Saturday, July 28, 2012

play times

I thought I should document on this day the way our play group goes.
 Since almost the beginning of my blog, I have oft' written of this thing called play group. It has gone a few names in my blog, actually. Play date, play time, play group; it's all the same. It all started when two dear friends of mine and I had babies. Here we were, three very new mommies with three tiny new babies and we were rather frightened by the huge task we had just taken upon ourselves. (Well, that may have just been me.) Motherhood is a pretty big responsibility and you rarely feel the weight of the responsibility so much as when you first pick it up. So, we very quickly decided that we should get together regularly and let our babies "play" (have you ever watched an infant play? They don't. They lay there and observe.) while us moms talked about life and stuff.
  Our plan was a great one. Starting when Noah was barely 3 months old, we met together once a week, except for special occasions, and we have continued that tradition for two years as of yesterday. It has been a blessing to me in many ways, and I hope it has been the same for my friends. And boy, have things changed. I'll give you an example;
  Playgroup then:
Lucy, Madi, Noah
Playgroup now:
These are only the older kids
Along with Lucy, Madi and Noah, we now happily play with Lydia, Wyatt, Kyle, James, Ella, Ethan, Witten, Caleb, and sometimes Lauren, Autumn, and Ollie. Sometimes, a new friend or two pays us a visit during play group. In case you didn't count, that's 14(ish) youngsters ranging from 2 years old to 2 months old. No longer is it a quite couple of hours for mothers to talk while sweet babies goo-goo and coo on the floor; now it's an exciting and energetic time that mothers bring their kids to so that they will wear themselves out and take awesome naps later.
Why hello, Lydia! aren't you adorable!
 Playgroup goes a bit like this: 
      -everyone arrives one by one. As more toddlers show up, the noise increases and the air fills with cheers and shouts and laughs. As more babies show up, the floor fills with rollers, crawlers, and Kyle's sweet little 3-step-shuffle. (He's so close to walking)
     -By 10:45-ish, everyone that's going to come has arrived and there is a moment of settling-in as mothers find their seats (temporary though they may be) and toddlers uncover the treasure trove of toys. 
     -Around 11:20, there is a 20 minute period in which a crescendo of noise reaches its cacophonous high-point. At this time, mommas have to practically holler at each other to be heard. This strange anomaly happens every time. It quiets down soon enough, usually because of the urgent "shh!" coming from us mothers.
     -As lunch time nears, more whines and cries of grouchy grumps can be detected amidst the sea of silliness. This signals the end of play time and mommies pack up their gear and children and head home for that aforementioned post-playgroup nap. 
Three manly little men right there
    I thank God for these busy mornings. I thank Him for these friends He's given Noah, Witten, and me. I'm so very happy that I have friends living life at about the same pace as I am. Having these women around me for the past two years has encouraged, edified, and supported me in my low times, while grounding me and helping me to stay humble in my high times. 
  I thank God that He has already answered my prayer for Noah to be surrounded by sweet, wonderful friends. I will continue to pray for God to provide wholesome, Christian friends for Noah because I know that I won't be able to direct who Noah and Witten will be around and befriend for much longer now. At the same time, I pray that He preserves these young friendships for years and years to come. 
    To any readers and friends of mine who are looking for a small (again, -ish) group of young mothers and their children to plug into, please feel free to hit me up. We love inviting new people and making new friends!
  To my dear friends who have been sharing this play time tradition with me for a while already, I love you all dearly and I love your precious children! I pray for you often, too.  Thank you for being such awesome friends!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wow, What a Week!

Ouma and Oupa missed their little ones so much that they planned a surprise for them. With Mommy and Daddy's blessing, they snuck to Petsmart and picked up a present for Noah. When they arrived to assemble the aforementioned present, Noah was apprehensive at first. But once it was all completed, Noah couldn't contain his excitement. Ouma and Oupa gave Noah his first pet fish!
You can't really tell, but there are four in there. They're named Nemo, Marlin, Speckles and Freckles.

