Friday, February 29, 2008

Some of My Favorite Pictures and Quotes from February...

Micah, who has suddenly become fascinated with his boogers, found a great new use for a screwdriver.

"No picture, Mom!" Wrestling after bath time
A banana for the monkey Micah was grumpy this morning
Gotta love those cocoa puffs! Micah after his bath
Look at those eyelashes
Crazy Conner
Mardi GrasMicah's birthday

Quotes of the month:

  • "Bookar. Bookar o mou." (Translation: Booger. Booger in my mouth.) --Micah

  • Conner, to Bret: "Hey. Your name is Daddy, and you are my daddy. That's funny!"

  • "Coyer, ti ta ee!" (Translation: Conner, time to eat!) -- I am loving that I can send Micah to tell Conner that dinner is ready and he does it!

  • "Daddy, she broke my heart." --Conner (for the back-story, see "A Nice Evening at 'The Dump'")

  • "Tummy hur." (Translation: My tummy hurts.) --Micah (This is not really a cute or funny quote, but I loved it because it was the first time he was able to initiate telling me that he wasn't feeling well and where/why. That is so nice! And, yes, he did throw up later.

  • Conner, in referring to the waiter at Chili's, who was standing right there: "Daddy, that man has an earring in his ear. That's silly!"

  • "Mommy, eew, booger!" -- Micah, 17 times a day, just before he expects me to wipe the booger off of his outstretched finger. (He has discovered the joy of picking his nose. Uggghh! But, we have at least accomplished learning to wipe his own nose -- and finger if necessary -- by himself and then throw away the Kleenex!)

  • "Dear God, thank you for Daddy and Mommy and Micah and Josiah and myself." --Conner

  • "Daddy, since you're out of quarters for the video game, is it okay if I ask some strangers for some?" --Conner

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birthday Blessings

Today is my birthday. I am 29 today. No, really -- 29 for the first time, not the second or third! What a great day I had. I dropped the boys off at preschool, picked up a big ol' fat toffee nut latte (decaf, of course!) at Starbucks -- thanks, Angela and Carrie! -- and did a little shopping. This in itself was truly a treat.

My boys gave me some stuff from Barnes and Noble, and Bret has promised to go shopping with me after this baby is born (we're counting down - 12 days or less) to get some clothes that fit. So sweet! I've gotten cards and checks in the mail from family, countless phonecalls, emails, and messages from friends, a wonderful bag of goodies from a friend at church, and a Starbucks gift card from my church Secret Sister. Angela and Carrie even (in addition to another Starbucks gift card) gave me a rose and a birthday cookie cake. I have truly been overwhelmed today.

We actually had time tonight to do birthday cake between dinner and church:
I really don't like putting pictures of myself up, but it's my birthday, Bret had the camera, you'll have to suffer through it with me! This is the cookie cake the girls made. Bret was so glad he didn't have to take care of it! I had thought we had candles, but was wrong, so we used Micah's number 2 from a couple of weeks ago. :) And, I confess, the part of the cake that is missing is where I got into it last night and couldn't stop. Oops.

I am apparently too old to blow out the candles (even when there's only one) by myself:And, here's some of us eating... Yes, I am aware that there's chocolate on my face. I had to use this picture, though. Bret would have been so upset if I hadn't!

I don't usually get all mushy or sentimental on my own birthday, but, (I'll blame it on the pregnancy hormones!) today I just haven't been able to stop thinking about the many ways God has so richly blessed me. To name a few...

I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful and healthy boys, and am expecting the third in twelve days or less. (We are scheduled to induce on the 3/10 if Joey's not here by then.) Here's a good belly picture that Conner took of me today:
Bret has been so sweet and attentive the past few weeks. I have been so uncomfortable, and he has truly gone above and beyond. To mention just a few things, he has had me go get a massage and a pedicure, has done pretty much all of the cooking recently, and has taken over bath duty. (hallelujah!) Then I go to bed relatively early, and he stays up way too late working on the school work that keeps getting pushed aside during the reasonable hours of the day. I am so blessed to be married to my best friend, who wants nothing more than for his family to be happy and healthy.

After spending the first year here in Louisiana intentionally trying to not allow ourselves to get too close to anyone (thinking we would be leaving in a year or less), the past six months have been filled with a bit more job security, allowing us to let go and truly build some relationships with some people. There is a reason that God calls us to community, and I am so thankful for this blessing.

