Friday, October 25, 2013

Disasters at the Doctor's

Two days ago, my sweet Stevie broke his finger.  We were told to follow up with his pediatrician two days  I tried setting the appointment yesterday, because I had errands to run today and people to meet up with and I just wanted to know what time we'd need to work around....blah, blah.  The Dr office wanted to only schedule "day of" appointments.  I called back today...and waited an hour for a call back from them, saying he needed to be seen by an Orthopedic Dr.  I called that Dr, and they had one opening 20 minutes from that time.  I couldn't make it to that office in 20 minutes if I had my own jet pack, but what are you gonna do?  So, I said I'd do my best.  We took our bathroom trips and loaded up.  I am frantically trying to punch the address to this new office into our gps.  It won't work.  Doesn't recognize the street name.  Ughhh.  I ran back inside to look it up find that the Point in the road had an "e" at the end.  That would've been helpful information.  I can't print from my laptop because one child has disabled something on it refuses to print. I put the new "Pointe" into my gps, and off we go.  Never mind that sometimes it thinks I'm on a completely different road than I actually am and needs to readjust every couple of minutes.  That makes traveling...while in a hurry with little ones...especially fun.  Stressed?  Psshh!

We made it there a little late, mmhmm, and rushed in (as much as a 4 and 2 1/2 year old like to "rush"...swimming in a pool of peanut butter...amen?).  We checked in, and I'm handed the huge stack of paper work since we're new.  The kids were being sooo good.  Like, really good!!  They are good kids in general, but boy, I was noticing.  It went much more smoothly than our Urgent Care visit 2 nights before.  ("Please stop jumping off that!" "We've had enough injuries for one night,"  "Take that out of your mouth," "PLEASE get out of there," "I know that looks cool, but do you know where that's been?")  We got called back quickly (whoa!)...did the whole height, weight, etc. with the nurse, and his name was even Stephen.  The nurse left us to wait for the Doctor.  Oh, this visit is going so well, I was thinking...even if we were a little late, and I was a little stressed.

I set the kids up with some "occupiers" together on the table and tried to complete the three hundred pages of health history and the levels of pain my son's been in.  Ha, I thought it was hard for myself to give a number from 0-10!  Stevie said 3!  Sounded good to him.  While I worked, I noticed one of my children "wiggle and dance."  All moms know what that means.  "Do you need to go potty?"  "No."  The dancing gets worse.  "Do you need to go potty?"  A panicked "yes" comes in response this time...and then "Oh no, I'm wet!" and I scoop child up and run to the hall.  Where is child number 2?  Still happily sitting on the exam table.  Scoop that child up, one under each arm....more than 70 lbs of children here!  We tried to run (umm, ha), but I quickly realized I didn't know where to go.  Newbies.  The nurse saw us stumbling around in the hallway, and led the way.  We get in, and I'm relieved that in fact we made it in time as I helped my child use the bathroom.  We made it!  (Cheers in my head)

But, I thought too soon...and that child also was relieved. The flood gates opened before we were quite ready (what did you drink this morning?), which resulted in my entire right pant leg from mid-thigh down becoming saturated, a little on child's pants (go figure), and the pacific ocean covering the floor of the entire handicap stall.  As I try to calm wet child down...and get cleaned up, my other child is pointing out the big mess, and saying, "Mommy, you got all wet?"  I had one in tears over wet pants and one marveling over the ginormous puddle...just itching for a boat and a swim.  I'm trying to think how I can quickly clean this up before A.) the Dr. comes to our room  B.) the dry child becomes wet child  C.) the wet child has an even bigger melt down  D.) the pacific ocean consumes neighboring dry lands  E.) anyone else comes in and stumbles upon our creation!  Talk about pressure!  I did my best cleaning up and clothing the child who was wet, and I did my best with the pacific ocean (sorry about the trash can, but hey, that's better than the floor! and THANK YOU for having paper towels...and not just a dryer), and my happy, enamored child gave me a break and stayed clear.  (Say, what?)  It was time to clean myself up.  What do I do with urine soaked pants?  Seriously, this was not just a dab....this was water war soaked.  I got out the paper towels, soap, and water, and did a little scrubbing...and then I laughed....and laughed...and wished there was a dryer after all.  All I could think of was the scene in Army Wives when Roxy is trying to get the wine out of her dress in the bathroom, and she's scrubbing at the sink saying to all those around, "No need for tears, ladies.  Got it at the Goodwill."  (You have to know the show....and the fact that almost all my clothes are thrift store or garage sale.)  No one walked in on us....phew!  But, I'm sure they were wondering what in the world we were doing in the bathroom so long.

