Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grocery Store Control

Another confession...I am now one of those moms. You know...the kind when we did not have kids we used to cuss at in the aisles of the grocery store. The mom who pushes around the race-car cart that should require you have a Class C "Big Rig" driver license to push. Also referred to in many social circles as the "carts from hell". I not only drive one, I seek them out at any store I go into. Some stores think they are being nice and give your 3 year old a helium filled balloon the second you walk into their store. Well, let me tell you. Who ever thought THAT was a good idea never spent the rest of the shopping trip through the store with the 3 year old he just gave the balloon to! It enough to make you not want to return. Its not like you can say no thank you to the balloon as you walk in...that would send the before mentioned 3 year old into a frenzy because mama won't let him have a balloon. No sir...I will pass on the balloons, but not the big ol' cart. It may take some time to get good at maneuvering them...they have a tricky turning radius, your palms may sweat from nerves as you try to gracefully make your way, and you cannot just breeze through a store...but the 3 year old is contained and entertained. That my friends makes it ALL worth it.

Its Not Just an Aggie Thing

Ok Y'All...I have to admit that I was wrong. There is a little website out there that I thought Josh used to spend WAY too much time on. Well, I got to looking at it and now I am hooked as well. TexAGs is not just for Aggies. Yah, Yah...there is a LOT of Aggie stuff on there, but if you click on forums and scroll down to the "General" and "Aggie Newtwork" sections, there is stuff for everyone. You can find out anything there! Its like having your own personal Ask Jeeves for your area. For instance, back in Canyon we had these little stand alone water jug refilling stations in random parking lots where you could refill your water gallon jugs for a quarter. I wanted to know if College Station had any. I posted the question in the B/CS forum and had 3 responses within minutes. One kind person even added the websites in with directions! Now that is service! There are links for all the major areas in Texas...even a Panhandle on for my Amarillo friends! You all should check it out. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Little Miss Turns 2 Months

Here she is...Our sweet baby girl is already 2 months. Nine weeks to be exact. She has had a bout of acid reflux and is now on baby Zantec, but other than that she is doing GREAT! She is the best little thing. Her three year old brother cries more than she does. And what a smile. It is enough to just melt your heart.
At her 2 month check, she passed with flying colors. She is able to grasp and hold her toys, recognize our voices, hold her head up (still a bit weeble-wobblish, but we are proud anyway), smiles, laughs, coos, and scoots around on her back like a pro. Her legs are going about 90 to nothin all the time. Here she is enjoying some tummy time, trying really hard to not fall asleep. That didn't last long. Her workout was just too stimulating and she had to close her eyes.

She is 23 and three-quarters inches long. This puts her in the 93rd percentile and on track to being 5'9". She weighs 11 lbs, 6 oz. This puts her in the 74th percentile. At this age her brother was about a pound less and in the 25th percentile. She is a big girl, who like her mama likes to eat. She's not missing any meals.
Big Brother sure loves her. He would sit and hold her all the time...right up until she starts to cry and then he gives her back saying, "She wants you, Mama!" At this point, he better watch out. She will be outweighing him soon. :)

She is getting quite vocal...trying to talk up a storm. As you can see, she still sleeps in her Moses basket. I am having a bit of a hard time putting her in her crib. One of these days I will just have to break down and do it...she is growing too long for the basket.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

On the Road Again!

You know it is summer when we head to Nana and Poppop's to visit our cousin for the week! Boy did we have a big between all the bickering between my little man and his older cousin. Oh, what good times! Here is the crew, minus Josh and Poppop.

As you can see, we spent most of our time in the pool. Andrew is modeling the new goggles he got special for the trip. We should have left them at Target where we bought them. I think posing for the picture was the longest he had them on. Oh well, they look good! :) Safe to say he picked up all the little neighborhood ladies in these.

There is no diving board at Nana's...thank goodness. Therefore the kiddos created their own by jumping off the spa. Andrew is not the greatest of swimmers yet, but boy can he get around and pop right up from under the water in his styling floaty suit.

