Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Literally

This week has been Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church. I'm not sure if it's like this everywhere but growing up in the South, VBS was a rite of passage. We looked forward to it every summer and talked about it non stop for weeks. This is the first year that both of my kids have been old enough to attend and they are loving it.

Every night, they come home with fun stories about the games, snacks and crafts that they've completed. We listen as they chatter excitedly about the different characters (it's a bug safari theme) that have been introduced. Perhaps most exciting for me to hear is them re-telling their Bible stories to us each night. There's just something about hearing your babies re-tell stories from the Bible that warms the heart.

Wenoticed today that Brother was holding his chest as he played. I asked him if his chest hurt and he said that it didn't.

At swimming lessons, in the middle of the pool waiting his turn, he had a concerned look on his face and was doing the double handed cover up. You know the one, a hand on each...ahem...side of his chest. He looked like he was covering himself because it was a little too cold in the pool. (Forgive me for being elusive but you should see some of the things that bring Google searchers here. I'm trying not to use any words that bring on the pervs.)

Again in the car, he was at it with the chest holding.

Finally, he brought it up for discussion.

"Mom?"

"Yes, bud?"

"Um, at church, they said God lives in my heart. I've been trying to feel but I can't find Him in there anywhere."

Oh, three years old. You are so much fun.

Oh, teachers of three years old. Remember that they take you literally.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Doctor, Doctor

Real time blogging of a different kind. My kids are playing Doctor. Not that kind, you perv. Sister is pretending to be having a baby and brother is her Doc. Since so many of our friends have had babies lately, it's on their minds all the time. And, with all of the questions they asked last week when their PaPa was in the hospital, they've practically earned their MD.

Sister (as Brother is taking her blood pressure): My grandmother used to always tell me that before you have babies, you have to learn to be a doctor first.

Brother: Yeah, I've heard that. Is this squeezing too hard?

Sister: Yes, now get it off of me. NOW. Anyway, I'm so excited to be having this baby.

Brother: I'm going to need to take your blood and give you a shot. Don't cry, it will only hurt for a minute. You'll feel a little pinch.

Sister: Don't hurt me. Seriously. Don't pinch me.

Brother (never breaking out of character): There we go. Everything looks fine. You can go home now.

Sister: No, I have to stay here for a few days. Remember when Ms. M had baby Lily? She stayed in the hospital for a few days because she was sore. Now, I'm sore. You have to make me feel better because that's what Doctors do.

Brother: Um. Ok. But, I think I'll have to give you another shot for that. And, take some more blood. Hold still.


Seriously, ya'll. These two are cracking me up. I don't know what's up with them today but they are up to something. They are being so sweet to each other and even *GASP* hugging and kissing without being forced. I know this is a part of some plot because 1) they have been so mean to each other for the last week and 2) they keep asking me if I'm noticing how sweet they are being to each other and if I like it.

If you don't hear from me, I've succumbed to their evil plot and been locked in the closet. Come quickly and bring coffee. Thanks.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Moments

I once heard someone say that life is just a string of moments bound together by time. Or, maybe I just made that up. Yes, I think I did. It sounds good, right?

Lately, I've made an effort to take notice of my Moments more. I've been so emotional about Sister turning five and leaving me for the wide world of Elementary School (I know, enough already) that I've been stopping to pay attention to the little things more rather than lamenting as they pass me by so quickly.

If my efforts to take in the Moments, I've come to the realization that I am a blessed woman. I have been stressed to the max for months and giving myself a pity party pass because things haven't been going my way and in that arduous process, I lost sight of the fact I have everything I've ever wanted.

I have a husband that is better than I even knew was possible. When I was in college, I made a list of qualities that I wanted in a husband. They ranged from the important (he must share my faith) to the downright vain (he needs to be taller than me). I had long forgotten that list and I ran across it recently when cleaning out my book shelf. Every single thing on that list (made as a very naive nineteen year old) described my husband perfectly. As a matter of fact, he makes my list look like my expectations were too low. He's that good.