We tried to "quickly" make it back to our room, smiling at everyone in the hall as we passed (me and child who watched, child who participated was not so happy).  What a sight we must've been.  Frazzled and soaked and no doubt stringing along a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of each of our shoes.  We can laugh or cry...and I decided to laugh, but poor child was not dealing as well as Mommy with wet pants.  I had a second pair in the van...but how does one tow both kids out to the parking lot of a big office, get changed, and make it back in time for the doctor??  And...we were already late.  For real, the ONE time I don't bring the whole backpacking gear with us, is the one time we need it.  So, the Dr. entered, and we explained, and she said, "We have shorts!  Would you like a pair?"  The child did.  I politely declined for myself.  The shorts said "Peds" on them, but they looked like XXL men's boxer shorts....paper boxers, haha... disposable boxers.  Child was happy though, and I was happy.  And very wet....and a bit smelly.  We made it through the visit, and Stevie was a champ for all the prodding on his finger.  Then we proudly made our way out the doors, parade style as always with young children, and through the waiting room with soggy clothes and one adorable little one in some super large, breezy shorts.  The child liked them so much, that instead of doing a quick change, they requested to wear them home with a blanket on their lap.  No sticker or toy this visit, but one of them got a pretty cool pair of paper balloon shorts!  

It's a bummer that office won't have the pleasure of us visiting again any time soon.

Monday, June 3, 2013

4 Years

My Dear Stephen,

Oh, my dear Stephen Matthew.  Tomorrow you turn 4.  4 years.  How is it possible that you are already 4 years old?  As soon as the weather starts to really warm up late in the spring, I am reminded of being so pregnant with you and just itching to meet you.  Here you are, and oh, how I love you.  You are so fun, thoughtful, giving, helpful, silly, curious, intent, focused, and I could go on.  I was noticing today how much you looked like a 4 year old.  You no longer look like you're 3.  You're just growing so fast.  You're tall like your Daddy.  And, your little newly buzzed head I could rub all day long!  You don't sit much on my lap these days, so I soak up the time you sit in close with me. 

I am SO thrilled for you ...for your birthday tomorrow.  You have been asking for your birthday for months!!  So many of your cousins have had birthdays in the winter, and you have just been waiting for your turn.  There were many days you would ask about your birthday every day.  Here it is!  I hope you enjoy all of the balloons, the streamers, the gifts, the ice cream, the fun memories....but most of all, I hope you realize how special you are.  You are a gift, Stephen Matthew.  God created you uniquely.  There's no one else like you anywhere.  You are not only important to me and Dad (and Lydia too), you have such a special purpose here on this earth, and I am so thankful the Lord chose us to walk with you as you grow in your strengths and look to Him in your weaknesses for His glory.  You have become such a giver, and I hope you always give to others.  You have become such a helper....and that servant's heart (like your Dad has) will go so far to help others.  You can be Jesus' hands for others when they need a lift or help.  Wherever we are, when you see others doing well...whether they are running fast, or making a basket, or completing a puzzle, you tell them, "Great job!" and often clap.  Keep that up, Buddy.  Encourage others just as you already do!  You tell me you're strong, and yes, you are!  Use that strength for the good of others.  There are some things that can only be done by you, Stevie, so don't be afraid to do those things, however the Lord leads you. 

I love you so much.  I longed to be a mom, and then you came.  What a boy God gave me.  You are such a blessing.  I am so thankful to be able to be with you every day.  You are learning so much, and I'm able to hear from you how much you enjoy things (or don't enjoy them).  There's nowhere else I'd rather be. 

Here are some of your favorite things: 
-hot dogs, pancakes, pizza, and anything chocolate or ice cream.
-trains, trucks (cranes, cherry pickers, garbage trucks...all of the big ones that "do" cool things), planes, and helicopters
-you still love your cow...and tell him to snuggle, or you carry him on your shoulders, or you cover him with your blankie so he can sleep
-your big boy bike and tricycle, riding car
-playing basketball and baseball
-you love to run and run or walk on the trail by the house
-your favorite Bible story is Jesus calming the storm
-sometimes when you wash your hands, you say you're like Jesus...hmm
-you love fish (and Grandma and Grandpa are getting you a real fishing pole for your birthday! Woohoo!  What fun you'll have!)
-you wake up early in the morning and come in bed with me.  You don't lay down very long because you bring toys in and end up bouncing all around and asking to go downstairs for breakfast
-you love to open the door when your teachers come...but especially when Daddy gets home!
-you love when Daddy or I "stickle" you (tickle you)
-Lydia.  I love how close you two are.  You just love her, and she loves you too.  You play together and get into mischief are always up to something.  I love to hear you chat before you go to sleep.  You both have gotten to the arguing stage though....especially in the car.  We are working on that. :)
-you love the car carts at Wegmans.  You drive JUST like Daddy and put your arm across the back and turn your head around when Daddy backs the cart up. 
-you also tell me where to go when I drive because it's like you can smell a railroad track in the distance...and we must see every railroad track in the county.
-when you go pee, you say "faster, faster, faster"...yes, I wrote that.  Yes, you'll laugh when you're grown.  Such a boy!
-probably one of MY favorite things is when you tell me, "It's a great day, Mom."  And, I know you mean it...because usually, you are having a great day.  Those days aren't as difficult...and we all know we have difficult days, so when those "great days" come...and then you verbalize it, what a joy!  It makes me so proud, and so happy, and I just love your great days...because those are the best days for me too.

