Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Checking out

I am checking out for a little while and I couldn't be more thrilled. I need a few days and I hope it doesn't turn into a few weeks. Juicy pictures of yummy babies to come when I return!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One thought and lots of pictures

Yesterday in the midst of my tiredness Mr.B posed a question that has been brewing inside of me for awhile but in not as eloquent a fashion. This is why I am so grateful for husbands. Really, when I can't see the forest through the trees - he sees it clearly.

If my sleep trouble were never to get any better could I still praise God and honor Him with my attitude/actions inspite of my insomnia?
I've let that one marinade for 24 hours now and something in me has been stirred.
Who can scoot under the couch the quickest?
A little family birthday party for the two year old...

The 2nd generation playgrouper's during the last minute picnic birthday at the park.
It's my party and I'll sit if I want to.

Little William just happy to be included in the festivities
And my personal favorite...William already trying to attack his bigger brother. Sweet.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's my child's birthday and I have chronic insomnia

Those aren't necessarily the two phrases you might enter in your google bar on any given Monday morning, I know. It also isn't the most captivating subject were I trying to woo an audience and build a brand. The word "chronic" anyway is just ugly. As I have done on here for years now though, I have kept it as close to reality as I can get. This topic has been brewing in my head since 1:51a.m. this morning when maybe all but one of you were doing exactly what you should be doing at that time. Unfortunately, as a result of these last 5 months my body has no clue what it should do at any given time so writing a blog in my head rather than thinking of sugar plums was just fine for me. I remember the B.C. (Before this Craziness) times when I would awaken in the middle of the night and I was so happy to still have several hours to get to go back to sleep. I would do alot of things for that feeling today....just to have my body rise and fall during the day and night as it should.
But don't worry, this isn't entirely a post about my story. There is a light at the end.
Our first born child is really two today. Even though we have been celebrating for a week - today is his actual birthday and ironically, the least hyped up day of all....a muffin for breakfast and yet another wear of his dirty "TWO" birthday shirt. We will meet up with friends at the park in a little bit for an impromptu picnic to celebrate the precious boy with as little effort as possible. Luckily, children this age are so easily pleased so he will be thrilled to get to run around and eat a peanut butter and jelly (apple jelly of course). Yesterday of all the grand gifts his family gifted him with - my sister-in-law-to-be walked in with a shiny box with a balloon attached. Of course the star shaped balloon was the hit of the whole afternoon. She is a teacher and I swear teachers just know kids inside and out. I have never been a teacher and never even pretended to be when I was little so my present to our little boy was a mesh of little things that I thought he might enjoy at some point. A balloon certainly would have been easier!
Anyway, the only single thing that I know how to do amid this ongoing storm is to focus on the day at hand and not a day more or less. I could drive myself crazy....and I have many times...trying to figure out what the next month will look like - or better yet, the next week. Will I be back on medication in order to do what so naturally comes to everyone else I know? Will I have found the answer I am looking for...the science behind why either my mind or my body on any given night will not turn off? Will I be listening compassionately to another new mom that, too, is experiencing out of her control type things over a cup of coffee? Or maybe, will this all be old news and I will not even be able to conceive of not falling asleep before 2am? But I can't go there everyday. It doesn't do anything. I would have told you three months ago that I had had enough and I couldn't go any farther and then somehow, I've gone farther. While in many ways I am better - I am sort of still where I was 5 months ago to this day....tired and wired and really really confused. Heartbroken at times. The God that I know doesn't want me to miss my sons birthday because I was so consumed by my own health. So of course I have had to ask myself so many times, who is the God that I know and do I really know Him? I've been extremely hard on myself during all of this. I will blame myself at 2:03 in the morning for not believing enough that I can be healed. If I only prayed longer or "harder"(whatever that means), I will think. If I were only more positive during the day. If only I would stop telling people that I am not feeling well. But I know at my very core that there is nothing more I can do and this is not my fault. It is not my lack of faith that has me here. My faith is probably much grander than I even know. If you strip away all of the layers - I really believe that this period of suffering is going to change my marriage, change the mom that I am going to be, and even change my immediate family's intimacy with each other. There is nothing that tears down hard walls of the heart like a sobbing 30 year old right before her son's birthday party. I am pretty sure I am the sister-in-law that is not being fought over to sit next to at the family cookout because that means the never ending question will have to be asked but I do think in the end my family will all be grateful for the whole journey. I know it is bigger than myself.

