Saturday, December 20, 2014

Be safe

When Noah was not even 6 months old yet, his Bebe came to pick him up for an afternoon at his grandparents' house. It was just a few hours of playing with his loving Papa and doting Bebe, and they were going to stay in their house and travel no where else with him, so I felt completely confident my baby boy would be perfectly safe. It was even going to give me a chance to catch up on house work and maybe take a nap. I was ready for this!
  Still, as I handed my mother Noah's diaper bag and then the boy himself, I felt this strange, faint, yet very real sensation in my chest. As corny as it sounds, I felt a tug. A tug in my chest. I watched my mom walk away, and my baby watched me over his Bebe's shoulder. The tugging became undeniable. Then,when my baby disappeared into the back seat of my mom's car, the tug turned into an all-out pull, and I started to cry.
   I pulled myself together by reminding myself that this was my loving mother and not a basket in the Nile river taking my baby away. Also, silly, emotional woman, you'll be picking the kid up in, like, three hours, so stop it! And I did get Noah back, and he was completely fine, and my parents were very happy to have spent an entire evening with their only grandchild. It was a happy and good event. So why the tug?
   Four years ran by way to fast.
Noah wanted to play with his sweet friends Anne and Abby, who live a quick walk down the street from our house. Anne and Abby run over to our house often to play with both my boys, and I have dropped Noah and Witten off at their house several times. Today, however, Witten was napping, so I suggested he go play at the girls' house. He eagerly agreed.
   Stephan was at the gym, Witten asleep in his bed, and I was soon to put Belle down for a nap, too, so I knew me dropping Noah off was out of the question. An idea struck me. Grabbing up my phone, I shot a quick text at Karen, the kind and patient and lovely mother (and fellow blogger) of Noah's friends. Could she maybe send one of her girls to escort Noah to their own house? My answer was a chorus of knocks on our front door an impressively short time later. Anne and Abby skipped through our house and out the garage, where Noah was waiting for them.
     I helped him shrug on his jacket and then sent him off with the girls, then I stood in the doorway of the garage and watched him go. I don't think it was my mind making up stuff when I saw Noah proceed with great trepidation at first. He stood for a while in our driveway, watching the sisters dance around and tell him exciting things about what they'd heard from school or what they were going to do at home. Then, as the girls marched off, taking the short cut through the neighbor's yard, he pulled up the hood to his jacket and got to steppin' after them. By the time they moved out of my sight, Noah was jogging right along with the girls, clearly excited to play.He didn't look back once.
   Again, I knew the place Noah was headed to. I knew the girls and their parents and even their grandparents would be right there, should help be needed. I could even hear their happy playing from my front yard, even if I couldn't see them. Sure, there were a few more risks involved, what with the residential road that separated our neighbor's house from the girls' grandparents' house where they were headed, but I could proceed with confidence, knowing my boy was safe. Yet once again, I felt that tug. And once again, it got harder the farther Noah moved from me.
     I prayed, as I did on that day four years ago, that God would keep my first baby safe. I prayed it as if Noah was headed off to a week long camp an hour away from me. That kid is so disastrously tangled up in my heart strings that he cant leave my side without me feeling it in my chest. It's the same with his brother and sister, too. That over used saying about your children being your heart walking around outside your body is startlingly true. I love these three kids God gave me so much it physically hurts, sometimes, but in a good kind of way.
    I'm glad to see Noah expanding his horizons and testing his limits. I want him to be brave and independent. I love the idea of him and his siblings running over to their friends' houses to spend the day playing outside and using their imaginations. But seeing my big boy, my first baby, walk away like he did today, well, it made me all emotional and inspired, so I wrote a blog post about it.
   The End.
my little, bald-headed baby

Where'd this kid come from?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Du Toit Vacation 2014

