our house and Smith loves him ALMOST as much as his daddy does! Reed loves this little guy and I have really enjoyed watching the two of them with the ELF... His name? "Sucker M&Ms!"
I'm not sure his name will stick around next year, but when I told Smith he had to be a "sweet boy" ...I think the first thing popped into his mind was SUCKERS and M&Ms....his frequent treats for being a sweet boy!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A few of the coach's wives took me to dinner this week and loaded us up with amazing Gift Cards to finish up our "baby shopping!" It is such a blessing to have wonderful, caring women on the staff who have "been there and done that" WHILE their husbands were working 16 hour days, too!

We LOVE Christmas.

Smith is spending the week in Mississipi with his WONDERFUL grandparents, so before he left, we wanted him to help us put the Christmas tree up!
You should know by now that Daddy LOVES Christmas and would leave the tree up year-round if I would let him.
So you can imagine his disappointment when he pulled the box up from the basement and realized that the bottom of our tree was MISSING! There were only 2 of the 3 parts! We guess it must have gotten "lost" in the move.
So we headed on a late night run to Lowe's for a new tree!
Smith ran and got his tools and loved helping Daddy!
We hope you are having fun getting ready for Christmas, too!

fall in my front yard.

a visitor from the city.

My dear friend Elizabeth, or as Smith says, Witz-betz flew in for a visit last weekend! Liz lives in New York City so we don't get to see her much. We were very excited when she decided to spend a relaxing weekend away from the city with US! Reed was away for a football game and unfortunately, Smith was sick the whole time she was here, but she was a trooper and completeld a crash course in Motherhood 101!!!
Hopefully, we will get to visit her in the CITY soon!
We had a wonderful time and can't wait to see her again!

Smith is having fun helping mama prepare for Baby Brother's arrival!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Missi- sitti!

Daddy was busy with football, so Smith and I took advantage and made our last trip to Mississippi to visit our family and friends before Baby Brother arrives!
Here are some highlights from our wonderful trip!
Smith and Anne Parks had so fun,
but they are a MESS when they get together!
Tizzie and Smith had a fun time at the church's Fall Festival.

Smith played LOTS of golf!
...and lots of cousin time, too!

Tizzie and Grandpa were happy to have everyone there!

Then we headed to Starkville to visit with MORE friends!

Lunch in Jackson with Kim!

Hanging out with Uncle Drew....
...and Ganne.
Smith also stayed a few nights with CC and Pop.
He spent the day with Gannie, too and they went to visit DeeDee!
We had a great time and can't wait for our next trip to
MS with Baby Brother in tow!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Elmo and a visit from Gannie!

Gannie came to visit and we had a FULL weekend of fun!
Sesame Street LIVE!
"There's ELMO!" "Where'd ELMO go???"
The whole gang.

Game Day.
Gannie and Smith with the TIGER!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

he's two.

...and here are a few things that two year old boys do.
I picked him up from MMO this morning to find out that he was put in "time out" for TACKLING a little girl today! He has this new thing about wanting to "tackle" all the time. He knows he can't tackle momma and Baby Brother and that he is only supposed to tackle daddy...but I guess since daddy wasn't around, this tiny little girl at school would just have to do! I think my mother was right when she said that she hoped Baby Brother was born wearing a football helmet. I think he's gonna need it!
I guess the theme of the day is that my child is resourceful. Can't find daddy? Tackle the first person in site. Can't find a ball? Hit the first thing in site with a baseball bat.
After hearing a loud noise, I turned around and found this.
He wacked his juice cup (which happened to be FULL of V8 juice) with a baseball bat and juice went everywhere. He got in trouble and was sent to "time out!" When he saw this picture on my computer he said, "Smith's mess. Time out, momma. I sorry."

He may make a lot of messes and spend a lot of minutes in "time out" but he is the sweetest thing in the world and I love him!