Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ups and Downs

Today was a day of many emotions.  Over and through all of them was joy, but what a menagerie!

My work day flew by today.  I spent most of the day very nervous, almost like it was my first day, because I'm stressed that I get my work done before my last hours tomorrow.  I'm making some neato databases for the team to use, and none of my coworkers are completely familiar with how to tweak them if changes need to be made, so I'm really pressed to make them just perfect.  It's a lot of fun, but scary.

The short feel to the day may have had something to do with oversleeping this morning.  Hehe.  Interesting how differently your morning starts when there are no children in the house.

When I left work today, I packed up my personal stuff and brought it home.  I don't want to have to deal with that tomorrow.  It's already such a big deal to leave on your last day, so why make it an awkward, fumbling experience with a big box of junk?  So that was bittersweet and surreal.  I felt sad to be closing this chapter on my life and to be preparing to say goodbye to my friends there (though I'll be bugging them with visits much too often).  But as more people asked me about what I was going to be doing and we discussed homeschooling and raising my kids God's way, I got so very excited.  It didn't help that I was skimming through the homeschooling supply catalog I got in the mail during my breaks either.  I was all a twitter fantasizing about watching my boys learn and grow with me every day.

It was all very surreal.

And when I picked up my kids from Grammy's, I was so joyous and lighthearted.  My kids usually do that to me these days.  They are pure light and refreshment and sugar.  Most of the time.

Then we had one of those nights where another adult would have made all the world of a difference.  We got home late, dinner did not cook well, the baby cried for her meal and from exhaustion, and the boys got rowdy.  Finally, someone knocked his full milk cup all over the table and floor and his brother.  That's where my down came in.  I got kinda loud about that one.  Then I was so frustrated with the culprit for not showing enough concern.  One of them gets very emotionally effected when he's scolded, the other, not so much...

Praise God, Baby Bear did go to bed a little early, which helped me sort of get a handle on things.  And finish my dinner.  Sheesh.

And last night she spent her first night away from me.  We both handled it very well.  Except for the oversleeping thing.

So I have to get a move on now to do a little work on those databases.  Hmm, or more homeschooling research...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Tonight we snacked on small pretzels and pretended they were faces - "pretzel men" - their idea.  So then we made them talk and sometimes they were happy and said sweet things - "Hi, Mommy!" - other times they were mad.  We decided they were mad because we were going to eat them.  They roared with laughter as I voiced the pretzel men's screams for help as they were devoured by each of us.  Sigh.  Oh, and sometimes they were animals, who made their own special sounds of terror and agony.

We had a lovely day today overall.  It was really a struggle to feel motivation to get up and get to church this morning, but God promised He'd bless if I obeyed, so up I got.  We actually made it to Sunday School on time, believe it or not!  The lesson and sermon were inspiring, and as often, right  in line with what He's been revealing to me from all sources throughout my days lately.

Lunch was great.  We had our leftover pizza pinwheels (another Apples of Gold recipe) from last night's dinner.  The tooth-wielding members of the family really like it.

They took a nap today (eventually) so I got a lot done around the house.  I love being caught up most of the time lately!  I'm not used to it, but I'm getting there!

All I remember after nap is that we had an early dinner and goofed off.  And I got more stuff done.

The boys were pretty sweet and happy today, and I was fairly energetic, so we all got along really well.  Baby Bear missed her morning nap because of church, so she was a little off, but it was manageable.  I'll manage for her sweet highness.

We've had dinner early the last two nights and I've loved it.  Really loved it.  Last night I think we ate before 5, and tonight it was around 5:30.  That way there's no pressure to hurry up eating, the boys have enough energy to eat well, and we have plenty of time to play afterwards.  Then we just have a small snack a little later.  It really takes the pressure out of evenings, and I'm going to do my best to continue the practice.

I'm getting close to nailing down my "ideal" daily schedule.  On paper, that is.  I'm suddenly super excited again about getting to own my days with the kids soon.  This is my last week of work, YAY!

