Wednesday, October 03, 2012


This month went by way too fast! Charlotte is a chatterbox - which is really cute, but also seems to bring a lot of slobber with it :) She does such a great job holding her head up, and even likes tummy time - Sydney thought it was torture, and Jaxon just rolled over all of the time.

Sydney and Jaxy are making new friends at school, and are doing a great job getting up and ready in the morning. They have not been late a single day, and we are two months in :) This is a big improvement from last year!

We are starting to get back into our old habits - the zoo once a week, the library once a week, and Target only once a week :)

We celebrated Mom's 61st birthday ( Sydney, "We need to leave now Mom. We don't want to be late. We haven't done this in like a year, we should totally be on time." Umm once a year, that's kind of how birthdays work...)

We learned about cell phones - Jaxon called 911, three times, from an old phone that no longer has service or a sim card; who knew you could do that?

We learned about our bodies - Jaxon, "Dad when I grow up, I am going to have hair under my arms too! I will be just like you!" 

Sydney, after noticing she had a rash on her arm from an allergic reaction "Oh no! This is horrible! How am I supposed to live my life like this? I'll be ruined." Then after she is informed that it will go away when she takes the medicine, she calmly replies, "Oh yeah, you're right Mom. Where's the medicine?" She's training to star in a Spanish Soap Opera...

We all grew a little this month.


With the older kids in school, Charlotte and I have had plenty of time to work out our schedules. She started sleeping well through the night, and even going down at a decent time (midnight).

She doesn't like napping in her bed - she prefers her swing or a blanket on the couch. She also is not a fan of her car seat - especially when we are driving!

Jaxy and Sydney love to be around her - she can't get a break :) Jaxon sings to her when she cries ("Calm down, calm down, calm down little baby") and he likes to play with her feet and lick her hair - I know, it's gross, but her hair sticks up like a Mohawk, and Jaxon is fascinated by that.

The second week of August, we had Charlotte blessed at church. My grandmother, my parents, Jana and her family, Allison and her family, and Deidra and her family (minus Nnamdi) all attended. Donnie blessed her, and Dad, Ura, Jason Hansen, Nate Anderson, Marc Hinckley, and Bart Anderson stood in the circle. We have been blessed with so many wonderful friends here, I am really going to be sad when we move next year.

At the end of August Charlotte had her 2-month check up. She weighed 13lbs 13 oz and was 25 inches long. She is getting so big! 


This year Sydney started 1st grade, and Jaxon started Pre-K. They were both excited for school to start. Jaxon really wants to be a big kid, so we were so excited when he was chosen in the lottery to attend the program at Sydney's school. They both go Monday through Friday from 7:55a.m. until 2:25p.m.

They see eachother at lunch, so Jaxy is pretty excited about that too. His teachers are Ms. Vaughn and Mr. McKinley. They are both really nice, and Jaxon is learning so much. He has also really come out of his shell. School has been such a great experience for him. He comes home every day with some new bump, scrape, or bruise, but proudly announces that he didn't even cry because he's tough!

So different from Sydney...the school nurse would call at least twice a week to say, "Sydney is fine, but she came to my office because she - was hit with a dodge ball, bumped into the wall, got a paper cut, scraped her knee -" and this is only a small list of the maladies she suffered at the hands of public school.

Sydney's teacher is Ms. Hamilton. She is nice, but tough. She told me that her class is full of babies (not in a mean-spirited way), but she is going to change that. I am glad too. I think it's important that kids are prepared and not pampered. They are capable of doing these things, they should be doing them :)

Sydney really likes her too. Sydney joined the running club this year at school. They meet every  Friday for an hour. Ms. Hamilton is one of the advisors, so they run together :)

Their favorite part of school though is they get to pack their lunches and pick out their own clothes (I have to approve everything though :))

She's here!

