Thursday, January 31, 2008


As I was making S's birthday cake, ever so gently folding in the sour cream at the end, I remembered one little gem from my childhood. Which led to another memory, which led to another, which led to...well, you get the point. So I thought I would share a few fun memories from my childhood.

Things I Remember
  • My friend, Kerry, eating an entire 8-ounce carton of sour cream and then promptly regurgitating it on the kitchen floor. Did I mention that we were about 4 at the time?
  • Feeding our dog, Max, vanilla wafers while sitting on the floor of our pantry (I would take a bite and feed the rest to him).
  • Falling off the brick wall in our back yard and slicing my stomach on the newly-pruned bushes.
  • Being pushed off the bench by a friend (I'm not naming names) in first grade and falling, face first, onto a railroad tie. One of my permanent teeth was shoved all the way back up into my gums. That night I was told to practice putting my hands out in front of me when I fell. (Apparently, that's supposed to be a natural reflex but I must have missed that one.)
  • The gift I gave my second grade teacher for Christmas being stolen off her desk. It was returned at the end of the year. I still don't know who took it.
  • Finding a raw egg when hunting for Easter eggs with my friend, Olivia. I had egg yolk all over my dress and tears streaming down my face.
  • Our dog, Love, rolling her own head up in the car window. She was fine.
  • Our dog, Annie, trying to go after another dog while in that same car and hitting the windshield with her head. It broke (the windshield, not her head). She, too, was fine.
  • All of my dolls were named Julie except for Victoria, the only doll I still have. Victoria was the name she came with.

I hope at least one of these made you smile!

Happy Birthday Honey!

I just wanted to wish my wonderful husband a very happy birthday. We have lots of fun things planned today, including lunch out with his parents and dinner at home, one that he requests nearly every year: Coney Islands (Cincinnati chili with hot dogs) and sour cream pound cake with thin egg custard. (Hey, it's only your birthday once a year so you might as well splurge.)

S is such a great father to our children. I love seeing him interact with them, play with them, comfort them and love them. He provides something for all of them that I clearly can not. He does his best to make good out of bad, to help around the house whenever he can and makes me laugh on a daily basis. I smile when I'm around him and I'm sad when he's not here.

So here's wishing you a wonderful birthday, Hubby!

(Pray for him as he's got a cold. And if you haven't watched this video, you simply must do so right now.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

L-ism of the Day

"Daddy just chill, okay?"

New to the Sidebar

You'll notice on my sidebar that I have a new item over there called "Mama's Book Shelf." I have listed the books that I am currently reading. Yes, there are several books over there as I have started many and finished none. I have at least two others that could have made the list but seeing as I haven't picked them up and so much as read the first sentence, I didn't think they earned a spot on my coveted list. They are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of ones I hope to finish first. I have many different interests, as you can see, and I hope to take some time in the next few weeks to finish at least one of these books.

As I finish each book, I plan to blog about it, share my thoughts and feelings on it and whether or not I recommend it. Honestly, I don't know how far this will go but I do know that I love to read and hope that I can find time in all the craziness of everyday life to sit and read, even if it's only 10 minutes at the end of the day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

L-ism of the Day

"Look, Mama! My hot is going up to the ceiling!"
(In reference to the steam coming off of her dinner.)

Pictures Coming!

Through all the craziness in our life in the last week, I have been taking a few pictures. I promise to get them posted ASAP so hang in there!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Funny ER Story

When at the hospital on Thursday night, the doctor that treated H just happened to be the same doctor who, a mere 8 months ago, told me that the abdominal pain I was experiencing was constipation due to giving birth and I should go home. This pain didn't go away and we now know that it was my gallbladder filled with stones and it was removed less than a week later.

So when he showed up to ask questions about H, I just smiled and answered them. When he was about to leave, I piped up. "You may not remember me but..." and I proceeded to tell him the story. I've always said that if I ever saw him again I would tell him that he was a little bit wrong on the "abdominal pain of unknown origin" and that I had made yet another trip to the hospital to have my gallbladder removed.

His response? Chuckling and saying, "This is very helpful information." In the end, he is a very nice doctor who took great care of H, making up for his misdiagnosis in May.

