Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve




Stephen is nursing a head wound thanks to his little brother (yep, they are both adults) but all is well since he has a titanium spork.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

D'arcy and Julian's Fav Christmas Carols

1. Little Drummer Boy (Julian's favorite. He'll break out in ba rum ba ba bums at random points in time)
2. Charlie Brown Christmas Music (Stephen was so proud when a Vince Guaraldi song comes on in the toy store and Julian looks at Stephen and says "Charlie Brown Music!"
3. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (What kids don't like this song? We were listening to 101.9 which plays Christmas music non stop in S.A. and D'arcy says, "I want them to play Rudolph next!" I was in the midst of explaining that the radio isn't like a CD when all of sudden Rudolph starts playing!)
4. The Friendly Beasts (A great story of animals giving unique gifts to Jesus. It's great to sing during our Advent story times. D'arcy always asks for this when we listen to Sufjan Stevens.)
5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (I didn't realize they knew this one until they both broke out in song after a bath. Julian would finish each line for D'arcy.)
6. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Ok, not a traditional Christmas song, but it is on one of the Sufjan Stevens Christmas CDs and D'arcy has worked very hard to learn the lyrics.)
7. Do you hear what I hear? (D'arcy asks me to turn it up when this one comes on.)
8. Once in Royal David City (Ok, this is mommy's favorite of the year, and is trying push it on the kids.)
9. Frosty the Snowman (Another kid favorite)

Advent Week 3: The Magi & Faith

The third week of Advent began on Sunday, and at our church the children blessed us with a special presentation. The paraded down the main aisle handing out ornaments that reminded us of this week's theme, and then ended on stage singing We Three Kings. A CD and the congregation helped them out because We Three Kings is really not the most exciting of Christmas songs. D'arcy certainly doesn't know what a moor is... Here are some pictures I took on Sunday. D'arcy is standing with two of her favorite friends, Isabel and Catherine. Julian wasn't able to participate in the program since it was for age 3+ so he put on his own presentation, standing on his head.



For the third week of Advent we focused on the Magi who came from far away to seek out the child who was born King of the Jews. We read Matthew 2:1-12.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

And we sing We Three Kings (although if you notice in the scripture there isn't a reference to the number of Kings :) )

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to rein

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Pray'r and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav'n replies
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Advent Week 2: John the Baptist & Mercy

The second week of Advent has already past, but I wanted to take the time to highlight what we focused on; John the Baptist & Mercy. At almost the same time as the birth of Jesus, another birth occurred that was rather unusual. A mother who was past the point of childbearing became pregnant with a baby who would one day announce the ministry of Jesus to the Jewish people. We spend this week reflecting on God's merciful plan to send his son to the world as the promised Messiah. John the Baptist was a key player in this plan.

We read Luke 1:57-66 & Luke 1:76-78.

When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John." They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name." Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.

And we sang O Come All Ye Faithful

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


So, I just wrote about us celebrating Advent which the kids have been greatly enjoying. They've been playing with our kid friendly Nativity and pretending to read the story of the prophets from my Bible.
In the midst of all this Christ centered celebration, we had an interesting conversation with D'arcy about Santa. In past years, we've not perpetuated the concept of gifts from Santa, no sitting on Santa's lap, not leaving cookies for Santa. However, we have allowed her to "pretend" that Santa exists in that we don't say, "Santa isn't real" every time she talks about him.
The other day, we were driving home from home group, and D'arcy starts telling us that she wants a Cinderella castle from Santa Claus because he gets you whatever you ask for. So we listen to her idea of Santa, and ask a few questions. Then we try to alter the conversation from what she wants from Santa to what Christmas is really about. Ultimately, though, she kept coming back to the fact that Santa is going to bring her what she wants on Christmas day.
As we were getting out of the car, I tell her that Santa isn't real, but it's ok to pretend. She says, "We'll see, mom. We'll just wait and see."
Yep, we'll wait and see. I'm not looking forward to that disappointment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent: The Prophets bring Hope

This Christmas, I've gotten serious about incorporating Advent into our Christmas celebration. I want to instill in my children that Christmas is not simply Jesus' birthday. Instead, I want them to understand that this birth is a great mystery because on that day God became human. This birth was foretold by the prophets of old to Isreal, announced by the Angels to common shepherds, and sought out by the Magi of the East. The birth was for a purpose, not only to end for the salvation of all people, but to train us in the way we should live and to declare that the Kingdom of God is both here and to come.

