Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An atypical day

Typical in the giiggles and that William is always entertained by the boss man but atypical in that daddy was home on a weekday.
We love when daddy plays hookie!

video

Still standing

Yes, can you believe it? We are finally checking in with our step-child, the blog. We left off with a big birthday for two special boys in my life and here we are almost closer to yet another birth month for our little-fat man. You know how it feels....on one hand it seems like time is standing still and the days just scoot along at a snails pace but in the next moment I feel like the weeks are soaring past me whether or not I like them moving that fast. So rather than trying to be up-to-date on here I will just try to shed light on what is most relevant.

*The boys are delightful {sans Brooks taking William's wrist on occasion and turning it until an adult screams MERCY!} Seriously, the boys are so entertaining and I know without a doubt that the boys are the perfect age to distract me from the other stuff that seems to be plaguing my mind. Thank you, God, for your timing. It is so crucial in these last few fragile weeks.

*Resting is an art, not just a habit. I feel like I have been asked nicely by authorities in my life {doctors, mamas, and Mr. Husband} to rest. They have afforded me time away from the kids and the house ample times but no matter how hard they tried {before now} I just couldn't "let go" as I have called it. Well, all my stalling and resisting came to a head this past weekend when I was literally forced, doctors orders, to rest rest rest. So for the last few days that is truly all I have done. We have had dinners brought to our house nightly, help each day to take care of the little ones, and some how the house has remained intact so I have had nothing to do but to sit and finally "let go" or "let down" after 8 long months. I am not sure really what was holding on to me and I wasn't even sure anything had a grip on me - I thought it was just normal mom kind of feelings but yesterday as I allowed myself to sleep well past the lunch time hour I felt so much healing in just fully letting go....and letting others help. Thank you, God, for real rest.

*I can only take care of today. I have been so vague on here about what we may be going through so many of you have probably concluded that I either have the dreaded "C" word or else I am talking to Snoopy all day long and have fallen off the deep end. Both are actually correct. I am sort of walking through my own cancer but being forced to only face the day and not the whole illness. I have spent too much time trying to label what we are going though. . . is it a crazy/unknown disease that has caused me to stay awake far too many nights than I can count? Is it a horrible anxiety that has just now surfaced? Or could it be just a bug hormonal mess caused from the roller coaster of babies and nursing? Really, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I look at each day one at a time and not try to look down the road at how we might face/treat whatever it actually is. I am so grateful that God has commanded me to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. As I wrote in my journal last week - "Yesterday I needed a companion and I had one, today I needed a rock for a husband and he came home early to be with me and tomorrow I'll probably need my mom and I know she is here for me. So, thank you, again, Father, for giving me exactly what I have needed each day...nothing more and nothing less.

Brooks goes to a mothers morning out like program two days a week. His teacher, Mrs. Stacey, is one of my more favorite people on this planet - always hopeful and never swayed by a bad day or a rough morning. At the end of her emails or texts to me she always has a saying for each week. I tell her each week that her motto for the week always goes perfectly with my week. This week "still standing" is her theme song. After a long journey that looks to have no end in the near near future - I can say I am so thankful to still be standing. And believe it or not, I am standing a little taller just seeing what God has brought us through and what he has already done as a result of our perseverance.

Seriously, pictures to come. Y'all have got to see how edible these little boys are these days! Oh my gosh....there are now words....you'll just have to wait for some pictures.

Still standing...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

70 and 7

Big Daddy (Brad's dad) turned a young but big new age yesterday. Brooks called to wish him a happy birthday and you would have thought we sent him on a trip to Hawaii he was so excited. I just love that don't you. The joy that all of the grandparents to our children express by just being in their presence makes me long to be a grannie. Of course I share a different kind of joy for our boys but I am just really attracted to the invaluable role of a grandparent. And as every parent would love to do - we are sending our gift down to visit this weekend in the form of a 18-toothed, giggling boy. Happy Birthday Big Daddy! We are so thrilled that all you wanted was our son for your special birthday!

Speaking of birthdays, our prince William put another one on his belt yesterday. Yes, we are over the half way mark and as I experienced the first time, I know we'll be flying to the finish line of the first year. This isn't out of desire but it's just the way it goes....6 months and then all of a sudden they are on the move and we have another one year old! I pleaded with God yesterday to allow me to feel every second with every fiber of me so that I could remember what a squishy, animated seven month old felt like once upon a time.

