Monday, August 29, 2011


It seems like forever since I have done a “real” update.

We have been at my mother-in-law’s house for 23 days (and counting) now. It really hasn’t been all that bad – she was here for the first few days we were here, then gone for 10 days, then back for 10 days… and now she’s gone again. I think she is going to be gone for about another 10 days and I am hoping that by the time she’s back, we’re back in our own home. It’s honestly nothing against my mother-in-law… I am just really missing my house. I’m tired of living out of one bedroom here and I want to sleep in my own bed again!

Soooo… what have we been up to?

Last Monday, (a week ago today) Christopher started daycare at Sunshine House on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. It is where I went to daycare when I was his age. It’s been kind of a rough transition for him. Last Tuesday, my parents had to pick him up because I was going to be late getting home from school. They happened to be getting ice cream at Baskin Robbins in town when I got home, so I just met them there. When it was time to leave, my parents were going to follow me back to my MILs house because I had driven my mom’s car to school that day. Mom would just take Christopher out of dad’s truck, give him to me, and take her car home…

Well, when we were walking out of the restaurant, Christopher started to follow me towards my mom’s car, while my parents went the opposite direction. When we started telling him to go with Granny and Grandpa (which normally would NOOOT be a big deal and he would PREFER to go with them) and he had a meltdown. Not going to lie – kind of my this Momma’s heart happy. I ended up riding with him and my dad, while my mom drove her car.

It’s continued like that throughout the week – even on the days when he didn’t go to daycare. He’s been a little clingy, a little whiny, and very quick to cry when he thinks that he might have to be separated from me.  I know it’s just a phase and that he will get over it, but it’s hard for me to deal with because I’m not really sure how to handle it.

photo 5 (2)Christopher on his first day of Daycare, after I had picked him up. He was so happy to see me!

I DO know that he enjoys himself at daycare. He cries when he is first dropped off, but he quits as soon as we are out of sight and his teacher (Ms. Pam) has assured me that he does very well eating, napping, and playing with the other kids. She said that he is a delight and she just loves him. :)


These pictures are from Christopher’s birthday. I wanted a “birth minute” photo, but got distracted (surprise, surprise) while waiting, so it was taken a few minutes late. I wanted to post it on here, for my own records. :)


This is my new pretty… it’s my Erin Condren life planner, and I’m kind of in love with it. I’m hoping that it will keep my life as organized and sane as possible over the next couple of months. It goes until December of 2012, so I will use it all during my Internship semester and the first semester that I am teaching, too.  There were all sorts of covers and designs to choose from, but I picked this one because it just seems to go with my life right now. I’m starting my FINAL year of school – I’m FINALLY a senior in college – and I could not be more excited about graduating next May and moving on to the next “phase” in my life.

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And last but certainly not least – our first child, sweet Baxter, is finally back with us. My mom has had him since we moved out of our house, but my parents left for a vacation to Branson earlier today so he’s at my mother-in-law’s house with us now! I know that he is going to miss the constant attention from Granny – to be honest, he is probably not too happy about not being there anymore! Haha!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Christopher’s 2nd Birthday Party

On Saturday, we celebrated Christopher’s second birthday. I had such a fun time planning his party this year. Last year, we did a family-only celebration at our house. I wanted his first birthday party to be on his actual birthday and we sang Happy Birthday at the birth minute – 4:59. It was a sweet, simple party. :) I knew then that I would want to do a big fun bash for his second birthday, though! I started planning it a few months ago, but of course I didn’t really get down to the details until after Summer II classes were over.


These were the invitations for his party. I was originally going to use a service like Shutterfly or Mixbook for his invitations, but I put it off too long and it was going to cost an arm and a leg to get them printed and shipped in time for me to mail them out. I searched Etsy for boys sports invites and came across this one, from The Trendy Butterfly. This invite was perfect and it was SO much cheaper for me to do it this way. I was super happy with the invitation.

The two weeks prior to the party, I made goodies. I had been wanting to try my hand at decorating sugar cookies. I experimented with them a few weeks ago. I tried royal icing to begin with, but I didn’t like the taste of it, so I made a last-minute decision to try glaze, which is a bit harder to work with, but tastes much better.

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This was the final product – I wasn’t super happy with the way everything looked (I got in a hurry and did the white on the footballs too soon) but I though they were pretty good for my first experience with sugar cookies.  I bagged these up and gave them away as favors.

