Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life with little boys

Otherwise known as the post of more pictures because my heart and mind are just tired and heavy these days so the words just aren't coming. Not to worry, there is nothing abnormal afflicting our family right now....just another move, a baby on the way, a few sleepless nights, and a minor surgery for our little man. So, yes, maybe there are some heavier things going on which have lead to the exhaustion but that doesn't masque the fun that I have had with these boys this Spring. I mean winter. Yes, it is really winter even though we are looooving this Spring like season. I can truly say that I have had the most fun sinking into my role as a mama these past few months. My husband reminds me that the better sleep that I have experienced is to blame. Therefore, anytime I start to get a little emotional or weary about this 3rd child coming soon - I am reminded of what this third pregnancy has done for me..and for us...this sweet unborn baby has given me my life back and I am forever thankful! Now if "he" wanted to come out with 4 teeth and crawling at about the 7 month stage I'd be fine with that too. :) Enjoy the pictures of the messy fun we've had lately!
Rain boots and church clothes - a perfect match.

Funny boys.

Afternoons at the neighborhood park...

A favorite evening ordeal...dressing everyone in hats?!?!
Saturday's at Mickey D's for hotcakes with daddy.
Going to "make money with daddy" at work according to Brooks
MUD! Yes, mine was that child swimming in the mud with his dear friend for an hour and a half last Friday as the other sweet mommy's begged their little boys to stay far far away. Pure pure little boy fun!

All clean! (Sort of...)
Brotherly love....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A post in pictures

Last weekend we made our first trip to the children's museum. It was the coldest day yet this winter and just our walk from the car to the front door proved that the decision to museum-it rather than hit the zoo was profound. Of course, every other 2.5 year old in Atlanta was there, too, but the little people didn't seem to notice.

Hello? Why have we not been here yet? I completely want to be a toddler again and get to see fishing and groceries and painting in this arena.....it was fabulous! Thank you cousin Max for turning two and inviting us to your big birthday! We love having little boy cousins so close in age. Cousins are truly the best thing next to your own kids. So maybe we can stop adding to our brood and let everyone else do some work?? Happy Valentines Day. Brooks did just wake up form his nap and asked me if we could go eat all his Valentimes? Oh boy.

Our newest cousin baby Samuel.

Best buds.

A cake for 48 from Costco? or 10.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On having three boys

I know I know...I am getting just a tad ahead of myself. I mean, we are not certain at all that this third thing in my belly comes with all the parts that a boy would require but as a mama of boys I KNOW! I just know I'll be talking trucks, circumcisions, boogers, and bugs in a few short months with another baby boy. Yes, it is partly just mothers intuition. They say you just know and I never believed whoever "they" are but this time I have more than intuition I have conviction. I'll explain that in a minute. More so, I had a dream! In both of the other pregnancies I had never had a baby dream and last night I dreamt Brad and I were in middle school and we were pregnant and my science book was stuck in my locker. That was the real predicament not the latter. This must have actually happened to me because I always dream that I have precious things still in my middle school locker that I never got out because I lost the combination. Anywho, the sweet baby came out and it looked just like William with glasses and immediately {in my dream} we said, "He's funny." He wasn't funny looking we just knew right away that he would be a funny kid. Interpret all of that however you like but I take it as God confirming my suspicion early (or affirming that I need a good counselor to flesh out this recurrent dream from middle school.)

{Okay, and added to suspicion is the odd exchange at the Perinatal specialist office a few weeks ago.} It went like this....
Ultrasound tech: So, Do you know what you are having?
Me: Yes, a boy. I mean, I don't know by proof but I know deep down.
UT: Well, you never know...people are always wrong about those feelings.
Me: yeah, well, I know
UT: Okay, so do you want to know? I am confused.
Me: Well, I am telling you I know. My husband only makes boys and it's all up to him. But, no, I don't want you to confirm my suspicion because for some crazy reason on our third we want to test our will power and not find out....even though we know.
UT: I'm still confused. Do you know? Did you see anything on an ultrasound before?
Me: Yes, the umbilical chord that I think was the penis. It's a boy and, yes, I don't want to know.