This is a big job, no doubt. I'm incorporating some materials from our pastor with some materials from an awesome Children's curriculum called Godly Play to help my kids grasp the fullness of what Christmas is. I thought I would share the theme, scriptures, and song we are focusing on each week.

This week (Nov 30-Dec 6) we are remembering The Prophets from the Old Testament who declared to Israel that a King was coming. Today we read passages from Jeremiah and Isaiah.

Jeremiah 33:14-16
"'The days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.'"

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

This brought great hope to the struggling people of Isreal. We sing the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel in celebration of this great news.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

As we prepare our hearts for the mystery of Jesus' birth, we are glad to think back to the fulfilled promise given to the Israelites. This should reignite hope in us that the promise that Jesus will come again to fully establish the Kingdom of God will be fulfilled.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Parents and Pies

D'arcy's preschool has a special event each month. This month D'arcy's class invited the parents to the school for a special presentation and some pie. There will be no pictures for this blog as I did not bring my camera with me. I love taking photos, obviously. However, I'm conscientious about always being behind the camera. There are moments that are worth just experiencing. So with every event, I have to make a decision to take or not take the camera. I was probably the only parent there without a camera of some sort. In fact, one of D'arcy's friend's mom came in to the room, asked me to save her a seat, and told me she was going to run home to get her forgotten camera. Ten minutes and three preschool songs later, she arrived to learn she had missed the whole thing. In the frenzy to document the event, she missed it entirely. Thankfully, the kids did an encore after the pie.

I was also the only parent to not bring a pie. What a lame mom to not bring a camera or a pie! That was one of the hundred things I did, proudly, say no to this week. I'm looking forward to June when VLI will end, and I will be able to reevaluate all of my commitments.

Anyway, back to those Williams kids...D'arcy's class has a warning for all those turkeys out there. It comes in the form of a song.

Turkey, Turkey,
Run away, run away.
If you don't be careful, you will be a mouthful
Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tennesse Pics





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Trip to Tennessee

This will be a long entry as we had a packed, fun filled week in Tennessee. Let me first start by thanking both my parents and Stephen's parents for helping us come by paying for a part of our plane tickets. Julian is now two so he has to have a seat so you can imagine that flying anywhere can get expensive quick. Flying with two kids on my own isn't a horrible experience. D'arcy and Julian are always asked if this is their first trip, and the answer is always a resounding NO as both have flown many times to many places. They are pros and are very good on the plane. They are extremely friendly, and never fail to make many friends along the way. The conversation usually goes something like this...
"Hi, My name is D'arcy, and this is my brother Julian."
Julian echoes in the background, "Yeah, my name Jewian."
D'arcy continues, "We are flying to Tennessee to see our Grandma and Grandpa. Where are you going? Will you be on our next flight? This is my new IPod. I'm listening to a princess story." etc etc etc.
So the problem with flying isn't the kids, it's the stuff. I have to bring my big camera bag, my laptop bag, toys for the kids, a carseat (key in keeping my sanity with a two year old who would easily wiggle out of a plane seat), and a double stroller on the plane. To get to my connecting flight, I'm pushing or carrying all of this plus two kids and a third on the way across the Dallas airport by myself. It worked, but it wasn't a pleasant stroll in the park.
Once we got to Tennessee, we got to see some of our very favorite people, Grandma & Grandpa Clark, Kristin & Addison Bedi, Laura Allen, Grammy & Poppy Williams, Uncle Alex & Meagan, Uncle Josh & Emily, Great Uncle D & Great Aunt Lauren, Max, and GG (Great Grandma/Georgia Grandma). Here are our top ten memories from the week:

1. Hearing Julian tell Stephen over the phone that he saw an elephant at the zoo, and that the elephant went the bathroom right in front of us. He thought that was funny and "silly".

2. Hearing D'arcy and Julian tell my parents who was running for President; D'arcy, "John McCain! Bob Barr!" and Julian follows with "Barack Obama!"