To catch up, yesterday was pretty cool too.  I did not think so for the first half.  It took until 1 pm to get us out of the house.  The boys and I were ready hours earlier, but Baby Bear took a nice long nap.  I felt so bad for the boys because I didn't let them go outside and play because I was anticipating her awakening at any minute for so very long.  Then we went to their favorite store in the world, especially Popo's, Target.  Then headed to Publix for a handful of things we needed.  The boys were so good, even though it was well into their usual nap time.  I had been promising we'd go to the park the whole time, so of course it rained as we left the store.  Instead, when it stopped raining, they requested to go out on the patio and use their sidewalk chalk.  So while Baby Bear napped again, we played out there.  I got to weed the giant dinosaur-food-weed that grows back there (I just finally found it online, called "air potato" - nasty bugger) from all over the back fence and plants.  They had a ball coloring over each other's markings on the ground and giggling like madmen.  We skipped their nap altogether, and that actually wasn't a problem for, I think, the first time ever.

So that was yesterday.

Oh, and on Thursday evening we got to have a lovely dinner with Brandon's grandparents as they passed through town.  My pictures didn't come out great because my camera battery was dying and when it's in its final throes, it doesn't behave well.

I purposely left this one uncropped - I had accidentally shifted the camera before I took the photo.  I thought it would be funny to show as is.  And look how sweet their faces are!

Okay, I think I'm all caught up on the major action of the last few days.  Here are some random pictures to make up for my delinquency...

Princess Baby Bear on her throne

Popo imitating his daddy

Pillow fight with cousin Joshua on our play day last week

Two sweet brothers at nap time today

Baby Bear rolling around on my bed today as I cleaned up my room

Baby Bear feeling very impatient with my delay in serving her immediate need to be somewhere else

You think this picture is sad?  You should see the ones I'm not showing you from five minutes later because they break my heart to look at them.  She's so very dramatic and pitiful sometimes.  I love her so.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Remember when...

I said I was going to get some rest last night?  Yeah, no.

I had a rough night with the wee barne last night and she finally went down to stay at midnight.  Yes, my 7-month-old decided it'd be fun to play until midnight.  She screamed in her bed for over half an hour, then tried to play in my arms as I tried to rock her for another half hour, followed by more screaming in my arms for half an hour.  I gave in and tried to nurse her - she wouldn't have any of it!  So she rolled around on my bed and played while I read for about an hour until she finally had enough.

I got lots of super cute pictures of her on my phone while she played though.  Can't upload it to the computer right now, sorry.

We had a lovely day again today.  After we played a little this morning, we met April and Emily at Five Guys for lunch.  The boys had a great time goofing off and eating hot dogs and fries.  Then I took them to Grammy's and went to work for half a day, to try to get things finalized before I ditch them for good next week.  It was actually a very productive Friday afternoon at work, believe it or not.

So, you can forget about any more information than that tonight.  I am wiped out (seems to be the general theme when Brandon's gone) and not fully convinced she's down for the night tonight.  She gave it her all to protest her bed for a good 45 minutes.  All's quiet now, but that doesn't necessarily settle the issue.

So once again, I leave you with a promise to share more pictures and stuff later.  I know I don't always follow through, but that's me.  I have many limits to my capacities.  Since you are here reading my blog, you either love me despite that, or I don't know you and don't care.  Teehee.

I love you too.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who's Visiting From Brazil?

I use Google Analytics to track some stats on usage of my blog and I hadn't checked it in a long while until a couple of days ago. I have had one visitor from Canada and seven from Brazil in the last month. How interesting/weird is that?

I've recently changed the comment settings on this blog. I've opened it up for all visitors to comment, not just the ones signed into Google. I'm a little scared of this, but I know some of my family and friends don't want to sign into Google to comment, and I understand that. I personally live and breath Google, but I know not everyone's quite as cool as I am.