Of Exploding Hot Dogs and a Trip to the ER

Note to self: when broiling hot dogs, make sure to keep an eye on them as they tend to get done rather quickly. The funny thing is that I was trying to keep an eye on them. I just got side-tracked with trying to get ready to go to dinner with my two best friends. By the time I got done putting on makeup and brushing my hair, all of 6 minutes, the hot dogs had become black and charred on the outside and had, indeed, exploded. If I hadn't been in such a hurry, I would have taken a picture.

I did make it to dinner, had a wonderful time full of fun conversation, fellowship, and child-free eating. As we were about to leave, the sitter called and said H was breathing funny. I gave her some instructions and said I was on the way.

I made it home quickly but safely and found H breathing very laboriously. S was out of town so I asked the sitter to stay with the girls. She said yes without hesitation. I called a friend, who had been at dinner with me, and picked her up on the way to the ER. We were seen immediately and the staff took very good care of my baby. I was worried about RSV, pneumonia, all sorts of bad things but all those tests were negative. It was bronchiolitis and after 3 breathing treatments, a steroid shot and some fever-reducing medication, we were sent home. That visit was approximately 4 hours and we finally hit the sack around 2:15am.

Needless to say, I was exhausted on Friday and still feel like I haven't fully recovered. H is doing just fine, still getting breathing treatments for the next few days. He was on steroids for a few days but doesn't need them any more. Other than congestion resulting from the bronchiolitis, you'd never know he had to go to the ER.

One thing I've been worried about with S gone so much is that there would be an emergency and I'd have to drag all 3 kids to the ER in the middle of the night. But God provided everything I needed that night, just as he had when H was born. I had a friend who offered to go to the ER with me, I had a sitter who didn't have school the next day and could stay the night with my kids. This is the same sitter who had the presence of mind to call me before it got really bad. I had friends in the ER who expedited us to a room so we didn't have to wait. Above all, I had the comfort and peace of Christ with me the whole time.

Why would I expect anything less?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I must apologize to any man who happens upon this post because of the subject. Check back for another installment of my normal ramblings. Brace yourself, I'm going to talk about breastfeeding.

When K was born she was huge at 9 pounds, 12 ounces, with a perfect round face and a sprinkling of strawberry-blond hair. I was so hopped up on painkillers and the euphoria of my firstborn that I barely knew what this thing was they had just placed on my chest much less having the desire to feed her. After she had been weighed, checked, and bathed, they brought her to me and I got to really look at this beautiful baby that had, only a few minutes earlier, been living inside me.

She was rooting, opening her mouth, a sign that she was hungry. The nurse tried to show me how to feed her but I was still reeling from all the drugs they had given me that I didn't really want to do it then. And, frankly, neither did she. She tried to eat but didn't like it. We tried several different methods of getting my milk into her and most of them worked except the one I really wanted.

We both eventually got the hang of it but I never felt that "bond" I was supposed to feel. Sure, I loved K with a love I had never experienced before but that special time of nurturing her with something only I could give her wasn't what I wanted it to be. And it wasn't what she wanted it to be, either. So, after 4 months we switched to formula.

I was devastated. I felt like a failure as a mother, as if I were somehow less of a mother because I didn't continue to breastfeed. I would see my friends, still nursing their babies who were older than K and I felt like an outcast, no longer part of an exclusive, special club that I wanted and almost needed to belong to. Was I horrible for giving her a bottle? No. Did it make me a bad mother? No. But I still felt that way.

When L was born, I was determined for it to be different. And it was. She caught on much more quickly than K and I was the pro that I wanted to be. She did what she was supposed to do, my body did what it was supposed to do and we sailed into the mother/daughter relationship beautifully. But I still didn't have that bond with her. After 9 months, we switched to the bottle.

Jump ahead 3 years and everything changed. H has been a completely different story. I don't know if it's because he's a boy, because he's my last, or because of the circumstances surrounding his birth that make this nursing experience so different. It's probably a combination of the three. I feel a sense that he truly needs me, that he needs that comfort that only I can give him. Both of the girls are cuddlers, as is H, but he needs something different than they do.

