Wednesday, August 29, 2007

See for yourself...

I'm up late checking stuff off of my to-do list. I just uploaded pictures and video from my camera and thought I'd add some in here since they match the things I've written about lately.

Emily, since you put in a special request - here is the "before" picture. Um, YEAH. Self-explanatory (I hope) with regards to the need for a haircut. Getting a little unruly there.







Okay, now for the "after" shot. (FYI - she is actually playing the part of Pilchard in this picture.) I realize her ponytail is halfway out, making it look worse, but look how much the lady took off of the sides and the back! The reason her pony is all crazy is actually because it was cut so short on top that it falls out somewhat easily now. *sigh* It looked a little better today -- I think it was just a shock to my system to see it so dang short yesterday. Anyway, here's George. Uh.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Speaking of Pilchard, here she is "assisting" Bob in the shoveling of rocks, in her beloved pink knock-offs, no less.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Moving right along...here's a video to match the "before" picture. I am the box top and soup label collection lady for my son's preschool and Georgia found my bag of stuff -- including the roll of 150 baggies. She had the biggest grin on her face when I came out of the bathroom (that'll teach me to go pee alone!) and was so proud of herself. I decided that I already had a mess to clean up -- why not just grab the camera first? (Oh, and for the record, the big yucky stain on her pajamas is from her vitamins. Sometimes Mommy isn't awake enough to remember to put a towel under her chin when we do vitamins on the way downstairs to breakfast. Pretty, huh?) Personally, my favorite part is that out of all of that mess and chaos, she takes the time to bring me my little baggie of box tops. I mean, come on -- that's gotta be a life skill right there, huh? Mom, if you're reading this -- I'm guessing this reminds you of me being able to pluck something specific out of a 4 foot deep pile of stuff in my room. Organized chaos...looks like it might be hereditary.

video

I'll finish with a video of the kids from last night. I was making dinner while they were "watching" Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (I think that's what it was. Clifford, maybe?) Anyway - I heard lots of giggling coming from the living room and here's what I found. She's so delicate, isn't she? *teeheehee*

video

Backyard education...

So much of my childhood happened in our backyard. When I was little, it ceased to be a backyard and became a jungle, a castle, an ocean, or a forest, depending on where my imagination took me. I can remember getting yelled at by my mom to get out of the garden and yelling back that I wasn't in the garden, I was trying not to fall into the moat at the castle because a prince had just rescued me. (And actually believing that it was true.)

Yesterday I was reminded of these wondrous adventures as Mitchell's imagination transformed our backyard into Bob the Builder's workyard. I was Wendy, he was Bob, and Georgia was Pilchard. (Pilchard is a cat.) Scoop, Lofty, Muck...they were all there. The sandbox was the construction zone, the climber/slide was Bob's house (and sometimes a store), the sideyard was the rock quarry, the grass was the swimming pool, and the woodchipped area was the road.

I was picking weeds while the kids were playing and it was so fun to watch and listen to this magical land develop around him. (I have to say that Miss G never made it out of the backyard and into the workyard, but I know that all too soon she will create wonderful lands of her own out there.)

I should mention that I was asked to babysit his cat several times. Usually it went something like this:

Bob: "Uhhh, Wendy?"
Wendy: "Yes?"
Bob: "No, you need to say 'Yes, Bob' so that I know you're talking to me."
Wendy: "No prob, Bob."
Bob: "Noooooo, not 'No prob, Bob,' it's 'Yes, Bob.'"

(I really should give him a break, huh? Pulling weeds is just soooo boring sometimes!)

Wendy: "Right. Okay."
Bob: "Uhhhh, Wendy?"
Wendy: "Yes, Boooooooooob!"
Bob and Wendy both giggle.
Bob: "So, can you watch Pilchard for me? She's in my way and I've got important work to do."
Wendy: "Well, she's just a baby cat. She doesn't know what to do. You should show her."
Bob: "How about you show her what to do and I'll just keep on working."

(That wasn't a question.)

Wendy: "No prob, Bob."

Bob did end up teaching Pilchard a thing or two, and even got her a shovel of her very own when he was shoveling rocks and she wanted to help. Of course, Pilchard didn't read the unwritten rules that Bob got the yellow shovel and she got the red one, but it all worked out. I think she may have actually answered to "Pilchard" a time or two there towards the end. The last 20 minutes or so of our time outside involved Bob shoveling rocks and Pilchard watching him, often yelling, "Ohhhhh! Wak! Momma!! Wak!!"

I love knowing that regardless of where we live or what our yard looks like, my children can open the back door and step into whatever land they choose.