3. D'arcy listening to the tour guide headphones at the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's Plantation) and promptly telling us that it says we should be careful when we pick cotton because if you do it all day your hands will start bleeding.

4. D'arcy restating that Andrew Jackson is dead on many occasions. She surprises me by how comfortable she seems with the idea of death. Although, she has told me on several occasions that she likes being alive.

5. Having D'arcy line up the Wilson/Williams family in a line after taking pictures to do a "parade". She was talking about having a parade for several days and she finally got one!

6. Watching D'arcy and Julian relate to their long distance family. They sure aren't shy with them. They wake up and immediately say, "I go see Grandma and Grandpa?"

7. Watching D'arcy make friends on the trip as described above.

8. Hearing D'arcy call Josh's new girlfriend by his old girlfriends name. This makes me giggle a little. (I need to insert here that we really like both current girlfriends very much!) She also gets Josh and Alex mixed up quite often...I even almost hugged Alex thinking he was Stephen. If you aren't paying attention this can easily happen.

9. Hearing D'arcy explain to Poppy that her Grandma Clark gives her Apple Jacks for breakfast when we visit her, and she likes this very much.

10. Walking in fall weather where there are actually leaves on the ground and a chill in the air. (Although, I'll admit that I was glad to get back to 75-80 degree weather)

We used my parents little camera at the beginning of the week, so I don't have those pictures yet, but I will post some of the pictures from our official Williams family photo shoot.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trick or Treat Night at Preschool

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween...oh, the debate about whether to participate in it. We've come to the conclusion that Halloween is an awesome opportunity to meet and bless people in the community. If you live in a neighborhood with kids, you will have a great opportunity to meet your neighbors on Halloween night. Isn't that something our churches are suggesting we do more of? So...this is how we celebrate Halloween as a family, by befriending and blessing our community. This year, like last, our home group is doing a Halloween party with a Chilli cook-off, games, and this great little photography company is taking free photos of kids in the costumes.
Anyway, we let the kids dress up, but, remember, I'm frugal and not willing to pay loads of money for costumes. I suggested to D'arcy that she be an angel. I have great angel wings as a prop for my business that I thought she could wear, but she insisted that she be a princess. "Mom, maybe next year I'll be an angel, but this year I plan on being a princess. Oh, and Julian can be my prince." I had other plans for Julian, though. Stephen spent the first three years of his life in Germany, and had some awesome pairs of leiderhosen. So throw in a $3 shirt from a second hand store, and we have a perfect little German boy. He much enjoyed his costume and pointing out his flowers. Mommy much enjoyed having one child who she could still dress however she wanted. I did, though, require D'arcy to let me do her hair. That's one of the joys of having a little girl!
Tonight, D'arcy's preschool had a little Trick or Treat party so they'll get to wear their costumes twice. Enjoy some pictures. The last picture is of one of D'arcy's closest friends from school, Daniel.



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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finished Product

On Sunday night, we all sat down around our kitchen table to transform our pumpkin into this.

Stephen was dreading it, but ended up doing all of the carving. Just goes to show you how I start everything and he finishes it. D'arcy was grossed out by the insides. After we scraped them all out, we picked out all the seeds to bake them. She was unwilling, at first, but then I found some rubber gloves for her to use. Once she had those on, it became more of a squish fest than a seed extraction. We'll take it to her preschool on Thursday for them to display at their Friday night fall festival.
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Sprocket's Progress

Some of you have asked whether I'm showing or not so I thought I would let you be the judge. I've never done the "pregnancy progress" pictures in the past. I think maybe I was too busy with work or in D'arcy's case, didn't have the convenience of a digitial camera. However, I have been so preoccupied this pregnancy with how long it's taking me to show because I feel like I was enormous so quickly with Julian. I thought I would document my progress so I won't be so worried with the next one. Anyway, I'm 18 weeks and 2 days in this picture. I'm still able to fit into most of my regular clothes, although, I did get down all my maternity clothes so I can be prepared for the inevitable growth spurt that should happen over the next month.
I have another prenatal appointment on Thursday, and I'll probably be scheduling a sonogram for mid-November. I'm not in the biggest hurry since we are not going to find out the sex. We still want to make sure that Baby Sprocket is doing alright, though. Yes, I said Baby Sprockett. It's a nickname till this baby has a permanent one. Julian loves it and will randomly mention "Baby Sprockett!" D'arcy hates it, and gets very angry when it is used. She insists that it is not a sprockett, but a baby with arms and legs and we shouldn't call it anything until we know what sex it is.
You can also see in the picture one of two new paint colors that we used in our house, Spicy Cayenne.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Day of Preschool

