Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday stuff

So a few things have been going on the last 24-48 hours or so.
  • I was blessed with a great new camera (which apparently is being discontinued so some places are having good deals on them). A belated Christmas gift.  In my spare time (hehe - spare time, what is that?!) I get to learn how to use my new dSLR Cannon.  Hopefully you will see some new and improved pictures in the coming days.
Which leads me to my next bullet
  • My laptop died.  I am pretty sure it is dead.  I looked online on The Hubs' computer for ways to fix it.  My bff's husband clear out in Massachusetts gave me an idea to try (and for a few moments I thought it was going to work).  I think we are taking it in to a computer place here to see if it is fixable.  So I don't know when I will be posting the new and improved pictures or blogging as The Hubs needs his computer most days for work and school.
Some more good news:
  • Our realtor called today and said another realtor wanted to show someone our house. So The Hubs and I ran around like banshees trying to make our house presentable on a gray, lazy Saturday morning/afternoon that we were sure would not have the need of having a spic-n-span house.  It is crazy how hard it is to keep things 110% with a toddler and a baby.  Luckily Bugaboo slept during our cleaning frenzy and Bubby got in our way until we put him in his crib with some books. Then he was a happy guy.

Well, nap time is over for both boys.  Sadly, I was unable to rest while they were sleeping.  Hope to update more soon.  Thanks for the continued prayers for our home sale (pray we hear something good soon) and direction for our future.

Friday, February 25, 2011

letting Bubby help

I have noticed lately that Bubby's behavior takes an unfavorable turn when I don't give him enough attention.  As a former educator, I probably should have made this connection earlier than about a week ago.  Sometimes it can't be helped - Bugaboo needs fed (though we often read books during this time), dinner needs fixed, or something else must be done.
But when I take more time for him, his behavior improves.  It isn't possible to play all day BUT I've started letting him "help" me more with things.  We have been trying to get him to pick up his toys at the end of the day or before nap.  Yes, it is faster to do 99% of it myself at this point, but by letting him do 25-50% it teaches him responsibility, builds vocabulary/socialization skills, and gets him more attention time.  Bubby loves household chores, so when I am vacuuming he gets one piece of the attachment now to follow me around and "help" me vacuum.  When I take the clothes from the washer to the dryer, I put them on the dryer lid and he pushes the clothes into the dryer.  Today he helped me put away his and Bugaboo's laundry because I noticed he knows where most of the things go.  Sure the socks are no longer attached to their mates, but they are in the drawer.  Yes the pajamas are in a clump, but they are in the drawer.  Sure it took some time for him to bring me the washcloths and burpcloths and towels I threw on the floor, but it was a good following directions/sorting lesson, and it all eventually got folded and put away.
Luckily I have never been a neat-freak, but I am in a control-freak, so my toddler is teaching me the art of letting go of control.

And on a sidenote, can I just say that the Moby Wrap that my bff sent me is amazing.  Bugaboo hates getting into it, but once he is in, he LOVES it.  In thirty seconds or less he is a comfy, cozy, content kiddo.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

thirty days of prayer

For my thirtieth birthday I was surprised by several friends and family members sending me $30 (or more!) for my 30th to help with our medical expenses.  I recently put the cards in my sock drawer, and every time I open it, I see the cards and am reminded of just how blessed I am.
And now I am going to boldly ask for something.
Would you, dear readers, commit to praying for me/my family for thirty days?  We are (once again) trying to figure out what we are doing.  There are a couple of different paths/options we are pursuing, and in the last year or two we have had several doors closed.  Would you pray commit to praying for the following for us:
  • clear direction and an open door
  • the sale of our house if we are supposed to move
  • continued provision for our needs and our medical bills
  • strengthened faith and strengthened family
Please email/message/comment if you will join me for thirty days of prayer for us.
I would love to spend the next thirty days praying specifically for you as well.  Feel free to let me know how I can do so and I will commit to that.

