Saturday, September 17, 2011

Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

i have seriously. he got up with the kids this morning so i could leisurely get ready for the day without a little person hanging on my leg, narrating my movements ("mommy do make-up! mommy do make-up!).

and then! he sent me to starbucks! alone!

there was a time i frequented starbucks. it was my favorite place to write, to work on my bible study, to meet students. ten years, one husband and 2.5 kids later, i'm not always sure what to do when i get here. its a little foreign to me to order a drink AND pull up a chair. my typical starbucks run now includes a drive-thru.

it's been a busy month at our place. and, the october calendar is filling up even faster. [for all three of my dallas readers, we're coming to visit at the end of the month!] i wish I could figure out time during the day to write more consistently here, to record for posterity the ins and outs of our days, but for now this will have to do :) (Michael wrote about our recent camping trip, if you want to read about it.)

my sister becks (do you mind if I spell it that way?) has been know to say that sharing "confessions" is the best way to get to know someone. so, in her honor, here are my confessions of a stay-at-home mom. with two children three and under.

don't judge.

1) going to the pool occasionally counts as a bath. i KNOW.

2) tomato sauce on a pizza is definitely a veggie. i strive to get two veggies a day into my little people (one at lunch, one at dinner). it's a bonus if one is green.

3) i don't usually get up before the kids. at least not by much. they're learning to sleep in (7:45 is our current norm) and its heavenly. maybe some of my need for sleep is due to the baby. maybe i just like to sleep :)

4) i l.o.v.e. having luke (3) and ava (2) at home. most of the time. we've intentionally chosen not to put them in formal preschool this year. but, i do sometimes struggle with envy toward my friends who can run errands alone. eat an uninterrupted lunch with a friend. go to the bathroom alone. it's the little things, people. and then, i (try to) remind myself this is only a season. and a beautiful one at that.

5) if you see my children in public and they are well-behaved, please tell me you noticed. parenting young children is exhausting and i often wonder if i'm doing okay.

so, there you have it. my confessions. your turn!

Friday, August 26, 2011

happy birthday, pretty princess!

my pretty princess,

today you are two. i can hardly believe it. when i woke up this morning, i was thinking about where i was two years ago – at the birth center holding my brand new baby girl, the one who made a dramatic entrance into the world. and my heart. but, i'm sure by the time you read this letter, you'll have heard that story more times than we can count.

you've grown a lot in the last year. i'm not sure if it's because you're a girl, or because you have an older brother to mimic, but your verbal skills blow me away. you've been speaking in sentences for several months (though, at first they were certainly short sentences) and i've never heard you confuse “i” and “me.” luke and you both have a big vocabulary, and sometimes the things you say make me laugh.

a few weeks ago, we were choosing a veggie tales dvd to watch. you picked lyle the kindly viking. when i confirmed it's what you wanted, you replied yaaa. i asked, ava, are you a viking? your reply? no, i ava!

you are a fantastic eater. about 10 months ago, we had our friend miss kelly over for dinner. we were eating pasta, bread and broccoli. you started verbally requesting more while signing, but we weren't sure what you wanted more of. we asked if you wanted pasta? no. bread? no. finally, your little voice rang out bro-wee. the three of us big people looked at each other in amazement. what 14-month-old asks for more broccoli?! obviously, you did.

you out-eat luke at many meals, but are not a large, overweight toddler. in fact, at your two-year well visit with dr. cooper, you weighted 27.3 lbs (59%) and are almost 35 inches tall (72%)! your favorite foods are peanut butter sandwiches, carrots, broccoli, fruit of almost any kind, and chick-fil-a (though luke has taught you to be scared of the person in the cow costume).

you love to play games. if daddy and i can make something into a game, you are quite happy. today at the grocery store, you were pretty grumpy, whining and crying because i wouldn't let you have your way. in a funny voice, i started saying, ava, you're driving me....bananas! you immediately began cackling. again, mommy! again! even an older man who passed us on the aisle realized that the game made you a much happier little girl.

