Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quarterly Update

I am sad to title this post "Quarterly Update", as I had hoped to write more frequently, like weekly, or even monthly.  Well I am here now.  And at the end of the day, I know I will enjoy looking back on these posts no matter how frequently (or infrequently) the updates came.  

They are growing up still.  I am PRETTY SURE I made it very clear that they were not do that anymore. But Sienna continues to inch closer to FOUR years old, and as the boys approach TWO, they are developing the attitude to go with it.  :( 

Sienna...spunky, sassy, yet still sweet, Sienna.  In the last few months, she has become more cuddly than she has ever been in her whole life.  She desires constant companionship.  "Mommy, will you sit with me?"  is a phrase I hear over and over throughout the day.  Admittedly, I get weary, but I DO TRY to embrace it, sit with her, and cherish every cuddle.  

Sienna loves to sing, dance, color, TALK, and play.  She is extremely attentive to her little brothers, whom she adores, but also loves to boss around.  I often have to remind her to let me be the mommy, and, "you just be their sister."  She gets her feelings hurt if they won't hug her or come to her when she beckons.  

She is still the master-negotiator.  Before I can even get the word, "NO", out of my mouth, she is already explaining her plan B, plan C, and plan D.  Her favorite lines in regards to this are, "Mommy, I got a deal"  OR "Momma, I have a plan".  

Price is the kindest, most generous baby I've ever seen.  He is constantly looking for physical affection from me, Matt, but especially Sienna and Maddox.  He is still my most laid-back child, yet doesn't often miss out on the rambunctiousness of the other two.  He loves to dance (his moves remind me of Elaine from Seinfeld), eats more than Sienna and Maddox combined, and enjoys splashing in the water.  

He is very attuned to his brother and sister's feelings.  Just the other day, Price was crying because he wanted a toy that Maddox had.  So naturally, Sienna took from Maddox and gave to Price.  Maddox immediately started throwing a fit, and without being prompted in any way, Price gave the toy back to Maddox.  How sweet is that?!  When either are crying, he gently pats them, hugs them, or gives them kisses.  

However, as I said earlier, they are both developing the selfishness that comes with age, and even my sweet Price is not exempt.  He can be downright ORNERY lately and very possessive of me.  When I am holding Price in my lap, he will kick Maddox away if he tries to come near.  Price can be extremely stubborn and does NOT appreciate when I forbid him from doing something he wants to do.  

Price still doesn't talk much, but "Dada" is official!

And then there is spirited, fiery, passionate Maddox.  What Maddox is feeling is no secret because he does not just wear his feelings on his sleeve, but he wears his emotions on every part of him.  He either RADIATES PURE JOY or is ENGULFED in FURY!  Maddox is excited about life, and I learn from him every single day.  Despite the fact that he is more independent and definitely has a mischievous air about him, he still is very affectionate with Sienna and Price, especially.  

Maddox has facial expressions the way Sienna did.  He literally makes me laugh out loud without saying a word.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will keep us laughing and pulling our hair out!  Oh, Maddox still gets mistaken for a girl, quite often.  I suppose it's time to cut his crazy hair!  

Maddox is really embracing this whole talking thing, as he is up to a few words!  "Dada", "Mama", "Papa", and he quacks like a duck!  

All three of my children would rather be outside than inside all day long.  They play so well together with minimal fighting so far.  And again, there seems to be an intimate bond amongst them that I am so grateful for.  


Maddox hates to be left out.  If I tickle Price's belly, Maddox will immediately lift up his shirt and rub his belly to make sure I don't forget about him! 

Maddox says, "Wow wow wow"

Sienna calls her brothers, "Bubba", "Sweetheart", "Honey"

Sienna: I'm Elsa, you're Ana, and the boys are baby Kristoff's! 

Sienna: What the heck, Jose?  (As opposed to "No way, Jose!")  

Sienna said to me: "I want to marry with you."

Sienna sang a song she made up...
Me: Where did that song come from?
Sienna: My voice.
Me: Who taught you?
Sienna: Jesus.

Sienna: Daddy, don't put your shirt back on because I think you handsome with no shirt. 

At the doctor's office, the nurse practitioner was asking me several questions and taking notes. 
Sienna: What is she doing?  Why she not fixing me?

On the way home from Target...
Sienna: There's a lot of stuff there.  I'm going to tell Daddy not to let you come to Target unless you buy me nail polish and shoes and lipstick and pants.