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Sunday, February 20, 2011

the gift of friendship and MM #439-449

This weekend I had lunch with one of my closest friends.  I was lucky enough to get to become her friend when we spent two years teaching together - literally in the same classroom teaching a class-within-a-class/at-risk room - for ninety minutes the first year and most of the day the second.  When you co-teach with someone, for it to be successful your teaching styles and personalities have to mesh well enough, and you have to have enough similarities and differences in your strengths and weaknesses to benefit the students.  It was an amazing experience, and I think I would have a hard time going back to the classroom without such a format and without such a co-teacher.
But the other day we FINALLY were able to get together, kid-free, for lunch, and chat away uninterupted for a couple of hours like the good old days.  The time went by too quickly, and I was reminded of how important it is to have a few trusted friends.
And sometime this week I am ending the phone tag with my best friend.  Even a hour one time difference is a pain to work around sometimes, so we try to make due with the occasional facebook messages and voicemails, but it isn't the same as a conversation.  We have been friends since fifth grade.  She has shared most of the significant moments in my life, either in person or via phone/email.  We have seen each other through life's ups and downs, and I can't even begin to recount the inside jokes, the tears, the laughs, and the frustrations we have shared.  At this phase of life I am in it is easy to just get wrapped up in survival mode, and then end up feeling alone and friendless, but it isn't true.  I am blessed with some amazing friendships - I just need to do better at making time for them.
 
joining with ann's group to count the gifts I have been given this week:
439. kid-free lunch with my dear friend I don't see often enough
440. new shopping experience...Aldi...being pleasantly surprised
441.digital coupons for Dillons/Kroger - seriously a great idea hope this catches on in a bigger way
442. two little boys finally starting to feel better

443. fru-fru coffee for the first time in quite some time
444. visit from "Me" and "Chow"
445. The Hubs having a couple of class-free days recently
446. call from the realtor saying we've had some agents looking at our house on the website - (prayers for our house to sell please!)
447.milder weather
448. Bubby knowing the letters "M," "O," and sometimes "A" - just from our playtime with blocks
449.Bugaboo moving out of his newborn clothes to size 0-3 months

Friday, February 18, 2011

big boy

Dear Bubby,
When did you get be such a big boy?  Today you and I went to the library, just the two of us, without the stroller. You held my hand. You tried to let go of my hand to attack the bookshelves because you love books so much.  You were a very good boy for the 15 minutes we were there picking out books and cds and puzzles for you, and sadly, nothing for me.
And you look like such a big boy as you try to "help" your baby brother.  When you say his name it is adorable, though you mostly still just call him baby.







Next week Miss Tara will be so impressed that you are able to climb onto your little car all by yourself.  Another physical therapy task to check off the list.  Now, if you can push yourself around on it we will do a double check.

You continue to have too much fun with your Uncle Fman when he gets a chance to come to our house.  I know you two will get into lots of trouble together.

It seems like just yesterday you were the same size as your brother.


Please do not grow up too quickly.
Love,
Mommy

Thursday, February 17, 2011

abandon stresses

"Doesn’t urgency over everything imply that God’s in control of nothing? ...Abandon stresses; abide in your Savior." ~ Ann Voskamp
I read these words a couple of days ago on Ann's blog, and I can't get them out of my head.  The theme of trusting and not stressing.  I am learning the timeless truth that stress and worry do not bring anything positive to the day, to the situation, so in big and small ways I am striving to abandon and abide.
Not stressing about the cheese and the Cheerios I keep picking up off the floor and instead being thankful fo the  blond haired blue-eyed boy who threw it there.
Not worrying about bills or the cost of groceries, but continuing to look for ways to save money, make things stretch, and pray for provision.  I haven't been let down yet.
Not arguing about a trivial miscommunication, but realizing that was simply what it was, figuring out what to do next time, and happily moving on. 
And The Presence is there, as I abandon and abide.  I feel it almost physically.  I hear Him almost audibly.
Be still and know.  I Am.  in control. of the big picture. and the small ones.
Joining with Emily's community today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

check it out...

...I'm mullet-free. 

And look at those eyebrows!

2 month stats

Bugaboo turned 2 months and went to the doc about a week ago, and I'm just now posting his stats and two month pictures: 9 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches both in the fifth percentile for two month olds.  I don't know the percentile for his adjusted age since technically he is just one month old.  He is still having some trouble sleeping on his own at night, even on his belly.  But if he sleeps on me we get a good 4-5 hour stretch at a time at night.  And right now my sleep is more important than my comfort.

