Sunday, May 30, 2010

Monkey turns ONE!

Though I haven't officially had to tell anyone that I have a one year old the reality has finally set in and I am..... managing. On the other hand, Brooks is loving his "toddler" life and embracing it with flying colors. This week I was officially told "No" by my once sweet baby boy. I was shoved away as I tried to steal a kiss on his chubby cheek. In the very same day I was greeted by a screaming toddler at the church nursery after reading earlier in the morning from my ever-faithful email that my 12-18 month old will start to show signs of separation anxiety. Why do these emails always have to be so spot on? I could have been fine skipping this little obstacle of separation anxiety. More so, Brooks wants to walk where he wants to walk, feed himself with his own spoon though not a morsel of food has ever come close to staying on the spoon or getting near his mouth, and he wants to put on his own shoes with no help. Little Mr. Independent must know that he is now not a baby {on paper} and the world is his own little oyster of exploration! Oh goodness, this is going to be a crazy year!

As has been noted - I was just a tad emotional leading up to the big day. I couldn't believe all of the stages that had came and went. I never really knew the "hype" that came with the first birthday. It's like this funny feeling of accomplishment. We watched for a year as the baby hit all the milestones right on track, blew out the so-called statistics with his weight and size, and developed just so. Then, you get to one and feel like you should be able to breathe a little only to realize the race has just begun. I seriously have no clue what happens next. I knew at 6 months he may crawl and 10 to 12 months he would start to walk. I knew he could eat real food around 9 months and a tooth might pop through any day. Now I am not sure whether he will be kissing girls this year or riding a tricycle or learning to jump? I guess that will be the beauty of this next year - Brooks will set his own path as he has always done and continue to amaze us as he grows....and wear us out. Cheers to this next year of parenthood with two boys!

Brooks' party was a blast. I think Brad and I had more fun visiting with family and friends and entertaining in the first time in our house. I loved preparing for the little man's big day and getting our house all colorful for the festivities. Brooks was a little slow to dig into the cake but once he got into the middle there was no turning back. After cake we pulled out the luxurious pool and let the babies enjoy a day at the beach! {This turned out to be a Huggies swim diaper commercial!} The boys weren't as keen on the frigid water as the little girls were but they were all entertained nonetheless. Once all of friends left to go home for a good afternoon nap, Brooks entertained the family by opening his gifts - baby style - in his diaper. It really was a perfect day for the little monkey. He loved the attention and we could tell that he knew the show was just for him. Here are a few pictures from the day.......a little late but worth the wait.

Happy first Birthday Brooks!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Duck Duck Duck

Yesterday Brad and I spent the day recuperating from the weekend. It may have been one of my favorite days as a family yet. The little guy was so content playing in his new cozy coupe car that we literally could have gone to the movies and come home to find him opening and closing the door and placing the same cups in the cup holder!
thats right folks, the 30th anniversary of the Little Tikes cozy coupe has cup holders and Brooks must always have his cup holders serving their purpose. Once we could finally pull Brooks off of his car we ventured to see the millions of "ducks" or fish at the Georgia Aquarium. Ironically, though Brad and I have been faithful Atlanta residents for some time now we have yet to do any of the touristy things that Atlanta has to offer. More than that, BRAD HAS NEVER BEEN TO A ZOO OR AQUARIUM!!!!! Or so he claims. I go to bed every night feeling sad for him. Poor poor Brad. I can't wait to take him to the zoo sometime soon but yesterday we did get to check one thing off of our bucket list so I can sleep a little easier.

I normally would say that a 1 year and 1 day old may not appreciate the gazillions of fish at the aquarium but Brooks was in heaven. Every animal is a duck or a dog at this stage and every animal makes the little man smile. He loved to lean his head back in Brads arms and stare at the fish above his head in the fish tunnels. Brad and I decided that our poor children are going to have to enjoy theme parks before they are 3 because after 3 you have to pay for admission and goodness, yesterday would have been a small vacation with a family of 4 had Brooks and Baby B been any older! Anyway, my favorite fish was the giant grouper. It reminded me of Brad - laid back, big eyed, and content. Brooks seemed to like the turtle the best and Brad just liked being sick and having to stay home from work.

Though he loved the aquarium I think he would have been fine at home in the patio with the inflatable pool and blow up fish....not because the aquarium was disappointing but because our patio was that perfect this weekend!

{This picture is just hysterical to me. I can't even talk about me in this pic - let just say HUGE. Brad seems like a neuroscientist with his collar wound a little too tight and Brooks just thinks we are both goobers. I love it!)
So of course we headed home for beach Bagwell where the babies wear diapers and the adults can relax with ease knowing the diapered babies are thoroughly entertained by the new toys and the inflatable pool. Ahhhhhh.......what a perfect day as a little family after a wonderful but exhausting weekend! I know it sounds crazy but even walking around the aquarium with my boys I kept thinking "when I have my own family I'll take them to the aquarium and then go do a pic nic in the park." Um hello, this is your life, Betsy. You are there! I know you may call me crazy or you may know exactly what I am talking about....I have the hardest time living in the moment and being fully present. This birthday weekend was a good jolt for me - making me realize that these are the days to remember - and they are going by so fast. My some day is now and I am just grateful for the big kick in the booty this weekend that has opened my eyes to realize that time won't stop.....even for me! Someone told me last week that as a parent "The days are long but the years are short." So true, my friends. So true.

Partner with me by constantly reminding me to live in the present and enjoy God's blessings for the day - rather than what may or may not happen in the future. Carpe Diem!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's official and I am SAD!