I am hoping that my invitation to join them never expires. It's another one of my happy places.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Random thoughts on a Tuesday...

*Warning* Blogger with no direction!!

I just got home from getting the kids' haircuts. I brought home two handsome little boys. Seriously - that's what it looks like. The Cost Cutters lady and I did not communicate very clearly because Miss G looks like Mr. G at the moment. Her hair is WAYYYYYY shorter than I wanted it. Oh well -- it will grow, right? Bows, ponytails, barettes -- a MUST these next few weeks! (Ummmm, I have a bit of a "hair" thing with her, does it show?)

* * *

I think that Mitchell must be in the middle of a growth spurt or something. All he does is ask me to eat. And eat. And eat. He is a bottomless pit.

* * *

I bought this goofy little pink terrycloth babydoll dress thing at Walmart recently. (My middle of the night run with Miss G during her refuse-to-sleep-thing while we were out of town.) I love to put it on after my showers, and have been seriously tempted to wear it all day long a few times this week.

* * *

Rocky Ford cantaloupe and Palisade peaches --- August in Colorado! Yum!!!

* * *

Joke of the day from Mitchell:
"What do you get when you cross a duckie, a race car and a fan?"

"Daffy Duck that floats away and crashes into trains!"

Welcome to my world, friends. I don't get it either.

* * *

I had about 10 extra minutes the other day in between seeing clients, so I cruised into this little consignment store that is in the neighborhood, just to see if they had any good jeans for the kids since they both need some for the fall. No luck in the jeans department for Miss G, but I scored about 4 pair for Mitchell and I also ended up buying Georgia a pair of pale pink knock off crocs. See, she went crazy over some twins' shoes at the ped the other day. They both had on pink crocs and she lost her mind -- kept bending down (doing that kid squat that makes my knees hurt just watching) and pointing at them saying, "Oooohhhhhh, SHOOOOOOZ, Mama! SHOOOOZ!" I tried some crocs on for myself at a store a while back because I was curious what the big deal was, and really - they didn't do it for me. They didn't feel very comfy, and (no offense to croc lovers) I think they are less than cute, so I never really even thought about getting some for the kids. Well, when I saw the little pink ones for $2.99 the other day in her size, I thought I would give them a try.

Oh. My.

There were tears getting into the tub last night. She didn't want to part with her pink shoes. Guess what went on her feet the second her diaper was changed this morning? Yep, the pink knock offs. So far, this is the best $2.99 I've spent in quite some time.

* * *

And I'll end with a knock-knock joke since he just walked up and asked if I wanted to hear one.

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Train."
"Train who?"
"Train on a dragon when he says RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR."

* * *

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday - Marriage and More...

So, I was inspired to jot down the story of how Chris and I met, and then I remembered -- I already did! A whole year ago! It was 15 years to the day that we met and I blogged about it.
He was actually supposed to mow tonight but it's raining -- what are the odds? *teeheehee*

So, today was one of those days where I feel like my son grew up in front of my eyes. Actually, more like when I was in the bathroom. Or doing laundry. Just...today. He seems noticeably older and bigger than he did yesterday.

If you're a mom, I'm convinced that you know what I'm talking about and if you're not, it's quite possible that I sound like I need to have a chat with the doctor or something.

I think it's some new independence that has me thrown for a loop. Things I used to have to ask him several times to do have just sort of happened today. When I woke up this morning, I noticed he was in different pajamas than he went to bed in. I asked what happened and he said he got hot, so he changed. He got himself dressed (I didn't ask him to, he just did it on his own) while I was changing Georgia's diaper this morning. I came back from changing out the loads of laundry and saw that he'd put his bowl in the sink. I said "Hey, thanks for putting your bowl in the sink!" He responded with "You're welcome. My spoon's in there, too."

Okay, am I nuts for letting that get me all choked up?

It's been like that all day long! Every time I turn around today, it seems that I'm met with another "when did that happen" moment.

6 lbs, 4 oz. He started out at 6 lbs, 4 oz. and he had elephant skin. It just sort of hung there on him. His poor little jaundiced body was stuck in the "bug zapper" (a.k.a. the billirubin light-filled suitcase) for 3 days and I remember thinking that for as huge as I felt at the end of my pregnancy, he just couldn't have seemed tinier. His cries were tiny. His diapers were tiny. His little tushy was tiny and fit in the palm of my hand.

One thing I'll never forget about Mitchell is that no matter how far out on my shoulder I held him, he would find a way to get himself positioned under my chin and near my heart. I'd just laugh every time I realized where he'd gotten because it seemed like he moved himself there without me even knowing it.