So....I can see how she was a little confused. Poor lady....just trying to do her job. She turns on the machine and immediately, I'm talking with the first shot she burst out laughing as the two femur bones were separated by what could be none other than the distinctly boy part that only baby boys develop! I told her I knew what that was and she embarrassingly left the room quickly still chuckling. It's like he was waiting for us in the perfect position to turn the little machine on and say "hellooooo mama! I'm gonna wear you out and I'm never going to get a manicure with you!" Now after that scenario would you, too, not be more confirmed that your third child would be another male? I am convinced and I have since only started to think of boy names and I've started thinking of all the fun places I can go ALONE on an all girls weekend in a few years when the FOUR boys in the house are out fishing and going to race tracks....or whatever else little boys do as I am still learning and slowly losing any femininity I ever possessed.

I may or may not have prayed once since then that God change the boy into a girl before May and not because I was even longing for a girl. Of course something different and someone to get pedicures with me later would be exciting but really, I love little boys and I feel like I am part of the secret world of boys that only a mama of boys could know. The thing is - I know my oldest boy, aka my husband, would secretly love a little girl to take on dates and to occupy me so I wasn't always wanting to tag along on the all-boy festivities in the years to come. My fear is that we may actually want more children and if that's the case in several years then we would have to again know that that 4th or 7th child could still be a boy..thus confirming my conviction that I'll explain next even more. My mom is one of 7 girls! No lie. I love telling people this in this child bearing stage of mine as it was never as fascinating to me as it is now. 3 boys is one thing - 7 is a circus and an obvious God-story to me.

A few weeks ago this hit me hard and though it might seem light to you or like I'm just bragging about my husband...that's not what it is.....it really is one of the deepest convictions I have ever had. Brad is a classic gentleman. At church on Sunday the speaker said he was a "sensitive male." I nudged Brad and gave him one of those "are you listening smiles?" While I wouldn't call him a fully sensitive male I wouldn't call him G.I. Joe either. He is truly the perfect balance. He has been sporting a little beard for the last several months and I secretly love it except if he wants a little kiss because as many of you would agree - a bearded kiss is like washing your face with an SOS pad. Not my personal favorite. Last night after our mini Monday date night out to sign mortgage papers we came back to our favorite Monday night past time - catching up on the Bachelor drama. I include that because that has to further prove my point - he'll watch the Bachelor with me! Anyway, he wanted a little kiss and I told him he reminded me of a "sensitive barbarian" with his beard. We laughed and tried to push him away and he preceded to make sure his beard touched every inch of my face just to be a little annoying and a little cute.

A sensitive barbarian isn't nearly as romantic as the way I've put it before. Here is what I have always thought about the person God chose to pair me with...he truly has the tenderness of a woman coupled with the strength of a warrior. I have met alot of great men in my life but very few "classic" men like this. One day soon I would love to just observe whatever his parents did while he was growing up because they got it right. Here are some gooey adjectives to bring this to light.....the tender strength that I am speaking about. Oh, and brace yourself while I boast....it'll only be a minute....

The husband and daddy of this home is selfless (like more selfless than anyone I've ever known), considerate, even-tempered, truly thinks of me and the boys first and sometimes at the expense of his own needs, he isn't extreme about anything which is so refreshing....very neutral, he is dependable, doesn't mind looking at antiques and he even has an opinion on china, he is aggressive at work, he is confident and doesn't waiver when the world throws him curve balls, leaves notes, likes to surprise and believes in romance, he'll get down on the floor to wrestle with the boys but also to get on his knees to pray for them too, he gets excited over little things, he is the first to apologize after a tiff, he sees the long run but doesn't gloss over the small details of today, isn't intimidated by men more successful, more wise, or seemingly more accomplished, he will happily partake in an interest of mine just to spend time with me, he has an appreciation for fine things but isn't motivated by them, is tenacious when it comes to his top priorities, he doesn't take things for granted but is also slow to accept accolades for things he has done, he is (sometimes too) easily pleased, he is not judgemental but is intrigued by differences in people, he humbly leads us but doesn't command respect - he earns it, he listens to me even if it means hearing about the insomnia I experienced for the 457th night in a row, he is easy going, doesn't hold a list of wrongs over my head, is forgiving, uplifting, opens doors, changes diapers even in public places without changing stations in the mens room and often before I even ask, he doesn't belittle me when I am wrong, he is a dreamer, a planner, a big thinker, he calls his mama, adores his sister, respects his Southern roots and more importantly his dad, doesn't care to keep up with the Jones', thinks for himself, isn't ashamed to cry especially on the days our first two children were born, he is always learning, he likes Jewel and Norah Jones next to a fire with a glass of wine, he is self-made and self-taught, could tell me about every gun, tree, or land form in New Zealand but yet has a unique interest in Lady Gaga, he is well-read, is an impeccable dresser and cares that his jeans aren't tapered and pleated, and his faith in a God who is supreme over every detail of our lives is the most solid thing about him. Phew...now breathe.

