August 31, 2009

She went to live on a farm . . .

Did you ever see the episode of Friends, where Monica and Ross were reminiscing about their dog and Ross was talking about their dog being taken away to "live on a farm" when they were young? And he was saying that it's so crazy that it actually happened, and as he was talking he realization that he had not, in fact, gone to live on a farm? I guess you had to see it . . .

Well, our dog did actually go to live on a farm. The family who adopted Murphy was fantastic. They have two older kids and live on a farm with lots of space for her to run. Their 14-year-old dog passed away about two months ago and they were ready for a new one. They reassured me over and over that Murphy would be well cared for and loved. They have lots of open space for her to play. They even offered to bring meet up for a visit sometimes when they come to her mom's house in Jackson!

They also mentioned that they had two cats. YIKES! Up until yesterday, Murphy's only experience with cats was barking wildly at them when they'd come into our back yard. But the e-mail we received from the family last night said that she completely ignores them! How crazy is that? In the e-mail, the mom said the only problem they're having is the kids arguing over who gets to do what with her. I'm positive that Murphy's LOVING the attention.

The fact that the family was awesome didn't make it any easier, though. I couldn't keep my composure the entire time we packed her up. One of the hardest parts was taking down the bell that she rang when she needed to go out. It had been up there for four years!

The actual "goodbyes" were difficult and the last day and a half has been so much harder than I expected. We met the family at camp. They were running late, so we had 20 - 30 minutes to just play with Murphy and for Jack to say goodbye. All day he kept grabbing her face and saying, "Goodbye, Murphy!" but I'm not sure he grasped what was going on. When the family arrived, we sent Jack with Kyle's mom to make it a little less traumatic. I secretly wished I could have gone too. Let's just say my sunglasses didn't leave my face the entire time.

We were more than comfortable with the family and the kids were beyond excited to meet Murphy. We chatted with them for a while, made the exchange and watched them pull away. My heart still hurts just thinking about it. She's their dog now.

Jack doesn't totally get it. We put a basket of blankets where her crate used to be so it wouldn't look so empty, and first thing this morning, he moved it out of there and said, "That's Murphy's spot!" When we left this morning, we heard a neighborhood dog barking and Jack said, "I hear Murphy! She comes home!"

IT'S JUST A DOG! I know, I know. I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or what, but I had NO IDEA that it would be this difficult. I've questioned a thousand times whether or not this was the right thing and Kyle always assures me that it's best for her and for us. But every time I've left my office today, I've called her to come with me. I didn't realize how lonely it would be during Jack's naptime without her sitting at my feet. Once, when she didn't come, I even leaned over the couch to see if she was there before I caught myself. When I got home from camp today, I walked over to where her crate used to be and realized I didn't have anyone to let out.

But it's done. She's moved on. And starting now, I'm moving on. But before I do . . . here are some pictures from our last day. And if you're making fun of me in your head for being so overdramatic, that's ok. I'd probably be making fun of myself, too, if I were in your shoes.

August 30, 2009

So long, friend

I feel like my heart is breaking a little. Today's the day that Murphy goes to live with her new family and I had NO IDEA how hard it would be to say goodbye. Kyle and I have both been choked up for the last 24 hours as we've been preparing for her departure. Packing up her stuff, clipping her nails, giving her a bath, snuggling with her on the couch. I knew that it would be sad, but I'm aching over this.

I know she's just a dog . . . and that's what I keep telling myself. And a month ago, had I read this on someone else's blog, I probably would have rolled my eyes. But facing her departure has helped me to realize that she's a part of our story. She and Kyle share a birthday and she just turned 4 last week. We've had her for almost 4 years. As much as we know that this is best for her and for us, we love her and it'll be hard to see her go.

I feel a little bit like a failure . . . like I'm giving up. Like if I'd just put more work into it, I can keep her happy and us happy. But again, I know that she needs more attention and love than what we're giving her right now.

