Saturday, July 31, 2010

How wide and deep is the love of Christ

As this thing one day may stand as the best recount of the early years of marriage and the early years with children I am tempted to delete any of my "reflective" posts over this past 10 months, well, really, over the past 2 years since we first found out we were expecting a child. I have never been that girl, possibly you, that sat around planning their happily ever after revolving around 2.5 kids, a membership at the country club for the kids to swim, and yearly family trips to the panhandle of Florida. I always knew I would one day have kids because I came from a big family and that was all I knew. But for many years after I left Athens my family would constantly joke me at family gatherings about how picky I had become and how there would never be anyone that I would give more than a 2nd chance, let alone marry which meant - let alone have my own family one day. And once, in my mid-20's, if you have been following this blog since the dinosaur age, you'll recall, I did have a pretty solid conviction that I probably wouldn't get married for another decade.......atleast. I wanted to live in Spain, find the career I had never found - at the time maybe even in a church, and I was wanting to find something to go back to school to really learn (because the 1st time just didn't "take" the way I would have liked it to......morale of that story - follow your own heart, not someone else's).

Needless to say, merely two years later to find myself carrying a new person inside the body that, to be honest, I had admittedly paid way too much attention to toning and perfecting, was truly dream-shattering. Like I said, I knew I would have kids but I had probably never thought about how or when....I just saw them in my future as I took my daughters to get manicures before prom and sat in the bleachers cheering on my very own star quarterback. I honestly never thought about what went into the years before those seemingly glorious bonding years. As you know my mama and I are about as tight as any mother/daughter duo could be. More so, my mom has that same relationship with all four of her children so all I ever really remember about child-raising are the fun times with mom-our best friend. Almost everyday over the last 14 months I have had some silent moment of adoration for my mom as I have come to realize really what went into developing that sister-sister type bond - four times over. Unfortunately, for me, my mom has always taken everything in stride. Whether it was a near-fatal sickness as a child, an unwanted move nearly to the top of the country with 2 kids in high school, or hearing the news of a life-long disease that would effect one of her very own children. She has always taken the cards she was dealt and truly made lemonade out of the yuckiness - even if she felt broken on the inside.

Without self-diagnosing all of my personality for you in a simple blog (and thus, boring you all the while) I can tell you two things. I envy my mother for her natural ability for a sunny-outlook and I am not like that. I try to be just like her in that way and that sure is exhausting but I do question a little more than she does and I do not easily accept whatever hiccup or bruise has come my way. My stomach turns as I even think this word I am about to type. Eh hum......control. As you probably guessed it long ago - much of my inability to accept my circumstances is my desire to control them first - or to have thought them through before they were dropped on me! And yes, that is straight from my daddy's genes. So, as you concluded on your own probably some long post ago - these two years have taken their toll on a girl who once was able to steer her big, imaginary ship in her own direction. Or so I thought at the time.

Secondly, I carry terrible unnecessary guilt for not either feeling the way I think one should (this is called the case of the "shoulds" and needs it's own separate post and counseling session) feel in a said scenario or for not being able to grin and bear it as my mother has so perfectly conquered. Let's use this crazy example, a bright-cheery newlywed finds out that she is in fact able to have children and a year and a half after her glorious wedding day she will be starting her very own family - full of hair ribbons, and play dates, and family portraits. This is a Southern girl's dream to most girls I know. And though this may, too, be a dream of mine, the timing wasn't my dream and I really had a hard time "willing" myself to be excited (that's yucky trait number one). But then, I also walked around for half of the first pregnancy (and all of this one) feeling guilty for not feeling the way the books says you should.....elated, grateful, and giddy.

Lucky for you and me this second dose of pregnancy has allowed me ample thinking time and more importantly, drawn me to my knees like never before. And here is finally the really good news........after much anxiety, guilt, and often sarcasm regarding this new baby, I am finally at a place of absolute peace (though you wouldn't know it by the few hours I've slept in the last 10 days) about this plan that wasn't mine from the start. I hate to leave you with such a long post about all of my smelly issues and than quickly tell you they are gone - goodbye. And they aren't gone, but grace has covered them and for the first time in a several years I can feel that very grace as it has calmed my heart over the last few days and brought to the surface so many things that I didn't know were down there.

Yesterday, after what I think I remember was a better night of sleep than the previous 8, I felt different. I felt calm. And I felt a little excitement bubbling up inside over the birth of this new baby. (In the very same sentence, I have still been very emotional as I watch Brooks - just knowing it's not just going to be me and him anymore but I know I'll get over that as soon as this all goes down.) This baby has already poured so much into me (including but not limited to heart burn, acid reflux, cellulite, itching sensations, etc) and grace - for myself and for others, and acceptance for any unplanned circumstances, and a sense of loss of control (and it feels good!), and gratitude that despite my not-perfectly-feeling heart God would have still chosen me to be a mom (hopefully the kind of mom my mom was and is) twice! He's absolutely crazy! But for once in a long time I know He is crazy about me, too, and I have done nothing (as you an see from the above) to deserve his affection. As Brooks and dad slept a little later yesterday I was praying that these next days or weeks Brad and I would both experience how wide, and, deep, and high, and long is the love of Christ - in a way that we had never ever known before this new baby. Not always are my prayers answered that quickly but yesterday as I waddled up the stairs to answer the little man's cry for relief from his barred-bed I truly felt a peace and love that I had never ever known before.....and I know that is just the beginning.
Editors Note: Sorry for all the sappy posts lately. Chalk it up to a little added hormones running free in me. You've suffered long enough with me so I'll try to throw something extra juicy and entertaining in the next few weeks. For now - the baby is on his way (as I lay awake seeing every-single-hour last night with a different pain than the hour before I was convinced it was the time) and as Brad has said over the last few days - "let's do this thing." So simple, Brad, and that's why I love you...let's go do this thing!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Atleast I am not pregnant and 70