Well, his sweet cheeks are a little bigger now, but the Doodlebug just did it again.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pretty please with sugar on top...

I wish that Georgia was old enough to understand the seriousness of my plea. It's simple, really. Please, please, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeee, take another nap today.

You see, I have a cold. A yucky summer cold. I got it from the two little munchkins that live here. Actually, biggest munchkin got it first. Littlest munckin decided to have a swig of biggest munchkin's drink while Mommy wasn't looking about two days into his cold and I knew that she would soon be feeling the love. Two days later, and I was sadly correct.

I reaaaallllllyyyyy thought I could battle my way through and not get it. I started feeling the tickle myself and drank Airborne for two straight days and was feeling so much better! Not 100%, but about 92%...pretty good, right?

Well, I have this thing about sleeping with the windows open. I have nothing against fresh air, in fact, I am a lover of all things fresh, but it seems that every time I sleep with an open window, I wake with a cold. Friday night one of my roommates was hot in the hotel and left the window open until 2 a.m. I wasn't even in that room, so I didn't really worry about it - we had a suite and I was on the pull-out sofa bed in the next room -- but I woke up in the morning feeling like I was going backwards again. It could totally be random circumstances, or perhaps the narsty (yes, that's a step beyond nasty) air circulating in the room itself, as evidenced by the fuzzy air vent near the ceiling in the bathroom. I have a feeling it was just a combination of everything. Oh, and did I mention that I stayed up until nearly 2 am and got up again for the day at 6:30? That probably factors in as well.

Today, I feel about 46%. Not good. So, as I wait to see if Miss G will be Mommy's best friend and take a 2nd nap (ha!) today, I thought I'd type out a little whiney blog about feeling blah.

Well, I'm assuming that she's done with her books and is in fact, not interested in more sleep as I now the following coming from her room:

"Mama."
"Heyyyyy."
"Heyyyyyyyyyy."
"Maaaaaamaaaaaa."
"I wanna muk."

She's so subtle.

Home

I did something this weekend that is a very rare occurence around here...I spent the night away from home without my husband and children for my MOPS steering retreat. Going into it on Friday afternoon, I was a bit concerned only because my husband was not having a good day. He was very stressed out by work and a variety of other things...he hit an emotional wall in a way, I think. Anyway -- not exactly the time that I'd love to go jetting off for a day and a half. I would have loved to have been able to sit with him that night, give him a backrub and just be there for him. Instead, there was a semi-frantic exchange of cars and a drive through rush hour traffic for him as he was off to meet my parents for dinner and begin his solo time with the kids. I did get him a card and a little treat on my way to the hotel, but a part of my heart felt sad as he drove away because I felt like I was just adding to his stress. I said some special prayers for him as I walked back into the conference room from the parking lot because I know that when I'm at home with the kids and I'm feeling stressed, it often results in a more anxious, less patient, short-tempered Mommy and I didn't want to be setting him up for the same sort of experience.

Talk about completely underestimating my amazing husband.

I called and talked to him as he was getting the kids into for bed and he already sounded so much better. He told me that everyone had a great time at dinner and that he and Georgia even developed a new trick together, which involved him jiggling her chin around and her making silly noises. Hearing the joy in his voice was a delight for me and I knew then that everything would be fine. Breathing a sigh of relief as I heard him tell me that he loved me and to enjoy my time with "the hens," I hung up the phone with no guilt whatsoever. When I talked to him in the morning, I learned that both kids slept all night (rare these days) and that everyone woke up in a good mood. I even talked to both of them on the phone without it leading to tears about me coming home! Again, I hung up the phone and enjoyed the rest of my day without any guilt about being there.

When I got home last night, I was met by silence, which was a little scary. I will say that there was no blood, broken furniture, and no evidence of fire or flood, so I decided not to panic yet.

As I entered the living room I found my son asleep (asleep?!?!) on the couch, but no sign of my husband or Georgia. As I walked into the empty kitchen past a sleeping Mitchell, I could hear the two of them chattering over the monitor, meaning that she likely just woke up from a nap. (At 5 o'clock?!?!) I was greeted by sunscreen on the counter (a trip to the park), a new trash can (yesssss!) and a picture of the three of them posing in front of a NASCAR car (what?!). Apparently the new Best Buy opened this weekend and my NASCAR nuts got to see the sponsored car parked in front of the store. (He claims he didn't know it would be there, but I'm skeptical.) As I studied the picture of my three happy loved ones, I noticed that both kids were wearing the same clothes that I had left them in the day before. That made me laugh, and I knew that my husband would be claiming to save me from more dirty laundry. I heard Chris say "Let's go downstairs" so I went to greet them.

