April 30, 2011

Bad swingset

I was playing outside with the boys today and Jack wacked his head pretty good on one of the crossbeams in the "fort" part of our playscape. He reacted like he's been reacting to injuries lately . . . he started yelling at the inanimate object and accusing it of being out to get him. He usually cries and screams something like, "You bad, bad swingset! You do not hurt people. That's NOT NICE!" Sometimes he even hits it with his hand out of frustration, which of course makes things worse.

Isn't it amazing how some adults still do this? Forget about their actions . . . it's always someone else's fault. I can't help but think that every time he has one of his little tantrums.

I've been praying this week specifically that my boys will be teachable. I've prayed that they'll be open to the godly influences in their lives and discerning about which instruction to follow.

April 29, 2011


I've had chronic clavicle and shoulder and neck pain on my right side for 10 years. No, strike that . . . 12 years. Sheesh . . . I'm getting old.

It's become progressively worse as I've gotten older (imagine that) and for the last few months has been about as bad as it's ever been.

I've seen doctors, specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc. and they all agree (to quote the shoulder specialist I saw a few years back), "There's nothing wrong with your shoulder." Which is interesting, because my right shoulder sits about 3" higher than my left and there is obvious asymmetry in my sternoclavicular joint. By the way, I spelled that right on my first try.

The pain is often severe and ibuprofen and acetaminophen (again, spelled correctly on the first try) have become like daily vitamins.

In October, my doctor told me that picking up my kids was probably aggravating it. So {enter sarcasm} I told her that I'd let my staff of nannies and personal assistants do the picking up for me for a while. She also said that it might help to not work at a computer for few weeks. Which is also ok, because we have that big pile of money just sitting there in the back yard, so quitting my jobs is no problem at all.

I've been dealing with this for over a decade and it's recently really become more of an issue. Likely because Ben is getting heavier and still needs to be carried from time to time. I'm tired ALL of the time, because . . . well, pain is exhausting. I wake up and can often barely move because everything is so tense and tight that it's 10x more painful until I can get everything stretched out.

So, after some coaxing from my family doctor, I finally made an appointment with a D.O. I made the appointment at the beginning of this month, but the appointment is on Tuesday.

And of course, this week, for the first time in several years, I've had almost close to zero pain in my shoulder. I'm not complaining, because the relief is so great.

I just hope she doesn't tell me that there isn't anything wrong.

April 27, 2011

Dear Jack and Bennett, Months 45-46 and 18-19

Dear Jack and Ben,

When each of you were born, your dad and I felt like a hurricane swept through and beat against the walls of the house that is our marriage. Don't get me wrong. We were thrilled to have each of you. It's just that marriage is hard. And when you throw a couple of kids into the mix . . . watch out. If you're not careful, the relationship that should be the most important relationship can start to look more like a babysitting partnership.

April, 2011

Your dad and I are fortunate, though. Our marriage was already built on a solid foundation of love and commitment to each other and to glorifying God in all that we do. So while having you guys shook things up a little, we really only ended up stronger in the end. I can honestly say that we are closer and more in love now that we have you guys than we were before you both came along.

But let me go back to that last paragraph for a minute: Marriage is still hard. Dad and I argue sometimes. We're on the same page on most things, but every so often we don't see eye to eye . . . sometimes on little things like who's turn it is to change Ben's diaper, what to make for dinner or who deserved to be voted out on Survivor. At other times we argue about bigger things like finances, discipline or situations at work.

April, 2011

We don't often raise our voices, but when you (Jack) can tell that we're disagreeing about something, you usually think it's some sort of joke. Sometimes, you'll even laugh and say, "Hey! Stop making fun of my mom!" or "Mom, leave Dad alone!" While the issues usually extend beyond us "making fun" of each other, it's good to know that there's nothing disturbing to you about our disagreements.

Ben, you on the other hand take things to heart a little more. Once a few weeks ago, Dad and I were making dinner and I was trying to keep something away from him. We were laughing and he was trying to get it from me . . . I can't even remember what it was now. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see you staring and I saw your bottom lip just pop out. I immediately hugged dad and said, "It's okay Ben! See, we're just joking!" But it was too late. You were so sad and broke down completely.

April, 2011

I want you both to know and to feel completely secure in the fact that nothing will happen to cause us your dad and I to stop loving each other. We choose to love each other, even when we don't feel like it. We're committed to each other for as long as we are both alive. I don't want either of you to ever doubt that.

April, 2011

Our marriage isn't perfect. We have to work on it and put time into our relationship to keep it healthy. Some marriages do end, and there are many reasons for that . . . when you get to the right age, we'll talk more about that. Not a day goes by, though, that I don't consider myself fortunate for being married to someone that I not only love, but also really, honestly enjoy being around.

