Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jack 1 Month

Here he is... a little late, but this is how things go with # 2.  Something about getting only a couple hours of sleep at a time and then spending the whole day entertaining a almost 2 year old... it has a way of draining the energy bank.  Even though I am exhausted, I'm pretty sure my love bank has never been more full.  I love being a mom of 2 precious boys.  Michael is adjusting so well.  Sure, he has his moments of jealousy,  but he is mostly happy to help and excited to see "what baby Jack is doin."  Jack is a sweet baby and seems pretty easy going so far.  He feeds about every 3 hours and knows his days and nights because after his day feedings he stays up for a bit and looks around with his big blue eyes, and at night he usually goes back to bed pretty quickly after his feedings.  We have had some fussy nights and I am amazed at what little sleep I can function on, but there is NO other reason for which I would give up this much sleep for.  And ooohhhh how I look forward to a solid 8 hours of sleep... maybe in 18 years ;-)  Until then, I will soak up all the good and be thankful for the 2 beautiful boys that I have the privilege of raising.

We sure love you Jack!

Jack 1 Month photo DSC00226_zps0ad734f6.jpg

Jack Birth Day

Here is the new little man!

Announcing Jack Carter Skypala!

Born February, 21, 2013, 10:30am

7 lbs, 9.5 ounces, 18.5 inches

Meet Jack! photo DSC00202_zpsab1cda57.jpg

And here he is in his newborn pics at 7 days old...

 photo 2013_3-2JackNB-14_zps37862881.jpg

We love you little man!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Year in Review

We are not sending out a Chistmas card via postal service this year, but I do want to send out love to all our friends and family.  I sent out an emailed Christmas card, but for some of you I do not have the correct email address, so I am hoping to catch more of you this way.  I also am trying to capture some highlights of 2012 and document them so I have them for future reference.  Here first is our Christmas letter and then keep going if you want to see a photo review of our year.

Dear Friends and Family,
     We have been wrapping up the year with a busy finish.  I just completed three classes this semester towards my Masters in Counseling degree at West Texas A&M.  All I have left is a practicum and 600 internship hours before I graduate.  Gabe finished his Masters degree in Discipleship Ministries from Liberty University this semester, so he refers to now be called “Master.”  He continues to work for the family business, HBI Associates, and for some reason they happen to love weekly bring your child to work days :-)  We also officially started a non-profit organization this year called Partners in Hope USA which mainly serves families and children of prisoners in Uganda, Africa.  We formed it to provide continued support to a ministry we worked with called Wells of Hope when we traveled to Africa in 2009.  We are excited for this new venture!  Website is to come soon, but you can get more information here http://asobola.wordpress.com
     Michael continues to bring much joy and amazement to our family.  He will be 20 months old Dec. 30th and I know I am partial, but he is so smart and fun.  He is talking and repeating everything, loves drawing, reading, dancing, tractors, airplanes, being outside,  being around friends and family, “fixing” things, and “cleaning.”  He is going to be surrounded by lots of little babies this year.  Michael got his first cousin, Pac, in November (parents, Beth and Chip) and will have another baby girl cousin from my brother, Kevin, and his wife, Kristen, due on New Years Eve.  Not to mention, he is also going to have a new baby brother, due March 4th!  They will be 22 months apart and I have a feeling great buddies!  All in all, it has been a great year watching our little guy grow and discover!  We are excited for what the next year holds and hope that we get to share some memories with each of you in the coming year.  We are thankful for our great family and amazing friends.  God bless you all and keep you safe and surrounded by lots of love.  


Gabe, Brooke, Michael, and Baby #2 (coming soon!)

Now for the photos...

We had fun watching this guy grow...


He turned 1 in April and had a puppy party!


He hung out a lot this year with his grandparents who love him VERY much!

Here he is with Cici and Bumpa...


And here he is with Dida and Mimi...


We also went on a few trips this year to visit family and hang out with friends.

We went to Arizona twice so Michael could meet some extended family and also to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday!


All the cousins with Grandmommy...


We went on a couple cruises. One we went with our good friends the Beukelman's and the other was a girls trip.  Both were so much fun!

Caribbean Cruise with the Beukelman's


It was a fun couples get a way and maybe the last one for a while.  It came at perfect timing because we got pregnant with #2 right when we got home.  I'm glad I got to spend some quality time with this guy...


Girl's Cruise with these fine ladies...


We went to Dallas and couple times to visit family and friends.

