February 28, 2010


I've had 5 different encounters in the last 48 hours in which people have said things like, "I wish I had started a blog when my kids were young" or "I wish I kept up with my blog more."

SO DO IT! It's never too late.

When I read Melanie's blog or Rachel's blog, I always wish I had blogged more when Kyle and I were first married. But if that had stopped me from blogging now, there are 892 posts that I would have missed out on. I looked back at a blog I had in college . . . I think before blogs were even called blogs . . . and I'm embarrassed by some of what I wrote. But I'm so glad I have it because it helps to remind me of how far I've come. I'm sure there will be plenty that I write now, that I'll cringe when I look back at later. Well, cringe or laugh.

Why do I keep a blog? Well, my reasons are threefold:

1. First and foremost, I want to keep a record of our lives for my boys to look back at someday. I want them to know how much we loved them. I want them to know how much fun we had. I want them to know that we aren't perfect and that we know that we're not perfect. I'd love for Jack, when he's 28, to look back at what I wrote when I was 28 and be able to get an idea of what we were like when we were his age. So, this blog is first for my kids. When people ask how I find the time to blog, well, I tell them I don't really know. But the truth is, we make time for what's important to us and keeping this record for my kids is important to me.

2. Second, I want Kyle and I to be able to look back and remember what life was like at each stage. I love reading about when I was pregnant with Jack and about how different our life was then. My memory isn't perfect, and we often refer back to the blog to remember something about when Jack was born or our Disney trip last year. I've only been keeping the blog for 3 1/2 years . . . imagine how much I'll continue to forget as time goes on. So, this blog is for Kyle and I, too.

3. Third, it's for you. And your blog is for me. I love blogging because it helps me to not feel so alone. I read what some of you write and I think, "I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN!" I love it, too, because it stretches me. Sometimes, I read what you write and I think, "I completely disagree." And that's good. I need to hear opposing views. I can honestly say that my blog, and the blogs of others, have affected my parenting, my marriage and, well, the course of my life, in fantastic ways. And even though it's not really the sole purpose of this blog, my hope is that it will still serve as an encouragement, or at least entertainment, to those who read it.

So there you have it. If you don't have a blog, think about starting one. Find your own reasons. Have you been neglecting your blog? Start again today. Commit to post to your blog every day for 21 days and it will likely become a habit.

Yeah, so I just looked down and realized that my shirt is on backwards. I'm going to go attend to that. While I do that, why don't you click on the little "create blog" or "sign in" links in the upper right hand corner and get started?

February 27, 2010

Dear Ben, Month 5

Dear Bennett,

I sometimes wonder if you'll grow up to love chocolate chip cookies. Specifically, the ones from Fazoli's. When I was pregnant with you, I ate more chocolate chip cookies from Fazoli's than I'm willing to admit. They just tasted SO good, even when nothing else did.

I know it's not chocolate chip cookies, but you did get your first taste of rice cereal the other day. You weren't sure what to think at first, but by the end, you held your mouth wide open when you'd see that spoon coming. You don't get cereal every day . . . we'll just practice a few times a week for now. Next month at this time, solid foods will become a regular part of your diet, but I don't want to rush things.

Because seriously, things are moving fast enough as it is. Yesterday, I was looking back at pictures that I took when you were just a couple of weeks old and I couldn't believe how much you look like a completely different kid. You're not a newborn anymore. When I hold you tight, you wiggle to be put down. When I nurse you, you try to look around at everything else going on around you (thanks a lot for that, by the way). When we sit down to watch Daddy and Jack wrestle, you kick your legs and lunge forward as if you're ready to jump in there and tackle them, too.

One of your favorite games is when Jack lays on our bed and I pick you up and "drop" you on him and yell "tackle!" You grin and wiggle around on top of him, he laughs and then we start all over.

We can't really read books right now, either. You don't just sit and look at them like you used to. You grab them. You do whatever you have to do to get them into your mouth. We're lucky if we can get through the first page. I remember going through this stage with your brother and thinking we'd never again be able to get through an entire book with him, but I know that someday you'll come back around.

You're not only through with baby games, but with baby clothes as well. I saw a really cute helicopter outfit at Target and so badly wanted to get it for you and was sad when I realized that it didn't come in your size. You're wearing mostly 12 month and 12 - 18 month clothing, though we do have 9 month pajamas that still fit pretty well. And because of the trouble I had getting laundry done this week, we even squeezed . . . no, stuffed . . . you into a 3-6 month shirt at one point. I wish I had taken a picture. Even though I refer to you as "my small baby" you're a big boy!