I have two of the most beautiful, funny and loving kids on the planet. They love me, no matter what. On the bad days when I raise my voice more than I should, they still love me. On the days when I haven't had a spare moment to shower and gather my thoughts, they still want to sit on my lap with their arms wrapped around my neck. I love them more every day.

There's so much more for me to be thankful for. What I want to share with you are the Moments. Selfishly, I want to share them with you because that also ensures that I have a record of them for myself. But, I also want to share them with you in hopes that you will start to take a look at your own Moments. Each Moment that you take note of will make you thankful for something. We all have something to be thankful for.



**Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Update

Again with the short update...I apologize. I promise a full post later today. I really wanted to thank you guys for your prayers and sweet words.

As it turns out, my Dad has a healthy heart. It surprised the cardiologist more than anyone. He was sure he was going to find more than one blockage when he got in there. Instead, the culprit is a combination of stomach ulcers, a hernia and some wicked acid reflux. Apparently, all of that combined can mimic heart problems. We are so thankful that this is something that can be fixed easily. Sort of. My Dad has had a wake up call with all of this and I really hope it causes him (and my mother, for that matter) to change their lives and take better care of themselves. My Dad's job is stressful and he needs to do something about that. They are both smokers and...well, you know the drill.

Don't worry, they have four kids who are all over this issue. They'd do the same for us. We are just as stubborn as they are and we will pester help them all the way to good health.

Again, thank you guys so much for all of your sweetness and your prayers. You are awesome and I hereby proclaim you the best people I know.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Prayers Needed

I don't have a lot of time to update right now but I wanted to ask my readers for prayers. My Dad will be going in for heart catherization this afternoon and Big Daddy and the kids are traveling to NC as we speak to be here with me. I've been here since Saturday. Please pray for my Dad and for my little family as they travel. Thanks everyone and I'll update when I can.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What Did He Say?

Yesterday was the last day of this level of swimming lessons for the Brother and Sister. They are now officially Otters instead of Tadpoles.

The parents all sit in chairs a few feet from the pool's edge to watch the lessons. Close enough to see and hear what goes on with our kids in the water but not close enough to be a distraction. Yesterday, Brother kept doing things to make the teacher laugh. I think he loves her because every day, he tells me that he wants to make her laugh.

He learned to keep his eyes open under water one day this week. He went under the water, came back up and started laughing. She asked what was funny and he responded, "Your tummy looks really funny under the water!"

He decided to go out with a bang yesterday. As we were watching class, I heard Brother saying something but I couldn't make out what he said. Apparently, I was the only one who didn't hear because everyone in the pool and in the chairs started giggling. I asked what he'd said and immediately wished I hadn't.

"I passed gas in the water!" This boy and his potty humor. The worst part is that on the way to swimming lessons yesterday, I actually had a talk with him about not talking about passing gas in front of people. He's such a good listener.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Little Booger

Right around bed time last night both of my kids developed a stuffy nose. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they are in a pool every day filled with twenty other kids. Needless to say, last night was filled with waking up, nightmares, whining about the stuffy nose and some possible hallucinations. Good times.

Both of them woke up this morning (at the normal time, for the love of pete) with tired eyes and still stuffy noses. We decided to skip swimming today and take a rest day. After lunch, Sister went to her room for a nap and I convinced Brother that we should do the same. He was laying in bed with me wrapping his little arms around my neck and doing nose kisses. Then, he'd want to chat for a while and talk about world politics. I finally made the executive decision to turn the other way and encourage him to actually, you know, sleep.

I was almost in my sleep zone when I felt him tap me.

"Mom, want me to rub your back for ya?"

"Sure, buddy."

He rubbed his dimpled little hands on my back and hummed a sweet song to me. A lump caught in my throat and I felt tears stinging my eyes at the thought of how sweet he is and how lucky I am.

