Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A blurb

I've written many blogs in my head this past week as lay awake in bed at night, again, unable to sleep. They each have different themes and would each paint a very different picture of the week. So, below I'll give them all to you in one big blurb. That is how this season of life seems to be anyway....a blob of alot of happy memories and sweet moments mixed with some very trying situations, and a huge lack of sleep (for me atleast). Tonight as Brad and I were driving home with the boys from Nene and Big's house we passed by the brilliantly decorated houses in our neighborhood (you know...moving deer and inflatable snow globe type "brilliant")Brooks exclaimed "pre=eeYights" as he has done all season long and you would think Christmas was just around the corner.! In unison, Brad and I both agreed that we are ready for those "pre-eYights"to come down and ready for the New Year and a fresh start....It's just been that kind of week....the one that makes you beg for a fresh new start but because of this past week I am even more grateful for Christmas - the gift of a Savior to make all that is wrong "right"...that is just what we have needed.

The late-December Blurb

I wonder how it feels to go to sleep like a normal person. Where is my camera to capture the toddler as he repeats the name of everyone he has ever met on the stairs at night before bed? What might be hiding under Willliam's 4th chin? Are my hormones - that have been cookoo for 2.5 years now- ever going to be regular again and in turn allow me to s-l-e-e-p? Christmas is so much more fun when watching a little man meticulously open his presents making sure every inch of wrapping is off of the box. How grateful I am to have a husband that plays an active part in parenting and does so much for me without even asking. I understand grace so much more after becoming a mother. It doesn't get any better than snow on Christmas day! Can I keep eating Christmas cookies 5 days after Christmas? If I stay away from the mall I never know what I don't really need. I am so grateful for grandma's. What would you do at night if you weren't able to fall asleep (I need some new suggestions)? A day spent cleaning out and organizing is so invaluable....what a rejuvenating feeling! Why didn't our Christmas tree smell as good as it did last year? Hearing Brooks tell his South Georgia grandad "bye" all on his own is worth every ounce of stress that this Christmas may have created. I love my mama's turkey and dressing and green beans. And lastly, I finally understand why people think the holidays are hectic...as fun as this Christmas was with our sweet little ones there was definitely unnecessary strife just trying to get out the door and make it to the various Holiday events. Sweet Jesus, I pray that we can fully accept the real gift on Christmas - that you came to make everything that is broken whole again. That is the thought I want to start the new year.

Joy to the World!

(And a Christmas recap in pictures coming soon!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just a few days until Christmas

and I am counting down the minutes until Brad is home to help with the daytime diapers, dirty laundry, and tired children relax with us over our first Christmas as a family of four! Hurry home, Mr.Hotshot, we can't wait to see you! (For real. We really can't wait....Brooks has been looking out the window all morning saying "dada" with a look of concern.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Black hole

As the mom-sandwich walked out to the parking garage from the gym this morning a seemingly sweet woman admired the two little boys and then asked me the question that 9 out of 10 people ask me each day. "How many months apart are they?" Usually when this question is asked it is because the asker has had two or more children who were close together in age as well. I do the same thing when I see other insane mom's and dad's out with two little-little ones - just hoping for a little sense of relief that I am not alone. This woman had two grown children who are 19 months apart and she commented that they are best of friends. Now. Implying.....they weren't for a long while. And then she walked away saying, "You'll come out of the black hole in about two years. Just hold on."I thanked her for the advise and went on our merry way to the Pediatrician office. Luckily both of the tired boys fell asleep in the car on the way there so rather than being 20 minutes early as I have recently began doing just because I give myself plenty of room for ruined clothing, projectile spit-ups, and morning-blow-up-diapers, I decided to just sit in the car and soak up every second of the quiet and warmth of my car.
Of course my mind started racing as that is what happens when there is actually calm in my midst. Along with thoughts about finishing my Christmas shopping and finding the 2 credit cards that I have somehow misplaced in the last 3 days, and needing to send out my last 20 Christmas cards that I have yet to address were thoughts about this apparent "black hole" that I am in but wasn't even aware. Don't get me wrong - there are some really really low moments where I want to go hide in the dark crawl space below the house and not come up until summer. Truly, though, most of the time my spirits are far higher than what they should be for having 100% of my "me" time along with any thought of consistent sleep stripped from me 4 short months ago. So I sat in my car today just very grateful. I am grateful for the patience that has been injected into my veins like an i.v. as it certainly does not come naturally. Somehow when Brooks uses the most blood curdling whine in America to try to get something he wants I am able to ask him to speak to me in a normal voice. He usually then just takes the whine up a notch but I am then again ask him to please stop whining and then I will listen to him. If you don't know what I am talking about I'll email you a short video of just 3 seconds of the most irritating-annoying-horrific sound you've ever heard. I think if it weren't for whining I would have 9 kids, seriously, it's that bad. Anyway, luckily, in the past 4 months I have been gifted the virtue of patience - right when I needed it most. More so, I have learned how to have grace towards myself and the other sweet person named my husband. You see, along with my racing thoughts are these incessant, heavy thoughts that are always there - just knocking at my soul begging for some attention. Usually, I just push them a little farther back behind the "survival list" for the day so can really spend some time on them later. But many of these thoughts are tough things like where should we plant our roots? Or have we already planted our roots and now we need to just be okay in a small house in a neighborhood we love? Or will I ever get my pilates certification like I would love to do and have the free time to put it to use? Or how in the world will Brad and I ever be able to nurture our marriage if we can barely afford babysitting in order to be alone? These rich, gooey questions deserve a discovery retreat in the woods or something but seeing as how that is not in the near future I just give myself a little grace...and then a little more...and then a little more. I tell myself and Brad daily that this is just a phase and that this, too, will pass, so in the mean time all of the big stuff can wait. I know from the outside we look like we have things down but on the inside we are truly just surviving right now - and this is enough for us. We are grateful for even the small stints of quiet we have these days....like when Brooks spends 10 minutes lining his shoes up at the bottom of the stairs. The activity may create more mess but it lends us 10 minutes of peace - we'll take it!

Even though I am able to give myself plenty of grace these days - I wonder? Do the people around me? This weekend some of our favorite friends stopped by after their breakfast out. It was a rainy, cold, lazy Saturday after a too-late Friday night out. There was literally a wet opened diaper on the floor, dishes stacked beyond their limits, pajamas on inside out, toys everywhere, broken tree ornaments on the floor and anything else that should have been in a spot was out and scattered on the floor and on the furniture of our teeny (but cozy) house. We chatted and watched the boys who are only 6 weeks apart play and mess with each other and then they left to enjoy the rest of the Saturday. We shut the door and both agreed to never ever ever let our house get to the point it had that morning. We would never want our friends or family to not want to come around because of the tornado that seems to take over on the weekends. Even though we made this vow to ourselves I know for sure that these kind of friends don't care at all. In fact, they are about to have two little ones very close together and Brad said, "they'll understand very soon." Thank you, friends, for loving us just the way we are right now...in shambles but atleast smiling.

But what about our family? Yesterday we showed up 20 minutes late for my family's annual Christmas reunion. We were delighted with ourselves but we seemed to make a few people a little perturbed at our lack of promptness. The fact that everyone in our family had bathed and gone to church and actually had clean clothes on was enough for us. Plus, we didn't think we would even be noticed among the 70+ people in attendance! Maybe next year we'll make it on time and have a homemade salad rather than one I put together in the car....
But even worse, we have yet to even get the littlest boy down to South Georgia to meet Brad's extended family. We'll be making our first trip on Christmas day and though we wouldn't miss it for the world - we know that taking the two boys out of town makes for two tiring parents. We sure are grateful that South Georgia has sent a whole bunch of that grace to us over the last three action-packed years! We look forward to the calm that we hear about that we'll start to experience sometime next year and then we really hope to get the boys down to the "woods" quiet often.