You don't sit quietly and watch us as much as you used to. You want to be a part of the conversation. The squealing that you do could probably call dogs because of how high-pitched and piercing it is! If you let out one of your shrieks while your Dad and I are talking, we'll stop to look at you and you just flash us a huge smile as if to say, "It worked."

Once or twice, you've pushed yourself up to your hands and knees. I'm beginning to wonder if you've been watching yoga DVDs behind our back, because you'll even push yourself into the "downward dog" position. We could still have a while, but I'm beginning to mentally prepare myself for having another mobile child in the house . . . God help me.

There have been a lot of changes this month, and there's a lot of change yet to come. The one thing you can be sure of is that I love you very much. That will never change.


February 24, 2010

Who's who?

Can you tell which one is Bennett and which one is Jackson?

If you're a facebook friend or flickr contact, you'll probably know by looking at which one I uploaded today! I was going to delete this photo of Ben because I wasn't crazy about how it came out, but it looked so much like one I had of Jack sitting in the same seat playing with the same toy! They each definitely have their own look, but there's no question that they're brothers.

Just in case you can't tell, Jack's first and Ben's second.

February 22, 2010

Favorite Books: Spoon

The best kids books are the ones witty enough to make adults smile, while still being interesting enough to children to keep their attention. Spoon (another one by Amy Krouse Rosenthal) is at the top of the list of that kind of book. This one was a gift from my sister, and it became a fast favorite at our house.

It's about, well, a spoon who envies the knives, forks and chopsticks of the world because of all of the cool things they get to do. In the end, he realizes that spoons have it pretty good, too.

The best part of the book is the second to last page, when spoon and his parents are snuggled warmly in their beds in the silverware drawer and spoon says, "I can't sleep." His dad says, "Come, snuggle." And his mom says, "Come, spoon." I love it.

P.S. I just saw this set on Amazon that allows you to get Little Pea, Little Hoot and Little Oink all together for a low price and as BOARD BOOKS! Which means no dust covers to get tattered and torn and pages that are a little more durable.

P.P.S. Just FYI - we remove all dust covers from children's books at our house and keep them stacked in a closet. They're just a nuisance.

February 16, 2010


I know that posting twitter updates on my blog seems esoteric, but twitter has become my mini-blog. I post updates of fun (and not-so-fun) things that happen throughout the day and this is the only way to preserve them.

They're in reverse order . . .

February 16
Jack just asked where the pepper trucks are.

February 15
I've only been watching the Bachelor for 5 minutes and I'm already annoyed.

I love cuddle time . . . http://yfrog.com/4av4zjj

February 14
While I was nursing Ben, Jack shoved 10 peanut M&M's in his mouth. When I told him he needed a time out, he spit them out EVERYWHERE. Great.

At some point, someone decided that using a cookie cutter was SO uncomfortable that it needed a "comfort grip."

What on earth did people do before google?

February 13
Looking forward to seeing Jan and Dustin this afternoon!

February 12
Ha! And when I asked Jack who he was talking to he said, "Pretend Uncle Kevin."

Jack is alone in the living room with his Bible open having what sounds like a very heated discussion about King Nebuchadnezzar.

February 10
Kyle (tried) to teach Jack the word "omnipresent" this morning. But now he says, "God is 'Obama-president.'" Hmmm . . . not quite.

Now that I have a new computer, I'm not sure when I'll catch up on all of the reading I did while I waited for the old one to process.

February 7

It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men-C.S.Lewis

I told Jack to give the man hair, but he drew this and said,"he needed a helmet instead." And I think he was right. http://yfrog.com/3iieezj

February 4
"It's not that the gospel is useful for my worries but that the gospel proves the uselessness of my worries & refocuses my attn." Nouwen

Jack just did his first maze . And he did it surprisingly well. http://yfrog.com/37x75sj

My camp computer. June, 2005 - February, 2010. Goodbye, old friend.

February 3
Converting to black and white covers a multitude of sins . . .

Designing our summer curriculum is way more fun when you can look up and see this face . . . http://yfrog.com/33931nj

Jack's playing with an imaginary friend he's named "Dubba Dubba." Suddenly, I miss his old imaginary friend, *Lillian*

Jack told me that I'm "the best mommy in life." Which almost makes up for it being the 10th time I've had to take him back to his bed.

February 2
Punxsutawney Phil had better not be messing with us, because I will hunt him down if winter lasts a day beyond March 16.

February 1

A trip to the dentist this morning . . . $85 later, I still have no answers.

It's official . . . someone in our family has been sick for EVERY day of January 2010. It's been a the longest month ever.