Just so you know, I am a comment coveter. My heart skips a beat when I see anything other than "0 Comments" at the bottom of a post. I don't care who it is or how random their thoughts are, I love comments. Just so you know. Purely an FYI. Now you know. There it is.

We had a fun, exhausting day today. Joshua came and played with us for most of the day while his mommy worked. Naptime was... interesting... Hehe. Then we met a bunch of our family out at a restaurant to spend time with Brandon's grandparents, who were travelling through town.

It was all great fun and I took lots of pictures. I'll get some rest now, fix up the photos tomorrow, and then write all about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I wasn't going to post tonight...

...but my child just threw a tear-soaked-and-booger-covered-face tantrum in his room because his sheet wouldn't cover his feet. Because he was laying with his pillow at the foot of the bed. On most of the sheet.

I thought he was being strangled.

Being a parent is the most... interesting occupation there is.

I remember a library teacher in junior high that told me people say "interesting" when they are too lazy to come up with a good adjective.

I believe people also say "interesting" when they are too tired to come up with a good adjective.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Day in the Life

Okay, this is going to be one of those detailed posts about our day. It was a great stay-at-home day and I was very aware of how we spent our time. In anticipation of homeschooling in two weeks, I am working on getting structure back into our lives, so I'm trying to keep track of the general times we do things around here and how long they take. It used to be so great to have a good (but slightly flexible) schedule when the boys were babes (that was the only way to go with twins), but things have been so crazy since Baby Bear has blessed our lives. Here's a breakdown of today:

Today was absolutely gorgeous. It was one of those days to enjoy freedom from being intimidated by the sweltering heat or the bite of winter - one of the 12 days a year that we get here.

I finally got to take a shower before everyone else totally woke up, so we got to hit the ground running. The day goes very differently when I have to squeeze in a shower while they're up or skip it altogether.

After breakfast, Baby Bear went down for her nap and the boys and I headed outside with their big wheels. It was so nice out! Definitely warm, but not oppressive at all, with an occasional breeze. They had a grand old time scooting their bikes up and down the parking lot and running up and down the sidewalk. We took pictures and video. I showed them their first rolly-polly, and we had a great time driving it nuts.

Preparing to pose for a sweet picture for me. This was totally their idea.

This is the resulting photo:

(Yes, Popo's hand is often found in that location. Still adjusting to his boxers, I think.)

"C'mon, Mommy!"

This is Popo, coyly going too far, then his exuberant run back to safety - you MUST click on some of these next few of each of them to see zoomed in - their faces are so cute.

Bubby decided to play copycat

The minute we walked in the door to come in for snack, they were recounting all the fun things we did outside. "Well, that was a lot of fun..." says Popo, with a super cute, finalizing shrug.

There was lots of puzzle time today. I love love love that they love their puzzles. And they are so helpful to each other sometimes. One of them will walk up to the other one, mid-puzzle, and help him with a piece he's not sure about. I love to hear "OH, that's where that goes, thanks Popo!" Puzzles are the best practice they have with putting things away when they are done with them, so they are getting better at that too.

All three of my kids doing something or other with a puzzle piece

Baby Bear rolled around and explored the living room for most of the day all on her own. Her sense of adventure makes me proud. I love that she's not content to sit and watch the world go by, though she does love to watch her crazy brothers sometimes. I know the day will come where I wish she'd sit still, but that's where her brothers will show up to reign her in for me. Right?

For dinner, I made mac'n'cheese with hot dogs. Super secret mac'n'cheese! I added pureed carrots to the finished Kraft product. It was super delicious, and the boys ate it up. We did the same thing last night at Apples of Gold with the Velveeta kind (it was Loving Your Children week so the menu was kid-themed), and it was similarly scrumptious. I'm so excited that they got a serving of veggies today! That doesn't happen often.

Oh, no! There were some great statements they made these last couple of days that I carefully burned into my memory to share... I've lost them... That breaks my heart. At least I'm getting some of it down on this blog.