Whether we realize it fully now I know that William is the missing piece to our family picture. He provides balance and entertainment at just the right moment. He is snuggly and loves being held and I love holding him. He may seriously not crawl until he is two because I can't seem to put him down and if I try he lets me know that he liked the view from my hip much better.

We are still battling my hormones and the adrenal fatigue that has set up camp in our house as a result of having a baby right after a baby but all the strife in the world would not cause me to think twice about this sweet baby. He is so very special to me and he truly makes me smile and feel gratitude each day. And though he is much more of a snuggler than our first child, he has his fiesty moments and it is humorous to watch him "attack" his brother as if size is of no importance. We both love this stage - where you really start to see the personality of a child and we are excited about a fun spring and summer outdoors with our boys! Happy 7 month birthday, little William.

A few thoughts about you:
*You let me know you are ready to nap by arching your back and twisting out of my hands
*You haven't had one thing in your mouth that didn't appeal to you
*You love sweet potatoes and avocados most
*You sleep like a champ and I am so glad that you do because a non-sleeping mommy and non-sleeping baby would make for a horrific combo
*You hold a big wide smile on your face and then when you catch someones gaze your mouth opens even wider
*You wear 9-12 month clothes (and are unfortunately in opposite seasons than your brother was...)
*You LOVE the car!
*You love stroller rides
*You are way too big for the baby bjourn but I still use it in hopes to get some laundry done on occasion
*You are taking two naps if you are lucky, three if you are real lucky....unfortunately you have to go to your bro's schedule
*You sit on your own but have yet to roll over again since you learned how to sit
*We get to spend the whole weekend with just you! We can't wait to get to know you more!


Pictures to come I hope....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Predicament

You know how the other day I let you all know that I was partaking in an ice-cream sandwich. Who cares, right? Well, I am doing the same thing at the same time today and it has caused a little commotion in my little heart.
You see I grew up going to mass like every sweet little Catholic girl and even though I was dreaming of the cute boy in my English class that wore the brown Bucks (remember those, anyone? anyone?) I did go and it will always be ingrained in me no matter what church I attend. I even remember going to the Ash Wednesday service not wanting to wipe the ashes off my forehead as I walked out the door with my family. It was something about the tradition, the routine, the ritual. Usually in those years and on through college I used lent as a season to diet or at least prove to myself that I really could go a few months without an animal cracker. It was more a test of "will" as you can probably relate rather than a sacrifice having to do with my faith. Side note: If you have known me longer than 2 weeks you will know that I am unabashedly the queen of animal crackers. A title I hold very dearly. $1.99 a bag at Kroger and an absurd $2.39 at Publix and the bag size isn't half the size of the one at Wal-Mart for $1.79. I can tell you when Stauffers (the company) changed the branding and where you can find them in "mini","all natural (huh?), and "chocolate-minis." Anyway, I only made it one Lenten season without my quaint obsession and I would never do it again. (By the way - can a lay person say "Lenten?" It seams so pastoral?)

In college one of my roommates was religious about a sacrifice during lent and because I wanted to be just like her I continued to uphold my Catholic-roots. I know other denominations honor the weeks before Easter Sunday in the same fashion but typically if you meet someone in March and they aren't eating chocolate or drinking caffeine it isn't because they are all that disciplined but in my opinion - theyre out to prove(like me) to themselves that they can forego the very thing that will end up consuming their thoughts for the next 40 something days. I know this isn't everyone but a majority.

So here I am - 30 years into "me" and I still can't let Ash Wednesday slip by without hoping by the end of the day that I had accidentally not eaten, watched or listened to one of my terrible vices. With 6 minutes to go until 1pm I can assuredly say that today, this Ash Wednesday is just the same except I blew through any of my usual "sacrifices" within two hours. The boys were up eeeearly...like before 6am....so by 7:30 I had already had two cups of coffee (cross that one off), eaten a Reece's peanut butter cup that was crammed in the corner of the pocket of my bath robe {weird....gotta love being a mom} (cross that one off), eaten a handful of animal crackers for breakfast (check), checked my email and I am sure facebook (check, check), watched the morning news, looked in the mirror, atleast thought a curse word I am sure, and eaten a leftover french fry that I found in the car from yesterday's lunch.....sweet! I tell you no lies {disgusting, I know}. Just when I thought I had one item on my list of things that I crave I look down to find my sweet little ice-cream sandwich (another BOGO opportunity at Publix this week), half-eaten. Can I give up "eating a whole ice-cream sandwich?" meaning I can have half or less for the next several weeks but not the whole thing? Can that count or once again have a I failed before I even started?