When my husband brought Miss G down the stairs, I could hear him say "Guess who's here" to her. As they rounded the corner on the landing and we saw each other, the sheer delight in her giggle and the smile that stretched across her entire face both wrapped themselves around my heart. She held her arms out to me and joyfully yelled "MOOOOOMMMMMMAAAAAA!!!!!" I took her from Chris and she instantly wrapped her little arms around my neck, laid her head down on my shoulder and squeezed me with the tightest hug an 18 month old is capable of.

That feeling. That one. That's one of my happy places.

After my world class hug, she immediately sat up, looked at me and in a very serious tone said "I wanna muk." My husband and I just laughed because it was Georgia's way of saying, "Okay, welcome home, yadda yadda...give up the milk, sister."

After a wonderfully comforting bear hug from my husband, he returned to making dinner (pork chops, baked potatoes and a big garden salad - huh?!) and I filled a muk order. As I was putting the milk back into the fridge, I heard Chris say "Hey, buddy -- look who's home!" I closed the door and looked into the living room to see a tousled head of hair, two big brown eyes, and a shy but undeniably joyful smile peeking up at me over the island.

Our reunion was more subdued, but his sleepy grin and gentle hugs melted my heart as I rubbed his back while he woke up and showed me his new Tony Stewart racecar that Daddy had bought for him at "Wullmert." That lasted about a minute and a half, at which point Georgia sniffed out our physical contact and came to voice her displeasure at me hugging anyone but her. My snuggle time with Mitchell turned into snuggle time with Mitchell and Georgia, leading to my husband and I exchanging glances across the room. He could see that I knew I was back where I belonged and I could see that he had been longing for that to happen all day.

Home. I love being home.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

BFF?


My son's favorite thing to do in the morning is to go see his sister in the morning before anyone else does. He is usually up before she is and when he hears her making noise, he always excitedly asks "Can I go see my sister??" When we tell him that he can he yells "Yay!!!!!" and throws the door open to her room and says "Good morning, Sweetheart." He has done this for as long as I can remember. (This picture is a few months old -- I can tell by her hair. And obviously, it's after a nap, not first thing in the morning.) Their game that they have developed is pretty funny to watch. Georgia tosses every stuffed animal and blanket out of her crib and tries to land them on Mitchell's head, and he just as quickly picks them up and hurls them right back into the crib. They laugh and laugh and will do it for about 10-15 minutes, most of the time. In fact, that's what I'm listening to right now, as her room is next door to ours.
It is so sweet, and as I listen to their shrieks of joy, I wonder if they will always be best friends at heart? They are joined at the hip and 9 times out of 10, where you find one, you will find the other. It helps that Georgia thinks Mitchell hung the moon and wants to be right near him doing whatever it is that he's doing. Don't get me wrong, there are many scuffles each day over not taking turns with toys, Georgia "ruining" train tracks, and things like that. In spite of these daily bumps in the road, I hear much more laughing than I do tears, and when one is upset or hurt, the other is right there with a hug and a concerned look.
I hope that they remain close as they grow older and it's my prayer that they continue to protect and love each other the way that they do now because they are a great team.
Off to start the day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"I want"

I was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday (Hi, Renee!) and Georgia came up and said "I want milk." (It actually comes out as "I wanna muk.") I then said that half of what she says these days is preceded by the words "I want." Renee then told me she thought that was pretty good developmentally and I laughed that if she's going to master the art of saying something, "I want" is not a surprising catch phrase for our little ball of fire.

I thought about this as the day went on and had a little revelation of sorts. One of those things you know but don't really think much about. Guess who else lives her life with the words "I want" as a mantra most days?

Me.

Let me demonstrate:

*I want to sell my house quickly.
*I want to be able to find "the perfect" house for us.
*I want my 3 hours of work each week to be easy money.
*I want my husband to be happy at work and not have to work overtime.
*I want my kids to be healthy and well-adjusted.
*I want time for my own study of the Bible each day.
*I want time to myself each day to just relax.
*I want my kids to be kids, just not to make messes like kids.
*I want a housekeeper, you know, other than me.
*I want to be skinny without the jogging. (What's up, Earen? *wink*)
*I want some cute clothes that are beyond inexpensive.

To recap:

I want it easy. I want it now. I want it painless. I want it clean. I want it cheap. I want it convenient. I want it happy.

I want it all.

Times like this, I love the Bible that I use -- it has real life questions in it. Today, I looked up and did the lesson with this one:

"Why is enough never enough? No matter what I have, I dream about what I don't have."

