Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Coolest Couple Time Group Ever

I really want to show off some pictures from our Christmas, but not tonight.

Tonight, Daddy and Mommy had some much-needed adult time with some amazing friends that we LOVE! Wishing all of y'all a great New Year's Eve tomorrow ;)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus!


We love you!
Love,
The Keenes :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Old Man Winter

A few days ago it was snow, and today it was ice. Yuck! I guess Old Man Winter is making his presence known around these parts.

Poor Daddy had to shovel the ice off the driveway this morning before leaving for work.

"Daddy! Can you hear me, Daddy?!" "Mama, Daddy needs my help! Can I go play?" Maybe later, Tucker Bug....maybe later!

"Muah!"


Happy 14 Months (yesterday...)

Tucker turned 14 months yesterday.
To celebrate, he had a chocolate chip cookie for the first time.
Here's my chocolate-covered 14 month old :)
(Actually, he's protesting b/c Mama won't give him cookie #2!)( He also had his first time out yesterday..... The offense: playing in the dog dishes for the millionth time. More on that in a later post.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks, Shutterfly!

Have y'all realized just how last minute I am yet lately? Seriously, the whole "pregnancy brain" turned "mommy brain" is like a very bad joke! I used to classify myself as a very organized, got-it-all-together kinda gal, well at least around this time of year. What would that look like this time of year? Well, Christmas shopping would be done with the exception of a few last minute touches like the perfect pair of socks to incorporate into the bow on my sister's gift, or the Flor de Lis Christmas ornament to dangle from the gift basket for a counselor at one of my schools. Tucker's Christmas outfit would be ordered, monogrammed, and hanging neatly in his closet awaiting it's debut. Christmas cards would be mailed. The gifts would be wrapped and placed perfectly under the tree. By this time, I would be enjoying the snow from the stress-free bubble I so carefully positioned myself in.

Well, "Mommy Brain" has taken all that and turned it on it's head. I.am.serious. I can't seem to get myself organized enough to get anything accomplished these days! Christmas shopping.....let's just say I had great intentions of gettin' it both started and finished last Saturday but spent over half my time helping my brother, Nick, shop for his girlfriend. I was able to get 2 people checked off my list, leaving about 20. Which means I will be like all the other last minute shoppers this weekend and next week fighting each other for a parking spot and last minute deals. Woo hoo! And let's not even talk about Tucker's Christmas outfit. I'm just hoping it actually arrives before Christmas or it might become a New Year's outfit....

Then there's the Christmas cards. You know, the chance to put your beautiful family's picture in the mailboxes of your nearest and dearest, along with every other person you've ever met and manage to 'whitepage' their address. Not only have I not ordered our Christmas cards yet, but I have yet to nail down that perfect picture. Yes I have about a dozen recent pictures of Tucker Bug that would do, but the goal is to top last year's card, right? Remember ours:

That was my newborn baby! And while I do happen to think that my toddler has gotten even more delicious with each passing month, he would rather push around toys and hide behind closed doors than to take a posed, Christmas-card-perfect picture these days!
Which leaves Mama ordering Christmas cards at the last minute! It's a good thing there is still time to order that perfect card from my favorite site, Shutterfly!
Once that perfect picture is snapped, the hard part is then to decide which card will perfectly accent that pearly white you managed to bribe your precious lil one to flash. Shutterfly has so many greeting cards to choose from! My favorites are the folded greeting cards because you can include more than one photo and there's room for a personal letter. Of the 221 folded greeting cards to choose from, here are just a few of my favorites:



I like the simplicity of this one, but yet the freedom to include multiple photos:

And maybe I'm just drawn to this one by the cute kid:

I love the fun font on this one:
No matter which card you choose, you can be confident that your pictures and card will turn out great! I have used Shutterfly in the past for invitations and photo books and have always been more than satisfied with their products. I have no doubt my Christmas cards will turn out great too!

Thanks for helping to take one thing off my list, Shutterfly!

Now if only Shutterfly could take care of my shopping and gift-wrapping, and even more importantly, this whole "Mommy Brain" thing!


* They are, however, helping out somewhat. By posting this blog post, they are giving me 50 free holiday cards! It's a special they've been running for bloggers. Score!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I'm Thankful For - Tucker Bug Edition

If I wasn't a mother.....