Once COMPLETELY slathered in sunscreen, little miss went in the pool. She had a pretty big time too, but was quite slippery from all the lotion. She spent most of her time relaxing in the shade with Nana and me. Come this time next year, I imagine she will be right in the thick of things as well.

In the recover from being water logged...we took the kids to various play places around town. One I would highly recommend is "Going Bonkers". It is a GIANT McDonald's-like play set. There is climbing, sliding, zip-lining, and various other things throughout to wear all of us out.
A good time was had by all...but sadly the week came to an end and we got caught on a closed down I-35 on our way home. There was some kind of big wreck and we crept along VERY slowly for about an extra hour and a half.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Keeps Us Busy

Nana and Grandad came to stay this past weekend. We had a big time showing this Red Raider all that Aggieland has to know the really important things like Freebirds burritos and kolaches! Just kidding. We did take them to Lake Somerville which is about 30 miles west of here. It was nice, a bit rocky for my taste. Andrew loved it. He spent the majority of his time throwing rocks into the water. He thought that was great!

If Andrew was not throwing rocks, Josh was throwing him. For someone who is quite apprehensive with new things, Andrew took to the water with no problems. Josh on the other hand had some problems with his footwear. Since it was so rocky, you had to wear your flip-flops or you just could not bear to walk. With all the force of walking through the water, Josh not only broke his flip-flops, he also broke mine!!! (This story would have been a whole lot more funny if we still called them thongs like we did when I was a kid!).

Miss Ainsley on the other hand spent her first trip to the lake sunning herself in the shade! Rough life I tell you...look at those feet! :) Since Josh broke my shoes, I did about the same thing.

Look out A-Rod, Andrew has a new passion. If he is not swinging a golf club, he is swinging a baseball bat. His Poppop and Nana got him a tee and his first metal Louisville Slugger bat. Andrew is in love. As soon as Josh walks into the house from work, Andrew is asking if he can come play baseball. You know the kid is desperate if he asks me to come out and play. He is the batter and we are the "glovers" as Andrew calls know the one who stands out in the yard and catches the balls. :)

Over the weekend we learned Ainsley has a hidden talent. As you can see in the video, she is quite the rockin' little mama. She can get herself going pretty good on that ottoman. Let's hope the talent stops with ottomans and does not progress to electric bulls. We will just keep her away from Billy Bobs in Fort Worth for a while! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Chapter Begins

Well...we did it. The Shields are back in College Station! What a change, what an adventure...had a baby and moved all within a matter of 6 weeks. Who says God does not have a sense of humor. Ours has a good one. What a testimony of God's control over all things. Here is how it came to be...

Josh was looking on the Texas A&M University System website in mid-Februaryish and found a posting for a Senior Financial Analyst position in the Department of Treasury Services. He officially applied for the job March 2nd. He had a marathon phone interview on March 24th. They invited him down for a "day trip to Houston" as we called it, but really it was an interview in College Station on April 4th. He was then offered the position on Tax Day...April 15th. Josh accepted and the whirlwind began on April 17th.

Ainsley, our new sweet baby girl, was born on April 24th. I was induced, once again, a weekish late. Before going in, I was already dilated to a 2 to 3 and was 50% effaced. We got to the hospital and check-in at 7:00 am, got hooked all up and they started my Pitocin at 8:00ish. My contracts started coming pretty good and I began to progress much faster that I did with Andrew. We did the same thing with him and he did not come until after midnight. Nobody, including Josh and I, expected things to go so quickly. I got an epidural around noon and was at a 10 by 1:30. I started pushing shortly thereafter and she came at 2:24 pm. Whoa baby...