To the maybe two grandmother's that read this blog (and both are far from 70), I apologize in advance if my opinion offends you. I just don't want to be 70 and pregnant. Thank you, God, for letting me go through this birthing thing on this side of the hill rather than the other side. But, to each his own......
Yesterday the doctor sent my head spinning, my heart breaking, and let's just say - my birthing equipment, well......cramping from anticipation of what I thought was not to come for atleast three weeks. I be-bopped into my usual post lunch-Wednesday appointment feeling like a new creation. I had enjoyed a quiet morning alone and all before 1pm I had been into 9 different businesses and successfully checked every single thing off my list sans one small little task that really was just added to make my list a little longer and a little more challenging. More so, I had exercised without the worry of a mad 1 year old in the nursery AND had actually showered AND put some make up on AND for the first time in months - I would admit I felt pretty darn good. Oh, and I had really hit it off with the cashier lady at Babies R Us and she had graciously extended a discount to me on a large item even though my coupon wasn't to start until today. And yes, that makes me feel like a winner. Oh, and, not to add - It was one of those days, too, where I was just pretty funny. I managed to cause quite the commotion with the doctors office staff as I joked with them about how I would not see them for a loooooooong time after two years of visiting the office with a belly button screaming "hello."

I didn't leave the office with quite the same confidence. Actually, I left in tears and heart burn caused from the bomb that was dropped on me os-so-casually by the doctor. According to his predictions, this nameless second child would like to come out sooner than I had been "willing" him to and I better be ready. "Like, how ready," I said. "Like, very ready," said the debbie-downer-doctor. "I would be sure your bag is packed tonight."

Now for anyone who has even had a friend have a baby - you know that the whole finale of pregnancy is completely unreliable, unpredictable, and inconsistent. There is no rhyme or reason to labor and it is different for everyone. I laugh at all the websites that try to predict when babies will come or suggest ways of making the baby come. Really, I think all of the home-remedies that I so freely offer to other want-to-be-laboring moms and that I tried myself - are just really good things to do for a soon to be mom but they don't speed up a baby from coming when the baby clearly plans it's own entrance into the world. I mean, who wouldn't want to sip a glass of wine while eating spicy food and having her feet rubbed after a long, leisurely walk and maybe some *&# {deleted for parental control but just think - the way you make the baby is what they say sometime will make the baby want to come out.} More so, I almost hate to inquire about a doctors appointment with a friend who is in the final stage of growing a baby.....things just aren't predictable and even a doctor who sees babie's born all day won't predict a thing! With all that said, my "will" for the baby to come a few days after his due date just doesn't seem to be in the cards but - as I just concluded - he could surprise us all! But I was a little convinced that this may actually happen when the doctor said he doesn't bet but he'd bet his career that I won't see 39 weeks of pregnancy! What??? I am supposed to go to a painting class that week and have lunch with two friends! What? I think I have just been planning my calendar and adding dates well into August in anticipation that the alien-like-contorting-constantly-baby would jump on board.

In all seriousness though....this really threw me for a loop yesterday. I'm pregnant. Yes, that's what the doctor confirmed, and when you are pregnant, the baby has to come out. For the first time in my life there is no exit plan, no way out, no better alternative. I feel irreverent even saying that and it doesn't disconnect me from so many of my dear friends who are so excited about their pregnancies - it just makes me real. I have been in absolute denial about this baby for nearly 10 months now and yesterday I was faced with the most harsh reality yet - that I am really pregnant and there is really a baby on his the pretty near future. I lay awake last night just thinking of everything and nothing at the same time but all the while - not wanting to fall asleep because that would mean I would be hours closer to this reality.

Now that you feel like I am a horrible person with a sour heart let me tell you the mushy side of the news I received yesterday. As scared as I am of what our new life will look scared as I am of how Brooks, who is still very much a baby will respond to this new much as I am selfish and I don't want our routine and our little world to be much as I feel lost as a woman because of these seemingly abnormal feelings about bringing a child into this world - I KNOW BENEATH IT ALL THAT THIS IS GOD's PERFECT PLAN FOR ME. I know that there are some huge things in store for our marriage because of this intrusion. I know there are unfathomable things coming my heart's way.....I know that my pride and sometimes lack of vulnerability will be shattered by this innocent life. I know that this newborn child will have a perfect place in our extended families. He will bond with our parents and our siblings and their kids and he may even be used at some point in his life to draw our families closer. What a beautiful thought. This little boy will teach me things that I never would have learned had he not come along and I will be better for it and people that I interact with and love with benefit, too. I don't say all of this lightly. I can whole heartily say that as scared as I am right now, in this hour, for what has to happen - I am all the more confident that it is supposed to and that this person will break down my walls, build up my esteem, challenge me like never before, and offer me grace when I need it most - all at the same time.

Long sigh........what a relief to know that even my own sour heart can not detour the plans of the Lord. As I am about to hit PUBLISH on this blog I feel quite a bit lighter, and, yes, a little more excited of what is to come in the maybe-near-future (though I would love a few days to get my toes painted, the floors cleaned, our pictures made before we are a family of 4, and to go on a date with the husband that puts up with all of me.)

Atleast I am not 70 years old and about to have a child as the show on TLC just previewed. Oh goodness, God knew I would be a colossal wreck by then!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010





More profound thoughts for you later but for now I can't move and I don't want to think. Happiness today feels really selfish but that is okay for just one day. Thank you, Nise, so much.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Umm, yes, please, may I have another?

I just ate a turkey sandwich and drank my sweet tea (half sweet/half unsweet). ALL BY MYSELF.