*I wouldn't have scratches all over my coffee table and end tables.
*My favorite big candle holder from Pottery Barn with the river rock and the big red candle in my favorite scent would still be the centerpiece of that scratch-free coffee table.
*You wouldn't have to look under the rug and couch for coasters.
*I wouldn't find smashed peas and blueberries in my carpet.
*I would sleep until 10:00 am (possibly even later) on Saturdays.
*It wouldn't take me 2 hours to get out of the house in the mornings.
*When I try to schedule a last minute hair appointment with my favorite stylist and they say, "Can you come in 20 minutes?" I could answer, "Absolutely."
*I would be on time more often.
*My house would actually be clean, not just straightened up 20 minutes before expecting company.
*I might not be drowning in laundry. (Okay, well that's not entirely true.... I hate doing laundry, so I would probably still be drowning in it!)
*I wouldn't have tiny hand prints all over my windows.
*I wouldn't know 50 children's books by heart.
*I would still be able to wear low-rider jeans without fear of resembling a breakfast item.
*I wouldn't constantly trip over toys.
*My make-up and hair would be just right instead of 'that-will-do'.
*I wouldn't need to buy a gazillion batteries every couple weeks.
*I would have an additional cabinet and drawer in my kitchen to put actual kitchen items in.
*I wouldn't be too embarrassed to take my car to get it cleaned out because of all the Cheerios and who knows what else in it.
*I would never know true love.


God,
Thank you for the scratches on my furniture and the hand prints on my windows; it means my son is curious and able to explore his curiosity. Thank you for the smashed food in my carpet; it means my son is eating and healthy. Thank you for less sleep in the mornings and the 2 hours it takes me to get out the door; it means I have more time to enjoy my son. Thank you for the toys I trip over and the children's books I have memorized; it means I am able to provide those things for my son and that he has a passion for learning and exploring. And, yes, even thank you for the trouble with low-rider jeans; it means I was able to carry my son for 9 1/2 months and experience the indescribable joy of giving birth to the most beautiful baby boy! THANK YOU for loving me enough to bless me with the most wonderful, priceless gift ever - being a mother, and not to just anybody, but to the most perfect child in the world - the one you created all for me! Thank you for showing me only a glimpse of your love for me through my love for Tucker. For all this, I am eternally grateful.
-Amen
There isn't anything in the world I would rather be than Tucker's Mom!
I am SO thankful for him and what he means to me and Wes.

Don't Judge Me & I Won't Judge You


Sitting in a high chair is WAY too boring for Tucker. After about 7 minutes, he begins to sign "all done" even if he still wants to eat his lunch. Solution: A few YouTube videos of his favorite Sesame Street songs. Result: An entire lunch eaten before he knows it.
We don't do it every time Tucker eats, but we do do it more than we would probably like to admit..... *Sigh* Another habit we will one day have to break him of!
Does that make me a bad Mama?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yummy Yummy!

Meal time is a fun time around here! You never know what might get flung your way! Fortunately, when I was recording the video below, Tucker was on his best behavior. (A side note, the noise you hear is Tucker kicking his legs :)

video

"All done Mama!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sneaky Little Guy!

Tucker only gets his paci during nap time and at night. (Well, and in the car when all else fails.)
He knows this. There's usually about 3 pacis in his crib (so if he wakes up mid-nap or in the middle of the night one is always within reach!). When Tucker wakes up in the morning or from a nap, he always turns on his mobile and then plays around. One of his favorite ways to entertain himself in his crib is to put his pacis in between the mattress and the bumper, the crib and the wall, or go all out and toss a paci across the room. Which means when I get him out of his crib I hunt down his pacis and we tell them "Night Night!" and Tucker puts them back in his crib. Well, it never fails that there is always at least one paci I can't find. I look in between the bumper and the mattress, the bumper and the crib, under the crib, behind the rocker, everywhere! No paci. But that little stinker, I believe he knows right where he hides those pacis that go missing and sneaks them later! Like he's thinking, "Let's see, Mommy won't think to look here. I'll stash it and will be able to get it later."

This morning was one of those times. After breakfast, I was putting away some of Tucker's clothes when I turned around to this: Yup, that's the missing paci that I looked everywhere for! I have no clue where it was, but obviously Tucker did! Look at this face. He knows he's a sneaky little guy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tonight, Tucker had some sweep-you-off-your-feet kinda fun with a couple of his buddies!
What could possibly be more fun than a pile of pillows just begging for 3 cuties to jump on?

Caden mid-air

Eli mid-airAnd Tucker trying to balance on the pillows! (No pics of Tucker mid-air. I knew the big boys could handle themselves, but I was too nervous to get behind the camera when Tucker took his plunge!)
I can only imagine what these 3 will get into just for fun in years to come!