I didn't get to hold H until he was 3 days old. I realize that many mothers of preemies don't get to hold their babies for weeks or months but those 3 days were an eternity to me. And when the day nurse told us that after shift change we would be able to hold him, I was ecstatic. I cried at this news and the hours from 6:30-9:00 PM ticked by more slowly than the pregnancy itself. And the feeling I had when the nurse picked him up out of his special NICU bed and placed him in my arms, wires and IV tubes dangling out from his blanket, oxygen tube on his face and all, can only be described as elation. He settled in, knowing my voice and my smell, the touch that only his mother could provide. I had only been able to hold his tiny little hand or foot for 3 days and now I was able to cuddle him in my arms, providing a security he had not felt for some time. He was still getting his nutrition through the IV but it would be less that 24 hours before he would get to try a bottle of breast milk for the first time and less than 48 before I got to try to nurse him for the first time.

He took to it right away even though it exhausted him. He eventually got strong enough to take everything I had to offer and we know now that he is doing just fine. He is over 20 pounds and growing like a weed, mostly getting his nutrition from breast milk for the first 5 months.

However, the weaning has begun. I promised myself that I would give him a year, that I would provide that for him as it really is the best start you can give your baby. Any time I thought about quitting, I would look down at him and know that I was giving him something that no one else could, providing immunities his body so desperately needs. I finally understood the bond that all the mothers were talking about, the special time of nurturing that they had experienced.

I don't know that I'm ready to give all that up. I still feed him first thing in the morning and just before bed. I guess it's that comfort thing, both for him and for me. I need to be needed, to feel that I'm giving him something unique, and he needs that comfort from his Mama.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

As a Brief Aside

I posted yesterday about how S and I met. After he read through it, he mentioned a concern he had about it so I thought I would clear up one small detail.

I said that the first time I met S, I thought he was a jerk because he didn't talk to me the first night I met him. All of that is true. He said exactly 3 words to me and paid no more attention to me than if I were a fly on the wall.

However, as I discovered at the fall retreat a few weeks later, he was really a sweet guy. It turns out that he was very shy and intimidated by me. He saw that I was talking to lots of people and so thought I was one of the popular ones. Little did he know that I was new that night, too.

As we got to know each other, he became more comfortable around me and our conversations were effortless. He was also comfortable within our group of friends. I am still the outgoing one while he is comfortable holding back. The first time we went to a new church in Charleston we left without speaking to one person. His idea was to get in and get out without talking to a soul.

Mission: Accomplished.

The L-ism of the Day

I think I may need to make L-isms their own category as the one-liners and fun quotes just keep on coming. I'm so glad I have this blog to record them because I know I would forget them if I didn't have some way of saving these little gems for posterity.

Today was gymnastics day, as is every Tuesday, and L loves gymnastics. She noticed, several months ago, that two little girls in her class would often wear leotards to class. (Since this is a class for 3- and 4-year-olds, they don't require proper gymnastics attire.) So recently, she has wanted to wear a leotard to class. I have no problem with this. I have a problem with her not wearing other clothes on top of the leotard as we take K to school and then go to the gym.

This morning we took K to school and then came home to give H a quick breakfast and a short nap. L, of course, took off her outerwear so that she was only wearing her leotard. As we were about to leave, I told her to get her clothes on. You see, it's too chilly here to wear only a leotard outside. Her response?

"But Mama, I like the cold on me!"

Monday, January 21, 2008

How We Met

I've been reading The Pioneer Woman's Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story and thought since S and I will be celebrating our own anniversary soon, I would tell about how we met.

I had just moved to DC to do an internship as a Child Life Specialist and S was in the Air Force stationed at Andrews Air Force Base. We were both relatively new to the area and found a great church, McLean Presbyterian Church. I knew that I needed some friends if I were to survive my time in DC so I decided to try the singles' group at MPC as it would provide the best source of Christian friends who were close to my age. My idea was that I would do my internship for 3 months, move back home and get a job. I expected that I would meet a marry someone eventually but thought it would be at home. I had no idea how wrong I was.

I was a bit afraid to go to a group of single people, fearing a "meet market" and all that comes with one of those. I really just wanted some friends to do things with. So, one night in late September, I got the nerve to go to a group where I knew no one.

I saw S within the first few minutes of being there. I thought he was handsome and rugged, tall with dark hair. I thought there was no way he'd ever want to talk to me. At the end of the meeting, all the new people were asked to gather at the front so they could talk to some of the "regulars". It's a good way to get to know others quickly. I saw S standing up there and decided to be brave and talk to him. I introduced myself, he introduced himself. That was the end of our first conversation. I thought he was a jerk for not talking to me more so I wrote him off.