When I told Jack this morning, he looked bewildered. He kept saying, "But she not want to live with other family. She want to live here!" and "Where my dog going, Mama?"

I remember our first year with her and how much fun it was. She was the best dog ever. She still is. She's fun and smart and energetic and we've been so lucky to have her. We're just not very good dog owners right now. Kyle pointed out that it's probably harder now than it would have been in July, because we're home more now and she's always easier to handle when we're home in the evenings.

So, I have to take senior pictures this afternoon but I'm sure my mind will be elsewhere. And at 3, we meet the family who's taking her. And then I'll probably spend the rest of the night mourning . . . I'm hoping the family will be ok with me e-mailing to see how she's doing.

And, I know that a week from now, I'll probably look back and roll my eyes at how overdramatic I'm being. And a few months from now, Murphy probably won't even remember who we are. But I want to remember how hard and painful it was to give her up. And I want Jack to know how hard it was for us to make this decision. She IS a part of our family, and this is what's best for EVERYONE in our family.

We love you, Murphy.

August 29, 2009

Tempum Tanters

I posted a twitter update the other day that said, "I've witnessed more tantrums in the last two hours than I did in the last two weeks combined. What is the deal?"

Nicole responded with, "Jack's a smart kid...he knows there's change coming soon!"

Up until that point, I hadn't considered that the tantrums, lack of sleep and other miscellaneous trouble he's been causing for the last two or three weeks might somehow be related to him sensing the change. We've been putting things together, washing things, transitioning into and out of things . . . maybe this is his way of coping. Maybe not.

While knowing this doesn't make it less stressful, considering the fact that he might be sensitive to his environment right now has made me a little more understanding and less likely to lose my temper when he runs into our room in the middle of the night yelling "I WAKED UP" for the fifth time.

He's also going through some sort of developmental spurt in which it seems as though he's turned 6 years old overnight. His thought processes and speech have made these huge leaps that I can barely keep up with. Is it any wonder that I'm not really that rushed about potty training? Diapers are the one last part of babyhood that I can hold on to! That, and I feel like changing his diapers will be easier than having to rush him to the bathroom while I'm trying to take care of and nurse a newborn. Call me crazy . . .

Anyway . . . his temper tantrums. Last Wednesday was one of the worst days for them. At one point, I couldn't do anything to control him so I said, "Jack, I'm going to sit you on the bench until you're ready to calm down." As I lifted him onto the bench, he arched his back and wacked his head on the half-wall that the bench sits up against. It knocked the wind out of him and he panicked as he struggled for breath for a few seconds.

I felt awful that it happened and held him and rocked him for about 10 minutes before he calmed down. He looked up at me and said, "Why you hit my head on the wall?"


After the whole hammer incident, this CRUSHED me. I did my best to explain that I didn't do it . . . that it was an accident that resulted from his tantrum, but I'm not sure he really understood. I still get choked up when I think about it.

Later that day, we were getting ready to go out for Kyle's birthday (he turned the big 3-0, by the way) and Jack was throwing fits about . . . well, everything. He wanted to bring a book, but not that book, and he wanted to wear his white shoes not his blue shoes and he wanted the green diaper, not the blue one and he wanted to wear his rain coat but NOT IN THE CAR . . . it was ridiculous. By the time we were pulling out of the driveway, Kyle and I were both fried. So when Jack started screaming because we TURNED THE WRONG WAY, Kyle turned the car around and we went home. And Jack went straight to time out.

Kyle and I retreated to our bedroom to regain composure for a few minutes while Jack sat hollering in the time out chair. I finally went out to talk to him. I sat in the chair with him on my lap until he calmed down and I asked, "Why were you in time out." He said, "I frow tempum tanter and cied."

I went on to explain that we we couldn't go out for Daddy's birthday because he couldn't behave. And I said that Dad must feel pretty sad that we had to come home on his birthday. I wasn't trying to cause any sort of guilt trip, but it sort of sounds that way now, because Jack's response was, "I cam behave. I DO want Daddy to be happy on his birfday." I was choking back tears at this point and sent him to apologize and hug his Dad.