Then there's the blessing of our wonderful families in Texas (which reminds me of how thankful I am for cell phones, digital cameras, internet, mini-vans, and Southwest airlines), and, no list of things I am thankful for would be complete without mentioning Starbucks, Target, Chick-fil-a, disposable diapers, Sharpies, post-it notes, and chocolate chip cookies.

As the day ended, I also found myself thankful for the blessing of washing machines and the foresight to have multiple softies for Micah. If you will notice in the pictures above, he was not eating cake and ice cream. As soon as we finished dinner and started getting dessert out, he started telling us that his tummy hurt. And, yes, you guessed it -- as we were getting ready for church he (to put it nicely) made it apparent that his tummy really did hurt! It was so nice to throw the gross softie in the washing machine along with the other stuff, and just pull out a clean one. Conner even, unsolicited, helped me clean up the mess (Bret had already left for church -- he has taught Conner well!)

Even with the a less-than-perfect ending, I had a wonderful day. Thank you, everyone!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fifty Bucks to Play Dress-Up

My sister, Lydia, is getting married in about 7 weeks, 5 weeks after Josiah is due. (I'm glad I got out the calendar and counted just now - I've been thinking it was only 4!) My sister-in-law, Tiffany, is getting married 6 weeks after that. In both weddings, Bret is performing the ceremony, I am a bridesmaid/matron of honor, and the boys are ring bearers. Both weddings will take place hours away in Texas. There are lots of things to be nervous about:

  • fitting into these dresses (that I was measured for over halfway through this pregnncy) so soon after giving birth
  • how I will look in them when/if I get them on
  • how much spit-up, candy drool, poop, and/or other gross things mommies are often covered with I will have on me as I'm standing in front of the church
  • and how exactly will I do my own hair and makeup while juggling three preschoolers, getting them dressed, and keeping them clean? Hopefully Bret or someone else can help with this, but we will all be getting ready for pictures, and probably have several other responsibilities, as well...
  • who else will be marked with the above-mentioned substances
  • how my boys will behave before, during, after the ceremonies
  • who will take them out when (probably not if) one (if not all) of them need to be taken out
  • that Bret will be able to get through the ceremony and get everyone married through the inevidible distractions
  • getting to the weddings in one piece (well, actually, I guess it would be five...) It currently takes about 9 hours for us to drive to Bret's parents' house, and 12-13 to drive to mine -- and this without a newborn needing to eat every couple of hours! I'm not sure that flying with three under the age of five sounds much better...
  • will our sisters be sorry they invited us by the time this is all over?
  • the list could go on - use your imagination...

I'm afraid we're going to be our own little 5-member, 17 ring circus at both, pulling everyone we know and love in with us! Actually, there are plans addressing a lot of these issues that will work, I'm sure -- but that doesn't mean I don't still worry about it!

Conner was a ring bearer in my sister Jodi's wedding when he was a couple of months younger than Micah. He did okay-ish...I'm sure Micah will do even better being a couple of months older, and having Conner, an older, experienced kid to watch. There has also been talk of them pulling Josiah down the aisle with them in some kind of cutsied-up wagon. We'll see... Finding matching tuxes in sizes 6, 2T, and newborn, white shirts for one wedding and ivory for the other, has proven a difficult task -- but I think we've done it! They came in the mail the other day, and, while I know Conner and Micah will be so handsome and cute in theirs, it was the little 0-3 month size tux that I was drooling over. I couldn't stand it -- I had to pull out our poor, lonely little baby doll again: Too cute, huh?! The jacket is huge, and a lost cause, I'm sure, but the rest can be made to fit pretty easily, I think. $50 is a lot of money to play dress-up, but it will be fun! I just hope we can get it on him, get some pictures, and maybe even show him off for a few minutes before he soils it with a bodily fluid of some sort! :) Here's Conner and Micah as we were trying theirs on (we need to have some alterations done on Conner's).