The Du Toits went a-travelin', and it was good.
After over two years of working his tail-end off, Stephan decided to venture in a new direction, vocation-wise, and sold the Stand. For weeks before this took place, the man promised, repeatedly, that, as soon as the transaction was completed, we were going to pack up and take off. I was excited, to say the least. This would be our first vacation in over a year, and our first vacation as a family of five.
  The plan: load up the mini van and drive across half the continental United States to the east coast. (I would include pictures of our road trip travels, but I used my old camera instead of my phone, thanks to the camera on my phone having terrible photo quality, and now I can't find my connector cable or any other means of transferring the pictures I took from my camera to my computer. They may be trapped there forever! And there are some beautiful pictures from the aquarium on that stinkin' camera!!)
The plan included 3 phases. Phase 1: Hit up Atlanta, Georgia, to visit the Robersons. Our dear friends, the Robersons, recently moved from Texas to Georgia. Since we know two other points/peoples of interest we wanted to visit in the area, we decided to make Georgia the focal point of our expedition.
   The drive there was not too bad. The boys were happily distracted with a constant stream of movies, and Belle did as well as could be expected of a 4 month-old confined in a car seat for extended periods of time. We stopped every 3-3 1/2 hours to take potty breaks and so I could feed the baby. I will say this; this road trip made me long for the days of old, when you could take out the back seat of your van or suburban and make a pallet to lay on while you watched movies or snacked or wrestled with your dad, who was taking a break from driving for a while and thereby giving your mom the chance to take a break from quilting to drive for a bit. *Sigh* good times.
Crisi and I collaborated and decided to surprise Madi. Madi still swears that, one day, she and Noah will be wed, so she has been missing her guy a lot. When we arrived, Crisi had Madi open the door, after I nudged Noah forward so as to be waiting for her on the doormat. Madi's reaction was adorable! I think she may have cried a little bit. And from then until we left her house, Madi was always at Noah's side, whether he liked it or not.
Madi's on cloud nine. Noah could care less. Such a boy.

Noah actually did enjoy her attention, he just didn't want to admit it.
While visiting with John and Crisi, we not only got to experience Atlanta traffic, but we visited the largest aquarium in the world. It. was. AWESOME.
The animals housed in the aquarium we visited ranged form tiny, floating jelly fish, to massive, awe-inspiring whale sharks. (Yes, SharkS, as in four of the things!) There were so many sights to see and displays to gawk at and even a dolphin show that made me tear up a little bit.  The kids loved it! I would love to go back someday.
  Immediately after the aquarium, we headed to the Coca Cola museum that was right next door. We weren't there for long, as it was not all that entertaining for small children, especially children who were missing their naps. We did get to check out this nifty room where coca cola brand flavors from all around the world were available for sampling. Stephan found a South African brand he vaguely remembered called Bibo. It was okay, I guess. Then we tried this brand of drink from Italy called Beverly. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever intentionally ingested. Seriously. If you ever go to the Coca Cola museum in Atlanta, Georgia, keep an eye out for Beverly.
  We spent three days enjoying our dear friends' company.

Witten loved on Annabeth so sweetly!
Then, it was time to move along. We drove 6-ish hours to North Carolina to visit a friend of Stephan's from high school. We spent the weekend with them, during which time we watched The Guardians of the Galaxy. (It's currently my favorite movie) That was Phase 2.
  Phase 3: Visit cousin Cody and cousin-in-law Mary Beth in Pooler, Georgia. Never heard of Pooler, Georgia, you say? Verily, neither had I. But Pooler, Georgia is half an hour away from Savannah, Georgia, which, dear readers, is my new favorite place in America.
    I don't know if you know this about me, dear readers, but I'm a bit of a history buff. I love history. I don't know why, but all through school and into college I hated math and science with a passion and loved learning about the history of not just the United States, but ze VERLD! I tell you this to explain why I enjoyed Savannah so much: It was stuffed full of history!
This little pretend boat was planted on the river walk, surrounded by the original cobblestone street that was built in the late 1700's. I was literally walking on history.
  My cousin, Cody, was quite the tour guide. He lead us on a walk all through historic downtown Savannah and handed out cool facts and tidbits of information here and there for our enjoyment. I tell you, friends, if we had left our kids at home and I had worn more comfortable walking shoes, I could have explored that city all day!
  We lunched in a place called The Pirates' House. This building was, by far, the coolest place I have even been in in my LIFE! It was an authentic tavern from the 1750's that had been refurbished to be a restaurant, but I tell ya, readers, the air was thick with weighty history and the floors creaked with the footsteps of former occupants from centuries past. Sailors were shanghaied from that place! The stuff you read about in history books and nautical novels took place in a deep, dark, now-blocked-off-but-still-creepy tunnel not even six feet from where I sat to eat a super-tasty meal from the buffet! Seriously, I can't talk up enough the wow-factor a place like that had for a history nerd like me. If you want to read more about The Pirates' House, you can easily google it or click *HERE*
   Besides The Pirates' House, we toured Fort Pulaski (again, steeped in history and super awesome),
This is my happy face, mid-blink. I looked like this a lot in Savannah.

 ate at a tasty burger joint,
It was such a simple concept for a dining experience, and so, very tasty.
  Visited the beach (a place I have never been to during winter months),
Pier. Neat.