So here is the light you've been waiting for. I KNOW GOD WILL HEAL ME WHEN HE IS READY. Now that I am 9 months into this (with a 3month respite while I was nursing William) I can clearly see that this isn't something a warm bath, a glass of milk, an antidepressant, or even a psychiatrist can fix. I can't pray my way out, I can't pay my way out, and I can't will myself out. This has nothing to do with me or medicine or surrender. I have done all of that atleast three times over. This is God's sovereign will for me and He knows better. He knows that this short period (in the grand scheme of things) of (light in comparison) suffering WILL BRING HIM GLORY AND WILL BRING ME CLOSER TO HIM. Do the caps scare you? I have to KNOW these things and claim them daily and then not think about tomorrow or how this story will end. While I don't want to miss the sweet years with my boys I can know with certainty that the God who has started a good work in me will finish it out to completion (Philippians 1:6). I have written this verse several times in my 3 decades - on binders at school, in journals, on note cards but this experience has brought energy into each word. The only thing I can hope in is God who knows me, knows my exhaustion, and knows that this isn't all happening in vain.....it has purpose.

Sweet Birthday boy, I am grateful to have your life to celebrate today. Your smile and your contagious giggle give me daily relief from this season of confusion. You (and William and your daddy of course) afford me more joy than any sleepless night can steal. I promise I am doing everything in my power to feel better for you. The best medicine so far has been being your mom and focusing on that grand task and nothing more. The rest will come......

We love you, Mr. Two year old! Here is a little clip of "big" interviewing you before your big birthday party.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Practicing for TWO

As you can see, we don't do birthday's lightly around here. I decided next year we will celebrate the biggest boy's birthday the weekend before and the little boy's May birthday the week after....but for this year we are just burning both ends of the candle and soaring into 30 and TWO!
Brooks made cupcakes to celebrate himself on his last day at school. Smart boy, isn't he?
Here he is with his two teachers this year, Mrs. Anne, and Mrs. Stacey. What a blessing they have been to us! They love this little boy so well and he is going to miss them (not as much as i will) this summer.

And here is Mr. Happy after his birthday party at school! Now on to a day without kiddos to continue to celebrate Brad tomorrow and then a family birthday for Brooks on Sunday and finishing off with a picnic on Monday with friends at the neighborhood park. Pictures to come I am sure! We hope you feel celebrated even if isn't your special birthday!
Hopefully I'll catch him singing Happy Birthday to himself...it's delicious!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's a sticker on your back, birthday boy!

I love suspense. Not in the gory, loud movie at night kind of way but more so in the "my husband is playing golf all day for his birthday and little does he know that someone placed a sticker on his back announcing that it was his birthday" kinda way. I just chuckle-snorted as I wrote that. I have no clue what the birthday boy's response will be when someone brings my surprise to light as he is practice swinging for his firs shot at PDC.

What do you think?
a) He will have tingles all over his body as he feels the love sent through a sticker straight from me to him on his special day?
B) He will turn pink in the face and use all of his energy and focus just trying to remain cool and calm while inside burning with fury at my joke.

I really have no clue as I have yet to purposefully and publicly embarrass my husband, especially on his birthday. As you know - I am a birthday kinda girl. It's not at all that I like the attention or the party or the present but I do really appreciate the thought that those closest to me put into making a birthday special. ANd while I don't think Brad is wired the same way I secretly think anyone loves being made a fuss over on their own birthday.....and especially the birthday that sends you into MIDDLE AGE! Maybe a sticker on your back declaring that it is your birthday and that your wife loves you isn't the fuss that many would appreciate but when you have limited resources and two mini-me's restricting your ability to say, fly to the Caribbean on a minutes notice, a sticker will do.

