Thursday, September 29, 2011

feeling a tad bit like Job

I'm snuggled up this morning with two little boys sprawled out all over me . They are playing some sort of little brother game, which I must monitor so Bugaboo doesn't get poked in the eye.  Bubby's elbow is lodged in my abdomen, but still we share one couch cushion, though three are available.
How can I not trust God this morning?
The One Who brought me both boys - brought us out of high risk pregnancy and the NICU twice.
The One Who has provided for us to be just a few days away from paying off our medical bills.
The One Who has enable me to stay home and work from home because He knows what I need and what my personality is.
He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
He will get us through this new obstacle of plumbing and tree roots and pipes and backhoes and a new, unexpected, necessary expense which I cried about last night.

Pray for us, friends.  We would certainly appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

sweet september

The last few days I've spent adjusting to my little boy having a bed instead of a crib



pushing my baby in a swing at the park

watching my oldest climb playground equipment





with a little help from Daddy






seeing my littlest want to keep up with big brother

and smiling so much like his great-grandfather that I can't help but whisper a hello to the heavens.

We suffer from allergies from our time enjoyed outside, and my coffee table suffers dust and fingerprints as I find better ways to use my time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

dancing in the kitchen

Tonight I figured out my youngest likes to dance.
Bugaboo wasn't fussy, but he wasn't exactly happy either shortly before bedtime.  So I randomly scooped him up and brought him into the kitchen, reciting the words from the book "Fifteen Animals."  Every time I said the word "Bob" (which is in there fourteen times), I would bounce him, and he would laugh this great baby half-giggle-half-laugh.

While I was doing that I realized I haven't danced that much with Bug.  Around the kitchen we danced to any song that popped into my head - "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" to every sweet lullaby-ish Disney song to a couple of hymns to Patsy Cline.  Yes, not only did I dance to "Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus," I followed it up with two rounds of "Walkin' After Midnight." I think Jesus approved to the soundtrack.
Dance with your babies.  Drink a good cup of coffee.  Roll the windows down.  And keep dancing with the babies in the kitchen, even when they are eleven and twelve and will protest about their mother being ridiculous.  Stop and enjoy the moment. Every day - find some moment to really capture for the photo album in your heart.

Friday, September 23, 2011

five minute friday - growing

Joining once again with thegyspymama on this week's five minute topic - growing.
Go
Growth - the result of it is positive, but the process is often painful, whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.  Growing is change and change is hard.
Sometimes growth means you outgrow people, relationships.  You are at a different place than they are, so you part ways, maybe for a season, maybe permanently.
Sometimes growth is actually being stuck exactly where you are for a long period of time. Longer than you anticipated. Longer than you wanted. But when you look at yourself, six years in the same location, same depressing bank account, same, "What next?" questions, you get a glimmer of hope because you see growth.
Sometimes growth is watching your babies change before your very eyes.  Longer legs, chubbier cheeks, new skills, new words, new things to make you laugh, and new things that make you cry.
I tell my boys all of the time, "Stop growing. I want you to stay small." I think every mommy wishes that. But almost concurrently I pray each night, "Lord, grow my boys into men who love You, and grow me to love You so that I can teach them."


Stop.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

second verse, same as the first

A quick update while the boys are giving me a moment.

Bugaboo had his First Steps evaluation today and he is going to qualify for services.  He has some of the same needs and issues big brother had at this age, and some different ones.  We meet in about two weeks to discuss the results of the eval and the IEP/goals.  I know the goals will have to do with both gross AND fine motor skills because Bugaboo's score was very low in the physical assessment.  In between now and then we will have the neuro appointment our pediatrician recommended.  Tara, our p.t., gave me some good questions to ask and items to discuss.  I am very thankful for our p.t. because not only is she knowledgeable because of her career choice, but she is a mom to preemies, so she gets the mommy-gut/mommy-factor.

So familiar territories, but each child is different, so it's a little nerve-racking even this time around since fine motor skill and low muscle-tone issues are new to us.  We appreciate your thoughts and prayers, especially for our Oct. 3 neurologist appointment.

Monday, September 19, 2011

help bring Kaylee home

I don't know what it's like to go through the adoption process. I hope to someday bring a child/children into our home through the miracle of adoption.

I do know what it is like to not have your baby home with you at night.  My boys started their journey in life in the NICU. It is gut-wrenching to not be able to walk down the hall and check and see how your little one is doing during the night, to worry about their health, their comfort, their safety. 

