Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tales of the Thumb.

Last Wednesday morning I made a mental note to myself: I wanted to update the blog with some fun things and pictures of what has happened over the past two weeks. I didn't think much of it throughout the day, until that afternoon.
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I was slicing potatoes with a Christmas gift: a new mandolin slicer. We eat a lot of potatoes and so I had thought that it would be nice to add this tool to our kitchen collection. Anyways, I was slicing. Using the finger protector like the rule follower that I am, when suddenly, it happened. There under the slicer was a small tip of my finger. Not just any finger, mind you. My thumb. My left thumb, which basically meant I had injured the most necessary appendage on my body: my dominant hand thumb. I went into silent panic mode, said something swiftly to the boys about being still in front of the television and ran to our bathroom (and thought to myself that I will, yet again, be delayed in recording some of our life).. Drew ended up having to come home early because I was basically no handed, and that doesn't bode well in the taking care of a two year old who is into everything (more on that later).

These past few days have been humbling to say the least. I have had to figure out new ways to put my hair in a pony tail, tie my shoes, eat my food and have had to rely on Drew for dish cleaning. It is insane how much we don't realize how much we need our thumbs until they are rendered useless. I have said many a prayer this week thanking God for my thumbs and for my relatively good health (I'm also enormously grateful for a husband who will take care of me- he's a keeper!). I've also joked with people when they ask about my thumb that God has granted my prayer for a more grateful attitude. Nothing like a good exercise by being at the mercy of others to complete basic daily tasks.

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In other somewhat related news, Tyler has hit the pinnacle of what I refer to as the "Curious George" state. This is the state when a new parent freaks because they finally come to the realization that sleepless nights are nothing compared to the all out dilemma of whether you should chose between unknown substances being rapidly poured on your floors or going to the bathroom. It's really quite the conundrum, and as I new parent when Brayden was in this stage, I found myself in mass chaos of panic and confusion. Thankfully now, I just find myself in the midst of being tired and praying that when I go to the bathroom the substance Tyler chooses is an easily cleanable one (ie: water or ice) and preferably of the non-toxic kind. So far, just in the past week, I've documented him getting into:
  • peanut butter (scooped handfuls out while watching Daniel Tiger. It's how he rolls on his PBS kids snack time), 
  • pancake syrup (doesn't a large bowl of sticky goodness sound delectabile? Praise Jesus it was on the hard floors... the hard floors that Connor has now proclaimed as smelling "terrific... just like pancakes!")
  • feeding my flowers animal crackers. Because apparently the floral sucrose that the florist provides is just not enough nutrition for mom's greenery
  • the comet cleaner (bless. My parent locks have been sabotaged and it's time for a new line of defense. Which I am not sure what I should use at this point, as it's clear Tyler can channel the prowess of David Copperfield when it comes to lock and key).
The best thing about a third child is that you finally have the vision to know that this too shall pass. It's incredibly tiring, so I have taken back up the habit of 2 cups of coffee a day to keep up with my back and forths that I am constantly running. I'm finding that sometimes it's necessary to fast from water during wake time hours, so as to minimize bathroom breaks and subsequently minimize sticky substance abuse by my small friend. Having to get up in the middle of the night seems much more pleasant that having to figure out how to clean up massive amounts of pancake syrup from the living room floor. Amen? 

All jokes aside, I feel as though if we can make it through this syrup stage, that we are nearing the sweet spot. All of our boys will be at ages that are considered the tender years. The older two are already in it and, though we have rough days occasionally, for the most part, they are both completely awesome and I am so grateful I get to be their mom. I'll leave this post with a recent short conversation we overheard in the van:

Connor: I know who's a bad guy.... SATAN.
Brayden: Yeah. He's on the Dark Side.

May the force be with you..... :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Closing Out 2015... Ushering in 2016.

Well, it's halfway thru the first month of the year and I am just now blogging about Christmas. Good thing that my New Years Resolution wasn't to stay on top of things. #yikes. Ha!

I've been reflecting over the past year. What I loved about the year and what I was glad to close a chapter on. I think that a lot of what I set out to do last year was accomplished. I made healthy choices with food that led to a healthier me (and happier, I might add! It's always nice to feel good in your own skin). I set out to be more intentional with people, especially with my husband and kids. I think that setting that priority was what really led me to only blog when I had the free time to do it, which led to fewer posts. I'm hoping this is not always the case, but my life right now is so busy and I knew that something had to give. It's been good for me to do this so that I could refocus.

This year I haven't set out with a word. Or a resolution. Or really any huge goals. Which at first freaked me out a little because I usually start out my years with a laundry list of well meaning expectations of myself. But I think as I grow older I am realizing that if I create more stuff for me to strive for, I may lose sight of simply being in the moment right now. It's caused me to really slow my gears down and not be so turbo blastered to the next thing. I guess if you have to sum it all up into one big word it would be PRESENT. Be present and available. Praying that I can be that to those around me.