I know the rest will somehow fall into place and it will all be okay!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Micah's New Trick

Yesterday, as I was coming through the kitchen with a load of laundry, Micah met me at the corner, crying and saying something that I couldn't quite understand, and holding his hands out to me. He had been making some noise in the kitchen, and I had just assumed that he was pulling things out of a drawer he wasn't supposed to or something, thinking I would get to it as soon as I got the laundry going. So I kissed his outstretched hand (which was wet - I figured he had had it in his mouth) and continued around the corner. That's when I discovered that the refrigerator door was open. I knew that Micah had discovered that he could open it by himself a few days ago, but it hadn't been a problem...until now. I could see a broken egg on the floor below the door, and inwardly groaned. So, I set my laundry basket down and asked Micah to show me what he was doing. This is what I saw:

We are so lucky it was just one egg! But, do notice the yolk trail going down into the drawer... One egg can make a pretty big, sticky mess! Apparently he was crying because his hands had gotten dirty - and the wetness on my mouth from kissing them was not drool, but raw egg. Yuck!

Kids are such an adventure. I thank God for the 2.9 that I have and the days that I am able to take a deep breath and stand back for a moment to realize that he was not being bad - just a curious two-year-old exploring and enjoying life. That allows me to - instead of immediately getting upset and frustrated, making everyone cranky - enjoy, take a picture, get a big hug and kiss, and commit to memory. (And then clean up the mess and start the laundry!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Doughy Joey and Blocks

I'm afraid I've disappointed a few people. Last night was the full moon with total lunar eclipse, and we are here in southern Louisiana, which was apparently one of the prime viewing areas for this particular eclipse...and this morning I'm still pregnant! I'm sure that if he was ready, Joey would have taken the opportunity to howl at his first full moon along with his Yogi! But, apparently, he's still got some cooking to do -- he's brown on the edges but still a little raw in the middle (his Gammie has taken to calling him "Doughy Joey!") I'm just fine letting him cook a little longer. There's still a few more things that I would like to get done. (I know there will always be a few more things that I'd like to get done!)

But, on to the current stars of the show, Conner Bug and Micah Moo. They are awesome. We got out the blocks the other day. We have a huge bucket of the big plastic MegaBlocks. (I haven't been brave enough to venture on to tiny legos yet...maybe once Joey gets old enough to not be too bad about putting them in his mouth...) They have been the entertainment of the day for the past two days - and the cause of most of the squabbles of the past two days!

We don't get the blocks out just real often. They are in a huge bucket that lives in the bottom of the boys' closet, underneath several other smaller buckets of toys. It's kind of neat this way, though, because every time we get them out, each of the boys is into doing something new and different with them. Conner has been really into building towers the past few times, and every time they get bigger and more elaborate. He really seems to have gotten it this time that the bottom of the tower has to be pretty solid, and as you get to the top, you can branch out a little more. And, he seems to get it now that you simply can't just keep building up without it falling down eventually. He figured out about how high he could make them while still being free-standing, and was perfectly happy with making a bunch of towers this height.
Micah loved that, because that meant that while Conner was busy building a new tower, Micah was free to knock down one of -- or all of -- the other ones. Conner, of course, got really upset every time, and Micah soon figured out that this was an opportune time to throw a couple of blocks at him. Then he would pick up another block, act like he was going to throw it, and Conner would go running through the house, screaming and crying like a baby. Micah thought it was absolutely hilarious! It hasn't seemed to get old for Micah yet. Conner, Bret, and I, on the other hand...well, you get the picture!
It's been fun, but I'm thinking today may be the last day of the blocks for awhile. I did, at least, get Micah into playing with the bucket yesterday, instead of the blocks. He had lots of fun playing hide and seek in it -- until Conner decided that it was his turn... We'll have to come up with something else new and exciting for tomorrow (or today if my patience doesn't last very long!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Nice Evening at "The Dump"

Our church small group met at the McDonald’s play land last night. Most of our group was unable to make it for one reason or another, so it ended up being just us, the Browns, and the Clems. We missed everyone else, but we still ended up having a nice time -- the kids ran around until they got gross, sweaty, and red-faced, and the adults got to sit down and actually talk. What a luxury!

The only problem was the trash:
(Travis was annoyed enough that he took a picture!) There were four trashcans in the playground area, and they were all overflowing onto the floor, piled up on top, and even the two or three tables that were closest were filled up with trash. It was really pretty gross. We, of course, immediately made sure the employees were aware of the situation and asked them to take care of it. We were told that they were too busy and short-handed to take care of the trash. We thought about going somewhere else, but the kids were already lost somewhere in the slides, and we had already ordered our food. We figured they would take care of it soon, anyway. If we had known we would be there for an hour and a half before it was taken care of, we probably would have gone ahead and left!