And that is why I will have anywhere from 3 to 7 boys by the time it is all over. The world needs more of my husband and I was let in on this notion a few weeks ago when I realized that God is giving me the opportunity to raise (for now) 3 little men to grow to be just like their daddy. That is quite an honor to me and a huge responsibility. I don't think for one second that I even know where to begin on that mission but my strong conviction about this theory takes the load off a little bit. I'll have help along the way. Ill have many many days and nights on my knees. Right now I feel like a sponge soaking up any tidbits of wisdom that I can from many reliable sources. More so, as I get to know Brad more in our 4th year of marriage, I can start to see just a little of what has made him who he is today. He knows he was and is loved unconditionally. I always joke with Brad that he could change his sex, leave his family, and join a cult and he would still know his parents approve of him. What a beautiful thing in a world that strives so hard not only for love but for acceptance? I know I still face this demon often with many of my own relationships. He also was given strict boundaries and that is another thing I know has helped shaped him. Children need boundaries. They thrive on routine and this is how they learn about the world around them.....within the confines of limits. Lastly, I think he knew he was exceptional but somewhere along the way he learned he wasn't the center of the world. Amen. This is where I struggle the most - where is that balance of building your children up to be courageous and self-confident but yet let them in on the truth that devastates many of us too late in life - that we aren't the center of it? Rather, they, too, are part of a bigger story...God's story. I strongly believe the sooner my boys get this little idea the better off they are which is certainly why I am so pro-big families! There isn't a better way to know you aren't the center of the universe than to welcome yet another baby into the home. As I've said before - I've experienced the most heart-warming moments not when the boys walked for the first time or said "mama" but when they first hugged each other or when I spy William copying every move Brooks makes - no matter how ridiculous it may be!

So bring on the mini-Brad's! Bring on the wrestling and the stinky feet and the mud and the transformers. Bring on the entertaining discussions in the bathtub about boy parts of which I know nothing. Bring on the first dates and the acne and the heavy conversations over dinner after rejection from a girl. But also bring on the trips to the farm, lessons on how to fish and hunt and how to pray - done no better by anyone else than their own classic, well rounded, strong, yet selfless man known as their daddy. Thank you, God, for this high and noble privilege.

In Max Hasting's book titled Warriors: portraits from the battlefield, he writes about General Chamberlain from the Confederate War: “General, you have the soul of a lion and the heart of a woman.” That is a perfect ideal to raise little these boys and that is why I am positive I'll be the mama of many boys.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life with glasses

After the initial 48 hours of the newest, smallest, yet most expensive thing that I now have to keep up with as a mom were over William has not seemed to notice the little boogers sitting atop his button nose. I know I should have a crazy excited opinion about these things because they've brought more life to my already lively toddler - I just have a little love/hate relationship with them. As most things in parenting go - the transition for me to give William glasses has been much harder than it was for him. He ate sugar for 48 hours straight just so I could keep his hands in his mouth and not on his eyes. And now almost a week later he is milking his new found cuteness for all it's worth. I called my husband who was out of town on the 3rd day of glasses and asked him, as a present glasses or contacts wearer, if glasses make him act like a nut at work? William has acted like he ate brownies sprinkled with a little mari-j-uana, yall. He spins circles in order to get to half of the places he is going, hence his new official name as "the tornado" and he reaches for things in thy sky...like way in the sky! He also knows he is getting the looks and gawks of everyone who walks by so he has used that power to throw the mother of all tantrums anytime we are in public. I mean, what mama could be upset with a toddling-four eyed heart throb?

As much as I have not adjusted well to keeping up with or cleaning these little pests, I do see the life they have brought to our son. It is so beautiful to watch him see the paintings of the elephants and giraffes on our church walls for the first time. His teacher at school today said she couldn't stop laughing at him as he saw things in the class for the first time, too. I am so grateful we found this little flaw at an early early age and now William can start to see and learn just like other little tykes his age. Any bets on how many days we own these glasses before I am headed to the doctor for our second pair?
The essentials now needed to walk out the door with two toddlers and a constantly hungry or thirsty pregnant woman are uncontrollable and quite embarrassing! We're just praying William will take some responsibility at his young age and keep them on his head....for atleast a month before were begging for more and thus squeezing every dollar out of flexible spending in FEBRUARY! Yay for new eyes!