He's been so challenging over the last few weeks . . . bedtimes, naptimes (wait . . . what naptimes?), tantrums, questioning everything. He's testing us because he's two years old, but I'm sure that the changes all around him are making him anxious also. We're doing our best to stay consistent and calm, knowing that in the end, he's really still the same sweet boy he's always been.

I pray continuously throughout the day that any anxiety Jack's feeling about the coming change will be lessened by how much we're loving him and that I'll be able to see what I can do to ease him into these new things.

August 28, 2009


Today was Emma's turn for pictures. Remember last year . . .

Here are a few shots from our time together today . . . as usual, more to come.

August 27, 2009

Remember when he was little . . .

When Jack was born, I said that someone pressed the fast forward button on my life and it hasn't slowed down since.

When you don't see a baby every day, it seems to fly by even faster! Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that I took these pictures of Eli?

He's all grown up now . . . well, sort of.

Recognize that blanket?

Popping his collar . . . just like his mom taught him.

Good luck ever saying, "no" to this face. Seriously.

I wanted to give Ben & Jeanette a sneak peek tonight, but there are more to come!

37 weeks

You know what's funnier than a pregnant lady waddling? A pregnant lady intentionally trying not to waddle. I've been really trying to avoid the pregnant "waddle" when I walk. And to be honest, I'm not sure why. But I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the door of Target yesterday and was struck but how awkward it looked. So, I stopped.

Other than that, things have been smooth sailing this week, pregnancy-wise. Jack-wise . . . well, that's another post for tomorrow maybe. I'm 37 weeks, which means the baby can come whenever he's ready. I'm not really in any rush, though.

The worry had been that my amniotic fluid would decrease more over the last week. But I was so excited to find out that it did not! The baby looks healthy and happy. Although they weren't seeing acceleration like they like to see when I was on the monitor so they used what they call the "baby alarm clock." It was this small vibrating thing that they put on my belly to wake him up and see if it would make his heart rate go up.

Even Kyle could see the baby jump as soon as it hit my skin. The poor baby didn't stop flailing for a good ten minutes and his heart rate . . . well, it certainly went up. I was in tears because I know that my little boy was probably scared. And because I'm pregnant and lots of things bring me to tears.

I don't know if pregnancy is just a little more dramatic the first time around, or if this pregnancy really is easier. Because seriously, I'm feeling pretty good. I have three weeks to go and I feel like I could go another two months (not that I'm asking for that). By this time with Jack, my back was awful, my hands were numb and my feet and ankles were super swollen. I mean, they're puffy, but not nearly as bad as last time. And my hands go numb occasionally, but usually just when I'm on the computer for a long time or sleeping. I do still have 3 weeks left, so there's plenty of time for swelling, I suppose. And my back has started to ache a little, but I can handle it.

The baby's room is about ready . . . mainly because we decided not to change it really from when it was occupied by Jack. I have things washed and put away. I have to change the "Jackson" banner out for a banner with the baby's name, but that can wait until after he's born. Oh, and I want to change the photo collage on the wall. I have a few things left on my "to buy" list and a few things I still need to dig out of the basement.

All in all, if he came tonight, we'd be ready.

I don't remember what Kyle was saying while taking the picture, but I'm sure that he deserved the look I was giving him.

OK, just to compare . . . here's what I looked like when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Jack. I looked so young.

August 25, 2009

Compare and contrast



I had nothing to do with it . . .

Over the weekend, Jack took a tumble that left a few pretty big marks and one large, green bruise. He flipped backward off of a picnic table at our local ice cream place when he was there with Kyle and he was still crying when they got home.

Of course, when people ask him what happened to his head, how do you think he responds? He tells them that Mama hit him with hammer. Nice.