Monday, February 14, 2011

the love dare

Traci at Ordinary Inspirations hosted a two-week love dare, and I decided to participate.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting much to come from it (no offense, Traci), but...
I can honestly say my marriage has improved in the last two weeks.

I think just daily (or almost daily if I am being honest here) having a goal, an idea or something to focus on in terms of being a more loving wife made it easier to be one.  Not only do I think it became easier to be a better wife, but it got easier to be a better mom and a better Jesus-follower.
So what now?
I think I am going to locate and dust off and use the Love Dare book I purchased a couple of years ago to help keep a good thing going.  It takes time to build good habits of thankfulness, gracefulness, gentleness, and so on, but what better use of my time than to improve myself, my marriage, and my family.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Multitude Monday #425-438

  “ I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty, and find myself safe and saved. 
But me he caught—reached all the way
      from sky to sea; he pulled me out
   Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
      the void in which I was drowning.
   They hit me when I was down,
      but God stuck by me.
   He stood me up on a wide-open field;
      I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
God made my life complete
      when I placed all the pieces before him.

   When I got my act together,
      he gave me a fresh start." 
  (some verses from Psalm 18 MSG)

 

Have you ever felt like you have had a growth spurt?  Not in the physical sense, but in the mental/emotional/spiritual sense?  I feel like this last week or so something has happened in me.  Not some big, hyped up experience or moment.  I'm not even sure I can describe what the growth is exactly, and I know it is not anywhere near completion, but there is a difference in my home and in myself that I can actually feel, and for that I am thankful.  And hopeful that I will be able to articulate everything better soon.

continuing to join with Ann's community as I await getting to check her book out at the library...I'm #11 on the hold list :)
425. good pediatrician visit for Bugaboo (stats and two month picture coming soon)
426. weather warming up
427. husband who eats new recipe that is kind of a flop without complaint
428. some boldness in faith on Saturday night
429. hearing "Hey you!  Heyouuuuuu!" from my happy toddler in his crib
430. learning to not be such a snob and watching a movie I previously judged by its cover
431. cookie recipe that turned out better on day 2 than on day 1 and ended up being a keeper
432. new real estate agent and another attempt at selling our house (giving thanks in ALL things here)
433. Thursday morning pancakes
434.friend who edited some pictures for me


435. eyebrows that are under control
436. an hour at the hair dresser's...time just for me to do nothing but sit and get purtied up
437. husband who likes me having short hair
438. learning to not compare myself to or be intimidated by others...still much to learn

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

mulletish

Having a new baby plus cold winter weather equals me looking kind of frumpy most days.  I do shower on a fairly regular basis, but that is about the only thing I have going for me.  So for Bugaboo's doctor appointment today I decided to try to look like a civilized human being and wore clean jeans and a new sweater I got with a Christmas gift card.  I even put on some make-up.
But then I remembered my hair.  It hasn't been cut since the end of October...maybe it was mid-October.  And there isn't much a gal can do to make her hair look cute, let alone presentable, when her once fun short hair is now looking a little mulletish.  And while I still see people in this great state of Missouri rockin' the mullet, I do not wish to be one of them.
So I finally called my hair stylist today - who never judges the shambles my hair is often in by the time I take the time and money to visit her.  Saturday afternnoon my semi-Billy Ray look will be gone.  And so will the Muppetesque eyebrows.
Saturday can't get here soon enough!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

past postpartum and MM 413-424

The fog is lifting.  The fog of post-partum depression.
I didn't know if I should be bold enough to write about it, but there isn't much I shy away from here, and maybe my little bit of boldness will help someone else.
January was a rough month for me emotionally. The end of December was too.  I cried a lot.  I felt exhausted. I argued with The Hubs.  I kept it together pretty well for The Boys, but barely.  I didn't want to do anyone any harm, myself included, but I did want to get in the car and drive away from here, from my marriage.  And it wasn't about The Hubs or me or what our marriage is or isn't.  It was the hormones and the mind and the exhaustion and the stress.
But there were a couple of Divine Appointments.  I really and truly believe the right people came in my path at the right time. And I talked to my doctor's office and got some medication (and if you have the same opinions as Tom Cruise on this then you can just stop reading my blog forever).  And I know some people were praying.  And the fog is lifting.  I feel human again.  I am smiling and laughing more again, and I am rational again.  And I am writing this because there is no shame in what I dealt with, just as there is no shame if someone has diabetes or chicken pox or the flu.
I am just so very thankful that the fog is lifting.