I sound like I am a recovering from some crazy disease that has kept me from tying my own shoes or doing anything by myself. I'm not. I am a mom and for 14 months my lunch times have been spent with someone else. Usually this is my favorite time of day for a different reason....because it is normally my first time out of the house for the day and I crave the interaction with other people even if it is just with the sweet lady taking my usual chicken salad sandwich order at Cafe at Pharr. But today my turkey sandwich was so perfect. I ate every bite slowly and tasted the perfectly combined turkey, tomato, mustard, whole grain bread, and silence with each bite.

This will be a boring (but short, so hang on) post to 99.5% of you and I apologize for my lack of creativity today....well, this season. It's just that much of our day these days is about survival. Though I know the result is going to be wonderful - eventually - the combination of pregnancy and the early-toddler days are just so wearing on even the most creative, energetic types - of which I used to label myself. The heat really isn't the biggest factor but I still mention it to Mr. B when he asks how I am makes me seem all the more tough and successful in my day even if the only success that I would really note is that the toddler is still alive and we didn't end up in the ER. (Today we almost did with 5 different big "uh-ohs" before noon - all of which I quickly convinced the little man that he was okay despite the little blood and goose egg on his head. oops!)

Anyway, today we had an unexpected adventuresome morning with what turned out to be 6 other moms from the neighborhood all seeking some form of toddler activity while getting to talk about things like the bachelorette with other adults. Needless to say, Brooks and I stayed out past our morning bed time and just when I thought the day would end up disastrous...the little boy fell asleep literally in my arms at noon. Oh gosh, y'all. This is maybe the 2nd time this has ever happened and it was so worth the heat and caloric expense of the morning. I held him and just kissed his sweet cheeks with out him even budging and then put him down for an uncustomary lunch-time nap and then enjoyed my sandwich as already noted.

So, go with the flow, mom's! This day has been so enjoyable and it has looked nothing like our other more-scheduled days. I could eat a turkey sandwich in peace and kiss a sweet baby's cheeks everyday even it means a little more work in the mornings. Of course, we'll see how that looks in a few weeks when baby brother enters the scene. Until then.....we're soaking up every minute together! Which means we'll be heading to get a yogurt soon.....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pure entertainment

Before Brad and I ever even considered accidentally getting pregnant with the first bambino we would talk about how fun it would be one day to not have to go out to dinner or go to the movies but rather spend our time watching kids be kids. Now, of course, we would die for a movie together - as I think it has truly been before his birth last May that we went to a real, live movie theater. And, well, we still eat dinner out TOO MUCH but our once distant dream is right before us - we have free entertainment at our disposal 10-12 hours a day. Okay, maybe not "free" but we don't have to pay any extra for the entertainment other than sometimes our public humiliation or shame as new parents that don't know what to do with a kicking, throwing 14 month old.

This weekend has been one of those weekends of pure, innocent, raw entertainment by our own little stooge. I know everyone says every year is more fun than the last but I just don't think there is anything more enjoyable in life than watching a 1+ year old learn about the world around him. I know 2 will be fun because he will understand more and 3 will be great because we may start to have real conversations but I just don't think it gets any better......Mr. Brooks is truly a walking curious George but with the determination and conviction of a 40 year old. It's hysterical how he can be all baby and all grown man (not grown child, but like a grown 70 year old wise man) all in one - all day long! From his expressions to the precision in which he completes a task - or even creates those tasks for himself to do. I can just hear him thinking, I have to go put this monkey on the table and then shut the door or else I'll lose my marbles. Or, I will out this shoe on my foot if it takes me 4 hours and then when I do, I will take it off and place it in this one spot that I have been thinking about for days on end.

Our once quiet little man has become quite verbose these days repeating any sound he can get his mouth around. You would expect baby-like babble but this little one chooses the much more proper type of English - call ling me his "mom" and Brad his "dad" "ma-ma's" around here. And as I've said before, his eyes and eyebrow combination could make a 29 year old pregnant woman think she is crazy for ever ever thinking she might put the book back in the book basket that had just been read (only) 5 times. How can a 14 month old who looks like a drunken sailor when he is walking convince an adult that she has absolutely lost her mind nearly 80% of the day with just the raise of an eyebrow? Anyway, this weekend Brooks pulled out all of the stops - sliding down the slide by himself without falling backwards and knocking the wind out of him, walking nearly as fast as we were walking tonight as we "played" around the shopping center after dinner, dancing around the house at the mention of the word dance or even a slight whistle from his dad, learning to pat Amos "gently" as we've been trying to show him to do for some time now to sitting at his new little-big boy table all by himself as if we were to bring him his coffee and paper immediately.

I really do love this guy with every ounce of me. I know you know that. I know everyone feels the same for their little procreation's but goodness, I just never considered that my heart would fall so deeply for something. This has been a fun season, Mr. Brooks and we appreciate the giggles you bring to the family even over this last roller coaster of a season. You are pure entertainment, little buddy!
Just a normal Sunday morning conversation before church.
Thank goodness they started giving me my-sized things! This is more like it...
Dancing in the sun room is dangerous. You never know where you might land. Watch out Johnny's Hideaway!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I should be sleeping

Don't ever feel bad for me if I happen to mention to you that I am just so tired. This statement has become all too familiar to the two people that put up with me - my husband and my mama.
I do it to myself. Why can't I just accept the crazy notion that humans need rest and that sleep is a really good thing. Newsflash, Betsy: no one gets to heaven quicker because they decided to do-do-do when everything in their body has told them to sit-sit-sit. I just can't sit still these days. Hmmm.....I wonder why? It's that big elephant in the room called a Bee-Ayy-Beee-Why.
My stomach is and has been huge for sometime now. I can't bend down to pick up Brooks' toys and I've had heart burn every minute for the last 6 months that only seems to worsen at night when I lay awake making lists in my head and longing for just a little sleep. So, you would think that the fact (and there is no way around the fact) that a baby IS COMING ( I have to say it out loud every time I think it so it may sink in a little more) would be obvious.
It's not obvious to me. The doctor asked me at my appointment Wednesday if I finally believed I was pregnant and then looked at me like I was not human when I asked if the baby (that I can't acknowledge) will maybe be late? He said he hadn't heard one other expectant mother that is due in August that had asked (or begged) that the baby take it's time cookin a little longer.