I do not know what it is like when your child is half-way around the world each night instead of just across town. I cannot imagine.

I do not know what it is like to fund-raise and pinch and scrimp and save in order to bring your baby home. I  do know what is like to do those things after a child is home. I do know what it is like to be blessed by prayers and financial provision from friends and family and strangers. 

Why am I writing about this?

My friend from college, Derek, and his wife, Alyssa, are trying to get their five year old daughter, Kaylee, home.

Would you consider partnering with them this month?  They have just received a matching-grant.  Read the details about the grant here on their blog.

the simplest things are the best things

We don't get as much one-on-one, Bubby/Mommy time.  There's a little brother, and  there the two new littles I baby-sit.  Evenings are dinner and unwinding and playing on the boys' room floor, with The Hubs joining us between cilents and homework.

But tonight Bugaboo fell asleep much earlier than usual.  The Hubs was working on homework after he vacuumed the main rooms. (What a guy!)  So Bubby and I played.

I wanted to capture our moments, but I didn't want to get up and destroy anything by looking for my camera.  So the phone-picture quality isn't the best, but the memories are perfect.

We worked on name puzzles.  Here is Bubby "spelling" Babu's name. (Babu-sock is what he called her tonight, instead of Babushka.)

We worked on a new ABC match that I made.

We wrapped up the night by Bubby scribbling happily all over his ABC paper because Mommy got out the markers - a special treat instead of crayons. The simplest things are the best things.
It doesn't have to be complex. We don't have to go anywhere.  He doesn't need bells and whistles.  Just a kitchen table, some basic art supplies, and his mommy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Multitude Monday 836-843

I want to keep my babies this size, this age.  Oh sure, I want them to grow and learn and do all of the things they are supposed to do.  There is piece of my heart that swells with pride every time they accomplish a new milestone or do something adorable or funny. But there is also a piece of my heart that breaks when I realize they aren't as tiny as they used to be, that the days are long but the season is short.

So I am thankful for a rainy and recover-from-sickness weekend. We stayed in, we snuggled, we played, we rested.

836. the way Bugaboo's eyes light up when he sees pictures of babies

837. my crazy toddler doing some sort of karate move

838 & 839.teaching my first born to understand numbers; his fascination with all playdoh items

840. homemade soup - two varieties - ready to go in the freezer for later
841. intense love of reading

842. baby hands
843. brothers playing unaware of Mommy getting the camera
joining with Ann to give thanks

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday

I was puked on. Three times. By both of my children. (Total, not each.)
Our bathrooms had some sort of plumbing issue. Both of them. (Somehow connected but I know nothing about plumbing except that I only use the indoor variety.)

Today was actually a very nice Saturday, even with the rough moments.

The plumbing issue has been resolved somehow for now by an answer to prayer.
The boys seem to be feeling better at the moment.
Right now it is pouring down rain. I love rain at night. So soothing. 
The Hubs and I declared it a pizza night.
I have been wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt all day. (Not the same ones all day, for obvious reasons.)

I sit on my lumpy brown couch thinking how lucky, how blessed I am as I hold my babies close. Yet I can't help but think of the kids out there who have no one to snuggle them when they are sick or tired or scared by a thunderstorm.  My heart breaks because there is a world of un-snuggled children out there.  I must do something.  I don't know the details. But I know I must do something.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

9 month pictures and Bugaboo screening update

Parents as Teachers came and did Bugaboo's early childhood screening today. They were going to do Bubby this month, but I asked to switch and do Bugaboo first with everything going on with our little guy.  They adjusted his "age" to assess what he "should" be according to his premature age (7 and a half months) - and he scored very well in communication, but at risk in all other areas (because even areas such as social and problem solving rely heavily on motor skills at this age level for a "good" score.)  Anyhoo - they would refer us for a First Steps eval, but I had already requested one when our pediatrician referred us to a neurologist. So our P.T. comes next week for Bugaboo's evaluation.  My mommy-gut was right to get the ball rolling on that one it seems.