Baby Bear has upgraded out of her baby bathtub into the sink itself. This was her waving at me, her first time a couple of nights ago:

Friday, September 18, 2009

... That the LORD Has Made

If you remember, this is the same shot we took the last time we took Daddy to the airport for his big trip. He thought of the cool idea to always take this same shot so we can watch them change over the years (or months, if we don't make it through years of this).

Yes, he's outta here. We dropped Daddy off at the airport together early this evening. We weren't sure about taking the kids with us to the airport. We thought maybe they'd remember what happened the last time we left him there and freak out. But they were really cool. And so was I!

This week has been pretty surreal, preparing for his trip. It hasn't seemed real for either of us and I started wanting to hurry it up and get it over with. I didn't want to think about it and fret, but all the preparing left me no choice. So I was actually relieved when we finally loaded up in the van and headed out. It was a sweet drive together as a family.

As I write this at 9:15 pm, I am STARVING. Yeah, still no dinner yet. I've been dealing with one, two, or three kids' needs at a time since I got home. Baby Bear is in my lap now, grabbing everything off the desk, showing no signs of tiring at all. (Are CD's incredibly dangerous for her to taste, or just regular dangerous?) She must know he's gone.

I already tried to put her down to bed and she screamed her little head off for much too long. She's finally got a decent routine now, so I could tell that it wasn't her usual going-to-sleep cry, but something much more furious. (If you never receive your thank-you card for the boys' birthday, it's because she just knocked them in a crevasse, and chances aren't great I'll remember to get them out. Just know you're thanked!)

So I'm cutting this short now. Enjoy a visual tale of our evening.

Eating their favorite dinner of all: Chicken nuggets, cheese, bread, and apples

Baby Bear hanging out after her bath, in her sweet Baby Legs

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is the Day...

Okay, so seriously, a great, exhausting day.  Tonight we had Baby Bear dedicated at church.  It was a great experience - I love the way our church does it - and there weren't too many hitches.

As we prepared to go into the auditorium before the service, we were telling the boys that they were going to to go "big church" and that they had to be very quiet so everyone could hear who was talking.  Bubby turns to me and whispers: "Is everyone sleeping, Mommy?".  (They hear that they need to be quiet because Baby Bear is sleeping all the time.)  I love my boys.

Baby Bear was incredibly delicious in a Grammy one-of-a-kind number, complete with teeny-tiny hair clip.  I am totally obsessed with these clips and I think they will become a permanent part of her daily wardrobe from now on.  She behaved exactly as we would have hoped.  She gazed at the pastor as if to determine her approval, then brought out the sweetly bashful flirty smile as she watched him explain her name's roots and read her verse.  After a few moments she saw her face on the tv on the floor in front of us and sweetly smiled at it.  She is just so edible!

(I really wasn't depressed, I guess I just overdid the trying-not-to-look-too-amused-by-my-own-kids-being-silly-in-front-of-all-these-people thing.)

The boys were pretty amusing in front of the church during the actual ceremony.  They had gotten all wound up (especially Popo) in the time leading up to it and were jumpy when we got up there.  But they were quiet and didn't actually climb the pulpit stairs or run around or anything.  They did run away to sit with Grammy, Pops, Nana, and Papa in the fourth row for a few minutes though.  That was pretty funny.

Baby Bear and Grammy

Here I am, looking around at the boys one of about 56 times I checked on them.

We got so many amused comments afterwards, especially from all the offering-taking deacons that got to sit on the front row and watch the action close up.  I can't wait to see the video of it to see their shenanigans in perspective.

Pastor Brunson was inquiring afterward about the boys' twin status (yea or nay) and age and we reminded him he dedicated them almost three years ago.  I think he really feels honored by the dedication ceremony and gets a kick out of watching the children and families grow.

Popo did have an accident in the van just as we got to church, so he didn't wear his nice pants to church.  Instead he was a thug in his graffiti jeans.  And we had just decided to proclaim them potty-trained!  We did tell ourselves to prepare for some accidents now and then, but it should have been implied that we did not mean they could happen on big occasions, sheesh!