*ahem* Yeah, that seems to fit this morning. I'm going to try and keep this verse on my heart today because, well, WOW. Just wow. It was just what I needed to hear today.

Ecclesiastes 6: 7-9

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind.

I think that I'll turn my "I wants" into "I'm gratefuls."

*I'm grateful that we don't HAVE to sell our house quickly and that we have such a lovely home to live in.
*I'm grateful for the opportunity to buy a bigger home with more luxuries for our family, no matter where that may be.
*I'm grateful for the ability to work at a job I truly enjoy and to have the chance to be a part of changing the lives of children and families.
*I'm grateful that my husband has a strong work ethic and a wonderful job which provides me with the chance to stay home with my children, since I know that's where I belong for now. I'm grateful for the lessons he is learning during his overtime work as I know they will serve him well as he continues to advance in his career.
*I'm grateful that for the most part, my children ARE healthy and well-adjusted. The gift of a healthy child should never be taken for granted...I need to remember that.
*I'm grateful for the chance to worship freely in this country and for the foundation that my parents laid for me so long ago. I'm thankful for Christian music stations as many days, that's the only real time I'm able to have with God's word - -in the car, doing dishes, etc.
*I'm grateful for having a family that I love surround me each day. I know that I could very well be someone who only had time to myself and I would be so lonely.
*I'm grateful for the messes that my children make each day because it means that we spent time having fun and learning together. It also means I had the chance to be with them today.
*I'm grateful for the neverending piles of laundry, dishes and dirty floors because it means we have enough clothes to wear, food toe at, and a house to live in.
*I'm grateful for the yummy food that has given me this ample figure. *hee hee* Actually, I'm grateful for the chance to grow closer to the Lord as I soon begin a Christian-based weight loss group.
*I'm grateful for the fact that I am able to clean out all of our closets at least twice a year and give those clothes to charity.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...that feels so much better. I think I'll print this out and keep it where I can read it every single day as a reminder to myself of how to get rid of the "I wants."

P.S. - Wouldn't you know it, just as I finished typing this, my sweet baby girl woke up and said "I wanna MAMA."

I'm so grateful to be loved and needed by my precious children.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In case you were curious...

Here is a sampling of what Hurricane Georgia is capable of accomplishing in under 10 minutes:

*emptying the entire book cabinet of books
*decorating the living room with 150 napkins (for the 3rd time in one day -- their current home is part of our "staging" process -- guess I need to find them a new spot)
*taking every ziploc baggie out of the box
*stealing hot sauce packets out of the front of the silverware drawer (note to self: move to the back of the drawer when I go downstairs) and running around the living room with them, all the while giving Mommy a heart attack that the clenched little fists will burst the hot sauce packets open all over the new carpet.
*getting snot all over 3 couch pillows while practicing her newly developed ottoman-climb-flip-onto-the-sofa acrobatic move
*partially unscrewing her sippy cup lid and proceeding to dump the entire contents (thankfully just water) onto the highchair tray after an exasperated Mommy straps her in there in order to try and get dinner on plates instead of chasing her around the entire downstairs

The next person who tells me "she's a busy girl" gets to keep her for the day and then see if they still think that's an accurate description. She is WAYYYYYYY beyond busy, folks.

I know that all too soon I will be wanting this stage back but now I'm remembering why 18 months was a tough stage for me with my son. And he was about 1/3 of her in the ol' mischief department.

By the way, the reason she's able to get into all of those drawers is because he never did so they don't have drawer locks.

Yet.

Self-reflection...

First of all, thanks to my fellow blogging friends who inspired me to bling out my blog a bit. I got the bug to glam it up a little after looking at everyone else's cool pictures and things. (Plus, I am avoiding my tower of dirty laundry at this point.)


I just got done finishing up my "homework" for a Bible study that I've been a part of all summer. Every week that we met, we would each bring pictures that corresponded to different things we were talking about. We'd share our pictures with each other and explain why and how they fit into each area and when we went home, we put them into a scrapbook and did some journaling.

I'm truly amazed at how much good this little bit of self-reflection has done for my heart! It was fun to do, sometimes challenging and I have gone back to read what I've written several times. This morning, I was wrapping up the last part of my scrapbooking and as I finished, I realized that I'm a bit sad to be done with this because it's been so good for me.

I've truly enjoyed the soul-searching element of it, and each and every time, it's caused me to focus on the gifts in my life and to see exactly where I've come from, where I am now, and where I want to be in so many different areas. Above all, it's been a very concrete way to reflect about how the Lord has worked in my life. I have written the words "amazed", "astounded", "humbled" and "overwhelmed" more times than I can count.