Here I am with Katie and Brayden.  Michael and Brayden are only 3 months apart and it is only fitting that Katie and I had our first around the same time because in high school we could not do anything apart!


We also took a trip to California to visit these guys...


We enjoyed celebrating their upcoming new arrival at their baby shower.  It will be so fun to have cousin's the same age!

Here we realized Kristen and I had both put on a little weight in the middle.  What happened?!?!...


We also added a new member to the family on November 4th, Mr. Prentiss Atkins Castle the Third. or PAC for short. He is an adorable little man and Michael looks forward to teaching Mr. PAC the ways of tractors, airplanes, dirt, etc.

A Skypala/Castle family photo


We also continued to support Wells of Hope in Uganda, Africa and by God's miraculous hand we were able to become a non-profit corporation this year.  Our corporation is called Partners in Hope USA.  We feel blessed to be part of such a ministry that allows us to be a direct help to a vulnerable population and look forward to what the future holds for this ministry.  Our main project in 2013 will be to complete the building of a school for children of prisoners.  In the picture below you can see the children praying with their hands on the school.  With so many things coming together (a list that will continue to grow, I am sure), it is apparent that God hears their prayers!


It has been a great year and we look forward to 2013 with great expectation!

We are so grateful for all our many blessings, especially our friends and family!  We hope to keep in touch with you all and make many more great memories.

Much love and Merry Christmas from the Skypala's!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Puppy Party!

Michael is a whole year old!  It has been such a fun year watching him grow and change.

We had a great celebration with family and friends on Sunday.  We had a puppy-themed party and I think Michael loved it!  Of course he won't remember any of it, but it was still a special time to celebrate his first year of life.  He was surrounded by people that love him and he got some new cool toys including a sit 'n spin, a blow up pool, a talking puppy, a vacuum, books, and puzzles.  Here are some pictures from the big day...

Here is the entry way where guests could sign the book, "Charlie the Ranch Dog" by Ree Drummond for Michael.  There was also an "Adopt a Puppy" station for guests to take a (toy) puppy home.


The spread...


Including... Puppy Chow... of course!


The cute cakes from Ms. Piggies...


Me and the Birthday Boy!  He had just given me a big kiss!  I think it was his way of saying, "thank you for the great party!" (That's what I think anyway :-)


The happy family!


Mikey with the grandparents...



And some cute puppies stopped by...


The Birthday Boy!!


The cake eating... Michael was pretty careful at first. He kept taking little pinches of frosting and then he started to back for more and more and more.  He seemed to like the frosting and ice cream the best.  He liked to stick his thumb in the different frosting colors and then see what it would pull out.  A little frosting got up his nose and had blue boogies for a few days.  A little bath was in order afterwards, but then he got right back to partying...




Happy Birthday sweet boy!  It has been so wonderful getting to take care of you and watch you grow.  You are so loved and I feel so blessed to be your mom every single day.

Friday, April 6, 2012

11 Months!

It is the last month of Michael's first year of life.  It has been a great year.  Michael is such a fun little guy. This month Michael has become quite the talker.  We can't pick him up with out him pointing at everything and saying, "dat! dat! dat!"  He is very curious and wants to know the name for everything.  Sometimes he will pause before moving on to the next item and I can tell he is trying to think about how to say the word.  Sometimes he comes close, but mostly it comes out as "baba or dada."  Here are some other highlights from the month...

  • I don't have his updated stats.  Our scale is out of batteries and it takes one of those fancy batteries so I keep forgetting to get one when I go to the store.   But I can tell you that he is long and big!
  • He is still not walking but he has learned a how to scoot around on his knees pretty good.  We keep thinking he is going to walk any second now...
  • He is saying, "bye bye, hiiiiii (hi), nana (don't know what this one really means), momma, dadda, dat (that), uppa (up), bites (food),  bumpa (grandpa weiler's name), babba (this is a word for many things),  side (outside), onomatopoeia (j/k)"
  • He is still dancing but now he puts his hips into it.  It's a little more groovy.
  • He loves food and has a great appetite.  His favorites are avacados, cantelope, teething cookies, black beans, and meat.  I stopped nursing just a couple days ago because I just was not producing enough to satisfy this growing boy.  It was sad because it seems like just another reminder that he is growing up and going to be heading off to college soon (ok, not that soon, but it does go by pretty fast).  
  • He loves being outside.  He is already attracted to rocks and dirt.  Go figure.  
  • He wiggles out of everything.  I have to strap him in or he will figure a way out.  We put him in the stroller because we were getting ready to go for a walk and when we turned around he was crawling at our feet.  He had wiggled out of the bottom of the stroller.
  • He is a little timid about new textures and will look like he is going to touch something several times before he actually goes for it. 
  • He is a little shy in new surroundings.  He gets a little clingy when we are in new places, but at home or other familiar places like his grandparent's houses he is quite the explorer. 
  • He is very easy to put to bed.  He has been signally us when he is ready to sleep by crawling over and resting his head on us.  We can just put him in his crib with a soft blankey (that he now likes to rest his head on) and he will roll over and go to sleep. 
  • His schedule is bed by 8:30, awake at 7:30 (sometimes later), nap from 9:30-11 and nap from 2-3:30 with some variations.
I think that's about that!  We love you our sweet, noisy, silly little monkey face!  I got to go plan your 1st birthday party... I can't believe it!