My Dad was explaining to Sienna how some children don't have a Daddy, to which she immediately stated, "I'm not sharing mine."

In April, Maddox climbed out of his crib.  But it must not have been a good experience because he hasn't done it since! 

Sienna loves playing on Bridget's porch and says it's her castle.  One day she said she didn't have a prince yet, but that he was in his car and coming.  "He's stuck in traffic."

Matt was checking the boys for poopy diapers, and told Sienna it was Price, to which Sienna exclaimed, "We have a winner!"

I showed Sienna the Dancing With The Stars "Disney edition", and she was beside herself!  She turned to me and exclaimed, "You kidding me?!"  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Panic Mode

I am panicking.  I have not been as diligent about writing this blog, and therefore, I have this dreadful feeling that I am forgetting things.  I am forgetting the way Price first started walking (one hand in the air), I am forgetting the hundreds of silly, witty, sassy words that come out of Sienna's beautiful mouth, and I am forgetting the way it feels when Maddox wraps his arms around me and clings tighter than a 21 pound little boy should be able to. 

So...I am going to write about my children.  I am going to write what I love about them, the funny things they do, and how they interact with each other.  That's what I am going to do today.  And at least for today...I will remember. 

Sienna is smart.  She's so stinkin' smart.  She remembers everything.  As we drove by Ballyhoo's the other day, she told me that Papa didn't like his food there, and that Nonna spilled her food all over "Huckle Brent's shoes."  She hasn't been to Ballyhoo's in over six months.  

Just this morning, we watched a clip from the Sound of Music with Julie Andrews, and she says, "That's Mary Poppins."  Honestly, I don't think I ever realized Julie Andrews played both roles until I was a teenager.  

She is a masterful negotiator and she knows it.  Just last night, I was hell-bent on delivering the consequence I had warned her about when she once again came out of her room after we put her in bed.  But before I could get a word in, she holds up her hands to stop me and says, "I just came to give you a hug.  Just one hug.  Then I will go back to bed and I won't come out again."  How do I punish that?  

Another night, before Matt had gone to our room, he gave her a stern warning about what would happen if she came out of her room again.  Well, needless to say she preys on the weak, because when it was just me in the living room, she came out of her room.  She speaks to me for a minute or two in soft whispers, and then deviously holds up one finger, with a mischievous glint in her eye and says, "I don't tell my Daddy I came out!"  Laughing, she sprinted back to her room.  

She knows what she is feeling and isn't afraid to express it.  After picking her up from school one day, I could tell something was wrong. After asking her several times, she finally glares at me and says, "I didn't have my blankie today."  Syrupy sweet, I respond, "Oh Sienna, I am so sorry.  Did that make you sad?"  Immediately, with fire in her eyes, she yells, "NO!  I NOT SAD, I'M ANGRY!"  Once again, I very kindly and humbly told her how sorry I was that I forgot.  She just as quickly says, "Don't tell me you're sorry!"  

She is sassy as all get-out, but I can honestly say, she matches her sass with sweetness.  Her awareness of how other people are feeling is truly touching.  She is very affectionate with me, Matt, and her brothers.  She nurtures Price and Maddox and treats them like they were her own babies.  She quickly befriends and embraces most everyone she meets.  She is extremely social, loves to go to the Bounce House, church, and Monkey Business.  She prefers spending time with her Papa, Nonna, and Granny than us I think!  She is always up for an adventure and ready to take a risk.  If we are on the boat, she wants to go faster and asks if she can jump off in to the water.  Speaking of jumping, she loves to jump off of things.  She rarely walks, preferring to run everywhere.  Her favorite thing to do with Daddy is play "pillow fight" and she loves to color with her markers and do puzzles.  The girl has a sweet tooth, which has served us well in bribing her to eat her vegetables!  She is a good eater when she wants to be, but it's not much of a priority to her.  I think she views eating as a hassle, as she has more important things to do.  She also loves gifts and is enthusiastic about even the smallest of things.  Gifts are the way to her heart, and she always remembers who got her what!  

Sienna Rose LaPorta is a force to be reckoned with even now, and I can only imagine her presence and character will grow stronger and more infectious as the years go on.  I pray everyday for wisdom in how to "train her up in the way she should go."  She is definitely a world-changer, and I pray she always has a heart for Jesus, never straying to the right or the left.  