I can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow!  I hope it's a super "great day."  Happy 4th Birthday, Stevie!

With love and kiss, always and forever,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Precious Lydia,

Happy Birthday!  Wow, you are 2!  It doesn't seem like it was that long ago we were running through the rain to get in the van to head to the hospital to have you.  Yet, you have kept our days very full.  I didn't have a clue holding onto that sweet baby how much personality and energy you would have!  You are my busy and mischeivous girl.  The number of things you get into quite often astounds me and leaves me chasing after the tornado remnants you've left behind.  Getting things ready for company sure is a trick!  Games come out with little pieces strung about, you play 52 pick up with playing cards...but forget the point of the game, movies seem to "walk" all over the house, and those wipes are always "hopping" out of the packages.  You always seem to grab hand soap, hair gel, oils of any kind, our toothbrushes and other messy substances (or that dreaded plunger) to get into.  I'm always two steps behind you, and ohh the messes.  I find myself saying, "If I had a dollar..." a lot around here.  But you know what?  No amount of money could ever replace my love for you, even on our most difficult days!  I end up singing that country song, "Crazy Girl." 

You sure stretch your Mommy to her limits sometimes....with your fearlessness and your strong will.  I suppose you're toughening me you jump down the stairs or push chairs from other rooms to jump off of onto the couch.  Yet, you can be so compassionate and tender. I love how you pat my back when I hold you, or you gently rub my cheeks.   You give your bunny kisses and push him in your stroller or shopping cart.  You even offer to "carry you" so he doesn't have to ride in it and can be in your you want me to do when we shop.  That bunny goes everywhere with you.  Sometimes you rub Stevie's head and hair saying, "Nice, Buddy." Or, you'll take his cheeks in your hands and ask him what's wrong. (You might have a little bossiness in there too...One day, you'll probably be a Mommy too.)  I pray your courage makes you strong in the Lord, to stand for what's right, always helping and taking care of others in need. 

Ever since you were tiny (once we got over that screaming period of a few months), you have had this joy in there's always some song in your heart.  You used to thump that little leg...and now you sing little mumbled versions of songs.  I have so enjoyed your love for music...even if we need to listen to "Hush Mr. Rooster" in the van a million times on repeat, or your asking me to sing "Happy Birthday to You" 3 times before bed tonight.  And, it was your birthday, so I obliged...and giggled.  Would you me to sing for you...about you...again?  Even Stevie sang you a line of it tonight.  Very special indeed.  You love "I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my Heart."  You call it "Joy Joy."  I will sing, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart" and pause...and you say, not sing, "where?" in your super deep voice.  Your super deep voice, chin to your chest, eyebrows raised, cracks me up every time.  And when we sing, "My God is so Big"....girl, you put your heart into it!  You stick those pointer fingers in the air and yell "Bick" (for "big").  Yes, He's that big.  And there's nothing He can't do...for you!  Carry that with you always, and when you hit those challenges, sing it out!  You still love "Holy, Holy, Holy"...and I love that you and Stevie share that special song.

You still love doggies and playing with balls.   The movie "Air Bud" wraps it all up with a bow.  You love to go outside or "upside" and go for walks.  It's a good fit because I love to take you on walks. :)  You now like to go for walks with just Mommy and you hold my hand as we walk up and down our street or the trail looking for pinecones and other neat treasures. That's one of my favorite things with you...and if I could bottle that up forever, I would.  If you start without me, you put your hand behind your back doing a low wave, look behind you just with your eyes...without turning your head, and say, "Come on.  Come on."

You are your brother's biggest cheerleader, and that's a wonderful thing, Lydia.  I hope you both become best friends and supporters of each other!  You cheer for him when he goes to the potty, and when he's running fast outside.  You talk about him all the time....wondering if he needs to go potty because you like to take the trip upstairs for a change in scenery (and to get into all those bathroom things). 

I've been having fun putting your hair in pig tails!  It's growing!  You love shoes and are always trying mine on or Daddy's or Stevie's ...or each therapist's that comes in our home.  They say you have good taste in shoes.  You love to color and use stickers.  We're still working on coloring on paper approved by mom...instead of books, my planner, tables, your body, etc.  We're also having to remove garage sale 25 cent stickers from mail envelopes ready to be sent out.  I usually forget to put my purse on the hooks, and that's great fun for you to dig into too.  You've been found to have answered the phone before I can get there....and of course, to call other people too.