So we want to wish our either giddy with joy or raged with fury father and husband a very happy THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY! How much do we love you? Let us count the ways.... (In no specific order....just as they come...)
1) You have the prettiest, longest eye lashes and you gave them to our boys and I covet them.
2) You drive a truck.
3) You bring the drama factor in the house down to a good average. You are easy and low key and peaceful. You are needed for those reasons.
4) Your faith is simple and beautiful. You understand your need for a Savior and that your life is purposeful.
5) You are from South Georgia. I always wanted to be a part of a real South Georgia boy's life but didn't know it would really happen.
6) You love being outside and you see beauty in everything.
7) You make pretty babies.
8) You are the kind of father every kid needs. You get excited over little things, you like to wrestle, you tell our boys you are proud of them, and you enjoy teaching and training them - not just commanding that they respect you.
9) You like good music.
10) You are the most selfless person I have ever met. You constantly put me and the boys above any of your needs.
11) Your work ethic is to be praised. You set your mind to something and you do it.
12) You will do something with me even if it isn't your favorite thing to do just to be able to spend time with me.
13) You have a good sense of fashion.
14) You treat your mama and sister like they are queens which is why I knew I could marry you.
15) You make a V-neck t-shirt look good and I DESPISE V-neck t-shirts.
16) You are good at anything you try whether it is golf, politics, or tennis. You are versatile.
17) Ambidextrous. How cool.
18) Red hair. Even cooler.
19) You put up with me. (And my 9 months of sleepless nights now. Basically you are a saint.)
20) Your edgy and you will try new things.
21) You aren't bound by other people's opinions.
22) You are self made. Everything that has come your way has been by your own determination....not the hand of anyone else.
23) You make friends easily.
24) You can do a mean handstand in the front yard.
25) What other South Ga boy roller blades?
26) You like to travel with me.
27) You do not judge other people for their differences but rather you are fascinated by them.
28) You love the Lord above anything else.
29) You're Hot.
30) You are my very best friend and the one person that has seen me at my worse but you still love me the same.

We are the lucky ones, birthday boy! We hope you are enjoying your big day on the golf course. And I hope your golf buddies are a little easy on you knowing that it is your birthday via my secretly placed birthday sticker!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mr. Potato Head

My dad got it right this time. He calls William a stomach with eyes....kinda like the Mr. Potato head that Brooks like to torture in between torturing his brother and his stuffed animals. Oh and Amos (he is certainly the victim in all of this.)
Yesterday we went to the pediatrician, aka: My Biggest Cheerleader, for William's Biggest Loser weigh in well visit. The best news is that the little potato is right in line with every other potato out there - round and dominating when it comes to head brain size. Of course every nurse at every appointment, pulls out the same joke about the "brains in there," to which I mildly smile and ask for reassurance that the rest of his body may one day catch up??
Which reminds me of a crude scenario I encountered earlier this month during a routine 2 year old-Sunday (read: I should be more appropriate day) birthday party. Several non-dad dudes and one recently named dad were having a normal conversation (normal in our world) about the massive head on William. I was holding the potato head and overhearing the comments about how they wouldn't want to get in a fight with him and how they never knew a baby's head could be so large. I am not sure what pushed me to say what I said and I am further not sure why I am exclaiming now from the rooftops what I so absurdly said. It wouldn't have been so cruel had it been like a mom's playgroup or something but these dudes just wanted to maintain their coolness at a baby's birthday party and not necessarily have to talk about babies and other gooey subjects like where they came from.
"Hey, that head your'e referring to had to come out of somewhere." {Silence. Squeamish giggles and then the dudes walk away to find the nearest/quickest Miller Light.}
Anyway, it is true, William has the largest head he can have on the charts and one of the shorter bodies but like the nurses say - we'll just call it brains in there. Fortunately, because his head is so big it makes his precious little fat rolls just seem not so overcoming. And as any mother would say about their own child - I think he is just precious and perfect in every way...I love the way his wrists look like they were screwed on and I love the way his legs look in a short-all outfit. Both my mom and I agree that he should not be picked up unless he is kissed a minimum of 6 times. It's a must when you are that yummy!