Bugaboo - nine months old and sweet as can be - wearing his "robber" shirt according to his fifth-cousin-twice-removed, Giggles. :)

getting so big
I love his crazy hair


He really is such a sweet boy - just gotta work on those motor skills - fine and gross with this one. 

how I piddle away my time

Thursday the Q kids get picked up early.
This afternoon Bugaboo had a screening from Parents as Teachers, but after that was done he conked out. Bubby is still napping.  And I piddled away some free time by trying to reorganize my "teacher" board on pinterest into new categories by subject. I am halfway through, and I am rethinking that decision. 
I really wish my OCD would be put to better use - like by keeping my purse or car clean, by scrubbing the little nooks and cranies around a sink more meticulously, by figuring out how to better use my time.
Nope.
It's used to sort ideas that I should be DOING instead of SORTING.
Ah, well, at least I enjoyed my wasted time this afternoon. And at least dinner is in the crockpot.
Does anyone else piddle away their time in ridiculous ways?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

three Bubby things

It was a stressful day in the MacHouse. Bubby was ornery.  (Does that word look weird to anyone else?)  He wasn't bad, just toddler with a capital T (which rhymes with P which stands for pool hall...)
Anyhoo - three funny things he did amidst the moments when I wanted to rip out my hair:
  1. When he fell (from doing something he wasn't supposed to do), he said, "Owie. Kiss bottom? Mommy kiss bottom?"  Um, no Bubby.
  2. While running around half naked this morning he once again discovered his chest/nipples.  He called them "mole," to which I idiotically corrected him and said, "No, Bubby. Nipples. Those are nipples."  So what does he do next? Points at the mole on my neck and declare, "Mommy nipple!"  Grrreat.
  3.  Um - I forgot!  Isn't that terrible? In five minutes I forgot the third thing - which I think was the funniest.  That is my day, friends.  I'll post it later if I remember it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

a few thoughts about MOPS

Last fall I went to MOPS at my church.  Then Bugaboo was born and it was pretty hit/miss.  There were things I liked about the MOPS at my church: a)It was at my church. b)The nursery workers were sweet ladies I knew or knew of who love my babies not only on those mornings, but on Sunday mornings, too. c)I knew some of the gals that went there.  d) The mentor mom has a lot of energy. e) They didn't make me do too many crafts.

Honestly (and no offense to my friends who go there/help there), I didn't feel extremely connected, and I know connection to a group is a two-way street.  But I was going to give it a-go again this year.

Except now I work. I work in my home. My kids are with me when I work. But the work I do doesn't allow me to leave the home during the day.

And guess when almost all MOPS meetings are?  During the day. sigh.

And now more than ever I need to connect with other women, other moms, because I only am around children all day (not counting the times Mike happens to be home during some daytime hours) - but there are no coworkers in my line of work.
No wellness nights.
No rat-on-the-copy-machine-and-velociraptor-sighting-shennanigans. 
 So I need some contact with the 30ish-female-species.

There was one lone MOPS group meeting on Tuesday evenings twice a month. I contacted via email. They got back to me. It is not my church. It is actually a denomination I have never attended before (and being my multi-denominational-self, I have been a part of a few). I know absolutely no one at this church/in this group.  But I got my shy-butt in gear, along with a diaper bag, a toddler and a baby in our limited AC/Car on this stinkin'hot-degree day in midSeptember - and found myself wandering into an unfamiliar church.

I faced one of my biggest fears - dropping my kids off in an unfamiliar nursery. I have yet to do this anywhere except my church. But they had sign-ins and tags and workers wearing matching shirts and mommy-pagers-for-me. And a friendly face walked with me upstairs to our meeting.

The ladies were very nice - welcoming but not overwhelming.  And I got out of my-current-denomination-bubble in which I have started thinking "such and such are Christians, but we have the market on ________ aspect of Christianity."  (I hate that I had those thoughts lately without even really knowing I did.) I was humbled by what I saw in these ladies.

All of this ramble to say - I am pretty sure I will be returning to this group twice a month.

family pictures

Our disc of family pictures arrived today, which makes me happy. And I ended up going with a plain green shirt (layered over white), and I am very happy I did.  Did I mention I won an incredible deal for our pictures?  Well, I did.  So that makes me even happier. 
I am uploading my pictures to our shutterfly account rather than putting them on here or facebook because our photographer didn't send us watermarked copies, I don't want to post them on here for copyright reasons - though we have the rights to the pictures.)  Anyhoo - if you need the password to our shutterfly account to see the pictures, let me know.

Monday, September 12, 2011

tears and MM 823-835

Yesterday I cried for others instead of self.
I cried as I watched the ten-year-old footage of the towers falling.  And as I listened to interview of the children who never knew their parents.
I cried for some friends for completely different reasons - for their losses, their unanswered prayers, their exhaustion, their overwhelming situations.