After a huge day of toys, balloons, water diapers, more balloons, cake, giggles and more - we are all pooped, even Amos! So many details to come but I just had to report the following. It's 5 minutes until 9pm and the big boy is fast asleep from a long but amazing day. Brad and I aren't far behind. Thanks to all of the good-chaos I wasn't as emotional as I anticipated because I didn't have time to get sad. Well, except for this morning as I sat and gave Brooks his bottle. My baby drank his bottle in my lap and it sure was the best gift he could have given me. He does this every morning but today was just so perfect. Thank you, Brooks.

Anyway, I just sat down to start downloading my pictures and in the corner of the screen the days emails start popping up. Babycenter. com - you are the devil. As if today wasn't hard enough the boogers send me an email titled MY TODDLER THIS WEEK. Are you kidding me? Every week for the last 52 I have received an email that is titled MY BABY THIS WEEK. B-A-B-Y not T-O-D-D-L-E-R!!!!

I am irate and now officially a wreck. Why must they rub it in so? At the end of such a perfect day? I might just boycott and no longer pay attention to these usually helpful little emails. Ouch ouch ouch.

Anyway, off to cry to sleep and then wake up and pretend it all didn't happen as I refused to take down the balloons and the decor. We may just celebrate for another two weeks. We just may. I will beat this "growing up" thing if it kills me!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This time last year

I have been busying myself all day in order to dristract me from the obvious. The baby will have spent an entire twelve months in our presence as of tomorrow and I am really having a hard time with it. Yes, I love planning a party and I love having our family and friends over to celebrate (well, Brooks' friends) but that doesn't hide the fact that I am an emotional basket case today underneath my dirty hands and the dust all over my shirt. Brooks and I went to pick out a birthday balloon because balloons are his favorite and thus, the theme of his first birthday party. I loved our date to pick out his balloon but I just didn't want his balloon to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I almost bought him the only other one left - a princess balloon just to stray from the obvious.

I really am in utter disbelief that this little guy has gone from hibernating all day to noticing the world around him to touching the world around him to trying to eat the world around him to now attacking anything in his world - with excitement and wonder. Oh, here comes the tears. I am hoping I am a wreck because baby number two is making me be this way. I blame everything on him these days but I know I'll love him just the same and have these same sentiments next year when little guy's birthday is approaching (but I GUARANTEE I will NOT be pregnant!)

Any who, I am sure after the anticipation of the day tomorrow I will have a fun-up beat post for you on Monday but today, I admit, I am a little sad that time must go by so quickly. Last year at this time exactly I was out walking around my parents neighborhood. I was getting ready to celebrate my sister's high school graduation but while the preperations were in order I set out in the neighborhood to walk this baby out! I walked for two hours, then ate spicy Mexican food and went to bed thinking that the baby should make his enterance since it was a holiday weekend and I'd had my foot massage. I was hoping he would wait until about two the next afternoon though so I could atleast see my sister walk to get her diploma but by that time I was about to start what would be 2.5 hours of pushing the larger than once thought baby.

So, in similar fashion I will eat some Mexican tonight and maybe treat myself to a pedicure this afternoon (not a foot massage because we definitely don't want labor this early!) Then, I will go to bed and wake up knowing tomorrow we will have a one year old. Not a baby - a one year old.

Here's a look back on the first 11 months. Oh, little man, why must you pull on my heart strings each month a little more than the month before. I can't even look at these without a giggle and a tear.
*Note: we have moved twice, had 3 jobs and are now pregnant again - by the way - so maybe I forgot a few months.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My 29 year old husband

Today is this guys birthday. I have been looking forward to a post entirely about him for weeks now but as he has self-predicted, the almost one year old trumped his day. Really, he didn't but he is WALKING and that is kind of a big deal. More so, this morning my writing was interrupted 4 times by Brooks showing off and walking into the kitchen and where else without me knowing. Brooks just likes to do things on his dad's birthday so we'll always remember his kid!

Really, though, I love this person to pieces and he - for some reason loves me despite my constant state of pregnancy/hormonal craziness. So, in copying fashion from one of my favorite friends - here are 29 amazing reasons why I love the birthday boy!

1. He is am amazing dresser. Despite sporting a wide array of tight Jordache jeans throughout high school and college he is now probably the best dressed guy I know. I know it is so surfacey- but I've always secretly hoped the person I had to look at everyday new not to wear tapered jeans and nike tennis shoes.
2. His happy face that he doesn't always know he does (Emilie, you know what I am talking about). It is so stinkin cute!
3. The way he provides for the 2.5 of us every single day without complaining and without even getting half the praise and accolades he deserves.
4. He is constant, stable, consistent, steady. That is exactly what the Lord knew I needed.
5. He loves Jesus more than he loves me and Brooks and anything else on this earth.
6. He likes my cooking - even if it is breakfast for dinner for the 3rd time in a week!
7. He drives a big truck. H-O-T!
8. Brad loves spending time with Brooks and doing "man" things and I love to watch.
9. More so, he jumps to help with Brooks whether it's changing a diaper or giving a bath and anything else. What kind of male doesn't have to be asked or prompted or bribed to do these things?
10. He kissed me on our 2nd date.
11. He looks hot in his high school practice shorts from the basketball team.
12. I like it even more when I get to see him play basketball.
13. He is a classic, traditional, kinda guy - raised by an amazing family who taught him to have the strength of a warrior but the tenderness of a woman. He loves his mama and you know what they say about a guy that treats his mama right? MARRY HIM!
14. He doesn't mind my mama (and best friend) and our 6 conversations a day and actually he often likes her more than me!
15. Two words: Cowboy Boots.
16. He is driven, determined and dedicated to whatever the task or goal attractive.
17. He is well spoken and most of all thoughtful with his words. He despises sarcasm and is careful and slow to speak. How admirable!
18. He likes good music. Lady Gaga and Jewel to name a few and to see him "rap" to the latest hip hop song on 95.5 the beat is quite entertaining.
19. He is easy going and doesn't get upset over little things. God knew I needed that kind of husband too.
20. He adores his family and cherishes his background even though his world now is very different. I love a guy that adores his family and his roots.
21. Did I say he looks good in Diesel blue jeans and cowboy boots?
22. He KNOWS above anything that God is sovereign and in control even if it means job changes, surprise pregnancies, and other life obstacles.
23. He likes to rub my head....almost every night (maybe that is just because I have been pregnant for two years and he feels bad so maybe I should stay pregnant? Umm...NO.)
24. He rides bikes with me, roller blades (and is actually really doing tricks off park benches kinda good), takes me on hikes, and loves to be outside as much as I do. In addition, he is the ONLY guy I have ever seen to be able to go on a fast walk and not look like a girl.
25. Brad is smart. Like one of those really smart people that you would never know is smart because they don't walk around telling everyone how smart he is but he so much smarter than everyone else. You should see the weird books he has read! More so, he has self taught himself alot of stuff that his Forestry degree didn't teach him. I love when he starts to tell me about something that he knows alot about - he gets real excited to talk and has the best details.
26. In the middle of the night when I can't sleep and I ask Brad a question like Brad, what do you think about the oil spill? Or What would we do if a tree fell on the house? or Why is the glove compartment named the glove compartment? - he ALWAYS answers me even though he is fully asleep. He doesn't know have of what we half talked about but I love that he never lets me feel alone.
27. He looks quite sophisticated and intriguing in his glasses.
28. He writes me letters, listens to me whine/complain/cry/worry, takes me to my favorite places to eat, will be seen in a jewelry store or a women's store, tries to dance because he knows I love it, and doesn't mind when I eat his food even if I said I didn't want it.