you love to run and chase with luke, though he tends to play a little rougher than you can handle right now. but, you'll do your best to keep up with him. you're learning to kick a ball, which will allow you to play with him even more. you also like for luke to be happy. i don't want you to always feel its your responsibility to make him happy, but it is sweet to see you sharing your toys, even when he's whining. miss suzanne brought you a balloon for your birthday. you loved it! and so did luke. he stood to the side of the room crying because you had the balloon, so after a few minutes, you went to him, handed him the balloon and gave him a hug. you love your big brother, ava.

you'll be a wonderful big sister! your baby that aunt linda gave you for christmas last year is one of your favorite toys. you sleep with her, push her in the stroller, give her a bottle and her woobie. and, even occasionally spank her. as long as you don't spank your baby brother, i think we'll be okay!

at the beginning of the year, i started to teach luke to memorize bible verses. after our first verse (eph. 6:1-2), we realized you were learning the verses, too, even though you could barely talk! so far, you've memorized eph 6:1-2, john 3:16, prov. 4:23 and we're working on eph 4:32. you love it! daddy and i hope to instill within you and luke both a love for God's word. i pray for you, my sweet girl, that you will truly be a woman of wisdom, as your name implies. that you will delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it day and night (psalm 1). that God would see fit to use you to bring much glory and honor to his name. ava, daddy and i love you so much.

it is a joy to be your mommy. i love you!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

lazarus, come forth!

i've decided that perhaps it's time to resurrect this ole blog of mine. i'm not sure how often i'll have time to write, but it would probably be good for me to have the outlet.

a notable update since my last post (we did indeed move to the atlanta area, by the way) -- we're having another babe. due around the end of the year. we're excited, hesitate about what it means to be a family of five, and ready to embrace the challenge of another newborn (most days). though i'm definitely not ready for the sleep deprivation. are you ever, really?

today, we had a few friends over to swim. luke(3) and ava(2) loved having friends around...luke especially loved playing with his buddies. one highlight was watching the three younger boys hold hands and jump into the pool together: cuteness. the kids l.o.v.e. the pool and, even though both are a long way from swimming sans floaties, they are little fish. ava, particularly, isn't scared of anything.

but, with a flotilla like this, who would be:

taking a quick break on the side of the pool. he rarely lets go of his fish swimmie, even when he's out of the water. it's cute.

Monday, January 25, 2010

meet me in...atlanta?

it's been a year now, a year that michael's been looking for a job as a pastor. and, a stressful year in many ways. we've seen many doors crack, but not a single one stay open long enough to shove a toe through.

perhaps that's my fault because i prayed that God would only open one door. as in the one.

such is the way God seems to work in our lives.

before christmas, michael was contacted about a job by a ministry that is dear to both of our hearts. an organization that God has used to bless us and provide for us over the last almost-five years. it's something we both believe in.

but it's not a church.

it's a job that would offer an opportunity for him to be mentored by a really cool guy, to gain experience shepherding a staff and growing a ministry, to use his background in business for the kingdom.

but it's not a church.

michael's a great fit, in all respects. i worked for this ministry for four years so he understands the people he'd be leading. we've served as volunteers for even longer. since the fall, he's been interviewing and screening prospective volunteers. he's got the gifts to be successful in the role.

but it's not a church.

it's been a week full of prayer and questioning and asking God what he's up to. wondering and trying to guess why he might be taking us to a job that's not a pastorate. feeling like the hundreds of hours michael invested into the job search might be in vain. he'd would really love this job. but, his heart, my heart, it's with the church.

and so we've prayed that if this is where he's calling, God would close every other door that remains cracked. and he is. just last night michael talked to the search committee chair of the church he was farthest "in" with. they like him, really like him in fact, and he was their top candidate, but several older folks on the committee really want someone older than michael, with more experience.