August 24, 2009

What a hitter!

If you've seen A League of Their Own, you'll probably remember the scene when they showed the not-so-attractive Marla Hooch in the newsreel. First they show all the pretty girls in closeups. Then Marla is shown across the diamond in position at 2nd base, while the announcer says, "And there's Marla Hooch . . . what a hitter!" It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Well, this is my "sewing" version of that scene from the movie. These are the burp cloths that I embellished.

In this picture they don't look too bad. And that's as close as I'll get. Any closer, and it's, well . . . ugly.

I did continue to practice and I did get a little better with the sewing machine. But let's just say that any grand ideas I had of sewing much more than fabric onto burp cloths have been flushed down the toilet.

August 22, 2009

Late night blogging

It's like the sound of a bowling ball . . . Jack getting up at night, that is.

We hear his door open, the sound of his footsteps barreling down the hallway, getting louder and louder as he approaches. And then there's the final, "CRASH!" as he hits the door and fumbles with the doorknob. He runs in and exclaims, "I waked up!"

Yep . . . we know.

One of the good things about sleeping on my side of the bed is that it's farthest from the door so he always goes to Kyle's side which makes him the one that takes him back to bed. Because let's face it, at this stage, rolling over and getting out of bed is a monumental task equal to what I would imagine farmers have to go through to "un-tip" their cows.

But if you know me, you know that once I'm awake, I'm awake. Pregnant, not pregnant, one hour of sleep or ten hours of sleep . . . if I fall asleep and I'm woken up all the way, I can't go back. Sometimes I lay in bed, half awake, debating whether it would be worse to have to hold it all night, or to get up, pee and have to be up for the rest of the night.

But then I remember that it's Saturday and that if I get up, I can spend the rest of the night watching infomercials on the Time Life 60's CDs and how to sell unused items on ebay. And who would pass up an opportunity like that?

August 21, 2009

A typical breakfast conversation.

It truly is an act of God that mothers of 2-year-olds stay sane.

Me: Do you want bananas on your toast?

Jack: Yeah.

Me: Yes . . . ?

Jack: Yes, pease.

Me: Here you go.


Me: That's what you wanted.

Jack: I want cookies, intead.

Me: No. Not for breakfast.

Jack: Cam I have cookies?

Me: No.

Jack: Why?

Me: Because we don't eat cookies for breakfast.

Jack: Why?

Me: Because I said so.

Jack: WHy?

Me: Why not?

Jack: YOu should not say, 'Why not!' . . . Where we going today?

Me: Nowhere. We're staying home today.

Jack fake cries for about 30 seconds.

Jack: Where we go desterday?

Me: The library and the store.

Jack: Oh.

Jack: Are we going that way today (pointing out the window)?

Me: Nope.

Jack: Why?

Me: Because I said so.

Jack: Why?

Me: Why not?

Jack: YOu should not say, 'Why not!' . . . What kind of orange juice are you drinking?

Me: The same kind you are.

Jack: The orange kind?

Me: Yep.

Jack: Why?

Me: Why not?

Jack: YOu should not say, 'Why not!' . . . I want to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Come inside, it's fun inside.

Me: Maybe later, but not right now.

Jack fake cries for 30 seconds and becomes intrigued by the bug on the window.

Jack: What's that bug doing?

Me: Crawling.

Jack: Why?

Me: Why not?

Jack: YOu should not say, 'Why not!' . . . A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, Y, J, K, L-M-N-O-P, Q, S, T, V, X, Z . . . next time sing with me. What am I doing, Mama?

Me: I don't know. What are you doing.

Jack: I'm a robot, they do it like this!

Me: Are you all done?

Jack: NO! . . . Okie, dokie.

Me: So, are you done?

Jack: NO! I'm playing hide and seek with my toast!

Me: Alright, you're done.

Jack: I'm NOT DONE!

Me: Put your food on your plate. We don't play with it.

Jack: Why?