Sydney and Jaxon were both early (3 and 2 weeks, respectively), so of course Baby #3 would have to break tradition :) Charlotte was due June 14, but I started having contractions a few weeks before that...and had them until a couple of weeks after that date too :)

With Sydney and Jaxon, my first contraction came and a baby soon followed (7 1/2 hours later with Sydney, 4 hours later with Jaxon), so I was a little frustrated with the whole contractions for a month deal this time around. Every week at my check up I would ask my doctor if we were ready, and every week he would tell me to walk more.

Two things - first, I was still going to Zumba and Cardio Hip Hop twice a week until the end of May, and when I wasn't there, we were at Stone Mountain or the Zoo walking; second, at home I would rock and do squats every day. Obviously, I wasn't the hold out in this deal :)

Finally, I went in for my 42-week check up (no typo there). Nurse Tonya hooked me up to a machine to check contractions. After about an hour, Dr. Hadley came in to check things out and come up with a plan. He said I was having strong, steady contractions (duh!), but I was still only dilated to a 4 (we were going on week 4 like this). He decided to send me to the hospital anyway so we could start the induction.

Apparently everyone wanted to have a baby that day, because I wasn't in active labor, I kept getting pushed back in line, We checked in at the hospital at noon, but we were not taken to labor and delivery until 6p.m. At this point I had not eaten since dinner the previous night at 6p.m., so I was a little ornery :)

After getting set up, they started the IV drip, and at 7:30 the pitocin, and at 8:30 the epidural. I had steady contractions - really strong ones too - but still no labor. At 2:30a.m., Dr. Hadley and the interns came in for another visit. Dr. H decided to break my water, but said if nothing happened, we would go in for a C-section at 4a.m.

My parents and sisters had been at the hospital all day waiting with us, but finally left around 11p.m. My parents went back to our house to take care of Jaxon and Sydney (who had spent half the day with our friend Lindsey, and the other half with my grandmother). Thankfully, they were able to give Donnie a break and dinner, so he wasn't starving, only incredibly tired :)

Around 3:15a.m. I said, "Donnie, I feel a lot of pressure. Maybe you should get the nurse."

He replied, "That's good," and rolled back over on the couch.

I said, "No, I mean, like, I feel like her head is about to pop out!"

The nurse came in and checked. She was surprised that the baby's head was indeed popping out and told me not to push - or move - until the doctor came. Dr. H arrived, and took his sweet time setting up his stuff. We started pushing at 3:45a.m. and ten minutes later, Charlotte was born.

Charlotte weighed 10lbs 6 oz and was 21 3/4 inches long. She had dark hair and a cute little birth mark. As soon as the nurses took her, they started laughing. They had to send for different diapers because she was too big for the newborn ones they kept on the cart. They kept telling me I gave birth to a toddler - and it felt like she was in there long enough to be a toddler, so I wasn't surprised :)

Everyone was happy, healthy, and hungry!

We stayed in the hospital Tuesday, but Wednesday was Jaxy's birthday, so I begged and pleaded with the doctors to clear us to go home - they wanted us to stay until Thursday. Finally we reached a compromise, and we went home Wednesday night around 8. The only downside to all of this is that once again, Jaxon did not have a birthday party. BUT thanks to Grandma and Granddaddy, he did have presents, cupcakes, and ice cream.

Summer at a glance

The last few months have flown by way too quickly! Most of it was spent begging Baby Sister to get with the program and come (to no avail). The rest was spent at Stone Mountain and the Zoo hoping to walk Baby Sister into labor :) Of course the Summer would not be a complete without a Braves game  - or two - thrown in along the way!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Sydney decided she wanted to take gymnastics this spring, so we let Jaxy try his feet at soccer.

He played on a team of 3 & 4 year olds at our local YMCA. They had 24 teams with 9 players each. Jaxy's team was the Stallions. At this age, they play either 3 on 3, or 4 on 4, depending on what the coaches decide.