After only one real nap today, which she was awoken from to come back to church, Baby Bear was pretty pooped by the time church was out.  When I went to pick her up at the nursery, the lady was standing at the door holding my red-eyed crying baby and sweetly asking people walking by, "Is this one yours?"  The poor girl did that pathetic gasping for air as she calmed down from a big cry for a while as her grandparents fawned over her.

I will post our official family picture they took just before the service, once I receive it.  Also, there are some cute pictures of Baby Bear with Nana and Papa, but they are on Nana's camera (mine didn't turn out as well as hers did), so I'll add that here once she graciously shares them with me too.

I like this one because it looks like I'm saddened and embarrassed at my studmuffin husband's rose handling skills.

Anna - German for "gracious"
Celia - Latin for "heaven"

Psalm 116:5  "Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I miss you, blog. I just wanted you to know that.

I really want to post something, but so much has been happening that it's overwhelming to catch up. And I feel like I'm betraying some memories if I only write about some of them.

Sometime soon I will be writing about the boys' birthday parties that finally did happen, despite all the illness mess.

I'm almost looking forward to Brandon leaving for work again so I'll have to update daily. I just miss it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stolen Goods

This is a sweet picture Aunt Brianna took this weekend. I've swiped it and I am planning on framing it for her room. And mine. And every room there is. Maybe.

Trials and Tribulations... not really

Being sick stinks. I'd say ask my kids and they'll tell you, but they don't realize that they are and will attack you if you try to tell them so.

They've been ramping up being sick with some virus over the last couple days. Bubby started it off with some coughing a couple days ago. It was after some great fun with cousins, so we thought it was just from exertion. But it's just gotten worse. And the fevers started yesterday, with Popo joining in the fun.

So we went to the doctor today and she said it's a virus that we'll just have to stick out with whatever relief Tylenol will provide.

I wouldn't mind them feeling yucky so much if they'd be needy or cuddly or something. Instead they get extraordinarily high-pitched and moody. Bubby in particular. You know it's coming when he doesn't answer you when you ask him a question or to do something. At this point he's resetting into psycho mode. Then the chalkboard voice squeaks: "Bubby no go upstairs." Parent: "Okay." Bubby: "Bubby go upstairs!" Parent: "Okay." Bubby: "No, Bubby NO GO UPSTAIRS!" The tears are streaming by now.

If you give up and walk away, he stalks you throughout the house, screeching whichever his last response was. If you decide to fight it out, he turns red and screams like a banshee. He can't hear you if you try to reason with him or comfort him about not feeling well. And don't you dare try to hold him or caress him to calm him down.

And this is the mild version. It kicks into high gear at bedtime. If we're lucky, he gets through storytime, songtime, and prayers before he remembers his agenda. If we're not, he squeals through the book that he doesn't want to read that one. Then he shakes his head in protest through each song, refusing to sing along, followed by begging to sing it the very second the last word is sung. Next is refusal to pray until Daddy's done. Now we hear about what songs he wants to sing by himself, but refuses to when you give him the green light. Next is denial of hugs or kisses, until you close the door and the screaming for hugs and kisses begins. Finally, the wild card. You never know what he'll come up with to cry about through the door, for around half an hour.

I feel horrible, but sometimes the only way to break him out of these episodes is to be harsh and threaten him. Then he just cries a low moan until he falls asleep or gets distracted. Usually, Popo is a patient bystander to all this. Occasionally he'll pitch in with some confusion as to what he wants as well, but generally he's a sweet quiet boy. He seems to understand that Mommy and Daddy need some help with the situation so he stays out of the way. I try to quietly give him some love and thank him for being extra sweet on these occasions, so he doesn't get any crazy ideas of how parental attention works.

I love my boys so much. I really do. They are usually such sweet, funny boys. God will show us how to help them manage their discomfort and get us through this. They won't be too scarred by the learning process, right?