Happy 29th Birthday, Mr. Brad. I hope you had the most perfect day and that you felt adored by your little guy and me. We are so lucky to have you as our husband/father/leader and best friend. I love you, Brad!

Recap of the birthday celebration: Thanks to Nise, Brooks is fast asleep in Marietta at his spend the night party and Brad and I just enjoyed the longest dinner we've had in years at Kyma in Buckhead. We ate way too much and didn't worry about any diets or getting back to relieve a babysitter. Then we were crazy and went to take a tour of his top floor office with a perfect view of the city. Now we are being old and married and watching South Park - not because we love it but because Brad does and it is his birthday and that is what he wanted so I am going along.

Tomorrow morning we are going to get some breakfast together while Nise is feeding Brooks waffles, pancakes, and probably whipped cream because that is what grandma's do during slumber parties. I am just grateful that I get to enjoy a quiet night and morning and it isn't even my birthday! Thank you Brad, for having a birthday so I can have a shower alone tomorrow and sit in my robe for a little bit all by myself.

Happy Birthday, B-rad. We really are so lucky.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

There's no going back

That's what Brad JUST told me as I sat wallowing in my chair exclaiming how sad I have been this week that my baby boy is growing up. He is officially walking! I am really kinda stunned at how all this happened and therefore in mild disbelief. Mothers Day he would just barrel forward and hope something would catch him. Then this past weekend he would let go of the furniture and stand alone for minutes at a time just contemplating his next move and I think, personally just taking in his pride and joy that he was standing alone. Then all of a sudden today he let's go of my finger and just walks to where he wants to go. Just like that. No warning. No squeeze of my hand to let me know he is off - nothing....just flat out walking many steps over and over and even making a few turns. Today he walked from the slide at the park to the cozy coupe cruiser car which had to be atleast 100 feet. No exaggerating!

I AM SO SAD. That sounds so selfish of me but I am just not ready for my little baby to not be a baby. Why must he intwine himself in the strings of my heart and then overnight start to pull away from me and {gulp} grow up???

I've been warned about these feelings for the past 20 months since I first learned I was pregnant with the little guy and now it is here - he is spreading his wings and walking to things rather than using me as his cool taxi.

More on this later. I can't compose my over-emotional-pregnant self right now and I need to go and stare at the big-little man as he sleeps {warn out from his new tricks} and pray harder now that I don't miss each day with the little booger.

How can someone cause such joy and turmoil in my heart all at once? How can love get any bigger than this? Oh, Brooks, it's gonna be a tough week on your mama as you approach your birthday this weekend! Just bear with me sweet boy and pass me a wet-wipe.

I want to be just like dad

My dad is so cool. I get so excited in the afternoons when mom says, "Where is dad?" I know that means he is about to walk through the door so I do my speedy crawl over to the door all the while trying to scream but I end up sounding like I am just gasping for air. Mom seems to ask me where dad is alot. She must really miss him, too. She always asks me after I have had a few too many stinky-stinky diapers in the morning. She is so funny! I love when dad gets home and picks me up and throws me around and then asks about my day. Lately my days have been so busy! I figured out this whole walking thing and it really is about coolest thing I've learned in my 12 months. Since I have started trying to walk everywhere I get really really tired in the mornings and at night when it's bed time. Mom says she loves when I get worn out from the day and I fall right asleep. She thinks I didn't see her but last night she creeped into my room when I was dreaming about girls and she took my picture. She is not very sneaky at all but I won't tell her that. Anyway, my dad sleeps like this, too. He knows best because this is the best way to sleep....block out all of the chaos of the day! Mom should try it too but lately she just keeps saying she hates sleep because my little baby brother wants to play all night. Maybe he should try sleeping like me and dad, too, and then he will sleep better at night. I'm just sayin.....
This weekend dad and I did 5 months of yard work in two days. Dad has always said he can't wait to have a yard to do and finally he has one! I love watching him push the mower for hours and hours and hours. I help him alot by picking up all of the sweet gum tree things that fall. My mom HATES these things but I like to find them and eat them and carry them around all day. She is missing out - she is so straight and narrow sometimes. Live a little, mama! Anyway, I heard dad ask mom if she would always bring us water with lemon slices in it and some home made cookies when we do yard work together in the future? My dad is a smart man - he knows just how to ask my mom for things to make her feel needed and what do you know - we had some refreshing water and snacks waiting on us! My dad says that my pajamas are too short in my picture below but my mom says they are just fine. She is crazy! I'm glad my dad would never let me leave the house looking like a goober! Anyway, it's his birthday tomorrow and he is going to be so old that I can't even count the years on my fingers and toes. I am going to spend the night with grandma Nise so mom can take dad to see a movie without me. They are missing out because when I go to grandma Nise's house she let's me play all day and I don't have to take naps and I get to eat whatever I want. Nise is such a sucker but that's why I love her! Happy early birthday, dad! Let's do yard work again all weekend??? Ooops - mom, just said No, no, no, no yardwork for you and dad! She doesn't want to hear my dad complain of aches and pains again for 4 days! They are so funny....those two.....