The tears reminded me that even those who appear to have it all are going through things - situations we may never understand, trials that take their toll.

All of the tears reminded me - I have so much. An abundance really.


piano music on a Thursday morning ~ "Mommy, kiss it!" after every owie ~ night out with a dozen other ladies for fondue and improv ~ chatting with Bugaboo when the others are napping ~ feathery baby-hair waving in the wind when I "toss" him up high ~ "Night, Jesus!" and a kiss on his B-I-B-L-E ~ four excellent kids for an entire MONDAY of baby-sitting ~ Sunday evening in the backyard with my three favorite people ~ pumpkin.spice.latte on the way to nursery duty~ hairbows in little BQ's hair, making me think some day a girl might be nice ~ hairbows falling out mid-afternoon reminding me why I was given two boys :) ~ reading all sorts of alphabet books and requesting apple books - the treasure of an amazing public library system


Friday, September 9, 2011

my day in eleven words


runny noses
ice cream run
texts from friend
anticipating tomorrow night



sharing my day with Natalie

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the mom guilt

Today I was attacked by guilt.  Just hours after a great "pep talk" by bff Beth Moore no less. (Okay, we are not bffs -I only know her through books and DVDs and I even disagree with her on a few things, but my goodness, I still love that gal). The thoughts swarmed in, mostly during lunch prep and clean-up:
  • The guilt of not catching that there may or may not be something amiss with Bugaboo's development.
  • The guilt of dividing my time between my kids and the kids I baby-sit.
  • The guilt of not holding/reading to/fill-in-the-blank Bugaboo/Bubby enough.
  • The guilt of being so tired of playing with kids by 4:30 every day the last thing I want to do is ready Bubby another story.
  • The guilt of thinking if I went back to work for a "real" job the kids would have nicer things.
  • The guilt of thinking if I was able to "just be" a stay-at-home mom the kids would get to do the things we used to do pre-childcare (library time, park visits, coffee runs...okay the last one is just for me).
  • The guilt of Bubby handing me a dust bunny and saying, "Daddy vacuums."
  • The guilt of not calling/emailing/texting/facebooking/visiting friends and family enough.

It is heavy, all of that guilt. It weighed me down for a good portion of the day.  But then I remembered something Beth said last night (paraphrasing here)- If something hinders you from experiencing/knowing/believing Truth, it is bondage.

  • The truth is my kids know I love them, and I am doing what is best for our family at this specific season in our lives.  
  • The truth is Bubby wasn't upset about the dust bunny - he thought it was cool, and only mentioned vacuuming because a) he loves the vacuum and b)I mentioned needing to vacuum first.  
  • The truth is even before I started baby-sitting, I had feelings of guilt about not being enough for my kids, my husband, my family, my friends.  
And you know what - I am not enough.
I am not enough for anyone.
I am not enough for myself.
I am not enough, nor should I be.

And that may be my first step to real freedom from guilt.

(joining last minute with Emily @ imperfectprose)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

some medical stuff

All the kiddos are napping/resting at the same time - rare. Here's some medical updates for Bugaboo's nine month appointment today:

27 3/4 in. long (25th-50th percentile), 19.25 lbs (25th percentile)

The doctor is referring Bugaboo to a pediatric neurologist - our appointment is the beginning of October.  She is concerned about his muscle tone/motor skills and still a little bit concerned about his tracking(vision). I don't have many more details than this - The Hubs took him to his appointment. I would like to talk to Bubby's physical therapist just to see what she thinks about all of this since they referred us to a neurologist before a physical therapist. Keep us in your prayers, if you will.

In good news on the medical front - we are down to just one medical place to pay off.  Thanks to my new job, a refi on our house, help from family members -we paid off the debt we owed the doctors and the labs today.  We just have the hospital left (though we gave them a bigger-than-normal-payment today), and we are hopeful to be medical debt free by the holidays.

Please pray for more clients for The Hubs, for our li'l ol' cars to keep working, and no major catastrophes in our home/family for at least the next two years. It would be nice to rebuild our emergency fund (which became the two-kids-in-a-NICU fund) and save for a much needed new-to-us-vehicle.  All in due time.  We are thankful for all the way God has provided - through the ability for each of us to work in a way that we don't have to pay for childcare, through the generosity of friends and family, for wisdom in budgeting/budget-cutting, etc.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

another installment of "what are the MacBoys up to?"