You're still a pretty good eater, but you decided milk is a no go after we gave up morning and bedtime bottles in February.  You love your yogurt and cheese though.  I'm not sure what your favorite meal eat most anything, but you still always ask for marshamallows or chocolate chips.  Since it was your birthday, I let you choose your breakfast.  You chose those little packs of breadsticks and cheese.  Whatever, kid.  This year, instead of gobbling down your entire cupcake in 3.4 seconds, you decided to just eat the frosting and sprinkles off the top.  Pure sugar is your deal I guess.  You always ask to get down from your chair after you've eaten...and go over to eat whatever Stevie's left behind.  I think mostly you like his grown up silverware and sitting in a regular chair.  You do sit in a regular chair sometimes to did for the whole meal at your birthday party at Grandma's.

You are soo silly but a little shy around people you don't know too well.  Your giggle is absolutely contagious...and so sometimes, bedtime is a little bit later because well, if you're giggling with Stevie, it can wait for just a little bit longer...even if we do have to mop up the bathroom floor with all of the towels after a splashing, laughing bath time.  You are silly but so serious other times.  When we pray, you clothes your eyes so tight and clamp your hands together and just pray.  Sometimes you'll say, "Pray, pray, pray, talk to Jesus, pray."  Maybe as a 2 year old, you'll call your cousin "Josiah" instead of "Jesus."  I know...those J names can get confusing!

I love you so much Lydia.  Happy 2nd Birthday! 

Love always and with a kiss,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 10th

March 10th, 2013 was my due date for the sweet little one I lost.  In a perfect world, I would've met my David Zephaniah on *or around* March  I plan to write him a letter in a separate post, and I have a whole post that's been sitting in my drafts for months about going through the experience of miscarrying and the dealings afterwards. It's raw but real, and I may share it at another time.  For now, this is where my heart is.  (I share because I like to write, and just maybe it will strike a chord with someone else.) 

I sometimes experience waves of emotion that hit me at unexpected times.  Like when I'm going through the baby section at the store to get the little boy underwear we need, and I see the pacifiers hanging in the next aisle.  I choke up.  I ache.  Tears fill my eyes.  I miss my baby I never knew.  Sometimes it's just sadness, sometimes it's overwhelming ache and grief, and other times it's a simply a sweet memory that causes a smile to creep across my face because I *know* about his life.  Because he was here, I can miss him.  We still share that special bond even though I never held him.  I'm thankful for the touch he's had on my life, and how that will continue until we meet in heaven.

Through the loss of David (or Zeph), I have had a new understanding of how precious life is and what a gift it is.  God's a fan of life too.  His very being is life giving and life breathing.  It's true, He gives and takes away, but He is the Author and Creator of abundant life, and my little guy, whatever was wrong before is renewed now, and God is working it for our good.  I know that He is because otherwise I wouldn't have the hope that I do.

Life is SO precious.  Yet, we can take it for granted so easily.  We can even think that we are the creators of life and in charge.  For me, through losing our little one and not being entirely "Fertile Mertile" (though it may appear to some that we are, having 2 in 22 months and David would've been, crazily enough, 22 months after Lydia... and maybe because we're more open to children?), I am growing more keenly aware of the Giver of Life.  I am learning to trust more and learning I don't have to be in control.  (Yes, I'm still learning that.)  What fits into our "schedules" and perfections of timing and stages of life minimizes the preciousness, the sacredness, and the wonderful gift that life is.  A child does not "fit in on Monday."  A child is a life, a blessing.  He or she is uniquely crafted and created by our Heavenly Father with a purpose and with wonderful gifts and talents to encourage others and to bring glory to His name ....and all of these things, "for such a time as this."  (Anybody else out there a big fan of Esther?)  I have a purpose, my family members each have a purpose, and you have a purpose..."for such a time as this."

Our little one's pretty incredible.  He wasn't left out.  I don't know why I was not able to carry him to term, to be able to see, to touch, and to kiss his sweet face on this very day.  But, I do know he has left a mark on my heart for which I am eternally grateful.  Even his name reminds me to store up my treasures in heaven, for my treasures are a reflection of my heart and what I place the most value in.  My child has brought me closer to my Savior, a Savior Who loves me enough to have given me His Son.  He loves me that much.  

Even though my little one was only weeks in my belly, he will forever be in my heart. He's my treasure. He reminds me to keep looking heavenward with whatever time I have been given.  I know God has more plans for us and for our little family that include loving more treasures, more little lives.  We're seeking Him as He unfolds more of the story, and I'll keep sharing when I can.  For now, I'm remembering my sweet little one, cherishing his big brother and big sister, and walking hand in hand with their amazing Daddy while seeking to share with the world that life is precious.  And if you haven't heard it in awhile, "You are dearly loved."

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Was Not Blogging

...when this happened.  If you want to know why I rarely blog, here is 1 reason.

(Picture quality, terrible I know.  I had a little one following me.  But, you get it right?) 

Her name is spelled L.Y.D.I.A. 