Monday, May 17, 2010

3 years ago today

I woke up knowing I was heading to the beach with a boy I had been dating for a mere 5 months. I also had a suspicion that it would be a pretty big weekend for us but that is all I would allow myself to consider - a big weekend in our favorite place - Seaside, Florida. And just that suspicion alone sent me into probably the biggest whirlwind of my life! I had two closings that day and they were both two really big deals that I had worked on for a long time. We weren't set to leave for the beach until later that night so I should have focused a little more on the closings at stake but I had a suspicion. And then that suspicion sent me to Tootsies' famed Tent Sale looking for a new something because if anything were to happen really big that weekend I needed to have a new something on my feet or my body. I did find a great pair of shoes which then sent me to the mall looking for a cute something to wear with my new shoes. All the while, closings aren't waiting on me, my work phone was going crazy that day but I just couldn't care for the life of me about anything else. This may be the weekend that changed the rest of my weekends forever.
(My cute Tooties' purchase were put aside for flipflops when I realized we were making a detour to the park - obvious in the picture above.)

What ensued that day were trips to get my nails done, some eye brow pampering, and a few nervous "what if" type conversations with my roommates. I ignored any phone calls from the boy or my mama because I knew my suspicion was too intense to actually have a conversation and not want to ask questions to confirm my suspicion and my whole life I had just hoped and prayed that on that special day I would allow myself to be surprised rather than do as I normally do and try to figure everything out.

So a disastrous (from all the unnecessary running around I did) afternoon later I was in the boys truck (that I had always been quite attracted to) heading to Piedmont Park in order to divert some of the traffic on the way out of town to the beach. I won't recount all of the details now because honestly, I was a little frantic that day (aka - witchy with a "b") all because of the unknown. For those of you that know me you may say I am somewhat of a planner. I don't have to have things planned all the time - I actually do better with spontaneity but if there is something to be planned - I want to be the one to plan it so having this whole beach trip and impromptu trip to Piedmont Park as a secret to me was a little painful and thrilling at the same time. Needless to say, I wasn't the most compliant girl that was about to be proposed to at her favorite place in Atlanta but then I wouldn't have a good story to tell and I'm all about the story.

Brad had my favorite flowers strewn all over a rock and the ground at a certain spot in the park. We walked holding hands through the park - me wondering why we were taking our merry time in the park when I just wanted to get to the beach to maybe get engaged.....Brad nearly peeing in his pants as he fumbled with the ring in his other pocket. When we came upon the beautifully set up place Brad dropped down to his one knee and time stopped. I say that romantically and humorously. You think your whole little girl life of this time - how it would happen, what you would be wearing, what you would say more than just "yes", who would be around (hopefully nobody), how long had he had the ring or done the planning? And then, I recall, my time had come and I was literally paralyzed. Before Brad got half his perfect words out I told him I would kick him if he was joking. How romantic.

Anyway, he read me a verse from the bible that he had also had typed and laminated and tied to some flowers for me. I said yes and then jumped on him and for the next hour I just kept asking him if that really just happened. Many people may agree - engagement is such an ethereal thing....something you can't truly fathom until you are in the moment and then when you are in the moment - it doesn't hit you that it just happened until days later. Needless to say I was a little stunned even though I had a suspicion that that weekend may just be the weekend. For the first time in my life someone had surprised me by not proposing on the beach under the sunset as I thought anybody would do. I love that Brad knew that this ride with me as his bride would be a challenging one and he was up for the challenge from day one - with a sweet little surprise at our favorite date spot.

We went on to celebrate with my family for dinner and then his family for a midnight visit before we hit Seaside for several wonderful days doing our favorite things and celebrating the question that I was so excited to say yes to!

Happy 3 year anniversary from our perfect engagement Mr. Brad! What a fun week we have ahead celebrating engagement, your birthday and the little man's first birthday! I am so lucky to get to walk next to you everyday in this adventure called life....I can't believe all that has happened in just 3 years! Thanks for sticking with me and always challenging me to be love better and live more fully I love you!

Said perfectly

I just read this on my daily blog stalk and it is the most perfect way to describe how I feel about myself and this human inside of me right now. Enjoy. Keri, you are an amazing writer and will be the most perfect mama to a baby who already loves you more than you know by believing in God's perfect timing for HIs gift to you!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The bubble moves

Brooks started taking his first steps about 3 weeks ago. Each day he gets a little more brave and lets go on his own to get to what he wants. Most often he lets go when he shouldn't so he just lunges for the nearest stable object and if I'm around he'll even just topple backwards like a straight log - kinda like the trust fall just to make sure I am alert. He doesn't quite understand the balance thing yet and how that plays into walking but he'll get there. Nonetheless, he seems to be very proud of the progress he has made and we are too!
Any predictions? Another month before he is fully mobile or do you think he'll try to show off at his first birthday party next Sunday?
And again...