Joining with Ann's community and my continued list of blessings:
413. modern medicine
414. insightful people
415. snow days
416. 3 out of 4 of us almost over our nasty colds
417. baked potato soup, banana bread, and other yummy comfort foods I made this week
418. a gift card for a meal that I didn't have to cook this weekend
419. most of the dog fur out of my house (post on this coming soon, I think)
420. The Hubs taking care of Bubby on the mornings he doesn't have to get out of the house early

421. peanut butter frap that The Hubs made at home - sooo good and sooo much cheaper than buying one at a coffee place
422. taking pictures of my babies
423. watching Bubby and The Hubs sword fight with the vacuum attachments, and Bubby being concerned when his daddy faked being hurt - such a tenderhearted little guy
424. the way Bugaboo smells...how do babies smell so good?

some pictures of my favorite boys

Some day when the medical bills are paid off and other such things, I am going to get a nice DSLR camera and an editing program.  But for now I will make the best of it with my point-and-shoot and iphoto.
Here are some pictures of Bugaboo:




And Bubby and Bugaboo together:


Thursday, February 3, 2011

so I don't forget what he's like at 20 months

Bubby is learning and doing new things everyday.  I feel like I say several times all day, "I need to blog about that," just so I have it recorded, but I probably forget at least half by the time I sit down to do so,
What are some things that come to mind tonight?

  • getting really good at his puzzles
  • being able to name lots of people in pictures - still working on not calling Uncle Fman "Chow" but he is set on it.  I think he is calling Auntie Missa "Me" in the pictures
  • taking everything out of the trash...today's gross out was him getting into his discarded ham from lunch and trying to eat it later as a snack...YUCK!
  • telling us sometimes when he goes "peepee" - he is terrified of going on the toilet though - not potty-training at all yet - too young and not ready
  • poking his baby brother in the eye two nights in a row and laughing about it... until there were consequences - we heard a sweet and tear-filled "sorry"
  • saying "ah-choo" after anyone sneezes
  • telling the physical therapist "baby toot" when rumbles came from Bugaboo's direction 
  • putting paper in the shredder - great fine motor skills there :)
  • still LOVING books
  • now obsessed with salsa "shal-sha" every time I open the fridge

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

snow day

We got several inches of snow. It shut down a lot of our city.  The Hubs could not go to work or school the last two days.  We all have a cold - though Bubby seems to be over his and the rest of us are just starting to get the worst of it.
But we still have been enjoying our snow days.  Pajamas and sweat pants and naps and cookies and tea and Bubby following Daddy around all day except during shoveling times and an extra set of hands with the boys at hours when I usually am on my own.
And SIX hours straight of sleep from Bugaboo last night.

Some pictures from our snow days.  By the way - Bubby is just like his parents.  He is NOT a fan of snow. :)









feb.2

I pause and think
about what this day might have been...
a second birthday.

And I remember
the surprise and joy at finding out
you were
here
first child of mine

And the devastation of losing you
after
just
nine
weeks
never seeing your face
or hands
or feet
just a dot
on the black and white screen
but a dot that was
life

a life that slipped away

I remember
realizing something was wrong
and the drive across the miles in an unknown town
with mom and aunt and cousin
and a trunk
full
of maternity clothes
a hospital, more driving, another hospital
and tossing and turning in my mom's bed
like a child instead of a grown woman
because husband was a state away
as my body betrayed me

There are few losses such as this
and today I remember
you
and wonder just a moment what might have been

with a tinge of guilt

because if you were here
then one,
maybe two others,
would not be
and I feel a twist in my stomach
as I try to balance the sadness of loss
with the joy of what came
later

so today I will just say
thank you
for teaching me to love
as a mama
for the very first time

love dare

Joining Traci Michelle for the two-week love dare.