Empty beach. Cool.

Stephan had to pick up Witten, 'cause he kept flopping into the sand. Noah took over the flopping.

The boys loved it!
And lastly, we enjoyed some super tasty ice cream at an ice cream parlor that's been around since 1919 called Leopold's.
Seriously, it was abnormally tasty ice cream.
In between all the fun outings, I got to reconnect with my cousin and really get to know one of the newer members of my swiftly expanding family. All-in-all, phase 3 was a raving success.
   For the trip home, Stephan and I decided not to break the drive into two shorter trips by stopping halfway, as we did on the way there. Though the vacation had been loads of fun and time off well spent, we were homesick, and we just wanted the drive to be over. Friends, it was a long       stinking          drive         home. 16 hours, if I do recall correctly. As we neared familiar territory, we swore, once again, that we would never drive anywhere ever again, if we could help it.
    As I think back on the whole experience, I sigh with contentment. That was a good vacation.
But boy, am I glad to be home.

  A few notable things that has happened within my family during and since the vacation:
During the trip, Belle started to roll front-to-back consistently. She won't stay on her tummy now that she can help it. And today, she started trying in earnest to roll to her tummy from her back. She's also getting really close to sitting up on her own, and she can now take snacks like yogurt melts and those puff things that Stephan likes to eat.
 Also big news- Witten decided that he was potty trained yesterday and wore big boy underwear all day without any accidents at all. I type this with trepidation, as events such as these have a tendency of reverting as soon as I brag about them to the internet or even in person. But if this is the real deal and Witten is done with potty training, I just might go on another vacation to celebrate!

So now we are back to normal life. As I have mention in the above paragraphs, I am so glad to be home in my own bed. Stephan and I did discover, however, that the source of much of our sleep issues and back aches and general body pains is our bed. Every bed we slept on during our trip, event an air mattress, left us feeling rejuvenated and sound of body when we awoke, unlike our own mattress. Therefore, for Christmas, Stephan and I are getting each other the best mattress we can find/afford. I am excited!    
Oh my gosh! Christmas is next week! We have to shop so badly!

I hope your Christmas is a blessed one, dear readers!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What a Mess!

My house is a mess.
There's clutter in every room of this building. The mirror in the master bathroom is so flecked with toothpaste spittle on the husband's side that it's obstructing my reflection. The boys' room smells mildly weird and I can't find the source. Of course, there's always laundry to rotate and dishes to round up from throughout the house and gather in the sink, where they will wait patiently for me to get around to loading them in the dishwasher. I haven't thoroughly dusted in far too long and my kitchen floors need to be actually mopped something horrible!
  And yet, I can't be annoyed or perturbed. Instead of a mess, I see the adorably proud smile on my Squish's face as he carefully sets the half-full cup of water he got for himself from the door of the fridge onto the desk in my bedroom. I see my big Boogie Boy carefully sounding out each letter of his name and my name and his brother's and father's and sister's name as he writes them over and over on his pile of construction paper on the living room floor. He's beaming ear-to-ear because he can write words like a big boy! I see my daughter's precious face as she takes another break from eating to look up and smile a big, gummy smile at me, because she loves me. And I see my handsome, hard working husband laid out on our rumpled, unmade bed, snoozing like a champ. He deserves it. He works so hard to provide for this family; I don't mind too much when he leaves a trail of discarded shoes, socks, belt and shorts from the door to the couch upon his return home from work.
   I see the mess, and I'm honestly left overwhelmed and breathless at how blessed I am. Why? Who am I that God would look so kindly upon me? I, a sinner turned saint by the free gift of God and not at all by any effort that I put forth, have done very little to deserve such kindness from such a big God. Oh, it makes me thank God, and praise Him, and need Him all the more!
  So, yeah, my house is a mess. It's a never-ending process to keep it clean. But that process and that mess will have to wait. My kids aren't going to bring me a small stack of books and then crowd around me so I can read to them in silly voices for much longer, and I want to soak up every moment of this snugly goodness that I can.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School!