So overall William is doing great at 9 months. Here are just a few notes for the baby book:
-Wears 9 month to 12 month clothing. It's crazy to have a baby that actually wears the size that matches his age. I thought all the baby clothes makers were smoking something when labeling the clothes for size until now.
-Likes to eat.
-Understatement: Would eat beef stroganoff if I let him. {Not that I have ever made that but it sounds pretty advanced when it comes to food.}
-Still adores watching his brother which is truly the best part about having these babies so close together. William doesn't need a toy - he just needs his brother.
-Sleeps like a champ. Thank you, God! Sleeps at night about 7pm-7:30am and takes 2-2 hour naps a day. Thank you, God, too, for naps!
-Has just started showing a little separation anxiety and I won't lie - I kinda like it.....
-He still likes to be held. I'll never forget that first day after we so easily sent him to the nursery at the hospital and the nurse came back to tell me that the night went great but "that baby wants to be held....all the time."
-His top two teeth are starting to show. I was a little concerned about this. i thought babes always got the bottom two first? I think this is going to be our defy-the-norm kinda boy!
-He is reckless as a 9 month old can be and has little reservation. This is so fun to watch his personality come alive. Brooks is certainly our cautious/ reserved child so far - he wouldn't run into a situation without first calculating it but not William. It doesn't matter how he has to get to what he wants or what peril may come his way - he is going for it! I love this about him.
-And luckily, he is a little more of a snuggler. He actually has a blanket that makes him shriek when I give it to him in his bed. Until now Brooks has needed no "lovey" or "bear" - just a cup of water for comfort at night. But of course as he has seen William take to an object for comfort so Brooks has now followed suit. I'm not kidding - our nap times include two bears, a stuffed dog named Turbo, George the monkey, AND TWO pillows! I'll have to catch a photo because it is pretty hilarious....Brooks trying to make it to bed with all of his things. Oh, and a car for good measure.

William's latest moves - scooting backwards under anything, smiling as usual, and serving as his brother's entertainment. We love you, little William. {Can we start raising a fund for a new camera so I will stop using the iphone camera? Sorry for the picture quality. I am not sure how I would capture half of their lives if I had to go find a good camera anyway!}

Monday, May 16, 2011

I NEED birthday cake

Some of the best entertainment on a normal day comes from the mouth of a juvenile. It certainly brings me a sense of pride when I teach the soon-to-be-2-year-old a new song or a portion of the ABC's and then he repeats his new found lesson throughout the day. I never really played teacher growing up. I was more of the office or business kind - always making up a way to make a dollar off of some of my treasured crap. Puff painted sweat shirts anyone? And I don't think I have an ounce of teacher-type-patience in me so therefore, I am thankful for school. If his growth were left up to me alone right now I think he would know alot about useless things like Bethenny Frankel, circadian rhythm, and how many sit ups it takes to burn off a bag of m$m's. So it is always an eye opener when I hear the little goober spouting off real live sentences that mean something and I knooooowww he didn't hear them from me!

His latest is his greatest. He needs everything now. No longer does he want a piece of candy, he neeeeeds it. He says it with such conviction that I find myself giving in 9 times out of 10. Yesterday we were at a 2 year old birthday party. "Mommy, I need birthday cake." I was enjoying conversation with some grown ups and so I immediately gave him the object of his affection. Well, he got his manipulation from me I think because no sooner than his tongue had faded back to a non-icing color had he implored to the softy of the family, "daddy, I neeeeeed birthday cake." Two days ago I found myself correcting him everytime he needed something so desperately. I tried to convince him that he just wanted it and the two were different. I said, Brooks, mama needs you to learn how to use the potty. Mama needs a vacation. Mama needs to stop eating M&M's all day everyday. On the other hand Brooks wants birthday cake weeks before his actual birthday and Brooks wants to go outside to play in my car - he doesn't need to. Get it, Mister? To which he responded, I need daddy.