January 31
Jesus forgave people. This makes sense only if He was the God whose laws are broken & love is wounded in every sin-CSLewis

January 29
I know he'd just be sleeping anyway, but I miss Jack.

January 28
Dear vicodin, you are ineffective and useless. Love, Sara

It literally feels like someone is punching me in the face every 15 minutes.

January 27
Whenever I feel like it's been a long day, I think about Jack Bauer and realize it could be worse.

I've had waves of intense jaw pain for 24 hours (like, contractions bad . . . for real). Dentist says there's nothing wrong. Any guesses?

Ben didn't shed a tear when he got his 4 mo shots. He yelped for a few seconds and turned red and then was back to smiles. What a kid.

January 26
Jack just said, "I'm gettin' tired from trying to make it warm up outside." That's a super power I didn't know he had . . .

January 25
Every girl on the Bachelor has one thing in common: Each one thinks he's making a HUGE MISTAKE when he sends her home.

January 24
I'm letting Jack watch a show purely because he walked up to me and said, "Can I watch a S-H-O-W?"

I think we might be heading into round 3 of illness . . .

January 23
Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done-C.S.Lewis

I dream of living in a place where snow is a novelty . . .

January 22

Isn't there some sort of statute of limitations on how many times you can get sick in two weeks?

After hearing your child say,"Can you help me get this poo off," it's a relief to see him holding out a sheet of Winnie the Pooh stickers.

January 21
I'm eating ice cream for it's medicinal qualities.

Ben's babbling at the toys dangling above him with a tone that makes it sound like he's empowering them to be all that they can be.

January 18
Look who decided to join us for dinner. http://yfrog.com/1y6spfuj

I wish my husband thought it was as funny as I do when I call his cell phone from the basement and ask him to bring me something.

January 17
If Ambition means wanting to get ahead of others, then it's bad. If it means wanting to do a thing well then it's good-CSLewis

January 15
It seems that 80% of the tragic stories being told on the TV special about Haiti were true before the earthquake.
"Nothing can dispel gloom or lift us out of despair quite like having the story of the Bible unfolded." - Dr. Iain D. Campbell

January 14
So Steve Jobs is, by all accounts, a genius. But wait till you see what he wanted to call the iMac: http://bit.ly/6hOH10

A Response to Pat Robertson's Comments about Haiti: http://donmilleris.com/ January 13
We cannot catch a break this week.

Haiti's capital building, before and after Tuesday's earthquake: http://twitpic.com/xw8ee January 12
You're not welcome here, stomach flu. I have too much to do today.
January 9
At 3 1/2 mos, Ben is a little less than 17 lbs. Which, compared to Jack, makes him my small baby.

January 8

Jack looked at a random lady at Target and declared, "I don't like you." Yeah, it was THAT kind of trip into town.

We made it through our 1st 2 1/2 years of parenting without an ear infection, antibiotics or breathing treatments. Today, the streak ends.

Don't you shake your finger at me, young man. http://yfrog.com/4ih9zkj

January 7
Jack fell asleep ON THE COUCH while Jodi was reading him a book. Which I think means Jodi meets the qualifications for miracle worker.

Almost asleep . . . http://yfrog.com/35v6aqj

Playing a little while waiting for the shower steam to loosen some congestion. http://yfrog.com/33djoj

January 6
Saying "booyah" after a win still makes you a little bit of a loser. Which is ok, but I'm just saying . . . It does.

January 5
So, it turns out that when all of the boys' clothes are clean at the same time, we don't have room for them all in their closets . . .

January 3
The exchange with your two-year-old that makes you cringe: "I got somfing on the floor." "What did you get on the floor?" "Frow up."

January 2
Jack doesn't want to get out of bed . . . which is all the assurance that I need that he is still sick.

January 1
Jack has a fever and I fear that I might not be too far behind him.

February 15, 2010


  • I think I've lost my blogging mojo. It's been kind of a down time for me. Down as in "blah", not as in "not busy." Because the busyness seems neverending . . . just like winter.

    I think the cold weather and lack of sunshine has caught up with me. Last year at this time, we were basking in the Flordia warmth, and that two weeks really helped me make it through to May. This year, not so much.

    Kyle and I were thinking about planning a last minute vacation to escape the snow for a while, but we looked at a map and there's no destination in the continental US that is warm enough right now to justify the expense of three plane tickets. I need sunshine.

  • I've lost my picture-taking mojo, as well. I've managed to take monthly pictures of Ben and little else. I've had several people (as well as a few friends) line up sessions for the spring, so I'm thinking that will give me the kick start that I need.