Here's a photo, long overdue, of D'arcy's first day of preschool. She's looking a little uncertain!
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Pumpkin Time

D'arcy needed a pumpkin for a preschool family project so we went to pick one out at a local church with a great little pumpkin patch. D'arcy brought her camera along too, and was really cute posing Daddy, Julian, and I. I'll try to get my act together and post her pictures too.




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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Julian is 2!

At four o'clock in the morning on October 7, 2006, our little Julian was born. Two years late, he's not so little. Out little guy loves all of the following; his big sister, his dog Begbie, Elmo, Speed (otherwise known as lighting mcqueen), trains, his daddy, the Beatles (specifically the songs Yellow Submarine, Hey Jude, All You Need is Love, and You Say You Want a Revolution), Milk (liquids in general, really), bathtime (the part when he isn't getting his hair washed), books, dancing, puzzles (he is so persistent with them), spaghetti (like his daddy), monkeys, his mommy, climbing up slides, his Mickey Mouse CD, sounds of all kinds (from the wind to birds calling), and babies. We are especially grateful for the last one as he will soon be both a little brother and a BIG brother.
He is such a sweet kid and a joy to parent. I keep saying I want #3 to be a girl, but when I think of Julian, I realize how I would be so thankful for another little boy.
Here are some pictures taken this morning to commemorate his 2nd birthday.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Toilet talk

Mommy is excited! Julian turns two in about two weeks. How many times have I heard that boys are harder to potty train? Yet, Julian has instigated going to the toilet twice this week with immediate success (#1 & #2!). The only thing I've done to encourage this action is purchasing M&Ms that stay up in the bathroom cabinet. At this rate he should definitely be potty trained by baby #3's arrival. One small problem are his pants going to stay up without the help of diapers? The boy has no booty.

On other Julian news, he has adopted the term "touchdown" to his vocabulary now that it's football season. After every down, he yells TOUCHDOWN, and we have to say, "Not yet."

Some other terms that we find super cute... I'll tell him something (anything), and he'll respond, "Reeeaaaally?" I respond, "Yes, really." He says, "You really fink so?" I say, "mmmmhmmmm". He says, "Of Course!"

We are also very thankful to have a thankful little boy. He has replace his non word for thank you, "Eeceys", with an actual thank you. We very rarely have to prompt this. It's nice to have a big sister to copy.

Lastly, Stephen and I have been laughing at the difference between D'arcy and Julian in regards to them getting out of bed when they should be sleeping. D'arcy has always had an excuse for getting out of bed without permission. "I just want a kiss and hug." "I just needed to say 'see you in the morning'." "I need a glass of water." OR She'll play quietly enough in her room in order to not be heard.

Julian, however, gets out of bed and picks the loudest toy possible to play like a drum or a flute. When I come in to correct him, he either very sweetly greets me at the door and announces "DRUM!" or he runs as fast as he can to get back in bed. Unlike his sister, He never tries to reason his way out of his punishment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sound tech in training...

This picture is courtesy of Julian's (and our) dear friend, Benjamin, who runs sound at our church. Benjamin always takes time to say hi and play with kids which the kids just eat up. This pic made me smile so I thought I would share!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Baby #3 has a heartbeat!

On Thursday, we went to our first prenatal appointment. We found a great midwife who delivered Julian two years ago who we are using again for this baby's birth. Since Julian's birth, she has opened up a new birth center in the middle of the San Antonio Medical center (aka across the street from five hospitals all grouped together). I'm excited about delivering there. Check out their site You can take a tour of the facility via pictures that I took! We are also blessed that our insurance will pay the full bill. Last time we payed completely out of pocket.

Anyway, we took the whole family to the appointment so they could see what the birth center was and hear the baby's heartbeat. D'arcy has been asking loads of questions about how and where the baby will be born so this trip helped answer some of those questions.