So I guess this is just a little reminder to ourselves and our quite understanding friends and family - that we may be dirty. We may forget your birthday. We may completely miss a date that is on our calendar. We may not match. And our eyes may be puffy but I promise we will only be in this hole for a little while. Luckily, because this is all we know - we don't even see ourselves as being in that black hole that the woman spoke of today. This is just our normal! Thank you for baring with us while we figure things out.....and mess up alot along the way!
***
Among the three Christmas parties we attended this weekend and the welcomed-chaos of the season - we did manage to get a few still shots of the boys together. Let's just say - these pictures don't do the whole moment justice. If only I could know sweet William's thoughts.....





Friday, December 17, 2010

lunch

Lunch time has always been my favorite part of the day. In high school I loved to sit outside in the amphitheater and eat my turkey sandwich and pretzels. Every single day I ate the same thing and every single day it made me just as happy as the day before. A turkey sandwich is always better if your mama makes it, right? This was such a perfect break from the concrete walls and class bells. I loved my lunch crew and loved the conversations that would always arise. Oh...the dreams and stresses of a high schooler.....so silly yet so big!

I moved to Athens and though my lunches looked different than my usual Boards Head turkey sandwich - the pleasure was all the same. My freshman year my soul mate, Charlsie, would pick me up in her "mom" Mercedes and if it wasn't her it was someone driving her car. Somehow her car became the lunch time taxi to Bolton Hall and then our sophomore year and beyond it would tote us home to the Theta house or to Windsor for lunch after morning classes. The songs that were sung on the way to lunch coupled with some of the more funny conversations I've ever witnessed caused me to love the lunching hour all the more. Atleast twice a week we would ditch our already paid for meal plans and hit down town Athens for a lunch outside on a perfect fall or Spring Athens day.

And just when I thought lunch time had ended....it only got better! Who wouldn't agree that when you are working a 9-5 or in my case a 7-7 job, lunch is the saving grace for the day? By 9:20 most mornings I was dreaming up how far I could go to get lunch and make it back to work without looking like I'd abused my lunch time privileges. What a treat to get to meet an old friend in the middle of a work day or on a rare occasion drink a glass of wine over a long "business" lunch. Oh, and how about the thrill of meeting your new husband during those first years of marriage for a lunch time date at Taqueria Del Sol or Houstons? There's nothing better than lunch time flirting with your favorite roommate!

Then I had a child. At first I thought that my favorite part of the day would forever be exchanged for mashed food and Dora the Explorer. And it wasn't. Seriously, mommy friends with only one child hear me out - lunch time for a little while is really really fun! I mean, if your child is cute which I haven't seen a 1 year old that wasn't - the attention you can gather at a lunch time outing is enough to make you want to go home and make more cute humans! I loved my lunch dates with little Brooks. We would sit in the sun at our favorite places and watch the business folk and soccer moms shuffle in and out the doors. I seriously loved my favorite time of the day with my favorite person. . . until now.

Unfortunately, lunch time is no longer a happy word in my head. It conjures up images of flying chicken nuggets and carpet with ketchup on it along with kicking legs and flailing arms. Pleasant, huh? Today I had a very awful few minutes of real jealousy. I was recalling my husbands account of the day ahead this morning. "I'm meeting a client at the 191 building down town for a meeting and then lunch." He looked quite dapper and I could tell he was feeling quite confident. As I sat around the food-smeared antique table in our kitchen with smashed banana in my hair I couldn't help but thinking about the "messy lunch" that I was sure my husband was having at a fancy building downtown. Yes, for a few seconds I am having my own pity party. Let me. You see, last week the once sweet child attempted to throw every item from the table at Willy's for no apparent reason and because you are thinking - "Why did you let him?" I will tell you that I didn't but trying to stop him only resulted in more commotion so the whole lunch ended in all around tears. Nice....just like the old days! Anyway, lunch time has now become the most stressful hour of the day....everyone is tired and hungry and there are too many babies and not enough of me to try to make the whole experience more enjoyable. More so, I can't remember the last real meal I have actually finished at lunch. Today I think I ate 3 bites of leftover waffle from breakfast with a piece of turkey and a half of a clementine. Yummy. Ad that was a good day!

Ok, back to my non-whiny self because I know that these are just my "dues" for now. I know in a few years when the kids are eating cafeteria lunch and the house is quiet during the day I will miss those fun days of watching Brooks line up his hotdog pieces over and over only to eat one bite and then smear ketchup in his hair. Actually, wait, I won't miss that one bit! Hopefully, Ill be sitting back at my favorite Cafe at Pharr or Souper Jenny with my non-kiddy-scratched sunglasses looking oh-so-fly sipping on my ice tea and just loving that lunch time is all mine again!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

4 months old and "Shanty"

We just got home from an exhausting exciting morning at Phipps to see the real "Shanty." Surprisingly, I don't have any tremendous stories about how horrific Brooks was to the bearded man. We have talked up Santa alot this month so I don't know if that is what caused the tornado-of-a-child to actually sit still or if it was Santa's cozy lap. Brooks loves to clim up in anyone's lap who will let him so I think he was quite content having the undivided attention of Santa. Trust me - I am shocked....as 3 minutes prior he was running circles around the Jaguar on display. You see, every step he takes in his saddle oxfords is just a little more fuel for the fire - he loves the sound his "big boy" shoes make on the tile floors at the mall. After running circles around the Santa display while we were waiting on Nene to arrive he decided to hang - literally - from the ropes surrounding Santa's chair. Then after than he decided he wanted to be upside down and no way but upside down would do. Needless to say, I am glad he wore out all his little energy right before his turn to meet Santa. He did stroke his beard once and I think he thought Santa was going to read him a book when he started to go over his Christmas list. All in all, our first trip to meet Shanty was a flying success but only because I had 3 other helpers to make the whole event happen. And just in case Santa lost his list - here it goes. Classic.
1)Train
2)Book
3)Ball
4)Waffle
Causing a fuss waiting in line for Santa.



As if a rainy, cold day at the mall with candy canes and crazy boys wasn't enough - today is also a big day because it is Willy-B's 4 month birthday! I seriously can not believe the little guy has 4 months under his belt. This last month has been fun with William as he has started to have a little voice - but only when he is just tired of his big brother getting all of the attention. More so, he has found his fist. No, not his thumb - the boy needs a fist! I have no clue what he weighs or what he wears because he lives in pj's and a bib - thanks to his endless spitting up and slobbering. Whatever the stats are I don't care - I love this little boy so very much. He is easy, agreeable, adaptable, tough as he can be because he has to be, goofy and just a perfect addition to our family. He is mesmorized by his brother and visa versa - thank goodness, as it gives me a 10 minute break each day when they have a little "play" time. Happy 4 months, little chunker! We are so grateful you are in our family!




ANd just in case there is any debate that the two goobers look alike - here is Brooks at 4 months. Yes, they came from the same genepool. Crazy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The little green elf

No, I haven't seen him....I need him immediatly! Last night I needed him to rub my shoulders as I sat on the sofa feeling the weight of the day. Today I need him to pick up the pine needles from our already dead Christmas tree and throw them away. Then I need him to wash the cabinets and walls in this house as they seem to have milk droplets from B's sippy cup all over them along with an occassional ketchup smear as that is the only way to get the same milk-spilling child to eat anything not starting in "wa" and ending in"ffle".