August 19, 2009

Time out chair

Our time out chair always sits in the hallway between the bathroom and Jack's new room. When it wasn't being used, it was folded up against the wall and would constantly tip over and crash against the wall leaving marks and startling us.

So, we decided to put up a hook and hang it in the hallway. I cut vinyl wall words to go above it. I might re-do those in a different font someday, but for now it will do.

Chair: IKEA, $15.00
Hook: Target, $3 for 2
Vynil Wall words: Made them myself with stuff I already had


Well, I had a surprise ultrasound today and got to see my lovely baby boy up close and personal.

Starting on Monday, there was a noticeable slow down in the baby's movements. I attributed it to him getting bigger and having less room to move, but of course, the seed of worry was planted. To be honest, if it weren't for how much it would cost, I probably would have called on Monday. Yesterday, his movement didn't pick up any. I wouldn't say that he moved less than Monday, but I would say that it was still pretty slow.

Last night, we went to a Tigers game with Ben & Jeanette and I felt him once the entire time we were were at the game. But we were hot, cramped and I figured I probably just wasn't feeling the movement because of everything going on around us. By the way, it was a really good game (even for a non-sports fan like me) and we had a lot of fun!

This morning, I got up around 6:30 and hadn't felt a single thing by 8. I drank juice, laid on my side, pushed on him . . . sat in my usual positions that made him move, etc. Nothing worked. Right before we left for breakfast at camp, I felt him once, but barely.

When we got to camp, my anxiety was mounting and I kept going back and forth between feelings of, "I need to do what's best for the baby, no matter what the cost" and "it's probably nothing and you'll waste time and money for them to roll their eyes and tell you not to worry."

I ended up calling and going in and I'm glad I did. My amniotic fluid is low. Not dangerously low, but outside of the normal "acceptable" range. Which won me weekly ultrasound appointments (and weekly bills for ultrasounds . . . which I'm actually ok with because I know that they're not pointless) up until he's born. If it continues to go down, they'll have to induce labor early.

The up side of all of this is that I got to see my sweet baby boy today. With Jack, I didn't have any ultrasounds after 20 weeks, so I never saw him at this stage. But baby #2 was gnawing on his fist and grabbing his toes . . . I was SO bummed that Kyle wasn't there with me. I guess he'll catch the show next week.

So, if you think about it, will you pray that the amniotic fluid levels don't drop anymore this week? I'd really, really like to not have to be induced. I'd love to go into labor naturally (well, as much as any woman loves going into labor, I guess). And I'd love for it to be at 40 weeks instead of 37.

On an unrelated note, my original due date (the one calculated according to my LMP, which is rather unreliable) would have been tomorrow. I'm really glad it's not . . . I've got a lot to do!

August 17, 2009

Man's best friend

We've had a few responses to our ad to find a new family for Murphy.

I know that this is what's best . . . and I know that it's what I want. She needs people who are home more often. She needs a fenced in place to run. She hasn't really chewed anything but her toys since she was a puppy, but over the last two weeks, she's started chewing up toys, clothes, etc. Not because she's a bad dog, but because she's bitter that we've been gone so much. Right after camp ended last year, she squatted and peed right on my foot. It's hard not to take that personally.

I love the thought of not having to think about what she might chew up, and not having to worry that she'll bark at a shadow in the back yard and wake up the boys. I love the idea that I'll never have to worry that she'll pee in the house as payback for us being gone all day. I love the thought of being able to open the door to leave without having to squeeze out the smallest opening possible to keep her from escaping. I like the idea of being able to leave the baby playing on the floor for a minute without worrying that she'll be there licking his face when I get back.

My hope had been to find someone that we know to take her so that we could be 100% sure that she was well cared for. But we haven't been able to find anyone. So, I placed an ad online and received a response. I asked Kyle if it was weird that I didn't want to send her to to someone who uses bad grammar. He just laughed. And I cried.