Here are the things I've already done:
*Blessings
*Answered and unanswered prayers
*People that I love
*People who have influenced my spiritual journey
*My purpose in life

As you might imagine by looking at that list, many of the same people keep popping up in my pictures, but my thoughts about them and the ways in which they have touched my life are different each time. I discovered this morning that I'm not ready to be done yet, so I'm attempting to come up with some more things that I can still tackle as I attempt to scrapbook my way through the "core" of my life.

Here are some of the ideas that have to come to mind:
*Choices - both good and bad
*Gratitude
*Questions I have
*Fears/Doubts
*Celebrations

Feel free to toss out any ideas you might have, and I would LOVE to hear about it if you decide to try this yourself. It has been a very powerful way to engage in some pretty deep self-reflection. I have really missed scrapbooking, as I used to do it all of the time, but then just couldn't seem to find the time and didn't do anything for about two years. This has been a wonderful way for me to be creative and get back into a relaxing hobby that I love. I can't wait to keep going!

Monday, August 20, 2007

We're back...


This is the new "cheese" in our house.


We have reached a new Santa milestone. He willingly sat on his lap and talked loudly enough that Santa could hear him. There were no tears, well, unless you count mine.


(There's the cheese again.) I happen to think that one of the most best places to find the essence of childhood is in a swimming pool.

So, we are back from our weekend away and we are all tired. A good tired, but still -- tired. We packed a LOT into one weekend, and really the only thing that wasn't packed in there was a good amount of sleep. I guess that's what happens when you cram in time with good friends, fun places to go, and beautiful surroundings to enjoy. We can always catch up on sleep. (Oh, and Earen - I guess that means I won't be jogging this week. *wink*)

Just in case you're wondering, Friday night was a repeat of Thursday night with the addition of a 1:30 a.m. trip to Walmart for Georgia and I. We were both in our pajamas for soy milk and swimsuits. We ended up getting: new sunglasses for Miss G that she insisted on wearing through the store (complete with the plastic rectangular holder), soy milk, a size 3T bikini for Miss G (she wears 18 months), and a cute, pink terrycloth robe/dress thing for me. The smallest bathing suit they had for me was literally 4 sizes too big. Bummer. And shocker. Doesn't it seem like Mom is the one who gets the shaft in things like that? Oh well -- I got to watch them swim anyway.

I came home from this weekend with renewed gratefulness for the love and friendship I am blessed to have in my life. The laughs, food, scenery and love that I shared during this one weekend are more than many people experience in a lifetime.

Blessed. I am blessed.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh, boy...

This weekend could get verrrrrrrry interesting, my friends.

As I type this, it is 3:09 a.m. and I am the only one in the house who is awake. After I finish this entry, I'm going to go do laundry. And I'm not kidding.

We are supposed to leave tomorrow for a short weekend trip away with my best friend and her family for an early 60th birthday celebration for her dad. Here's the thing - both of my kids are sick. And cranky. And whiny.

I'm up at this time of the night because Miss Georgia slept from about 7:30 until about 11:00 and then decided screaming would be good. For a few hours. Again, so not kidding.

The deal with her is this -- she will scream at the very tippy top of those little lungs until I come get her. If I say "Georgia, no screaming. You need to use your words," she will stop screaming, say "Tay" and hold her arms out to me.

Yeah. I said "uh-oh," too.

Seriously. What do I do with that? On the one hand, I don't want to teach her that if she screams like that, she'll get what she wants (a.k.a. mommy's attention). At the same time, I don't want to make her feel as though I won't comfort her when she's upset. (There's also the issue of her brother sleeping next door.)

She actually did wake him up tonight -- I believe that is the first time we've had that happen. She really got her pipes tuned up tonight! Poor Mitchell - he was so tired and confused. I think it worries him when she's upset like that, too. He was upset so I let him come to bed in my room.

So, after a dose of motrin, here's how it's looking at the moment:
*nursery: Georgia is snoring away (massive runny nose/congestion)
*my bedroom: Mitchell and Stacie (my best friend) are both completely sacked out in my bed
*living room: My husband is asleep on the couch

I'm now wide awake as the screamfest was a major stress to me and I am now unable to go to sleep, and not sure where I'd do that if I wanted to, at this point. I'm glad that some peaceful sleep has come to everyone -- hopefully I can take a nap tomorrow or something.

In the meantime, I have dishes to do (we left the dinner ones in the sink tonight), laundry to do, bags to pack, carpets to vaccuum, floors to mop, bathrooms to wipe down, and snacks to pack.

Gee, wonder why I can't sleep....again.