A few weeks later at the fall retreat, I was hanging out with some of the girls I had become friends with when S walked up to our group. He knew some of them from a previous group function that I was unable to attend. He spent most of the weekend talking to us and I found myself oddly drawn to him.

As the fall wore on, we developed a great friendship. There was a large group of both guys and girls who would hang out and get together for food and fellowship. We would often gather at my house since I lived in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house all by myself. It had been my grandmother's house and my family hadn't sold it yet. So there was lots of room to have people over.

Now, before you go thinking we had wild parties there, it wasn't like that. We would order pizza and watch a movie. Once I had a pumpkin-carving party and made a huge pot of soup (it was a BYOP party: Bring Your Own Pumpkin). As I had friends over and starting doing more with these wonderful new friends, I found myself more and more drawn to S. I started seeking him out and he started seeking me out. He would call at night and we would talk for hours.

We made plans to go to Annapolis one day since he had the day off and my internship was over. We met at his apartment since he was closer to Annapolis than I was. I got in his car and he said, "Is this a date?" I was taken aback by the question but I can't say the same thing didn't cross my mind. "I don't know," I said sheepishly. He said, "I think it is. So why don't we pray before we go." What?!? I had never had a guy pray with me before a date. It was so special and wonderful and meaningful. We spent the day in Annapolis, had a great time even though it was raining, and I knew that this was more than just a good friendship. This was going somewhere.

We started dating in November 1999, were engaged on August 2, 2000, and married 6 months later. And the rest, they say, is history!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dinner & A Show

I have two things to talk about in this post: our dinner last night and the show both before and after the meal. First up: the dinner.

S created a fantastic meal last night. He baked chicken breasts with a wonderful combination of spices and no added fat. Don't ask what was in the spice rub because I asked and he can't remember everything. I know cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and a touch of brown sugar were included because I could taste those. But there were other things in there. To go along with the yummy, yummy chicken, S roasted mixed vegetables (red and yellow peppers, asparagus, onions, yellow squash, zucchini) with garlic, salt and a touch of olive oil. He served those on top of lentils cooked in chicken stock. Even H ate the lentils!

After such a great meal, we took the uneaten chicken and vegetables and added them to the remaining lentils, creating a soup. I call it Leftover Soup. It's very good but I don't know that we'll ever be able to repeat the recipe.

Now on to the show. K and L went to a birthday party yesterday afternoon, a ballerina birthday party for one of their good friends. It was such fun to see all those little girls in their ballet attire, flitting around the living room of our friends' house. Unfortunately, my camera was at home.

After we got home from the party, we were all in the living room attempting to get a second wind going for dinner and the rest of the evening. L decided to put on a show. She dances around the living room singing all the songs she knows: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children. When she's done with the song, she expected applause and bravos and then took a bow. Then K took her turn. And so on and so forth until dinner time. Once dinner was over, they returned to the living room for their respective encores.

The funny thing was L making sure that everyone was watching. She would start and then notice that someone wasn't looking so she'd stop, call that person out, then start again. It took about 10 minutes to make it through Jesus Loves Me.

Who needs a movie when you have a show like that?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another L-ism

Yesterday afternoon I made chocolate chip cookies for a bake sale at K and L's school. K's class was sponsoring the sale so it was up to them to provide the goodies for the sale.

(As a brief aside, I would only loosely call this a bake sale as many of the items sold are not actually baked. Some are baked but there's also lots of candy and nachos available for sale. Oh, and there were doughnuts, too, so it really should be called a Fried/Baked/Candy Sale. Just FYI.)

As I was putting the cookies in bags, the girls were hovering and wanting the warm cookies. I did allow them one as a snack (who can pass up a warm cookie?) but told them that the rest were for K's bake sale.

L told me that she wanted to have a sale, too, but since K was having a bake sale, L wanted a "little" sale. She thought I called it a "big" sale. The best part was this morning when we dropped the cookies off, she told everyone that she was going to have a "little" sale in lieu of K's bake sale. I had to explain the story to everyone.

You know, if we survive L as a teenager, we're going to have lots of really good stories to tell!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

All Three in the Tub

Now that H is sitting up on his own, I feel comfortable putting him in the tub with his sisters. Since he's a little wobbly, we have a tub seat for him that all three of the kids have used. (Incidentally, I have no pictures of all of them in the tub because I keep forgetting to bring my camera in the bathroom before H gets in and I'm not leaving him with those two girls. It's just not safe). The girls love it and H is entertained the whole time. K and L take turns sitting next to him, only if I can remember which one got to sit by him last time.