No, readers, I do not have pictures of my sons on their (Witten's first) first day of school.
Because I'm a bad mom.
Other people be postin' four to sixteen pictures of their kids posing cutely with their coordinated outfits and combed hair and a hand-made sign and/or their new teacher, desk, and classroom. I'm all like, sweet, we made it to school on time and everyone is dressed and brushed their teeth! I think. (Bonus points to me for remembering their lunches as well as their backpacks).
  But seriously, though, today was a big day for several reasons, all of them revolving around school. For one, it's Noah's last day of pre-k before he starts actual elementary school next year. I actually might cry when that time comes. Secondly, it's Witten's first day of pre-school ever. He was so excited, with his new nap mat in one hand, his lunchbox in the other, and his hand-me-down backpack on his back. That is, until we got to his classroom. Then he seemed to catch on to what I meant by "go to school", and he put on the brakes. The teachers at Colonial hills are champs, though, and I was only a little upset to leave my very upset Squish with his teacher after giving him one last hug and kiss and a few words of encouragement. By the time I left, he was totally composed and checking out the sights, although they had yet to get him to relinquish his hold on his backpack, lunchbox, and nap mat.
  Noah, on the other hand, went to his new class with no fuss or fight. In fact, he had no reaction whatsoever. I was happy to see some of his friends from last year were in his new class, as well as one of his all-time besties, but Noah just looked around like he wasn't sure what to do with himself. No amount of "Oh, look, Noah! There's Madi!", or, "hey, cool, look a what Trace is playing with!", would snap him out of his word-less stare. But I was okay with that. At least he wasn't crying. And he still gave me a kiss and said "love you" before I left. I think he'll be okay.
   So now, I'm experiencing what it's like to once again have only one baby. It's pretty stinking nice! Especially since Belle's still so little. She sleeps or eats or stares at lights and fans while I do dishes, feed and love on her, or maybe even try to sneak in a nap. I love this one-on-one stuff! I love school!
  Check in later, dear readers, and I may upload a few pictures of the boys after their first day of school. If I remember to take pictures.
 Gosh, I'm so bad at that.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Birth of Belle

I have been battling myself as to whether or not I should share Belle's birth story with you, dear readers, because, quite frankly, it wasn't what I thought it would be. However, as it has been two weeks and the haze of pain-filled memories has been flushed away by the glorious light of sweet time with my new daughter, I can now look back on that particular delivery with mildly rose-colored glasses and laugh a little. So, here it is: my experience with a natural birth:

It all started when I was 39 weeks and 5 days. I looked a little somethin' like this:
Don't be fooled by the face I'm making in that preggie selfie, I was not all that uncomfortable all the time and I did kinda enjoy being that pregnant. I say that because 39-and-then-some weeks is that farthest along I've ever been. And I try not to complain, because I know several strong, impressive ladies who muscled through 40+ weeks of pregnancy. (y'all da real MVP's)
After enduring two weeks of false labor every night, Wednesday the 23rd came upon us, and things went a little differently. Starting at 11:00-ish, shortly after Jimmy Fallon's monologue, the lazy, lolly-gagging braxton hicks contractions I had grown accustomed to ignoring began to morph into attention-demanding contractions that quickly came to be 5 to 7 minutes apart. I got super excited. Stephan doubted. I convinced him by humming seriously through a few contractions. He relented and took a shower so we could go. During his shower, I called Jojo, my wonderful labor coach, and we decided that it would be wisest for her to met us at the hospital. I'm very glad my parents had previously volunteered to have the boys spend the night with them that night, that way we didn't have to wait for anyone to come over before we could leave.
  We arrived at ETMC, were admitted, and I changed into the table cloth hospital gown they are always so kind to provide. When I was first checked around 12:30 or so, I was already at a 6 and fully effaced. Also, my water was just rarin' to break. Excitedly, I asked Jojo if that meant things were going to progress super fast. She warned me that, while that was true, it also meant contractions would be super intense and effective. That's when I got nervous.
  You see, friends, the contractions I had been enduring up to that point had been very manageable. I could sway and hum or moan softly through them with relative ease. But at the same time, they were very uncomfortable and I was not looking forward to them getting worse. Well, shortly after we got situated, my water did, indeed, break, and things did, indeed, progress quickly. For the next three hours, I alternated between laboring on my knees, bent over the back of the propped up bed, and sitting on the bed, trying my best to relax through the contractions. Either way, the contractions quickly, quickly intensified. I went from humming serenely, to moaning determinedly, to more, well, impressive vocalizations. In truth, towards the end, I felt bad for anybody that might have been inhabiting a neighboring room in the ETMC L&D ward that night.
    The contractions were so intense and so arduous that I would actually drift off a little in between them. I wasn't quite napping, but for a few moments, I would experience peaceful respite, only to regain full awareness to the swift and painful pressure of a new contraction. I dreaded each coming contraction. I wanted it to be over so badly. I prayed that it would be over quickly. And, just when I thought I was about to lose my last, straining grasp on all the labor-management techniques I had read about and practiced for weeks beforehand, I felt that tell-tale pressure, the sign of impending pushing. I got excited.
   Jojo the Marvelous paged my nurse to come check me. She did. I was at a 9-10. She also found another membrane that was preventing baby girl's head from full-on engaging the cervix. With irresponsible flippancy, the nurse suggested she break this new membrane, assuring us that that would cause Belle to make her debut very soon after. So, she did. Boy, she was right.
   I felt that second gush of water, and then all hell broke loose.
You know how labor and delivery is portrayed in every single movie and tv show? With the dramatic flailing and screaming and crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth? Well, friends, as a result of my two previous, drug addled deliveries, I thought all of that to be rubbish and hogwash. Hollywood dramatizing a natural, beautiful process for laughs. I humbly realize now that, yes, some deliveries are just that. Because that's what I did. 
  My water broke a second time, and then, like a sledgehammer to the cervix, the absolute, uncontrolled need to push took over me, and I lost any remaining shred of cool I had. The nurse, realizing her mistake in not coming at this in a more prepared manner, scrambled to page my doctor and have that table covered in medical equipment moved in and set up, all while urging me to *try* to breathe and not push. If I could have laughed, I would have. I couldn't stop that madness. I felt Belle's head right there, ready and wanting to be free. I wanted her to be free. My whole body wanted to be done with this whole pregnancy thing, and it was not going to let up until my tiny occupant was evicted!
   For 7 grueling, blurry minutes, I alternated between yelling through pushes, panting in between pushing, and looking at Stephan and Jojo with tear-filled, beseeching eyes, willing them to read the message I was trying to convey, since my words no quit not work stop then. MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT STOP! Is what my eyes said. At one point, Stephan nearly lost an eyeball when, in my crazed state of no control, I may or may not have lunged for his face with my nails. Good for him, he has ninja reflexes.
   At last, when I thought things could not get any crazier, There was Dr. Willis, suited up and ready to tell me what to do to make it end. She got to the foot of my bed just in time to catch Belle's head. Let me tell you, dear readers, the relief I felt from delivering her head alone was astounding, but I wasn't' done. Dr. Willis looked at me with absolute calm ( while I was yelling mindlessly at no one in particular), and said, "Take a deep breath and push very hard." She spoke with such assured conviction that I managed to gather my wits, gulp down a huge lungful, and push like I had not pushed before. It took two tries, and then, I felt it. With a slippery slurp (ew and wow! Almost worth the whole, painful experience just to feel that sensation), Belle came free.
  I cried tears of joy, no longer tears of pain. Stephan cried tears of joy. Belle cried because that's what healthy newborns do. My body rejoiced in the sudden onset of peace for my weary muscles, for I now experienced complete relief. But then, I no longer cared what my body was doing or feeling. That didn't matter anymore. For soon after the relief set in, Dr. Willis placed my very new daughter on my chest and into my eager, waiting arms. Arms that had been waiting months and months to hold her.
   Oh, readers, she was perfect! She was here and healthy and soft and warm and had hair and that new-baby smell...she was everything I was hoping she would be. For two hours, I nestled her close to me, trying my best to soak it all in and imprint the memories forever in my mind. For all the dramatic, painful, craziness that was her birth, it was worth it. So, very worth it.