The thought of sending her somewhere new is tearing me up inside. She's been with us for four years . . . since she was a puppy. She was my consolation when I didn't think we'd ever have kids. I picked her out specifically to come home with us. I'll miss how excited she is when we get home. I'll miss watching her head tilt and her ears perk up when she hears the words, "walk" or "treat." She really is a great dog for a family who's home more than we are.

I know that if we find a good home, I'd be over it in a few weeks . . . especially with the baby almost here, but it's still an emotional thing. I have an emotional attachment to this puggle. And if we do find a new home (and I truly hope we do), I'll miss her terribly.

August 16, 2009

Bang, bang, bang

On Thursday, I hit Jack in the head with a hammer.

Accidentally, of course.

I was putting together a book shelf for his room and had asked him no less than 10 times to please stand back so that he wouldn't get hurt. And sure enough, as I swung the hammer back, he climbed under my arm and caught it right in the eye. He screamed. I felt horrible. Watching your child get hurts is awful. Knowing that you were responsible is even worse.

Luckily, the claw of the hammer caught him above the eye and just below, but missed his actual eye altogether. I cringe at the thought of how much worse it could have been.

That night, I was laying in bed with him and I said, "I'm so sorry that I accidentally hit you tonight." In response, he took his fist and pretended to pound where the fresh wound was and said, "Yeah, mommy go, 'bang! bang! bang' with the hammer!" Um, nope, not quite how it happened.

The next evening, we stopped by a birthday gathering for Kyle's Grandpa. Kyle and Jack were there a few minutes before I was and I guess he had already told everyone that Mama went, "Bang, bang, bang" on his head. Just lovely.

Fortunately, it looks 1,000 times better than it seemed on Thursday night.

August 13, 2009

It skipped me

The sewing gene skipped right over me. My mom sews. My aunt sews. Everyone in my family is pretty crafty. I'm not sure I'm cut out for it.

I got a sewing machine for Christmas over a year and a half ago, and just used it for the first time last night. I decided I'd do something simple and sew fabric to a burp cloth to spice it up a little. A good first time project, right?

I kid you not, it took me several hours last night and an hour this afternoon. I broke two needles. I jammed the machine more times than I can count (but I'm now really good at unjamming it). I'm not wanting to do anything spectacular (like Sara and Crystal do). My machine is a basic machine with very few bells and whistles and that's all I need. I just want to know how to sew on it without feeling the intense desire to throw it through my kitchen window.

My burp cloth, while finished, is a joke. It's not worthy of a picture . . . posting one would be embarrassing. I'm not completely sure it's worthy of wiping drool from my child's chin. I should probably just stick to doing stuff on the computer.

But I will keep at it. I will try again. I will conquer the Singer.

August 11, 2009

Guilt trips? Already?

Me: Do you want grapes or bananas with breakfast?

Jack: Um, how 'bout some butter?

Me: No, grapes or bananas.

Jack: Ok. French toast, please.

That first conversation of the morning pretty much summed up how today went. Jack's been relatively happy with only a few melt downs, but very determined to get his own way.

This evening, he asked if I'd play a game with him and I told him that I couldn't because I was making dinner.

So, he looked up at me and said, "I want to be happy! You want me to not be happy, Mama? You want to be happy wif me, Mama?"

Seriously. He's two years old. If he's already starting this stuff, what will life be like when he's 13?

I could have been a doctor . . .

I went in for a check-up today and it was . . . well, boring. Everything's looking great. The nurse told me to get undressed from the waist down because they were going to do my GBS test today. Which confused me, because I know they usually prefer to wait and do that between 36 and 38 weeks. I should have questioned her, because I was right. The doctor was a little confused as to why I was undressed, but she did the test anyway because . . . well, I'm not sure why. If I go a week late, though, we'll have to do it again. Which we'll probably have to pay for again.