There was a short pause in rubbing and then:

"Mom?"

"Yeah, buddy?"

"What do I do with this booger?"

Back rub? Over.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coming Out Of The Bloggy Closet

When I started this blog, I wasn't sure I wanted anyone to know. I had only told two friends about the fact that I wanted to do it and needed their creative ears to listen to all of my lame super rad ideas for a blog name.

(Just so you know, I would have had a blog a whole YEAR sooner if I could have come up with a name I loved. I couldn't so I just kept bouncing names around in my head. I believe I've mentioned before my motto?)**

Until recently those two friends are the only people that I'm not married to but know in real life who know about my blog. I don't know what it is about telling people that seems so....arrogant? How do you really drop that kind of information nonchalantly into conversation, anyway?

A while back I casually mentioned to a couple of my coffee girls that I have this thing that I do. This thing called a blog. Immediately, two of them said they wanted to read it. I just laughed, tossed my hair and distracted them with a shiny object. Or, maybe I spilled my water accidentally so they'd forget they asked. Whatever the case, I didn't pass out any blog addresses that night.

But these girls are as persistent as they are lovely. That's why I love them. Since they asked that first night, I was secretly hoping I could come up with a way to pass them a link without seeming like I was throwing myself a party and hoping they'd bring a gift. Wouldn't you know, they held me down this weekend and dangled a dark chocolate bar over my nose but wouldn't hand it over until I gave them the name of my blog?

That's not exactly how it went down but let's just say I now have two more readers. I've told you of my love for them already....several times. Now, girls. I got outed and I'm outing you. Say hi to all of my blog friends!

**If I can't win, I don't play!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hey Noggin, Are Ya Kiddin' Me?


With rain and thunderstorms all this week, we've spent a great deal of our time inside. There's only so many crafts a girl can do before she starts drinking crying. When Brother decided to use a whole bottle of Elmer's glue in one sitting and then throw a huge fit because his paper was stuck to the table, I knew we needed a different kind of fun.

I turned on Kid's TD (that's children's television programming to those of you untrained by Brother's cuteness) and looked for something that would entertain the kids without driving me to drink cry. We settled on Noggin and all of a sudden there was a strange man in a fuzzy orange hat before us. The show? Yo Gabba Gabba. For those of you familiar with the show, you may stop singing, "There's a party in my tummy! So yummy! So yummy!" now. Please.

The show itself is a little on the odd side but what really grabbed my attention wasn't the life size creepy looking fuzz balls singing and dancing. Oh how I wish that was it. No. It was a segment of the program called "Biz's Beat of the Day." I thought I had dozed off and flashed back to my childhood. After all, I could use a nap.

On my screen was Biz Markie of 80's rap fame. The man we all know of "You Say He's Just a Friend" fame is now on a kid's show. (What? You don't know him from his illustrious rap career? Don't make me pull out my 80's Hip Hop Greates Hits CD.) His part on Yo Gabba Gabba is.....interesting? Laughable? I don't know, I'll let you decide.








From what I gathered today, Biz teaches kids a beat box rhythm each day and asks them to practice at home. I'm guessing the market for old school rap isn't what it used to be. But Biz has a plan. A secret plan to teach all of today's preschoolers beat box in hopes that 80's rap will make a come back in a few years and he'll be held as their icon. Whatever the case, I'm sufficently entertained for today. Also? If it's raining tomorrow, I'll settle for more fun with Elmer's. Elmer's fumes can't be as harmful as Biz's beat box.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mommy Needs Sleepy*


For a while now, Brother has been waking every night a few times crying out until someone comes in to check on him. It's the same every night. We go in, he's sitting up on the bed with tears streaming down his cheeks but not really awake. He'll usually mumble something incoherent when we ask what's wrong and then lay back down and resume sleep. Occasionally, we'll get something cute or funny like three nights ago when he declared, "I just wanna go fast!" when asked why he was crying. Yes, I sometimes call him Ricky Bobby.