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My sister-in-law Britney and her sister, Manda, helped me with the party. This is the two of them putting up a “streamer wall.” Britney found the idea online and we all thought it was a really neat idea.

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It’s hard to tell (and I didn’t think to get a picture close up) but the bowls on the table are a football and a basketball. We had pizza, green salad and fruit salad. The red bucket was filled with ice and Capri Sun for the kids. (We expected six kids other than Christopher, and only had one show up.)

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I made chocolate cupcakes and homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. I then turned those into a Cupcake Cake shaped like a football and piped white icing on it for the threads. I think it was cuter in person than in the picture.

Aug 20 2011_0143The gift/dessert table. In addition to the chocolate cupcakes, I also made petit fours from pound cake and raspberry preserves (yum!) and chocolate-covered pretzel rods.

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The pretzel rods and petit fours were on a cute baseball plate – but again, I forgot to take a close-up of it. :(

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Aug 20 2011_0148We had “tattoos” for the kids/guests. This is Britney and me with our football tattoos. Christopher had a basketball on his cheek.
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My mom made Christopher a super-cute Birthday Crown. It had a baseball on one side of the C and a bat and a glove on the other.
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He wasn’t really sure what to think about everybody singing Happy Birthday to him…

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Blowing out the candles!

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I’m pretty sure he only ate the icing. Ha!

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I won’t bore you with pictures of all the toys – we’ll just say that there were lots of them and that Christopher is a blessed, loved little boy! I will show these because I thought they were so sweet – my brother and Britney’s gift to Christopher was a blanket that Britney made then they had Christopher’s monogram embroidered on it. He immediately laid down on it and had a HUGE grin on his face. (Although I will also say that he loved ALL of his gifts and wanted to open them all immediately and could have cared less about opening them all. Once he opened the first gift, he was good!)

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We had several good friends and family members at the party!
Christopher’s Uncle Jim and Aunt Cristin drove in all the way from Joshua, Texas to be there.

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(Christopher had to change clothes mid-party because his Dallas shirt was covered in chocolate icing!)

Sweet Raidyn – the only other kiddo at the party! This is my cousin’s daughter, and my aunt was nice enough to make the 2-hour drive from Texarkana with Raidyn so that they could attend. :) She also had a basketball on her cheek – I told my aunt that my cousin was probably going to kill me when Raidyn came home with a tattoo. I offered to also pierce something. Ha!
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Our good friends Richie and Gina Lawry and their son Gavin and daughter-in-law Rachel were there.
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Aunt B
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Nana and PopPop (with a football tattoo smack-dab in the middle of his forehead!)
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My parents – my mom was so nice and let us have the party at their house. I also did all of the treats at her house, because my A/C was out and I’m not familiar/comfortable with my MIL’s kitchen.
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Also – funny story about this picture: Stephen was trying to get Christopher to smile for the camera and he told him, “I’m going to get your ears!” and so Christopher was covering his ears and WOULD NOT uncover them (or smile) for the picture. He is looking out of the corner of his eyes to see if Stephen was going to get him. All of the pictures of him with my parents look like this!

People not pictured that attended were my aunt Carla, Britney’s sister - Manda, and our sweet friend Melarry.

We had a wonderful party and I am thankful for everybody who came out and celebrated Christopher’s birthday with us!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

quick update :)

We’ve had a lot going on recently. Two weeks ago yesterday, our A/C unit caught on fire (!!!!) and we’ve been living with my mother-in-law. I had hoped that we would be back in our house by the time school started back, but we’re not. I have spent the last two weeks planning for Christopher’s birthday party and spending lot of precious time with my sweet little boy.

Yesterday was Christopher’s birthday party! We had a great time with good friends and family. I will update all about that later.

Tomorrow will be a hard day for me. I start back to school at Henderson. I have to leave town at 6 for an 8am class – my ONLY MWF class this semester. At the same time class is starting, Stephen will be dropping Christopher Tyler off for his first day of Daycare. He will be attending Sunshine House three days a week this fall. I have cried plenty of tears over it today, so I am hoping and praying that they are all out of my system tomorrow and that I don’t bawl the entire trip to Arkadelphia. :( I know that it will be good for him and that he will enjoy it – but I am just an emotional wreck over it. No surprise there, though.

The ONLY good thing about tomorrow is the fact that it will be my LAST first day of fall undergraduate classes. Can I get a Hallelujah?