Instead, we decided that we would just sit on the other side of the room and try to ignore the trash. That worked pretty well, except for the occasional side-handed comment about eating in the dump or helping ourselves to someone else’s leftovers. But then we caught Ben, the Brown’s three-year-old, digging a cup out of a trashcan to get a drink. It turns out that it was his own cup that he had put there a few minutes before, but it was still pretty gross! Then Micah came up to me chewing something - and I knew it wasn’t food that Bret or I had given him. It turns out that he had been eating french fries off the floor behind the trash heap. Ugghhh! There’s no telling how many he had eaten before we caught him!

We decided at that point that it was probably time to go. As we were collecting kids and shoes, Conner came up to Bret crying. When Bret asked him what was wrong, Conner said, “I can love anyone at church, but not Madison.” Bret started to get onto him for tattling, when he instead asked why he couldn’t love Madison. Conner looked at him, tears in his eyes, pout on his mouth, and said, “Because she said I couldn’t love her. Daddy, she broke my heart.” It was too cute! It turns out that Madison (the Clem’s seven-year-old) has recently become aware of “romantic stuff” and boyfriend/girlfriends. She thought that Conner was wanting to be her boyfriend, and she wanted nothing of the sort! We think we got everything worked out. I’m sure Conner is just the first in a long line of many little hearts Madison will someday break…

We did end up having a very enjoyable evening, despite the unpleasantness of the surroundings. I guess it just goes to show that friends really do help to make things bearable!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chick-fil-a to the Rescue (again!)

I'm afraid this has been a boring week for my boys. I have tried really hard to actually stay off of my feet, and I think I've done reasonably well. I ran some errands while they were in school on Wednesday and Friday. To some that might not seem like taking it easy, but it was certainly easier than running them with the kiddos in tow! And, they were mostly quick in-and-out or drive-through window types of errands, so I ended up spending a lot of time sitting in the van. Tuesday and Thursday, and Wednesday and Friday afternoons, I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible while keeping up with Bug and Moo. I laid down, read, or did paperwork while Micah was taking his naps. Conner has been such a big helper to be so self-sufficient on the computer during that time! When they've both been awake and playing, though, I just haven't been able to come up with anything terribly exciting to do. We haven't gone outside, because going outside always means that I'm either playing soccer, retreiving balls out of the ditch, bending over pushing Micah on his bicycle, or rescuing someone from a pile of dog poo -- not exactly off my feet or taking it easy. We haven't gone to any parks, either, for the same reasons. Things like painting, toys that I dug out from the bottom of the toybox, games, puzzles, etc haven't captured anyone's interest, either. We haven't even run any errands - because I was able to get all of that done without them! We've just been sitting in the house doing the same old-same old - Conner has been coloring, playing animal party on his bed, watching too much TV, and picking on Micah. Micah has been playing with balls, thowing Conner's markers, watching too much TV, and picking on Conner.

It really hit last night, when after I fed them pizza from the freezer (I haven't been cooking much, either), we found ourselves sitting in front of the TV waiting for bedtime. (Bret was stuck in traffic in New Orleans and was running late getting home.) I knew that if I was going crazy, they probably were, too. We had to do something, but what? Chick-fil-a usually comes to the rescue at a time like this -- even if I just get a drink while the boys play on the playground and we don't even eat. But both of them had pizza all over their shirts, had lost their pants hours ago, and who feels like getting them dressed just to run out for a few minutes right before bedtime? I decided to load them up as they were, and just go through the CFA drive-through for ice cream cones. Yes, I was so desperate that we were going to attempt ice cream cones in the car! As we were buckling in, Bret pulled in the driveway, so he hopped in the van with us, and we all went. It ended up being perfect. The ice cream didn't really start melting badly until about the time we got home, and Micah was pretty much through with his by then, anyway. Conner was starting to complain that the ice cream was getting hot and burning his mouth (!) and was pretty much through, too. But, we accomplished our goal - we got out of the house, did something fun, and made it to bedtime. There are days when I truly thank God for our friends at Chick-fil-a!
Oh, and I must mention that my friend Michelle, the one that I've been pregnant "with," had her baby on Thursday. A little girl, Allie, born on Valentine's Day. I went to see them yesterday after I dropped Conner and Micah off. She is an absolutely perfect and beautiful little bundle of pink. I'm getting so anxious to see mine -- and give someone else a turn to hold him! He kicked me in the ribs so hard last night that I actually heard it -- twice!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Contractions, Full Moons, and Guessing Games