I know he has been in the house as I found the most amusing scene this morning. You see, Brad and I are crazy about Christmas around here. We love it all...the smells, the sounds, the tastes, and with little people around I can attest that it is all the more entertaining. Brooks doesn't look at the porch light without exclaiming "yiiites" as he is completely entranced by the Christmas lights on the tree and the ones adorning our neighbors house. More so, he seems to have a little man crush on the big guy with the white beard. We'll see what he really thinks tomorrow when he meets the real Santa but from afar - this guy is smitten with "Shanta." Needless to say, I love pulling out our few decorations that we have collected over the last few years of marriage. One of my favorite things is the advent tree - compliments of Starbucks our first Christmas.Each box was filled with a delectable chocolate at the time and it was a race to see who got to turn the box around each given day during our first few years of marriage. This year the boxes are filled with the creamiest peppermint patties I've ever witnessed (and I know a good peppermint patty). So, this morning I go to turn the 14'th box around for the 14th day of December and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a note - and no candy to bring me some cheer
I know my husband would never have done this...stolen the piece of candy before the actual day! But more so, it's not like him to leave a note admitting his wrong doing. No, he is much to sly for that. So, I have concluded that it was the little green elf. It must have been! Brooks can't reach the counters yet - and luckily because then I'll have another hand to contend with in order to enjoy my peppermint patty everyday. And, William, while he looks like he eats chocolate in a bottle everyday I know he had nothing to do with this little "candy gone missing." When I find that little green elf I am going to have my way with him! He has been stirring up things around our house ever since the calendar proclaimed "December" and I am to tired to clean up anyone else's messes or to take care of anything else.

Enough about the little elf. Let's all ooh and ahh over the toddler now. Seriously, I think children this age are equal parts adorable and horrific. Listening to the toddler try to talk goes in the absolutely adorable category and because he is sleeping as I type - we won't touch on the horrific category. Enjoy some adorable this Christmas season....
video
{Pardon the technical difficulties. For some reason the little green elf has my video turned sideways!}

Monday, December 13, 2010

We love this time of year

Cousin Eddie-William
We like to color Christmas trees and watch the snow fall.
Beyond this picture there were two boys napping, snow flakes falling, soup simmering, and Pandora singing merrily from the speakers. Ahhhh....
Our first attempt at Santa was a "mock" visit before we see the real Santa with Nene on Thursday. Brooks did pretty well and now that he knows that Santa gives candy canes I think he'll enjoy it even more on Thursday!
Candycane bliss...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

So encouraging today

My dear friend posted this on her blog last week and then another friend reposted and here I am posting again. You have to know it's worth the read if I'm willing to detour from my usual ramblings of kid craziness. Thank you, Keri.

Invisible Mother.....

It all began to make sense, the blank stsares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devoured - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, “Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh no she didn't

Wanted: Middle-aged, brassy-haired woman in mommy jeans (but she obviously wasn't a mommy) and a horrific Christmas sweater. She is located somewhere inside the Perimeter I assume and if found you don't even have to turn her in. Just throw an egg at her and steal her parking lot and tell her that is from her "friend" at Publix.

I spent half the morning yesterday bundling the little boys to face the frigid temperatures outside. We layered and gloved and hatted everyone and then even changed my clothes from pajamas. It took me 15 minutes just to get their things together to even walk out to door and then just as I was about to load up the eldest bundled child threw himself on the hardwoods repeating "ah, ah, ah" which in toddler talk is OFF! I normally wouldn't have let this little fit get to me but I was ready to get out the door and I thought I'd play the parenting game that many often play which goes something like "fine, have your way and see how that works for you (in the 24 degree weather)". So, one layer of clothing comes off along with the hat and gloves. Mind you, he still has two layers and he proved me wrong as the whole morning he didn't care a bit that it was a little chilly.

Skip to yesterday afternoon. I, again, spent 30 minutes gathering all of their "things" to get out the door so I could actually buy some toilet paper for my house guest last night. I mean, paper towels are okay for me in dire situations but not for the house guest. Before I had kids I never noticed the obnoxious themed grocery carts that toted kids around the store but now I am the obnoxious lady with the obtrusive grocery cart full of kids and usually very few groceries. Yesterday's trip was as quick as can be but it was long enough to push the same kicking toddler from earlier to his limits. By the last aisle he was chucking groceries on top of his helpless brother who was sitting in the infant carrier in the basket part of the buggy. It was all I could do to get out of the store without him throwing every grocery item out of the cart and just as I was awkwardly flying out of the store in the "airplane" for a grocery cart (which there is nothing not-awkward and bulky about those things) this lady (the one from above) sent my blood pressure soaring. First, she looked at me as I was going through the sliding doors like I had pink hair and no clothes on. It's just children, lady.....and didn't your mama always tell you to not make such a nasty face or your face might stay like that!And then, as I passed her through the doors she went there. "Those kids need some more clothing on in this weather!" (My blood pressure just shot up again)

I'm just going to end there. I can't possibly write the thoughts that went through my head and the things I wanted to say. They were so bad. Luckily, I took the high road but I haven't forgotten this woman. Beware, oh-highwatered, highwaisted, mommy jean wearing, mean lady, you are not nice.

For the love.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remember, Betsy, Monday was reeealllly hard!

Call the press or atleast call the doctor. I need drugs right after I say what I want to say and right after I have these words written down for proof later that they were said on one looney Tuesday.

"I actually want to have more children."

My still-stretched belly just jumped at hearing that statement and my left hand just slapped my right hand and then covered my mouth. My body may not be in agreement yet but my spirits are feeling a little baby-fever! You see, the baby is three months, going on 4 months next week and, overall, things aren't so bad. I wouldn't dare say they are easy because I might lose my nightly back rubs from my husband and occassional offers to help from my mother. Really, though, things are very manageable as long as I plan out our days and concede that I most likely will not get to shower or work out - things I used to do daily - oh, or eat - but I will be able to get out and see other crazy (or stupid) women like me with a whole bunch of kids and only two arms.

Right now both boys are sleeping from 7:30 at night until atleast 7:30 in the morning which has given Brad and I our nights back. We had been waiting months for this day to come and we dreamt about all of the amazing conversation we would have at night when it would be just the two of us. (Cue music) We thought we would plan and pray and laugh and tell stories but as you could imagine, we are so worn out by 7pm that there are rarely more than 10 words spoken from 7-10pm much less any life-changing conversation. But because we have this new found "freedom" at night and because many of the moms I see on a daily basis have 3 or even 4 kids to their pack my little heart starts seeing blue and pink. Does that make me craaaazay? Probably.

Someone please come bring me the brattiest child you own on their worst day...quickly! I need to nip this little super-woman feeling I'm having in the bud before the feeling grows. Remind me too that I am still not out of my fat pants and then make me go kiss my sleeping babies and thank them for giving me just enough margin to make me think we could do this again. Then remind me how exhausting Monday was and how cool it is that I always have a baby on my lap when I go to the restroom! But come quick....my confidence is growing by the minute....

Friday, December 3, 2010

What you do when no one is watching

Or you think no one is watching.....

Yesterday was the mother of all perfect days. How could it have been that everything that could have gone right yesterday went just that way. I awoke to two, happy, well-rested babies and a pot of coffee brewing that Big Daddy Warbucks had made for me. I somehow got a curl or two in my hair and was out the door to Brooks' Gymboree class in plenty of time. That is truly the first "on time' I have had since August....making progress!