In the meantime, I just read some of my fabulous book for Bible Study and am struck by a passage, which includes scripture. I've been thinking about it for about an hour now and know it's one that I'll be memorizing and taking out for a spin in my mothering journey this week.

"The scripture tells parents not to simply report evidence of God Moments to their children, but to find ways to insure that those truths make a lasting impression. 'These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up' (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)."

Impress them on your children, as you sit, walk, lie down and get up. Wow. That's a little different than just making sure I mention a thing or two in passing.

This last hour, I've not only been pondering meaningful ways in which I can try to place God's handprints on my children's hearts throughout their days, I've also been slapping myself with the reality stick and honestly examining which sticky, messy handprints of my own I've left behind so far.

I know that He is bigger than I am, and that comforts me as I think about His handprints covering mine up. As I think about things like that, I know too that in order to have the impact that I need to on my children's hearts, I will need to not forget to wrap my own heart in His word in all that *I* do each day.

One thing that I've really thought a lot about during the course of this Bible study is the fact that I am immeasurably blessed by the fact that my parents laid a sound spiritual foundation for me. I fell away from The Lord for many years during and after college, but I know that without a doubt, what brought me back is the solid, core beliefs that were, well, impressed upon my heart by my parents as a child.

They couldn't live my life for me. They couldn't make me be someone I wasn't. They couldn't choose paths for me. There was that whole "free will" thing that came into play, and that was completely out of their hands. I'm sure it broke their hearts to watch me drift and go through lots of pain along the way. I know that they never stopped loving me or praying for me, and for that I am beyond grateful. It is a tremendous lesson for me as a mother -- that what I'm doing for, with and around them really does matter. It really will impact their adult lives.

So, starting today, I look to meaningfully impress upon my children's hearts the love and hope of our Lord, for I know just how powerfully it can change someone's life. I'm my own best example.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I love my life.

I really do. I love it.

Love my house.
Love my husband.
Love my kids.
Love my family.
Love my friends.
Love my freedom.

I am blessed. I am truly, truly blessed. That's all I have time for but really, that's all I needed to say right now. I've had a tough week or two emotionally but when it all comes down to it, I have nothing to be really down about. My "problems" are other people's dreams.

I'm blessed and I know it. I'm so thankful to the Lord for all that He has given me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Priorities...

I'm slowly figuring some things out.

(By the way, is it possible that this is the "30's" thing I've always heard about? Where your 30's are all about finally becoming YOU and figuring out who that is?)

Prioritizing...I can do that. That's what I've always thought about myself, but I'm finding out that maybe that's not exactly as true as I've led myself to believe.

If I'm so adept at prioritizing, then why have I *consistently* knocked taking care of myself to the bottom rung of the ladder? As in, when life gets stressful, it's the first thing to go?

When I'm pressed for time, do I say no to playdates? No, but my workouts are the first thing to go.

When I'm emotionally drained, do I stop answering the phone or listening to my friends when they are having problems of their own? No, and instead of turning to people - I many times turn to food (and don't realize it half the time.)

When I'm stressed out, do I back away from commitments for a short time? No, but my own Bible study and personal reading gets shoved aside.

Stuff like that. Why is that? I'm working on the answer and hoping to change some things.

I guess for me, it's like anything else in life. I'm still searching for some balance...giving of myself to others generously without giving so much that there's nothing left in the tank for me at the end of the day. Or the beginning of the day. Or the middle. I do often find time for myself in the middle of the night though -- you know, when I can't sleep because I'm so stressed out. Ha!

Oh, and the key? Losing the guilt. I'm big. Big. On self-induced guilt. I need to just build a bridge and get over it.

This is definitely something I'm beginning to pray about and I'm trying to build some concrete things into my life and daily routine to help me along. It's a very daunting task.

Monday, August 13, 2007

YOU are the baby!



Friday night Chris had to work a bit late, which was fine since the kids and I were supposed to go to a birthday party for my best friend's nephew. Well, the birthday boy got sick, so instead we went to dinner with my mom and dad. You know what? Georgia apparently sees herself very differently than I do. There was a little boy who looked like he was about her same age sitting at a table behind us. Every once in a while, Miss G would turn around to look at him. After a few minutes, she pointed over at him and actually had the nerve to tell me "Beebee."

Ummmmm...excuse me??!! Are YOU calling HIM a baby??!! YOU are the BABY!

Seriously. That broke my heart in a teeny way that probably makes sense only to other Mommies who are in denial about their youngest, and probably last, child growing up too quickly. My baby -- my BABY -- just seemed so big when she did that.

My sweet baby girl.