So happy!
Witten loves the fish. He almost hopped of Oupa's knee to get to them.
We were all very glad to see Ouma and Oupa. With Stephan's schedule being the way it is for now, we haven't been able to do a lot of things together as a family, including going to visit Stephan's parent's on the farm. Hopefully soon Stephan will find another fantastic worker for the Stand so that he and his current employee can get a little more time off.
   Readers, I have been a mother for a little over two years and a mother of two for almost seven months. where on earth has time gone?
first hug

one-month hug

two-month snuggle

three months of brotherly affections

four months of sharing love

five month of putting up with brother

six months of spending time together
almost seven months of loving one another
 I hope I can keep up this month-to-month picture taking. I'd like to do it forever, even when they are old enough to have families of their own, because, of course, they will always be my babies.

  Tomorrow is an awesome swim-party at Scott and Karen's new pool. I plan on taking cupcakes, but we'll see how that pans out. And Stephan won't be able to make it because of work. I tell you, friends, I'm so very glad that Stephan's restaurant is succeeding, but I wish I could have my husband around a bit more.

  Praise God for my husband, for my sons, for providing work, and for cupcakes! Amen.

Monday, July 23, 2012

this could be it

Twice today, Noah has come to me and told me he had to poo-poo in the potty. We went to the potty, I took of his diaper, and he tee-teed in the potty! Of his own volition!!! *holy moley!*
   If I put as much work as I did into something that turns out to be as simple as Noah deciding he's ready to do this thing and then doing it, I may have to kick myself.
On an unrelated note, the boys and I went to the pool four times this past week. It is a happening I gladly wish to repeat. My uncle and aunt are incredibly generous and have loaned us their back yard for the remainder of the summer and we are making good use of it. Noah's getting so used to being in the water that he's down to kicking around the shallow end with only his arm floaties on. Meanwhile, Mommy's getting a tan! I haven't had a good one of those since B.C. (before children).
  Thank you, awesome relatives, for being so kind to us!
Now, to ensure that Noah actually takes a nap instead of very quietly playing in his room for two hours.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I had to write this down before Witten suddenly became a 2 year-old and I completely forgot this ever happened.
 When Witten was tiny and new and I would pick him up from wherever he was resting, I would take hold of him with both my hands wrapped around his tiny ribs while supporting his wobbly little head with my pointer fingers as I lifted him. Usually, as I did this, Witten would grab the tips of my thumbs with both of his little hands. He was holding on to me as I held on to him. He's to big to do that now, but sometimes I press the pad of my thumb into the palm of his soft little hand just so I can remember, in some small way, what it felt like when he was so little and new to me.
First day home
6 Months old
  My oh my, how fast time flies.
Too quick, I can hardly see.
I'll hold you tight, my precious boy
You grow way to fast for me.

My oh my, how quick you grow.
You're changing every day.
That tiny babe I held before;
I blinked. He flew away.

Stop! Slow down, oh ceaseless time!
Let me treasure them while I can!
Before I know, my baby boy
Will suddenly become a man.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Love You all