Do I mention this was the same day she had gotten into some cookies?  (And the kicker is, we usually don't have so much "good" stuff in the house.  We were potty training.  Extra treats were needed all around.)  And, Lydia knew.  She knew.  My kids love chocolate as much as their parents.  How does she get into things?  She epitomizes "Where there's a will, there's a way!" She tore the top right off!  In case you're wondering, she "only" ate from the donuts that are pictured.  The other row and a half missing was eaten by Matt and yours truly.  Phew.  Not all at once either.  Phew. 

A few days later she got her little hands into the vegetable shortening.  "Where were you, Mom?" you ask?  Oh, I was... 2 feet away from her in the kitchen doing dishes.  My problem was...I was looking at the dishes.  She was elbow deep in that gooey goodness, squishing it in her hands, saying, "Nice! Nice!"  I don't even know how I responded to my happy girl, but it was urgent....skipping right over, "How did you get the lid off (and without me realizing 2 feet away)?"  She can think of her ideas and act on them lightning fast.  I'm taking notes but still not as efficient as she is.  While I quickly tried to know, with some urgent yelp, I envisioned smears of a creamy, slippery mess all over our house.  (I'm not a neat freak Mom by any stretch, and I often let my kids play with some things that will get them messy.  But, vegetable shortening?  I don't even like to wash it off of spoons or out of measuring cups.)  Well, she listened to her frazzled mother and pulled her Crisco clumped hands out of the container.  Before I could get to the paper towels, she eyed the white blobs covering her hands.  "Mommy would like me to leave that Crisco alone, and she probably wants me to clean up.  I better smear what's left on my hands allll around my pink-shirted belly.  That'll do the job. " And so she did. 

"Give thanks in all circumstances:"  At least I got to her before she could rub it in her hair! 
And of course, as busy as she is, I love that smiley little girl, and I love the miracle that her Crisco-covered, happy self is.

Dear Lydia, I love your adventurous spirit, but please get into a few less things each day and take a moment to read a book or play with a toy...or sit on Mommy's lap, relaxed, and singing sweetly while I write, as we share one donut together...or please, just leave the vegetable shortening (and the plunger) alone. 

Baby gate #2 for the kitchen has been installed. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What They're Sayin'

S: "Leeyah, why you pickin' yo nose?"

S: "Whach you talkin' 'bout, Leeyah?"

Whenever Lydia walks into the room and sees me, "Marsh? I want marsh."  (Marshmallows.)  Sometimes that's her greeting in the morning when I get her from her crib.  "Good Morning, Lydia.  No, no marshmallows at 7am."

If she falls from one of her numerous stunts, we've heard from the time she started walking, "You ok? Carepul (careful)."  If only she would follow her own advice.

When I get out something especially tasty to eat or we announce we're going somewhere exciting, Stevie will yell, "Meee!!" and Lydia, wherever she is (often "in" the movie cabinet/behind the door), will yell, "Meee!!" with her little hand sticking straight up in the air.  She usually hasn't even heard what we're talking about.  If Stevie does it, she has to do it too.

(Warning, lots of potty talk ahead)

When Stevie is on the potty:
L: "Yayyyy, Stevie!  Good job, potty!  Good poopies!"  Complete with clapping.

When Mommy is "in the bathroom" and Lydia comes in:
L: "Yayyyy, Mommy!  Good job, potty!  Good poopies!"  Complete with clapping.
(Side note: I LOVE how encouraging my kids are.  They really are ready to cheer anyone on for whatever they're doing.  I hope and pray it continues throughout their lives.)

If I bend over, and my shirt lifts off my back a bit, Lydia runs over.  She sticks her finger on my back and runs it back and forth, "Poop."  Nope, mommy does not have a poopy diaper, Lydia.

Potty Training is probably my least favorite "milestone" but maybe one I'm most proud of so far because I know he's proud, and it really is such an accomplishment.  He's doing awesome!  (Even if he did start kicking and screaming when I tried to put his Bob the Builder underwear on for the first time, and I had an "uh oh"...this really is going to be awful.)  Anyway, there has been some comic relief along the stressful way.

So, literally 30 seconds after wrestling my unhappy child into his underwear, he was ecstatic!  Over the moon...and hy.per.!  Running all over the house in just his Bob the Builders!  He jumped on the couch (eek...he doesn't know what he's doing yet), kneeled on one knee and started kicking his other leg out to the side quickly over and over.  "Look Mommy, eckersizes!"  I so wish I had that on camera!

Should I mention he wore his sister's Easter hat the whole morning of that first day?  Underwear and a white Easter hat with a pink ribbon.  Yes, we have pictures of him wearing the hat on the potty.  They will appear when he brings home his future bride (and maybe a copy of this post).

We used prizes and M&M's for motivation.  After the initial struggle and him needing to be successful once, it worked like a charm.  Yes, my boy likes his chocolate.  I get M&M's when he goes too.  It seems only right.  At the beginning, he would sit and sit and sometimes he just couldn't go.  But, he wanted that chocolate.  These are a few of my favorite comments:

"It's not workin' Mom!"
"Oh no.  It's too empty!" (referring to the empty potty seat when he couldn't go.)
"I cannot find the poooopies."  (You have to have emphasis on those o's.  He's usually bending over trying to look under himself.  He knows they're in there somewhere.)