{PS...I HATE my voice on camera. I am sorry if I really sound like that...I'm afraid I do. I want to grow a sweet voice so when I look back at home videos later I will have thunk I was one of those super-sweet moms.)
After play time, we made a "necessary" trip to Target and if anything spells a perfect day it is T-A-R-G-E-T. After our morning of activity we headed home for synchronized naps. Can I get an Amen? Then I had a last minute sitter come to the house so I could have an hour to myself in the car to get a few things done. This was the first climax of the perfect day......me plus my car plus Katy Perry plus no babies in the back seat. I may or may not have recorded myself as I enjoyed my "Teenage Dream" moment all by myself. For you friends and followers that have been reading for a while - you know my litmus test for my own happiness. If I can enjoy a good song and freely dance in the car or in a store or in my house then you know my heart is at peace. Well, yesterday, I thought I was enjoying my moment all to myself when I saw 3 cars waiting at the stop light with me on Briarcliff just in awe of the amount of motion that could go on in the drivers seat. I was tempted to yell out the window with my super cool shades on...."The kids are home napping and I am alllllll alone! Wooo hoo!" I had already put my name to shame with my horrific dance moves so I kept my window up and kept on dancing!

Anyway, for those 3 minutes in the car I forgot I had babies or a dog or any responsibility for that matter and I was instantly transported to my college days driving down Milledge in my favorite friend's mini-taxi with our windows down blaring songs that seemed fitting for that season. Oh, Katy Perry, you are a gift to 30-something's everywhere! I love a tune that can truly make me lose all sense of time and appropriateness!

So after I got home from my joy ride I walked in the door to two STILL sleeping children! I don't know if this makes me happy or sad. The one day I have a day time babysitter and the kidaroos sleep for 3 hours! They have NEVER done this when I am home! (And they aren't doing it now.) I then took the happily rested babies to the gym for a little mini-workout and once again I ran my little heart out to Katy Perry's Pandora radio station. Can I get another Amen? How fabulous is Pandora? That is a whole different post for a different day but I sure do love Pandora!

To top off the most perfect day ever Brad came home early so I could actually shower and get ready for a night out to celebrate one of my dearest friends' 2nd baby on the way. Oh, and I made the big man some crock pot chili AND we received our first Christmas card and I LOVE this season because I love always having cards in the mailbox.

So, yes, I am boasting today. I know it isn't always right to boast but as the days are pretty high or pretty low over here I think I need to harp on the high days! And since I am boasting I should add that the boys and I received three...count them...three....comments from fellow Gymboree-moms that we "had it together for having to get so many people out the door." One angel of a lady even said that we made having two babies look like a breeze! I can't tell you what little compliments like this do for me! Thank you sweet lady (with the crazy screaming kid)....you truly made this crazy mom's day even more perfect!

{For a certain amount of begging I may actually post this real live video taken of my freedom in my car. I'd hate to not show you and maybe miss my shot at being the next Youtube-phenom....Start your begging now.}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Polly want a cracker?

We used to have a tweety bird named "Sunshine" when we were living in cloudy-Ohio. Yes, I lived in Ohio for a very short stint before I started grade school. I remember us always trying to make the bird talk to us because that is what I thought birds did. It was a sad, cold day the day that the tweety bird flew off to the heavens while my mom and I were cleaning out her cage.

What does that have to do with my life with two children and a bearded-husband, you might ask? Nothing, really, except for I now have my very own tweety bird minus the feathers.

What happens in the brains and bodies of 18 month olds to turn them in to little Mr. Simon Says? Whatever it is - it has taken over the once shy, reserved personality of our newly turned 18 month old.

Today I went to pick him up from his three hours of play school (aka - my time to do all 30 things on my list that never seems to shrink) and his dear teacher, Mrs. Stacey, exclaims that Brooks was "chatty-Cathy" today. "He was just talking up a storm today...having conversations with the stuffed animals, the other kids, and himself in the mirror!" While I love that the little man was providing the best entertainment for his class today - it does make me beg the question? What happened? Seriously, in the last 3 days the little-mister seems to have taken on a whole new personality....making p his own games, chasing us around the house, repeating 95% of what we say and looking at us with his big, proud eyes just waiting for our accolades.

I think it needs to go on record that I have thoroughly enjoyed the boys this week (well, after our horrific Monday morning). For some reason this week I actually feel like their mommy. It is so easy to just feel like a nanny to these two boys each day....making sure they are fed and clean and rested but something feels so good when I actually feel like I do have the ability to shape these little people. As I have watched Brooks grow into a little boy in the blink of an eye this week I have seen just a glimpse of the reaping and sowing principle. It's hard to understand that there every may be any internal reward for all of the selfless hours involved in being a parent but luckily, this week, I have had a few of those "aha" moments where the work of the long days seems to actually have some future benefit. And that is the benefit of feeling so valued and so needed in the life of a child.

Thank you, little boys. (Obviously, you caught me when they are both napping and the Christmas carols are filling the air along with the perfect smell of the Christmas tree. The little guys are stirring now and as you know all of these blissful feelings could change in an instant....)

We've had quite a few new "activities" to explore this week...including a little body painting which then turned into finger painting - though it was supposed to be the other way around and some "pop pop" which involves jumping off the table onto the couch! Oh the non-stop life of a curious little boy....



Monday, November 29, 2010

You know it's been a long day when....

You are laying in the bathtub at 447pm on a rainy day because A)it was the first opportunity you had to baithe and B)you thought you could hide from the 18 month old. Wrong! Instead, you continued to lay in the warm bath while said 18 month old threw articles of clean clothing from the laundry basket full of 4 loads of yet to be folded clean laundry in the bathtub with his one hand while shooting you with his water gun with the other hand.....all the while hysterically laughing as if the only reason you got in the tub in the first place was for his entertainment.

Where is the 3 month old you might ask? Oh, hanging the Christmas tree lights because after a few days with an unlit tree he was tired of the little lights not twinkling, Clark.

Oh, how I am not looking forward to the cold winter days stuck inside with two little boys that need their wide open spaces to jump and destroy and terrorize and they are unable to do this inside these walls. (because William is surely doing all that I just mentioned at the age of 3 months! Ha ha. . . maybe not but he still gets a little stir crazy inside all day.)

Thank goodness for a husband who doesn't travel and who lays me down on the big couch, turns on the fire, does the dishes and gets my heating pad for my aching back (from carrying two tanks around) while he then puts the little guys to bed. Now that is the perfect ending to a very very long day.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful that someone always knows better

We moved into this house early this past Spring. We went from nearly 2400 square feet to maybe 1400 and then preceded to add another person to the share the roof. So as you can imagine the man whom I reside with gets a little cookoo occasionally over the most peculiar things. Atleast once a month he pleads with me to remove the lineup of baby toys that sit atop the fireplace in the sun room. The sun room is certainly everyone's favorite room of the house. We spend 90% of our waking hours in this room playing and snuggling. It is especially perfect when it is raining outside. You see, Brad works 10 hours a day so what he doesn't see are the blocks being stacked and knocked down, the books being read over and over and over, and the diaper changing that goes on in this room. All of the toys sit on top of a large quilt that Brad's grandmother made for him as a young boy. The quilt is so soft and has so much character - I hate to have it as a fireplace protector but it gives the "toy room" a little warmth and coziness. Just a few weeks ago Brad almost won me over - again pleading to remove anything and everything Fisher Price along with my foam mats and "fireplace protector" so he could feel like our lives aren't being taken over by little people. Newsflash: they have been....no fighting that one.

Thank goodness the mom in me didn't give into the wife in me in this instance. I just knew that I found these ugly black pads At garage sale for a steal for a reason and though the cosy fireplace cushioning completely hides the pretty fire place I went with my gut and told "Mr. I like to rearrange things on the weekends when I am needing a task to accomplish" that the play/relax/watch tv/napping room would stay just as it was....a play room first. After all, we do spend much of our day in this 10 by 20 foot space.