One thing this has brought about is an anatomy lesson. I really don't believe in calling body parts by silly little names so we call it what it is. The funny thing is this is really the first we've had to deal with this. I thought it would be an issue when H first came home and they were watching while I changed his diapers. But they never really asked so I didn't bring it up.

Now, of course, they are asking all sorts of questions. Every time we get in the tub we have the discussion about boy parts and girl parts. And I gently remind them that we don't talk about this with our friends, only with Mama or Daddy. I don't really want the girls running around the playground announcing body parts!

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's Really a Matter of Pride

When S and I were first married, one of our favorite things to do was get the newest Bon Appetit magazine, thumb through it, and pick out a recipe or two to try. There was always something that looked good to both of us and we have learned from that to be adventurous in the kitchen.

With that adventurous spirit in the kitchen came some notoriety as culinary "experts" (I use that term very loosely). Our friends ask us questions about how to cook things, for advice on how to make things, for recipe ideas. We tend to know our way around the kitchen and when people who know us come to our house for a meal, they know it's going to be really good.

So when S came home from the store and announced that we'd be having hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for Sunday lunch with friends who had never been to our home, I was mortified. How could we serve something so lowly? We had to impress these people. Sure, I didn't mind serving that to the kids but couldn't we find some other protein to serve to the adults? Hot dogs are so cheap, so unimpressive.

He reminded me that I had told him to find something that would be easy, that could be prepared quickly after church was over, with very little stress. I tried to convince him to use the pork chops we were going to have for dinner Saturday night but he had his mind set and it's really hard to change his plan once it has been established.

I reluctantly agreed to the lowly hot dogs, saddened by the fact that I wasn't going to get to create, that I wasn't going to show off my mad culinary skillz. (And I do have some mad skillz.) But then I realized that it was really a matter of pride that was causing this reaction. I began to understand that I needed this in my life, that I needed people to think of me as someone who can really cook. I need to impress people, as my Southern roots dictate, and this is one way I have of doing that.

My pride was bruised and sore in the morning but all that vanished when we got home from church and lunch preparations began. The meal came together quickly, leaving us more time to talk and get to know one another. No one complained that there wasn't a gourmet meal on the table and I think we all had a genuinely good time. Wasn't that the point?

I believe there are times for impressive food. There are times when it's good to have something on the table other than hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. This was not one of those times. Yesterday was about fellowship, about enjoying our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

So if you're ever down my way, know that I promise you a good meal and good fellowship. It may be hot dogs, it may be Beef Bourguignon slowly simmered for hours, but it will be good!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lead By Example

If you'll recall this post, I challenged you, my faithful readers, to invite people to your home in the new year, to wait until after Christmas and New Year's to have people over. I decided that the best way to encourage others to do this was to do it myself.

So today, S and I had some friends over for lunch after church. They are fairly new to our church and we know them but not very well so we thought it would be a good way to get to know them. We bonded over lunch, talking about our respective upbringings, the challenges of being a working mom (for her), having a husband who travels (me), having children who fight over silly things (all of us!), the blessings God has bestowed upon us.

Y'all, it was so much fun. We laughed, we talked about serious stuff, we watched the kids play with new friends. It was totally worth the effort. And there wasn't much effort involved at all. We served hot dogs and macaroni and cheese (something almost every child likes). Of course, I had to throw in some veggies, so we had a vegetable tray with yummy dip.

The funny thing was that they have two little boys and we, of course, have two girls and a boy who doesn't have a whole lot of boy toys just yet. But when they found the playhouse outside and the Barbie Jeep, everything was hunky-dory.

I really want to encourage you to do this. Whether it's one night during the week, a Friday night, or Sunday after church, have your friends over. Invite people who have never been to your home before. We all have those friends we're comfortable with. This is supposed to be a challenge, though, so have someone over who has never been to your house before. Step out of that comfort zone that is, indeed, so comfortable and show some hospitality!