Add Brother's new nightly routine to my new nightly routine (read: insomnia) and you get a Mama who is in desperate need of some sleep.

I'm not sure if my insomnia is due to a new pillow purchase (WHAT? I needed one!) or if I'm just coping (read: not coping) with all of the current stresses of life by not sleeping well. Whatever the case, let me say it again. Mama needs sleep.

I don't know about you but when I don't have enough sleep, every little thing seems like a huge thing.

Who put this toilet paper on the roll backwards? Don't you people know that it takes me FOREVER to get this thing switched around when you could just do it right the first time??

What do you mean you can't get me in until two weeks from now to color my hair? Don't you know I'll just DIE if I don't get it done right now!?

Yes, clearly I'm a delight to be around.

I'll gladly take any suggestions you have about getting some everloving sleep. I'll also pass along any suggestions you may have for Brother when he just can't sleep because he needs to go FAST.



**Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what movie I stole and adapted that line from?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Facing Your Fear

We recently enrolled Brother and Sister in swimming lessons at a local health club. Yesterday was their first class and they were as excited as I was anxious. When I was their age, I played in the water with no fear, just as they do. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I was afraid of water. I can't pinpoint when it happened exactly. When I was in high school at pool parties (as an aside, when I typed that, I typed poop parties and that would be a different post all together, wouldn't it?) and even though I couldn't technically swim above the water, I would hang out in the deep end with the everyone else. I'd stick close to the side but I was there.

Fast forward several years. I married a man who is an avid swimmer. As in, he still holds swimming records at his former high school and we are dear friends with his former high school coach. He loves to swim like I love...well, him. When he heard that I couldn't technically swim, he wanted to teach me. I haven't gotten around to letting him in the eight years we've been together.

I think that's where the fear began. To actually have to face learning rather than just playing around is something all together different. See, I have this lifelong rule for myself. It goes like this: If I can't win, I don't want to play. So, failure at something isn't an option. I realized when I married Big Daddy that he takes swimming seriously and that if I'm not good at it....well, that's not an option for me. So, I stay away.

Funny thing about fear, it starts out small and next thing you know, you can't even watch movies where people might drown. Then, you get all paranoid and tight in the chest when your kids are playing in the pool with their more than capable Daddy right beside of them. Before you know it, it's out of control and you put way more thought into it than you should.

This pesky water thing has been on the forefront of my mind for a long time now and I found myself paying close attention as the swim instructor was teaching my kids in the Tadpole class yesterday. As if I could listen to her and then come home and practice in my tub and surprise! I can swim! Right. I'm considering learning. Big Daddy tells me that I already know but I just forgot that I know. He swears that one summer right after we got married, we were at the beach with my parents and playing in the pool with my siblings. He says I was swimming all over the place. I'm suspicious of his memory.

I'm so proud of my kids and their eagerness to learn. I'm excited for them. I'm also so happy that this is one thing that I haven't passed on to them. I don't mind them having my witty sarcastic sense of humor. Most of the time. But, I refuse to pass on my fears to them. As a matter of fact, it's because of them that I hope to overcome my fears and show them a better way to do that for themselves.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pride

I grew up not really having to think much about my country or how I felt to be a part of it. I don't remember conversations around the dinner table about how blessed we were as a nation or how great our country is. Sure, I grew up in a time when we said the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem was played over the PA system every morning in school. We also said a prayer before lunch with my teachers each day in elementary school, for what it's worth.

When I was 22 years old, I married the man of my dreams. He happened to be in the Air Force and marrying him immediately gave me a new level of pride in my country. It started very conspicuously. At my first official Air Force function, the Air Force Song was played and I found myself tearing up. Caught off guard, I chalked it up to emotions. Then, we moved onto the military base where we were stationed and in our back yard was a loud speaker. Every morning we rose to the sound of Reveille, at five we heard the National Anthem and at bed time it was Taps. At first, I would get emotional at every single playing. Before I knew it, I had developed a deep since of pride to be an American and even seeing our flag sparked something in me that was surprising.