Tonight I was trying to come up with something edible for dinner in the kitchen when I heard the most horrific scream to date coming from the play room - followed by a gasp from Brad. My stomach fell to my toes and I ran in the other room to see the largest, purplest goose egg on the poor toddlers forehead. He did as he always does when he needs consoling - he laid his head on my shoulder and tucked his hands under his belly and in between mine and he just cried. Fortunately, we watched him for a little while and he seemed to be fine - reaching for the bubble machine two minutes later and then protesting for a "nack" of gummy bears before he went to bed.....all very normal. As I was in the shower I said a short prayer of thanks for our Protector protecting our baby from what could have been a terrible accident tonight. I am sure there are going to be many scares like this in the future but for tonight I am so thankful that I knew better than to remove that sweet blanket a few weeks ago. I guess our plan to take a Christmas photo tomorrow for our Christmas card may have to include a little photo shop work???

And while I may have known better than to trust that the wobbly 18 month old would not have any falls in the playroom - which isn't so playful....slate floors and a fire place.....I am so thankful tonight, too, that someone bigger knew what was best for me this year.

I can remember just a few months ago - just weeks after William was born - talking to Brad one night, or sobbing rather, about how I felt that we had messed up somewhere. Everything for a little while was truly a mess over here.....the house, my car, the bills, the laundry but mostly, my heart. Two babies just seemed unbearable and for a short while and I really did question God's timing for our family. I couldn't have imagined God using even a crumb of our story at the time. I was a wreck from my bout with insomnia. Brad was trying to hold the affairs of the house together while maintaining a high-stress job and picking up many of the night feedings. Brooks was growing teeth and adjusting to his new "normal" so he was just a tantrum waiting to happen and any help we had from grandparents was certainly worn thin by that point. Oh gosh, I am soooo glad those newborn days are over! I feel guilty saying that because I know I can't get them back but I can be honest here - those days were some of our worst. Thankfully, a few months into this and my heart has had a huge makeover. I have much more of a handle on the events of the day. The big-little man may give me some tests of character but that is usually attributed to the lack of his basic needs - food and sleep.

After I put Brooks to bed tonight I had some one on one time with the little-little man (though he isn't little at all). Y'all....it has happened. I am absolutely smitten for this little guy. He truly is the happiest human I've ever met. He smiles so big he gags himself sometimes and all he wants back is just a glance in his direction. His chubby cheeks aren't just chubby they are all-consuming. You can barely see his eyes half of the time and not because they aren't big and wonderful but because his cheeks have taken over his whole face. I know it's only been a few weeks but I truly couldn't imagine my life without "brother."

God on this eve of thanksgiving - my most favorite day of the year, my heart is so very full. Yes, my immediate family is healthy, both of our boys are growing, Brad has a job and we live in the greatest country in the world but more than all of those huge blessings - I am cared for by a God who knows me and always knows what is better. Thank you, God, for knowing just what my hardened heart needed this year - yet another baby. Thank you, William, for so innocently but in a weird way - knowing that your goofy smile and chubby cheeks and thighs are all I need to know for certain that there is someone else who knows best.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. Just when I thought I couldn't love anymore my heart grew bigger.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

11.23.10

{18 months and 14 weeks}
Obviously we breed line backers over here. Brooks weighed in today at his 18 month appointment close to 29 whopping pounds. Luckily, he isn't lop-sided though as his height was some number I can't remember but in the 90% which means he is just one thick boy. This shouldn't surprise me - he lives on waffles, hot dogs, and whole milk with an occasional green bean and sweet potato. THe nurse asked me if he was picky? By looking at the kid you would think there is no way he is picky but come share a meal with us and you will see. Actually, I don't even think it is "pickyness" - it is pure stubbornness. I can not believe a human with only 18 months under his belt can be so hard headed. Brooks wants what he wants right when he wants it - no sooner and no later. Hopefully this is just the spell of kidaroos his age - please tell me it is. Please tell me that his "make me want to curse" behavior is as normal as going gray...it comes with the age? Anyone? Because if it isn't normal and if it doesn't go away soon I'm giving him to grandma. I'm not kidding. I am truly baffled by this little guy. I think he has split personalities....a sweet as a strawberry one minute and the next minute he is flinging rice and black beans across the table while crying hysterically - warranting those wonderful looks from strangers that make me feel like I've abused my own child. "No, lady, I didn't touch him with even my finger....He just doesn't want anything I suggest or you suggest for that matter" (now stop starring at me!) THe doctor says his little stunts are quite normal for this age. Once again, I don't remember reading about this in the babies for dummies book. I thought the "Terrible Two's" were just that Terrible at TWO! Of course I have secretly liked that our firstborn has hit his milestones well before the charts might indicate but not this milestone. I was hoping with enough fun-mommy moments and bribes with suckers we would have flown right past this horrific stage. I'm sure my mama was just cackling inside as Brooks flung his cup across the restaurant while attempting to hit me with the other. I am sure I gave her a few blood-rising moments in her young days of being a mom and I guess I am now reaping what I had once sown???? Whatever the cause of this mess - I am not surviving it very well or with much grace. In fact, I left lunch in tears and had to put myself in time-out before I could walk back into the war zone called lunch. You would think I would learn to save lunches and dinners for the privacy of my own home. Public entities are just not ready for the wrath of a tired 18 month old and a one-handed mother (whose other hand is usually bouncing a 3 month old.)

On other more positive notes - both boys were super sweet the rest of the day after a little R&R at grandmas house. William fell asleep in Nene's arms which I am sure just moved him into first place. Mean while, Brooks made up his own game called "pop pop" that consisted of him clapping his hands on the bed and then screaming "pop pop" and falling backwards without any thought of what might have been behind him. Whatever...he was entertained and I was still recovering from the terrible lunch. And on an even more positive note - I cleaned out the mom-mobile today and found enough food crumbs to feed my neighbors three growing boys for a week, my blockbuster card, an overly expensive lip gloss that I just had to have but lost a day later, and a sweet letter from Brad from last fall. I should do this more often....neat little trinkets to be found hiding in the seats of the Explorer! What I loved about this little outing wasn't that I was by myself more than I actually completed a task and just like raking leaves - i could see the results of my work. Gotta love instant gratification! As you have probably concluded from the twisty-turvy direction of my thoughts on this blog - I rarely complete thoughts anymore - let alone tasks. So, even though the rain came 6 minutes after I finished washing my car - I atleast completed the chore in one outing.