Tomorrow, technically (whatever that means), this baby boy will be considered full term which to me just means it's time for everyone to start bugging me with "what does the doctor think?" type questions. It seems that I have been weeks away for long enough now that I've never felt like the clock was actually going anywhere and I have been perfectly happy in my Peter-Pan like euphoria, gaining weight and losing flexibility but all the while continuing to believe that there was no end result - growing up to do. But as I lay here on the couch after an exhausting morning walk in the heat and a crazy (but entertaining) playgroup at our house, and my belly feels like it is tightening for minutes on end I am starting to consider the obvious......this baby has to come out soon. Oh, gosh, THIS BABY HAS TO COME OUT SOON (I have to say that one out loud, too). You'd think the stork dropped Brooks off or something considering the denial that I have lived under for some time now.

Anyway, something deep down inside of me whether I admit it or act on it - knows that baby is coming because like I said earlier, I can't sit down. I find the silliest things to keep me awake and then when I am not actually doing something I am writing a list of the things I will do the next time I should be napping and choose stubbornly not to.

But alas, just as my eyes are starting to droop and the ache in my legs is undeniable - the eldest little one begins to talk from his crib. Really, y'all, why is it a universal law that is as real as gravity? The moment you even have a thought that your baby will wake up - they do! And you can't stop yourself from thinking that that so once it enters the brain- bam - the baby is awake!
Since we aren't napping over are some playgroup and lunch date pics.
Yes, husband, this was a GREAT garage sale find.
The most precious school bus driver ever.
Playgroup does White Water on the back porch!

Cruel mommy's push their children down the slide into the freezing water. They eventually thought this was really fun and were pushing each other over to get to go next.
A cute Caroline and her "bubble bootie" after fun time in the pool.
This is what mommy's do when they are all out of entertainment ideas....sit on the table, kids, and don't move! Gotta love mama-Sherri's face.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Mom, you just sit your baby-carrying self down and let me get the mail. No problem! While I'm out I may just go see the cute neighbors...don't worry about me!

Don't you know, mom, anything near my size has my name on it.....just sit your house-sized self down, like I keep telling you, and let me explore this bench over and over and over again.

For the good of the oldest child's development and exercise I let him do about anything he wants these days. It is too hot to argue and I am too tired to care! Therefore, we explore everything. Yes, I am that mom that probably annoyed you yesterday as I let the one year old walk through the grocery store. Once again, free entertainment! I'll reel the rascal back in eventually but for now - it's your world, Brooks, I am just growing and sweating in it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Diapers in the fridge

Y'all...I'm ashamed to even try to write a paragraph. I hate to complain about being tired because my whole life I have loved being the girl that NEVER gets too tired for anything. I really want to believe that pregnancy and toddler-chasing isn't the kicker but I think I have to waive the white flag. My body has never ever ever felt tired like this. It has nothing to do with how little or how much sleep I get or how well or poorly I eat (usually the latter) and everything to do with babies taking every single calorie I might consume and using it to the best of their ability's. So, in lieu of some terribly dull post about weekend happenings and Brooks' latest words (which aren't boring events but I couldn't do them any justice in this condition) - Ill spare you and just promise to bring my A-game sometime this week.

In the mean time, here are a few random things that should be noted.
1) When looking for a lemon in the fridge to put into my 2nd glass of tea yesterday afternoon I luckily found the two diapers that I had searched the house for earlier in the day for an hour! Nothing like a chilled diaper on a hot day, right? Oh, pregnancy, give me my brain back!
2) I love lunch dates with Brooks. Today we went to get our favorite Willy's burrito in a bowl. I love that we can share this and we still have leftovers. While sitting there enjoying Brooks' company I realized one day he will want his own burrito and so will his brother! Yes, Brad, I may need a part time job. I'll be sad when the baby boy is big enough to require his own entree. I love sharing a meal and Brad told me from date number two that he wasn't that kind of guy! After our lunch we went to our 3rd favorite play place - ACE hardware to crawl on the benches outside. Seriously, if you need FREE activities to do with your one year old - call me. We have discovered every pond, stair, bench, and bird inside the perimeter and most of our spots have a great place for mom to sit while said-toddler explores and climbs.
3)Did I mention how tired I am? Brooks is sleeping and I should sleep too but the darn nesting thing has set in and I want so badly to knock the last two things off the Get Ready for Baby list. But did I mention how my body won't move or function normally?
4) Cleaning floors and tubs is self-afflicted cruelty at 36 weeks pregnant. Why do I do this to myself? I sure do feel good smelling the clean right now though I can't say that that means anything is actually clean.
5) We still (really) don't have a name for this baby nor would we disclose if we did so let's stop pestering the pregnant woman!
6)I love the smell of fresh newborn clothes all washed and ready for a newborn
7) I missed not going to the beach or even a lake this summer. I will remind this 2nd child of this the rest of his life - I endured a hot summer for him away from any large body of water.
8) I love the south. The lady at McDonald's today told me I "best be nursing some water in this heat along side of my tea that I get e'ry single day." Thank you, ma'am, I said, but doesn't tea count as water? Somebody tell me so. And then at Lowes another sweet checkout lady told me that all pregnant women are beautiful even if the baby done stole the pretty out of 'em.....they pretty in their own way, " she said. Thank you again.
10) I love weekends with Brad. We spent lots of time together this weekend just being a family and really, it is alot like what I had pictured growing up. Thank you, God, for drawing this picture for me of marriage and then coloring in the lines so perfectly! I am grateful for some fairly-lazy weekends together before the next chapter. Remind me of that in a few weeks.....we did have a somewhat low-key/quiet life at one point.