It's more than the music. Really, all it took was a reason to stop and think. To think about how our country came to be. How far we've come in such a relatively short time. To put aside politics and just be thankful. I have had the pleasure of knowing people who believe that our nation is a worthy cause for which to give their lives. Lest you think I'm usually this emotional, let me remind you that I didn't even cry at my own wedding.

I've been married into the military for well over 8 years now and those same feelings from our first duty assignment are stronger than ever. Now, I get to share them with my kids. Every single day at 5:00pm, we open the front door, place our hands over our hearts and watch as the Security Forces officers ceremoniously lower the flag across the street from our house. If I'm busy with dinner or anything else, my kids insist I stop and quietly pay my respects. It's one of the few times each day that our house is completely silent. I love this about them.

On a daily basis, we have amazing fighter jets flying over our house so low that our car alarm sometimes sounds off. We have to stop talking on the phone as they go by. You can't even talk to the person sitting next to you as they fly over. You'd think that this would be annoying to those of us dealing with it daily. Instead, as they go over, you see people stop their conversations and stare into the sky in awe. Cars pull over and drivers get out just to get a better look. I watch them every day and yet, there are times when just the sight of them brings tears to my eyes. They mean so much more to me than I ever knew possible. To me, I think about my husband. I think of the people who serve beside of him. I say a prayer for the pilots because I know that they have wives and children at home waiting for them. Even now, I'm getting emotional as I think about it.

I'm so glad I've changed. I'm so glad that we have conversations around my dinner table to teach my kids what their flag stands for and how to show respect for it. I'm thankful that I'm married to Big Daddy and that I've been able to develop this deep sense of pride standing next to him. Happy Independence Day, friends.

Date Night

I had a hot date with a very handsome man last night. Of course, it was my husband. What kind of woman do you think I am?

We have a babysitter here that we love almost as much as our kids do. The only problem is that she's moving soon. She decided to fall in love with a military guy and marry him and now he's whisking her away to Florida. It happens to the best of us. Heh. We are trying to get in as many dates as we can until she leaves since once she's gone, our date nights won't be as frequent. (Because, honestly? The whole finding a babysitter you love process is more tiring and exhausting than actually being a Mom.)

Back to my hot date. We went out for dinner at a local Japanese restaurant and then walked down the way for gelato....chocolate hazelnut, if you're wondering. It was my first gelato ever and I'll probably become a regular there. It was that good.

It was so great just to be together and walk while holding each other's hands rather than gripping tightly to tiny hands that try to wriggle away as you cross the street. Although, that's fun, too. We talked about our plans for the future and our current stresses. We laughed at funny things the kids say recently and tried to compare notes on why we think Brother is having sleeping issues. We weren't interrupted even once by questions about what a word we'd just said meant or questions about how to spell it. It was just....nice.

After the fabulous gelato, we headed to the movie theater. We have both wanted to see Hancock and this was our chance. Despite all of the bad reviews I've read, we both actually liked it. Judging by the audience in the theater with us, most of them loved it, too. Especially the guy beside of me. Seriously, dude. He was all about it. Talking back to the characters and laughing so hard he doubled over several times. I loved that part best. There were some unanswered questions in the end but all in all, I liked it.

You know something? I love dating my husband. We are finally at a point in our parenting and our marriage that we don't feel guilty or anxious about leaving our kids with a sitter to spend quality time together. We both realize that this is what keeps our marriage happy and alive. I won't tell you that the first few times we did this, we had no plan of what we'd do and we wandered around aimlessly checking the clock to see if it was too early to go home without being considered losers by our newlywed babysitter. I would never share that. I'd also never tell you that our idea of a great time is to just go to the bookstore and look through books and magazines. Because if I told you that, you would think we were some nerdy couple and we most certainly are not. We are young, hip and lots o'fun.