Speaking of . . . we got the bill for my day o' fun in the hospital a few weeks ago. I can't even write about it without tearing up. It's overwhelming. It's outrageous. We were planning on getting new carpet and flooring throughout our entire house at some point this winter, but the bill is about that much . . . so guess where the money is going now. All for a pointless trip to the hospital. Ugh. So, buy more cards.

I shouldn't be complaining. Had we incurred this extra cost when I was pregnant with Jack, it would have been much more problematic. I'm grateful that we can afford it . . . even if it means living with stinky, stained carpet a while longer. There are much worse things we could be dealing with . . . and I'm grateful for what we do have.

August 10, 2009

2 birthday pictures

This weekend, I made an order of cupcake toppers with a "1" on them for a little almost-one-year-old girl, and decided to make one for myself. It made me laugh . . . some things just aren't as cute at 31.

Kyle got me a beautiful bouquet of lilies for my birthday. I've been resisting the temptation to carry them from room to room with me as I've worked this evening so that I can enjoy them everywhere I go!

August 9, 2009


This morning, I started to look back at the past birthday posts I've written. And now I'm sitting here close to tears. Happy tears. Because surrounding those birthday posts were other posts about things in our lives that have happened over the last three years. And I can't believe how much I've forgotten. I am so blessed. I have so much for which to be thankful.

I only had about 5 hours of sleep last night. Up until this weekend, I was sleeping pretty well. Over the last two days, I've slept poorly and my hands have started going numb. I'd say the return of "the claw" and "the cankles" is imminent. I'm so thankful that I made it all of the way through summer camps without having many problems with these things.

Truth be told, with the exception of the last few uncomfortable nights, I'm feeling REALLY good. I have some lower back pain, but that's about it. I definitely thought things would be much rougher than they were over the last few weeks of camp. I'm ok with having to slow down now . . . I'm just thankful to have made it through all 10 weeks of summer camps with few problems.

We don't have any plans for my birthday other than to pick up Jack from my parents' house tonight. I didn't realize how much I would miss him. I'll write more on that later. We'll probably go to breakfast and do some grocery shopping this morning. And maybe hit IKEA on the way into my parents' house. I'm loving this time with just the two of us. I think we're both ready to resume our rolls as parents to the most fantastic kid ever, though. I hope I'm still saying that at bedtime tonight . . .

It's a little weird to be 31. I'm closer to 40 than I am to 20 but I'm ok with it. Because in 9 years, I'll be able to look back that much more and see how far we've come and how much we've been blessed.

Here's the post from when I turned 30.

Here's the one from when I turned 29. Oh, and this one too.

August 6, 2009

This weekend will . . .

. . . be bittersweet. Summer camps are over and all of our staff is leaving after our meetings tomorrow. That makes life a little lonely and boring around camp. But at the same time, I have more traditional hours (at least until fall stuff starts) and the pace slows and allows for more family time, less rushing and a little more sleep. I have such mixed feelings. I usually crash for about a week after camp is over . . . emotionally and physically. I don't really have time for that this year.

. . . bring my first grocery shopping trip since early May. Starting next Monday, we don't have breakfast or dinner at camp. Usually, we have full meal service until Labor Day weekend, which meant that I've never had to cook meals from mid-May until mid-September. I've been spoiled. I'm not sure what it's like to cook a meal in the summer . . . maybe we'll do more grilling than usual.

. . . be my birthday. I'll be 31 on Sunday. I can almost hear you gasping audibly.

. . . be productive. Jack's going to stay at my parents' house for the weekend and Kyle and I are staying home and trying to complete all of the unfinished projects we have. We were going to work on replacing carpet and flooring in our house, but decided finishing what we've already started would be wise. Actually, Kyle will be doing most of the physical labor, while I'll be doing some design work, cleaning, crafting (um, we'll see about that one) and catching up on photo editing. Oh, and working on finishing touches for Jack's room. It's coming along slowly, but I'm really excited about it!