I have a bit of laundry to do and other light cleaning that should be done soon, but I read something earlier that put me in the blogging mindset and now I won't have peace until I've said my piece.
  I have written before on the topic of Babywise. I've always given the book and the practices it entails good reviews. I've done so mainly because it has worked so well for me and my two boys. I will gladly admit that I am not a strict user of the Babywise method. There have been many times in both my children's infant months in which I rocked them to sleep, fed them then put them to bed, and even fed them to calm them, even if it wasn't feeding time. But for the most part, I would consider myself a Babywise mom.
  Why would I bring up this well known (to those of you who know me well) fact? It's because I have matured a bit since becoming a mom and I have discovered a few new truths.
   Truth #1: Not all children are my children.
             While being a mother and witnessing other mothers mother other children, I have observed that no two children are alike. Even my two boys differ in personality as well as appearance. Because of this truth, I have come to realize that no single method is the answer for every single baby.
   Truth #2: Not all women are me.
             Um, duh? But seriously, I can be downright stubborn when I want to have it my way when it comes to parenting. If it's nap time and Noah doesn't want to nap (like what's happening as I type this very post), I will ensure that he stays in his bed for the minimal duration of a nap at the very least. When he was little bitty, I would let him cry himself to sleep in his crib, even if my heart was hurting while I listened, because I wanted him to be able to soothe himself and fall asleep on his own. (Just to ensure you, dear readers, that I am not a monster; the longest I let Noah or Witten cry in their crib before checking on them to make sure everything was alright was 10-15 minutes tops. Sometimes I may have checked in on them 3 or more times before they fell asleep, but I never let them continue crying if there was a reason for them to be crying.)
           The point of this truth is that not all women are as bullheaded strong willed as I am when it comes to sweet little babies and how often/long they will let their little ones cry. It doesn't mean that any of us are wrong. Unless, of course, one's lack of concern for a crying baby borders neglect or child endangerment. Then you are very, very wrong.
   And finally,
      Truth #3: Not every mother must use the Babywise method.
           I'll admit, friends and readers, that in the beginning of my parenting career, I was a harsh judge when it came to people I knew who were not followers of the Babywise series. I would think unfair, unjustified, superior thoughts of myself and my baby when thinking of others who weren't doing exactly what I was doing. But then those babies grew and flourished and were loved and happy. I found myself being reprimanded by the Spirit within me for the thoughts I had towards other mothers. How could I judge another woman for doing what she deemed right and best for her baby, especially when her baby was happy and loved and thriving? By the time my second kid was born, I had come to realize that other women who were doing things different from me were not wrong, just different, and that was perfectly fine!
          In admitting this truth, I feel the need to apologize. I try my hardest to never offer unsolicited or unwanted advice because I have received a fair share of such advice. (Thank you, elderly lady in the grocery store, for pointing out my newborn's thin little legs and telling me I need to feed him more. I was feeling unsure and insecure enough before and now I'm certain that I'm a horrible parent.) I'm sad to admit it, but I'm positive that there have been times when my unfounded belief that my parenting technique was right and any other technique was wrong must have been quite obvious. So to anyone whom I may have insulted (unintentionally, I promise!) with my ideas on parenting and/or Babywise, I am very sorry.    
       With all this being said, I still gladly suggest Babywise to all expectant mothers in preparing for your sweet new arrival, but I will honestly say that it is not for everyone and that each mother should do what they feel is best for them, their family, and their baby.
 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it"  Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wow, Those are Some Heavy eyes

This morning started early for my family. Well, all except Witten. That kid's got it easy. The rest of us were up bright and early, as in before 6:00, because Noah wanted to, and I quote, "take nap in Mommy Daddy room". He wanted to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed.
  Now friends, I have written before on my stance on co-sleeping, especially this late in the game. I believe that, while sweet and adorable, allowing your infant to sleep in the same bed as you is hazardous to the baby's health most importantly, but also it's hazardous to my sleep. The few times I have tried to sleep with my baby in bed with me out of extreme laziness/exhaustion, I actually didn't sleep that well. My subconscious was far too honed in on every noise and movement my little baby made, thus prohibiting me from attaining a good REM cycle. And now that my little baby is a large toddler it hasn't gotten any easier. Instead of fearing for my baby's safety, I'm getting nudged, pushed, kicked, tickled, and sometimes licked by an uncooperative bed-fellow. Noah's a sneaky little liar. That's why I know that every time Noah wants to "nap" with mommy and daddy, that means that I will very soon have to face a new morning, whether I want to or not.
Today Noah, Witten and I will be revisiting the pool. Noah has become a semi-aquatic creature this summer. He can kick his way across a pool's shallow end and he loves to jump off the diving board. (I know, right? Scary.) Of course, he's safely bundled up in two different types of flotation devices during all of this. I'm still a proud momma, though. Witten like the pool a lot too. He will chill contently in his little floaty until I have to take him out because he's pruning.
  As for Daddy and the stand, business has been good. Stephan is figuring out every day new ways to tweak the business to as to insure it runs more efficiently. New customers arrive daily to check out our haute cuisine and I have yet to hear a bad or even "meh" review about the place. I have eaten there twice in the past two days. I promised myself I would stop going there that much. I can feel my waistline expanding just thinking about those delicious sausages and hot dogs.
  It's still crazy to think that we own a restaurant. I'll admit, it's been a bit tough on family time thus far, but soon every kink and bug will be worked out and Stephan wont have to be there from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day. Through it all, I praise God for what He is doing in our lives. Thank You, Lord! Thank You!