April, 2011

My relationship with you boys is so important to me, but my relationship with Dad is most important. I know that keeping our marriage healthy is the best parenting move we can make.

I pray that someday, you'll find wives and love them as much as your Dad loves me. And I hope that they'll love you as much as I love your Dad. Until then, your Dad and I will try to be the best examples we can be.


April 24, 2011


Three kids. I keep thinking about that.

When I had Ben, the work multiplied more than I expected. Will that happen again? I'm used to multiple children now. Three can't be that much harder than two. Right? No?

Being pregnant still doesn't feel real . . . mainly because we haven't really told anyone. It's just our little secret. Well us, and a few select medical professionals. And Ben. He's a pretty good secret keeper.

My body is telling me it's real, though. The round ligament pain is more than I ever experienced with Jack or Ben. The fatigue . . . it's the "fall asleep while typing an e-mail" kind of tired. And the hormones . . . oh, the hormones. If you were sitting next to me during the baptisms in church today, you might already know that I'm pregnant.

I'm feeling thankful. We are so blessed.

As overheard at bedtime . . .

Kyle: Why do you think God wants us to know him?

Jack: Because it's the sensible thing to do.

When did my 3-year-old turn 40?

April 17, 2011


I took a pregnancy test back at the end of March and it was negative.

But I had a feeling. I just knew there was something different going on with my body. Is that possible? To have pregnancy symptoms before the test is positive?

For the last week, my eye had been twitching and I was way more tired than usual. And my emotions? Oh, gosh. Don't even get me started on the mood swings over the last week.

So, after almost a month of feeling this way, I took another one. Tonight's test was positive.

Today was probably the worst day to find out . . . my parents had the kids all weekend and within 20 minutes of picking them up, they were having meltdowns that didn't stop until bedtime. Actually, Ben's still up in his crib crying. I actually said to Kyle on the way home, "Maybe this is our answer to the whole 'third child' question." I literally cried all the way home.

But really, we knew that we did want a third child and had been talking about it quite a bit. There were certain things I wanted to have in place beforehand, but those don't really matter now.

I'm a little bit afraid. I've had a lot of shoulder pain and have been taking prescription pain medication manage it. I've also been drinking buckets of caffeine and aspartame. One of the first things I did after seeing the "pregnant" pop up on the test was pray that God would protect this baby from those things. And make it another boy.

Just kidding. Kind of.

April 13, 2011

Clean up

After dinner, I asked Jack to put away all of the books and toys that were spread across the living room floor. I only asked him once, and when I looked back into the living room two minutes later, the floor was clear.

I praised him for following instructions so well and obeying on the first time and told him he could go play downstairs. About five minutes later, I noticed this . . .

Clean up?


April 12, 2011

Hide and Seek

Bennett subscribes to the "If I can't see you, you can't see me" hide and seek strategy.

April 2011

April 11, 2011


We took the boys to Freddie's for ice cream after dinner last night. It was an AMAZING 80+ degree day and we enjoyed some time outside and thought ice cream was the perfect way to end the day.

As Ben was eating our small lemon cone (that we were supposed to be sharing), I was wiping drips off of his shirt and suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks: There will be a day sometime in the not so distant future that it will be weird for me to be wiping drips from his shirt and sharing an ice cream cone with him.

I kept coming back to that thought . . . someday, both of my boys will be grown adults. They'll no longer need me to do their laundry, wipe their chins, give them baths, pick out their clothes or lift them into the car. Someday, going out for ice cream with our boys will be going out for ice cream with two grown adults.

This time we have with them as toddler/preschooler is fleeting.

About 2 minutes after these thoughts started, I took the ice cream cone from Bennett to lick some of the rogue drips. Naturally, this caused him to throw himself off the bench and scream "YUM! YUM! YUM!" which we all know is 18-month-old speak for, "Hand me the ice cream cone, Mom, and no one will get hurt." Everyone was staring, but I didn't care. I've become so used to these temper tantrums that I'm no longer embarrassed by them.

Instantly, another thought hit me: I will not HAVE to wipe their chins forever. Someday, I will no longer have to pick their hysterical little bodies up to leave a store before I'm done shopping. Someday, I will get to have a family dinner in which my food doesn't get cold before I start eating. Someday, they'll wipe their own chins. On the days that I think I can't handle it anymore, it's comforting to remember that this will not last forever.

In some ways, it's all passing too quickly. In others, I'd like to hurry it along.

I think the moral of the story, whether you have kids or not, is this: Be fully present in each day, cherishing each precious moment, because things will someday change. Also, be encouraged in the tough moments because . . . things will someday change.