The baby's heartbeat sounded strong, and both D'arcy and Julian were pretty amazed. Julian's reaction was, "Sound. Baby. Har Beat?."

Once again, my uterus is measuring big. She said it felt like I was more like 15 weeks instead of 11. This happened last time. When we went to get our ultrasound with Julian the first question we asked was, "Are there two?" so I wasn't surprised when I was measuring big again. The conclusion we've come to is that the way they measure is based on an average woman's body, and at 4'10'' I'm certainly not average.

So for those of you who are interested, here is a sneak peak into our name choices. For a girl it would be, again, Teresa Margaret Lucy Williams (Maggie Lu for short). and for a boy, everyone take a deep breath, it will probably be, Duren Schroeder Vonnegut Williams (Schroeder). We are still debating the boys name as I would like to use Emmett (after Stephen's dad) as a name before I use Duran (Stephen's maternal grandfather), but Duran goes so well with Schroeder, don't you think : ) ? No, we are not doing drugs, and yes, someone can buy him a little piano.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The 1st day of preschool

I've always said that preschool was for spoiled kids. Well, our daughter is officially being spoiled this year. Stephen and I are not extravagant when it comes to birthdays and Christmas for our kids, but I have to say that it feels really nice to be able to spoil her in this way.
She popped out of bed on Tuesday morning, and got dressed in a hurry. When I was changing Julian's diaper, she got down on the floor beside him and started stroking his hair. She said, "JuJu, I am so so sorry, but I have to go to preschool today and you can't come with me. I'm really sorry, but I'm going to miss you. When I get home we can play with my new guitar and sing "Deep and Wide"." This sparked Julian to start singing "Deep and Wide".
Her excitement faded a little once we got to the school. Last Friday, we had taken her to meet her teacher and see her "cottage" (there are three little houses that have classrooms in them). When we showed up on Tuesday morning, she was expecting to go straight to the Bumblebee cottage and see her teacher. We should have explained that all the kids go to the main building to play until 8:30 when their teachers come to pick them up. When she got to the main building, there were lots and lots of kids and she got a little overwhelmed. We leaned down to say goodbye and give her a hug, and she grabbed onto us really tight. Her eyes got a little red. All of which helped to boost mommy & daddy's egos a bit. She does really love us! We pried her off of us, and left a little emotional.
I picked her up at 3:30, and over the next few hours little bits and pieces of her day spilled out. Here are some of the more memorable tidbits.
"Mommy, Mrs. Bagnachi made me a Birthday sign that I wore all day."

I asked, "Did you meet any of the kids in your class."
D'arcy responds, "Yes, a little girl told me her name at naptime."
I ask, "Do you remember her name?"

"Mommy, I told my teacher at naptime that I was a little sad. I missed you and JuJu and Daddy."
I said, "We missed you too!"
D'arcy says, "Yeah, I was a little sad, but I was a lot happy!"

"We played pirates and "blast off to outerspace" during recess."

She popped out of bed again this morning, and something triggered her memory because she said, "Maybe Meadow will be at school again today!". I'm guessing Meadow is the little girl that she met at naptime.

Monday, August 25, 2008

D'arcy is 4!

D'arcy is turning 4 today. We don't have any big parties planned, just a simple family celebration complete with cake and presents sent from far and near. D'arcy got to skip her nap today to help me make her cake. She is excellent at cracking eggs. We also took some time to take some four year old pictures. She got to open one of her presents early so she could wear one of her new dresses in the picture. We curled her hair, and she asked that I only make four curls to represent how many years she was. So I divided her hair into four parts and did four curls : ). I'm always taken back by how pretty our little girl is, and how blonde she is. Well, she says it's white... I never would have guessed. I'm wondering if she will be our only white haired baby, or if this new little one will get that gene too. Anyway, here are a few of the pictures, and the rest are in our 2008 photo album at Enjoy!




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Monday, August 11, 2008

A little tummbling...