  • I just googled the word "mojo" to make sure I was using it correctly. Don't do that . . . you'll pull up a lot of weird stuff. So forgive me if I'm not using it correctly.

  • Ben is so close to scooting himself around. Twice now, he's pulled himself to an object, and because of that, I've purposely been placing toys just barely out of his reach to entice him. As I typed that, I realized how antagonistic that sounds. He usually gets up on his arms, and starts to pull himself toward it, but inadvertently flips himself over before he actually gets there. He's laughing and talking more and tries to mimic some of the sounds we make . . . if I can get my act together this week, I'll try and post video.

    He's getting closer to sitting unsupported, but still tips a lot. We play a game (one that I remember playing A LOT with Jack) where I sit him up on the bed and just let him topple over and tickle him when he comes crashing down. I know it doesn't sound like it, but it is so much fun. There's very little that I wouldn't do to hear that little chuckle.

    I started a post last week about how I was worried about Ben because he stopped babbling or making ANY noises other than crying . . . the day after his 4 month shots. But the very next day, he started again. I think the congestion he's had over the last month has made it harder for him to babble. He's been chattering and squealing away since then!

    Even though there have been times in the last 4 1/2 months in which I've wondered if a second child would bring my demise (something which will have an entire post devoted to it someday), Bennett is the one who has kept me sane. Holding him, cuddling with him, playing with him, rocking him . . . sometimes I think that I need him as much as he needs me.

  • Jack cracks me up every day. I need to remember to re-post some of my twitter updates here, so that I can remember the funny things he says. The other day, Jack asked Kyle where God lives, so Kyle was teaching him the word "omnipresent." Later that day, I was quizzing him and asked, "Where does God live?" He thought for a second and said, "God is Obama President." Last week during our 4th - 6th grade retreat at camp, he did me proud when the speaker asked if anyone knew what the word "emmanuel" means. My two year old said, "God with us!" I wish I could have been there to hear it myself!

    Right now, he's mildly obsessed with King Nebuchadnezzar and why on earth someone would ever throw people into a fiery furnace. On Sunday night, we had an interesting talk about the danger of worshiping golden statues and what kinds of "statues" we might have . . . he doesn't really get it, but I hope that it's planting seeds that we'll be able to talk about when he's older.

    We've been doing these tracing and coloring books that I got on clearance at Target last fall and I'm so amazed at how well he does with them. We do a page or two a day, which is just about what his attention span can handle.

    Even on the frustrating days (and there are frustrating days) I continue to be amazed that I get to be his mom.

  • Breastfeeding is well . . . I take it one day at a time. Thanks to Megan, and the gigantic bottle of fenugreek she sent, I smell like an IHOP, but my milk supply is holding on. I really want to make it to at least 6 months, but I've accepted that I might not. To be completely honest, I'm not really enjoying it as much as I did with Jack. It likely has to do with the fact that I can't just sit down and enjoy that time with Ben as much as I could when Jack was a baby, because I'm usually trying to keep Jack entertained a the same time. And Ben is SO easily distracted, so feeding him is a little more painful and takes way longer when Jack's there. I do enjoy it more when Kyle's home and can keep Jack in a different room. I'm not sure why I'm holding on to this so tightly . . . maybe because this is likely my last time to breastfeed? I don't know.

  • It occurred to me this week that I haven't finished an entire book since before Ben was born. I'm going to go work on that . . .

February 10, 2010

Favorite Books: Llama Llama

My ALL-TIME favorite kids books are the three (Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Mad at Mama) by Anna Dewdney. Jack really likes them, too. Jack gets really quiet and sad about halfway through Misses Mama right before Mama Llama comes back . . . it's so sweet.

They're so cute and if you hear me calling Ben "little llama" or hear Jack telling Ben to "quit his llama drama" you now know where it comes from. My favorite line from Llama Llama Red Pajama is, "Little Llama! Such a Tizzy! Sometimes Mama's very busy."

Oh, and if your child happens to have a birthday party this weekend, don't run out and buy these just yet.

February 7, 2010

Don't blink.

I just watched this video on Sara's blog (a different Sara . . . I'm not just speaking in third person) and now I'm all emotional. I think it's a really good message for any mom, no matter how her family is structured. Dads too, for that matter.

I told my mom a few weeks ago that I was envious of her and my dad because of all of the freedom they have. They've been empty nesters for over a year now and they can go out to dinner when they want to and see a movie whenever they want to. They can work as late as they want to, or play on the Wii whenever they feel like it.