we're slowing starting to dream and realize this really might be it. which is exciting.

and terrifying at the same time.

today, michael will call his prospective supervisor and let him know we'll come visit atlanta and see the ministry there. and we're praying that if this isn't it, God would slam the door shut.

because really? we don't want to be there if that's not what he has for us.

so, we ask that you'd pray with us:

*that if this is the direction God has for us that we'd continue to grow in excitement, especially michael;
* that michael and i would be like-minded about where God is taking us;
* that if this is not the direction we should go, that he would make that abundantly clear.

can't wait to see what he's up to!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

a little distracted

i know it's been awhile. and, i have things to post. i was going to do that tonight.

by i got distracted by this. and then, the screen was a little too blurry from the tears, so i couldn't see to type.

so, i'll do it tomorrow when my heart isn't so distracted.

cari, i miss her, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

pea-nut, peanut butter!

during my four years of college, i had four different roommates. mandy and i lived together for three years. we hardly knew each other when we agreed to be roommies. and, for the most part, we were a good fit. (right, roommie?)

unfortunately, mandy doesn't like peanut butter. couldn't even handle the smell.

in a small dorm room, without a real refrigerator, there're only so many "meals" you can make.

and there's only so many places you can hide from the aroma of a new jar of peanut butter.

when mandy was around, i didn't crack the lid. that's the kind of roommate i was.

the other night, i was looking for a milk-free snack when i remembered a recipe i stumbled on during my pregnancy with ava. peanut butter popcorn.

before you knock it, you really ought to give it a try. and to help you to that end, i'm sharing the recipe. yum!

in a small pan over medium heat, combine 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. light corn syrup and stir while sugar melts. add 1/2. c. peanut butter and stir until melted. remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla. stir over 6-8 c. popped popcorn.

peanut butter and popcorn. two of my favorite milk-free snacks.

if i'd had this recipe as a college freshman, mandy and i might not have last three years.

Monday, November 30, 2009

i'm sure there will be cheeseburgers in paradise

it's amazing what a mom will do for her baby...

a few weeks ago, ava and luke (2) both went to the doctor (my new best friend) for an ear infection. luke's ears were clear, but ta-da: miss ava marie had her very first ear infection.

we left with a prescription for amoxicillian, which never worked for luke. within 24-hours, she was acting much better. however, a few days later, she didn't sleep well. as in, she woke up. every. stinkin'. hour.

let me remind y'all that she still sleeps in our room.

based on luke's ear infection history, i called my new BFF as soon as the office opened. i was positive the antibiotic wasn't strong enough and ava was still in pain.

our fabulous doctor gave her a thorough examine and sat back, in his casual manner, on his rolly chair.

the good news, he told me, is that it's not her ears.

my thought? that's not good news. because? if it's not her ears? it's something worse.

he asked a few other questions. had she been sleeping well? yes, five to six hours each night. was she always congested? yes, my little snuffleupagus.

i think she has a cow's milk protein intolerance. he explained that sometimes this crops up around three months of age. and probably will last a year or two. it can cause serious problems (fortunately, ours are minor). it's not a full-on cow's milk allergy, and because of that, it won't show up in allergy blood tests.

our action plan? to remove all cow's milk products from her diet to see if that helps. which means removing all cow's milk from my diet.

did you realize there's cow's milk in pasta sauce? and bread? and most of my favorite food products.

so, i've given up cow's milk. at home, it's been easy. i can substitute soy milk or soy butter (and even soy sour cream) most of the time. but when we're out, it's not so easy. i was grieved this weekend to forgo a fabulous mcdonalds cheeseburger (the perfect meat to bun ratio).

at first, i wondered if this really was the solution to our problem. i mean, what if she just had a few bad nights? and so, i had a pre-thanksgiving meal, loaded with butter and milk.

our problem is definitely the cow's milk. the three of us hardly slept for four nights.

my poor baby.

and thus ends my obsession with yogurt and granola.