They only play on Saturdays for one hour. They have a 30 minute "practice" and then a 30 minute game. Jaxy loved his first practice! He and Donnie kicked the ball around, took shots at the goal, dribbled across the little field...whatever the coach instructed. Each player had their own ball during practice.

Then it was time to start the game. The coach asked who wanted to play first, and Jaxon's hand flew up the fastest. He was so excited...and then he realized that there was only one ball for 6 little kids, and people would push you down to get a chance to kick said ball.

The first time he went down hard, he was ready to go home :) He wasn't so excited after that.

Fast forward five weeks, and things began to change. We showed up for his game, and only two other players an one coach were there. With only three players, everyone had to play the whole time. Donnie was unable to be there, so it was up to Sydney and I to motivate Jaxon.

I promised him we would go to Menchie's (a frozen yogurt place he loves) if he would be a good teammate and play the whole time. He did a great job, and even started trying to kick the ball away from the other kids. By the end of the game, he was doing a great job of kicking, but he would kick the ball down the field and then stop and not follow it all the way.

Finally, by game number six, Jaxon was excited to go in to play. He would not only kick the ball, but kick it away from the other kids too. Then he would actually stay with it and dribble it down the field. At one point, it was Jaxon versus 4 kids from the other team, because his teammates were not interested in playing (it was really hot!).

Jaxon scored 5 goals! He was so happy and had such a great time. At the end of the year party they gave all of the kids medals, and he thought that was the coolest thing ever. We were so proud of him, and the progress he made!

BUT he said he wants to try gymnastics next time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I did not get a three-day celebration (Donnie said it was closer to a two-week affair).

Sydney and I spent the afternoon getting pedicures, and Jaxy and Donnie went shopping. They bought me new shoes and lots of chocolate, so I'd say it was a good day :)

We went to dinner with the kids, and finished the night off with a yummy coconut cake (my fave).

For Donnie's birthday, we had a little party at our house. We invited over 6 other families and had a cookout. The weather had been really nice (like in the 70s and 80s for a few weeks at that point), so the kids mainly stayed outside, leaving plenty of room inside for the adults.

Also, we had pie and ice cream for dessert since Donnie is not a cake person. It was fun to spend time with friends and celebrate Donnie :)

H-A-doubleP-Y 'cause it's your birthday...

Sydney lucked out this year, and we had a three-day celebration for her 6th birthday. First, she wanted to have a "tea party" with her friends. So on Saturday, we decorated the house, made tea party foods and cupcakes, and set up a craft station.

Soon our house was over-taken by a gaggle of 5 and 6-year-old girls (and Jaxy). The girls dressed up like princesses, ate, played, and then made their own bags. Donnie was the master of crafts, and with the help of our friend Kim, the girls made very interesting purses. Sydney had a blast, and I was happy to see it end :)

On Sunday, we went to my parents' house for the family celebration. Sydney had a great time playing with her cousins, and it was a nice relaxing day. She stocked up on craft supplies (her favorite thing in the world; she comes home from school every day ready to make a new art project or craft), and books.

Then on Monday (her actual birthday), we ate lunch with Sydney at school, and brought cupcakes so her class could celebrate with us. It was also the 100th day of school, so her class had special activities all day. Then that night we took her out to dinner.

The only problem is Jaxon now thinks his birthday should be a three-day celebration too!


We had a lot to celebrate this Christmas! We have been so blessed with a wonderful family, great friends, and a lot of incredible opportunities. After a long summer, with many ups and downs, it was nice to be able to relax and enjoy everyone - and give thanks for the way things turned out.

We had the Ralston family Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve at my parents' house this year. Then on Christmas Day, we went to Deidra's house to visit with Donnie's parents who came in to town. With two celebrations in as many days, we were a little tired, but it was nice to see both sides of the family at Christmas!

Jaxy was most excited about the candy canes and underwear in his stocking - why did Santa bring him toys? :)

Sydney stocked up on Lala Loopsy toys, and was happy to hear she would not have to share them with baby sister when she is born.

