Monday, April 27, 2009

Baby Bella

This week I've been blessed with the opportunity to take care of this precious little peanut for my friend. It has been about 5 years since I've had a baby this age around and I was worried about wether or not I'd lost my touch. Before I go any further I need to take into account that 'Bella' is and exceptionally pleasant and easy baby to take care of, none the less I felt pretty good about my experience today. Some highlights...

1. I'd completely forgotten the DEEP satisfaction in getting a baby to nap. Seriously, I felt quite accomplished each time she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. I did it! Then I felt compelled to do some housework....that's the weirdest part because I rarely feel compelled to do housework.

2. Changing diapers is like riding a bike. I am happy to report that I can still change a diaper in about 9 seconds flat. Please take into account that I've had about 8 years of experience in this area so don't beat yourself up too badly.

3. There is no sweeter sound than a baby giggle, again deep sense of pride and satisfaction each time I cracked her up. Granted, had I seen a video of myself as I made goofy faces and danced around like a dork I'm sure I might feel a little bit differently about that.

4. I love to watch my sons go all gooey each time she smiled at them. Weslee could barely tear himself away from her.

5. Being spit-up on still doesn't alarm or disgust me, I'm still wearing the same stinky, spit-up sweatshirt and I have no intention of changing it anytime soon.

6. Driving with a baby in the car makes me a more cautious and defensive driver. Why is that? My kids are just as fragile but somehow I was more nervous with an infant in the vehicle.

I can't wait until Bella gets here tomorrow! I'm sure I'll have a few more revelations to share with y'all as the week progresses.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Break

A ridiculous excuse for a bridge!

Some of the locals

For spring break this year Grandpa Bob decided to kidnap all our kids and take them down to Gulf Shores for a little beach time leaving Steve and I to PART-AY! We were immediately overwhelmed by the possibilities. After much debating we decided to not stray too far from home. So, we headed for the Smokey Mountains for some hiking.

It snowed the first day so we hung out in the hot tub in our little chalet and headed down into the cute little town of Gatlinburg and had dinner at Bubba Gump's. Day two was sunny and gorgeous so after we discussed the possibilities we decided to hit the trails. When we were loading up in the car to head out I noticed that the passenger side door was covered in muddy paw prints. Upon closer examination we determined that they were from a bear or bears who were jonesin for some of our fig newtons on the front seat. Yikes!

Ramsey Cascades is where we headed. It is an 8 mile round trip hike that climbs over 2,000 feet...the entire hike is literally the snow. We had to cross two teeny-weeny "bridges" (I use that term loosely because it was a tree trunk cut in half with some sticks nailed to ONE side to give you something to hold onto as you crossed...did I mention said "bridge" was also covered in ice and hovering about 12 feet over a rushing river filled with jagged rocks) as we climbed higher the snow got higher too. Needless to say we were exhausted by the time we got back to our car and made good use of the hot tub upon our return. On our way to dinner we saw a black bear walking up the neighbors driveway! Steve jumped out to take some pictures while I waited and prayed in the car that they didn't eat him.

The next day we did a 5 mile hike that lead to a beautiful waterfall that you could walk behind. We encountered 3 more bears on this hike who were foraging for some goodies in the woods. They ignored all of us as we snapped some pictures. They were very cute! It was an awesome week and so good to reconnect without our kids. Thanks Grandpa Bob!

Burtnett's Across America


The Redwoods

Mount Rushmore

San Francisco

After talking about it for the last few years we've decided that this is the year that we will trek across the U.S. to check out this great country we live in. The kids all seem to be an appropriate age and we're not getting any younger. We'll be making our first stops in St. Louis and then onto Mt Rushmore. We plan to hit as many major National Parks as we can and them home to Sac. and down the West Coast taking the southern route back by way of Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We are all super excited! We will stop in Sacramento to visit family for a few days and we'd love it if some of you wanted to join us if we come near y'all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My People

I love these women!
They are my people. When I find myself saying "Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?" They are the ones I call on. When I want to laugh so hard coke comes out of my nose...they are the ones I call on. When I'm considering homicide...they are the ones I call on. When I want to behave like a 10 year old...they are the ones I call on. When I am feeling small and insignificant...thank God I can call on them!
I LOVE these women.

Happy Birthday Bailee!

Our BIG 5 year old Bailee!

Opening her presents

Even baby Bella got dressed up....sooo cute, she even did the hula!

Make a wish

Bailee, Carragan and Kaylea

It happened. Despite all our best efforts...Bailee turned 5 last Thursday. It was a week of celebrating for her and a week of grieving for Steve and I. Why does 5 seem so big? It has been more difficult than we anticipated watching our youngest reach this milestone. I'm not sure if it's just because she's the youngest or because she's at the sweet, girly finale of years of testosterone or because she's simply, Bailee our sweet loving baby girl. I imagine it's a combination of the three. In a few weeks I will be registering her for kindergarten!

If you've spent anytime around us you know how besotted we are with our little Bailee. She is so loving and sweet it is almost impossible to discipline her when she misbehaves. Her big brothers cater to her every whim and her Daddy is completely and admittedly wrapped around her tiny, little, pinkie finger. It has been a huge blessing to parent her as with all my children but when Bailee joined our crew she altered us all so completely with her distinct femininity it took us all by surprise. It's impossible to imagine what this family would have been like without her influence. She's tickled us pink and we are all better because of her...God is so good.