Price is the most lovable child I have ever known.  That does not mean I love him more than the others.  It's just a sense of who he is.  He is just a very likable, lovable little boy, and I think he always will be.  Where Sienna and Maddox are very emotional and full of energy, Price is more low key and low energy.  His little body is the perfect toddler boy body.  He has creamy white skin, huge hazel eyes, a big, round, fat head, broad shoulders, and thick legs.  He is also bow-legged and pigeon-toed when he walks, so his butt sticks out, and it's more of a waddle.  I will never tire of watching him walk.  He worships his sister and would follow her anywhere...he does actually follow her everywhere!  He knows Maddox better than anyone...I can see that already.  I brought Maddox in to the room where Price was sleeping, and Maddox immediately begins to look for something.  Maddox had not made a peep, but Price immediately reached down, grabbed his pacifier, and handed it to Maddox, knowing that was EXACTLY what he was looking for.  It was the craziest "twin" thing I've seen so far.  Price gives out kisses freely, but Sienna and Maddox still get the most.  Price LOVES trucks and cars.  Matt was out in the backyard moving some trailers and jet skis around, and Price was at the sliding glass door, watching his every move, fascinated!  Sienna has a toddler jeep they all ride around in, and Sienna and Maddox have to rotate because Price refuses to get out of the jeep.  When we do finally force him out, we have to drag him kicking and screaming (literally).  Speaking of low maintenance and even-keeled as Price is, there are moments when he wants what he wants, and he will throw a tantrum with the best of them!  But my Price-guy is quiet and gentle and just so darn lovable!  He is my tender-warrior.

Maddox has a LOT of personality.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is already very all-or-nothing.  When he is happy, he is the most engaging, sweetest, cutest, enthusiastic baby you've ever seen.  But when he is sad or angry, he is the most inconsolable, ornery, little guy you will ever see!  That being said, I think Maddox loves me the most.  He is always the happiest to see me when I come through the door.  He is very possessive, and often becomes upset when I hold Price or Sienna, even if he was totally fine previously.  He screeches at the top of his lungs when he is excited and makes a little "O" with his tiny lips when he is curious about something.  Both boys point at everything that catches their eye or attention.  Maddox also adores Sienna, and follows her everywhere.  He gives kisses, but not as freely as Price, and most of the kisses he does give go to Sienna or Price.  Maddox and Price truly enjoy one another.  They play together more than they want to play with me.  They make each other laugh and always hug and kiss each other.  That being said, neither one is afraid to throw some elbows around when they are after the same toy!  Maddox has a wild head of frizzy curls, and a truly beautiful face.  People still ask us if he is a girl and I credit his delicate features and huge brown eyes to that.  Maddox loves to spin in circles.  Both boys clap and dance to Hillsong's Crazy Noise DVD.  They even know how to push the buttons on the player to make it turn on.  Price begins swaying before the movie has even started.  They love to play outside and always make a run for the door as soon as it opens.  They love to play hide-and-seek, especially Price.  Both have very good appetites, usually eating everything we place in front of them!  Maddox's enthusiasm for life is contagious, and I pray he always carries that adventurous spirit and joy wherever he goes. 

These three babies have planted themselves in my heart and soul, and I am unbelievably blessed and humbled that God could trust ME with THEM.  They teach me so much everyday, but the most important lesson they teach me is how unfathomable is God's love for me.  How unimaginable is His grace.  How abundant are His blessings.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 In Review

I missed updating my blog in November.  It's the first month in almost two years that I haven't written.  But I am back on the train and excited to look back, remember, and evaluate 2014 in the eyes of the LaPortas. 

I can say without a doubt it has been the toughest year we have seen.  It was a year of minor and major changes and adjustments.  We have had to constantly stop, re-evaluate, and make changes in order to not just survive, but to hopefully thrive.   

There are three major things that come to mind when I think of 2014...

The first is baseball.  We began the year jobless, but still hopeful.  And then it happened.  The Baltimore Orioles called and wanted Matt to come to spring training.  We were thrilled, and felt like this was his big opportunity.  We were ready to pack our bags and head to Virginia for AAA, with big dreams of getting that call-up.  And then we were back to square one when they released Matt during the last week of spring training.  To be honest, we were shocked.  We hadn't really entertained the possibility of him not making the team.  It felt surreal, and still does.  