And when it does work:
"Look, Mom, sprayin' the water!"
"Bye pee!" when we flush it down.
"Oh, look Mommy, puh-shiz."  (Makes me laugh every. time.  Sometimes he gets little "smudges" on the back of the potty seat.  Yes, it's gross and probably TMI (but we're mostly Moms here), but hilarious how he says it....and he says it all proud because it means he went #2 in the potty (or on it, haha).)
"I did it, Mom!"
Sometimes after he's done, he simply asks, "Chocolate, Mom?"  That's my boy!
And then sometimes, he just doesn't want to talk about it and even gives a little scowl.  (Like, "Mom, please don't talk about my pee again.  Let's move on.")  Cracks me up.

Ok, now we are moving on.  I'm so proud of him!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Valentine's Day

This sums up our Valentine's Day:

The kids received a wind-up fish and shark for the bath tub.  Thank you, Target dollar bins!  They work great, but the paint is chipping off the fish.

From me and the kids to Matt:

(He is actually really hot, but "soda" had to be in there somewhere.  Pop is our treat of choice around here.  We're not coffee drinkers...just pop drinkers on occasion, Dr. Pepper (or Dr. Thunder) and Cherry Coke variety.)

From Matt to me:

(Yeah, we're so cheap I get to use cold water. Nice one.) 

These are Crayola Window Crayons.  I actually was planning to put some in Matt's stocking for Christmas.  I couldn't find them at the store, and one day totally randomly, my Mom gave me some kids' songs cassette tapes and cd's, and those window crayons!  Horray!  She didn't even know where they came from and had no idea I'd use them...let alone the fact I was looking to buy some, and so Matt got free window crayons in his stocking.  They are just for cheesey (I mean passionate) messages back and forth on the shower, the mirror....and someday, probably something more private.  We are a one bathroom family, so the kids might not be crazy about it one day.

Shame, Shame I Know Your Name

I'll replace that with "Lame, lame..."

....because that is what we are.  It's also why I have a hard time writing.  I don't feel very interesting.  Do you all want to hear how I found a plunger on our bed this morning?  I can't take my eyes off that girl for two seconds without somethin' happening!  (If you're on facebook, you know this isn't her first incident with the plunger.)  She will be getting one at her bridal shower one day.

I promised to share some of my husband's and my giftings to each other.  We are not flashy by any means...and usually, cheap is the name of the game.  (Enough with the ames already.)

This Christmas was one of my very favorite Christmases ever! 

Matt received some tools from me (some grinder? he asked for and work gloves), and I became a big fan of Harbor Freight this Christmas.  Awesome coupons...even for freebies.  Matt got a free screwdriver set with purchase (so that was a good gift from the kids).  Matt works on our cars himself if he's able...and in general, he loves to tinker.  I also got him some books to use for our devotion time together...some that he would like.  That's the key. :)  The "The Love & Respect Experience: A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love" and "Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God" by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  We are big Ludy fans around here.  Do I share I found the couples devotional at Ollies for $2.97? Maybe not, but I just did. And yes, it's the same copy Amazon has for $9.20 at the moment.  I'm alllll about the deals. We are a good chunk through the devotional.  The jury's still out for me.  Matt likes it.  I guess I like it.  I'm just not "in love" with it.  It might be the fact that we do our devotions at 6am due to Matt's work schedule.  I cannot wait to read "Wrestling Prayer."   I also got Matt a new MP3 player.  We are not an Ipod family.  Did I mention how cheap we are?  We're cheap because it's thrilling...and also out of necessity.  So, I got him an Ematic 3 inch touch screen MP3 player (because if you want to watch a movie, a 1 1/2 inch screen just doesn't cut it for me).  It's only 4 GB, but you can add an SD card and it has a 5 megapixel camera.  He now fits right in with the 6 year olds in town, haha!  So, it's not super duper, but let me tell you, he was thrilled with it!  I know my man!  He can use it at work, can carry pictures of the kids around (umm, we aren't smart phone people...just stupid phone people), and can take pictures in a pinch at work of projects.  It was 19.99 ebay bucks well spent!

So, what did I receive?  No blankets this year!  (Inside joke...he ALWAYS gets me a blanket.)  Matt got me some electronic books that were perfect...and literally made me cry.  The topics were on my heart, and he knew it!  He got me a shirt!  This is huge because he never buys me clothes.  Other than not fitting right (the size was correct), it was perfect!  We unfortunately had to return it though.  I'm sure I'm forgetting something...  And the big one, haha.  I got my free month of Netflix!  For real, we only used it for a month.  We had been Netflix subscribers when Stevie was little and left them when they changed their policy.  We aren't planning to return...umm, ever, but we took them up on the free offer again!  The kids and I had a month of different shows and movies.  I admit it, I'm an Army Wives fan with Matt having been in the Marines, and that Roxy can't make me laugh any harder.  Ok, maybe BJ from Reba is almost there. 