Hello Caffeine! Oh How I've Missed You!

I haven't had any caffeine since November 2008. I gave it up a few months before Wes and I planned to start trying to get pregnant. (Ha! I have to laugh at the word "trying" in that sentence! We got pregnant with Tucker the first time we didn't try NOT to! Something I am very thankful for!) While I know you can drink a limited amount of caffeine while pregnant and nursing, I have this fear that one day some break through study will surface showing how caffeine is linked to ADHD, reading problems, having 6 toes, I don't know! I know it's probably completely unvalidated and that there has probably been a ton of research done to show that a limited amount of caffeine is absolutely harmless. Maybe my real reason for steering completely clear of it is driven by the fact that I was borderline addicted to caffeine. I had coffee in the morning and at least 4 diet Cokes throughout the day. If I went without it for a length of time I would develop a headache.

Well, today I had a 100% fully-caffeinated coffee for the first time since November 2008. And oh how I missed it! In the mornings I usually dump out what's left of Wes's coffee and make my own pot of decaf. (Actually starting a couple weeks ago I started mixing some regular coffee in with my decaf.) This morning I was too lazy to make a new pot and drank what was left of Wes's coffee.....one wonderful energy-filtrating cup of java. Hello caffeine! A couple years ago, I could have drank 3 cups in the morning and needed another come lunch. Today, that one cup seemed to last all day. I don't know, maybe it was all in my mind, but it worked!

I'm almost looking forward to tomorrow morning! Almost.

Here's to hoping y'all have that little something that gets you going in the morning and keeps you going all through the day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What I'm Thankful For - Family Edition

After Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house, our entire family went bowling to celebrate Nick's birthday. Bowling after Thanksgiving is something I hope we make a tradition (do you agree Mom?)! We had so much fun and it was something that allowed the adults AND the kiddos to have fun!

This was Tucker's first time bowling. When we walked in the bowling alley you could tell his little wheels were turning....."Balls everywhere!"

Tucker loved bowling! He got the concept right away, I mean throwing balls and knocking things down come pretty natural to this boy! And he held his own on the kid's lane! 7 pins his first time up, not so bad!But what he REALLY enjoyed was the Cosmic Bowling! You know, when they turn down the lights and turn up the music.
"This is what I'm talking about, Mommy!"(Sorry for the poor picture quality....this is what I get with my camera when you're trying to take a picture of something or someone on the move and Tucker and I were dancing in the shot above. That is why I'm asking Santa for a new camera!)

Daddy and Tucker
Our Family :)
I tried to get pics of everyone......

Bridgette's "strike pose"
The Birthday Boy (who passed his permit test and drove me home from Louisville the other day, on the interstate, less than a week post permit!)

Luke and Shelby

Mikie and Tatum

Holli and Tatum

The other 3 kiddos were too much on the move during bowling, so here's pics of them at Dad and Mom's from earlier in the day :)
O'mauriJoshua, Makenzie & Tatum (again)
And of course, Dad and Mom :)


I am SO thankful for my family! I am thankful for times of just hanging out and having fun with each other. I am so thankful that none of us live too far away from each other and we get to do that pretty often. I am thankful that we are all so close. I am the oldest of 5, and since I already gave away my age when I told you in Nick's birthday post that I was 15 when he was born, I'll go ahead and tell you our ages..... Me - 30, Bridge - 29, Holli - 26, Luke - 18, & Nick - 16. Growing up, Holli was the bratty little sister. Bridgette and I have always been pretty close. Holli would sit outside me and Bridgette's bedroom door as we made plans on a Friday or Saturday night and then tell Mom and Dad what our 'real' plans were. That made it a little difficult to get away with anything! But, it wasn't long before Holli grew up and became my best friend as well. I talk to Bridgette and Holli every day, sometimes multiple times a day. My brothers are my babies and I'm really close to them too. I love that I live close enough to make all their football games, banquets, award ceremonies, and anything else. As much as I think it would be neat to move somewhere much different for a bit, like California or the Carolinas, I could never live far away from my family. I love when I get a call from Luke that him and Shelby are stopping by after a date or a text from Nick telling me what his football coach told him at practice. I love that Tucker will grow up so close to his cousins. I love that we all tell each other "love you" when we get off the phone. I love that Luke and Nick never went through a stage where they wouldn't tell me they love me. I love that if I don't say it, they'll say it first.
And then there's Mom and Dad. Seriously, I don't know where I would be without my parents. Growing up, they were undoubtedly my number one fans, always supporting me. They always told me I could do anything and be anything I wanted and that I would always stand out in a crowd. They might seem like just words, but they gave me the confidence to follow my dreams and to let nothing stand in my way.
I will never forget the day I was leaving for college. Mom and Dad were helping me to pack everything up and we were loading up the car. Luke was 5. He had been following me around all that day but not really saying anything. Finally, I asked him what was wrong. His response, "Did you find a new family?" It still makes me cry to think about that. In his mind he just couldn't understand why I was moving out, where I was going. Why would I want to leave home? It shows just how important "family" is to us. Even at 5 years old, he understood the meaning of "family." My family is one of the most important things to me!
God, Thank you for blessing me with such an amazing family. Thank you for the memories we've made and the ones yet to come. I pray that I never take my family for granted. I pray protection over my family and that we always stay strong as a unit and always support each other. I pray that Wes and I are able to instill the same importance of family in Tucker.
-Amen