I will write a whole different post about the Easter season and how it is my most favorite time of the year because of the redemption that I feel stirring in everything....in me, in the flowers that were slaughtered in the heat last summer but yet still somehow pop through the ground, in the anticipation of the Masters and the G-Day game (hallelujah) and most importantly, in the message of Jesus who is the only thing in my mind that can truly redeem any situation no matter how broken. But today I am talking about the Easter bunny kind of Easter. The one that puts out miniature Cadbury milk chocolate eggs only once a year and it is right at the start of Lent. Oh, and guess what other season is upon us in a comical fashion? GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SEASON! For the love of Somoas! Who ever thought delivering girl scout cookies at the beginning of lent was ever the appropriate thing to do? Even if Lent isn't your thing Spring Break probably is and between the combo of choclatey eggs and crunchy toasted coconut cookies (say that 3 times fast) Spring travel season has no shot at being glamorous.

Do you have any ideas of anything I may not have shoved in my mouth or subjected my mind to that I could use as my Lent sacrifice this year? I'll send my boxes of girl scout cookies to the one with the best suggestion.

Happy Ash Wednesday....and more seriously, thank you God, for this beautiful season and the story of your ultimate sacrifice. What a beautiful time of year!

***
And because I know you were dying to hear about the chicken I'll give you a brief recap in a "score" version.

Chicken - 5 stars - ***** (Certainly better tasting than anything I've ever tried from a grocery store and fairly easy)
Brad - 1 - *
Amos (the dog) - 2 - **
Leftovers - NONE
Me - ZERO

Atleast Brad thought I was June Cleaver for a whole 10 minutes which resulted in aaaa-mazing shoulder rub after the kids were in bed. Once again, our precious fluffy dog takes home the cake or the chicken, literally! I can laugh about this now but I was out of character when I came home from getting my hair cut last night to find that the four legged crook got a hold of the bird and the tin foil that was supposedly protecting the beautiful meal from harm before we were all home to enjoy it together. My stomach was so upset upon seeing this that I couldn't even eat my dinner. Better luck next time, I suppose....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eat more Chicken!

I called Brad yesterday and told him I had done something I had never ever done before. At the grocery store.

Brad's tone didn't even change when he said, "Did your pants fall down?" As if that would be a usual and customary phone conversation for us to have on a Monday.

"No, goober," I bought something I have never bought before. He reminded me that I do that every week as I get sucked into the BOGO offers at Publix way too easily. Then he asked if I bought lima beans and I reminded him I wouldn't do that if it was the only item left in the store and my family hadn't eaten in 4 days. Yuck!

"I bought a whole chicken. Like a real live chicken. Well, not really live but as close to live as I have ever come just hours before it makes it's way to our bellies."

Yes, friends, I did. I bought the WHOLE chicken. I have had women mention in the past that this is the "cool" way to eat chicken - parts and all for years now but I can barely even eat a chicken nugget without getting a little squeamish, let alone baste and dress my very own WHOLE chicken.

So for the last 24 hours I have been preparing myself mentally. Thoughts like "I think I can I think I can I know I can I know I can" just like the little engine that could running through my head. Yesterday all the elements aligned - the kids were both sleeping and the laundry was obviously being avoided but I just couldn't fathom even unwrapping the naked bird.

Then just a mere 20 minutes ago I sat before my chicken, just me and the chicken and some celery, and I gave myself a little pow wow and something in me decided I was ready (atleast for one day) to be the domestic diva that so many of my friends seem to be - atleast on their blogs. I wanted to take beautiful pictures of me and the chicken getting to know each other but really the whole affair was over in about 2.5 minutes as any second longer would have sent me over the edge.