Watching this made me feel ashamed of any time that I've ever wanted to rush through this stage of life. Sometimes, I look at my boys and think, "I STILL HAVE EIGHTEEN LONG YEARS LEFT!" But in reality, I ONLY have eighteen years left. I can't believe how fast Ben's first 4 1/2 months of life have gone and let's face it . . . life is only starting to move faster.

I was rocking Bennett to sleep tonight and was thinking that I'd better not blink because I might miss something. I'm overwhelmed by how much I love my boys.

Dear Jack, Month 32

Dear Jack,

I think it's amusing when people talk about what a "laid back" kid you are because I do not see it that way at all. You are very particular about certain aspects of your life.

Getting dressed has become time consuming, simply because you want to choose what you wear. You have a hand-me-down maroon and gold shirt with a large "12" on the front and I'm fairly certain that if I would allow it, you'd wear it every day. And to bed each night. You like shirts with numbers on them, and when deciding what you want to wear each morning, you will often call the shirts by number. "I will wear number 31, today!"

Some of your shirts are named by the writing on them. For instance, you have your "tournament winner" shirt and your "football champs" shirt. I tried to put you in a plain cream shirt the other day and you threw yourself to the floor in disgust. You did wear it begrudgingly for a few pictures, and for that I am thankful.

Something that mas made this even more challenging is that 3T is a thing of the past, and some of your favorites no longer fit. You just don't care as much as I do when the pants you choose barely cover your calves.

I think part of these tendencies is because you take after me and like to, um, control things. You want to make your own lunch, you want to choose your clothes, you want to pack your backpack. Heaven forbid I give our babysitters their payment instead of giving it to you to give them. You want to do it yourself.

I think the another part is that you have inherited a bit of your dad's, um, let's call it "orderliness." You like to have things just so. I fully expect to someday walk into your room and see all of your shoes neatly lined up against your bedroom wall in a specific order that can be deciphered by only you.

And the last part is probably just your increasing desire to explore the level independence at which you've recently arrived. You can almost dress yourself, but every so often, you do wander out of your room with your head and arms tangled in your shirt or your shoes on the wrong feet. You will attempt to go potty on your own, but you don't always get your pants down on time. Nonetheless, this independence is a good thing.

I might regret writing this, but I feel like we've turned a corner with bedtime. You've started staying in your bed at bedtime and if you do get up at night, it's usually not more than once. The bedtime struggle has been one of the hardest of my 2 1/2 years as a parent and I'm ready for a break.

This isn't to say that you don't look for ways to delay bedtime. You ask for the usual glass of water, dozens of hugs and kisses, two or three stories and several songs. On some nights, when we've made it through all of that, and you're at the bottom of the putting-off-bedtime barrel, you often pull out the question that you know is sure to keep me sitting there next to your bed:

"Mommy, will you talk to me about Jesus?"

And let me tell you what I think, Jack . . . that's just not playing fair. Because you know that I will never say no to that.

So we do . . . we talk about Jesus. You ask lots of questions that I try to answer in a way that you'll understand, without distorting the truth. I pray silently that I won't mess you up when I correct you as you're chattering away about how God lives in outer space. You tell me how much you love Jesus and I wonder how that can be so, when you're too young to really know who He is and then I'm reminded that Jesus transcends age and intellect. It occurs to me as I write this that I don't know what you and your dad talk about when he puts you to bed . . . I guess that's between you and him.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm beginning to like the evenings that I get to put you to bed. It used to be a chore that I dreaded, but now I enjoy it. I'm loving your independance and getting to know more about your personality. . . quirks and all.


February 3, 2010

Favorite Books: Little Pea

Have you read Little Pea by Amy Krous Rosenthal? We love it around here. It's about a pea who has to eat all of his candy before he can have dessert . . . dessert being spinach. It's such a cute book and it's one of Jack's favorites.

We also love "Little Hoot" . . . an owl who wants to go to sleep, but has to stay until his bedtime.

February 2, 2010

Longest. Month. Ever.

I have so much rattling around in my brain that I'd like to get out in blog-form, but it's just not happening. January 2010 goes on record as being the longest month of my life. There was not one single day when one of us wasn't sick. And February is starting out the SAME way. Kyle's finally getting over his sinus infection/ear infection/pink eye and Ben is coming down with more respiratory stuff.

Last week, during the two days when no one was actually sick, I was dealing with intense pain in my jaw . . . I told Kyle I'd rather be in labor again than dealing with the kind of pain I was dealing with. Vicodin didn't help. I saw my doctor. I saw a dentist. It's a mystery. And then the jaw pain went away and I have a single tooth that has a lot of pressure. The dentist says it's just from clenching and grinding and there's not much we can do.

I'm so ready for spring.