We agreed that Matt needed to go to Mexico if not for any reason, but to test the pain levels in his hip.  After two surgeries in four years, his hip has continued to give him pain.  He played quite well in Mexico, but not without pain.  He came to the very difficult decision that the pain in his hip would never allow him to play up to his potential and at the level he dreamed about.  So he retired and came home.  

It happened so fast.  We knew his career was potentially winding down in the next few years, but not THIS year.  Not so sudden.  Not without at least one more opportunity to prove himself.  But here we are and there's no going back.  It really is over.  In difficult moments, the pain and loss of this dream can still take my breath away.  It is the death of his dream turned OUR dream.  The visions we had of bringing our boys to his games, of cheering him on in the All-Star game, of watching him hit balls out of the park, of spending time together traveling to different cities to watch him play are over, and that is hard to swallow.

But you know what's interesting?  In our world, this was one of the worst scenarios we could have imagined, and guess what?  We are still here.  We are still trusting God.  We are still outrageously blessed and happy.  The loss of baseball was an unexpected and extremely difficult trial, and we are not completely healed yet, but we are doing better than I ever could have imagined considering.

The second thing I think of is Beachbody.  On January 5, 2014, I signed up to be a Beachbody coach.  I was scared, skeptical, and even embarrassed.  But I put one foot in front of the other, and slowly, but surely, I have gained confidence, belief, credibility, and built an income greater than I could have imagined in my first year.  Beachbody has added a certain level of busyness to my life, but it's made me more productive and effective in other areas.  As we laid down the dream of baseball, God birthed a new dream for our family in Beachbody. 

The third thing I think about are my children.  I am busier than ever this time around, yet I feel like on most (some) days, I am doing a better job of taking it all in, and enjoying the precious time that my babies are actually babies.  Don't get me wrong, it has been tough.  We get burnt out.  We have days when we don't want to be parents anymore.  It is rare that I get a full 24 hours away, and boy, do I miss waking up in the morning with NOTHING to do, NO ONE to feed or change or entertain.  But they are my treasures. 

Sienna is social.  She hates to eat alone.  She thinks everyone wants to be her friend, and can't understand why someone wouldn't want to play with her.  She loves going to church.  She has several "best friends".  She is abnormally sensitive to what those around her are feeling.  She seems very smart.  She talks a LOT.  She loves to explain things to you in a very adult manner.  She adores her brothers.  She is always taking care of her "babies".  She loves Frozen, Mickey Mouse, dressing up in dresses, reading books before bedtime, playing "restaurant" (especially now that she has a her own cash register), sweets and treats, and presents.  She is as spunky as I've seen.  She loves to be in charge and boss everyone around.  She is a leader.  As soon as we say "No", she begins her negotiations.  She loves her grandparents.  She is extremely active and quick on her feet.  She is fearless and loves to jump off of apparatus' that in my opinion are probably too high.  I couldn't have imagined a more vivacious, lively, beautiful, fun, and kind little girl.  

Price has a sweetness about him that I can't explain.  Maybe it's his cherub(esque) face or those big puppy-dog eyes, but he is incredibly tender and gentle.  He freely gives big, open-mouth, sloppy kisses to nearly everyone, but Sienna receives the most.  He is by far the most affectionate of all three of my children, often initiating hugs and kisses with his siblings.  He grunts and groans and pants and huffs as he crawls, walks, and climbs.  While Sienna and Maddox are off to the races  at a playground, Price is content to just sit with Mama and watch everyone.  He is a huge open-mouth grin.  He took his first steps at 13 months, and just now at 14 months is he really comfortable walking, although he walks with one hand in the air.  He points at everything that interests him.  He loves to stand up on the couch and look out the window at the cars driving by.  Both Price and Maddox, LOVE to be outside.  If the front door is open even for a moment, they race over, planning their escape, and then cry when I close it.  Price eats more than any baby I've encountered.  At 14 months, in one sitting, he will eat 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 1/2 avocado, 1 banana, and a slice of cheese.  He is not picky, and if their is food on the table, he will eat it.  Price doesn't cry as often as Sienna or Maddox, but when he is upset, HE.IS.UPSET.  He has a bit of a temper on him!  I believe Price will be my peace-keeper and my rock amidst the chaos.  