(Let me know how it goes!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Playground

This morning we met some friends at a nearby playground for some fun and fellowship. It really was a good time. This playground happens to be right by a public boat ramp so there's a little beach right next to it. We took our kids down there for a bit and before we know it, L is in the water. At first, she was just splashing a bit but by the end of our play time, her dress was soaked, her underwear was soaked and she was attempting to undress so she could put her bathing suit on. Never mind that we didn't have a bathing suit (or a towel, for that matter). She rode home in the buff.

Thanks for a great time, Mama K and Little K!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I Have Died and Gone to Heaven

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a not-so-secret love of all things chocolate. I have inherited this, strangely enough, from my father. My mother, while liking chocolate, prefers caramel and fruit desserts.

Actually, I inherited my father's sweet tooth, which he got from his father. But that's getting into a whole different subject and I NEED to talk about chocolate right now.

I've found that I really prefer homemade brownies. In a pinch, boxed will do but only one kind: Ghirardelli. They are, by far, the best boxed brownie mix that is readily available. And they are easy to make and will satisfy any chocolate craving you could possibly have.

While at the store the other day, however, I found something that tops the "regular" Ghirardelli brownie mix I've been purchasing: Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Topping and Chocolate Chips. Now if this doesn't put you into chocolate overload, I don't know what will.

Here's where it gets tricky. The "Easy Directions" tell you how to mix, pour, and bake these little devils. They even tell you to warm the fudge topping so that it will be easily spreadable. Here's step #5, word for word: Cut top off fudge topping pouch and squeeze onto warm brownies. Gently smooth over top. Cool completely before cutting. Makes 16, 2-inch brownies.

Hello!?! Cool completely? Do they know who they are talking to? I don't know of any woman who can patiently wait for brownies to completely cool before cutting into them. The agony! And 16, 2-inch brownies? Maybe that would work if I were having some sort of formal tea party and no one wanted to scarf down a huge brownie in front of a bunch of people. But you know that when they get home they are eating the four brownies they stuffed in their purse when no one was looking.

All this to say that I haven't actually tried these brownies but when I do, I'll be sure to report back after I wake up from my sugar coma.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Indian Cafe

Yesterday, S got a rolling garment bag for his travels. Actually, he ordered it a month ago and was told it wouldn't arrive until February but it was exactly what he was looking for at a really good price. So he ordered it anyway and decided to wait for it.

It came in a great box, one the girls immediately wanted to play with. They stood in it and started pretending it was a cafe. So I got the bright idea to make a menu and give the cafe a name. They came up with the menu and the pricing all on their own. I just wrote down what they told me to write. They have had such fun with this box cafe. It was the first thing they wanted to do when they got up this morning and was the first thing they headed for when they got home from school. K is Rachael Ray and L is Colette.
K was a little dismayed when I told her that we couldn't actually purchase all the stuff on the menu and sell it. I think she had in mind to put the "cafe" on our front lawn and really sell ketchup and McDonald's. Ah, the mind of a 5-year-old.

I think my favorite thing on the menu is the Ketchup for $2.00. That or the watermelon juice. I'm not really sure where that came from!

Monday, January 7, 2008

"Is it a School Day?"

This has to be the most popular question in our house for the past two weeks. Both K and L have been asking this question incessantly. L also asks if it's a ballet day or a gymnastics day but the answer has been no. Finally today I was able to answer it in the affirmative. Well, at least the school day question. Gymnastics is tomorrow and ballet is Wednesday.

L's response? A hearty "Woo-hoo!" She's a character!

The funny thing is that I have mixed emotions about them going back to school. I enjoyed having them around a bit more over the break but I also had to deal with more whining and crying than I normally do. Every day around 5:30PM they would gear up and start running in circles in the kitchen. Just running in circles. Without fail at the same time every day. And all I could do was laugh. This isn't something they normally do. I guess they just had pent up energy that had to get out somehow.

I saw some fights but I also saw some very sweet together play. They are both into Mama and Baby play and Teacher/School play. Very fun. Their conversations are fun to listen to and I often here them repeat things that I have said.

The one thing I will enjoy about them being in school is having time with H again. When all three are home, I'm pulled in three directions, each of them wanting their time with Mama, especially H. I could tell that he wanted the time with me, too. Funny how that has started already. I guess I should soak it up now since there will be a time when he doesn't want me around at all!

I'm off to do more laundry, to clean the kitchen (without little children under foot) and enjoy what's left of my quiet morning before the herds return!