After Christmas, Donnie had to go out of town for a few days, so it was up to the kids and I to take down the tree. I ended up doing it alone when it became to much for the kids to bear. They didn't understand why we couldn't leave it up until next year :) Jaxy was very broken up about it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Halloween and such

The kids definitely piled up the candy and costume mileage this year. We went to the annual "Boo at the Zoo," and the kids were so happy to wear their costumes (Sydney was Tinkerbell, and Jaxy picked out Captain America - I'm pretty sure it was the shield that sealed the deal there).

There were lots of candy stands to trick-or-treat at, and costumed mascots were ready for each and every photo op. Jaxon would only approach statues and cut-outs, but Sydney was willing to pose with random characters.

They had a great time!

The next Saturday we spent at church for the Fall Festival. There were games, treats, and trunk-or treating activities all night long (and we spent all day preparing for it). We do not have any pictures because Donnie spent the entire time chasing around two kids on sugar highs, and I was stuck at the cotton candy machine the entire time - I can't even remember if I had a chance to eat.

We had carnival games, a cupcake walk, sno cones, cotton candy, hotdogs, chips, a chili cook-off, and lots of candy. Everyone had a great time!

Then on Halloween night we took the kids around our neighborhood. There were a lot of houses to pick up candy, but very few trick-or-treaters, so we all ended up with bags of candy. Donnie and the kids came home to grab new bags and went back out while I stayed to hand out treats at our house! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fall in review...

Our Fall was all about playing keep up. Sydney started kindergarten, Jaxy joined a preschool co-op group, Donnie's schedule became even crazier than it already was, I started babysitting a little girl in our ward, and we learned that our family would soon grow to include another little one.

Even with all of that going on, we still managed to frequent Stone Mountain and Braves' games, and fit in some extended family time.

Monday, February 20, 2012


We went to New York at the end of August/beinning of September to check out early round action at the U.S. Open. We went with our good friends the Hansens, and had a great time.

I forgot the camera, so we only have random pictures from Donnie's phone, and only when we weren't trying to conserve the battery :). We mainly stayed at one of the smaller courts - more action, closer seats - but we did venture in to Arthur Ashe Stadium to check out Federer :)

We saw great matches, including Isner v. Baghdatis and Ferrer v. Monfis, both of which lasted well into 5 sets, a few tie breakers, and even a couple of shirt changes :)

We had tickets for the day sessions (10 a.m. until 7p.m., or the last day match ended), and so we tried to spend the evenings around Times Square. We ate yummy food, marvelled at how many people were still out at midnight, and even found Michael Jackson.


Yes, I am aware that the school year is almost over, but better late than never :)

Sydney started Kindergarten this year. Over the summer our neighborhood school was closed (don't get me started on that subject...), so Sydney started the year with a new class and a new school.

She was originally put in Ms. Brelund's class, but after a week of school, it was decided that there were too many 5-year-old students, and a fourth class was formed. They randomly selected 6 girls and 6 boys from each class to create the new class. Sydney was one of the kids moved.

I have so many issues with this. One, they knew how many kids were in each class at least two weeks before school began - that is when they posted the class lists. Two, it took four more weeks before they hired a new teacher, and Sydney had 5 different substitute teachers during that time. Three, it took an additional three weeks after hiring the teacher to get all of the classroom supplies (chairs, books, toys...)

Kindergarten is hard enough, but when there is no stability, and your child comes home everyday telling you she couldn't play because there aren't enough toys or books for the class so they just had quiet time...needless to say, the principal heard from me a lot during those first two months of school.

Things have improved since then :) Sydney has a wonderful teacher, Ms. Thompson. She expects a lot from the kids, but she is very fair, and rewards them for following the rules. Sydney enjoys school, and has made a lot of friends.

She loves art and is becoming quite the little reader.

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