Pregnancy=4, Mom=0

Lionel Richie. I tossed and turned and went over baby names in my head because that was the last conversation Brad and I were having before my attempted sleep. Didn't I say we would NEVER do that again? By 6am this morning I decided on Lucifer Hulk Bagwell. So, of course little sleep and a one year old don't mix. And then it just went down hill from there - my body is doing things it never did the first time and limiting me from doing the things I did do the first time. I know you say - that is normal. Well, NEWS FLASH: I have never liked being normal and I usually go out of my way to not be in that category. I know, it's really pretty sinful all together but it's the truth.

After a morning of feeling quite defeated I finally conceded and came home from a planned day of things to do. I shut the curtains, put on my favorite robe, lit a candle, turned on some music, put Brooks in his crib whether or not he wanted to be there and wrote the word DEFEATED at the top of my journal before I even had the energy to write.

So there you have it....some days are better than others in this adventure called mommy hood. This makes me no less grateful for the opportunity to raise two little boys and serve one bigger boy called daddy but it does make me more appreciative of quiet/alone time (even if it is forced) that I am about to enjoy right now.

Seriously, what in the world is going to happen to this worn down mama come August? God, I know you have only given me what you know I can handle and you will equip me with what I need for what you are about to give to me. Help me to trust that fully as I anxiously await this even bigger adventure.

And of course after all of that, here is today's devotion. Next time I promise I'll read it first before spilling my worries to you. Thanks for listening!

May 14th
I AM A MIGHTY GOD. Nothing is too difficult for me. I have chosen to use weak ones like you to accomplish My purposes. Your weakness is designed to open you up to My Power. Therefore, do not fear your limitations or measure the days demands against your strength. What I require of you is to stay connected to Me, living in trusting dependence on My limitless resources. When you face unexpected demands, there is no need to panic. Remember that I am with you. Talk with me, listen while I talk you through each challenging situation.
I am not a careless God. When I allow difficulties to come into your life, I equip you fully to handle them. Relax in My presence, trusting in My strength.
Luke 1:37, 2 Corinthians 12:9

(Author - Sarah Young)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just like uncle Tarter

****I just realized the first link below isn't working and it takes you to facebook. My tech team is working on it. Bear with me - it's worth it)

He has his name sake and his dance moves I am sure.

Uncle Carter strutting his stuff

and little man starting to find his groove

{We were at a long red light. No worries, grandmas!}

Up and at em

My alarm clock went off at 6:30 this morning and I was so happy to have something to get up for! I showered, brushed my teeth, flossed, put on a dress and hit the road - all-by-myself. Where could I be going at such an early hour might you ask? Oh boy, get excited, the dentist!

I deplore the dentist. I won a writing contest in grammar school after submitting a piece I wrote about my hatred for the dentist. The smells, the sounds, the uniforms. Ughh ughh ughh! But ever since I moved to Atlanta and started working and had amazing dental insurance that allowed me to go to the best dentist EVER and he graciously gave me a sonicare many years ago - I am a changed woman! I LOVE MY DENTIST! I was the first appointment this morning and the happy, pretty hygienist said she would be quick so I could get out of there. Even though husband was at home with the babe and had a meeting to get to - I asked her to take her sweet time. Allow me to sit in this chair with no one pulling on my knees or finger. Allow me to watch the today show in peace - yes, there are flat screens in my little cubicle - one in front of me and one conveniently on the ceiling in case I need to continue my viewing when I am laid back. Oh, but if I don't care for tv - I can change my head set to a movie of choice or a plethora of music options. Sweet hygienist, can you pass me the remote for the massage chair, um thanks! Unfortunately, because I am with child I am unable to partake in the lovely laughing gas offered at every session. Yes, I may believe in unmedicated birth but unmedicated teeth cleaning - that is for the weirdos in the world. I can't tell you the times I've called Brad after a cleaning and told him I may be awhile as I was still feeling a little giggle and then I just burst into tears laughing! Pass me a little more, please!

This tid bit is for free for my lovely subscirbers today. Do yourself a favor and invest in a Sonicare tooth brush! I don't swear by too many things (really good tweezers, push-ups for arm definition, and maybe chocolate for sanity) but I SWEAR by this invention. Someone that lives with me went to the dentist last week and did not have quite the perfect report that I received today. Why? Because he doesn't use a Sonicare! Seriously, ever since I became a believer about 4 years ago I get rave reviews from my dentist. And the best part??? This part......"My, Betsy, you are such a good flosser. I wish everyone flossed like you." True confession - I floss. Monthly. Seriously, like 3 times a month. I know, this is AWFUL but I just promise that my sweet Sonicare takes care of flossing for me. I am no doctor so don't go give up your flossing habits but I promise this is my story. Do yourself a favor and buy a Sonicare toothbrush today. You're welcome.

After my too quick appointment I was able to get gas and coffee all by myself. I can't tell you the attention a pregnant lady gets when she is by herself! This is why I loved my first pregnancy. Now when I am out and about with a belly and a baby people just think I am insane and they don't say anything with words but their eyes say it all. Therefore, to be alone it looks like I am a sweet, innocent, inexperienced first time mama and goodness - I can't keep the comments away! I'll take a few mornings of attention every month or so - just like I enjoyed today.

On other notes, today I am getting a prenatal massage. My mom gave me a massage for my birthday back in January and I decided to wait until I was good and uncomfortable to use it and today is the perfect day for it! My hips and legs feel like tree trunks and lucky for me - they look like it, too! Second babies close to a first baby are tough on the body - just take my word for it and don't try it at home. This baby wants to make sure every time I feel my thighs rub or every time I can't get into my jeans because my hips have grown that I remember him. Sweet baby boy, I am happy to make you mama's favorite if you'll just cool it with the kicking and stretching of my backside! Anyway, I can't wait for the massage this afternoon and a little more quiet time by myself.