And now, dear readers, My home houses a family of five. There's a proud-as-punch daddy, a wildly in love mommy, two excited, loving brothers, and a precious, snuggly little sister. We are all adjusting smoothly to this new change, and I am trying my best to relish the moments. I'm afraid of how quickly time passes when your baby is new. I don't want to miss a thing.
   So, sweet Belle, just like I said to your rebellious brothers soon after their births (rebellious, because they didn't listen to me), take your time growing up, baby. Don't grow so fast. Time moves so quickly and these moments don't last.
   And thank You, Father in heaven, for the blessing that is Belle Meisie Du Toit. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ode to my Living Room Carpet (Mystery Stains)

Oh mystery stains that speckle my floors,
you appear on my carpets and darken my doors.
I have at you with cleaners, with machines I attack!
But, mystery stains, you will always come back.

Cursed mystery stains, you annoying dark spots!
You only appear where I wish you would not.
To far from the walls for the couches to hide,
Foul stains, you are why the dogs are kept outside.

Stinking mystery stains, must you always reappear?
Though you leave for a moment, your return is near.
I diligently clean my carpets, as every housewife should,
but you sometimes make me wish I had floors made of wood.

Now, mystery stains, let us reason together.
You will be here, it seems, no matter the weather.
 So unless you get obvious or omit a foul odor,
I will leave you all be. (Unless company comes over.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So Stinkin' Much

Dear readers, I warn you that this post, like pretty much all of my other posts, is rife with my high praises for motherhood and my precious family. If you are tired of reading such ramblings, than feel free to mosey on to the next blog on your reading list. If you don't mind my obvious affection for my husband, sons, and daughter, and like cute pictures, read on, readers!

I have a confession, friends: I am horrible at decorating. And arranging furniture. I just don't posses the capabilities. When He created me in my mother's womb, God, in His infinite wisdom, made a laid-back, low maintenance, singing, book-loving, cat person with a passion for being a wife and mother. He left out awesome culinary skills, self discipline in the areas of working out and resisting sweets, and the decorative ability that many of my friends have. I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin' that, when it comes to beautifying our home, Stephan sadly has to do most of the work.
  Because of this, I often feel a twinge of jealousy when we visit a friend's house and see their beautifully arrayed walls and shelves and creatively arranged brick-a-brack. It really does baffle me how they can think that way. My brain does not work like that. I just don't have that skill. So when I set my shoes to creating the perfect nursery environment for my precious baby girl, I sought help. Lots of help. And, dear readers, my friends delivered. I had websites, blogs, pictures and uber-helpful advice sent my way from some of the best friends a gal could ask for. So much so that, with only two house visits, I have in mind a vision for exactly what I want for my baby's room. This is what I have completed so far:
The "accent wall"
  For the other walls, I know exactly what I want, I just need to make a run or two to WalMart or Hobby Lobby to get a few items to complete my desired look. I'll try to remember to post pictured of the completed room once it's just that; completed. 
  Now for another confession, dear readers: I have let my sons down. In all of my drive and determination to decorate the walls of my little girl's room, I have realized that, in the months that we have been fully and completely moved into our wonderful house, I have never put an iota of effort into decorating my little boys' room. Sure, it has its little attempts at decoration here and there: a brightly colored fish tank, two pictures of Noah on the top shelf of their book case, and some cutesy stuffed animals that are for looking, not playing, arranged on the shelves of their bunk bed, but their walls and one window are bare as a bathing baby.
     It's really not to surprising, considering the spiel I shared in the above paragraph about my complete inability to decorate. And before this week, I never felt bad about it because, save for our dining room (the "fanciest" room in out house) and the two random paintings hung up in our living room, no other room had really anything hung on the walls. (You should see how plain and ugly our bedroom is. Good thing visitors don't hang out in master bedrooms). But now that the newest addition to our family is being treated to a beautiful living space, I feel bad for my Boogie Boy and Little Bit.
  So, to mollify my feelings of guilt ('cause honestly, the boys have never complained about a naked or boring room, so there's no other pressure to get things fancied up), I did something about it. I hung a curtain up in their room.
   Please, no applause. I'm just like you, only I found an unused curtain rod in my mother's shop and used it to hang an unused shower curtain in my son's window. I would show you a picture, but Witten's currently napping. It's a red curtain, if that helps any.
    I will, eventually, hang a few more things up in the boys room, maybe. I can't promise too much because if I had soooooooo much trouble and needed that much help in decorating a little girl's room, how on earth can I begin to strategize for the decorating of two very different-minded boys' room? also, what would I decorate with? I hate obvious, store-bought room themes, like Superman bedsheets or Jake and the Neverland Pirate wall murals. I'd like to accumulate an eclectic array of rugged, boy-ish things to fill the walls and shelves of the boys' room, similar to how I gathered feminine, pretty things for Baby Belle's room. I think I know where I might like to start, but for now I'll have to be content with the shower curtain hanging in their window.
  Then, maybe someday, when my ship comes in, I can start on my own bedroom.
         Pictures of my boys!
Witten loves to give kisses lately. Even to baby sister