The kids had a good Christmas too.  The vacuum was a hit with Stevie (even though it was sort of Lydia's gift).  I had to go to 2 Target's to find the last ones for $9 on Black Friday.  (I got the other last one for the church nursery.)  Worth every penny...and so glad the Lord used someone to tuck it behind some other big vacuum to save it for him. ;)  He also likes his air craft carrier...almost as much as Matt.  That was a fun surprise for them both.  A half price score from Dollar General for $10.  Lydia got the most adorable bunny slippers....and she cried and cried when Matt put them on her.  What??  Her favorite lovey is her bunny, and she loves shoes.  How could she not love them?  Well, Matt forgot to take the paper balls out of the toes! hahaha  After that got taken care of, she loved them.  Stevie also got one of those CAT take apart trucks with the drill (thank you, Craigslist $10 deal).  The lady selling it happened to have two drills for it, so each of our kids has one!  Seriously, we had so many "God surprises" for our Christmas gifts this year...extra touches we would've survived without, but we just got a glimpse of how much He cares about things we might not have even thought about yet.  They both love the truck and drills...and Lydia has to take a wheel off right before bed at night.  After we pray, she runs over to use the drill.  Some kind of ritual I guess.

Most of all, we spent the entire month of December doing something special....even if special was just reading a Christmas book or two or watching a movie with those chocolate pretzels.  (Seriously, look on Pinterest for those pretzels with a hershey kiss and M&M.  I ate my body weight in them this Christmas.)  We just really soaked it up and tried to find creative ways to give more to others.  Maybe one day, I'll share about the McDonald's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Time and Motivation

I've been lacking some of that lately in the blogging department.  I opened my page up the first time since my last post in November, and I was surprised!  I didn't think I had been on here since October.

We have been busy, and frankly, I just haven't wanted to write.  Matt's taking a class this semester (I'm not so secretly hoping it's his last one ever), working at his old job, and starting a new company.  This usually means extra long days without him.  Stevie's busy with his therapies, and we are trying to knock those down.  We now are down to 4 days a week instead of 5.  We are all super excited about that!  We're hoping to make some more changes as well.  We have SO many decisions to make right now, and it's been a little overwhelming.  Preschool has taken a little bit of a back seat for Stevie.  Again, he's 3 1/2, so no biggie, but he's working hard in his thearpy sessions, and I want to be sure he still has 3 1/2 year old little boy time of play and fun without too much pressure on him.  As a proud Mom, I have to note, Stevie is able to identify ALL of his letters...and even say for example, "H" is for Horse (or "Harold the Helicopter") sometimes.  We still do some "school" and though my last school post was Letter G, we are actually approaching P week.  P for Potty!  Our break week will consist of lots of potty and prizes!  (Yes, I've built up a basket of prizes and a chocolate jar for this occassion.  He's so determined not to use the potty that we feel like we need to pull out all the stocks.  Please, tell me how I'm doing it all wrong in the comment section.)  Anyway, I may not be around much once Monday rolls around. :)  A few weeks ago, our house was hit with one of the yucky bugs with fever and snot and crankiness.  Then a week after getting better from that, Lydia had pink eye.  Stevie's decided sleep is for the birds, and Lydia's jumped on that bandwagon as well.  She was talking about cows, tractors, dogs, and balls from 3:30-6:30 this morning.  She hasn't joined us in bed since she was maybe 7 or 8 months old?  I guess she thought she was due.  After all of this exciting conversation (one-sided), I began to wonder if she was hallucinating.  She was pointing in the air at stuff.  She finally found sleep with her face smushed uncomfortably into my cheek bone at 6:30.  Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Lydia.  Stevie's new wake time appears to be 5:30 these days and naps...well, they've been disappearing.  He used to be my good sleeper!  That leaves me....As for me, I've been living life with my family a little more tired than usual, ahem, and reading some blogs (only 2 or so very regularly) instead of writing.  I guess I've just been in that "quiet" place a bit.  Matt and I are in a phase of change...probably otherwise noted as "growing" by some wise people.  Apparently, we like to grow a lot ...because it's been a crazy, hard, wonderful 6 years together already.  (Oh yeah, my blog title.)  I think I'll share about a very new adventure we are pursuing in it's own separate post. 

I guess after my 3 month hiatus, I want to get back into writing again.  We'll see how my time management changes with my motivation.  I'm sure you're all dying to know how we celebrated Christmas and Valentine's Day...because we do gifts and surprises like no one else we know.  You might want to have a pencil and paper ready to record our awesome ideas...or better yet, since it's 2013, a Pinterest board reserved for them!  Umm, just kidding.  Anyway, that's next!