 Now go and live your dreams, readers!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

This past weekend has been a doozy. It has been great and rewarding and tiring and frustrating and I have pictures to show for it. So get ready for pictures.
 Firstly, I will speak of my sons.
 The rewards were great, the encouragement was aplenty, and we even read Big Boys Go Potty in our efforts to master the art of using the toilet instead of the diaper to do the stinky. After a week of lots of effort on mommy's part and little-to-no interest or effort on Noah's part (as well as several puddles and other messes on the floor), I have decided that Noah is not ready to take on the task just yet. With all big milestones in his short life thus far, when he was ready to do something, he did it. Rolling, crawling, walking; all of them happened on his schedule. (Usually after a few months of me thinking it would never happen. Silly Mommy.) I'm sure that, just like with walking, crawling, and rolling, it will suddenly click in his mind what he is supposed to do and he will just start doing it. (I'm thinking a little peer pressure might also play a role in this endeavor. We will see)
   Aren't they just adorable? The reason I posted this particular picture is because of Witten's nose. Look at it. It's orange. I'm not concerned or even curious about that fact because I have seen it before. Noah's nose did the exact same thing. 
 See? Also, notice if you please, how different Noah and Witten look at six-ish month of age. Witten really is starting to favor his mommy. (AH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HA!!)
                In other news
 Bum-buh-da-DAAAA! Ladies and Gentlemen, The Stand is open for business!
Look at how excited Noah is!
 After years of dreaming, months of working, and weeks of stressing, Stephan's brain child has come to life!
 We (and by "we" I mean Stephan) had a soft opening on Saturday for friends and family. It was sort of a test-run for Stephan and his employees as well as a preview for our soon-to-be loyal customers.
 It was very successful. The food was praised and so was the service.
Hard at work and still so stinkin' handsome
 Stephan was in his happy place. He was sweating like a dog as he hustled and bustled, hard at work, but I could see how happy he was.
 Did I already mention that the food was great? Sure, it was mostly family and friends eating that day, but I'm sure somebody would have been honest with us if something came out tasting yucky. Instead, the whole lot of our customers that day had nothing but positive, encouraging things to say.
Stephan's going to order more The Stand shirts, 'cause that was a pretty big seller as well. 
  Now, this very day, in about 25 minutes from right now, Stephan will be opening his door and drive way to the public. Nerves abound and prayers flow forth. Again, that's just from me. I'm sure Stephan is nervous, too, but he's handling everything like a boss. For lunch today, I am taking my brood and hitting up The Stand in Gresham. Y'all should totally stop by and try it out. 

"He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen." Deuteronomy 10:21

"Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name." 1 Chronicles 29:13 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Running of the Nudes

Noah is naked. Unless there are guests in this house or we have to leave, he will remain naked. Why? Because he gets two m'n'ms when he tee-tees on the potty. We are attempting the naked approach to potty training and thus far it has yielded us positive results. Yes there's been an accident or two, but I defy any parent to train your child to go on the potty without experiencing a couple of puddles along the way. 
  I have an agenda for nap time today.
  1.) update blog
  2.) work out completely separate selection of muscles than what I worked out yesterday. (Those are broken now.)
  3.) shower. (Have not showered in three days. Don't sniff me.)
  4.) if there is any time left, I might lay down for a bit. (lie down? lay down? Why does that look so weird all of a sudden?)

Friends, my husband is one weekend away from opening his hot dog restaurant. Excitement, nerves, mild panic and nausea is mounting as his opening day closes in on us, and that's just how I'm feeling. I will be posting pictures soon of the impressive transformation that took place in that building. In short: Stephan took a rotting, dilapidated, pest-infested old building and made it in to an adorable, bright, cozy, happy, super-cool diner. Also, I will post picture from his opening day. I can't wait!