. . . be a mini-vacation. Like I said, Jack will be away for the weekend and while I suspect I'll miss him terribly, I will not miss the "in my face" wake up call at 5:30 AM. I feel mildly guilty saying this, but I can't even tell you how excited I am to have a weekend at home alone. And I'm sure I'll be super excited to bring him home on Sunday. Kyle and I are hoping at some point to get dinner and see a movie without having to worry about what time the babysitter needs to leave. Then again, we don't function well after 10 PM anymore. Like I said, I'll be 31 in a few days (and Kyle will be 30 at the end of the month).

. . . be a wake up call about how soon this baby will be here. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I had this timeline in my head: Winter camps, vacation, baseball season, summer camp . . . get ready for baby. We're in the final stage and I've done virtually nothing to get ready for this little guy. I hope if he reads this someday he'll know that my lack of preparation for him is no reflection on my excitement to meet him, nor my love for him already. It is, however, more of a reflection on what it's like to live the "camp life."

August 5, 2009

Dear Jack, Month 26

Dear Jack,

You are so lucky to have me.

I know that I sound vainglorious and haughty when I say that, but it's true. You really are so fortunate to have a mother who cares and loves you as much as I do. Plus, I'm smart, I'm compassionate, I'm hard working and I pour so much of myself into trying to shape the kind of person you'll become. And, I pray like a maniac for you every day. On top of all of that, you have a father who often exceeds me in these areas. We're certainly not perfect, but when it comes to parents, you really did luck out.

You can rest assured that we'll remind you of this a lot over the next, oh, 30 - 40 years, and I'm pretty sure that you'll roll your eyes as we do. But I want you to know that if you're ever looking for tangible evidence of God's grace in your life, you can look to us and our unconditional love for you . . . even when we're being tested by your twoness.

Of course, the flip side of things is that we don't deserve really deserve to have a son as great as you. We've never done anything in our lives to warrant a child as fantastic as you are. When I look at you, I'm reminded that God is gracious. Sometimes, even now, your dad and I will look at each other and just shake our heads in disbelief over the fact that God gave us you. One of us will usually say something like, "Can you believe he's really our kid?!"

We still go into you room every night to check on you. Sometimes, I kiss your forehead. Sometimes I just straighten your hair with my fingers. Your dad usually straightens your covers and flips your pillow if it's too sweaty. But mostly, I just look at you and pray that you'll continue to grow into the man God wants you to be.

And you are doing just that . . . growing. Physically, mentally, spiritually. I can't keep up.

Over the last two weeks, you've begun to realize that there are better ways to get what you want than screaming and crying. Your favorite way of doing this is to tell us what we should do. For instance, you walked into my office earlier this week and said, "Mama, you should come out and play with me." You told your grandma, "You should take me on a golf cart ride." At dinner, you'll tell people, "You should sit wif us." You went upstairs this morning and told your dad, "There's a spider downstairs. You should go get it."

Sometimes, you still break down into the occasional tantrum when we don't do what you think we should do, but they're becoming a tad less frequent. This week, I've told you "no" a couple of times and you've just looked up at me and said, "Ok, Mama." It was stunning and was almost enough to make me give you what you were asking for just because I was so happy with your compliance. We still have (A LOT) of time outs, and you still throw fits . . . but they're starting to wane as you realize that they'll do nothing for you.

I love watching you grow spiritually, too. You tell us often about how God lives in your heart and every time I'm tempted to wonder if you really know what that means, I feel God questioning me as to whether anyone can really grasp all it means. Tonight at bedtime I said, "Jack, do you want to pray?" You've said, "no" the last few nights and I've just respected that and we haven't prayed. But tonight you said, "No . . . I want to just talk to Jesus." And that's exactly what you did.

We love you more than I can explain, Jack. You and your dad and I . . . we're all so blessed to have each other.


August 3, 2009

33 1/2 weeks

I can't believe I have to get 6 1/2 more weeks of baby in this belly . . .

Photo thanks to Jen Decker.