For the scrapbook - here are a few more 18 month things I should probably remember:
*B knows a bajillion words so I won't go through the list as many of my better mommy friends have done. If I have said it he has said it whether or not he understands the meaning. For instance, he says "Eee-Iiii-Oooo" if I bring out the camera because I usually sing to get him to smile for a picture. In addition, if I ask where Betsy is he points to himself and says "bet-tey." We'll work on that one....
*My favorite thing he does is his "Goooo dawgs" cheer. He breaks that one out at the most random times - like today after he told me in the car that he had "pu-Poo" (#2) in his pants.
*He can (sort of) run. His friend Caleb can run and it is so cute because he will prompt Brooks to chase him and Brooks sometimes will get geared up enough to chase him but he just can't get his little legs to move that fast. He tried and i guess that is all that matters at this point. He also tries to "jump" but his feet have never left the ground.
*He will climb on anything at anytime and then look at me with those big eyes giving me the "I am going to fall" look and then he falls. Atleast he follows through with things. Hence I have to chase him around the house just anticipating when he might fall forward or backward. Oh to be like a child and be so trusting of anyone?
*He tried to take only one nap but if he falls asleep in the car for 15 minutes sometime before lunch he always seems to have a better day. I blame any of his recent "episodes" on the lack of a nap. I would be fine if he napped until he was 14. The nap is God's little tiny treat for a mother.
*He is wearing 24 month clothing and some 2T stuff. I don't think he has ever actually worn his age. Atleast he can start sharing Brad's clothes soon!
*He loves bubbles, singing, dancing, jumping, climbing, repeating, reading, feeding himself, putting his shoes and clothes on and then taking them off, stacking blocks, playing in his cabinet in the kitchen, watching Bob the builder and "Melmo" and Baby Einstein, eating, drinking, holding onto his cup all day long, and blowing kisses. Oh, and his brother. Brooks is very protective a little Willy-B. He doesn't like other kids even looking at him. It is quite endearing to watch. I am glad he has taken such ownership.
*He tells us (or anyone) when he has used the bathroom in his diaper. I guess this means maybe we should try the toilet thing but I just can't do it. I am exhausted just trying to get time for me to go to the bathroom - let alone anyone else. Maybe next year???
*He has 8 teeth and a few more on the way (definitely behind in this department)
*He had his first haircut at 17 months
*He makes us laugh everyday usually right after he has made me want to pull my teeth out and bang my head on a bed of nails. What a sweet boy!

Happy 18 months baby boy! I hear the next 6 will give us a run for our money so bring it on little (precious) rascal.

And though it isn't your birthday - you are about as big as the 18 month old....and a tad sweeter right now. Happy 14 weeks little mister!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hassle or treat?


We were warned that when the leaves fall at our lovely little abode - they fall hard. The colors are so brilliant and the sizes of the leaves range from itty bitty to elephant ear type leaves. I love watching them fall from the sun room on our house. At first, we were just covered in pine straw and we concluded that the warning about the leaves was bogus. And then it happened and it hasn't stopped. Literally every 1/10 of a second a yellow leaf hits the ground and within an hour the front and back yard can be fully covered in a sea of bright colors.

So this weekend Brad and Brooks hit the local hardware store for a man-date. They looked at lawn mowers and Brad told B about boy things hoping that his new lessons would stick in his mind longer than his usual daily lessons about curling irons and laundry. They came home with a treat for me they said. Thank you, boys. Brooks brought me a rake of my very own. I've never had a rake. Nor have I ever experienced the joy behind using that rake. Call me crazy but I have a new favorite past time. Raking leaves makes me happy because:
1) I can see the progress of my work
2) I get to be outside
3) I love a task that requires a little physicality. This means raking the leaves everyday affords me the extra cookie I eat everyday about 10am
4) It just seems like an all American thing to do (do they rake leaves in Europe? I dunno...)
5) Brooks and William get to "help" in their own way
{Yes, he has Christmas pajamas on. Tis the season...}
Thank you boys for the sweet gift. I would call this little task a Treat rather than a Hassle. (Except for now, 45 minutes after my 2nd raking episode of the season the lawn is already an orange blur! This may turn into a hassle after a few days of this! Experienced rakers out there - are you supposed to rake everyday or just wait until the boogers have all fallen? Inquiring minds want to know.)

Next question - it's close to the end of the month and December looks to be a busy one already. Do I award myself with another little treat a few days early or hold off for the excitement? You got it...it's time to erase the calendar on the dry erase board and put in December's happenings. Again, this may be your least favorite thing to do. I can attest that my husband has probably never even glanced at this calendar that I work so hard to keep and it has lead us to many a miscommunication but I still love this little chore! Definitely another unexpected treat for me today!

Lastly, shouldn't I look at the fact that the toddler is awake after only a 40 minute nap as a treat? More time to enjoy the day and the outdoors together, right? WRONG. HASSLE! Oh Mr. B, I was soo good to you this morning....I took you to the park and then to pet the horses at the horse stables.We also played merrily n the front yard. I even bought you Chick-Fil-A and let you dip your nuggets in the car (disaster!) Why oh why do you repay me with your historically short nap? Dear nap angels in the sky, please show me your favor this week. I need your help. Do you hear me? I'll do good deeds all week long and I'll be extra sweet to mean people just please please throw me a bone!
{B before his historically short nap.}

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Multiply

We've have had a tremendous "fall" weekend here in Atlanta! Brad was supposed to head out of town but he decided last minute to hang out with the family and "rest." We have done no resting at all but it's been a full weekend with great fellowship and good food! We had a "taco" supper with some of our favorite people Friday night. I am thankful for pack and plays and sound machines that allow the babies to sleep while we stay out past our curfew. How we love Friday nights in our neighborhood with a few couples that have also doubled their family size in a very short time!

Yesterday we had a mini reunion with some dear friends from Georgia. The weather was perfect for a day of catching up on the porch. What I wouldn't do to call these friends "neighbors" one day?

Now off to rake the leaves and enjoy the outdoors before it starts to get cold here. For some reason the thought of raking the leaves the whole afternoon is oddly comforting. The big boy has a rake, too. Let's see how this goes....

Happy Fall y'all! And, yes, I used quite a few "quotations" in this post. I feel like a Saturday Night Live episode.

Long time "pilgrims" as they call themselves

Old people 10 - Young people 8. Wow. (MIssing 2 Old folks in the picture)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let's talk television

Modern family last night......hil-ar-i-ous. Oh my goodness, I snorted a few times while trying to laugh....that good. And after my no-good, rotten, horrible day yesterday I needed a happy ending. If you don't watch the show or don't know at all what I am talking about then I pity you. Your soul needs these kind of laughs.

I know that flash mob's are all the rage right now on youtube and among the YoungLife circles of the world, oh, and at Black Eyed Pea concerts but seriously - last night's flash mob on Modern Family takes the cake. If only Brad would participate for his "love letter" to me, then I would know we were truly kindred spirits. As you know, I love anything organized. More so, I love symmetry and anuthing coreographed usually has a beautiful element of symetry and lastly, hello......I love to dance more than anything on this planet. I know I am in a good place emotionally when I catch myself dancing in my hall way mirror or as I walk through the parking lot at the grocery store.

{Speaking of....let's take a time out and dedicate this next paragraph directly to my spouse. Husband, I know you may have not checked your calendar lately so I thought I'd just drop a note to let you know that next month is December. December is great and all for so many reasons, ie - SEC footbally championship (though not a good subject this year), my dad's spiced wassle at the family Christmas party, A Christmas Carol at the Alliance, and Jesus. But after December comes the January, the first month of the year. Yes, usually January is a cold blur and everyone is on Christmas hangover but not this year. This January is what? What, Brad? This January is your favorite 29 year olds next BIRTHDAY! Did you know when you married that girl that she had been thinking of her 30th birthday bash since she was 16? Seriously. Just like Manny on Modern Family, I was born 16, and may have skipped right past childhood and that is because I knew my glory days would be my 30's. And...did you know when you married that beautiful brunette with intoxicating eyes that she is the party thrower of all party throwers and that she wanted to be a dancer in the parades at Disney World when she grew up? All that to say - I don't need much for the biggest birthday I've ever had. I don't need a cake, or even a present but I do want to dance with all of my favorite people. END side note.}

So back to Modern Family.....I love that Brad will break from his usually dorky biographies that he prefers to watch if the television is on at all - to watch this show with me. Last night's episode made me excited for the days when our kids are old enough to make them choose sides and then have competitions between the Mister of the house and me. I love competition especially if you get to then sleep in the same bed with your enemy.....and especially if I am winning! For instance, Brad and I may not have much time for anything romantic these days - we barely get to talk over dinner and we are too tired to cuddle on the couch but we have found a new love language. Words with Friends on the iphone. Anyone? Is anyone picking up what I am throwing down? I love submitting a killer word worth 45 points and then turning the lights off in our room and asking Brad if he had played his word yet. Bam! poor guy is too tired to beat me at night so I get to go to bed knowing I am the winner for the next 8 hours and it feels soooo good! (Words with friends is like scrabble on the iphone)

I have mommy brain right now and just lost track of any track I was on in this post. Just so you know - I am eating mini choclate chips out of the bag because I was needing a taste of chocolate. What is wrong with me? Who does that? If only I had another fatboy slim icecream sandwich! Am I pregnant? Choke. I l just choked and spit morsels all over the dogs head. No worries, no more babies here for a long while......just a minor chocolate craving being satisfied...that's all.