You may think I would rather be alone all the time after reading this post and it's not true, I promise. I love my fun time with the little man! We are so active these days trying to squeeze in time with just me and Brooks before Baby B joins the mix. We go to the park and out to lunch about everyday. Soon we will take some music classes together and even a few swim lessons. I can't wait to be 8 months pregnant and in a bathing suit!

And just so you know - I love a bubble! I have been undecided until recently on like/dislike of a boy in a bubble suit. If you aren't from the South you probably just gawked and labeled me as one of "those" moms but if you were to see a chubby baby in a bubble suit - you, too, would melt. I love to watch Brooks take steps and practice standing when his chunky yet perfect thighs are fully exposed from his bubble. There really isn't anything too much cuter. I will admit, most days is Brooks wears a bubble he gets called "Brooke" and he gets comments about how pretty she is......but for a few months - I am okay correcting people. My family and others have shared their dislike of this dress for our boy but I don't mind. I think it is just fine to dress a baby like a baby for just a little while. Now, come age 2 - I am hoping I have changed my mind on this attire as I do want our little boy to not be confused for a girl or an over sized baby. For now - bring on the summer bubble and bare feet!

Oh, and in case you missed it - here is Souper Jenny on the Today show. In honor of her appearance, I may make my 3rd trip of the week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Souper Jenny on the Today show!

Jenny made soup cool and I have since made it known that I want to be her one day, serving up a heaping bowl of goodness along side a song or a genuine smile from one of her staffers. I have worked the corporate world and served beer at a golf course and everything in between and I can honestly say my favorite roles have been the minimum wage jobs in a service role - I love to get to talk to people, offer them something to make them feel good, even if momentarily, and hear their stories along the way. I don't know Jenny personally but I would imagine she shares the same sentiments for her vocational work - along with an amazing ability to put ingredients together to make amazing treats for my belly!

Jenny also made soup and smores "manly." Brad wouldn't have been caught dead in a woman's soup kitchen before we started dating but in the past 3 years Souper Jenny has become our favorite after-workout dinner spot as well as our meet-in-the-middle-of-the-day lunch spot along with our favorite low-key date night over a grilled cheese and homemade smores. Last night we took the little guy to our favorite local place and he, too, become a raving fan! Well, as we were leaving I overheard one of the dear soup-servers mentioning Jennys' debut on the Today show tomorrow morning! The Today show is always on in our house in the morning while we play with balls and climb the stairs umpteen times even though I swear I don't "watch" that much tv. Well tomorrow I will be watching for sure. I may, too, have overheard what soup Jenny may be debuting and I think it will be a scrumptious treat for everyone watching! Tune in tomorrow to hear one of my idols - and an amazing local, Atlantan share her secrets of the kitchen!

Oh, and just in case you need some daily pepping up - I call the soup hot line every day around 10:45 even when I am out of town! The phone call gets my taste buds stirring (not that they ever aren't stirring) and usually makes me smile just hearing a really happy person on the other side - (404)239-9023. Happy Souping!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yet another addiction/obsession/guilty (but helpful) pleasure

I love the grocery store. There, I said it. I love the options, the employees, the colors, the thought that goes behind the placement of certain items (and I love trying not to give into the marketing schemes meaning I love a good challenge). I love the grocery store even more when I go alone. No husband, no baby, just me and the aisles of ideas and cravings and all the time in the world. Lately, I have been making thrice-weekly trips to the grocery store at night while Brad has some man time with the little guy. Brad already thinks that buying Brooks a shopping cart has destined him to be musician or a an artist rather than a jock so he refuses to let him do any more shopping with me - and I gladly cave to his wishes nearly three nights a week.

You would think one that loves to go to the grocery store also loves to cook. One of my favorite friends said it here best. I like to cook. I don't love to cook but I do love to eat. Luckily I also love to work out or else I would seriously have my own TLC show tracking my weight gain and emotional problems that would ensue.

Brad has also always called me a walking vending machine. It's a very accurate nickname. Ne'ery is there time when a husband or a child or a friend doesn't want something to munch on and I don't have a morsel of something in my pocket or stashed in the side of my purse or diaper bag. Really, this is why I decided to have children. My snacking habits are justified in this new stage of life because with a baby you always have to have cheerios or crackers or yogurt covered raisins to satisfy the youngens. And aren't the grocery stores even happier that I made this selfless decision to bare offspring. Now I find my obsession even more compelling and justifiable. "Brad, I have to go to the store right now because Brooks has to have some yogurt in the morning." Yes, Brooks may have 6 other options in the pantry already but something in my brain sends me straight for the nearest (and sometimes the farthest) food store.

And when I get to go on these splendid excursions I truly am one of those people. I walk up and down every aisle. I read labels. I pull out coupons (though I haven't mastered this and somehow always spend more than I had intended when coupons are involved.) I sample the samplings. Heck, i even sample what I am buying before I checkout. Often the conversation at the checkout counter goes like this...."Oh, yes, I opened those, too. Babies hungry. Gotta snack!" Without fail the clerk acknowledges the belly and says she doesn't blame me. Poor poor unborn child! Everything is blamed on him already! He never makes me hungry. In fact, I haven't really felt a pinge of hunger since I was nursing Brooks and that has been months now but without fail I blame my constant need to snack or shop or eat or sample on poor little Bingo - the unnamed, unborn child.

Anyway, I love to talk to the checkout clerks. I love it when they ring up a product that I have selected and they've never seen it before. What are the chances? This makes me feel like a true professional. I love knowing exactly where things are in my few favorite if the whole place were set up just for me! I love the rare occasion when I bring my own "green" bag. I feel so savvy when that one green bag is the only one filled as well - how self-controlled am I? How resourceful? How completely un-needy am I to only need one bag???? But in the same sentence I can say I also love love love (the way lady GaGa would say it) to do one of those all out - makeover- restock the cabinets type of shopping trip. No amount of money is taken into consideration - just the goal at hand - stock up and don't forget anything....especially ketchup. I always seem to forget ketchup and then what do you know - I have to go back the next day!