But now that Mr. Bird is in the oven and everything from the front door handle to Brooks' shoes have been disinfected for possible flying chicken juices - I am feeling pretty amazing about our dinner for tonight and hopefully the next few nights. It really wasn't that bad.....and even if the thing blows up like the turkey on Christmas Vacation - it was worth the $14 (I chose organic) to just feel as confident, competent, and resourceful as I do now!

I take no claim in this little recipe. A favorite friend circled an email about 6 weeks ago asking for new dinner ideas. I've had friends do this in the past and it gets nowhere but this is the kind of friend you want to keep and you want to have as much of her as you possibly can so I immediately responded with my simple recipe. Then, another friend of "the" friend responded with the unthinkable....the whole chicken! Thank you, girls, for spicing up our meals around here and challenging me to think outside of the steamfresh veggies in a bag, and rotisserie chicken from Publix box(not that there is a thing wrong with that because I am sure I will be back to good ole Mr. Publix's already prepared and slimed and greased chicken next week).

Roasted WHOLE chicken
Umm yes, the first step called for rinsing the chicken. This may have been the worst part as I had to take the little guy by his wings which reminded me of getting William out of the bath. The two thoughts mixed and all of a sudden I didn't want to bathe the chicken anymore.
I proceeded.
The next step is to remove the giblets.
I called for help.
I called my father in law. Now most of you would not be able to say that but I am so happy that I can. If anyone on this planet knew what to do with a cold, whole chicken, he would. He told me about the giblets (I can't even write that word without gagging) and told me that if they weren't in the middle then they weren't there. This part really got me because I really thought there would definitely be a bag of stuff - stuff that I don't even want to imagine - yet there wasn't one and I am just so worried I just didn't look hard enough. Anyway, I went with his word and carried on in a very fast manner. The quicker the better.

I salt and peppered the chicken all over and then I brushed him with olive oil. On the inside I placed a half of a lemon, some garlic, and the lovely celery. I put him in the oven at 425 degrees to do his thing for the next hour and a half or as my friend said - until the juices run clear. Gag.

Anyway, I'm going to do more amazing things around the house while the boys nap. If I keep this up for any more than 3 days question my motives or any misuse of illegal substances. I hope to post a picture of a plump and smiling husband partaking in his very own whole chicken in about 6 hours. Hold tight!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Torn

Between these 40 fingers and toes.


And the dreaded things that cover those fingers and toes and everything in between. I don't think I have ever been as big a fan of nudity as I am now. It sure would free up my little free time!
Here is something extra just for you this Monday. I know my picture quality is terrible but I just love the picture below. B would do anything to be just like his daddy.

{P.S. - I am eating an ice cream sandwich right now. There is nothing more satisfying that I could think of to go in my mouth at this moment. Bring on summer time and ice cream sandwiches! Here's to hoping the little treat will give me some miraculous motivation to start conquering the laundry.....}

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not even $1,000,000 or a day at the spa

Bring out the choir and the champagne. Wear your best dress because honey, we are celebrating today! And by we I mean me because my other half is sick on the couch. Yuck. I'm choosing to believe that God gave us an immeasurable amount of grace today by giving me some energy and rest I hadn't felt in weeks on the very day that Brad would dive into the pit (rather than believing that this was just by chance). Since I am rarely your beacon of hope these days we are going to celebrate the good on this blog today and just kinda turn away from the bad (but all the while shout out some little prayers that my male nurse is better in the morning and that boys are happy as fat babies eating cupcakes).

You couldn't have given me any amount of money today in trade for the euphoric feelings that danced throughout my head and body all day. I don't know how I got there but I got to sleep last night and I logged the most hours that my bed has seen in many months. And let me tell you oh skeptical readers - SLEEP is sooooo good! When you are sleeping normally you would never even imagine what a night of poor sleep could feel like and today I was that girl (maybe a little drugged) but I was that normal girl wondering why people don't go to sleep at night. Crazies!

Seriously, today was a new day. Even if it was only one day and I have 10 more not-fun days today was a light in the darkness and it truly reminded me that all I need is a little shut eye to truly be back to functioning. So, thank you, thank you for your prayers this week. We are so grateful for today and for the lift in spirits that we all experienced (even the virus-ridden boy in the house).