Somebody's getting way to big! Stop growing, you massive four-year-old!
 And here is the latest of my precious baby girl:
It's like someone put lipstick on Witten. 

   My heart is as full as my growing belly. I love these kids so stinking much! I thank God and Stephan for these little ones, for without either of them, they wouldn't have been created.

  Speaking of Stephan, he just bought us an RV. With a little TLC and a TON of elbow grease, our family will soon be off on fantastic adventures as we created treasured memories!

  Be blessed, readers!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Five months, not too bad...

My boys are happily distracted in the back yard, the heaping pile of dirty dishes left over from Noah's birthday party are taking a bath in the dishwasher, and all the laundry that I care to put away right now has been dealt with.
Free time, yes, it's free time!
This will undoubtedly be a brief break from wifely/motherly/household duties, as something always pops up needing my immediate attention just when I sit down and get comfy, but I though I'd spend this rare, sweet moment of quiet on my blog. My poor, neglected blog.

Well, there was my first distraction. Fishing a Witten out of the pool that I told them not to get in this early. Now the boys are happily distracted inside. Let's see how long this lasts.

My dear readers, in the five months of blogosphere silence, a lot has transpired. If you missed the subdued announcement in my last post in January, I am, indeed, pregnant.
Me being pregnant at Easter time with my handsome, handsome boys.
 In t-minus two months, Stephan and I are eager and excited to welcome our third baby and first daughter! Her name shall be Meisie Belle Du Toit. Meisie is Afrikaans for "girl", which is an homage to her heritage. Belle is from Beauty and the Beast (my favorite movie in the world), and, of course, means "beauty". Du Toit is our last name, so that's a given. After we settled on the name, my husband started referring to her as "Belle", or "baby Belle". I LOVE it. So I'm thinking she may go by her middle name.

My little girl.

  We are over the moon excited to be welcoming a little girl into our family. Her brothers are, too. I'm looking forward to seeing what she looks like, who she takes after and what having a little girl in the family will be like. So much to look forward too!
     In other news, most recently, we celebrated our oldest child turning four. Four! Noah Sias will be four years old tomorrow, May 6th. WHAT? How? Where did the time go? Am I old? It's hard enough watching my baby boys grow up before my very eyes, but birthdays really drive it home that, honestly, they're not babies anymore!
New Noah