Ahhhh......Brooks is already talking and I HAVE to shut my eyes. Hopefully some more meaty material for you sometime this week. Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Updated resume

Hey mommy's friends,
This is Brooks. My brother is coming soon and my mom has lost it! She lays on the couch and eats these colorful things on sticks over and over and over again and she just asks me to bring things to her and throw her sticks away. "Brooks, go get mommy your book and I'll read to you." Whatever mom, you make up the words to my books - I know everything isn't a duck! She calls the aardvark in my book a "duck" for real and then thinks I should tell her that the aardvark quacks. Just because my mommy is "soooo tired" as she says, I am not tired and I want to know about the stinkin aardvark!

Anyway, since she is "soooo tired" she says she can barely type or write funny things but since I am a pretty big deal around here and doing some amazing new things - I thought I'd tell yall or someone that will listen. I'm going to be looking at colleges here soon and knowing my mama, she'll probably be fat with another baby again and too tired to move!
So, here is what I've been up to this past month. I am 13 months going on a superstar, that's all.

-Because they always call me a monkey I thought I'd play the part and I can now tell you what sound a real monkey makes (ooooh,oooooh,ooooooh)
-I can go and fetch things (Do you think my mama is taking advantage of me? I throw away her trash and my diapers and sometimes even her keys just to see if she likes my game. She doesn't.)
-I can point to my nose and my ears and everyone laughs when mom asks if I have a booger and I point in my nose. I don't get it but whatever....
-I like to stand at the window when I see dad's cool truck pull up in the evening and I bang on the window and yell "da da da" at him. Then Amos knocks me over and mom gets all mad and yells at Amos but really I'm not hurt - I just like to see her reaction.
-I can throw everything! Seriously, everything. Give me my cup - I can launch it. Put food on my tray if I am not hungry and I will throw it in your hair or on Amos (that's my favorite). Give me your phone to distract me and Ill chunk it across the room or restaurant or whatever. Innocent? They used to say that word to me and I don't know what it means but I haven't heard it lately.
-I can pelvis thrust.
-Yes, you read it right, people. Daddy taught me how to lay on the bed and act like a moron like him, Mom acts like we aren't funny but I always catch her laughing. She just wishes she wasn't so oddly shaped right now so she could to it, too.
-I love dogs but not Amos. Amos ignores me so I am done with him. I love to chase other "do-dos" and try to catch their tails. I've been bitten a few times but it doesn't stop me.
-I like to sing to my music that mom lets me listen to in the car. I like the "hot, hot, hot" song and sing along by saying "ha, ha, ha" to which mom smiles back at me. Goodness, she will smile at anything I do. You'd think she was bored before I came along to entertain her.
-Shoes. I love shoes! I will sit forever trying to get my new crocs on but then when I get in the car I like to take them off and let my feet breathe. Even if you have little people feet - your feet still sweat and may even stink a litle! Mom is always so surprised when she smells my feet. She says, "sheeeeweeeeey" and I just think that is the funniest sound and it always makes me giggle. Has she checked out her feet lately? Oh, yeah, she can't see them.
-I can show you my two teeth. Yes, I said two. Don't judge me or put me on a chart. I think 2 teeth are much cuter than 4 or 8 and I may just stay this way for a long time. My grandma says my dad didn't get teeth for awhile but mom says when he got them they sure were pretty so I think it's worth the wait.
-I know where my tongue is. My parents aren't going to like this trick once my brother gets here and I show him my tongue when he is bothering me.
-I love making people feel silly by giving them this face that my grandad "Big" does....he is so good at it and I thought I'd try it too. 13 months old and already intimidating! What can I say? I was born with these big old eyebrows and I gotta use 'em!
-Dance? Did you say, dance? Oh boy, I've got moves that would make your granny sweat. Mom says I actually have rhythm, too, unlike my daddy. Hello, have you seen him pelvic thrust and kick his legs on the bed? She doesn't know what she is missing!
-I love my Nise and when I see her I get really excited. Normally when she leaves I walk around saying "NeeNee" but I won't call her that too her face until I can say it a little better. She crawls on the floor with me and plays when my mama says she's too tired to think.
-Oh, I almost forgot. I've got this walking thing down. I can bend down and touch my toes and pick up things and practically run in the yard. I also know how to go over the step down in our house without my mom having to hold my hand every time.
-I can flirt. Are you surprised? Do you know my daddy? I love to flirt with my friend, Ally Grace. She kicks her legs because she isn't crawling yet (which makes it easier for me to be near her) so I just kick my legs back and try to show her how fond I am of her and her moves.

Mom is shouting more things at me that I know how to do but I can't type that fast and it's my bed time. I love my bed, yall! This morning I slept until 8:30 and made daddy late for work because he was thinking I'd be up earlier to wake him. I was dreaming of Ally Grace and mandarin oranges (my favorite) and Elmo and I didn't want to end those kind of thoughts! Do you blame me?

I'll check back with yall next month as I am sure I'll be paying the bills around here and doing the laundry as my mom seems to think that our family is going to be in chaos once my brother comes. She really is so dramatic! I am here to help, mom!
Why are they making such a fuss over this guy? By then I'll be tying my shoes and mowing the yard like my daddy and he'll just be sleeping and pooing all the time. I'll make sure they remember who was here first, don't worry.