It's almost impossible to get a picture of our whole family. We have gotten SO big! The most recent one I have is from Mikie and Holli's wedding:

Bragging or Blogging?

So, my absolutely wonderful hubby has recently informed me that I might do a little too much bragging on my absolutely wonderful son on my BLOG.

I'm slightly confused..... Isn't Bragging on your Lil One's Greatness what BLOGging is all about?

Maybe he won't feel the same way when I publish my "What I'm Thankful For - Hubby Edition" post :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheese!

Here's my cheesing boy! And this cheesing boy is cutting 4 teeth at once! He's working on the two on either side of his bottom middle (my sister the hygienist would be so mad that I didn't know the name of those teeth....do they even have a name? I know she would refer to them as numbers...). He's also working on his bottom molars. Here, allow me to zoom in for ya. You can see the left molar has come through and the right on is on it's way.
Is it bad that I didn't even know he was working on his molars? He was mad one night when I made him get out of the tub and when he opened his mouth to show me just how mad he was, I noticed he had this HUGE tooth! I immediately called Wes, who was on his way to play basketball, to tell him. He could hardly hear me because Tucker was still protesting from having his bath interrupted. Wes said he was literally stopped in the middle of the street trying to figure out what I was saying and if he should turn around or not! All he could hear was Tucker screaming and "Tucker has a ...." I can only imagine what he was thinking! Anyway, I guess it's a good thing we haven't had any sleepless nights due to teething. (Knock on wood!) I'm assuming the top molars will be right behind the bottom ones, so I'm praying we'll continue to sail through this.
On another note, can you tell Tucker's saying "Cheese!" in this picture :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm Not Going to be THAT MOM

Tucker LOVES pizza! Now, he doesn't get it very often, which apparently to him is not nearly enough. A couple weeks ago, we had some friends over and had ordered pizza. Tucker had a few bites before going to bed. We left the empty pizza boxes on the counter, waiting until the next day to take them to the trash can (tell me we're not the only ones who do that!). When Tucker got up the next morning and saw the pizza boxes he refused to eat his breakfast. He kept pointing at the boxes and signing "eat".

Anyway, tonight Tucker had Mommy's turkey "surprise" meatballs (ground turkey meatballs with spinach, carrots and zucchini baked in), broccoli, and carrot sticks for dinner. Wes got home from work a little late tonight and he was feeling pizza so I made pizza for Wes and I. Of course, Tucker wanted in on that action!
(I promise the title of this post is relevant.....)
After Tucker finished his pizza, he signed all done. I asked him, "Are you all done?" hoping to get the last 3 bites of my pizza down before I had to clean his off of him. WELL, Tucker looked at Wes and said what sounded just like, "I done Dada." Wes and I looked at each other. I repeated Tucker, "I done Dada!" Wes said, "That's what it sounded like!" Okay, okay, I am NOT going to be that Mom. You know, the one who says her son crawled at 3 months, walked at 6 months, solved all the world's problems at 10 months, or said a 3-word sentence at 13 1/2 months. I know it was more likely a string of sounds ending with "dada," but it sure sounded like "I done Dada!" But again, I am NOT going to be that Mom.
On that note, Tucker has recently started repeating words. He's had some words that he has used for a while, but I mean trying to repeat words you randomly ask him to. His vocabulary is really expanding. Even if he's not able to say the word we ask him to, he still tries. Well, unless it's some big word, then he just says a word he knows or looks at you like you're crazy! I'm so impressed with him and even though I'm bias, I think I have the smartest 13 1/2 month old on the planet (even if he's not saying 3-word sentences)!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello December!