Well, yesterday was my last day of work at the preschool, though I didn't know it at the time. I am going to see my doctor weekly now. When I went yesterday afternoon, I learned that (to put it as nicely as possible) my body has already begun the process of making a way for this baby to come out. I'm only 36 doctor would really like to see me make it to at least 38, and so would I! I've been having a lot of quite painful contractions over the past week, mostly when I'm standing up or running around. They tend to subside considerably when I'm taking it easy, sitting or lying down. So, the doctor recommended that I really try to slow down for the next couple of weeks. If we can slow the contractions down, hopefully we can slow the dilation and stuff down, too. As a preschool teacher, I am on my feet nearly the entire time I am at work. Not going to work means not only will I not have to do that, but I will have three days a week that Conner and Micah are both at school. This should help tremendously. We'll see...

Everyone has a different hope or speculation as to when Josiah will make his appearance. Granny (Bret's grandmother) is pulling for 2/17 because it coincides with some family birthday stuff. Then there is the full moon with total lunar eclipse predicted for 2/20. You know the stories you hear about full moons...and Conner and Micah both came when there was something weird going on in the sky like that. Both of those kind of make me nervous, though, because they're still kind of early. My birthday is 2/27 - that could be fun. This year is a leap year - he could be born on 2/29. And, then, my Uncle Bubba (Mom's brother) is pulling for 3/5 because that's when my cousin Josh (his youngest son) was born. Poor Bret is just hoping that the day is not a twenty-something - he feels like he has so many twenty-something dates to remember that he can't hold any more! I told my sister, Jodi, and my grandmother, MeeMaw not to even get their hopes up for Joey to share their birthday on 3/12. My doctor has told me awhile back that she will induce on the 10th (the actual due date) if we actually make it that far. (My sister, Lydia is getting married on 4/12, 4 weeks after Joey is due. Bret is performing the ceremony, I am a matron of honor, the boys are ring bearers, and this all takes place in Texas, hours and hours and hours away. I need a few weeks to be able to get the new routine down and try to fit into a bridesmaid's dress! And then, by the way, Tiffany (Bret's sister) is getting married about six weeks after that on 5/24, and we'll do it all over again!) But, of course, no one actually knows when Josiah will make his appearance. It's kind of fun (though nerve-racking at times!) to guess!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Micah's 2nd Birthday

Two years ago, February 10th was on a Friday. I woke Bret up at 5AM when my water broke, crying because I was so excited. He was not very happy with me for waking him up so early, but when it finally clicked what was going on, he got in gear and got excited. We finished packing up a few things, woke Conner up and got him delivered to Ruth Ann, and got on our way. About six and a half hours later, Micah was born...

And now he's two years old and just a few weeks away from being a big brother. It is really a little scary how quickly time flies...
2-10-06 2-10-07 ...and here we are today!
We actually mostly celebrated Micah's birthday yesterday. Sundays are pretty much full with church, lunch, nap, dinner, church, bed. We decided we would have more fun on Saturday - and Micah certainly wouldn't know the difference! We went to Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch. I kind of have mixed emotions that my two-year-old knows Chuck E. Cheese so well and gets so excited about it...Conner certainly had no idea when he was two. I guess it's just part of being a little brother! And, besides that, Chuck E. Cheese is a place that their grandparents like to take them. I have so many fond memories with my grandparents as a kid. I am so thankful that even though we are as far away as we are, Conner and Micah (and Joey soon, too!) are getting to make the same kind of memories.

Then we had some cake after dinner.

And finally, we got to open some presents!
Happy 2nd Birthday, my Micah Moo!

And on a side note, we got another bag for Josiah, and it's too, too cute. I'm loving this cute bag thing! :) Thanks, Mom and Dad! Joey is due one month from today...