Friday, March 23, 2012

Our week in pictures

This week we closed on our first home, moved some boxes, moved some kids, drove a uhaul, played in a uhaul, heard our baby's heartbeat, got our first shiner, got our first haircut, slept our first night in a big boy bed (well, we are 2 hours into it), prayed in each of the rooms in the house (especially the bed room!) with dear friends, peed like boys do in the yard (naked with a fireman hat on!), had a few picnics, enjoyed quiet mornings overlooking the silver maples in our back yard while listening to the birds, enjoyed the creak in the stairs knowing the house had been lived in and enjoyed (I actually have a thing for an old house), shed happy tears, shed tired tears, fixed our first leak, spent a little too much money (alot too much!), cut the largest stretch of grass I ever thought we'd own, had breakfast at the bar every morning, thanked God endlessly, conquered the flights of stairs, hid in the dryer for a whole 60 seconds before being found and permanantly locked out of the laundry room, welcomed our first guests, missed our old neighbors, discovered our favorite new lunch places, loved finding a place for almost every single thing that was in a box (and I even have some empty drawers and closets!), heard sweet reviews of our toddlers from their teachers at their conferences (who needs a conference about an 18 month old!), got some good sleep (amen!), maybe said a few curse words between moving boxes, cleaning up messes and wishing my belly wasn't in the way, learned some new phrases ("upsy daisy" for William and "what time is it? for Brooks....that was a funny one!), missed our daily trip to the park in our old neighborhood and our "usual" Publix, watched everything outside turn yellow and then start to bloom, admired our yard and all these big blessings that we do not deserve, and made some very fun, first memories in our first new house! Sentiments to follow at some point but for now....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Almonds, almonds, oh my

You know I am not one to spend my precious "nap" time during the day writing about things that are just that....things. Of course, like many I have alot of things I love and you could probably name those as they end up weaving their way into posts about children, pregnancy, and even the deeper subjects. Trust me, I could talk deeply about my obsession with animal crackers and McDonald's sweet tea any day but I like to think there's a little more substance offered here on this blog of many colors.

But I have a new love and this little addiction consumes my thoughts! Yesterday I was driving home from a mom's bible study that I attend across town. I had 11 minutes until carpool for the oldest one and I was still about 9 minutes away. All I had thought about while listening to one of my favorite women speak on parenting and the gospel - was my 2nd jar of almond butter waiting for me at home. My workout buddy turned favorite friend (and now entrepreneur) dropped off two jars of their company's latest endeavor last week and short of bathing in the smooth-yet-nutty-jar-of-perfection I did everything possible to get it in my mouth. I won't lie - when I didn't have a vehicle to get it in my mouth I used a finger. And I didn't tell Brad. And I didn't feel guilty at all. Rather, I felt quite green and earthy - eating something straight from the jar that is pretty much straight from the almond tree plus a tad of salt. That's right...two ingredients, a whole bunch of love, and I have a new favorite "thing" and a healthy, protein snack (for this growing baby in my belly!)

So yesterday I had remembered a thin, multi-grain cracker that Costco was sampling last weekend when I went to eat lunch off of samples run an errand. It must have been my day because there was a parking spot right up front, I ran right to aisle 16, grabbed my overly priced box of crackers that will take me 6 months to get through and I was checking out within 90 seconds. That's what I call a little miracle when it comes to Costco. Of course I got "that" look from the cashier...the one that says "you are in Costco and you only have ONE item?" I shrugged it off and sprinted to the car to make it to carpool only 2 minutes late. My mission was complete - now I could practically finish the 2nd jar of naturalmond butter if I chose to because the almond butter vehicle (aka the cracker) essentially has zero calories and is not very filling (as planned). So now for two lunches and a snack in between I have indulged in my favorite little gourmet spread on the market! Not only do I love the flavor and the slight crunch but I love knowing that I am doing my body good! Almonds alone have always been one of my favorite ways to get those good fats and sneak in some protein during the day so when my friend told me her crazy plans of turning her grandfather's recipe into a live product I was giddy (and glad to be her friend)!

Some local restaurants have already began using the butter in a few dishes on their menu and another local favorite restaurant has been selling the jars off the shelf. Of course it's a treat to find a new product to add to your regular snack routine (as I am a regular snacker) but it's even more fun to watch a dear friends dream come to life. Our family has officially said goodbye to the Jiffy. My kids love the naturalmond and it's so much better for us....even if I do eat a half a jar a day, right? If you're hungry and a I've tempted you - check out their site here. {And if you are local you can arrange to pick up or have the jars delivered rather than paying to ship.) And, no, I haven't been payed or prompted one bit to write this but I wouldn't mind an invite to the next sampling! (is that a subtle enough hint?)

Friday, March 2, 2012


{They} say women have brains like spaghetti noodles while men get the brain of a waffle. I've never been an Italian fan but waffles suit me perfectly for any of the three meals of the day. As it is suited though - my brain is a whole Lady in the Tramp sized bowl of long spaghetti noodles...all wanting to be unwound. I write that partly as a side note so you can pardon the lack of direction in this ramble and partly as a perfect picture into our reality right now.

We close on our first home in 2 weeks and I honestly don't know if either of the adults of this house will make it to then without a big mistake or two being made. My former profession before motherhood was in residential finance and the number one thing I told my home buyers was to not go out and buy any furniture or a new shiny car before closing date. But I want to be that person soooo bad! You see, in our 4+ years of marriage we have made 3 moves and appropriately grown (in the belly) 3 kids. Needless to say, "stability" isn't anything I can relate to. I am used to having walls half decorated and furniture in weird places. I've yet to even use or open 1/2 of the gifts we received at our wedding because we have lived with the basics. In addition, I don't really know what my house style would be if you threatened me to define it. I'm a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll I guess? Does that work when it comes to a home? Lastly, though we have treasured each of our temporary homes - I have yet to feel like I have any space that is "mine." The little insomnia thing didn't help with this feeling as I spent so few hours in our bedroom since we have lived here and rather spent 90% of my day at home in the living room/kitchen - which is not the biggest of spaces. It has become my laundry room, sleeping room, the room that collects the random things as well as the place for the Christmas tree, diaper changes and the place to host company.