And then I just sat and watched her the rest of the meal. Really watched her. I felt like a first time mom again -- I kept telling my mom and dad to look at her, to watch what she was doing. It was like having my eyes newly opened to just how sweet and silly and completely adorable she is.

We had pretty slow service so there was lots of time to watch her. She spent lots of time putting a straw wrapper that she'd ripped into two pieces on top of her head. She'd then sign "hat" and say "hack" and laugh at herself proudly. Shortly after, she'd shake her head until both pieces fell off, then she'd repeat the process.

My sweet baby girl.

Mitchell had requested a "smoovie" so we had them make an adult-sized portion and split into two cups for the kids. Georgia was very excited to taste hers and her reaction was hysterical. She pursed her little mouth into a mini-version of her Daddy's famed "chimp lips" to suck on her straw. She took two big swallows and her eyes immediately grew even bigger and brighter than they normally are, which is saying a lot. She then threw both arms into the air and shouted (literally) "Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!"

My sweet baby girl.

She had a grilled cheese and applesauce for dinner. I was again snapped out of my denial bubble when I paused to consider that I no longer need to tear her sandwich into little dime or nickel sized bites. I just test her food to make sure it's not too hot and let her at it. No more cramming fistfuls of tiny bites into her mouth...now she's all about taking the biggest bite she can out of her big girl sandwich. When it came time for applesauce, I would offer her bites and she would immediately giggle and hang her head as far backwards as it would go, being very silly. It wasn't until I said "Here, Georgia's turn," that she took any interest in the applesauce. She immediately sat straight up and held out her little hand to take the spoon. Together, we scooped up the applesauce and steered it into her mouth. After the first bite, she showed off a big grin, very proud to have been part of feeding herself. I don't think she took another bite of grilled cheese until we had scooped every last bite of that applesauce out.

My sweet baby girl.

When we had finished dinner and it was time to leave, I stood up and got my purse and the diaper bag and went around to the other side of the highchair to undo the straps. Miss G thought I was leaving without her and immediately started fussing and reaching for me saying "Mama!! Mama!!" I got her out of her highchair and when I picked her up, she immediately kissed my cheek, as she's in a big giving kisses phase, then wrapped her arms around my neck and laid her head down on my shoulder for a snuggle.

Ahhhhh, there she is....my sweet baby girl.





Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My boy is the sweetest.

No, seriously. He is.

Yesterday I had a RAGING headache. I don't get headaches. I had also been up pretty late the night before not feeling well. You know when you feel like you could be sick but you're not sure? That was me. Since I work with kids, the last thing I wanted to do was get them sick, so I cancelled my day. My in-laws graciously offered to keep the kids for a little while so that I could rest, but I chose to run an errand I'd been putting off instead while I could do it alone. One of those things that just felt better to cross off my list, I suppose.

Anyway, I came back to pick them up and then knew I *had* to lay down when G took her nap or I'd be in big trouble later. So, for the first time in probably a year, I attempted to take a nap when my daughter slept.

You know, you always hear that as great advice when you are a new mom. "Sleep when the baby sleeps," people will tell you. Maybe (okay, most likely) I'm an odd duck but I just could never do that. I'd either get caught up in housework, or reading, or something -- I just couldn't relax enough to sleep, I guess. Plus, when you have another child, it's that much harder.

In any case, I decided that I must nap yesterday so after I put Georgia down, I told Mitchell that I needed to lay down, too. He knew I didn't feel well and I guess he was more concerned about me than I realized. Instead of taking that chance to run around like a crazy man, he chose to instead, follow me into my room and climb in bed with me. I almost immediately fell asleep because I was just so in need of rest, but I do remember him saying "I'll be right back, Mommy."

Do you know what that absolutely precious boy did for his Mommy?

He got two stuffed animals and his two favorite bedtime books and brought them to me. He gave me the animals one at a time and sort of tucked me around them, and them around me and instructed me to snuggle with them so that I could feel better. He then announced that he would be reading to me. I wish I could say that I clearly remember him reading those books because I'm sure it was the sweetest thing ever, but I was snoozing away.

I just remember randomly waking up throughout that two hours and he would be sitting by me or in my room playing trains on the floor and when I'd look at him, he'd come over and give me a kiss and ask if I was okay. Then he'd tuck the animals back in around me.

*sigh*

My prayer is that he never loses that desire to care for the people he loves and that he does it without hesitation and with all of his heart. I don't know at what age children usually start to lose that quality -- the innocent ways in which they go about their lives, but I hope that at least some of it stays forever.

Yesterday was one of those days where I wasn't just proud to be a Mommy. I was exceptionally grateful to be his Mommy.

My little Doodlebug -- there's only one.