Good Night, yall. My daddy has to sing "Jesus loves me" now as he takes me to my bed because that's what he does every night. It may not sound all that great but I love this time with dad so much. I hope even when mama isn't big and tired anymore that she'll still let dad put me to bed. Plus, he sometimes lets me sleep in my diaper and mom would never let that fly!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Enjoying our time

I think last week may have been the last of my "oh #$*^, there is a baby coming home with us in a few weeks" moments. Let's just hope, right? I lounged in anxiety last week just feeling all clingy and needy and scared inside but only acting paralyzed on the outside. Luckily, I made my list....THE list.....and felt a little better afterwards. More so, the best husband and I know and the most gracious mama I know jumped into action to knock some things off the list that only seemed to get longer every time I walked by it hanging in the kitchen.
So this weekend we spent busying ourselves with baby-preparation activities including but not limited to moving the largest and nicest piece of furniture we own down the stairs without a scratch, moving several pieces of furniture for the baby's room upstairs, hanging curtains, rearranging the common spaces to give Brooks room to get in trouble and the baby room to swing and bounce, washing newborn things and trying unsuccessfully to find pieces to anything baby (why is it that every baby thing we own is missing atleast one non-integral but still obvious piece?) Oh, and if it sounded like I had anything to do with the above - I didn't. Literally, I have been paralyzed and unable to even tie my own shoes (because of my belly and paralysis) and therefore, I have watched as my two favorite busy bees tried to calm my nerves and get rid of my daunting list.
But, we really have enjoyed these first days of July. For the first time in a very long while I don't feel like there is a ticking clock around my neck waiting to ding when the baby is done cooking. Honestly, I've almost tried to forget about what is about to happen and rather just live truly in the moment with Brad and Brooks. This weekend we were "sprinkled" with support, encouragement, and diapers!!!! Seriously, we may have enough diapers to last through next Spring and Brad says at that point that we'll just go ahead and potty train them both! Go right ahead, Brad. I came away from this time with girl friends feeling so loved and so at peace about God's story for our family. In the midst of a crazy two years and a move in the middle - it is so humbling to know there are some dear girls who are still very committed to me as a friend and to our family.

We have approximately 5 weeks left as a family of 3 and here are just a few of the things we plan to do or un-plan to do....meaning, we have no agenda and I couldn't feel more rested and excited to enjoy a few weeks of nothing with my two favorite boys.
*enjoy the thunderstorms! Beware - call before visiting if it's raining in Atlanta because Brooks and maybe his pregnant mother likes to enjoy a summer thunderstorm with little clothing restriction
*eat a Yoforia yogurt almost everyday and sometimes twice
*see a movie or two and eat the buttery popcorn
*eat at Brooks favorite restaurants - Cafe at Pharr, Taqueria del Sol, and OK Cafe (or maybe my favorite's!)
*enjoy a baby that sleeps 12 hours at night and still naps for 2-4 hours a day. Oh boy, I am not ready to get up 3 or 4 times a night! It's crazy how you forget about those early, exhausting days
*enjoy the last few weeks of my 2 years of pregnancy-treatment. No longer can I ask Brad to do silly tasks that I can probably do but convince him I can't because of the baby's hiccups or something ridiculous
*enjoy an over night date night or two we hope! (Babysitting anyone?) There's nothing like waking up to a snoring husband and just laying in the bed for as long as you want without the mini-me begging for "ma-ma" from his crib!
*enjoy most meals out because I can't use the I'm too big and too hot to cook excuse much longer
*enjoy time with our friends that may not want to go out with us when we are man-to-man coverage. I am pretty sure some of you sweet friends will boycott our family of 4 for awhile - atleast until we get this new thing under control.
*enjoy not pushing myself at the gym because the extra 15 minutes of cardio doesn't do much for me these days anyway - but it a few months I plan to be G.I.Jane and FINALLY have my pre-baby body back!!!!
*enjoy eachother. I really have enjoyed just being with Brad lately. It's kinda felt like those first months of marriage where you just like to be near each other even if there isn't anything to say. This is so refreshing because as any married couple knows - those first giddy feelings don't stay around forever but goodness, when they come back throughout the busy years - it feels so good and relaxing! Plus, Brad is hot! Ever since I started gaining weight Brad has decided to get buff on me and I am enjoying watching his inner-stud come alive!

Of course, all of this enjoying that I plan to do may be cut short if my belly continues to tighten and contract the way it has today. It is waaaaaay too early to be feeling any of those unforgettable feelings. Way too early, baby! Do you hear me. TOO EARLY!!! I need a few more weeks to relax and watch other sweet people take care of the list!

And because of every decent blogger knows that no one reads their words and just skips to the pictures of the chubby one year old (though he is losing some of his beloved "chub") - here are some pictures. You're welcome.

Brooks flirting hard with Ally Grace. They were playing some kind of baby footsie. Ooh la la!

Show me your teeth, goofball!

My new place to play during the middle of the day. My mom is so smart! (Don't worry - she is right next to me the whole time because she actually gets to sit down on the potty next to my "playpen" and watch me play without chasing me around!)