I will be back soon with a  big update about all that has been going on recently. I am hoping that by the end of the week we will be back in OUR house. I feel like I am even more scatterbrained than normal while I am living at my mother-in-law’s house!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Two years ago today, I became a mom.

Christopher Tyler Olmstead was born via c-section at 4:59 in the afternoon, and my world was forever changed.

I cannot imagine anything better than being his mom, and I count my blessings every single day.

I know I’ve posted a few of these already… but I am reposting them since today is his official birthday.

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And here he is this morning. :) (iPhone pics)

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photo 5 (1)giving me “the look”

Christopher Tyler --

At two, you are growing into your own personality and becoming more and more “little boy” everyday. You are SO smart and observant of everything that happens around you. You love your family and all the pets in your life. You have a special place in your heart for your Aunt B and “Bubba.” You love to be outside, whether it is swimming, walking, riding the four-wheeler (which you love) or just playing around – you love the outdoors.  The only movie or TV show you’ve ever shown interest in is Shrek, but it seems as though Shrek has lost its luster… that could have something to do with the fact that you have watched it, oh, probably 30 times in the last few months. ;)  You still love anything that has to do with Balls, and – of course – it’s what your two-year birthday party theme will be on Saturday. Right now, your favorite toys are “cycles” and cars. In just a few days, you will be starting daycare for the first time in your whole life, and I am praying that you handle it better than Momma is handling it. I think you will love the interaction with other children your age!

Your favorite foods are: avocado, macaroni & cheese, all fruit – but especially “blublublees” – blueberries, tomatoes, pizza, any type of potato, “cookies” (animal crackers – and the real ones!) and type of dessert. (You got your momma’s sweet tooth!) You like water but LOVE “oose” – juice. You’ve had one (ok, two - small) glasses of Sprite, which you loved – but it was a special treat at a restaurant in Branson.

You are wearing a size 5 diaper, you weight about 29 pounds, and you are about 33 inches tall (I think.)  At your two-year appointment last week, you measured in the 50th percentile for both height and weight. (They measured your height once and it put you in the 10th percentile, so they measured again and it was different, so that put you in the 50th.)  You are SO sweet and loving and even though you ARE two years old and getting into everything, you are still SUCH a good child. You still have your pacifier, but you’ve only had it for naps and bedtime for a year now. We thought about taking it away a few weeks ago – and you did go to bed and nap without it a few day – but I decided since you are starting daycare that you might need it there and so I let you have it back. I don’t think you’re going to have it much longer, though.  I don’t know why, but I’m having a hard time with taking the paci away from you, even though you really have no problem with it. :-/

You are my whole world -- the best thing that has EVER happened to me, and I am blessed beyond measure to be able to call you my son.

I love you to the moon and back (times infinity.)


Friday, August 5, 2011

school’s out… for two weeks!

Summer II classes are over!!! I’m still not sure yet what I made in all my classes, but I took Accounting B & Marketing at Henderson, and I took Macroeconomics online through RMCC. I took 11 hours total this summer (2 hour pre-summer class at HSU at the end of May – Classroom Assessment) and now I will only have to take 15 hours this fall before starting my student internship followed by graduation in the spring! I can FINALLY see the finish line and I’m SO excited that I’m only 21 college credits away from my education degree!!!!

I plan on spending the next two weeks before summer starts soaking up my time with Christopher. He will be starting Daycare (insert SUPER sad face from Mommy here) for the first time EVER the same week that I go back to school. He will also be turning TWO in less than TWO weeks!

On a different note -- I love the “face-time” camera on the iPhone4. It’s not the best quality, but it’s easy to take a picture of Christopher and me since he can see what he’s doing. I told him the other day to stick his tongue out and he thought it was so funny!

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I then told him to SMILE and he just kept looking at himself with his tongue stuck out…

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I love this silly boy!!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

busy week

Last week was a busy week for us! It was not a “normal” week for us and it probably isn’t interesting to anybody other than myself – but I am just wanting to document it. Consider yourself warned!

Sunday: I washed my beloved iPhone 3Gs. Thankfully, I had insurance on it (through my awesome State Farm agents, Matt & Joey) and was able to get some money to replace it and do an early upgrade.

Monday: I spent the morning in Arkadelphia in class (out of town from 10 to 4) and then came back that afternoon and took care of the insurance issue, pick up my check, and then got a Brand Spankin’ New iPhone4 that night. I was SO excited and in love with new pretty white iPhone4. I had been wanting to upgrade, but was trying to wait until the release of the 5, or 4G, whatever it will be called.