Tomorrow Bugaboo goes for his nine-month check-up.  The Hubs has to take him because I will be here with Bubby and the Q-kids (my baby-sitting clients).  Insert mommy-guilt here. So some stats on weight and such hopefully tomorrow. But what is Bugaboo doing these days?

  • still not quite sitting up independently for very long
  • taking a great nap almost every morning like clockwork around 9:30 and then a hit/miss one sometime every afternoon when he feels like it
  • starting to babble a little more - the other day while his big brother was napping, the two of us had a great conversation - so sweet
  • liking books - his favorites so far are the ones with pictures of other babies in them
  • diggin' looking at himself in the mirror
  • loves smiling/"chatting" with big brother, he laughs the most with Bubby
  • eating stage 3 fruits, but not doing so well with "solid" foods like puffs and Cheerios
  • moved out of his infant carseat a few weeks ago - sad for mommy's heart, happy for mommy's arms/back

    These days Bubby:
    • loves playing outside "more running" is what he says in the yard thanks to our P.T. Miss Tara 
    • enjoys all art projects he gets to do with Mommy and Lil Miss Q (little girl I babysit)
    • knows all capital letters, about 50% of lowercase, can tell you all the consonant sounds, and the basic short vowel sounds
    • current favorite books: Fox in Socks, Wet Dog, and out of his kids' Bible the stories about "Jesus, boat, rock, disciples, come-on." (There are two boat stories with Jesus and he retells them together - the one where Jesus calms the waves and the one where Peter walks to Jesus, hence the "come-on.")
    • still working on physical therapy skills such as running, jumping, stairs, and climbing on equipment.
    • he can point out every food place/store we have ever been to as we ride around town in a car "Ma-donald's -fries.  Aldis. Coffee. Starbucks. Donut. Chicken. Hot dog. Soda. (those last three indicate Sonic) Store. (dillons) Libree (Library) Church. Mall." He loves to go grocery shopping - it is his new Tuesday afternoon outing with The Hubs now that I am tied to the house during the day.
    • He is using lots of three word phrases now, though if he can get away with it, he sticks to two.
    • funny/sweet things Bubby has said lately (I really need to keep a jar to jot them all down in):
      • "Hi Sweet Boy!" to the "buggie" flying around the kitchen
      • "Hi baby brother." 
      • instead of just saying yes, he says, "Oh Yeah!" with correct intonation
      • "mmm, yum, good, lishus" (delicious)
      • Today I asked him to stop rolling his toy train off the coffee table because it then crashed to the floor.  I told him if he did it again, I would take it.  He did it again (of course with an impish grin), and when I said, "Bring Mommy the train," he looked at me and in all seriousness said, "Bus."  - because it was a toy bus that was crashing off of the table. 
      • oh there is so much more, but I don't remember - agh!  I better write these things down daily somewhere

      Monday, September 5, 2011

      the importance of not skimming over the stories you know by heart

      The last two evenings I have been in Mark 4. This chapter includes the parable of the seeds - the ones being picked up, not growing, attacked by thorns, and growing a harvest. If you grew up going to Sunday school for any portion of your childhood, you most likely know the story by heart.  I did.
      But I've been doing the Inductive Bible Study method lately, and I love it because it is making me slooooowwwww down. And in the slowing my eyes/heart/mind kept being drawn back to verses 18-19.


      And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

      Last night a thought popped in my head when I read the verses, but I pushed it down.  However, I couldn't escape an ah-ha moment tonight.  My worries, insecurities, jealousies,desires for more, etc. are choking the Truth out of me.  Without the dependence on Truth, I am lacking fruit both in my life and the ability to help others live a fruitful life.

      And if this wasn't ah-ha enough, I remembered that a week or so ago I wrote down Gal. 5:22-25 on a card.  The first part is the nicey-nice stuff about love, joy, peace, etc. But the second half is the hard stuff - the crucifying self because we belong to Christ, the Truth that if we "live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." That's hard stuff, but powerful.

      I feel like whining - the easy life seems so much, well easier.   But I have to keep in mind I am not alone on this path.  Anyone else out there feel like sometimes life tries to choke the Truth out of them?  How do you deal?  (Please no cookie-cutter answers.) A friend reminded me today to live like I am forgiven. What does that look like for you all?