Thanks to my husband who got our bunny ears to tune in NBC, we are watching the Olympics. The woman's gymnastics team was on TV last night, and of course, the kids can't just watch them they have to try to do what the gymnasts are doing. After a couple of attempts, I pulled out D'arcy's old napping mat. After a few lessons on tucking their neck, the kids were busy taking turns doing somersaults on the mat. Julian would get stuck on his head, and D'arcy would help throw his feet over him. Once he landed he would say excitedly, "See DAT!? See Dat?", and would run over to get a high five from me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Allergist Update

I took D'arcy to the allergist today. I was really pleased with the doctor. He was very personable and interacted with the kids wonderfully. They tested D'arcy for 36 common allergens, and discovered....that she is allergic to a lot of things. Most of her allergies are slight. The highest ones are live oak (a tree common in texas), elm, dog dander, strawberries, and pecans. None of these alone caused her to have this continual bout of hives, but the constant presence of allergens have caused (according to the doctor) both the severity of her eczema and this rash of hives, pun intended.
SOOOOO...he is suggesting that she be placed on an anti-histamine long-term. Something like Zyrtec. She will need to take the medication once a day before bedtime. I'm fairly pleased at the answer. It's nothing serious, just annoying, and can be easily maintained without much change in routine or diet. The doctor did not recommend getting rid of Begbie who the kids have found a whole new level of love for in the last couple of months (A blog I intend on writing soon). Basically, he just suggested that we treat the symptoms and try to locate which allergens are the most severe and limit those.
Stephen, on the other hand, is pretty bummed about this diagnosis. He isn't particularly pleased with the idea of D'arcy being on medicine all the time, and he doesn't want to perpetuate the idea that she is allergic to everything. He experiences allergies on occasion, too. I've seen his lip swell up and seen his body break out in hives, and, let me tell you, I've never seen him more annoyed or stressed than when this happens to him. So I can imagine that part of his reaction to this diagnosis stems from his own experiences.
So as parents, we are learning loads of things from our firstborn. She is now not only our first social experiment but also our health experiment. So there's the update, and now we are leaving for our weekly trip to SeaWorld.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Why is it that our kids get sick when we are about to leave for vacation? Last November, D'arcy was in the hospital the weekend before our Tennessee vacation with the croup which she inevitably passed on to Julian who got sick on vacation. This year, we were scheduled to leave for our Indiana/Rhode Island trip on Thursday. The Saturday before we left, D'arcy started having hives all over her body. Nothing serious, just persistent.
Long story short, after a week and a half of hives everyday, we took the advise of the Humana nurse and ended up in the ER on our vacation. They pretty much told us to continue giving her benadryl and see our pediatrician when we returned.
Now, almost five weeks later, bouts of hives are still showing up on her body every day, some days worse than others. There doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme and reason to them, except that they are usually worse around mid-morning and right before bed. They also flair up if she gets excited, angry, or really hot, and show up in areas of pressure like around her waistband. She doesn't scratch them much, and they don't last long (maybe a half hour).
As a mom, I'm learning how much I don't have control over (aka how much I have to rely on God to keep my children healthy). I'm also discovering how distinctly different D'arcy's skin is than mine. I guess I should have been clued in when she was born looking almost albino. She has persistent eczema, and now persistent hives. I really want to learn how to care for her skin better.
I've read a lot about hives over the last couple of days, and I've discovered that our next step is to go to an allergist. Eighty percent of the time, the allergist won't be able to pinpoint what is causing the outbreaks. can be in prayer that 1) These bouts go away on their own 2) That the allergist can find a cause 3) The cause is something easily removed from her environment/diet etc. Very occasionally, chronic hives can be a sign of a thyroid disorder or cancer. This is rare, but my hope is that her hives have nothing to do with either of these.
D'arcy is learning about faith through this, though. We have prayed for her at home and have taken her up after church to have her prayed for. I've been asking her before we pray if she has faith that God can heal her. And she says yes. She's been using that faith for other things too (see Fear Conquered by Faith post).