The little man is off at "school" right now and I admit, I am a little remorseful this week. It was just months ago that I dropped him off and cried the whole three hours in the parking lot because I felt so terrible leaving him in the hands of someone else. It took him almost two months to actually like "school." And now when I pick him up he is usually laying on the bean bag chair on the floor with his legs crossed and propped on the table as is he Mr. BMOC. He gets that cool-arrogance from my other half I am sure. I have one more week to say he is one year old. I loved having a one year old. I know each stage carries it's own burdens and joys but I think one is fascinating. I never knew how humbling it would be to watch a little person that somehow you created (well, God created, but you know what I mean) as he learns about the simplest things. Brooks gets joy in picking the bark off of a tree. Oh, for that kind of child like faith to take over my mind! One to two years for me is really the most fun I have ever had....and to think I haven't even felt my best this year? I can't imagine watching William as he explores the trees and animals and, oh....steak (for real, I think he is ready for a steak or a burrito!)in this next year. Here's to expecting that I will feel even better this 2nd time around...I may have sensory overload if that's the case!

I need to clean up the house but I want to watch the Today show and enjoy my last week of Brooks' getting entertainment educated.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pinch me!

The last few weeks as a mom of two has been quite {ahem} fun. I've started to feel better and while I know I still have a little ways to go the slight change in my energy and increase in sleep has totally transformed my attitude! I can once again attest that sleep makes all the difference in the world!
Ever since the temperature here has started up the incline I have started to pull out entertainment for two babies from nowhere! Brooks favorite new playground is inside my car so I will park the car in the shade and let his little imagination go! We have also been having a pic nic in the front yard everyday for lunch. Our front yard has a very slight hill and it is without fail that William reaches for a runaway grape and he rolls three circles down the hill. He is in a funny stage. He really just wants to run with Brooks but he has yet mastered how to move anywhere but backwards. I am glad he is taking his time crawling as I am not ready to have two on the move. I think his lack of moving symbolizes this last little season of "babies" for me for awhile and once he is on all fours the bottles are put away soon after and we are in full on toddler mode. I can't really allow myself to think of those days because I truly can't picture them. I am running low on the entertainment ideas as it is - with two we may be turning to make up and cleaning...two things I know! Sorry daddy!
Yesterday we visited the airport park and Brooks saw a girl on the swing set from his class. Watch out dad's of little girls! This boy knows how to woo the ladies. He sat right next to her on the stairs and maybe reached his hand over to her pocket. My friend caught the action below. If you ask me he is looking pretty rough....can we say haircut please? And maybe a bandaid or two?
Then today after a kick-my-tail-workuot-because-I-only-have-a-few-weeks-until-Key Largo (Yes, KEY LARGO!) the boys and I had another picnic full of fruit thrown everywhere and mac and cheese stuck to our blanket but who cares....then we hit the slide. I've concluded that anything I once considered kinda redneck is no longer with two boys around. I will do ANYTHING for good entertainment! {And a shot of a little boys bottom

I have had many more of those "pinch me" moments lately with the boys. For the most part William eats or watches Brooks with amazement. I love catching him just grinning so big as he watches Brooks play with cars or run around like a madman. William is so ready to be right next to Brooks' every step and it truly is beautiful to watch. And Brooks floors me everyday. Last week he started turning around on the rug in the playroom exclaiming "Asses, asses, fall down." Of course I came running to wonder where he had learned his new word {surely not me} and then I saw him on the ground and realized he must have picked up ring around the rosy at school. Watching a child learn about the world around him is truly one of the most humbling things I could ever imagine. Brooks loves to mimick his dad in every way, too. Whether it's riding high in "daddy's truck" or looking up at the trees on the porch...he is a daddy's boy! (Unless he gets hurt and of course he couldn't scream "mama" louder!) Anyway, pinch me. I know these itty-bitty days are flying past us and I know I will only have pictures (and the blog) to remind me of their innocence and their trust as babies. I am grateful to get to shape these two boys in whatever way I can. What a chore! In the mean time, I need some good summer entertainment ideas before I pull out the make up!