      There is strength in encouraging one another and walking together, right? Feel free to be real here.  Some days are great for me, but some days  I want to put about a half-a-dozen pumpkin spice lattes and a pair of new boots on a credit card just to make myself "feel" better, and since I am too practical to do that I feel doubly-frustrated. Anyone? Buhler? Buhler?

      Sunday, September 4, 2011

      in all circumstances (MM 813-822)

      Discontentment and I wrestle a lot.  Whether it is over a perfectionism battle of finding a shirt that meets twenty-seven different criteria or the daily struggle to not let my unmet expectations cause me frustration, discontentment seems to want to trap me at any random moment. And then I beat myself up about it.
      I need to give myself the grace to say, "When you know better, you do better."  I am learning, some days struggling, but some days succeeding - finding contentment and giving thanks in all circumstances:

      813.hot weather on Saturday to make me anticipate the fall-ish weather that arrived today

      814. Bubby's fierce independence in not smiling for family pictures - this will serve him well in years of peer-pressure, right?

      815. three of us sharing a drive-thru meal and the satisfaction at frugality
      816. beans and rice for dinner reminding us that there are so many in the world without food, without options
      817. unexpected toddler nursery work and a chance to meet someone new-to-me
      818. decreased clients this week for The Hubs - an opportunity to pray for more clients and new ways to trust God daily

      819. extra moments to snuggle Bugaboo with his stuffy nose

      820. learning that while some things drive me nuts, other people enjoy them - so I should be kind and just let it be
      821. two shirts to take back to two stores this week because I ended up going with a plain green shirt that I have had for four or five years
      822. books scattered on shelves and tubs all over the boys' room, the tv stand, my dresser, my night stand - well-loved clutter

      joining with Ann's community

      Thursday, September 1, 2011

      photo-shopping aka the day I almost lost my salvation (kidding!)

      We are getting family pictures taken on Saturday because we have had Bugaboo around now for almost nine months and even at big gatherings where we all dressed up and spiffy no one takes a picture of just our family of four.  There are always random lovely family members invading invited into our space.

      I began thinking the last couple weeks about what we would all wear.  Visions of Gap kids commercials and JCrew ads danced in my head. And then reality hit because my kids own nothing Gap and I (sadly) own nothing JCrew. I wanted to coordinate but not be matchy. I googled, facebooked, and pinterested.


      In this process I discovered the drawback to allowing your sons only  a couple of matching shirts is that somehow their wardrobe lacks ANYTHING that coordinates.  If Bubby had a plaid shirt in one color, Bugaboo did not have a solid in it. If Bugaboo had a striped in a scheme, Bubby had nothing in that motif.  And if by some miracle I found something that sort of worked it was too casual or too formal for one of them and not the other. Ugh.

      Thus I decided each boy and The Hubs would wear a solid polo shirt non-matching/non-clashing colors. However, my sons own nothing of the sort at their current sizes. So I went to Tarjay. By myself.

      Alas, they had nothing "plain" in stock. Everything had a number or a cartoon character or a sarcastic phrase on the front. Agh. I called The Hubs who whispered four lovely words: "Go to the mall."

      JCPenney was having a major sale on baby/toddler clothes. Shirts for $2-4.  I thought I found a solution after an hour of searching the disorganized racks. A plain rusty colored collared shirt for Bugaboo and a pretty rad print collared shirt in reddish, gray, white for Bubby with design on the back only. My kids were going to be stylin'. And I found a shirt for moi on the way out the door.

      But mall lighting is deceiving.  Bugaboo's shirt looked too close to pink for any little boy to have permanently on film  and Bubby's shirt was too small (though by the sizing tag it should have been too big.) And the shirt was too big up top for me and too small on bottom.
      (camera phone picture b/c I'm too lazy to get my camera - they REALLY look pink here)

      AGH!  What's a girl to do? Give up on the Gap ad dream???

      Yes.

      I decided our family never looks like a Gap ad, so why should our pictures? My kids have a simple life - heck, I think I am the one woman in America who did not decorate a nursery for her babies (I still feel a twinge guilty about that, but I could not justify spending hundreds of dollars on a room for someone who can't appreciate it yet.)  Why am I worrying about something that is supposed to be FUN and REPRESENT my family at  THIS MOMENT in time? (I'm shouting at myself here, not you all.)

      So the JCP items will be returned this weekend, and the MacFamily will be wearing items that we would probably wear on any day where we were going to be seen in public.  The only difference is I will be wearing make-up for a change. :)
      (Saturday's attire - though The Hubs and I will be wearing jeans, not featured here)