Happy Thursday! What a difference a day will make.....I love being on the top of the roller coaster today. Thank you, God, oh, and Modern Family.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rollercoaster

Yesterday I put the best "me" forward and I admit, it was a pretty darn good day. I would make you sick if I told you how efficient/productive/positive I was throughout the day so I won't. Actually, I will. I need to look back on this on days like today and know that tomorrow will probably be different and better.
Yesterday I....
-Got up before the babies
-Got myself dressed and even wore my skinny jeans from last year (though I didn't feel/look very skinny)
-Made chocolate-banana muffins for my last mom-to-mom bible study for the season
-Dropped B off to the nursery with NO tears!
-Remembered my umbrella just in case
-Enjoyed a yummy brunch at bible study and had some much needed time with other women in my boat
-Taught Brooks the Itsy Bitsy spider pretty successfully
-Napped
-Cleaned up the house (which just means things are in their places)
-Made (scratch that - picked up) dinner for a friend
-Squeezed in an hour long walk
-Read a book to Brooks - 4 times over
-Read a chapter from my book
-Prayed for people I had said I would pray for
-And I ended the day with a tall beer on my sofa with a nice orange wedge on top. Perfect. Or pretty close to it....

I am sure there is more in there but those are some pretty high points I think. Oh, and I even made an apology phone call to my husband for being a whiny wife the last 3 months. So, I went to bed feeling pretty good about my day and my efficiency, but more so, my attitude all the while.

8 hours of sleep later and I'm racing down the hill on the roller coaster and all I can do is shut my eyes and throw my hands up. This has been one rough morning. I seriously will not write down the events of the morning because I may start crying again and there is no time for that....babies are tuning up to cry - I can just feel it coming.

Anyway, I guess that is how it goes, right? I hate that my attitude for the day is usually determined by the amount of time the boys spend with their eyes shut. It makes me feel like that "mom," always anxious for the next nap and the next ounce of serenity. I never want to be that mom but I also am not good at the other one - the one from yesterday except add a little make up and a home made dinner for my family and my friend. So, where is the in between? I know everyday can't look like yesterday and if every day were like today the birth rate would drop drastically. I dont really want to be on this roller coaster. In fact, I think some good ole monotony would do just fine right now.

Now that Ive had a few minutes to eat my pb&j (what ever happened to fancy lunches out?) I am feeling a little better about the no-good, terrible, awful morning and I have my sites set on a pretty afternoon outdoors. Aren't the leaves these days just amazing? Despite the ups and downs I am experiencing, I am calmed easily by just glancing outside and seeing an array of yellows and oranges. I love fall in Atlanta! Here's to a better afternoon...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3 month birthday

The first quarter is over and the grades are in and overall I am very pleased of the little guy's performance. Here are how things shaped up:
1) Sleep at night - A+
This kid reminded me that there is a God and he does love me and he loves for me to rest when at about 7 weeks he started sleeping though the night! William, we will always remember you as the baby that jumped over milestones and surprised us every other day with a new thing!
2) Sleep during the day - A-
This subject is tricky for you. At first you slept so much that you woke up for nothing and now you just like to be awake to watch me in my fury around the house while your brother sleeps. I don't blame you though - you have no "set" day and you pretty much just have to go where we go when we go whether or not you want to sleep.
3) Eating -A
Let's just say 14lbs. Nice work. Keep sucking those calories off your mother. She is grateful.
4) Spitting Up/Burping/Tooting/Blowing up the Diaper - A++
If there is a bodily function, you have mastered it. Way to go, my little noise machine!
5) Social skills - A
I know I am biased but you are about the friendliest baby on the block. Unfortunately, I think this is because you get so little undivided attention at home so even a glance from a stranger warrants a smile in your book. We need to work on the goofy smile followed by the "I have major indigestion" look but other than that - your social skills blow me away! (literally)
6) Sibling relationships - B
This is only a "B" because I know the kid can't be perfect in everything and I don't want to be that mom that thinks he is (though he is) so he could certainly learn how to stand up for himself a little bit when big brother smothers him with a kiss or uses him as a seat to watch tv
7) Hanging out on your belly -C
Yep, just like your eldest bro - you hate anything in the supine position! This just baffles me as I can't even think about sleep unless I am laying on my stomach with my hands under my head and pillow. Why do both of my offspring HATE being on their tummys and then end up worrying me to pieces with their oddly shaped heads? I even offered W some chocolate muffin last night by putting it under his chin while he had his "tummy time" but he wasn't having it! For the love.....please just give me a few minutes a day so I can atleast tell the pediatrician that I attempt to put you on your belly everyday.
8) Rolling over - B
2 weeks ago W had us all on our feet at my mom's house as he made his first rolling attempt. Admittedly, had this been Brooks we may have called the newspaper but poor W rolled from his belly to his back (out of hatred for the former) and I heard a clap from across the room and came running. Well, he made two rolls that night in honor of Uncle Carter's birthday and he hasn't thought about it since.....oh well, I can still say you are advanced on every level, right?
9) Showing us God's love for our family - A+++
You know I had to end with a little sappiness. Every day truly brings a little more clarity for me in this stage of raising young children. I wasn't able to conceive what this might look like....having two boys so close together and yes, the first few months have been the most challenging months of my life but I do get very small glimpses each day of God's story for me as a mom, and for my family. William has truly made me feel like a family. It's funny that I didn't feel this before with Brooks. He was a fun accessory and I loved taking him around town to eat lunch with me and to visit friends. Though my day looked different - it was still "my day" but I had a fun little person to share it with me. Enter William into the picture and now I am in a whole new ball game. There are usually only 17 minutes of quiet during the day and about an hour each night before B and I fall asleep on the couch at 930pm out of exhaustion. Everything is more difficult but also more rewarding! It is a huge feat just to get out the door and once we get somewhere we celebrate! My 17 minutes of quiet during the day are truly cherished and not taken for granted. I use them to refuel for the afternoon before B gets home from work. As challenging as this quarter has been - each day has brought me new perspective on my immediate and distant future. God obviously had it in mind that I would be a mom - and if I didn't believe it with one kid - He gave me another. And while I won't sign up for the Honda minivan just yet.....I am slowly embracing this calling and seeing this opportunity as a just that.....an opportunity to mold two little people and to raise them to be as whole and filled as they can be before they step out into this world that can easily break one down.

I am sooooooooooo glad to be out of the newborn days. I hated to wish them away but they were such a blur anyway...so I am now eager to enjoy these next 3 months of cuddle time with William. I pray right now that I can enjoy these days when they are both so little and not wish for the days when they are more independent. I think I'll go wake William up and just look at him. What a sweet reminder of God's love for me and His plan for my life. Happy 3 month birthday, little guy! This is where it starts getting fun......bring on the fun developments!