Fear Conquered by Faith

Leave our neighborhood, turn a corner, go up a hill, and there is Sea World. Because of its close proximity, we have bought season passes for the last two years. D'arcy loves SeaWorld, but there is one attraction that she has always feared. In Shamu's Happy Harbor (a little area just for kids), there is a huge two-story rope net that leads you to a fun slide and tubes that hang above the whole area and lead to a pirate ship. Both the net and the tubes are made of interwoven fabric which means you can see the ground through the holes.
D'arcy decides to try the net pretty much every time we go, but about half way up, she freaks out and wants us to come help her down. She doesn't mind climbing to high places, but she doesn't like climbing on something you can see through especially when the ground is so far away.
Today, D'arcy asked again to climb the net. I was expecting the same scared reaction, but D'arcy surprised me today. She climbed slowly. When she got a little flustered, she took a break, but ultimately she got to the top. We went down the slide, and then she turned around to do it again. When she reached the top, she decided she was ready to conquer the tubes. About a half a mile of tubes later (and some majorly sore knees on my part), we all made it to the pirate ship. She was really proud of herself.
Tonight when she saw daddy, she proclaimed, "Daddy, I used all my faith to climb the nets."
Daddy replied, "You mean your courage?"
"No, my FAITH."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hey Jude

The kids and I occasionally break out our Beatles' record, and the kids ask specifically for the song "Hey Jude". They go wild when it comes on. They run around the room dancing and singing. It's so cute to hear Julian sing, "na na na, hey juwd".
Julian has lots of nicknames, JuJu, JuJu Bean (or Grammy's version "the bean") and Jude. If you didn't know, Hey Jude was supposedly written for Julian Lennon which is why we occasionally call Julian Jude. Our position is that a kid can't have too many names : )...Edward Julian Theodore Williams agrees.
Jude is thus far the only name he has called himself. Whenever he sees a picture of himself, he points and says either "Baby" or "D'arcy" and we'll point and tell him it's Jude. So whenever I hear him sing Hey Jude, I catch myself imagining us dancing to this song at his wedding, and I get all emotional picturing my sweet little boy all grown up.

Grandma & Grandpa's House

Stephen and I spent five wonderful days in Block Island by ourselves while D'arcy and Julian spent five wonderful days at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Among other activities, they had the opportunity to swim, play with their cousin Gabe, and as the picture shows, ride on Grandpa's fathers day gift. D'arcy and Julian are so looking forward to Christmas when they'll get to hang out at their house again. So a BIG THANK YOU to Grandma & Grandpa from all of us (and Aunt Connie who helped out too).

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rhode Island

D'arcy and Julian's Top 10 Moments from Rhode Island
10.Naming the animals in this very random Animal Topiary garden that we happened to find ourselves in Portsmouth.
9. Seeing BIG, fresh lobsters.
8. Watching Nickelodeon...this is a perk for kids who only have broken bunny ears at home.
7. Discovering all the little gifts Grammy brought for them. They both got "plane totes" which were a huge hit. D'arcy's was made of Dora fabric and Julian's from "speed" fabric (aka Cars). Then when we arrived in Rhode Island, Grammy brought her signature gift bags, and the kids picked out one toy for each day. This is always awesome for mommy, too, since I didn't have to pack toys. Who can fit toys in a bag when you can only bring one suitcase under 50 pounds?
6. Running on the cliff walk. Wow...did they ever tire? As we causally strolled, they ran ahead of us and then back to us. As we looked at the mansions, they ran all over the mansions' yards.
5. Wallowing on Uncle Josh and Abby. This was our first occasion to meet Abby, but you wouldn't know it by the way my kids acted towards her. "Abby, will you watch me paint, etc, etc?" Julian spent much time chanting, "Un-cuw Joshhhh Un-cuw Josh".
4. Seeing the ocean. Julian's vocabulary was blossoming very quickly on this trip, and he quickly told us what he liked the most, "Daddy, O-cean!" and "BOAT!".
3. Swimming in the hotel pool. This was one of the first times D'arcy swan without floaties and one of the first times Julian swam with them. Plus D'arcy enjoyed shooting out of the indoor slide.
2. Spending nights with Grammy & Poppy in their hotel suite. Julian had no problem telling us goodbye every night, and Mommy and Daddy were pretty excited about it too.
1.Playing in the sand. We went to a couple of beaches, Easton Beach in Newport and a a beach in Watchill, RI (where she got to play in the sand with Miss Emma Gustitus). D'arcy doesn't care if the water is freezing as long as there is plenty of sand!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip. Check out our online family photo album for more pics.




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