{Can you tell I'm a little more mushy when I get a few hours of sleep?}

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thank you, Al

You know you have been out of corporate America or employed by a toddler too long when __________________________________.

There could be alot of really juicy answers for this one but today I have only the Today show to thank for my response.

Yes, it is when you can vividly remember Al Roker making mint juleps on the Today show for the last four years before the Kentucky Derby.

This year the marketing has worked. I'm going to find my one silver tumbler with beads around the top and then heading to the grocery store. Could I find Princess Beatrice's look alike head piece somewhere inside the Perimeter to wear as my Derby hat?

Or maybe this one if I didn't want such a statement????

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Still haven't recovered

I don't get too easily worked up over things that I should get worked up over. But don't worry - I get worked up over everything else. Last week among a perfectly swell Friday I got pretty worked up and this time it really mattered.

I'm not sure where the boundary of information should stop when it comes to our internet community but I just think this needs to be said in case any of you naive mothers like myself need to hear it.

Brooks and I were vacuuming the upstairs in our vacuuming attire which for him is a diaper. Don't tell Mr. B but I bought Brooks his own vacuum cleaner for $3 at a garage sale and I will let you decide if he likes it or not. It has wheels and makes noise....

Well, as I normally don't do - I bolted down the stairs when I heard the littlest man crying and in the 60 seconds that I was away our lives could have changed forever. Fortunately, we just have a shattered 100 pound mirror and nothing else. This is the same mirror that I told my mom Brooks never had noticed in his playtime. Last Friday he noticed it and I propose he decided to act like his mama and ferociously vacuum - knocking into everything along the way.

When I say there were 100 ways for this accident to have severely injured or worse killed our child I am not lying. And there was one way for the whole incident to only result in a shattered mirror and a mama's "cool" and nothing more - there was only one way.

I haven't stopped replaying the thunderous sound of the mirror sliding down the stairs in my head. Then I hear the sweet voice of our almost two year old saying, "mama, mirror bonk head." Our little ones' only recollection of this monstrous event was that the mirror happened to slightly bonk his head. Can you hear my sigh of relief just then as I relived that one minute.

Literally, I can not stop thanking God for protecting my child. The night before I had had another poor night of sleep and I think I had spent the whole morning thinking about my issues....the things that really don't matter when there are little people under your roof. When I saw the mirror at the bottom of the stairs and saw our child, unscathed, at the top, I instantly felt my heart explode. I truly believe there were angels protecting him from the peril that his mom had so easily looked past. To say I was worked up the rest of the day is an understatement. I can't stop thinking about the good that came from that seemingly disastrous morning. A few less hours of sleep a night just doesn't matter. Nor will my life change if I don't get to work out one day or if the laundry doesn't get folded. My life would change if one of my boys were hurt - especially because of my own negligence. Life can change in an instant but I am so grateful that it didn't change in that instant. Thank you, God.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I admit - I had just as much fun

Our clan has been pretty adventurous lately and I am feeling pretty good about our mischief. We've been very spontaneous with our activities which is a word I didn't think I would hear as a mom with two little boys. Much of our fun has been kid centered but I may have caught Mr. Brad with even bigger smiles along the way. And maybe I like stirring up "kid-friendly-fun" knowing that I, too, will feel like a little girl at a fair with a funnel cake!
Like mother like son. This boy loves a car nap after a day outside!
The boys may have been a little more intrigued by MARTA than we were this past weekend.

I spy someone round and plump who loves a good picnic at the park!

Trucks aren't just for dads...
Popsicles aren't just for moms...
Trees (or tree spotting as in this photo) aren't just for little boys (I did marry a boy that majored in Forestry!)
And sometimes mama and baby may ride without a seatbelt (No scrutiny please - this was to pull out of a parking spot)