Our pediatrician came to check on Ainsley that evening. She came to inform us that Ainsley had a BIG heart murmur and the doctor had ordered an echo-cardiogram for in the morning. Much to everyone's kindness to put us at ease, we were a bit worried. Our pulpit guy at church, Dan Bouchelle, and his wonderful kids (that are in our Huddle at church) came to visit us that evening and he prayed over all of us. The next morning our pediatrician walked in and said the murmur was gone!!! Praise God. Dr. Williams said she broke her rule by telling us about the murmur. Most of the time this corrects itself and she usually waits until after the first 24 hours to tell parents, but Ainsley's sounded big so she went ahead and told us. No echo was needed and we were released to go home on Saturday the 26th. We had a great week and 1 day at home as the four of us, and then we became the three of us as Josh left for College Station to begin work on Sunday, May 4th.

Time went a single mom with a 3 year old and a newborn who is in charge of packing up our entire lives, we were busy. Like I said before God took care of us. First God thing - Josh e-mailed the ladies at work before arriving to ask if anyone new of some temporary housing. He had looked at extend-a-stay hotels, but they would have been tons of money for the three weeks we thought he would need one for. One lady e-mailed back that she has some friend how have an apartment above their garage they rent out. Well let me just tell you...what a bachelor pad Josh ended up with. It had a full kitchen, washer/dryer, separate bedroom and bathroom, chichi decorations. He was hooked up AND it was only $150 a week.

Second God thing - Our house in Canyon sold in 4 days...thanks to a bunch a work by my mom who puttied holes, painted trim, picked up the house, took care of Andrew while we were in the hospital and the house was being shown (they sure spent a LOT of time at the park), and several other tedious chores I am forgetting. We thought that was going to be the hard part. Hah!

Third God thing - The three of us drove to College Station over Mother's Day weekend to meet Josh and look for a new house. WOW...College Station is a crazy housing market, definitely a seller's market. We thought we were doing good and had researched the MLS listing one weekend before Josh came down. We had put together a spreadsheet (imagine that...I know Elizabeth and Janelle are laughing) to send to our realtor for Josh to look at before I got here that weekend. We thought we were being so smart. Our thought process was we wanted to buy instead of rent to keep from having to move our stuff twice. We had about 18 houses on the list for Josh and the realtor to look at and weed out. FOUR were available and let me tell wasn't the good 4 either. Josh was frustrated to say the least. He and the realtor went to look at the 4 on Tuesday (the 2nd day Josh was here). She had found a couple others, but not much. Wednesday was a bit better. They found 2, one Josh really liked and then a back-up. Thursday, the one he really liked gets put under contract. He sends the realtor 31 more houses to look at...FOUR were still available. I tell you what, if you even thought about liking the house, you better put a contract on it or it was GONE in a flash. Not only were we competing against young families for these houses, we were competing against parents buying for their Aggies. Darn those students. :) The kids and I pull into town Friday afternoon and look all evening. That evening we put a contract on one that has been on the market 3 days. Well, so does another family. We wanted to move in the house in 2 weeks, the other family wanted to say she chose the other contract. Saturday morning we are back to square one...nothing! We were driving around and our realtor called our cell to say she had found one that did not show up the first 1000 times we searched MLS...well you guessed it, that is the one we bought. It is a cute 1500 sq. ft, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house built in 2002 in College Station just down the road from the school I taught at. So, our house was sold, we bought a new house, now we just needed to get our stuff here...

Fourth God thing - Josh "reserved" the largest U-Haul truck, a trailer, and 5 dozen furniture blankets for us to pack up Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Well Saturday gets here and there is NO truck, NO trailer, and NO furniture blankets. I thought we were done for. I think by the time it was all said and done, every U-Haul person in Amarillo knew who we were and were trying to find us something. We ended up with 2 smaller trucks, 1 open trailer, and 6 dozen furniture blankets...and ALL of this by noon on Saturday. We decided afterwards that the 2 trucks were a blessing because we do not think all of our stuff would have fit in the 1 big truck! The guys were AWESOME who come to help us load the truck. We were done, cleaned up, and to a going away party by 7:30.

I will tell you that this has been an adventure...but when it is God's will, as we feel this move was, everything just falls into place. Now we are unloaded, unpacked (for the most part), and settling in life here in good ole College Station.