Because I Had To

I just had to post this picture of H taken yesterday before church. He's just too cute.

And to be fair to the girls, one of me with them

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Emotions Are Tricky

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:6-7

Since last night was Friday night, S rented some movies and we made pizzas. A typical Friday night. After the kids were in bed, S and I watched another movie. Within the first 15 minutes of the movie, a girl is rushed to the hospital with a placental abruption. At the hospital, they check the baby and the heart rate is down in the 60's so they perform an emergency c-section. I was fine with this until they showed the baby, covered in her mother's blood, barely breathing. The baby survived; the mother did not.

And that's when I lost it. S grabbed my hand and I just sat there, trying to watch the movie but replaying my own dire situation over and over in my head, knowing that my outcome could have been very much the same.

I was in a state of blissful ignorance that warm May night, having been put under to perform the c-section. I didn't see H when he first came out, which is just fine by me. I'm very glad I didn't because I probably would have gone into shock. H wasn't breathing when he came out and had to have a tube inserted to help him breathe for the first 2 days of his life.

As I watched the rest of the movie (where they try to find this girl's family so the baby can be taken care of), I realized how truly blessed I am. I could have easily been taken home that night, leaving S with 3 babies to care for, not to mention a house and a full-time job. H may not have made it either.

However, that's not what God had planned for us. He chose to keep us here, to be able to tell the story of His infinite grace, peace, and comfort. I know the Holy Spirit is what kept me going through the ordeal. I felt such peace, knowing that everything was going to be all right. I didn't know how bad the situation was at the time, and I don't believe I can ever fully grasp how close both of us were to death. I can only say that the peace that surpasses all understanding did, indeed, guard my heart that night.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Well, It's Officially Over

Football season, that is. Okay, there's one more very important game to come but for my beloved Auburn Tigers, the season is done. (And please read this post for my feelings on the whole "BCS Bowl System." I think it sums up the situation quite nicely.) H got dressed up (sort of) for the final game but only stayed awake for the first few minutes. We're just thankful that he was willing to pose in his shirt.
The girls got these adorable hats from Nana. Apparently, they are pretty popular but haven't yet made it to our neck of the woods until now.

Gingerbread Houses

My mom found these gingerbread house kits at a grocery store and they were so much fun. K got the idea to make a marshmallow snowgirl and I just happened to have colored toothpicks on hand. Nana helped L while I helped K. Poor H doesn't know what he's missing!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Barn

Photographs courtesy of Nana

Doctoring courtesy of me

Christmas 2007

I thought I would post a bunch of pictures from Christmas this year. Here are a few of my favorites. I have a few more to share but that's for a different post. We created gingerbread houses and H got dressed up for the final Auburn football game of 2007 (War Eagle!).

Sweet Siblings

Presents Galore
The girls with Papa & PJ
Fun with Feathers
Nana and the grandkids

H is 8 Months Old!

And I'm up at 6:30am. Actually, I've been up since 5am but we won't go there. You see, H woke up at 5 to eat, as usual, only he refused to go back to sleep. This is not as usual. I don't know if it's the snotty nose or the stubborn will he inherited from both of his parents. S offered to get up with him but I felt that it was my turn since he got up with him yesterday morning so that I could sleep in. Which I did. Until 9:30. I would have slept until 10 but my mom was here and I felt guilty for sleeping in and not spending time with her since she was planning to leave later in the afternoon.

My mom tells the story of giving me a magazine to tear up just so she could get a shower and that's what H is doing now. He is a chunk at over 20 pounds. He's sitting up on his own and the beginnings of crawling are rearing their ugly heads. My life, as I know it, is about to be over. He loves his sisters and is proving to be a Mama's boy already. His favorite activity is banging toys on any hard surface and his favorite Christmas present is the cement mixer truck Nana gave him. He knew exactly what to do with it. He is definitely a boy.
I really am enjoying this last baby of mine, soaking up all the dimpled hands and fat feet I possibly can. He has big blue eyes that look at me with such love and innocence. He loves to play and be played with but is comfortable just being quiet. One of my favorite times of day is when he wakes up and starts talking to himself in his bed. Oh, to understand what he's saying!

I think what has gotten me this month is the realization that in only four short months, we'll be celebrating his very first birthday. The first year is flying by and dragging all at the same time. We have lots more memories to come...