So, back to 2015. It was a great year, with a fantastic ending. This year Christmas snuck up on me, and left me feeling a little bit unprepared. In years past I have always had all of my shopping done before November, and this year I was ordering family gifts online toeing the line for shipping. We kept Christmas super simple this year and I have been so grateful we did. The boys didn't think any different, and instead of Christmas being a festivity filled with over stimulation and big hoorahs, it was filled with quiet moments, a simple gratitude for the few gifts the kids did receive and lots of down time. It was a breath of fresh air that I think we all needed.
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The kids surprised us by sleeping in until well after 7am (they are all typically early risers, so this was a big surprise and big treat!). This year, instead of overloading on gifts, we decided to go super simple: 1 large toy under $40, 1 box of things to wear (the boys asked for Star Wars shirts and tall socks) and 1 book. That's it. Christmas Eve I was starting to second guess myself, but it really went so well. So well, in fact, that we may just continue to the tradition :)


In our home, Santa brings the stockings. The boys were eager to dump out their stockings and see all of their goodies.
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(he's a true ham)

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we gave each of the boys $5 and let them pick a gift for one of their brothers (basically like secret Santa, except it wasn't a secret). They were so excited about gifting each other their gifts. It is so sweet to watch them find joy in giving... I hope they always treasure giving more than receiving.
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Several days before Christmas, I had wrapped some of a the smaller gifts and placed them under the tree. Tyler was SO excited about getting a BIG gift... and he was only talking about his gift that was smaller than a shoe box. I wish I had gotten a picture (I have video, but it's not uploaded) of his reaction seeing the huge box for his track set. He was so excited!

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When we asked Connor what he wanted for Christmas, his only response was that he wanted "the Holy Spirit and a fart gun." He's quit the eclectic child. So Santa brought him a sensored fart remote, and I was left with nothing on my list. We decided to delve into the world of Hot Wheels tracks and it was a hit! He loves it and it has provided hours of entertainment for all of my boys.

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Brayden was a hard cookie to crack this year. He desperately wants a bbgun, but Drew and I are still a little hesitant to give one to him just yet. Brayden was adamant that was all he wanted, so we were kind of left scrambling. After some coaxing from me to go to the store to look at other toys he may like, he settled on the Nerf Rival guns. It's a pretty powerful gun (for a Nerf gun), but we have used it as an opportunity for him to prove he can be responsible for a gun. He has done great, and I'm so proud of him taking it seriously to prove he'll be able to handle a bb gun when the time comes. (I'm sad that this is the only picture I got of him with the gun-- we sadly realized shortly after he opened it that I hadn't gotten the batteries it needed, so I spent my Christmas morning at Walgreens with the 48271 other people who also forgot batteries. LOL).

The rest of our Christmas break was spent visiting with Drews family from both near and far. It was unfortunate that it rained pretty much all of Christmas, so we were stuck inside instead of playing outside, but we made the best of it and had a great time with all.

The Christmas stillness lasted well through the first week of school last week, as we tried to shake off the rust from being off of a schedule for so long. We're all excited to be back to school and bible study with friends, and Brayden has been especially excited to start basketball for the first time. Praying that this year will continue the focus I had last year on being present and enjoying each day one day at a time. I pray the same for you as we start this new year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Looking Like Christmas.

We have been in the thick of all things Christmas lately, with parties, parades programs and the like. The odd thing is that our weather has been close to 70 every day for the past week. I didn't complain one bit... winter tends to be a hard season for us, as being home bound for days on end tends to not mix well with boys (the lack of gross motor hits us hard!). So in between stringing lights and picking out trees and singing carols, we've dug around for summer clothes so we can play outside without breaking into an all out sweat.
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This was the first year that I attempted a gingerbread house with the boys. They actually did really well, so this will be a tradition we will keep. Tyler just about licked every piece he touched, which wasn't that surprising given his age.
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We went to Walmart one night as a family and picked out a tree. Brayden actually selected the one we ended up taking home, which was a delight for him.


I say this every year, but this may be my favorite Christmas yet. The boys have patiently waited all week to decorate the tree. They did it all by themselves and were so excited to see old handprints and artwork they've each done for ornaments in years pa
This is our first year to let the boys decorate the tree on their own (we had a little bit of guidance for them). They did so well and were so excited and proud of what they accomplished. I loved listening to them remember when they made certain ornaments or memories.

Impromptu night on the square to see the lights. #mboys2015
We made a spontaneous trip to our town's little square earlier this week. We figured seeing Christmas lights in the warmth was much better than looking at them in the cold.
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Connor had his last preschool Christmas program. He was so excited to perform on stage and have us in the crowd. He kept thanking us the remainder of the day for coming to see him sing on stage.
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We finished this week with our annual train ride on the Christmas train. I could tell Brayden was a little bored with it, which made me super sad. They grow out of their wonder and excitement so quickly. We ended up having an extra ticket, so we invited one of Connor's little buddies to come along with us. They had fun goofing off together. And Tyler was completely enamoured this year with it all. He has fallen in LOVE with Santa, which is comical because he will literally scream out for Santa anytime he sees someone that looks like or is dressed like him. He's also too little to discern if it's all a scam, like his older brother (Brayden pointed out to us towards the end of the train ride that the young man who was walking up and down the aisles, was in fact, the guy who was dressed as Santa earlier. When I asked him how he knew that he said "because he's wearing the same shoes." Smart cookie, that one).
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creepy fake beard Santa that Tyler wasn't afraid of one bit.
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the boys waiting in the station before we left
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JohnJohn and Connor. They have been buddies since they were born!
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A not staged, cute pic. They were so excited when we took off and sat glued to the window like this for quite a while.
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please notice Tyler's posture in talking with Santa. He is a mess. Brayden told him he wanted an XBox 22. Good thing I can easily say that those don't exist... yet. Ha!

As I reflect during Christmas time, I find so much wonder and amazement in the beauty of the meaning of Christmas... that Jesus, the Son of God, came down as a babe to ransom us from our depravity. It is such a depth of joy and mercy that I am not sure I will ever fully understand. We have greatly simplified Christmas this year for our family, and in it I have found that it is still as abundant and filling as the years that we have packed it full. I hope that this Christmas season has started off filled with peace and joy for you too. Wishing you the Merriest of days this month....

 

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