Friday, March 2, 2012

10 Months!

Only 2 months left before he is a whole year old, I can't believe it!  This month has been fun.  We have been seeing a little more of his personality come out and he is becoming a more vocal but most everything is "da."  "Michael, look at the light." "Da." Michael, it's Jared." "Da." "No, Jared" "Da." And that's pretty much how our conversations go.  There are not a whole lot of milestones this month but we did go to Arizona this month where Michael met lots of family for the first time (more details in a post about our trip.)  Here are some other 10 month details:

  • He officially weighs 22lbs according to the Dr.'s scale.
  • He is talking more and making more sounds.  He makes a monkey and cow sound, he says, "ba" for ball, "buppy" for puppy, "bababa" for Bumpa (grandpa's name), dadda, momma, bye bye.
  • His top teeth still have not come in.
  • He is standing more on his own and I think he may have taken one step today.  It was kind of a step, but we won't count it as his official first steps because daddy wasn't there and he was kind of falling into my arms when it happened.
  • He liked swimming with Bumpa in the pools in Arizona.  He did not like being splashed, but he did like doing the splashing.  
And that's all I can think of.  He is a great joy and all his family loves him!  Happy 10 months Mr. Sugar Face!


And he found the sign...


Friday, February 3, 2012

9 Months!

I can't believe it has been 9 months!  I could have had a whole other baby by now.  Michael is growing big and strong by the day.  He is into everything and especially things that are not toys such as remotes, cabinets, coasters, lamps, iphones, dog kennels, dish washers, etc.  It must be exciting to discover the world for the first time.  It is fun to see his curiosity and his little wheels spinning.  Here are some 9 month facts:

  • We haven't been to the dr. since his 6 month check up but according to our rough calculations he weighs about 23lbs and his height is unknown.  He wiggles too much to get a good measure.
  • He is wearing mostly 12 month clothes. 
  • He graduated from his infant car seat to a convertible seat already.  What was I thinking getting a 22lb limit infant seat?  He blew threw that one!
  • He is crawling like a champ, pulling up, he stood up once on his own, and he can climb up stairs.
  • He can turn some of his toys "on" by pushing a button and he can put (toy) balls in the right hole to watch them go down a maze.
  • He likes to eat!  I can't sit down to eat without him crawling up to me for a bite.  He has liked pretty much everything he's tried, maybe not always initially sometimes, but he eventually warms up to it.  
  • He still nurses for every meal except dinner.  
  • He said "mamma" for a couple days and now everything is "dadda," "dad," or "dadadada."  He also says "ba" when I hand him a tennis ball and he tries to to make a "moo" sound but it sounds more like a low "ooooooooooo"
  • When I say "no" and shake my head he shakes his head back at me sometimes (cute).
  • He likes banging on stuff and making loud noises.
  • He still only has his bottom two front teeth, but I think the top two may be coming in any day now. He has an "eruption cyst" on the top right which according to the trusty internet is pretty harmless but sometimes happens before the tooth comes in.  
  • He has some separation anxiety from me, especially when we drop him off at the church nursery.  They say he calms down after a couple minutes but it is hard to leave him when he is crying like he is going to die if I leave him (I think I might be projecting my feelings).  He usually does a lot better with his grandparents and people he sees more often.  
  • I'm afraid to say it because I don't want to jinx it, but he has been a healthy boy.  He has only had a couple colds and those pretty much just go away on their own.  
You are a sweet, curious, wiggly, silly, loud, little man and you have captured our hearts.  We love you very much Mr. Michael! 


I couldn't decide on which pic, so I put both :-)


He doesn't stay in the sitting position very long these days...