April 10, 2011

No fear

This is the only photo I have of the moment that Bennett scooted himself right into the water. He had no fear when it came to the pool.

Of course, Kyle was standing just to his left so he was only under for a second or two. He came up sputtering and chuckling with a huge smile on his face.

Although some may argue that it looks like Jack was pushing him in, he really was trying to hold him back.

April 2011

April 9, 2011

Bennett's second favorite part of vacation . . .

He would have been happy doing nothing but riding the elevator and swimming all week long.

april, 2011

April 4, 2011

In 15 Minutes or Less, vacation edition

  • We made the trip down in two days, which was good because we had to stop, literally, every hour or hour and a half for potty or diaper change or crankiness. We were going to try and get home in one day, but that's no longer the plan.

  • We're in Tennessee and it was in the mid-80s yesterday and today. Unfortunately, there's a pretty bad storm rolling through and the high tomorrow is supposed to be 52 degrees. We're headed to the aquarium tomorrow.

  • Bennett is NOT fun in restaurants right now. Having a fully equipped kitchen in our condo in which we can eat most of our meals helps preserve my sanity. Staying here over a hotel was a GOOD idea.

  • Speaking of the condo, it's AMAZING. Everything's so new and updated. We ate lunch on the balcony and watched a couple of really bad golfers on the course behind us. Kyle and the boys had a movie night tonight while I just soaked in the jacuzzi tub. Glorious. Speaking of pampered . . . have I mentioned there's a spa here? I do have an appointment for Wednesday morning, thankyouverymuch.

  • We packed a minimum of clothing for each of us and cut down on our luggage quite a bit by doing so. We have a washer and dryer here and doing a load of laundry a day is so worth it to me to keep things simple.

  • Ben is a SWIMMER. This was the first time he had ever been in a pool (seriously . . . at 18 months) and he basically hit the water and was kicking and moving his arms like he'd been in swimming lessons for months. It's like he knew exactly what to do. Jack loves to swim, but is very uncertain in the water so this was new for us. We have to watch him closely though because he has no fear and I'm pretty sure if we weren't he'd try and jump in on his own.

  • The boys love to ride the elevator and we have to make them take turns pressing the "down" button.

My time's up!

April 2, 2011

Slowing down

I tend to not post when we leave on vacation, because of the huge number of burglars that I'm sure make up my meager group of followers. Fortunately, our house is being adequately protected by armed guards and large ferocious animals while we're gone, so it's not really an issue.

We're headed to Tennessee for a few days . . . Gatlinburg to be exact. It was a last minute trip. We officially booked it less than a week ago. I'm looking forward to some badly needed rest and dedicated family time. One of our goals for the next few days is to SLOW DOWN. I've noticed over the last couple of weeks how often I tell my boys to "hurry up." I'm trying to be intentional about letting them move at their own pace.

Jack certainly tested me in that area tonight when we went out to dinner. Jack is a SLOW. EATER. Especially in restaurants. By the time Kyle, Bennett and I were finished our meals and the check was paid, he had consumed exactly 1/2 a chicken tender and two carrot sticks. He was just taking his time, looking around the restaurant, asking questions about everything he saw and practically sitting on my lap. Jack has a seemingly magnetic draw to whoever is sitting next to him at restaurants. Even if I pick him up and sit him down with his bottom planted firmly in his chair, I can just watch him start to lean into whoever is sitting next to him and just hang on his or her arm. He doesn't even realize he's doing it. He likes to cuddle and I'd guess that physical touch is his primary love language. I think this is how that desire manifests itself during meals.

Normally, I would have put a time limit on the meal and told him that we were leaving in 5 minutes and if he didn't finish, he'd just have to go hungry. Don't get me wrong . . . I think that's perfectly acceptable to do and when we're home and in a regular schedule, I'll probably continue to do that on occasion. Tonight, however, we just let him take his time. It started to get a little stressful because Ben was getting restless, but instead of stressing out, we just played. We tried to make things fun. Eventually, Jack finished and we all left happy and full.

With Ben, we're being intentional about letting him walk places himself. It's so much faster to pick him up and rush him to wherever we happen to be going. Instead, I'm putting him down, taking his hand and letting him set the pace.

I know that it can't always be this way when we get home. There are times we have to hurry and times that I'll still have to tell Jack "five more minutes." But this week, the focus is on relaxing and enjoying our time together.

April 1, 2011


Playdough and I have a love-hate relationship.

March 2011

I love how long it can keep my boys entertained.

March 2011

I hate cleaning it up. You really are unaware of how many crevices there are in your kitchen until you allow two little boys to play with playdough in it.