Maddox has an infectious, mischievous grin.  He always looks like he is "up to something".  He reminds me the most of Sienna, very alert and observant, and always wants to be in the middle of things.  Maddox loves his mama.  Typically, if I am not the one to pick him up out of his crib in the mornings, he gets upset.  He loves his blankets, clutching one in his fist, and holding it near his cheek.  Despite his constant activity, he is the only one who will really REST in our arms, especially is he has a pacifier and blanket in hand.  Matt and I treasure those moments of Maddox cuddles.  He is very emotional, probably more emotional and sensitive than Sienna was.  Like her, he wears his heart on his sleeve, and you always know how he is feeling.  He is either the happiest boy in baby on the block or the saddest.  There is no in between with Maddox.  Both Price and Maddox love smacking their lips together, and in Maddox's case, it means he is hungry or thirsty.  Maddox loves breakfast, and eats 3/4 cups of oatmeal with peanut butter and honey!  The problem is, I think he consumes all of his calories in the morning, as he doesn't eat nearly as much at lunch or dinner.  Maddox has the best laugh, and Daddy makes him laugh the most.  Maddox is going to be a charismatic leader, like his Daddy.  As a matter of fact, between his physical appearance and personality, he is by far, the MOST like his Daddy.  

Watching my children grow up, interact, and feeling my heart expand to love each one wholly and fully has been my greatest gift this year.  Really, I couldn't have imagined two greater additions to our family, than Price and Maddox.  


Friday, November 7, 2014

October 2014

Is it me or am I getting later and later when it comes to blogging about our month!  But I think I am being hard on myself.  Since January of 2013, I resolved to blog once a month, and I have!  I am very proud of myself, and though I wish I could record more, this will have to do.
October went fast!  Am I right?  I just can't believe that it's November 5 already.  And we all know how quickly the rest of this year will go by.  Yikes.  I don't know if I am ready!

This month, Matt had the opportunity to go to Germany with an organization call UPI.  UPI reaches out to professional baseball players and was an organization that served us so wonderfully when Matt was playing.  He and one of his good friends went to Germany to hold baseball clinics, and at the end they were able to share their testimonies and talk about how Jesus has changed their lives.  Matt had a wonderful time, ate some delicious food, and had some great experiences.  I am so thrilled he was able to do something like that, but boy am I happy to have him home.  He was gone for eight days, and my family and friends were so incredibly helpful to me!  I seriously don't know how people have babies without their families nearby.  And as always, when I am alone with the kids, I am reminded of the incomparably huge responsibility that single mothers and fathers have.  

I blinked and Sienna became a little girl.  I don't know how or when it happened.  Wasn't she just two?  Wasn't she just learning to eat by herself?  Didn't she just start talking?  Sadly, no.  She is independent and strong and more capable than I would like to admit.  You know what I miss?  I miss her mispronouncing words.  She is so grown up, there are very few words she doesn't say perfectly!  She still calls hand sanitizer, "hanitizer".  Up until a few months ago, she called bananas, "samanas".  See...when did she learn to say it right?  At the moment, I can't even think of any other silly words.  Man, I miss that.  

My little boys turned one year old on October 28th and they love me so much.  I don't mean to brag...but they just do.  They need me more and depend on me more than Sienna ever did.  I have to admit, I love it.  It's a little overwhelming when they both want me at the same time, and little tears are falling as they look to me and hold their arms up to be held, but secretly I love it.  Don't tell though.  They are just so sweet and affectionate and beautiful.  I will miss this age.  

We took family pictures this month, which went just about how you would expect them to go.  I think we got great individual shots of everyone, but I am pretty confident we did not even get one picture of all three kids together.  And believe it or not, Price was the worst!  He was just not happy.  Oh well : )

Sienna Spotlight: 

I did not do a good job of writing stuff down, so I promise I will do better this month!  But here are a few gems...
I was wearing a thong, and Sienna confidently informed me that I had put my underwear on backwards.
Often, after I tell her what to do, she says, "Listen, I have a better idea..."

Double Trouble: 

Price and Maddox eat a ton!  They are no longer on formula or baby food.  They eat all real food.  They are not even teenagers, but I feel like they are eating me out the house already!  
Price waves and gives big, sloppy, open-mouth kisses.  
Maddox took his first steps right before his birthday on October 27.  He claps his hands, and says "Buh", for "Bye".