And a few pics from this weekend's wonderful "sprinkle" hosted by my mama and my dear friend, Loretta! The girls below are all a part of my bible study from years ago and we are all due within 10 days of each other (except for the hot 50 year old, Loretta)

My mom's lovely decor and some of my favorite foods (and the little growing baby's)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

We've been home recovering from our vacation this week. Brooks has boycotted naps ever since we left our vacation home (of course, until 10 minutes ago when I had planned for us to go somewhere. Of course!) Amos has been sulking for 3 days now and has yet to come off of his couch. It's really kinda tragic. Amos ran and frolicked with the other two dogs during our vacation and he never once sat down. At night when the other dogs were asleep on their end of the house Amos would lie by our door just waiting until we released him in the morning to go join his pack. Now we bring him home to his house where he has his own doggy door and really expensive organic food and he wants nothing to do with us. I'm thinking he is not going to like the surprise coming his way in a few weeks.......
I've been avoiding the abundance of dirty laundry for the last 3 days, knowing that acknowledging the laundry will officially put an end to our summer vacation. The growing baby....well he hasn't skipped a beat. I am not being sarcastic and I am not embellishing this in anyway - this baby reminds me of Lady Gaga on a trampoline after an overdose of whatever she is on. I can't possibly forget for even one minute that there is a baby just around the corner because there are no moments that this fellow is still or sleeping. The best reminder is when he has hiccups below my belly button but is doing calf raises in my rib cage. And as for the little guy's dad - he better have soaked up his vacation time because this weekend starts baby boot camp around our house. There has literally not been one thing done to get ready for another person in this house. Were the baby to happen to come tomorrow, let's say, he would sleep in our top drawer and live in a diaper that is 3 sizes too big. I definitely don't feel the nesting instincts like I did the first time but I am overwhelmed by the things that we need to do to even bring a baby find the carseat! So, unfortunately, we will spend this weekend checking one of the 27 things on the "Get Ready for Baby" list (seriously, 27 things). Brad says as long as there are some cold drinks in the fridge - he is happy to see to my not-so-little list.

Anywho, here are some pictures that captured our week "away."
I played in the pool with my buddy Lee.

I ate MEXICAN on the 4th of July. My parents are nuts.
I played in the pool with the big guy. He turned the water blue....not me!
And I played in the pool with the big lady who never seemed to get out of the pool for 4 straight days. Something about being huge and hot and needing to stay wet she said.

On the last night of our vacation - I fled to our neighborhood for some much needed girl time. Let's just say 6 girls - 4 of which are "with child", a bottle of wine for the other lucky two, and paint brushes make for a fun night "out" on the town! I painted my picture for Brad's office but for some reason he has forgotten to take it to work everyday. Nights like this make me so thankful to live close to a bunch of girls - that like me, need a night to themselves every so often.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh heavenly days

My old roommate, Kat, introduced me to Patty Griffin for the most part. Though she would freeze my bra or kick me to a curb if I admit this little story on the world wide web - I'll tell you anyway because I love her I would only do it if I knew she was going to be famous one day so my silly stories won't matter. She would sing in one spot in our old house, aptly named the Terrace. She has a breath taking voice but not in a Whitney Houston kinda way....more like a Jennifer Nettles or the sweet raspy voice of the girl singer in Lady Antebellum. Kat sang at my wedding and I have a cd of the moment that never leaves my disk changer in the car. It was truly one of the more special things that anyone has done for me. Anyway, she can play the guitar and sing like no other person I know. We would beg her to sing and she wouldn't but occasionally we could catch her in her spot. When we did catch her she would most often be singing a Patty Griffin song but better than Patty herself.

So, Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin has since been once of my go-to songs when the moment is just right or especially when the moments aren't seeming so right but I am needing to be reminded that it is all okay. Well, this weekend all of the moments were so right.

Brad and I have been "stay-cating" in Atlanta for the past 5 days and I don't know that I've had a more relaxing few days since our honeymoon in St. Lucia. I am sure it is the lurking "change" that has caused us to grasp these days together and squeeze ever last drop of simplicity and normalcy out of them. To be honest, it is so rare that Brad and I just sit and enjoy each other. I know that sounds harsh to admit to an online following but I think it is true for most couples but every other couple looks at other couples and thinks everything looks perfect. It's not that we sit and do the opposite and fight or throw things......we just seemed to be tired on any given normal day to really enjoy the things that first brought us together. Fortunately, this weekend was so rare and we truly have enjoyed each other - and our differences all weekend. Why does it take us not being in our own house in our normal environment to just laugh together and at each other? I don't know this answer and I don't care. The bottom line is that this vacation of sorts has truly been just what the doctor and therapist ordered.

Brooks has enjoyed exploring all umpteen thousand square feet of our temporary home. He asked me "how come our whole house would fit it in this kitchen?" I told him that love grows in small places and he gave me a big ole hug! Still, the space has been sooooo nice! Brad and I have brushed our teeth 4 times a day just because we could about run a 1/2 mile in a circle in our temporary bathroom all the while cleaning our teeth! More so, we have enjoyed the pool 18 hours out of each 24 hour day. I know a pool in a back yard can be troublesome but when you are just house sitting - it is heavenly! Brooks has taken super long afternoon naps and Brad and I have followed suit all weekend and napped on a float in the privacy of our own back yard.

Yesterday we had to run to our real home to pick up a few things and neither of us really wanted to open the door because even though we have only been 10 minutes away - we feel worlds away and even driving in the neighborhood momentarily seemed to bring an early end to our perfect getaway! So, yes, the scenery and the space and the newness of a different place have been ideal but as I said, it's the other stuff that has been so wonderful. My heart has grown bigger in just 72 hours. Any stress over the imposing of a new human in our lives has fled my shoulders (well, lets say most of it) and actually there is the first touch of excitement over this new chapter. But most of all, my heart feels so grateful for the first time in a long while.

That sounds so icky to admit but it is so true. It's not that I have been ungrateful or bitter - just kinda stale and unphased by this huge blessing. Really, I probably can say for the first time in full honesty that I know this is a blessing. As I watched Brooks learn to pick himself up this weekend when he would fall down and then proceed to almost run to get his ball out of the water - I could just about picture these two precious brothers exploring the outdoors in about a year from now while I watch - and my heart melts. Saturday I sat outside among the perfect landscaping while both of my boys slept. I just sat alone and breathed as slow as I could make myself (which isn't very slow when you are out of shape and huge!). I shut my eyes and for the first time was truly thankful to our heavenly father for all of my unexpected gifts in the past two years. As a friend wrote this weekend, my picture is not at all what I had in my head but it is soo good. It has certainly been a crazy three years for us between quick engagements, job transitions and two un-considered pregnancies...oh and two moves....but I sat Saturday and really, truly knew that the Lord knew exactly what He was doing. In the midst of giving all of these beautiful things to me and taking us through the ringer a few times - He is also drawing me so close to His heart. The devotional I've been reading, Jesus Calling, was all about gratitude on Saturday and I was so thankful that the words on the page seemed written to me - to be read at that exact time in that exact place.