Now, I must go. I have an itinerary to attend.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Words escape me

Ironic, huh? In formulating a title of a blog that I fill with words, words truly escaped me and I couldn't think of what to type. I couldn't think up a clever title for this post because this post is going to be sizable and cover several topics of varying importance. And though this post will cover aspects of recent living that are joyous and beautiful, I wish to start us off on a serious note: the tongue is a bat rastard.
  Forgive my near-expletive, but I feel very strongly about this sad truth. All my life, I have had the keen and unhappy ability to wait for the most random moment and then shove my foot so thoroughly in my mouth that I'm gnawing on my knee. In fact, most of my most embarrassing memories involve my tongue and my loose hold on it. In most occurrences I truly mean no harm, but words I hardly gave myself the chance to formulate, much less think over to approve if they would be edifying, appertain to the situation, or even be intelligent, come flying out of my mouth with unstoppable gusto. Sometimes I don't even notice the harm done until it's pointed out to me later on. Often I can feel the heat of my own embarrassment as soon as the words leave my stupid tongue. I say all this in part to show you, dear readers, that no, I am by far not the perfect woman, wife and mother that this blog sometimes makes me out to be (Shame on you, blog), but also as a mean to confront myself in confessing a sins I wrestle with daily in an effort to make it stop. Therefore, I read from James 3 and I ask God to keep one hand on my shoulder for guidance and the other over my mouth. Life would sure be a whole lot better if I only said what He wanted me to say.
     Now for happier, less soul-searching tiding.

We are trying to sell our house. I have no decorative skill whatsoever. Our master bedroom was a tepid, boring cave of laziness. Combine those three elements, and you have got yourselves a pickle. Then, I happen to ask my genius, clever, gifted, creative, beautiful and good smelling friend Meredith if she would like to stage my sad bedroom for us while we tried to sell our house. Bless that woman for ever and a day, she said yes! I give you, kind readers, the before:
It's really easy to fall asleep when there's absolutely nothing to stimulate the mind going on.
 And then, after hours of working and digging around my house and using her own things, and even straightening up my linen closet, this is the result of Meredith and her mother's efforts:

       Last night was like sleeping in someone else's house. Or like sleeping in one of those pictures on pinterest. People like Meredith and several other friends I have amaze and shame me. Their gift for creating beauty from simple things like towels, random throw pillows, and our nasty, old, stained comforter is clearly God-given. I do envy them sometimes. (It's okay. God game me incredible wit and cute, tiny pinky toe-nails.)
   I don't think Meredith realized how very very very much I appreciate every thing that she and her mother did for us in making our bedroom pretty. And she asked no payment in return, stating that it was a joy in itself to decorate. I didn't believe her, so we paid them in pizza and a filing cabinet that we weren't gonna use.
Thank you, wonderful ladies. Thank you!
  And to end, my sisters are in town!
Cute, cute, cute, Cute!
 Noah and Witten got stuffed animals from the mother land. Noah's is an elephant. Witten's is a little giraffe that instantly became his new teething toy. Mommy got a skirt and a few necklaces. Daddy got a bottle opener. (Shows you what a certain Melissa thinks about a certain my husband, eh?) Today, Courtney's going to do family stuff with her actual family, but Melly-bonks and I will be chillin' like villains! Yay!
  Tonight is a very special birthday party for two very special girls. Happy birthday, Lydia and Madi! May your two's be not so terrible!
  Go, special readers, live your dreams!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Almost there!

I have stated before how loathsome sickness is to me. Every part of being sick is deplorable. However, this last bought of diseased living for yours truly has brought to light in my head a truth that I've always kinda known, but never thought about.
  God allows people to get sick so that they will be really appreciative of being healthy. Of all the things in life I take for granted regularly, my health and the health of those I love is one of the most precious blessings that I neglect to praise God for. Sure, every once in a while I'll send up an obligatory shout-out when I'm running out of things to pray for and my prayer feels too short, but only when I'm in the midst of an illness or on the up-turn do I sincerely thank God for His grace and mercy in blessing me with life. I guess you can say it fits into the old saying, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone."
  Bet yes, I am about, eeeeh, 70% and gradually improving. My blessed, sweet, small mother, whom I love most-est, has been here whenever she could be for the last two days to care for the boys and me. (Goes to show that you never stop being a mommy, I guess) Noah and Witten have contracted little runny noses, but by far not as bad as I've seen or can handle. The only sad note I can add is that I am afraid that the boys or myself might not be feeling up to partaking in any 4th of July activities tomorrow. (POO!) Nevertheless, I praise God. I'm alive! 
   Go and live today, my friends! Breathe deeply and run and hug and sing and stare and praise God while you're doing it, because it is because of Him that you can.