Tuesday: I didn’t have either of my classes on Tuesday, so I was able to spend the day at home. I spent the day taking care of some little things that I had been needing to get done. I went to run an errand that afternoon and laid my (new, remember?) phone on the top of my car while I was putting Christopher in his carseat – and it slid off and hit the concrete and BUSTED the screen.  Less than 24 hours after I got it… ruined.  2 iPhones… ruined – in less than 48 hours. After crying uncontrollably for 5 minutes, I called Stephen and told him what I had done. Poor guy. He reacted better than me (no crying from his end) and quickly told me that everything would be fine and we would get the screen replaced at the Phone Doctors store in Ft Smith.

Wednesday: Since Stephen usually works late into the night on Tuesday nights (his section of the newspaper goes to print at 10am on Wednesday morning, so he has to be finished with his section by then) he usually sleeps in late on Wednesday morning and is off all day Wednesday, unless there is some sort of sporting event that he needs to go to. I normally have a morning class at 10:30, but it was cancelled all last week because my teacher was out of state, so he made our homework and test online last week – anyway, I didn’t have to leave for my 1:00 Marketing class until 11, and Stephen and Christopher were up and decided to travel to Arkadelphia with me to keep me company during my drive there and back.  WEELLLL… around 40 minutes into our drive (and after Christopher had eaten a granola bar and downed his 3rd glass of milk {which Stephen had given him – I had no idea he’d had that much milk}) Christopher started whining like he was uncomfortable or tired or something was wrong. Stephen (I was driving) turned around to see what was wrong and about 30 seconds later, Christopher upchucked his breakfast and milk. This was the FIRST time that my child has EVER thrown up. I can count on one hand the number of times that he spit up as an infant.  I almost didn’t know what to do. I pulled over and we cleaned up as much of the throw-up as we could. It was on Christopher’s clothes, the carseat, the floor, the seat… everywhere. And let me just say this – I will never look at ricotta cheese the same. :-/ The car (and our hands) smelled like soured milk the rest of the hour-long trip to Arkadelphia. When we got there, Stephen dropped me off at school and he took Christopher to Tyler and Britney’s house and cleaned out the car and washed the carseat cover and Christopher’s clothes. It was an interesting day! Christopher was FINE the rest of the day so I suspect that full belly of milk + curvy roads = carsick boy! Definitely a mistake that we will NOT make again!

Christopher hanging out in his diaper and Bubba’s boots while waiting on his clothes to wash!

Thursday: My afternoon class was online on Thursday, so we decided to go to Phone Doctors in Ft Smith on Thursday morning. We picked up Stephen’s mom on the way out of town so that she could do some light shopping with us while we were out of town. She needed to go to her pool chemical place so we also did that while we were gone. I had called earlier in the week to make sure that they would be able to do my phone on the same day that I dropped it off, so that I didn’t have to make two 2-hour trips. WELL, when we got there, the guy tells me that I can pick up my phone on Friday around noon.  Turns out, their technician had to go out of town for some reason (extremely important, I’m sure) so they were having a different tech come in from their Tulsa store, but he wouldn’t be in until later that afternoon.  Arrrgh.  So, I left my brand new, broken iPhone4 at the Phone Doctors and made plans to drive BACK to Ft Smith on Friday to pick it up. (I wasn’t really happy at this point.) We ate lunch at Cheddars (yum!) and spent about 4 or 5 hours in Ft Smith before heading home. We stopped in Poteau and got snow cones on the way home. Not long after we got back, we met up with Tyler & Britney at my parents house. Britney and I made sugar cookies to practice decorating them for Christopher’s birthday party. (Excited about that!)

Friday:  Left out around 11:30 and made another trip to Ft Smith to pick up my phone. In case you’re counting, I was on the road Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Christopher was with me those last three days in a row. I know he was sick of his carseat {although not literally, thankfully!} by Friday evening. After we got home from Ft Smith on Friday, we went to my mother-in-law’s house to meet her new friend, Lonnie. (I have a feeling that I may be talking about Lonnie quite often in the future -- Christopher was told to call him “Pop-Pop” …hmmm.)

It was a long, busy week for us – we were on the go way more than normal. I was thankful for Saturday morning, because Stephen let me sleep in!

Here is a picture of my sweet almost two-year-old big boy, holding his portable DVD player in his lap and watching Arrrgggghhhh. (Shrek. As if you didn’t know.)

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