This is what happiness looks like on the face of babes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

These things are for sure

Hello amigos. I have the same few thoughts before I write every single blog lately. I hope in the near future none of these thoughts come to mind when I go to write because there was a time not too long ago when I waited all day long to get to write online to our friends near and far. The thoughts are as follows:
*I really should be cleaning syrup off the legs of the chairs of the kitchen table
*I really should change out the laundry that has been in the washer for a day now
*There is so much to say...I don't know where to begin
*I am so exhausted I don't even know what to say
*Our babies are so edible right now - how can I capture their yummyness in a pill and save it for later because I KNOW I will not remember these days
*How can I be honest on here without sounding like we are in the pits

It feels good just to get past those thoughts that have stopped me from writing more frequently of late and just write for goodness' sake! And it feels even better to confirm some things that are true without a doubt around our house....

1)We have a real sitting, live baby who also eats everything flashed in front of him. If we ever thought Brooks was our eater we were wrong....Little brother would literally salivate over a piece of tin foil even if there was nothing in it. And I think it is pretty obvious that he is quite the epicurean.
2)We also have a real, live, not-made up, talking little boy which means we have the purest and best form of entertainment right in house every single day. I'll admit sometimes Brad and I will say some words that wouldn't normally be permitted (not like curse words but just gross words to us) just to have him repeat the word in his most innocent little voice. Good times, good times. I know it isn't possible but pleeeeeaseee someone stop the clock. My heart aches to see our little boy becoming more independent and more confident with the world. I know that sounds gloomy but it's true - I hate that we have so much else to tend to right now that I don't feel like we are able to fully soak up their little voices and little accomplishments. I pray every night (as I am laying wide awake) that we would be fully attentive to the little fellas the next day and not miss a moment with them as I know I will be wanting these days back very soon.
3)We are the most amazing plant killers inside the perimeter....or so we thought. Brad and I made a valiant attempt to bring life to the front of our house last summer by spending way too much money on plants that we killed within 10 days (along with the scorching temperatures). Well, this winter I finally got around to cleaning out the nasty flower boxes. I literally ripped the weeds out of the pot and cut off some of the dead flowers. What do you know? The weather perks up around here and we have ourselves some new plants in our little pots. Now, I know to many this is just the circle of life and it isn't any big "to-do" but you'd think we had a circus in our front yard each morning! All 3 of us (because William doesn't care about a plant yet unless it can be eaten) get even more excited than we were before that our dead flowers have come back to life. I know this is a far stretch but these little flowers give me hope that one day soon we will start to bloom again. More on that in a second.
4) Waffles. There isn't a thing more certain in our house than waffles. Brooks would have literally only eaten about 10 meals in his life if it weren't for waffles. Like mother like son I suppose because I, too, could make a life out of eating waffles. Thank you, Costco.
5)I'm going to brag so go away if you feel jealousy easily. It is for sure - I married well. Y'all, I can't tell you how well I have been taken care of these last several months as I continue to drag my poor husband down this unending quest to get my health back. I can't imagine a more patient person to walk through this valley with me. He listens and not just casually but actively and he is more interested in my doctor appointments and conversations with pharmacists than even I am. I know there will be more purpose uncovered for our marriage in the future but right now I know that God had me walking through this with only one person. Thank you, God, literally.
6)My baby bangs have already reached 2 inches long from the 2nd baby. Wasn't I just writing about these little pests from the firs?
7)Hormones are potent. We are 3 months into the longest battle I have ever faced and we are nowhere closer to the end but we have learned alot along the way and this is one of the little lessons. Basically my body has just been zapped from 2.5 years of pregnancy and nursing and it doesn't even seem to know where to begin to fix itself. I am so grateful that we are uncovering every rock and looking at every option for some answers. I just can't believe I am 30 and talking about my hormones or lack there of.....
8)Our God is so good. He is so merciful. Last night Brad woke up around 3am when I was whispering prayers that God would go before us today and allow us to enjoy the day even though it looked like I wasn't going to get much sleep. I can attest - my prayers were answered. It amazes me daily - no matter how bad the night was or how long the day might seem before I can take a shot at sleep again - He gives me just enough to get through whatever the day may hold. I can truly say through all of this that the Lord is my shepherd and I KNOW He is leading me somewhere. That is truly the most sure thing I know.