So there you have it - a true confession from a sincere addict. I can atleast guarantee you that I have tried just about every single product out there and many of them - only once. There's got to be some good to that kind of knowledge, right? I can also guarantee you my babies will never be hungry! Happy shopping, folks!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just in time for my first Mother's Day!


Oh precious one, you are sound asleep after a fun day at a birthday party, a walk, and an action packed day outside. But do you know that I am absolutely-head-over-heels-smitten for you? Thank you for the most perfect pre-Mother's Day gift you could have ever put together. I already can tell your new found skill is going to get you many things you want for the rest of your life. I am so happy to be your mother. You complete me and you give me purpose. I love spending time with you even if it means hours picking up pine cones. Thank you for making my day today. My heart has been overflowing ever since I heard those sweet, innocent sounds streaming from your crib this afternoon. Your "Maaaaa-Maaaaaa" adores you!

Yes, I am one happy mama today even though the day included no naps. Brooks decided to hold out his new sounds for the perfect timing - a day before my first Mother's Day and 10 minutes into a nap. How could I resist that sweet voice? I bolted up the stairs to find Brooks playing with his feet and just singing away, "Maaaaaa-maaaaaa-maaaaaaaaa." Whether or not he knows what he is saying - I do and it is truly the best feeling in the world!

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I want to be that kind of mama

Though a little part of me thinks Mother's Day and Father's Day is just not the way it should be - the other part of me can't help every year around this time to get really excited to try to show my mom just what she means to me. I don't like the holiday because I do hope that every day I treat my mom and dad extra-special. I hope I show them how grateful I am everyday. And now that I am actually a mom, too, I really understand what went into making me to be such an amazing woman. :)
But I do hate that many of us feel compelled to run out and buy flowers or a fragrance or a $4 card when we could have said the words better ourselves and just been available for our mom on that day rather than give into the "Hallmark Holiday". I want to just be with my mom on Mother's Day and share stories of our crazy upbringing. I don't want her to have to lift a finger or do a dish or think about a meal but like most years, I too, run out and get the card and something special just hoping that my sentiments will be obvious.

Well, this year is a little different. I am a mom, too, (surprise surprise) and I have an even heavier heart of thankfulness for all that my mama sacrificed over the almost 30 years of child raising. Atleast once a day I think to myself: "self, how in the world did your mama do this with such grace, poise, and patience? Especially when there were 4 of us!" Well, I don't know that answer. I am not that mom. I am so much more selfish and dependent on other people than she ever was. My mom was home with us everyday and often my dad was travelling and somehow she kept her cool and made growing up such a fun thing (atleast my only memory is that she kept her cool!)

For myself and my other mommy friends just trying to make an impression on a child and end the day without a melt-down everyday - here are just a few of the countless things I have learned about being a mom, through my mom and my very best friend.

*Being a stay at home is a sacrifice, not just a pleasure.
*Dancing in the car and singing at the top of your lungs is the best natural drug - even if it embarrasses your teenage children
*"This too shall pass"
*A mom is NEVER too old to roller skate
*A mom like my mom would truly wear a potato sack for a dress everyday if it meant giving her children things they wanted
*A coke is never your own coke. I can see now why my mom just sometimes wanted her own cold coke!
*A note left on the counter that says "Your dad will talk to you about this in the morning," isn't necessarily a good thing

*Be still and know that He is God and don't worry about tomorrow.
*Dancing will keep you young and eventually you just may have to accept that your other half looks like he is digging for potatoes when dancing but atleast he is trying
*Breakfast for dinner is never a bad thing.
*Learning to drive with mom will always be easier than learning to drive with dad.
*Singing to Trisha Yearwood and Madonna for 6 hours straight are a sure way to make a trip to the beach go quickly
*A spoon is long enough to reach little rascals legs when they are misbehaving in the car

*You don't have to drink when you are a mom - if you are like my mom, just turn on some music and you feel just as good!
*You will NEVER sleep the way you did before kids! My poor mom has not had a true night of sleep without a phone call in years. Even if it is just a phone call telling her that one of her children has misplaced a shoe or a jacket.
*Life is always more pleasant when you focus on the good in people rather than the ugly
*Throwing a party is fun and easy as long as everyone stays out of the kitchen! Thanks to her, I love to entertain and host people just the way she does (and she does it often)

*50+ still looks good in a tennis skirt if you have the right genes! (I hope I have those genes!)
*Being a mom is the most challenging but rewarding job that I will ever have and luckily I have the best example to follow and try to live up to.

Thank you, Mama, for loving selflessly, living passionately, and for being my very best friend even when I am often hard to love. I want to be a better mom because of the mom you have been to me - and the grandmom you are now being to Brooks. I hate that it takes me walking in your shoes to truly understand the sacrifice you have made to raise children. I adore you all the way to the moon and back!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I am feeling a little bad over my attitude this week. I could blame it on the extra twenty pounds in places that shouldn't have extra or the influx of hormones circulating my body but really, it's just a plain old rotten attitude and a lack of down time this week that are the root of my "whining and wanting" you've witnessed in the last few posts.

To my three faithful readers, I apologize. If you were hoping for something light and refreshing whenever you click to see what our little family is up to you just didn't get it this week so far but luckily I have a few days to redeem myself.