Preschool, Letter G Week

Our verse was, "A gentle answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15:1 The lesson was about the woman to be stoned who was brought to Jesus and his response to them in John 8.  Jesus is so amazing with his responses...especially to those trying to "get him" or "catch him"...when he is never doing anything wrong!  I have so much to learn!

We made our letter G goat....though afterwards, Stevie called it a giraffe.  Well, I suppose that works too, haha.  It might make even more sense because it looks like it has a long neck!

This was one of my favorite weeks so far!  We didn't have many toys or real objects around the house for our letter box, but we had some great or fun books....and time to celebrate Grandparents!  I forgot to take pictures of the books this week, but I wrote down the ones we got.  

We read "Gus and Grandpa Ride the Train" by Claudia Mills.  Stevie loved it, and I did too!  This is a series of Gus and Grandpa...and they are early reader chapter books.  I loved the topic of trains and Grandpa (Stevie loves both), and I loved the little things added to reinforce obedience, forgiveness, trust, patience, and love.  I can't wait to read more in the series!  It is unfortunately rare to find "good" books at the coming soon.

We read "Here Comes Grandma!" by Janet Lord.  This was sort of a silly book about a Grandma 
coming to see her grandchild.  She drives, she takes a train, she skis, and on and on to get there.  Grandparents will sure go through hoops because they love their grandchildren!

We made these little hand-prints for the grandparents for our craft activity.
I found the little saying online, "(Grandmas...) hold our tiny hands for just a little while but our hearts forever!" This isn't a regular sized piece of paper (poster cut in half) but yes, my son has big hands, haha.  He has big hands to do big work!  I've always said he's going to walk ME to kindergarten.  He's tall now and no doubt will be when he's grown. :) We also sent a little note with traced G's saying we love them and prayed for them this week. Tracing letters is brand new for Stevie....tracing anything really is.  So, I tell him his crayon is the train, and he needs to follow the tracks (the dotted lines).  It's enough for him because he loves trains!

We also read Patricia Pollaco's creative book, "G is for Goats."  It goes through the entire alphabet using words relating to goats.  It made Stevie want to go back to the farm.  We made this sheet afterwards from a teaching book I had.  There are G objects to color and cut and put in Goat's Garden.
(I helped him trace this G.  He does pretty well actually, but this was one of his first ones ever, so it was my hand doing it with his....if you're wondering. ;) ) He wasn't so enthusiastic about coloring that day, but the glue was good!

Some sprinkle activities:
*We checked out a book about garbage boy is sooo into vehicles.  We also played with his toy garbage truck.  We have a Mighty Machines Garbage Truck movie too.  Those are some of my favorite truck movies...Mighty Machines.
*We pointed out things that are green.
*We watched Canadian's that season!  They are some of my favorite creatures.  If you don't know much about them, check them out!  I even wrote a children's book about them for college.  
*Glue!  There was glue in our box, but it had been taken out to be used.  Stevie loves to glue!

Preschool, Letter F Week

We've been consistently using "The Memory Bible" book by Stephen Elkins for our verse and Bible lesson.  The verse was "A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17  The story for the verse is Jonathan and David.

We made our letter F into a fish this week.  The website we usually use for the letters make it a fox...and I didn't think it fit super well with being a good friend, haha, so we made it a fish.  It isn't super great, but Stevie looked at mine and said, "fish!"without any I called it successful.

We also read some nonfiction books about fish through the week. Then Stevie colored the fish in this bowl.  He had to color it orange like a "clown fish."  Thank you, Nemo!  (Yup, a sprinkle activity.)  We also focused on and reviewed the fins of the fish...because they start with f, and of course they are interesting.

I especially liked the bottom book, "About Fish" because the author dedicated it to the One who created the fish.  Super awesome in my book, and I pointed out the dedication to Stevie, and how right it is to give glory to God for all that we do because our talents and interests and all of creation were gifts from Him!

Here are some more sprinkle activities:
*Play with play food...and eat real food, Ha, that was a tough one!
*We started the week visiting a farm open to the public.  It was wonderful!  And, it was lined with beautiful wood, white fences, which start with f.
*We visited the fish section at Walmart...honestly, we do that frequently.
*I'm pretty sure it was this week Stevie picked me a flower while we were out playing.  He found a few drying up daisies and picked one for me!  Daddy's teaching him well!
*We got a fire truck movie from the library....and we watched it a lot.  A lot, haha.  I went on to do some research after because it focused on a station in NYC in the 90's or early 2000' memory is failing.  This station lost a number of firefighters on 9/11.  It is still so heartbreaking and my heart and prayers go out to the family members and friends of those lost at that time.  We will never forget.
*We talked about those who are family and friends (we put the family picture from last Christmas in our letter box).
*Stevie was in love with that little batter-operated fan from Matt's old job.  Of course he liked being in control of the on and off buttons, but it shows a moving sentence in blue lights when it's blowing.  It really is pretty cool!
*We checked out other F books from the library to go with other F words.
*As in each week, we prayed for our "F" family and friends.