What could be more fitting for my first post of December than my lil' man watching the morning snow fall?
"Mama! Can I go play in all that white stuff?"
"But I REALLY want to!!!"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I'm Thankful For - Thankfully Humbled


So this wasn't planned to be my first "What I'm Thankful For" post, however, it's so relevant.

Last night, myself and some great friends from my church shopped at Walmart for 91 kiddos. (Huge thanks and props to Katie for organizing!!!) These were 91 kids who may otherwise not stumble anxiously out of bed on Christmas morning to find gifts wrapped under a Christmas tree with their names on them. We shopped for pillow pets, Zhu Zhu pets, My Littlest Pet Shops, Pokemon cards, backpacks, Webkins, Barbie dolls, footballs, basketballs, and so much more. It was so much fun to play Santa and think about what the children on my list might like the most!

After it was all done and we had 6 shopping carts overflowing with toys, we prayed in the middle of the toy isles of Walmart for the 91 children who would receive those toys and I was HUMBLED. How many times had I gone to Walmart for groceries or to pick up pictures or to get a birthday gift or for shampoo and found myself making a quick detour to the toy isle to grab a random toy for Tucker without even looking at the price. Countless times. And here I was, trying my best to find the top two toys on each child's list and get him or her the best 2 toys for under $20 total. I keep thinking about the 10-year-old girl who listed craft supplies and hair accessories on her wish list and I hope she'll really like the stamp kit I picked out. And the 5 year old little girl who wanted a backpack and I imagine how cute she'll look in the one I picked out that wrapped around to make her look like a fairy. And their parents. I can't imagine how it must feel to not have that $20 to spend on your child for Christmas. I hope that they will see joy in their daughter's face Christmas morning and feel a sense of peace and overwhelming love, God's love.
And me.
I've spent that and then some on Tucker just about every time I've been to Walmart or any other store. I've taken the ability to do that for granted. I've taken it for granted that the only reason I have to wonder what in the world we'll have for dinner is because I haven't been to the grocery in a few days, not because we don't have the money, but because it's not something I enjoy doing. I've taken it for granted that if I don't want to wear socks in the evening I can just click the heat up a few degrees and not worry about how that will effect the electric bill. I think about how frustrated I've been that Wes and I have not had a weekend to look at carpet and wood samples so we can get a move on our floors, taking for granted that I own a home and don't stress about how the mortgage is going to get paid. I take for granted that if Tucker gets a runny nose and a cough that I can take him to the pediatrician without thinking about how much it will cost. I have a beautiful home, 2 nice cars, a closet full of clothes, a son who has more toys than he cares to play with, a TV that's much bigger than necessary, cabinets full of food, the list could go on and go. And the families we shopped for may not be able to say the same.
Humbling.
And in all that humbling, God convicted me. He gave me all those things. I don't deserve it. I don't even come close. But He gave them to me.......to use for HIS glory. I pray that I am continually reminded of that. I pray that I take advantage of the opportunities God gives me to use those material things to His glory and to just love on others....like inviting people into my home, giving someone a ride in my car, paying someone else's bills, or just shopping for someone else's kids at Walmart. So much of it seems so small to us, but we don't know how those little things affect someone else. We don't know if someone is praying about how a need of theirs will get met when we offer to pay for their gas at the pump and are used by God to answer a prayer. Or if we notice a mom adding up the cost of her groceries as she checks out at Kroger and slip her a $20, how that small gesture will show her someone cares. Or when we see a young mom with two small children walking in the cold, how giving them a ride could be just what she was praying for.
I am so thankful for all the blessings God has given me. But, I am even more thankful for humbling opportunities like this one that remind me of the many blessings I have and what I am met to do with those blessings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Wow, so much to be thankful for....

When I think about what all I have to be thankful for, I'm completely overwhelmed! So much, in fact, that I've decided instead of briefly listing each in one post, I'm going to do a chain of "What I'm Thankful For" posts. Look for my first one coming soon!

In the meantime, here we are, The Keene's, on Thanksgiving 2010!

Isn't my lil man so stinkin' cute!?!? (And my 'big man' ain't so bad looking either!)
It is unbelievable how much changes in a year's time!


I hope you and your family had a very blessed Thanksgiving! I'm very thankful for YOU!