Monday, November 15, 2010

4 B's Field Trip to the "Zoo" (only better)

I spy a deer in the background. An annoying deer that kept trying to eat our Chick-Fil-A. Note to self: eat lunch first next time.
I was there, too, believe it or not....doing squats to feed the goat.
And W was there, too, he liked the donkey.
Like father, like son.
B liked to shove carrots in their mouth and sometimes nose.
This little boy will climb anything!
And loves play time with Brad. Which boy was slightly dizzy after this little game? Not the little one.

Rainy Monday

I love wearing rain boots and a rain jacket all day as if any moment the doors of the house might fling open and the waters come rushing in. Were that to happen - I am prepared! I may not be prepared for much else these days but give me a rainy day and I am ready! Rain boots are like no other boot to me - they must be worn for the rain or the chance of rain - not just on a whim. Cowboy boots? Maybe. You don't have to go jump on a horse to be able to wear cowboy boots around town but rain boots - no sir...for the rain only. And since it is 100% chance of rain in the Atlanta area the next two days we are sporting our rain gear and our optimistic smile! You see, a rainy day - let alone two in a row - for a stay at home mom is like a day of no internet at the office for some. It makes you want to pull your hair out and while the rain allows for many other productive things to occur, ie - folding laundry, cleaning the house, that is not at all what I want to do on a rainy day. Luckily this morning we got out in the rain just so this afternoon wouldn't be like a tornado on steroids at our house. We had some play time at the gym and then at our friend Caleb's house. Caleb's mama and I have decided long ago that Caleb and Brooks would be college roommates one day just after they back each other on the high school football team. They are both about as "boy" as you can get and at this age they enjoy hitting each other and pushing each other over but then sealing it with a sloppy kiss. Isn't it funny...kids this age really know nothing on their own more than what they can mimic? They will literally throw each other on the floor and then if I ask them to kiss or hug they do it without hesitation. Oh, to be a child again and hold no grudges and move past things so easily!

Other rainy day subjects - I have a new found love. Hello, FatBoy ice cream sandwiches! Last week I put a box of ice cream sandwiches in my grocery cart. This was one of those -"hmmm, I haven't had this in a long time...I wonder if I still like them" type of grabs at the grocery. Luckily, when I got to the check out counter I talked myself out of the frivolous purchase remembering that "oh, yeah, I am not pregnant anymore and I can not eat ice cream if I ever want my husband to think racy thoughts about me again." Four days later I am still thinking about the purchase that I had surpassed. So yesterday I found myself at the store again for the some essentials - milk and ice cream sandwiches. The box I selected advertised that they were only 100 calories and half the fat as the regular ice cream sandwich. Nice. I buy them happily and rush home so they don't melt. Just as the boys went down for a nap (because when Brad is home they nap at the same time but when I am by myself they stagger their naps. How thoughtful?) I burst into the freezer to pull out my new find! I was pleasantly surprised that the "Slim-Fatboy sandwiches" were soooo tasty! I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the only reason they are half the fat and calories is because they are literally, half the size! What? I hate false advertising but I hate it most when I am a sucker to it! Anyway, I guess I only need the 100 calorie treat anyway.....So once again today, boys go to sleep and I enjoyed every lick of my new favorite thing! This is why I ever had kids - so I could buy food for them to "try" knowing that ultimately, I would get to enjoy the food that I normally wouldn't buy. Last week I bought a box of Kix for Brooks. Brooks didn't ever eat one piece of the cereal and they are all gone. And that is how the story normally goes.

Pictures posted next of our field trip to the Yellow River Game Ranch. Like a Zoo....only better. Hold on to your hats....

Happy rainy Monday (and Tuesday per the weather man)!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Starting to see the forest through the trees

This morning in my mom bible study (that I am absolutely obsessed with) a lady spoke about her family which included her 7 children. Count them- SEVEN. And there are not seven kids because she couldn't afford birth control or because she was trying to pull some publicity stunt. She talked about how she was drowning when she had her second but how over that time she and her husband began to formulate their family "plan" and through scripture they knew that plan would include many kids. Not only does she have 7 children - she has 7 babies in heaven who never made it through a full term pregnancy. So that would make 14 pregnancies total. I was floored.
Here I am barely staying afloat with our two little ones. I mean, they are fed, and sometimes they are clean though every 3rd day I find a rare animal or toy underneath William's 3rd chin (so obviously I am feeding him well). For the most part they are healthy (I swear by breast feeding babies for as long as I can (*note* - this is just a reminder to myself for those days when I get weary and I am ready to have my body fully back to myself!)) and generally pretty happy (sans the last month of the teething monster). But - thriving??? I wouldn't necessarily say any of us are thriving, rather surviving. So just like any stage of life that we enter - it seems to be all that we will ever know. I remember laying awake many nights at the Terrace, the best home to 4 single girls in Atlanta, wondering if anyone would ever see the spark in me that I was quite sure I had....and that's not arrogant at all - I just wondered if another person would ever see the me that God created. I had gone out with several boys that liked pieces of me or liked my energy but they never seemed to "get" me. Enter Brad - stage Left. And, thank goodness, I didn't resolve to think that my stage of singleness was all I would ever know.
A
nd then I can easily recall the "ugly year" as I remember it - working five different jobs in one year all in hopes to find my golden ticket. Oddly enough, this year ended in me being pregnant for the first time so I guess somehow it lead me to my now "career." But still, that year I would drive home as the sun was going down from my seemingly perfect job down town just wondering when I would ever be in a place in my career where I felt like my gifts were truly used. So, now after 12 weeks I am starting to see the bigger picture. As I listened to this woman speak of her 7 children this morning I was truly humbled at my own view of my circumstances right now. My view is just that - a view all about me. When will I ever have a day to myself? When will I ever feel like I can actually teach my kids something rather than just change their diapers and make sure they are fed? When can Brad and I ever have time to dream about some of the things we want for our family? When do I get my energy back? (Does it ever come back?) Basically.....when will God show up and make this whole phase a little lighter....a little less to carry?

I am so thankful for my Tuesday morning bible study. I am so grateful to get to hear stories of women 3-20 years ahead of where we are in the game called Life. I am encouraged each week by their tenacity in parenting. These women take their role of being a mom and wife very seriously and they consider it the most noble thing to raise children. I certainly don't feel like there is anything noble about my days but I am given a glimpse of the forest each Tuesday....

Soon Brooks will not even need me to place the right shoe under the right foot and he'll be able to finish the songs we sing him at bed time before we get to the end. He won't need me to lift him out of the crib each morning and he certainly won't need me to use the bathroom. ANd while all of that sounds really freeing - I do understand that my light and momentary troubles right now are building on something far greater. It's just nice to have some other families ahead of me to see that it is all worth while.

On a similar but different note - we are going on 77 minutes of a quiet house. Oh, I am soooo favored today. And what have I done with my quiet time? Started to fold the 3 baskets of laundry? Cleaned the mashed banana off the floor? Sorted through the drawers and drawers of mail since June? NO, No, and NO! I have sat staring out the window, once again stifled by the silence. One day I'll learn how to actually get myself to work when the house is quiet. Yes, so much to do but the quiet is so rare........and so much more refreshing if I choose to do nothing!

And on another note - here are some pictures of the two boys. The objects in the pictures appear more innocent than they actually are on most occasions. Ha!
Brooks' First haircut. Surprisingly, he loved it! I am still a little weepy when I see that his baby-rat tail is gone. He's all grown up now!
William at 12 weeks. Whoa! Where did 12 weeks go?
Brotherly love.