As Patty Griffin's words have often followed other monumental events in the last few I know those same words will not only follow but proceed this new life. I can confidently claim that God has began a slow work in my heart and with nearly 5 weeks or less until our new baby joins our family - I am anxious to receive this new blessing. It feels so goo good to feel so good....I've missed this! Thank you, Father.

Oh Heavenly day
All the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today
With anyone

The smile on your face
I live only to see
It's enough for me baby
It's enough for me
Oh heavenly day
Heavenly day

Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here's a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few
Only that right now the only thing that all that we really have to do

Is have ourselves a heavenly day
Lay here and watch the trees sway
Oh can't see no other way
No way
No way
Heavenly day heavenly day heavenly day

No one on my shoulder
Bringing me fears
Got no clouds up above me
Bringing me tears
Got nothing to tell you
I got nothing much to say
Only I'm glad to be here with you
On this heavenly heavenly heavenly heavenly heavenly day
Oh all the troubles gone away
Oh for awhile anyway
For awhile anyway
Heavenly day

Oh heavenly day!

And if we ever decide to come home I'll post some fun pictures of our weekend away. I am thinking if we squat here a little while longer than legally we can stay??? Right?

Friday, July 2, 2010

To the rescue!

Crazy woman here. Good early morning to you. Why am I up so early this Friday morning? It's NOT because of a wobbling-one-year-old. It's not even because of a wiggling 8.5 month fetus. It's not due to itching, heart burn, or the need to use the bathroom either. No, friends. I am up early because I have a morning all to myself and I went to bed dreaming of the normal things I would do when I woke up all-by-my-crazy-self.
Last night Brad came home to a mess. This isn't typical so I don't mind sharing. I was in his pajamas (yes, the only thing that fits) and I was reading Brooks the Elmo book on the floor for the 6th time through a stream of much needed crazy-woman tears. After he assessed the scene and realized there were no cutting devices or ropes hanging from the ceiling he sent me straight to my first haven - the bath tub. Maybe it was 7 o'clock on a Thursday night with no dinner in sight but Mr. B's a smart man and he can spot a dangerous scene right away.
I crept into a long, hot bath (admittedly, probably too hot for a baby in the belly) and I would have stayed there all night long were it not for the pregnancy-itching that seems to worsen with heat. Sweet - it's July and only set to get hotter!) 20 minutes later I hear the door shut and Mr. Husband of the Year has done what he knows to do best when his wife is on the verge of breakdown (though I think I had already passed that point) grandma! So sure enough Brooks got to have a much needed spend the night party with Nise last night. I don't need to know anything more than when I finally called my mom to make sure she had the "package" - it was nearly 9:30 and Brooks was splashing around in the tub for the 2nd time in the night (following a 2nd dinner, a trip to feed the ducks, and a little ice-cream). Truly what happens at grandma's stays at grandma's I guess. I don't think the little guy has EVER seen the 9 o'clock hour! Oh well, Nise can enjoy any repercussions of a sleepy baby this morning while I.........

* will drink coffee by myself with NO cartoons on in the back ground
* will spend as much time as I want reading and having some prayer time before a God who I know thinks I am crazy, too
*will enjoy a used to be favorite breakfast at a local coffee shop with the Mr. of the house
*will leisurely fold laundry and put away dishes without rushing before a baby wake up
*will take Amos, our first child, to the dog park like we used to do every single day and show him some long overdo attention
*will shower again just because I can and there will be no little guy sitting on the bathroom floor entertaining himself with toilet paper while I quickly shave (hence, cut) my legs

Thank you Mr. B and Nise for coming to the rescue for the little guy. He couldn't figure out when Elmo started crying in the same book that we read everyday, multiple times a day, and I could tell he was a little concerned. I certainly don't mind a few tears if it means Brooks cuddles up in my lap and lays his head on my shoulder in his own way to assure me that I am not crazy....all the time. See you this afternoon little guy!

(And just to ease your dear, worrying minds....a few tears are pretty typical from me when I get home from the bi-weekly doctor's check up. I guess the reality of the "change" sets in a little more each time and I leave feeling completely inadequate, completely unprepared, completely large, and in need of just a few tears. This is another post for another day but it has alot to do with me not feeling the way I think I should feel once I hear this baby's heart beat and hear the news that he is perfectly healthy and happy. I carry alot of guilt over the "shoulds" in my life and per some very close friends counseling - that will be the first thing I sit and pray over this morning.....letting go of the "shoulds". Another wise friend told me yesterday "Don't go should all over yourself, Betsy." Perfectly said, dear friend. Perfectly said.)

HAPPY 4th of JULY WEEKEND! This is my favorite of Holiday weekends because of so many favorite, watermelon, cold drinks, sales at the stores, pool time, hot dogs, rice krispy treats, the color Blue and Red together.......enjoy this weekend with your favorite people! Mark my words - I WILL BE AT A BEACH, LAKE, or MOUNTAIN WITH MY FAMILY NEXT YEAR. NO MORE PREGNANCY'S TO KEEP ME IN ATLANTA AND AWAY FROM THE MAGIC THAT HAPPENS ON THIS HOLIDAY WITH FAMILIES. So, please, for me - enjoy yourself...especially if you are sitting on a beach or floating on a lake somewhere with all your siblings and family near by. I am admittedly jealous.