Now Noah
He is such a handsome boy. My goodness, God has blessed Stephan and me with adorable boys. He is far from the perfect child, as he does all the things every hyper, happy, grumpy, excitable, whiny, friendly, shy, loud, stubborn, sweet, little boy does. Every day is a practice in Godly parenting for Stephan and I. We are trying our darndest to raise him and his brother in a manner that reflects our Biblical beliefs and glorifies God. It's tough sometimes. I get cranky or impatient. I react harshly sometimes. But I am trying my best to apologize when I need to and show through my actions, not just my words, how to act and live life rightly. (Praise God for His help through the Holy Spirit). I love that Boogie Boy so much!
     In Witten news: my baby is no longer a baby. He talks a lot. He's so smart! we have to watch what we say around him, 'cause he's entered that sponge-stage of the tubby two's (Witten's not terrible. It seems completely disingenuous to refer to his second year as his "terrible two's"), in which he soaks up everything around him with remarkably keen senses. Witten wants to be a big boy like his brother, so he tries his best to do everything that Noah does. Except making stinky on the potty, which is putting a damper on potty training. He'll tee tee on the potty fairly regularly, but he has yet to make a stinky in the potty. It's all right, though. I'm not stressing this time around. He'll get it when he's ready. I hope.  
Just look at that squishy face!
Meanwhile, my husband has continued to be awesome. No, dear readers, I do not claim that my husband is perfect, as he is a flawed human being just like myself, but I do think that he is the bee's knees. Stephan Douglas Du Toit wows me weekly with his indomitable work ethic and can-do spirit. Oh, sure, he belly aches of aches and pains and weariness (he DID turn 29 recently. That's almost 30!), and yet he plows ahead with drive and a determination that I could never pretend to have.
  When I was young, my mother warned me against marrying a man just like me, as I am laid back, sometimes to a fault. Her warning is fair, as two me's would never get anything done. Well, momma, don't you worry. If you haven't noticed already, Stephan Gregory Du Toit is a go-getter who inspires me to be a better person. And, I think he's rather handsome.
 He has a heart of gold, that Stephan Cecily Du Toit. 
 Well, the boys have migrated from their room into the living room, raising the distraction level drastically. I'm going to sign off now, readers, with a promise to try to update more often. We'll see. I think I'll try to take the boys to the zoo now. I also have to grocery shop. (uuuuugggggghhhh!).

Be blessed, dear readers!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The World Must Know

I break my months of blogosphere silence, for what I have to share is truly blog material. Brace yourselves:

My family and I, including a few friends who are very dear to us, vacationed to Fort Worth to visit my brother and sister. The first place we stopped at as a collected group was a buffet style deli restaurant, for I was hungry. For some reason, I wanted potato salad.
   As my family arranged itself around a collection of pushed-together tables and started making it's way to the buffet line, my dear father, whom I love so much, graciously offered to fetch me a plate, as I had two other mouths to concern myself with. I happily thanked him for his kindness and set about tending to my sons' meals. I leave to grab their drinks. When I return, everyone else has already amassed their meals and started eating without me. I shrug off the mild offense, as I was really hungry and eager to eat. I sit at my seat, ready to dive in, when before me I see a plate covered in nothing but dressing-less coleslaw and one packet of crackers.
   I glance incredulously at my father. He happily smiles back. I guess he had remembered my craving for some sort of deli-style side dish, but brought me the wrong one, and he is clearly pleased with himself for being such a thoughtful father. I smile back at him. I can't begrudge him such a well-intended mistake. So, instead, I take up my plate and hit up the now much longer buffet line myself.
    My hunt was successful. I return to the table with a heaping plate of food, including a delicious looking serving of potato salad and, what excites my stomach the most, a large, crust-less, triple-decker club sandwich, no tomato, with a puddle of creamy honey mustard beside it. It is the quintessential craving of all my pregnancies, and boy, am I excited. I set down my plate, but my meal will have to wait. I forgot a drink.
    Within the minute, I return to my seat and plop down, eager to begin my feast. To my utter and shocking horror, I look upon my plate to see that my much-anticipated sandwich has been eaten down to two bites! The culprit even had the gall to mix ketchup in with my honey mustard! Anger and sadness war within me as I glare at the faces around the table.
    "Who ate my sandwich?" I demand, frantic tears already stinging my eyes.
No one spoke. Looks of confusion, amusement, and concern stare back at me, but one face looks away guiltily. My father. He apologizes quietly, trying to explain his actions, but my hungry, emotional state would hear none of it. Those tears I had tried to will away explode from my eyes in an angry, hurt torrent.
    "Dad, how could you! I'm hungry! I'm pregnant! You do not eat a hungry, pregnant woman's food!" I fume, my voice rising in a frenzied pitch with each word. I had never been angry with my father, but now, I was livid.

   I woke up with tears wetting my pillow. Sniffling and snuffling, I flipped over and curled myself around Stephan's shoulder. He mumbles something incoherent in his sleep. I gradually calm down. The moral of this story, dear readers: no matter how "close" you may be to a woman with child, never ever eat a pregnant woman's food. Not even in her dreams.
  I have come to forgive you, Daddy, and I still love you. Please don't touch my club sandwich.