I was so anxious for Brooks' morning nap today so I could sit and repent and find the gratitude that I normally would say embodies my every thought. The rascal isn't asleep but I am enjoying listening to his babbling from his crib. I wonder what he is talking about? I have never had a monitor since Brooks was an itty-bitty and though at times I think it would be so much easier to just glance over at a video monitor and see that he is sound asleep or rather just searching around his room for something to learn - I love getting to walk into his room to check on him and seeing him {usually} peacefully asleep in some crazy position. Last night I came into the precious scene below. The funny thing is I had to turn on all of the lights to get the photo and the sleepy-head didn't even budge though I know if I were to sneeze right now he'd start crying and wondering why I had left him alone! There is just something about that night time deep sleep that the baby enjoys that is so peaceful to me. Thank you, God, for refreshing his little mind and body at night and preparing him for another day of learning and play.
Yes, his pj's we bought him on Monday during the famed "awful trip to the mall" are already to short on little guys chunky legs. I'll learn one day that pajamas need to be 2 sizes bigger and they must be a constant line item in the budget!

Anyway, yesterday my stinky attitude prevailed and got the best of me so last night a dear friend and I headed out AFTER a HUGE Cinco de Mayo meal for a peaceful walk around the neighborhood. It was just the dogs and us and the cool air. No traffic, or missed appointments, or runny noses, or temper tantrums (all the seeming hassles of the day that really I wouldn't trade for anything). Just us - and our pregnant bellies and our dogs and some much needed quiet time. I came home feeling much better about the little things that have seemed to get to me this week but also very remorseful for my yucky perspective.

It's all how you look at things. Everything can either be a blessing or a nuisance. Everything. If I didn't constantly have Brooks' running nose to follow around - what would I really do with my free time? If my precious (and well-intentioned) husband didn't love the little booger so much and want to throw him around the house right before bed time then I'd probably be like so many moms- truly doing this job alone. If I weren't so steadily gaining these ugly "lbs" then my sweet baby wouldn't be growing as he should and I am sure he wouldn't be quite as cozy.

Often I let the things of the world get to me and that is when my perspective totally changes. Yet I know a day spent with a grateful heart is so much more pleasing to me, our Heavenly Father, and everyone around me. A grateful heart is intoxicating and for some reason this week I just haven't been focusing on the blessing behind the "hassle."

After the walk last night I read about a mom of two girls who has been dealing with potentially tragic news of her health. You may have seen these blogs already and if not I am sure you know others in similar situations. Another mother I read about recently has already lost her battle here on earth. My heart was so broken last night over these two families but more so, over my own sin, selfishness, and lack of gratitude. I know our faith is truly put to test when we are faced with circumstances such as these but what about the other times? What about the other 90% of the time where despite living in a fallen, sinful world - things really are pretty good? Family's are healthy, my husband is employed and has a great job and we have 1.5 very healthy baby boys and today I am not facing a serious life-threatening illness. There is so much more I could name but I would think those should be more than enough for me. Why with such blessings and I so able to often focus on the small hassles or things that aren't just right? I know that God in His omnipotence could surely do what He needed to do to "snap me" back into a grateful heart and thankfully He doesn't work that way. He wants me to have a grateful heart because He knows it brings the most glory to Him. A grateful heart is contagious. A heart of gratitude is also the very place where I can feel closest to God. Luckily, last night He used these two women, two strangers, to show me my lack of perspective - my lack of gratitude for today....because things today are really very good and even if tomorrow things are different - God is still God and His plans are good and I know my heart will still feel better if it is grateful for even the little things and the really big things - like health.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

God, I want to overflow with thankfulness.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

First mother's day wish list

We've had a much better day today. Brooks is sound asleep and the quiet in the house is so peaceful. It's funny how a quiet house used to make me go crazy before there was a baby in the house. Now, the moment I finally hear him settle into a solid snooze - my little heart just relaxes and all of my muscles let go. Thank you, God, for creating the baby to need 15 hours of sleep a day because the other 9 sure are fun but soooo tiring whether or not there is another life growing.

While Brooks is dreaming of Charlotte, his new friend at the park, or of mandarin oranges, his new found love I am dreaming of things that I don't need but want and it makes it more fun to want things when you tell your friends about your wants. So for Mother's Day this year I really don't want anything more than maybe an hour in the sun or sometime to walk around the neighborhood by myself BUT if Brooks was insisntent on buying me something useful than I compiled a small never ending list of wishes. I really don't want to make the two holidays approaching known as Mothers Day and Fathers day about a gift that needs to be given because let's face it this is our first official holiday season and there are many to come and I would love to start the years off with a fun tradition like a Mother's Day tennis tournament or Father's Day pancake breakfast BUT since Brooks is too young for either and Dos-Bingo will kick and turn no matter what day it is - a gift just might have to do this Mother's/Father's Day.

Disclosure: I admit this is extremely MATERIALISTIC and maybe even just down right gross of me but allow me to indulge for just a moment....
Also, these are in no particular order, Brooks....just a list of jumbled things that I think I would put to great use!

My toes would sparkle in these...
My eyes would sparkle in these (and my husband says I would look hot in aviators though I have never thought them to be my thing)
My backside would look much better in these (again, just thinking of my husband on this Mother's Day)
My new baby would be so happy if I were to carry around his stuff in this....
My cheeks would sparkle with this (and Brooks broke my current container. Yes, dad, he plays with my makeup when his trucks aren't around.)
My skin would shine with this jar of heaven! I just love the way my skin feels after just a touch of this stuff!
***Conveniently, all of these items are located just 3.4 miles from our home, honey, at my favorite place. And don't we sort of owe them since they found my phone yesterday?
And my tummy would delight in all of these at once because come Sunday night - my 3rd trimester diet of no sugar begins! On second thought, maybe I'll go ahead and order these for myself to enjoy this Mother's Day-Week so they don't go to waste.
Oh, my, I almost forgot - my body that won't stop widening would love this and I would be all the more patient and pleasant afterwards.

Now off to look for charitable things I can do with the rest of this day.