So to say that the mister and I are excited and overwhelmed isn't even an ounce of the description. I have spent any of the non-free time I have had over the last month scouring every home interior store in the metro area and I've come home with a whole bunch of returns! As people have said, wait until we get in and then see what needs to be done but because we feel like we are playing catch up - as our lifestyle with 3 kids - has exceeded the tiny dwellings we have occupied - neither of us can stop daydreaming about what this house means. Yes, it is 4 walls and a roof and we both know that many families live with less than that but as I said, this means so much more for us. The other day Brad said he is going to get to our room at Northside hospital - our other residence - and sit in the rocking chair after this baby arrives and finally exhale and say, "thank you, God, now we can rest." For real. That is how we feel. The last 4 years have thrown so many curve balls our way and I don't know why we think it will stop now but it seems that knowing that our address and our employment are stable for the unforeseen future will provide the minimal amount of stability we are desiring.

Today we went to meet a painter at the new house and I left feeling so much better than I did this past month. I could move in tomorrow and no, the wall colors and the light fixtures aren't my preference and we only have furniture to fill one floor but I FINALLY DO NOT CARE! Ahhh....what a freeing truth! It excites me to think that over the years we can make this house our home by adding our own little touches. Here are a few of the things I do love oh so much.....We plan to paint the outside, add a little walkout porch with a portego (sp?) and remove the awning and door sometime soon. (I know how that goes though....I'm sure a new kitchen table will take precedence once we are there eating on the floor!)
My favorite...I love the cozy feel of the kitchen with the arches and the exposed brick.
A covered porch...yes please! Hello late nights watching the stars in the burbs!
We figure if the boys run 2.65 laps every afternoon in the yard they'll never have to do any further athletic training. Bring on the swing set and camp Bagwell this summer!

In the meantime, I am pretty teary over leaving our neighborhood. Seriously, I don't know another place I would have wanted to be the last 2 years with young kids. Every single afternoon the boys and I hit the neighborhood park if we aren't out on a long walk with one of about 30 friends with kids our age that live right here in our neighborhood. As the stay at home mom that I have become this is a HUGE asset and can take away any claustrophobia from a smaller abode. More so, we love the access we have to so many of our favorite places....we love the local library, the boys school, our dry cleaner "Michael" who has ruined my kids teeth with suckers, and the 5 or so parks that are close to walking distance. And I love knowing Brad will be home in 11 minutes from the time he pulls out of his parking deck....usually. Luckily our new house has a big, flat backyard and though I won't have the convenience of catching up with my buddies at the park everyday, the boys will have plenty of room to run their hearts out (and then sleep their hearts out at night.) Our new neighborhood is a sleepy little neighborhood and it is actually 1 mile outside of the perimeter. Say it now...OH MY GOODNESS! THE BURBS! Bring on the "burbs" I say! {Mark my words - we will hold off on the mom-mobile even if it means we go nowhere until the baby is out of a car seat - only 10 years to go!)

On other notes - I pushed off the dreaded glucose test that luckily falls at the beginning of the 3rd trimester for oh....4 weeks now. I finally took it and as any good news should come - late on a Friday - I passed! This is a little detail in the grand scheme of things but DESPISE that gross little drink that you have to drink and I could consider ending our streak of children if it were up to having to drink that thing again. The baby looks great and in about 2 weeks I'll start going to the specialist and the obgyn every week until the baby comes! Are you kidding me? The one thing I will not miss after growing/nursing little people is the constant flow of doctor appointments. Who wants to spend their precious babysitting hours at a doctors office? No, thank you. When I'm out of this stage I'll spend any babysitting hours I have left at a roller skating rink or a dance studio. Count on it.

The boys....there are no words. My mom calls them Frick and Frack. I say it every month - I am SO thankful these two are so close together in age. They have a built in best friend and a built in watch-out buddy. Brooks tells the little guy what to do but the little guy is almost bigger (in weight) than B anyway so the pushiness has begun. W thinks "hitting" is funny. What do I do about that? That means a spanking makes him lie down and laugh. B is smart like I've never seen. He remembers things I don't remember. He puts sentences together that I thought 12 year olds spoke. He dresses himself -imperfectly but he attempts which means good things to come (maybe by the time there is another thing needing dressed in the morning?) and has the imagination and attention span of someone not of me. I'm thankful for someones genes working in him! B thinks that everything that is in the new house is the boys who live there are going to just hand over their bikes and water guns and soccer balls. I keep trying to tell him that his new things will go to the house with him but he isn't that smart....yet!

Oh, and as for stats - well....little man is on a little diet. If you have ever felt disproportionated just consult our little clown. He is about as short as he can be without falling off the charts but about as hefty as he can be with one of the largest heads in the pediatricians office. All brains I suppose and Brad just worries that he'll have little man syndrome which I think is fine because my less tall friends are normally the funniest, most genuine people I know and I think that is pretty fitting for our little W.
Napping toddler....still nothing more serene to watch even at almost 3.
Obstacle course? Free time for mom? Yes and yes.
Isn't this how you take a bath and wash clothes?
We've hit EVERY park inside the perimeter this winter as we get out of the house to show the house we are renting. The boys dont mind....

There you go...a bowl full of hearty spaghetti! I hope you ate it up and it keeps you full for awhile because the posts are getting more and more sporadic. Happy {springish} weekend!